Latest DVD Reviews
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.
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (TV) (2007)
The dichotomy of Rickles' customary matador-theme entrance and tongue-in-cheek but true theme song "I'm a Nice Guy" captures Rickles' secret of success: you gotta love him.
Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (The Band's Visit) (2007)
One of the film's prime strengths is its wordless willingness to let the principal characters express themselves through music and mime to overcome cultural barriers.
Martian Child (2007)
Though it panders shamelessly, it's not entirely unwelcome in a time when the PG movie is an endangered species.
Across the Universe (2007)
It's a dicey proposition to reverse-engineer a story, and
Across the Universe
shows the strain...[nonetheless] a very impressive music-video anthology.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
An historical story of consequence and consequences around an enduringly lively social argument.
Kon marries visual dazzle to unblinking pop existentialism in ways that make viewers' heads hurt so good.
Deluxe tribute to the playwright gets by, surprisingly, as much by romantic poignancy as farce...it's hard to dislike a picture so
with its subject.
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Sends the endlessly bickering couple to Paris, where the great director Roman Polanski gives them a rectal exam. I wish I were kidding.
Zwartboek (Black Book) (2007)
Verhoeven doles out his customary boobs, bombs, and blood, but the tension between thrills and serious consequences splits
Charms in large part due to the performances of the two stars.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Butler, though puportedly attractive, gives a chipmunk-chipper performance that can only be described as supremely annoying.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
The cinematic equivalent of the guy who runs up to a cop, grabs the cop's hat, throws it to the ground and takes a shit on it. One is left a bit speechless.
Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007)
"Science-fiction nerds will be in hog heaven with this feature-length indulgence of time travel, and the customary
gag humor rarely disappoints."
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2007)
Gracefully condenses the complicated history of the Irish Troubles in ways both literal and allegorical.
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
The humor is up to Muppet par, with physical comedy, puns, running jokes, and layered gags...
Muppet Treasure Island
is grand family entertainment. [new DVD review]
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (TV) (2005)
We're a long way from the creative energy, heart, and charm of Henson's Muppet movies, even though I'm not ready for the Henson Company to stop trying.
The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
A brisk and consistently funny family entertainment. [new DVD review]
The Muppet Show: Season Two (TV) (1976)
The series may well have been the last great variety show, weaving running-gag comedy through standards, novelty songs, and sketches performed with impeccable puppetry and alongside entertainment legends.
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Few family films have the breadth of appeal of
The Muppet Movie
, the best screen evidence of the Muppeteers' dedication to magnificent illusion. [new DVD review]
The Muppet Show: Season One (TV) (1976)
Take two "mahna"s and call me in the morning.
The Dark Crystal (1982)
An extraordinary, often mesmerizing achievement of design and performance that's held back by an underdeveloped script and a milquetoast leading character.
The chaotic narrative proceeds in fits and starts, and the sights and sounds are often dated, but somehow the film's wit and wonder linger in the mind.
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) (2006)
If the story of a stodgy but conflicted Stasi captain gives sympathy to a historical devil, it also allows for an intriguing angle on the evergreen cinematic theme of voyeurism.
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