96 Minutes

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of new releases today with the common theme being that they’re all worth a watch at the very least. So head on down to your local Hollywood Video and check out Coriolanus, A Necessary Death, Goon and yes, even We Need To Talk About Kevin. Seriously, check out that last one as I need someone, anyone, to validate my opinion that the film is more ridiculous than impressive. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Henning Mankell’s Wallander: Swedish Series Two Chief Inspector Wallander has a knack for solving crimes even as he grows tired of man’s inhumanity towards man in this second Swedish TV series (season) to be based on Henning Mankell’s most famous character. Krister Henriksson stars as the talented but beleaguered detective through thirteen episodes of murder, deceit and drama, and he brings real pathos to the character while still keeping him an engaging but likeable grump. The mysteries are well-constructed and excitingly shot, and they serve as a reminder that our own TV series could benefit from a shorter schedule that allows for more quality over quantity. Now to track down Henriksson’s season one…

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If there’s one thing consistently more frustrating than a film being out-and-out unwatchable it’s a film on the cusp of being really good if not for something irredeemable getting in the film’s own way. All of the elements to make the vision happen are there and firing; the acting is solid to standout across the board, the non-linear structure is used well, and the writing is done well…for the most part. Where 96 Minutes loses effectiveness in intensity and diverts into frustration is in the primary catalyst for the film’s conflict. Partly the character at the center of it, but mostly our lack of significant knowledge about him that justifies him doing what he does and allowing us to connect with the motive. I gather that there’s much more to him beyond ignorance and anger at his current situation (at least I hope so), but all of that story happens over the course of the prior 16 years before the 96 minutes of time we experience.

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SXSW 2011 may be coming to a close, but we’ll be sharing more interviews and reviews as the week rolls on. All of which will have barbecue stains. It’s a big night tonight. Neil is standing in line for Hobo With a Shotgun, cleverly putting his hat out and asking for money to buy a lawnmower. Rob has been lured into a vegan screening of a low-budget Asian pink film. Brian is wandering around town trying to figure out just how much he loved Attack the Block. Luke and Adam are luring people into Asian pink film screenings, and Jack hasn’t been seen since last Thursday. We’ll be earning a few awards for our coverage, no doubt, but SXSW has crowned a few winners this evening – the most awarded being the Rachel Harris comedy Natural Selection. You thought for a second they were posthumously celebrating Charles Darwin, didn’t you? Congratulations to all the winners, and to all the films at SXSW. Here are the winners as listed in the official press release:

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So you’ve eaten at Pita Pit and Best Wurst (because there’s nothing wrong with two lunches) and you’re scoping out theaters ready to get more movies on, but you have no idea what you’re going to see. That teary indie drama or that ridiculous sci-fi comedy? You don’t know do you? And you can’t figure it out on your own for some reason. Fortunately, we’ve created this handy guide to help you in your time of duress. Use it wisely. There’s no chance it’ll send you to the porno theater across the highway, so if you end up there, it’s on you.

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