Fresh Carnage From Jennifer Garner and Jason Statham

The Kingdom Universal, $29.98 No doubt about it, Peter Berg's The Kingdom ranked as one of 2007's more visceral action pics—also, as one of its most empty. No more than a big-screen CSI, this Very Special Episode is set in Saudi Arabia following the massacre of Americans on a softball field. The Kingdom wanted to be taken seriously as a post-9/11 cautionary tale—blood for oil, dig, with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner doling out retribution at six rounds per second. But it never transcended its bloodlust, and all Berg left us with were terrorists as targets; this was as much a video game as Black Hawk Down, which isn't to deny the film its primeval pleasures, which are well documented in several back-patting makings-of. Absolutely, Berg can blow shit up and knock shit down real, real good. ROBERT WILONSKY War Lionsgate, $29.95 War, hunh, good God, what is it good for? Well, absolutely nothing, if you must know—except it does make one wonder whether Jason Statham will do anything for a dollar, having all but squandered his post-Snatch stock in those torturously terrible Transporter movies. At least in that franchise, he's all strongman smirk; here, Statham's as humorless as a corpse. And Jet Li—will he, too, do anything and everything offered to him, including revenge pictures like this one, in which he sidelines his athletic ability for gunplay and a brief sword fight toward the anticlimactic finale, in which you see the twist coming a mile away? Credit's due, though, for a disc stocked with bonuses, including a coldly voiced "audio trivia track." Like you'll ever make it that far. ROBERT WILONSKY OTHER RELEASES From TV, the IFC series Indie Sex features some naughty clips, but you gotta listen to a whole lotta talking heads—including many directors who released their films through IFC, go figure—to see the skin. Was John Waters really not available? Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giamatti inexplicably lend their talent to Shoot 'Em Up. If you can't get enough of HBO's Flight of the Conchords, Jemaine Clement appears in the SIFF-favorite Kiwi comedy Eagle vs. Shark. John Malkovich stars as the acclaimed portraitist of decadent Vienna in Klimt. Susan Sarandon goes slumming in Mr. Woodcock, but her co-stars Billy Bob Thornton and Seann William Scott? Not so much; they've found their own level. An American GI defects to North Korea in the documentary Crossing the Line; unfortunately, he's less interesting than Kim Jong Il. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale star in the fairly solid Western 3:10 to Yuma. David Fincher provides commentary for his underappreciated, underseen Zodiac, which is on a lot of 10-best lists and surely merits Oscar consideration. And the evil-child thriller Joshua is good, creepy fun.

 
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