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DVD Round Up 31/3-6/4

April 6, 2011

This will be a weekly entry, basically doing what it says on the tin: rounding up the DVDs I’ve watched through the week with short reviews.  After a very busy last couple of years (marriage, travelling, buying a house and having a baby) I’m still catching up a lot of the big movies from that time as well as making my way through classics that I haven’t seen, so you may well find quite an eclectic, random mix at times.  This week though, it’s three of last year’s big releases:

The Blind Side:
Like most people, I find Sandra Bullock immensely watchable and likable on screen.  But an Oscar winner, really?  No.  Like Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon before her, Sandra Bullock is the commercial, mainstream star who the Academy desperately wanted to reward in order to garner interest amongst casual film fans.  Someone tell Jennifer Aniston that if she ever wants to win an Oscar, she just needs to play a strong, feisty woman, possibly with a Southern accent, definitely with some sort of cause or crusade.  She’ll have it in the bag.  The Blind Side is a watchable movie, mainly because of Bullock’s presence, but there is no drama whatsoever in the story and it’s all a bit wishy-washy.  It’s quite amazing that it managed to get a Best Picture nomination.


Alice in Wonderland (2010):
Probably the most disappointing Burton/Depp collaboration.  Elements of it are enjoyable, namely Helena Bonham-Carter and the fabulous production design, but for the most part it’s a big, boring mess.  For once, Depp doesn’t quite pitch his performance right and Mia Wasikowska has no real presence on screen. 


How to Train Your Dragon:
I saw this for the first time when it first came out on DVD and since then have been impatient to watch it again, as it’s an absolute delight of a film.  I usually find Dreamworks’ animated films to be subpar-gorgeous animation, but weak stories padded by stupid dance interludes and jokes that are usually outdated by the time of the DVD release.  This isn’t the case with HTTYD though, which has a lovely, heartwarming story, great voicework and tremendous action scenes.  The first Dreamworks picture to suggest that the studio may one day be able to match Pixar’s brilliance.


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