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The Adjustment Bureau (Blu-ray)

UNIVERSAL

MOVIE C-

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 4

(OUT OF 10)

The Adjustment Bureau (Blu-ray)
  • The Adjustment Bureau (Blu-ray)

In this boring science-fiction film, guys wear hats and run around. That's what this film, from director George Nolfi (and based on a short story by Philip K. Dick), tries to pass off as pulse-pounding action.

There's an almost-cool premise at work here. Matt Damon plays an aspiring politician who meets a beautiful dancer (Emily Blunt); the meeting threatens to mess with all sorts of destinies and circumstances. A strange army of hat-wearing entities work behind the scenes to make sure Damon does what he's supposed to do, according to the grand plan.

Unfortunately, it all results in a bunch of tedious sequences in which guys chase each other through a bunch of doors while wearing hats.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A feature commentary, deleted scenes and some decent featurettes. The special features are easily better than the movie, but they don't make the disc worth the investment.


Unknown (Blu-ray)

WARNER

MOVIE C+

SPECIAL FEATURES D

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 3.5

(OUT OF 10)

Unknown (Blu-ray)
  • Unknown (Blu-ray)

Liam Neeson is now pulling down the roles that Harrison Ford would've turned down 15 years ago. Neeson is basically the same character in a lot of his films, and this one, about a man who has an accident while vacationing with his wife (January Jones, who is awful here), is especially silly.

This is one of those films in which somebody bonks his head and gets a convenient case of amnesia. Neeson is the recipient of the hit to the head; he winds up in a hospital, and when he emerges, his wife doesn't recognize him. The final twist is OK, but it doesn't make up for the silliness that precedes it.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A featurette about Liam Neeson ... the action hero! Pretty lame.


Insignificance (Blu-ray)

CRITERION

MOVIE B

SPECIAL FEATURES C-

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 6

(OUT OF 10)

Insignificance (Blu-ray)
  • Insignificance (Blu-ray)

For those of you who like your movies a little strange, this 1985 film from director Nicolas Roeg, which co-stars Gary Busey back when he could act, is a good pick.

Terry Johnson's weird screenplay suggests a scenario in which a professor, an actress, a baseball player and a senator meet in a hotel room. While the characters have no names, they are clearly Albert Einstein (Michael Emil), Marilyn Monroe (Theresa Russell), Joe DiMaggio (Busey) and Sen. Joe McCarthy (Tony Curtis).

The movie stages a few wonderful scenes involving Einstein and Monroe, who meet and discuss various strains of science. While Monroe knows about science and can correctly state the speed of light, she doesn't entirely know what it means. So Einstein makes for an attractive conversation, and they almost make it to bed before DiMaggio knocks on the door.

McCarthy wants Einstein to testify at a hearing about communism—and it turns out that the senator likes platinum-haired hookers. He mistakes Monroe for a hooker, which leads to cold violence. Curtis is especially creepy in the role.

Russell makes a convincing Monroe, and while Busey has little in common physically with DiMaggio, he successfully portrays the sort of mad yet polite jealousy that one would expect from Monroe's famous ex-hubby. This is Busey pre-motorcycle accident, when he was considered a fairly formidable acting force.

Roeg's film also plays upon the nuclear paranoia that had reached a fever pitch in mid-'80s movies, suggesting Einstein's guilty feelings about his contributions to the nuclear bomb. The movie's final scene, a nuclear nightmare where all that is beautiful is literally destroyed, is remarkable filmmaking.

SPECIAL FEATURES: An old featurette on the making of the movie, and a cool booklet. This is not one of the more jam-packed Criterion releases, but it's still worth picking up for the movie.


Red Riding Hood (Blu-ray)

WARNER

MOVIE D-

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 2.75

(OUT OF 10)

Red Riding Hood (Blu-ray)
  • Red Riding Hood (Blu-ray)

There are a lot of stinkers making their way to home video in June, and this one is chief among them. Catherine Hardwicke, who punished humanity enough with the first Twilight movie, delivers another nasty blow with this atrocious flick.

Amanda Seyfried, who probably thought she was on her way to superstardom before this thing hit theaters, plays Valerie, a crazy-eyed girl who wears a red hood and lives in an old-timey village plagued by a werewolf. Everybody in her neighborhood exhibits behavior that is not un-werewolf-like, so all are suspects. Candidates include a priest played by Gary Oldman (of course), various hot dudes and Valerie's strange grandma (Julie Christie).

By the time the monster's identity is revealed, you won't give two shits. The film is a dreary drag from start to finish. Hardwicke, whose directing career started promisingly with Thirteen, has been doling out stinkers ever since.

SPECIAL FEATURES: There is a picture-in-picture commentary with Seyfried, Hardwicke and others. You also get a gag reel and some additional scenes.

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