Eat Pray Love

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we have 1st Lt. Travon Boykins – massive film geek and fightin’ force for the US Army – calling in live from the (un)active war zone of Iraq. Advisin’ and assistin’, baby. Shunning our usual format, we ramble on coherently for a while, give a one-sentence review of True Grit and figure out what Californication looks like without any sex. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees the arrival of a damn entertaining British series called Luther and the long-awaited DVD debut of The Six Million Dollar Man as well as The Expendables, Eat Pray Love, I’m Still Here, and more.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Back in the saddle again here on This Week in Blu-ray. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I will say that I’ve been on-time (read: published sometime during the week) for several weeks now. Pretty soon Rob Hunter will stop snickering every time he writes “Neil Miller’s hilariously titled This Week in Blu-ray” in his well-read column, This Week in DVD. But until then, I press on with a passion for that which can only be enjoyed in 1080 lines of resolution. This week we explore the past with several very old men, the likes of Fritz Lang and Sylvester Stallone. We also get to enjoy a light week that should have you (and your pocketbook) well rested for the upcoming holiday weekend. Apparently people shop like crazy on Friday, but I’ll believe it when I see it. For Tuesday, I will spare you the erroneous purchases so that you might sniff out the best Blu-ray deals Black Friday has to offer…

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The Reject Report

The Expendables topped the chart for a second weekend in a row. You can’t chalk it up to the dominating force the men involved in the film have on movie goers’ and their wallets, though. With a second weekend drop of more than 50%, it’s not exactly a day of rejoicing for fans of Sly Stallone and his crew. It’s just that everything else out this weekend performed that poorly, a true sign that we’re over and done with Summer, and it’s going to be a few month before we see any new blockbusters make their mark on the box office.

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The Reject Report

It was presumed even if the final numbers weren’t as close as anticipated. Sorry, lovers of Lifetime Movies. The Expendables were able to break out on top above Eat Pray Love, and it looks like they’ve brought the .50 caliber guns with them. Meanwhile, further down the charts, Scott Pilgrim was barely able to edge its way into double digits. A sad opening for such a deservedly beloved film, but history may be a better prognosticator of successful film making than a weekend box office tally. We’ll get to that in a moment.

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In Eat Pray Love, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) eats, prays and loves, while gliding through some of the world’s most beautiful settings. Populated with gorgeous people, vivid scenic vistas and picturesque multicultural happenings, the film would make an ideal promotional spot for its primary locations of Rome, India and Bali. Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling, autobiographical self-help book (his directorial debut) gets the surface details right. Seen on a big enough screen, the pictures of Rome’s ornamental city streets, India’s sweat soaked ashrams and Bali’s lushly vegetated countryside provoke the sort of all-encompassing awe that in many respects defines the cinema. But when it comes to the narrative woven around the scenery, the movie starts flat, stays flat and never recovers. Cast wrong and structured lazily, Eat Pray Love lacks the strong dramatic pull needed to sustain a 133-minute production. Mired in a milquetoast aesthetic obsessed with trendy “healing” tropes (meditation, close-ups on delicious looking pasta, Javier Bardem etc.) the movie rarely deviates from the genre’s standard path.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes a gander at the demographically delineated movie selection this weekend. The ladies have Julia Roberts finding herself in Eat Pray Love. The dudes have Sly and the action family Stallone with the much anticipated The Expendables. And the fanboys fresh from Comic-Con have the high-concept slug-fest Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Sorry to all the teenage girls out there. You’ll just have to go see Eclipse at the dollar theater this weekend.

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The Reject Report

And somewhere in that world waits Julia Roberts, hiding in the shadows, waiting for her chance to pounce and eat, pray, and love the competition back into the nether worlds from whence they came. Scott Pilgrim might be fending off a league of evil exes for his true love, but he’s going to have a tougher time going up against not only Roberts’ popularity among the fairer sex but the testosterone-heavy multitude that will be pouring themselves into theaters to see Stallone and his posse rip people’s throats out. It’s going to be an all-out war at the box office this weekend, and The Other Guys might as well stay at their desks. They don’t have a shot of repeating.

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Eat Pray Love

It’s been ten years since Julia Roberts starred in a bona fide hit, both commercially and critically. What has she been up to since Erin Brockovich? Lots of supporting roles, a few misguided star vehicles, and three kids… but now it looks like Roberts is ready to get back into the game 100% with a film featuring her front and center as the sole lead character.

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