Latest Home Video Reviews
Joy Division (2007)
The ad copy for Grant Gee's 2007
calls it "the definitive documentary on Joy Division," and given the roster of participants, it seems a reasonable claim.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Anderson's most mature and ambitious film yet...[though his] growth as a filmmaker remains hindered by an obsession with effect and a disinterest in depth.
A bio-epic on the order of
Lawrence of Arabia
is a smart, fully realized historical film.
The Sand Pebbles (1966)
A fine old-school picture...elevated further by its progressive themes.
The Longest Day (1962)
Though the film makes a few egregious historical changes for dramatic effect,
The Longest Day
pretty much lives and dies by its scale.
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Attenborough consistently reinforces the horrors of war by depicting not only the disasterous military engagements and their toll on heroes, but also the witless political decisions that led to needless, excessive loss of life.
Battle of Britain (1969)
Succeeds in giving the general impression of a pivotal historical moment, and excels in crafting some of the most astonishing aerial-warfare sequences ever put on film.
Cassandra's Dream (2008)
Two years after
, Allen delivers another London-set murder melodrama, with diminishing returns.
Harold Prince's original staging remains the gold standard, but John Doyle offers an intriguing alternative on Sondheim's ode to commitment anxiety.
Rescue Me—The Complete Fourth Season (2008)
The visions, the menagerie of women and the horrid behavior of Tommy Gavin suggest a lewd FDNY variation on
, and one that's still going plenty strong after four thirteen-episode seasons.
, a cousin of
, but most of all, a well-modulated, dread-laden, faith-based mystery.
The Three Stooges Collection: Volume Two (1937-1939) (1937)
Every time you see a comedic eye-gouging or an errant board swinging around and catching someone in the face, it's a passed torch that was held for decades by the Three Stooges.
The Recruit (2003)
Watchable only for its star power and scarce caffeine kicks...awfully predictable.
The mysteriously titled project might just as well have been called "9/11: The Thrill Ride," so thoroughly does it trade on our emotions of that disaster.
An audacious comic-book movie on steroids...cinematic junk food, but even a dieter deserves to cheat once in a while.
Bee Movie (2008)
Seinfeld's pleasingly idiosyncratic comic voice comes through in the haphazard, slaphappy storyline.
This is your action movie on drugs—any questions?
Anger Management (2003)
Full-blown 'Jack'—his face a spectacular special effect of full-blown energy—remains an irresistible act.
It may not be fashionable to like
, but darn if it isn't an entertaining electro-shock of action cinema.
Get Smart (1995)
The time is right to reappraise the revamp: yes, it's a shadow of the original series, but it has its high points.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Though Adamson lacks Lewis' storytelling confidence...
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
still comes across as a quirkily diverting children's entertainment.
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (a.k.a. The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones) (1992)
Approached with an open mind,
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
offers an intriguing angle on one of the greatest characters in modern cinema.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The eventual arrival of towering screen presence Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. alongside Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. allows for what may be adventure cinema's most potent pairing.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
If it was a sign of the times for Indiana Jones to take on more of a comic-book aspect, the film's accomodation of darker themes and explicit imagery came as something of a shock to many.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The postmodern heir to
North By Northwest...
like any deathless classic,
is a perfect marriage of star and material.
A Raisin in the Sun (2008)
A quintessentially American play, revisited...this one has towering performances from Rashad and McDonald.
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) (2007)
A series of serviceable creep-outs and jolts...the pretzel-shaped resolution feels like too little too late.
Dou fo sin (Flash Point) (2008)
Martial arts junkies won't want to miss Flash Point, a sequel to director Wilson Yip and star and action director Donnie Yen's S.P.L. (a.k.a. Sha Po Lang or, for us Americans, Kill Zone). With its em...
The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
Ask anyone who knows about The Fall of the Roman Empire, and their response is sure to include the word "sumptuous." From back in the day when epic meant upwards of 10,000 extras, gargantuan sets, an...
First Knight (1995)
First Knight—a brave attempt at a fresh cinematic angle on Arthurian legend—has a few interesting ideas, but is ultimately brought down by a squishy script, a director (Jerry Zucker) lack...
A Passage to India (1984)
After a fourteen year absence from the silver screen, David Lean vigorously attacked the challenge of adapting E.M. Forster's novel A Passage to India. What would be Lean's final film has much to rec...
The Savages (2007)
Tamara Jenkins' dark comedy The Savages applies bracing wit to the problem of immature adults forced to grow up and take on roles of parental responsibility for rapidly infantilized parents. It's no...
The script includes a verbal motif that reminds us of what binds the film's four central talents together: 'I want to show you something.'
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
"The world is an evil place," or so says a compromised diamond dealer in the crime melodrama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. "Some of us make money off of that, and others get destroyed." Dark bu...
One frequent criticism of certain screenwriters is to point out that their characters all sound the same. To some, this phenomenon is a terrible sin; to others, it's simply a matter of style. Though...
Friday Night Lights—The Second Season (2007)
A blend of penetrating psychodrama and gripping incident seasoned with lighthearted humor.
Cheers—The Ninth Season (2008)
Time continues to be good to Cheers, the enduringly funny sitcom with a talent for psychological head games and nasty repartee. As dire as the character's frustrations could get, Cheers always mainta...
The Bette Davis Collection (2008)
Bette Davis was the grande dame Hollywood diva to end them all: physically striking, hugely talented, imperious, and mercurial.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
Like its hero, extraordinary in every way.
The Water Horse (a.k.a. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) (2007)
Pleasingly evokes the days when Roddy McDowall frolicked with Flicka and Lassie, [but] it must be said that a CGI pet is not quite so easy to love as a flesh-and-blood performer, animal or human.
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