October 17, 2008 in Seven

It’s no Lost Ark, but still a good adventure

From staff and wire reviews



The early life of Genghis Khan (1162-1227) is shrouded in mystery. But Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov didn’t let that stop him from making this epic attempt at portraying how kid named Temudjin beat out his rivals to become the great Khan. The unfortunate thing is that Bodrov’s “Mongol” is as short on plot development as it is long on landscape. That doesn’t fill in the blanks of the Khan’s life, but it does allow Bodrov to make the most of Mongolia’s arid beauty. DVD, which is available in Blu-ray, includes no extras. (2:06; rated R for sequences of bloody warfare)

– By Dan Webster

“Standard Operating Procedure”


Errol Morris, the famous documentarian of “Thin Blue Line” and “Fog of War” fame, isn’t the first filmmaker to tackle the events of that happened at the Baghdad military prison Abu Ghraib. But as the story unfolds in his painterly style, underscored by talking-head interviews and a musical score by Danny Elfman (“Batman” and dozens of others), it doesn’t much matter. Concentrating on the difference criminal behavior and what the Army consider standard operating procedure, Morris raises questions that rise clear to the White House. DVD, which is available in Blu-ray, includes commentary by director Morris, additional scenes, theatrical trailer. (1:56; rated R for content involving torture, disturbing images, graphic nudity, language)

– By Dan Webster

“The Strangers”

A couple (Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman), vacationing in a remote spot, are terrorized by masked strangers. “I like watching snakes eat mice just as much as the next fella, maybe even more, but ‘The Strangers’ turns the gobble-’em-up into an ordeal. It’s a fraud from start to finish.” DVD includes making-of featurette, additional scenes. (1:25; rated R for language, violence/terror)

– By Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

“The Pirates Who Didn’t Do Anything: A Veggietales Movie”

Three animated veggie buddies set sail and discover what it means to be real heroes. “The film offers plenty of kid-level humor (as well as a few references adults will pick up on), a decent story and, as you might guess, a positive message.” DVD includes making-of featurette, bloopers reel. (1:31; rated G)

– By Bill Goodykoontz, Gannett News

Also available: “Elmo’s Christmas Countdown,” “Gamer,” “Holmes for the Holiday,” “Roxy Hunter and the Myth of the Mermaid,” “Saving God,” “Stuck,” “Waltzing Anna,” “War, Inc.,” “Warren Miller’s Playground”

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