Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

DVDs In Brief: October 5, 2011

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Illustration for article titled DVDs In Brief: October 5, 2011

Maybe even Disney didn’t realize how much moolah the 3-D re-release of The Lion King (Disney) would rake in at the theaters; one four-disc iteration of the new “Diamond edition” of the film includes the 3-D version on Blu-ray, which seems a little premature if the company wants to maximize the theatrical run. (The two-disc version just includes the Blu-ray and DVD.) Then again, maybe its theatrical success will drive yet another disc-buying frenzy for a beloved film that Disney’s already successfully sold the public many, many times over…

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The summer started early and with a surprising bang with Fast Five (Universal), the fifth entry in the Fast And The Furious franchise, and one that managed to be oversized and fleet. Dispensing with much of the confusing mythology that had been dragging the series down, Fast Five takes up permanent residence in Rio de Janeiro, where Vin Diesel and Paul Walker bring four movies’ worth of characters together for a thrilling, ridiculous Ocean’s Eleven-style super-heist…

Buck Brannaman is popularly known as the man who inspired The Horse Whisperer with his unconventional techniques for breaking horses, which emphasize “good parenting” over the cold brutality of old. The lovely documentary Buck (IFC) shows how Brannaman’s own history of abuse informed both his methods and his own approach to raising a child. He’s a quiet, funny, compassionate modern cowboy, and the film rightly stands in awe of him…

Director Wes Craven returned to the Scream franchise after an eight-year absence with Scream 4 (Weinstein), the third sequel to the horror-comedy that forever changed horror and comedy with its post-modern tomfoolery. Scream 4 offers more meta-shenanigans, this time with a whole new generation of slasher bait led by Emma Roberts, but the series’ riffing on the horror genre can’t help but feel a little stale and warmed-over this late in the game…

Unspooling at an egregious 110 minutes, The Undefeated (Arc Entertainment) is a feature-length campaign commercial for a Sarah Palin candidacy that has yet to declare itself. And the weirdest part? Palin herself isn’t even interviewed. Director Stephen K. Bannon merely serves the cult of Palin by intercutting speeches and appearances with alarmist imagery. As expected, the debate over the film settled not on aesthetics, but on the number of suckers who paid money to see it. So it was either a rousing success or a total failure, depending on your political perspective.