Latest DVD Reviews
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.
At the Circus (1939)
Like the travelling circus it follows, the 1939 Marx Brothers effort At the Circus is all over the map. Though it's ultimately less than the sum of its parts, some of the parts are quite good and, ev...
A Night at the Opera (1935)
In the mid-1930s, the Marx Brothers flopped hard with their Paramount comedy Duck Soup (later named by the American Film Institute the fifth-funniest film ever made). Licking their wounds and watchin...
A Day at the Races (1937)
The inimitable Marx Brothers followed up their magnum opus A Night at the Opera with the light-footed A Day at the Races, repository for another handful of elaborate and indelible comedy scenarios. F...
Old Yeller (1957)
Walt: The Man Behind the Myth (TV) (2002)
The official story of Walt Disney, the genius, and it's surely a story worth telling.
Charlotte Gray (2001)
Charlotte Gray is one of those odd-duck historical fiction films that ignores the scintillating truth and instead spins a frustrating web of simplistic half-truths. With the appropriate panache, audi...
A Walk to Remember (2002)
You may have heard that A Walk to Remember is a pleasant antidote to postmodern teen flicks and gross-out "romantic" comedies. For much of its running time, this assessment is accurate...which makes...
The Great Race (1965)
The sort of movie that beats one into submission, Blake Edwards's The Great Race hails from that bygone era when epic, big-budget comedies had "guest stars" and lavishly recreated an even more bygone...
Skin Deep (1989)
Blake Edwards's Skin Deep is that most idiosyncratic type of movie that contributes to a prominent director's ouevre without adding much distinction (except the invitation of autobiographical analysi...
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
A seminal comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age, Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington spins a fascinating depression-era morality tale with heart and humor. The film also epitomizes its director, Frank Capra, w...
The deeply personal and highly ambitious Bulworth provides a great vehicle for Warren Beatty in the waning phase of his stardom. Beatty, along with a handful of his contemporaries, has etched out an...
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