Latest Home Video Reviews
Rather than simply repeating the successful formula of
, which incorporated humor but largely played it straight,
flips the script for a largely comic action picture punctuated by a dark, rug-yanking conclusion.
The biggest impression left by
is the characterization of Sanjuro, whose iconography of stoic cool (that inspired Clint Eastwood's antiheroic "Man with No Name") is consistently undercut with dashes of comical realism...
Broken Embraces (2009)
This isn't the first time Almodóvar has explored cinema and its power to change lives, but for all its colorful visuals and narrative sophistication, the story feels more insular than ever.
The Blind Side (2009)
Surely post-recession America will turn out in droves for this cinematic version of a hug. But should they?
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The beautifully hand-drawn
The Princess and the Frog
keeps up a brisk pace and energy, but only partly achieves the effervescence of a Disney 'classic.'
Wondrous, weird, and sweetly innocent,
is a tale bursting with love, which is recommendation enough for the young and the young at heart.
Bigger Than Life (1956)
The sort-of picture-perfection of the suburban home...is a tenuous cover for the unpredictability of life, the short distance between the American Dream and the American nightmare.
The Negotiator (1998)
This highly incredible story lives and dies on its leading performances, so it's a damn good thing someone hired Jackson and Spacey to go toe to toe.
Logan's Run (1975)
Despite its grabber of a premise,
flaunts poorly developed plot specifics; as such, it's terminally silly. Nevertheless, as a camp curio, it still has an odd but undeniable staying power.
A stealth epic, framing an urban jungle and making its own kind of contemporary history by pairing acting giants Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino in what has arguably become the preminent cops-and-robbers movie.
What to make of short-attention-span artists satirizing a short-attention-span world?
Black Dynamite (2009)
Well-mined comic territory...dutifully—and it must be said, expertly—recreates the rough cinematography, cheesy production design...and incidental music that sounds like chintzy soul crossed with a Quinn-Martin TV score.
The Stepfather (2009)
Any subtlety or implicit social satire to be found in Joseph Ruben's original went out with the last neighborhood trash pickup. Too bad the service was canceled before it could haul away this waste-of-time remake.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (V) (2010)
As punchy superhero entertainment for kids goes, this is fairly provocative stuff that should get the young'uns thinking along with their thrills.
New York, I Love You (2009)
Some of the twelve short films are nice enough, some are shaky and a few are outright awful...
A potent mood piece lifted by gorgeous cinematography, resonant performances and, above, all, Spielmann's sensitive filmmaking.
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
A rather dull and unchallenging account of one woman's ambitious social climb in a man's world...If Chanel's early years were really this boring, why bother with them?
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
with a sci-fi twist...this love story made up of signs and wonders suggests to savor the time you have.
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
'It's going to get Biblical!'...sets new standards of lunatic plotting as it goes about its smiting.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Graham Greene it's not....Whitaker's striking work aside,
The Last King of Scotland
is insipid, obvious movieland history.
Walk the Line (2005)
A dash more authentic--or, at least, more subtle--than its Hollywood spawning and Taylor Hackford's come-on-strong take on [Ray] Charles would seem to predict.
A smart little genre outing, an endangered species in modern Hollywood.
The House of the Devil (2009)
A very impressive formal exercise in style and restraint...
Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009)
A hall-of-mirrors investigation of extraordinary talent, emotionally stunted personality, a performer’s process, and the cruel mistress of celebrity...but it also serves as a powerful performance version of a last will and testament.
Weeds: Season Five (2009)
No one can accuse the show of shrinking from dark psychological themes: the leading character of Nancy Botwin (Emmy winner Mary-Louise Parker) has spun more wildly out of control with each season...
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
Okay, everybody, back to your shopping--there's nothing to see here.
As preposterous as this "
on a mountain" flick is,
remains one of the zestier big-budget action pictures of the nineties.
Last Action Hero (1993)
Considered a dunderheaded big-budget flop in its day,
Last Action Hero
looks considerably better now in its creative self-parody.
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Sets thoughts swirling about three bitch-goddesses: the teenage variety (namely Megan Fox’s Jennifer), “success” in the commercial cinema, and that fickle mistress called hype.
The Hangover (2009)
The stupid fun of
is worth experiencing at least once.
Jones has a very interesting existential idea here, and though he frustratingly doesn’t exploit its every possibility, he does give a great actor an opportunity for a tour-de-force performance.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
The playful Generation Y story
(500) Days of Summer
goes against the grain by wisely substituting delusion for deception. Boy meets girl. Boy thinks he understands girl. Boy oh boy.
The Mel Brooks Collection (2009)
Gathers nine of the comedy icon's best-known comedy films, an impressive haul by any standard.
District 9 (2009)
City of God
War of the Worlds
hybrid proves overbearing and under-convincing.
Bateman reliably tickles in his signature role of a square who can’t catch a break, and Wiig once more delivers subtly funny character work in a tricky role.
The Sopranos: The Complete First Season (TV) (1999)
Tony is as much an archetype of the American father as Homer Simpson, only just smart enough to be perpetually miserable.
A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël: Roubaix!!) (2008)
In working to keep the audience off-center...Desplechin artfully makes the well-worn family-weekend plot endearing again.
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season (TV) (2009)
A serially bold experiment in audience engagement and the ability to produce feature-quality genre entertainment...on a weekly television budget.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
Musters only a few lackluster laughs...[but] has one trump card: it’s a kid-friendly, “PG” film that celebrates museums.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas (V) (2009)
Rude, raunchy and given to comical violence, the show sets out to offend delicate sensibilities and to get tough ones laughing their asses off. Abandon political correctness all who enter here.
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