Latest DVD Reviews
Last House on the Left (1972)
A depraved exploitation film specifically designed to shock and repulse viewers...also a cultural artifact reflective of and reactive to the time it was made...
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Even with its mock-pretentious parallelism to
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
refuses to take itself seriously, which is both its principal failing and its charm.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
When it comes to swashbucklers, I'll take Wolpert's unmolested molestation of Dumas over
Pirates of the Caribbean
any day of the week.
The Tempest (2011)
Taymor tries a little too hard, neither breaking nor broken by the play, but ultimately losing the wrestling match.
Pretty much a non-starter...its squeaky-cleanliness will seem more at home in its inevitable cable afterlife on the Disney channel.
The Twilight Zone: Season 5 (1963)
The Twilight Zone
largely fell into tired repetitiveness in its final season, its crafty tales and spectrum of darkness to humor still stood apart from the television pack...
X-Men: First Class (2011)
A superb, stylish piece of modern mythology.
Demolition Man (1993)
Doesn't quite go far enough, instead settling for cheap gags and cheap thrills, but it tickles fairly well for a couple of hours of crashes and fireballs.
By the time Rath and Bain have it out in a ramshackle, condemned motel with floors that keep giving away under them, we realize this final setting is a metaphor for the film itself.
The Specialist (1994)
Everyone knows that kitties love homicidal mercenary explosives experts. But for those who don't, there's
, another Sylvester Stallone action picture that's as dumb as a bag of hammers.
Dated and unintentionally laughable,
will always be best known for the catchphrase 'You're a disease and I'm the cure.' Ironically, any audience foolhardy enough to brave this ugly movie is liable to stagger out feeling mighty sick.
Fringe: The Complete Third Season (2011)
In its third year,
continues to 'go there' with a groundbreaking season that gives pretty much equal time to 'our universe'...and the 'parallel universe'...
The Final Destination (2009)
There’s absolutely no reason for
The Final Destination
to exist other than the only one Hollywood studios really care about: a cynical cash grab.
Win Win (2011)
McCarthy does a fine job of juggling the domestic mystery, situational comedy, and inevitable drama, and his terrific cast is well-suited to the deadpan ethical satire.
House, M.D.: Season Seven (2011)
Even in the show's seventh year, House continues to be an endlessly fascinating character, as brilliantly played by English actor Hugh Laurie...
A flashy but disposable exercise in style over substance...
Jane Eyre (2011)
The slow-boiling romance convinces thanks to Wasikowska and Fassbender's unwavering seriousness and commitment to selling the story.
The Beaver (2011)
Gibson again stares deeply into the abyss. The question is whether—after his public disgrace—anyone will want to go there with him.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
It's the whole proud, embarrassing sociopolitical, cultural heap of American history—and the American Century in particular—in two fleet, funny hours.
Your Highness (2011)
Ultimately, the magic-and-monsters milieu isn’t enough when the jokes are half-baked.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
A twisted revamp of Rankin-Bass by way of Edward Gorey.
Something Borrowed (2011)
Here we go again: big lies swell and then pop in a flick that’s one-hundred percent adherent to the shiny, colorful Warner Brothers rom-com style guide.
Dexter: The Fifth Season (2011)
Season Five's twelve episodes unfortunately retrace some of the steps of earlier seasons when the show should be focused on breaking new ground, but
remains entertaining in its complications...
The Fox and the Hound/The Fox and the Hound II (1981)
Sweet but a bit dull...Overall, the picture is good-hearted and colorful, with an ending that carries a nice touch of ambiguity about the tussle of nature and nurture.
Mars Needs Moms (3D) (2011)
The whole fiasco turns out to be an excuse to let Seth Green play a (redubbed) little boy. Next time, maybe just cast a real boy, build some sets in an old barn, and have Mom make the costumes.
The comic targets and the central manchildren bromance all feel overly familiar...Still,
benefits from Pegg and Frost's British comedic slant and the full complement of comedic talent...
Marshall's sunny, sitcomedic comedies tend to be kinda bad but also compulsively watchable, and this one's no exception...
Burn Notice: Fall of Sam Axe (2011)
A reasonably fun double-episode of
...Who doesn't love Bruce Campbell?
Soul Surfer (2011)
Faith-based...With its sports-movie structure and Hollywood production values,
is a creditable crossover picture; it just could've done with more nuance.
The Name of the Rose (1986)
For labyrinth-lovers...a thoughtful and entertaining murder mystery predicated on intellectual debate.
Despite it all, just try to take your eyes off this movie: skillfully crafted by Levinson,
is eminently watchable, deeply emotional, and populated with top acting talent.
[Gives] Weaver equal billing with everyone's favorite Southern spitfire, Holly Hunter. Teaming up these heavyweights is the genius notion of
, a solid serial-killer thriller elevated by phenomenal acting.
Better Off Dead... (1985)
Full of...goofy ironies, and while it ain't Molière, it is a pretty great entry in the teen-comedy genre.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2011)
Fits neatly into Weerasethakul's cinema-shaking oeuvre of beautiful experimentation.
Life During Wartime (2010)
A typically horny-thorny Solondzian dramedy...Solondz's is a universe of limitless disappointment.
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Forbidding images of forbidden people and places delineate the edges of an otherwise simplistic fable...in its languid romance,
Beauty and the Beast
is about the irrepressible, exciting rightness of the 'wrong.'
High and Low (1963)
One of the all-time-great 'procedurals'...the devilish fun is in the details for Kurosawa.
Burger plunges into the material at such a headlong pace and with sufficient adrenalized style as to propel this essentially trashy thriller and distract from the abundant loose ends.
Be Cool (2005)
As loosely adapted from Elmore Leonard's
sequel novel, the sequel movie
tastes like a watered-down drink.
Winter in Wartime (2011)
Spielbergian touches...a good enough mainstream drama, but one can't help but feel it's a missed opportunity to give Terlouw a more textured treatment.
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