Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bonus CineFiles: The Bang Bang Club, Marley & Me: The Puppy Years and Super Hybrid!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.

The Bang Bang Club (R) (Blu-Ray)
E One Entertainment

God bless white people for truly showing the world how evil apartheid was. Sting, Bono, Bruce … all you guys, thanks. Really. But, still, that was what? Almost 20 years ago? And white people still want credit for it? If the slick biopic The Bang Bang Club is any indication, boy, do they ever. It focuses on a group of insanely photogenic South African photojournalists (including the stoically baby-faced Ryan Phillippe and the ruggedly feminine Taylor Kitsch) who risk life and limb to get that one shot that will win them notoriety and prestige; they stare down machete-wielding Zulu warriors and police-driven tanks. I’m sure that when their real-life counterparts were knee-deep in the shit, it was pulse-poundingly dramatic, but when portrayed by a cadre of wannabe-thespian GQ cover-boys, it loses all meaning, becoming hilariously silly and ham-fistedly exploitive. How about a movie about the black photographers who captured apartheid on film? No? You’re right. I guess you wouldn’t get any credit for that.

Marley & Me: The Puppy Years (PG) (Blu-Ray)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Spoiler alert: At the end of the original Marley & Me, the lovable scamp Marley dies on a vet's cold metal table. I saw it in the movie theater, surrounded by children, and I was crying louder than anyone else in the joint. I hadn’t cried that hard since Selena. As I was walking out, I vowed to only watch movies where the dog lived. Thankfully, the makers of the kid-centric prequel Marley & Me: The Puppy Years heard my tears and made a movie where not only is Marley forever an adorable puppy, but an adorable puppy who talks, farts, solves minor crimes, enjoys Spam and wreaks general heart-warming havoc around the house. It’s everything that dog movies should be. Of course, knowing how Marley dies later on makes it a bittersweet affair, but ... hey, for now, there are pillows to rip apart.

Super Hybrid (PG-13) (Blu-Ray)
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

The tagline for Super Hybrid is, “Most cars run on fuel, this one runs on blood.” Cool, I thought, this’ll be like a killer car horror movie for the Al Gore crowd. An Inconvenient Coupe, if you will. However, as I watched, I was environmentally dismayed to learn that the hybrid in the title doesn’t refer to a green, fuel-efficient energy source that’s better for the environment, but to a squid-type monster that merely mimics the characteristics of cars. Because it helps it to be a better hunter. Yep. The strong-jawed Oded Fehr leads a collection of caricatures in a police impound garage as the titular automobile mows down and devours the crew one by one, often surround by some pretty hilarious CGI. It’s a decent monster movie, and I guess they should be commended for not trying to shove that climate change nonsense down our throats but, still … I would’ve liked a bit more social consciousness with my killer car movie, guys.

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