Latest DVD Reviews
J. Edgar (2012)
Despite the odd sharp observation, somehow
comes off like the Max Fischer Players' production of
Take Shelter (2011)
A Rod Serling-esque social allegory for these days of economic collapse, environmental sea change, and increasing talk of 'end times.'
Malcolm X (1992)
Spike Lee called 1992's
'the picture I was born to make,' and star Denzel Washington referred to the titular civil-rights leader as 'the role of a lifetime.' They're both right...
The Big Year (2011)
If the mere mention of the blue-footed booby sends you into paroxysms,
The Big Year
is the film for you.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Intensely juvenile, casually sexist, and blatantly stupid in ways that few if any over the age of 'T for Teen' or bereft of a Y chromosome could enjoy.
The Moment of Truth (a.k.a. Il momento della verita) (1965)
This fable of the disposable performer rising above his class transcends ordinary fiction to be an expressive visual record of the art of bullfighting: primal, brutal, repellent and magnetic in equal measure.
A stylish genre exercise...one might just as well say the L.A. story unfolds at the corner of Michael Mann and David Lynch.
plays cleverly with the arcane mysteries of game theory, and if it's only a game, happily, it's one worthy of exhibition.
The Whistleblower (2011)
Condurache and Weisz’s 'small corrections' make a big difference in steering the movie right, enough to make
a decent entry in the genre of political passion plays.
What's Your Number? (2011)
[Faris] and Evans deserve better than a string of rom-com clichés, including the surprise date in a closed sports arena. Unless you’re Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez, it couldn’t happen to you.
isn’t interested in defeatism, except as one inevitable way station of the film’s appealing emotional ramble.
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Oldman's mid-film music-video performance of 'My Way' before a neon staircase compares favorably—as a revelation of character through performance—to Robert De Niro's framing monologues in
Killer Elite (2011)
never manages is to convince us of its sociopolitical import...or its emotional resonance.
Fright Night (2011)
While it's unspooling, it has enough visual snap, narrative tension, and humor for a satisfying 'drive-in movie' diversion.
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (2011)
An orgiastic celebration of
concocted by its own creators...sort of like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but with more hot air.
Archer: The Complete Second Season (2011)
roughly the same ratio of silliness and satire, which is to say heavy on the former and light on the latter.
Justified: The Complete Second Season (2011)
remains one of the most satisfying hours on television, creating a illusion of the social margins of Southern life that's convincing enough that we want to believe in it.
The Guard (2011)
The film's self-conscious gestures in the direction of fish-out-of-water comedies, buddy-cop movies and Westerns don't amount to much in and of themselves, but they tie together as a functional clothesline for character comedy and left-field drama.
The Rocketeer (1991)
A charmer in its gee-whiz, irony-light resuscitation of the movie serials of the '30s.
Dolphin Tale (2011)
In the hands of actor-turned-director Charles Martin Smith, this kid-centric drama provides a welcome family option with positive values and a minimum of frantic, noisy CGI. It's a tale told on a human (and animal) scale.
West Side Story (1961)
A landmark screen musical that left its own indelible stamp on popular culture.
The Help (2011)
accepted more of Davis’ help, we might have a work of art on our hands instead of another condescending, half-baked history lesson.
Our Idiot Brother (2011)
Little Miss Sunshine
-y...a sunny sitcom of family dysfunction...
Sarah's Key (2011)
Strong work from Mayance and Thomas keeps
from rusting amid the sometime soddenness of the script.
Three Colors Trilogy (2012)
Unsparing character studies, using the specific to illuminate the universal.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Works brilliantly as an allegory of American repression and willful illusion of order, Lumberton's forced-smile '50s sensibility unable to keep down the anarchic, raging id that is humanity's primal drive.
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
A back-to-basics charmer evoking the Pooh short films from the '60s and '70s.
When they're not risking their lives with exciting spy maneuvers, Blaster works out to Lady Gaga and Juarez updates her Facebook page. Okay, so maybe
is just a tad self-consciously 'hip.'
Are your kids ready for an existential movie? Turns out they are: Disney's CGI-animated action comedy
is, at its core, a story of one individual's discovery that his sense of reality...has been seriously skewed.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011)
Thematically, like any good myth, the Harry Potter story comes full circle, with a heroic homecoming and the promise of more adventures, if only in our imaginations.
Cars 2 (2011)
Director John Lasseter pushes the credo 'Story is king,' but the sequel to the 2006 hit
unwittingly abdicates the throne.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
A story with timeless, universal themes: family, coming of age (and leaving behind childish things), and the inevitable time when, past our prime, we will all face potential social obsolence.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
'You can't rush art.' Pixar's bliss in art and play is part and parcel of both the creation and the meaning of
Toy Story 2
, a celebration of the pure joy of doing.
Toy Story (1995)
Introduced not one but two indelible characters to the pop culture pantheon: cowboy rag-doll Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic space ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
The Lion King (2011)
It's not hard to understand why
The Lion King
's good-vs.-evil adventure and high-spirited comic passages haven't lost their appeal.
The Tree of Life (2011)
[Malick] wants to see so much: people and through people to their souls, the world and through the world to the ineffable, life and death and through them to their meaning. And...he wants to help us to see it all too.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
As far as 'Classic Disney,'
Beauty and the Beast
pretty much has it all. Y'know, for kids (of all ages).
Jackie Brown (1997)
Succeeds as a witty Elmore Leonard crime story...but also as a surprisingly affecting mid-life romance.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
A balls-out postmodern comedy
. It's a Royale with Cheese.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
The problem with attempting to replicate the 'magic,' such as it was, of
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
is you get something very close to a replica, minus the novelty.
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