Latest Home Video Reviews
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...
This Means War (2012)
Their spy-prying...and displays of lunkheaded brawn...aren't endearing; they're horrifying, in ways there's no coming back from.
Sherlock: Season Two (2012)
Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss can claim the classiest post-millennial take on Arthur Conan Doyle's enduring hero...The series' good-natured irreverence excuses those occasional liberties that may send eyeballs rolling.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
Fun for the whole family, and—instead of the 2008 3-D version's Brendan Fraser—offers James freakin' Mason, who can pull off urbane and befuddled at the same time.
The Big Heat (1953)
For those who take their film black...Moral rot gets full play in Lang's 1953 police drama.
Now the film can be more fully appreciated for what it is: an influential inspiration to Latino filmmakers and a powerful, non-politicized depiction of the wages of American immigration policy.
A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (2012)
The work presses its consumer to share the struggle with the artist, to make the mysteries of time, human connection, life and death cohere.
Understands postpubescent psychology and even lightly traffics in philosophy...Here are newly born man and superman, both unprepared for the consequences of their sudden inheritance of the earth.
Father of the Bride/Father of the Bride, Part II (1991)
The strengths of these films are not so much laughs as sincerity and heart.
Its goal is humble: to walk the line between bubblegum pop that indulges trends, and a halfhearted critique of shallowness. I don't think this is what feminists mean by 'having it all'...
The War (2007)
at times leaves one yearning for more intellectually curious analysis, it remains a potent emotional montage...
The Secret World of Arriety (2012)
That relaxed pace allows the story to breathe—forget the franticness of most American animation—and along with the gorgeously detailed art, lush color, and swoony music...the film is all but guaranteed to entrance children.
Bringing Down the House (2003)
You'll empathize with Plowright's appropriation from Dorothy Parker: 'What fresh hell is this?'
Operation Condor 2: The Armour of God (1999)
Plenty fun: as per the Jackie Chan standard, it's total nonsense, but unpretentiously entertaining and occasionally ingenious.
A mood piece, as abstract and engrossing as the many Bach piano selections laid on the soundtrack.
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
The airy Novak makes a strong impression, Stewart's comic chops remain in fine fettle, and the distinctive supporting cast can't be beat...
This story framed as a historical account of the only woman to stand up to Napoleon doesn't quite conquer our interest, though it is itself an intriguing piece of Hollywood history due to the presence of Brando in an iconic role.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Those who identify as fans of the Halloween films will want to see Halloween: Resurrection, the eighth in the series; those who don't care about Halloween won't. That said, Halloween: Resurrection co...
Torchwood: Miracle Day (2011)
A reasonably entertaining miniseries...made with obvious attention to (if not always success in) pleasing genre fans.
War Horse (2011)
'How Green Was My Valley, How Smart Was My Horse.'
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Let me begin by saying something nice about Cameron Crowe’s
We Bought a Zoo
: kids will probably like it. Okay, that’s all I’ve got.
That '70s Show: Season One (1998)
Though the jokes are strictly standard setup-punchline stuff, the cast brings a freshness to the material.
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Williams is better than the picture, but within the screenplay's constraints, she nails every possible nuance of physical and emotional expression. It's dazzling work, and reason alone to spend ninety-nine minutes 'with Marilyn.'
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