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New on DVD: 'The Conspirator,' 'Priest,' 'Something Borrowed'

Old 08-25-2011, 08:25 AM
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Default New on DVD: 'The Conspirator,' 'Priest,' 'Something Borrowed'

This week's new DVD releases include a bit of history, a comic book yarn and a romantic comedy.

-"The Conspirator," Grade C-plus: Robert Redford's story of the only woman charged in the Abraham Lincoln assassination plays more like a History Channel special than an episode of "Law & Order."
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Redford's direction is wanting. There are odd moments in the courtroom where he fills the air with smoke to create a mood, but it is more of a distraction. He also seems so enamored of the sets, costumes and locations that the camera lollygags through scenes.

The whole film flows like a connect-the-dots book on the Lincoln assassination. Redford carefully draws lines from one point to another, but fails to fill in the color to make it vivid.

Redford is so concerned with recounting the facts that human elements are lost in the story's dusty wake. Little House on The Prairie boxset 1-10

-"Priest," Grade D: A Warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) must save his niece (Lily Collins) from a murderous pack of vampires.

The film falls into a new film genre: the spaghetti vampire Western. It combines the brooding outsider reluctant hero who must save a dusty world - the plot that made the Sergio Leone films of the '60s so popular - with the brutality of blood-sucking movies like "Underworld."

It should have been "The Good, the Bad and the Undead."

-"Something Borrowed," Grade D: A woman (Ginnifer Goodwin) ends up in bed with the man engaged to her best friend (Kate Hudson).
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This is one of the best examples of poor writing to come along in years. The script doesn't just wallow in the absurdities of its characters or bask in the banality of its plot, it tries to pass itself off as a romantic comedy. Romance may not be dead, but this film's a double dose of arsenic.
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