Latest Home Video Reviews
Enterprise: The Complete First Season (TV) (2001)
Many Season One stories flounder through familiar-feeling alien-encounter and spatial-phenomena plots, but just as many episodes stand out for their creative energy.
The Beautiful Country (2005)
If Moland is a bit more interested in romantic melodrama than anthropology, the plight of the refugee still makes the intended emotional impact.
Cirque du Soleil: Anniversary Collection—1984-2005 (DVD Box Set) (2005)
A bargain for lovers of splashy, outre entertainment.
Coach Carter (2005)
A rather exceptionally counter-cultural "teen movie"...raises authentic youth concerns and answers them with convincing integrity.
Saint Ralph (2005)
Light lessons about pain, endurance, and commitment...Likeable to a point, but in the end,
winds up incredible, manipulative, and strictly for the choir.
Bad News Bears (2005)
Profanity does not a creatively satisfying comedy make....slim characterization and an overfamiliar premise...[relegate]
to lazy, hazy, summer-daze mediocrity.
Rapturous cinema of the senses...proves once again that nobody does swoony romantic longing, and heartache, like Wong Kar-Wai.
Save the Tiger (1973)
Lemmon turns in showy, theatrical work that's appropriate to the not-terribly subtle film around him, but the whole enterprise is one that's best avoided...
Mysterious Skin (2005)
Araki embraces the mysteries of human sexuality with a refreshing lack of hysteria and a brace of empathy.
Diverting and well-acted...There are eight million stories in the naked city, and
is five of them.
Like the rest of Johnston's oeuvre, Jumanji puts vivid characters through paces that will quicken any child's pulse.
Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
Though Agrelo blunts the competitive drama by visually excluding the opposition, the kids' talent and infectious spirit carries the day for
Mad Hot Ballroom
Bad Timing (1980)
Exemplifies the rich, acquired taste of the Roeg film.
Lady in White (1988)
Far from perfect, but what it lacks in finesse, it makes up in shaggy-dog charm....the fun is in the journey.
Few filmmakers could be consciously redolent of Moliere, Dylan Thomas, and James Joyce and pull it off, but apparently writer-director Sally Potter is first in that class.
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Tinkers around with an intriguing premise but with little creative facility for dialogue or structure...[splits] the difference between fans and neophytes, impressing neither.
is just about as good as the next serial, which spells plenty of two-fisted fun.
Winter Solstice (2005)
Something that's increasingly rare: a stringently subtextual drama....when they finally arrive, the epiphanies are small ones.
Schultze gets the blues (2005)
Schultze gets the blues
embraces a neglected subject: the wanderlust of the retiree.
Batman and Robin (1949)
Though rudimentary by ordinary film standards...diverting entertainment for innocent youngsters.
As Hollywood actioners go these days, this one's quite tolerable in its guilty-pleasure way. Feel free to saddle up.
Humanizes the conflict of peace versus the arguable necessity of violence.
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989)
Inspiration is inherent in Brown's story, but Sheridan, co-screenwriter Shane Connaughton, and Lewis refuse to sanctify him.
Francesco, giullare di Dio (a.k.a. The Flowers of St. Francis) (1950)
Though Roberto Rossellini's
Francesco, giullare di Dio
...tells stories of a Roman Catholic saint, it should not be branded merely as a religious film.
Kim Ki-duk's happily unhinged drama comfortably occupies the middle ground between his baroque thriller
and his meditative
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Bottom line: with Murray on fire and enough clever dialogue to rival its predecessor,
is good enough to put post-milennial comedy to shame.
Horem pádem (Up and Down) (2005)
Weaves the politics of borders into the comedy of human frailty...seasoned with the everyday absurdities of artificial social boundaries.
In My Country (a.k.a. Country of My Skull) (2005)
A wasted opportunity to tell in filmic terms two important histories: the crimes of apartheid and the love with which they were answered.
Batman Begins (2005)
The ne plus ultra of comic-book films...an appropriately tough movie, busy but efficient, rich and thoughtful, and ornamented with visual appeal and exciting action.
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2004)
Radford takes a stylish but decidedly low-key tack, demanding naturalist acting to crawl under the viewer's skin.
The director's Fincher-esque style may finally beat out intellectual substance, but it's a fair fight, grounded in the existential horror of essential emotional truths.
The Pledge (2001)
In a few hours, the man's career will be over. As he packs up his office, he looks over the photos again—photos of a young, energetic man broadly grinning. The man is a police detective being...
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Adheres to the popular tastes of its time; since this is an era of color-corrected, 5.1-surround-sound, pseudo-spiritual action epics, Gibson zealously tells his tale in action-movie language.
The Ladykillers (1955)
Ealing Studios represented, for many years, the gold standard in British comedy film production. Films like The Lavender Hill Mob, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and The Ladykillers bolstered Alec Guinnes...
The Day of the Locust (1975)
With Nathanael West's 1939 novel as his vehicle, director John Schlesinger used what was left of the studio system to savage Hollywood in his seventies opus The Day of the Locust. Ironically, Schlesi...
The Big Store (1941)
In the early 1930s, Groucho and Chico Marx performed an NBC radio show called Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, and fragments of those scripts found their way into a number of the Marx Brothers' subse...
Night and Day (1946)
Night and Day, a Technicolor curiosity "based on the career of Cole Porter," bares scant resemblance to the life of Cole Porter. If not for flashes of flair from an uncomfortable-looking Cary Grant a...
Shrek 2 (2004)
The perfect sort of movie to pay attention to in the back of a minivan.
A Night in Casablanca (1946)
In the greater Marx Brothers canon, A Night in Casablanca is a relatively minor effort, but after a slow, expository start, the film slowly, steadily makes a case for itself as a fine comic adventure...
Room Service (1938)
This oft-dismissed exception in the Marx Brothers canon includes no musical numbers and only a few bits specifically tailored to the brothers...underrated.
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