Latest DVD Reviews
Damsels in Distress (2012)
Since the halfwitty
Damsels in Distress
wants to have it both ways, its satire is about as cutting as a plastic knife through a porterhouse.
An anti-musical...based on The Who's 1973 "rock opera" concept album...all the more brilliant for this seemingly counter-intuitive approach.
Sons of Anarchy: Season Four (2011)
It's good that
Sons of Anarchy
has pointed itself more clearly in the direction of an end game, as narrative wheel-spinning doesn't serve the show well.
Homeland: The Complete First Season (2011)
The Manchurian Candidate
as a television series, and you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for with Showtime's paranoid thriller
, adapted from the Israeli drama
Prisoners of War
Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (2011)
The reach for epic status sets
Once Upon a Time
apart; one hopes that reach will result in more grasp during the upcoming sophomore season.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Eighty-eight minutes of sublime silliness...should appeal in equal measure to adults as to children.
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
A sensitive and fairly subtle work, with the deceptive simplicity of a well-honed short story.
A Separation (2012)
Above all, Farhadi’s parable teaches that a rush to judgment inevitably turns back on the judge.
The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under (1977)
It's easy to root for Bernard and Bianca...The sequel also tweaks the formula with a brisker pace, and development of the leading characters...
Decide for yourself if the narration is a necessary concession for kids: it's a take-it-or-leave-it proposition that doesn't make but also doesn't quite break
Pocahontas/Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1995)
It's hard to excuse the reconception of the eleven or twelve-year-old Pocahontas...as a statuesque supermodel, especially as kids don't need their stories to be hung on romance to deem them, err, shapely.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games
on screen doesn't exactly catch fire (as does its hero Katniss Everdeen), its savvy pop culture mash-up and the charge of teens in life-and-death peril remain intact.
The Dictator (2012)
Cohen's act wears thin...still,
has several memorable moments...
The Aristocats (1970)
Proves that even the studio's halfhearted larks still have life in them, thanks to golden-age animators...tunesmiths...and vocal talent.
Glee: The Complete Third Season (2011)
In its third season,
tenaciously held its ground as one of TV's most ambitious shows, in terms of production value and the sheer size of the ensemble it sets out to serve.
Despite the dirty jokes hidden in plain sight ('Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!'),
is a PG-rated comedy that makes silliness sublime.
Dexter: The Sixth Season (2006)
The show has meandered back over too-familiar ground in its fifth and sixth seasons, stalling for time when it should be daringly advancing its storyline.
falls a bit short of the mark, it remains a likeable artifact of talented people giving a ridiculous task the old college try...
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
You know, for kids! Best to repeat that mantra-style if you’re an adult sitting down to watch 1964’s kiddie flick
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Kubrick again turns his unsparing eye to the dread of existence...of a godless universe...of moral frailty and civilization gone wrong...
Wilfred: The Complete First Season (2011)
'A boy and his dog' is a storytelling trope that goes back for centuries, but there's never been a 'boy and his dog' story quite like
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season One (1987)
The shakedown cruise of
Star Trek: The Next Generation
—may have been a bumpy one, but it got the newest incarnation of the U.S.S. Enterprise into action while winning over the 'Trekker' fanbase at large.
Dirty Pretty Things (2003)
At its best delineating the absurdities of immigrant life lost in the London rat race.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
The cast is impeccable from top to bottom, and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat reliably go for the gut.
Home on the Range (2004)
This bouncy Western musical-comedy adventure is long enough on charm, but wisely short and sweet at 76 minutes. It's also totally bereft of innovation...
Treasure Planet (2002)
The awkward trappings of this Disney adventure mechanize and blunt the tale's humanity. It pops and squeaks and rumbles, but
lacks the strength to transport audiences.
Boorman's interpretation of the material resulted in an American cinematic classic built not only on shock and awe, but emotional subtlety.
A pretty much ideal big-screen adaptation of the material, which becomes convincingly cinematic.
Louie: The Complete Second Season (2011)
After a critically acclaimed first season, emboldened writer-director-star C.K. doesn't fix what ain't broke, and remains agreeably irreverent about his own creation.
Superman vs. the Elite (2012)
The conflict between The Elite's way of doing things and Superman's sets up a 'might makes right' allegory wrestling with national and global politics as well as, on a more personal level, civilian tolerance of capital punishment.
In Darkness (2011)
With straits at least as dire as those in
The Diary of Anne Frank
(and moral dimensions far more murky),
deals with survival at whatever cost, including compromise of personal principles.
Road Trip (2000)
Just a cut above the typical, but it goes without saying: your mileage may vary.
Thin Ice (a.k.a. The Convincer) (2011)
Were it not for a horribly transparent bit of narration in those opening moments,
would have a better shot at working on its audience the way the filmmakers obviously hoped it would.
U.S. Marshals (1998)
If you can get past the naked exploitation of this mercenary sequel,
is a sort of brain-rotting kind of fun (how's that for an endorsement?).
A Perfect World (1993)
Tells the tale of an escaped convict and his eight-year-old hostage and, in the process, considers the cycles of disappointment wrought on sons by questionable fathers: abusive ones, absent ones, even a well-meaning 'daddy state.'
Blood Work (2002)
This vehicle—the cinematic equivalent of a supermarket paperback—plays like the best-ever episode of
rather than a truly distinguished feature film.
Stands out as one of Wayne's best-remembered features, a smooth Western co-produced by Wayne and shot at the tail end of the '50s 3-D craze.
John Carter (2012)
An undeniable disaster...of marketing. Join me on a tour of media headaches, and why they don't necessarily reflect the quality of the movie itself.
Certified Copy (2011)
Considers what’s real between two people, and if it should bother us when reality becomes replaced with a copy.
Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season (2012)
. Still, AMC's drama series about the people surrounding the 1865 building of the transcontinental railroad proves surprisingly compelling on its own terms...
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