New on DVD - 1/6/09
BABYLON A.D. (★½)
If you're thinking it has a certain "Children of Men" vibe to it, you'd be right, but "Babylon A.D." drains its material of all the social and spiritual significance of that film and whittles it down to 90 minutes of explosions and gunfire. There are some high ideas to be found buried beneath all the rubble, but they're so obscured by the banal, hyperactive action scenes that they don't really register.
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (★★★)
FFR DVD Pick of the Week
This is minute for minute, laugh for laugh one of the funniest movies I have seen in ages, averaging more consistent laughs per minute than any other film this year. It can be awkwardly edited at times, but Rogen and Franco are always right there to keep things moving in the right direction, rising to the occasion and bringing the belly laughs at every turn. It may not be deep or profound, but it is wonderfully hilarious and well-directed by Green, who manages to make even the most absurd situations work and seem completely grounded in the reality of the film, even during the ludicrously over-the-top violent finale, which is one of the most ridiculously uproarious scenes in quite some time.
THE WACKNESS (★★½)
However, the film tries to position itself as a cultural time capsule, looking back with misty eyed nostalgia at a time that really wasn't all that long ago. And this is where The Wackness stumbles. Outside of as many references to Giuliani as the filmmakers can cram in, and a few laments about the lack of readily available drugs, the film fails to fully examine the effects and wider ramifications of the Republican mayor's now legendary reforms. I wanted there to be more to it, historically speaking, than a simple "where have all the drugs gone?" theme.