By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
The sequel to the dumb-ass jamboree makes its predecessor look plain and inoffensive. In short: more puke, more blood, more semen (from a horse, consumed nonetheless), more shit, more piss, more everything till you'd think the Jackasses (Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, etc.) would be tapped bone-friggin'-dry. Oh, and it's also the gayest movie ever, down to the last golden dildo and anal-inserted beer bong and leech attached to a testicle framed in close-up for God knows how long. Which isn't to say it's allhorrifyingly unwatchable; for the squeamish there are the handful of brilliant cutaways during which producer Spike Jonze traipses around Los Angeles as an elderly woman who can't keep her clothes on, which out-Borats Borat by a wide mile. Still, I've seen footage of botched surgeries easier to watch than this. Loved it anyway. Especially the "fart mask." So wrong.
THE LAST KISS
Once more, this time without much feeling, Zach Braff narrates his way through a pre-midlife crisis—here, as a man approaching his thirties who's just discovered his girlfriend (Jacinda Barrett) is pregnant and that another woman (Rachel Bilson) has the hots for him. The Last Kiss, based on an Italian film by Gabriele Muccino, is bereft of the heartbreaking charm of Garden Stateand the daydreamy wackiness of Scrubs. It's monotone throughout, in need of the comic relief it denies itself and the catharsis it believes itself capable of. Even the gag reel's pretty much a yawn. Also included: a music video Braff directed (because, like, he discovered the Shins, ya know?), the filmmakers talking about fave scenes (skip, seriously), and commentaries with Braff and director Tony Goldwyn. Hey, at least they love the movie. (RW)
THE BLACK DAHLIA
When Brian De Palma fails, he does it with style—and here's another beautiful film studded with great moments that never come together. You can't blame the source material: James Ellroy's novel is a masterpiece, and Curtis Hanson had no trouble ushering Ellroy's L.A. Confidential to the screen. De Palma gets no help from a wooden Josh Hartnett and styrofoam Scarlett Johansson. But the bigger problem is that De Palma's glossy, graceful style can't muster the wallop of Ellroy's boiling tale of LA's most notorious unsolved murder. Reportedly, over an hour of footage got cut—but we'll never know from this paltry DVD, which has a couple of interesting docs, but no deleted footage and no director's commentary. And why no one asked Ellroy to contribute a track is a mystery unto itself; the man talks just like he writes. (Jordan Harper)
Other notable releases: Airwolf: Season Two; Be With Me; Dane Cook's Tourgasm; Danica; Factotum; The Family Values Tour 2006; Girls Behaving Badly, Volume One; Haven; Mars Invades the Earth!; Mi Amigo; Mr. Fix It; The New Adventures of He-Man: Volume One; Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles; Scratch; Sex, Censorship, and the Silver Screen; Sheitan; The Simple Life 4: 'Til Death Do Us Part; The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970; Who's Camus Anyway?; WWE Survivor Series 2006.
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