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Water for Elephants Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

“Water for Elephants,” based on the bestselling novel, is an interesting misfire. Then again, maybe I’m the wrong guy to be reviewing this.

The film will be of great interest to some viewers for two reasons. First, it is based on a beloved bestselling romantic novel. I have not read the book, so I cannot judge how faithful this adaptation is. However, the story, involving a love triangle set in a traveling circus during the 30s, is occasionally interesting, if not sometimes a bit overly-dramatic. It also feels a lot longer than its 120 minute running time. And no, the title is not metaphorical…the welfare of a performing circus elephant is central to the conflict.

The second point of interest is the cast, which is intriguing enough to draw in both high-brow movie snobs and idol worshipers. I guess it goes without saying that Robert (“Team Edward!”) Pattinson is the big draw for the younger crowd, and here, he essentially plays a slightly less-glowering version of his “Twilight” character. Maybe that’s not an insult. After all, Nicholas Cage has made a nice, tidy career from playing Nicholas Cage in almost every film he’s in. But despite his photogenic attributes, his acting doesn’t hold a candle to Reese Witherspoon (his love interest) and Christoph Waltz (who, as the cruel and jealous husband, walks away with the film, much like he did in “Inglorious Basterds”). But again, part of this may be my problem. I find the “Twilight” films so unintentionally hilarious that it was difficult for me to separate Pattinson from his iconic role (especially since his character’s name is ironically named Jacob). I still can’t shake the sneaking feeling his career will go down the same path as Mark Hamill’s.

Poor guy…having the misfortune of working alongside two recent Oscar-winners (a trophy he’ll never see) for his next major project. Still, the film is worth checking out at least one time by those who loved the book or worship the Alter of Robert. However, you are advised not to buy the disc sight-unseen. My advice is to rent it first to see if the story itself is up your alley.

DVD Extras: Exclusive Robert Pattinson Spotlight, Feature Performer Reese Witherspoon, The Traveling Show- Page To Screen, Commentary by Francis Lawrence and Richard Lagravenese, theatrical trailer.

The Blu-ray has all of the DVD extras plus Secrets Of The Big Top, Digital Copy, BD Live extras: Stars Of The Circus and Live Lookup, Raising The Tent, The Star Attraction, Working Without A Net: The Visual Effects Of Water For Elephants.

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December 8, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review, DVD review | , , , , , , , ,

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