Latest DVD Reviews
The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
Ask anyone who knows about The Fall of the Roman Empire, and their response is sure to include the word "sumptuous." From back in the day when epic meant upwards of 10,000 extras, gargantuan sets, an...
First Knight (1995)
First Knight—a brave attempt at a fresh cinematic angle on Arthurian legend—has a few interesting ideas, but is ultimately brought down by a squishy script, a director (Jerry Zucker) lack...
A Passage to India (1984)
After a fourteen year absence from the silver screen, David Lean vigorously attacked the challenge of adapting E.M. Forster's novel A Passage to India. What would be Lean's final film has much to rec...
The Savages (2007)
Tamara Jenkins' dark comedy The Savages applies bracing wit to the problem of immature adults forced to grow up and take on roles of parental responsibility for rapidly infantilized parents. It's no...
The script includes a verbal motif that reminds us of what binds the film's four central talents together: 'I want to show you something.'
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
"The world is an evil place," or so says a compromised diamond dealer in the crime melodrama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. "Some of us make money off of that, and others get destroyed." Dark bu...
One frequent criticism of certain screenwriters is to point out that their characters all sound the same. To some, this phenomenon is a terrible sin; to others, it's simply a matter of style. Though...
Friday Night Lights—The Second Season (2007)
A blend of penetrating psychodrama and gripping incident seasoned with lighthearted humor.
Cheers—The Ninth Season (2008)
Time continues to be good to Cheers, the enduringly funny sitcom with a talent for psychological head games and nasty repartee. As dire as the character's frustrations could get, Cheers always mainta...
The Bette Davis Collection (2008)
Bette Davis was the grande dame Hollywood diva to end them all: physically striking, hugely talented, imperious, and mercurial.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
Like its hero, extraordinary in every way.
The Water Horse (a.k.a. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) (2007)
Pleasingly evokes the days when Roddy McDowall frolicked with Flicka and Lassie, [but] it must be said that a CGI pet is not quite so easy to love as a flesh-and-blood performer, animal or human.
In previews and TV ads, Touchstone Pictures proudly touts Hidalgo as "Based on a True Story," and sure enough, up comes the inscription "Based on the Life of Frank T. Hopkins" at the beginning of the...
John, Paul, Tom & Ringo: The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder (2008)
Avuncular in the manner of an eccentric uncle, Snyder was a comfortingly familiar and warm TV personality--modern but never post-modern.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
A bona fide landmark in American film,
Bonnie and Clyde
stands the test of time the same way its protagonists did: by breaking all the rules.
I Am Legend (2007)
Downright hokey...a billboard for a Batman-Superman team-up movie...will elicit more gasps from the fanboys than anything else.
The film teeters on the balance until arriving at its genuinely moving and depressingly honest final act.
Run Fatboy Run (2008)
This brand of unfailing comic timing and expressive physicality is rare, and it's why Pegg, in particular, is a star.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
That the picture walks and sometimes crosses the line into the products it parodies is a measure of its zealous thoroughness and also its central pitfall.
Ripe for reappraisal...the storytelling integrity and thoughtful themes of a good novel.
Man From Plains (a.k.a. Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains) (2008)
While there's little doubt that
Man From Plains
amounts to hagiography on Demme's part, it's also surprisingly gripping viewing for over two hours.
Battlestar Galactica—Season Three (2006)
now off the air,
can make a strong case for being the best show on TV.
For extreme skiers, life on the slopes isn't exactly "live fast, die young," but it's close. Mark Obenhaus' doc about the mortally risky sport of big-mountain skiing will hold most interest for those...
Never Back Down (2008)
A sort of teenage
, complete with daddy issues,
Never Back Down
is a slight refinement of the sort of picture that was ascendant in the '80s...
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
The structure and layered storytelling make
Gone Baby Gone
Crimson Tide (1995)
A big, bold Hollywood movie that won't be winning any awards for subtlety but can't be denied its popcorn appeal.
Bobby Deerfield (1977)
A resonant Pacino...though ultimately a misfire, suggests that there are worse things to call a movie than 'a curiosity.'
...And Justice for All (1979)
Pacino at the top of his game...[but] the film's lack of faith in its audience is glaringly apparent.
My Kid Could Paint That (2007)
Abstract art has always had its skeptics, but the documentary My Kid Could Paint That gives new meaning to "artistic inquiry." Following a blithely instinctive painter under investigation by uncon...
In the Valley of Elah (2007)
In and of itself, the story offers rich dramatic material that Haggis exploits well, but the writer-director's unsubtle condescension to his audience represents small thinking.
Fälscher, Die (The Counterfeiters) (2008)
Markovics expertly projects every craven instinct and heartfelt yearning of the complex protagonist, making
an experience as satisfying emotionally as intellectually.
A sort of cinematic comfort food: it's the mac and cheese of the cineplex.
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
The film gets a full 'This is a work of fiction' disclaimer, even noting that any resemblance to any person living or dead is unintentional. That tells you something about how much trust to put in these historical CliffsNotes.
Damages—The Complete First Season (2006)
Series creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman put a premium on giving every episode at least one major plot twist...generally a satisfyingly suspenseful ride.
Justice League—The New Frontier (DTV) (2008)
The only real problem with the film is that it isn't long enough...wild story, complex and crammed plot, far-reaching cast of characters, terrific voice work, and sophisticated themes...
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
A kid's movie for adults, a charming notion for a time of postmodern ennui.
Michael Clayton (2007)
A straight-ahead suspense melodrama, complete with villain and a climax with satisfyingly clean lines. But Gilroy constantly elevates the material with surprise gifts.
American Gangster (2007)
Inflated talk of
as a modern masterpiece--or even an Oscar-worthy picture--ignores the fact that there's not a single memorable setpiece in the film.
Goya's Ghosts (2007)
Director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) join forces for Goya's Ghosts, a reckless historical-ficti...
Sie, jie (Lust, Caution) (2007)
Lee provides no such easy comfort, instead keeping audiences constantly off-kilter, purposefully frustrating them with character behavior that's just...wrong.
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