Latest Home Video Reviews
Hamlet (TV) (2009)
Tennant's restless Hamlet is never boring, and it's not irredeemably a stage performance on camera: at times—like the ever-intimidating 'To be or not to be speech'—Tennant curls up into fetal intimacy...
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
It was impossible in
The Basketball Diaries
not to take notice of DiCaprio's seemingly undauntable talent, as he channeled the tortures of the drug-addicted damned.
Dear John (2010)
Like a couple of hours of channel-surfing among the Travel Channel, the History Channel and Discovery Health.
Valentine's Day (2010)
Now, don't get me wrong.
is bad. But it's difficult to
a Garry Marshall movie.
Despite hewing fairly closely to the facts, has trouble seeming truthful. Practically everyone behaves like an allegorical symbol rather than a person, a problem the script anticipates and acknowledges but only feebly attempts to solve.
By Brakhage: An Anthology—Volumes One and Two (2010)
Nearly all of Brakhage's films convey an astonishing blend of abstraction and representation, a hypnotic flow of pure cinema, an orgasmic discovery of the possibilities of the camera and editing technique, a hungry sensuality.
Leave It to Beaver: Season Three (1959)
Will eternally be the iconic televisual picture of '50s Americana...Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver was the original adorable sitcom kid...
Curiously and effectively weds the unlikely adventure of a thriller to the plodding realism of daily life...
Presumed Innocent (1990)
As moody mysteries go, the courtroom drama
is among the moodiest.
Analyze This (1999)
Thanks to three very strong writers...and the willpower of its leads,
turns out to be an amusing piffle.
The Neverending Story (1984)
It's very hard not to give in to
The Neverending Story
's heart-in-the-right-place charms amidst an increasingly anti-literate society.
True Blood: The Complete Second Season (2010)
A truly unique entity in the TV landscape (I know, it's not TV; it's HBO)...fantasy, science fiction horror, Gothic romance, mystery, action, and soap opera.
Vivre sa vie (1963)
A fine example of Godard's experimental affronts to cinematic conventions, his exploration of the human condition, and his concern for social issues.
Analyze That (2002)
More than any other Robert De Niro film, invites the speculation that the once-revered actor has become the gimmicky comic screenwriter's whipping boy.
The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
There's a TV-movie quality to
The Karate Kid Part II
, which too often plays like "a very special episode"...
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate Kid
brought something fresh to the table and proved exceptionally skilled at reaching its adolescent audience.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
More tiresome than entertaining, especially with mind-numbing CGI exhaustion setting in early.
Shrek Forever After (2010)
Shrek Forever After
from utter mediocrity isn’t its high-priced superstar voice talent but veteran animator Dohrn, who steals the show by making Rumplestilskin the best oily runt since Danny DeVito last dispatched a taxi.
magazine pictorial-style imagery and excessive use of slo-mo are far more annoying than they are easy on the eyes, and the hyperactive editing is unbearable.
Sports pretty much everything one would want in a Western, and though it's not always eminently artful, it is rarely anything less than entertaining.
Edge of Darkness (2010)
As expertly headlined by Mel Gibson...
Edge of Darkness
makes a virtue of its fatalism, while ace mainstream director Martin Campbell compensates well for the script's shortcomings in the credibility department.
Worth seeing—and, yes, in a theater—for its legitimate "wow factor"...a visually intriguing diversion and instant movie history.
Crazy Heart (2009)
Bridges ably does his own guitar playing and singing, another reason
is a gift to those who have long appreciated his talents.
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Though Harryhausen's glory days were past him, he and his team do provide some magical moments.
Rather than simply repeating the successful formula of
, which incorporated humor but largely played it straight,
flips the script for a largely comic action picture punctuated by a dark, rug-yanking conclusion.
The biggest impression left by
is the characterization of Sanjuro, whose iconography of stoic cool (that inspired Clint Eastwood's antiheroic "Man with No Name") is consistently undercut with dashes of comical realism...
Broken Embraces (2009)
This isn't the first time Almodóvar has explored cinema and its power to change lives, but for all its colorful visuals and narrative sophistication, the story feels more insular than ever.
The Blind Side (2009)
Surely post-recession America will turn out in droves for this cinematic version of a hug. But should they?
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The beautifully hand-drawn
The Princess and the Frog
keeps up a brisk pace and energy, but only partly achieves the effervescence of a Disney 'classic.'
Wondrous, weird, and sweetly innocent,
is a tale bursting with love, which is recommendation enough for the young and the young at heart.
Bigger Than Life (1956)
The sort-of picture-perfection of the suburban home...is a tenuous cover for the unpredictability of life, the short distance between the American Dream and the American nightmare.
The Negotiator (1998)
This highly incredible story lives and dies on its leading performances, so it's a damn good thing someone hired Jackson and Spacey to go toe to toe.
Logan's Run (1975)
Despite its grabber of a premise,
flaunts poorly developed plot specifics; as such, it's terminally silly. Nevertheless, as a camp curio, it still has an odd but undeniable staying power.
A stealth epic, framing an urban jungle and making its own kind of contemporary history by pairing acting giants Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino in what has arguably become the preminent cops-and-robbers movie.
What to make of short-attention-span artists satirizing a short-attention-span world?
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.
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