Three of the more recent videos we've rented:
Le Pacte du Silence - Yes, this one's in French. And I suppose it might be intended as a suspense-thriller, but I didn't find it very much of either. Just an overwhelming feeling of ambivalence. If you're a Depardieu fan or want to exercise your comprehension Français... no, on second thought, you're still better off renting Jean de Florette and forgetting this one even exists.
Chronicles of Riddick - Okay, I really wasn't expecting much from this one and yet, still I was disappointed. There was the foundation for a classic sci-fi movie and yet it seemed to stumble at every turn. Don't get me started on the fact that this sequel contains another fire & ice planet with a breathable atmosphere. I've long enjoyed seeing Karl Urban extend his career, but the flat character of Vaako can't have helped him much. And Judi Dench? She apparently needed the paycheck. The "King Conan" ending screams that we haven't seen the last Riddick movie but, much like the second installment of Highlander, I'm not sure anything could rescue this franchise.
Shrek 2 - Funny movie, but Dreamworks is no Pixar. My first beef with Shrek is that it has no style, no soul. The animation is technically impressive, but it tries too hard to look "realistic"; the result is that you are continuously jarred by the bits that they don't quite get right -- particularly the facial expressions and lip movements. It's animation, stupid! The second failure of this movie was its plot, or rather lack thereof. Shrek 2 is really just a string of jokes loosely glued together; rather than injecting humor into the story, the writers injected story into the humor. And, as my dear bro-in-law* noted, the humor is very culturally centered; many of the jokes will be lost even just a few decades from now. My final beef is with the scene where pinocchio is revealed to be wearing women's underwear, a thong, in fact. This was simply not appropriate for the target audience, particularly given the duration and prominance that the joke was given.
* who can turn a phrase much more adeptly than I