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Eagle Vs. Shark - romantic comedy DVD review
EAGLE VS. SHARK rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Loren Horsley, Jemaine Clement, David Fane, Chelsie Preston-Crayford
Director: Taika Waititi   Studio: Miramax
DVD release:08 January 2008   Runtime: 88 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound - English, Spanish), Deleted scenes with optional commentary, Outtakes, Feature commentary with writer/director Taika Waititi and guests, The Phoenix Foundation "Going Fishing" music video, Sneak peeks

Lily (Loren Horsley) works the counter at Meaty Boy. Every day she looks forward to seeing the handsome stranger who works at Screen Blasterz and always comes in just after noon. Maybe she'll finally have enough guts to say something to woo him. Instead, today he goes to Jenny's register, even though Jenny has a line at her register and Lily doesn't.

Eagle vs. Shark is full of these tiny heartbreaks, most of them focused on Lily, who bears their weight as best she can. She's just been told she's fired at the end of the week (heartbreak), so she gets daring with Mr. Screen Blasterz. He stops in to give Jenny an invitation to a party, but she's not there. He asks Lily to pass it on to Jenny (heartbreak). His name is Jarrod (Jemaine Clement), and his party has a theme: come as your favorite animal, play video games, and chuck shoes at some guy's head (he's got a helmet). Jenny passes on the party, so Lily goes in her stead, taking her brother as company. Lily earns Jarrod's respect by beating all other contestants in the Fight Man video game. They share a bed, and Lily learns that Jarrod's destiny is to confront his childhood bully, Eric, and possibly kill him.

Jarrod's not quite the killing type, though; he talks the talk but obviously lacks the skills. He's got the lingo down, but that's about it. At one point, he calls to leave a message with Eric's father that justice is waiting for him. His father says "Okay, Justin," and hangs up. Things don't go quite the way Jarrod hopes, but he knows what he wants to happen. He and Lily travel to his hometown to confront Eric. While there (Lily's brother drops them off), Jarrod tries to win his father's favor as best he can. He has lived in the shadow of his dead brother; his father seems to have stopped living from that point. Jarrod breaks up with Lily (heartbreak) so he can try and date his brother's fiancée.

Lily is stranded with this family she hardly knows, miles from home and sleeping in the backyard. Jarrod sleeps in the tent, and Lily moves out of there after the break. "Some people don't have sleeping bags," she says when Jarrod tells her she should take the tent. Her glass is half-full all the time, but it's draining. Still, she takes back some control of her life and goes to a party. She breaks free a bit for the first time and ends up making Jarrod more aware of her.

Jarrod does fight Eric, but it doesn't end as it might in an American movie (this one's from New Zealand, by the way). The Farrelly brothers are the only ones who could or would try this ending in the U.S.

Eagle vs. Shark is a touching film and funny, too. The heartbreak may seem familiar. What Lily does with it makes for magic.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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