Latest Blu-Ray Reviews
Woman of the Year (1942)
An effervescent but edgy rom-com about love, career, the insecurities men and women felt (and, sadly, still feel to some extent) around burgeoning feminism.
Rogue One (2016)
Will give die-hard
fans multiple orgasms...runneth over with
Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976)
A deeply disturbing study of mass hysteria, a lasting cultural document of "a shameful memory"...and a culturally specific but widely relevant snapshot of that late-'60s moment of student rebellion being met by violent institutional crackdowns.
20th Century Women (2016)
Empathetic and self-searching...a highly witty, deeply humane look at people who may be too conscious for their own good, people who think and feel too much ever to be truly happy.
is pleasant enough...but scrutinize it, and you'll find that it's neither very musically accomplished nor very funny. The tone is bright and colorful but still evinces a kind of joyless duty...
Being 17 (2016)
Its emotional beats strike honest notes, well played by the actors in the clutch moments...Téchiné and Sciamma prove that there is, in truth, beauty, as in youth and mountain greenery, as in nature's need and human nature's desire.
When it’s cooking,
prepares tender, slip-off-the-bone meat on the tried-and-true bones of the Disney formula.
45 Years (2015)
Implications, about the long odds for romance, the deeper psychology of mating, and the devastating possibility that love isn’t an absolute but a willful, occasionally mutual, delusion.
Filled with extraordinary performances,
explores the tension between private and public selves for a closeted black individual who feels pressure to conform to traditional but arbitrary standards of masculinity.
Smart enough to make implications but let us draw our own conclusions about what these images, individually and collectively—and the art form to which they belong—mean to their photographer, to us, and to human society.
The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)
It's easy enough to appreciate
The Tree of Wooden Clogs
as a painterly near-documentary, shot and edited by a director who got his start in documentary films...or a spacious moral fable about humility and trust in following the righteous path.
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
A moody and deeply unsettling look at a pair of failed relationships, regrets and recriminations, and measures of emotional violence—oh, shall we call it 'lashing out'?—symbolized in physical violence.
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
In its broad strokes,
Manchester by the Sea
doesn’t explore anything new...[but Lonergan] is the master of telling behavior and conversational nuance.
Doctor Strange (2016)
looks at urban architecture through a twisting digital kaleidoscope, next-stepping from
to an M.C. Escher-esque action aesthetic that amounts to three-dimensional chess.
by Sidney Lumet (2015)
Like Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's
(also released in 2016),
by Sidney Lumet
has one undeniable result: it instills a fervent wish to watch the director's entire output from beginning to end...
Expertly balances whimsy, adventure, terrifying perils, music, comedy, and warmth on the way to a reassuring worldview of moral order, of virtue rewarded and the bosom embrace of familial figures.
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
Cianfrance makes intimate, psychologically penetrating films, with quiet spaces and moments of brutal intensity...As unlikely as the story is, Cianfrance deftly steers the material through elemental themes...
You won't ever find me calling
a good movie, but I won't deny that, in dribs and drabs, it gets closer to the marks of fun and quality than I thought possible from this picturesque but dopey franchise.
Superficially, it resembles exhilarating action films of the past, but the paint-by-numbers approach just doesn't do the trick. With all-around bad acting, hyperactive production, and a script that passes 'camp' and goes right on through to 'bad'...
Deepwater Horizon (2016)
Hammer[s] home what the news media didn’t much convey in 2010: the human-level horror of being on the rig and the sheer scope of the unnaturalness of the enterprise.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (2016)
Silly and rarely believable in any of its particulars...Andy Daly, though? Really funny.
Born on the Fourth of July
for millennials...Stone effectively streamlines Snowden’s story for mass consumption, edification, and identification.
The BFG (2016)
Largely lifeless, which is unusual for fantasy material birthed by Roald Dahl or directed by Steven Spielberg, much less a combination of the two.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures—Complete Season One (2016)
Even adult Star Wars fans with enough of a sense of perspective to laugh at this not-overly-serious non-canonical storyline will have a good time.
Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (2016)
The show's second season improves the spinoff (from more famous elder sibling
The Walking Dead
) in just about every respect...
Pete's Dragon (2016)
There's room enough for both
s in this big old world.
Heart of a Dog (2015)
'Arty,' to be sure, but it's not pretentious: rather, it's expressive of the scattered state of mind, the reflective state of mind, that attends grief.
Don't Think Twice (2016)
Pinpoints a creative community that’s never been explored in a narrative film...its wistful, naturalistic presentation of a thirtysomething turning point—a forced maturation of sorts—rings true.
The graphic intensity of Orson Welles' black-and-white 1948 film of
, then, isn't merely for show, but a carefully considered symbolist staging for screen, meant to complement the Bard's immortal poetry.
Hands of Stone (2016)
The film works as well as it does on the strength of its acting. De Niro is in fine, grounded form, and his verbal sparring with Ramírez, [et al]...elevates the film, the overlapping dialogue highly effective in infusing naturalistic energy.
Don't Breathe (2016)
detonates its big twist...some audience members will feel the film stops being fun while others will feel the fun has started in earnest.
Lone Wolf and Cub (1972)
Could be fairly branded exploitation pictures in their quantity of sex and violence (and nudity and gore), but they also qualify as comic-book movies, and perhaps the first in the modernistic style to which we've become accustomed.
Morris from America (2016)
An amiable, gentle, light drama with coming-of-age and outsider elements...a movingly attentive Robinson has never been allowed to be this warm on screen.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
A gleeful exercise in nostalgia, a fun and family-friendly Batman story in its own right, and a running commentary on the character's flexible interpretation.
Preacher: Season One (2016)
As per a recurring Season One line, 'We're just getting started.'
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Lee brought a distinct elegance to the wuxia genre of mythic, lyrical martial arts pictures...a breathtaking visual and emotional experience for the viewer...
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (1933)
Universal's new three-disc
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection
Restored Blu-ray Edition offers the best chance yet on home video to appreciate the Brothers and their brand of anarchic, sometimes surreal comedy...
Duck Soup (1933)
For all its wild comic abandon,
has darker implications than the usual Marx Brothers comedy and, as such, feels the most relevant and sharp in its satire.
Monkey Business (1931)
Keeps plot at a minimum, anarchy at a maximum, which is a good place to be for the fearless foursome of 1930s screen comedy.
Animal Crackers (1930)
More so than any of the other Paramount films,
is Groucho's picture.
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