Latest Home Video Reviews
Black Dynamite (2009)
Well-mined comic territory...dutifully—and it must be said, expertly—recreates the rough cinematography, cheesy production design...and incidental music that sounds like chintzy soul crossed with a Quinn-Martin TV score.
The Stepfather (2009)
Any subtlety or implicit social satire to be found in Joseph Ruben's original went out with the last neighborhood trash pickup. Too bad the service was canceled before it could haul away this waste-of-time remake.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (V) (2010)
As punchy superhero entertainment for kids goes, this is fairly provocative stuff that should get the young'uns thinking along with their thrills.
New York, I Love You (2009)
Some of the twelve short films are nice enough, some are shaky and a few are outright awful...
A potent mood piece lifted by gorgeous cinematography, resonant performances and, above, all, Spielmann's sensitive filmmaking.
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
A rather dull and unchallenging account of one woman's ambitious social climb in a man's world...If Chanel's early years were really this boring, why bother with them?
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
with a sci-fi twist...this love story made up of signs and wonders suggests to savor the time you have.
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
'It's going to get Biblical!'...sets new standards of lunatic plotting as it goes about its smiting.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Graham Greene it's not....Whitaker's striking work aside,
The Last King of Scotland
is insipid, obvious movieland history.
Walk the Line (2005)
A dash more authentic--or, at least, more subtle--than its Hollywood spawning and Taylor Hackford's come-on-strong take on [Ray] Charles would seem to predict.
A smart little genre outing, an endangered species in modern Hollywood.
The House of the Devil (2009)
A very impressive formal exercise in style and restraint...
Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009)
A hall-of-mirrors investigation of extraordinary talent, emotionally stunted personality, a performer’s process, and the cruel mistress of celebrity...but it also serves as a powerful performance version of a last will and testament.
Weeds: Season Five (2009)
No one can accuse the show of shrinking from dark psychological themes: the leading character of Nancy Botwin (Emmy winner Mary-Louise Parker) has spun more wildly out of control with each season...
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
Okay, everybody, back to your shopping--there's nothing to see here.
As preposterous as this "
on a mountain" flick is,
remains one of the zestier big-budget action pictures of the nineties.
Last Action Hero (1993)
Considered a dunderheaded big-budget flop in its day,
Last Action Hero
looks considerably better now in its creative self-parody.
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Sets thoughts swirling about three bitch-goddesses: the teenage variety (namely Megan Fox’s Jennifer), “success” in the commercial cinema, and that fickle mistress called hype.
The Hangover (2009)
The stupid fun of
is worth experiencing at least once.
Jones has a very interesting existential idea here, and though he frustratingly doesn’t exploit its every possibility, he does give a great actor an opportunity for a tour-de-force performance.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
The playful Generation Y story
(500) Days of Summer
goes against the grain by wisely substituting delusion for deception. Boy meets girl. Boy thinks he understands girl. Boy oh boy.
The Mel Brooks Collection (2009)
Gathers nine of the comedy icon's best-known comedy films, an impressive haul by any standard.
District 9 (2009)
City of God
War of the Worlds
hybrid proves overbearing and under-convincing.
Bateman reliably tickles in his signature role of a square who can’t catch a break, and Wiig once more delivers subtly funny character work in a tricky role.
The Sopranos: The Complete First Season (TV) (1999)
Tony is as much an archetype of the American father as Homer Simpson, only just smart enough to be perpetually miserable.
A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël: Roubaix!!) (2008)
In working to keep the audience off-center...Desplechin artfully makes the well-worn family-weekend plot endearing again.
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season (TV) (2009)
A serially bold experiment in audience engagement and the ability to produce feature-quality genre entertainment...on a weekly television budget.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
Musters only a few lackluster laughs...[but] has one trump card: it’s a kid-friendly, “PG” film that celebrates museums.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas (V) (2009)
Rude, raunchy and given to comical violence, the show sets out to offend delicate sensibilities and to get tough ones laughing their asses off. Abandon political correctness all who enter here.
Rome—The Complete Series (TV) (2005)
Whether you're talking about an empire or a TV series, it doesn't get much bigger than
Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... Season One (2008)
Because Costello is himself so hugely talented as an eclectic songwriter and performer, because his taste is so impeccable, and because he is such a cultural magpie...
is a wholly addictive musical program for the ages.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season (2008)
Series creator Bill Lawrence has always toggled between the zany and the emotional, and the eighth season is no exception.
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The action sometimes conjures a thrill-ride's breathtaking quality or, in other words,
's only hope of redemption with audiences.
The General (1926)
Keaton proves as endlessly clever and athletic as his screen surrogates...chock-full of hilarious sight gags, including bits of business that incorporate moving trains, cow-catchers, a bear (and bear trap), and a misbehaving cannon.
Angels & Demons (2009)
Try not to giggle when...Langdon is being called in for "[his] expertise, [his] erudition." The guy from
? Just kidding, Tom, we love you—just not in this kind of pricy but conspicuously soulless crap.
Guaranteed to entertain actual "clerks" and those who have outgrown slackerdom to look back in bemused fondness at wasted time.
Chasing Amy (1997)
Smith has made a film with the potential to improve gender relations—without sacrificing his profane style.
Just creative enough to keep kids glazed over with nominal interest, but it won’t challenge them much...
My Sister's Keeper (2009)
Undeniably manipulative, not only in its plot, but in its dramatization of it.
Fight Club (1999)
One of the seminal films of the 1990s...just as darkly funny, epic, and psychically wrenching as ever.
All site content © 2000-2015 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 10/07/2015 01:25:23AM.