Latest DVD Reviews
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Forbidding images of forbidden people and places delineate the edges of an otherwise simplistic fable...in its languid romance,
Beauty and the Beast
is about the irrepressible, exciting rightness of the 'wrong.'
High and Low (1963)
One of the all-time-great 'procedurals'...the devilish fun is in the details for Kurosawa.
Burger plunges into the material at such a headlong pace and with sufficient adrenalized style as to propel this essentially trashy thriller and distract from the abundant loose ends.
Be Cool (2005)
As loosely adapted from Elmore Leonard's
sequel novel, the sequel movie
tastes like a watered-down drink.
Winter in Wartime (2011)
Spielbergian touches...a good enough mainstream drama, but one can't help but feel it's a missed opportunity to give Terlouw a more textured treatment.
The Music Room (1958)
A surprisingly sympathetic elegy for the feudal class, or at least one of its sad representatives...the notion of lost legacy informs the film's distraught last word: 'blood.'
Leigh's extensive use of improvisation in rehearsal led to a razor-sharp final script, endlessly blooming with memorable dialogue that—while never less than credibly naturalistic—proves thematically fertile.
Source Code (2011)
is philosophical science fiction and not just 'sci fi,' there's something to chew on here about consciousness: when it begins and ends, and that old chestnut of what constitutes reality.
Das Boot (1981)
Few war films are more potent than
...the ultimate submarine movie.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Figgis puts a desperate drunk front and center and demands we deal with him and the Jungian shadow he casts.
The Horse Soldiers (1959)
Though flawed, John Ford's
The Horse Soldiers
has a fair amount going for it: the well-oiled partnership of Ford and star John Wayne (and an assist from William Holden); Ford's vivid visual style; and large-scale action.
Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)
The screenplay plays like the result of a 'Write the Most Vile Line Ever' contest, which in itself will be a huge draw for cinematic dumpster divers.
Louie: The Complete First Season (2011)
Seemingly conceived on the fly as much as it's shot on the fly,
cultivates the unexpected.
More interested in melancholy wryness than belly laughs, and the low-key results have a pleasant fizz.
Zazie dans le métro (1960)
Jazzy and daring...takes Raymond Queneau's novel—the sort generally considered 'unfilmable' and makes a film so cinematic as to appear
Original Sin (2001)
Though written and directed by a Pulitzer Prize winner,
is better known as the picture in which a naked Angelina Jolie (by then a certified Oscar winner) and Antonio Banderas do the horizontal mambo.
People on Sunday (a.k.a. Menschen am Sonntag) (1930)
People on Sunday
regards people lazing about, its legacy is that of filmmakers proving their industriousness.
The Long Riders (1980)
Hill's lean, mean approach never had a more appealing texture than it does here...
Of Gods and Men (2011)
Loses some power by letting the central debate fizzle out...but rallies in the end with an eloquent post-climactic testament by Christian, an attempt to respond rationally to the irrational.
benefited from the creative freedom of '70s cinema...at its best when it's most creatively subversive...
New York, New York (1977)
Ultimately a very personal film about how Scorsese views a genre of film and, as such, has a much more coherent vision than its reputation would suggest.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
The latest workmanlike entry in what must be regarded as an unprecedented film series has plenty of flaws, but also the franchise's reliable draws.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Emerson said, 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,' but in this franchise--where you’re likely to spot a hobgoblin or two--the consistency isn’t foolish but miraculous.
Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... - Season Two (2011)
Features the leading light of popular music today, Elvis Costello, as host and regular perfomer.
Reflects Roeg's views of the absurdity of American history and our compulsion to destroy beauty.
The Makioka Sisters (1983)
Well acted by a strong ensemble,
The Makioka Sisters
quietly, steadily (and almost imperceptibly as it happens) endears us to these women, investing us in their varied fates.
Cedar Rapids (2011)
Detailed and consistently funny observation of small-town sincerity muddling through a dog-eat-dog world.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
It's one thing to make a film that's violent and profane; it's another to make one that's a moral black hole, and to do it because black looks cool.
Being Human: Season Three (2011)
Turner's character of Mitchell, a century-old vampire, gets a go-for-broke story arc that sends him off in a satisfying way.
The Misfits (1961)
Deconstructs Hollywood's cowboy myth with a mythic Hollywood cast: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift.
Death at a Funeral (2007)
Proves you can spell funeral without 'fun.'
A not-bad thriller starring Liam Neeson. If that sounds like faint praise, it is, but at least this overgrown 'B'-movie tickles the brain just a tad...
Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Neuron-rotting brain candy: an empty action exercise made up of empty calories. That'd be fine, if only it were sweet.
Throbs with a simple truthfulness...Loach shows his complimentary interest in documentary-influenced social realism and the improvisational search for the authentic.
It's all here: the famous Bill Conti fanfare, the 'Gonna Fly Now' training montage, the inevitable 'David and Goliath' climax.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The preeminent comedy of anima...effervescent and breezily paced, from the car-chase opening to the big finish capped with one of the all-time-great punchlines.
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Has the distinction of including not one, but two of the greatest screen performances of all time...undeniably one of the most gut-churning emotional experiences of 1990s cinema...
Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season (2011)
This most unusual dramedy of errors is one of the most riveting hours on television...
continues to shock and delight.
Remains an intriguing blend of the political and the personal, with Stone turning his memories and his opinions about Vietnam into potent drama.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
Kipling's exhilarating and disconcerting tale of high adventure...
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