Latest Home Video Reviews
Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series (2012)
In the penultimate batch of episodes before
's jubilee year, executive producer Steven Moffat continues to marvel with his ability to keep the time-and-space-travelling Doctor in ever-so-complicated trouble.
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series (2005)
Thundered back onto the BBC in a manner that honored the series' canon while also injecting new energy and reestablishing a show previously aimed primarily at children as one sophisticated enough that adult geeks could love it unabashedly.
Doctor Who: The Complete Specials (2009)
Davies, and especially Tennant, made
more catchy than campy...
Shrek the Musical (2013)
The good-natured show...has a winningly inclusive spirit, a fantastical appeal, and a Vaudevillian comic showmanship that evoke
The Wizard of Oz
(surely a conscious inspiration).
Monsters University (2013)
May be the most thoughtful and, in social terms, realistic film ever made about the college experience.
Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
Whedon goes for a kind of radical naturalism, an understated approach that suggests the characters could be your friends and neighbors.
The East (2013)
Intrigues not with good guy-bad guy shtick, but with the conundrum of how to live morally in an inherently immoral West.
Chasing Ice (2012)
While more detailed scientific analysis and greater discussion of impacts would have been welcome, the film's visual rhetoric is solid.
Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season (2005)
The stars still deliver, the supporting cast (especially Collins and Mark A. Sheppard as demon Crowley) remains prized, and the writers keep coming up with witty variations on the show's
The X Files
Sons of Anarchy: Season Five (2008)
Sutter knows how to conceive inconceivable violence, and while it's fair to question whether or not such disgusting ideas are just cultural poison, one can't argue that he ignores the consequences of each act.
With a man-against-the-elements adventure like this one, the emphasis is, and should be, largely on spectacular depiction of the environment, and [the] directors...make use of the biggest budget yet afforded to a Norwegian film...
To Be or Not to Be (2013)
To Be or Not to Be
has all the hallmarks of a Lubitsch comedy: a solidly constructed plot, good comic pacing, a light touch, and strong performances from top to bottom.
The Iceman (2013)
The main selling point here—and it's a considerable one—is Shannon, who shows new shadings in the role of Kuklinski...
Haneke has hit upon the most accessible, most universally understood experiential vehicle to explore his career-defining obsession with nihilism, or he has made his most emotionally sensitive film yet, a true love story.
Star Trek: Enterprise—Season Two (2001)
Season Two of
put a lot of fans to sleep in 2002, but out of that context of 'franchise fatigue,' these twenty-six episodes...are entertaining, well-executed
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Second Season (2012)
Disney's latest grand experiment in televised synergy has old-fashioned, corny charm—just newfangled with girl power and CGI.
Killing Season (2013)
Comes full up with heavy-handed signifiers, from Ben's choice of reading (Hemingway...) to a hammered motif of lapsed Christianity (the climax takes place in a rotting church) that underlines the theme of living with the sins of the past.
Regular Show: The Complete First & Second Seasons (2010)
There are sometimes twisted lessons to be learned from their misbehavior, but it's more about the silliness, punctuated regularly by frat-boy gesticulation and verbal high-fives.
From Up on Poppy Hill (2013)
Sunny days, blue skies, and rippling blue waters lined with greenery...Plain nice, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (1970)
In many ways,
Spearhead from Space
is terribly clunky...[but it] remains an historically important adventure and one with recognizable influences on stories to come...
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
For all its apocalyptic fate-of-the-world theatrics, this...[adaptation of] the 2011 graphic novel
by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert...has an emotional core to give purpose to its crazy amounts of mayhem.
A highly personal tale of undergrown men and overgrown boys experiencing the growing pains of love turned unrequited, and the realization that nothing—not freedom, not security, not innocence, not love—lasts forever.
It's hard not to see
today as a corny contraption...
The Devil's Backbone (2000)
Pure, uncut del Toro. The filmmaker accomplishes riveting scenes of suspense and scares he honestly come by, sticking the landing of every effect he attempts.
Lord of the Flies (1963)
While showing great fidelity to his source, Brook succeeded in delivering a version of
Lord of the Flies
that could best be described as psychological horror...
Wild Bill (2013)
With a concept and influences consciously in mind; fine performances by Creed-Miles, Poulter, and Williams; and approving cameos...Fletcher is able to put his best foot forward in this creditable debut.
The Driver (1978)
Hill has remained a steadily stylish presence in the idiom of action cinema. His genres of concern tend to be the Western and the urban crime drama, and the twain meet in neo-noir
In the Family (2011)
In the Family
is an 'issue movie'...But in practice, it's a made-to-scale love story and a thoughtful family drama. In other words, it's a true rarity of contemporary cinema.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season Four (1987)
Under the leadership of head writer Michael Piller...the series broke the mold with the outstanding character piece 'Family.' That episode title would also serve as a pithy summation of the fourth season's primary theme.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Redemption (1991)
Perhaps the most commonly applied adjective when it comes to the Klingon homeworld episodes of
...is 'Shakespearean'...[given] a certain unity of voice, as well as compelling throne-room drama and civil-war intrigue.
Doctor Who: The Snowmen (2012)
In the show's grand tradition of family entertainment, with scary creatures, exciting chases, chaste romance (with a buxom companion), and more than a few choice laughs on the off chance anyone might start taking the show too seriously.
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special (2012)
'Blackout comedy' for the Comic-Con set, the nerd's
...all in good fun.
Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season (2012)
The show continues to grow in dimension and in scope, a reality that's also meaningful within its fictional universe.
Safety Last! (1923)
is a certified treat, but in packed movie houses, with audiences invariably gasping and giggling on every cue, it's a near-religious experience.
In Old Arizona (1929)
The first major Western in sound...One can occasionally feel the filmmakers showing off the technology, with close-ups of a crying baby or sizzling ham and eggs.
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful
gets saved from the junk heap by Franco and especially by director Sam Raimi, who happily treats the enterprise as a sandbox.
The Newsroom: The Complete First Season (2012)
By setting the show in the recent past, Sorkin can productively remind or inform a broad audience of the pith of important news we've lived through...a subplot about [NSA] wiretapping...[even] gets ahead of the curve...
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Once blithely acceptable as American id, McClane's become the archetypal American idiot.
Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season (2011)
Cannily plays in equal measure to the sci-fi TV crowd and families, to red states and blue states, and it's a formula—refined in Season Two—that seems to be working.
What remains most striking about
may be the...conspicuous emphasis on intense close-ups. They force an inescapable emotional intimacy in relation to issues the mainstream, at least at the time, would rather have looked away from.
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