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Dear Wendy
DVD disk
07.04.2006 By: Quigles
Dear Wendy order
Director:
Thomas Vinterberg

Actors:
Jamie Bell
Bill Pullman
Michael Angarano

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young pacifist finds himself strangely drawn to a gun, and he soon starts a secret club (called The Dandies) with all of the other outcasts of the town. They're a group that believes in having guns without actually using them... until they're forced into a situation where using guns is their only option.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I don't know what I was expecting from this movie, but it definitely wasn't this... I guess I should've paid more attention to the words "Written by Lars von Trier", which didn't click with me until after the movie had finished. After that little fact had been realized, all the pieces immediately fell into place. It also helped me understand why this movie didn't feel the least bit American.

This film is all about symbolism and social commentary, and I can appreciate that. However, I draw the line when that commentary is presented through a completely ridiculous, and at times, quite stupid script. It's the worst kind of dumb - the one that thinks and acts like it isn't. It makes the movie rapidly go from poignant and interesting to pretentious, cheesy, and laughable. Now, some people will argue, "You just don't get the point!" No, I got the point - I just didn't like the way it was delivered to me. Fortunately, those scenes don't occupy the entire movie, and there are still a few other aspects of the movie to enjoy (*cough* Allison Pill topless *cough*). The actors are particularly good, and I also liked the constant use of irony (pacifists with guns, etc.). One of the things I primarily enjoyed was the underlying Western style (sometimes used with a sense of parody), which worked especially well during the movie's big shoot-out finale (despite specific elements from it which went against various ideas the movie had been consistent with up until that point). Overall, I really liked what the movie was trying to do... but didn't really like the way it did it.
THE EXTRAS
According to various other sources, this DVD is supposed to include a number of different special features... but my copy didn't. Odd, and also very disappointing (if there was ever a movie that could benefit from special features, it's this one).

Well, at any rate, here are the extras that were apparently supposed to be on the disc: Audio Commentary (with director Vinterberg and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle), a 25-minute "Letters to 'Dear Wendy'" featurette, a 17-minute interview between Vinterberg and von Trier, 5 deleted scenes, the script's original ending, and a bunch of previews.

The only extras on the DVD I received are 2 Trailers, one for DEAR WENDY and one for MANDERLAY (another movie by Lars von Trier).
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I can see a lot of people loving or completely despising this movie, and it's no shock why. The movie has levels upon levels of significant flaws that prevent the production from ever becoming a masterpiece (or even just a strong piece of cinema), but some people may choose to overlook those problems and simply appreciate the key ideas at hand. I wish I could do the same, but I can't. I'm glad I saw the movie, but I just don't feel the movie was executed well enough to give it a strong recommendation.
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