Latest Home Video Reviews
Flipping the cautionary themes of Mary Shelley’s original source material,
plays out as a primarily pro-science parable...goes out of its way to encourage free-thinking square pegs to avoid gaping round holes.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)
Even for an episodic kiddie farce,
seems overly familiar in its comic premises (oh no! peeing in the municipal pool!) and conflicts...but it’ll all be new to its intended audience...
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Just remember, kids, you’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you…or your movie dollars.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season Two (1988)
became famous in large part for its (often corny) science-fiction morality plays...Few episodes of either series achieve this goal more elegantly than Melinda Snodgrass' 'The Measure of a Man.'
Finding Nemo (2003)
Though some scary parts may make the very young fret unduly, the film also puts forward some thoughtful messages for both children and their parents.
It's beginning to seem as if Pixar's delivery of one of the very best films of the year will be an unstoppable annual tradition.
Men in Black 3 (2012)
Has no MSG. I mention this because many will probably want to make a meal of it and, it should be said, it's both pretty tasty and will leave you feeling hungry an hour later...
Even when it's not quite running on all cylinders, LeRoy's
is never less than cute, and sometimes, it's a good deal more.
It would be criminal to reveal how the plot unfolds, other than to say it's impressive dramatic origami, manipulated deftly by an ideal cast and one of Hollywood's all-time top directors.
The Watch (2012)
According to an old showbiz saw, the key to comedy is timing. Well, the new big-budget sci-fi comedy
has a problem there.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
'Be excellent to each other.' Out of the mouths of babehounds...
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
One character innocently asks Peter, as he looks for an ID badge, 'Are you having trouble finding yourself?' Maybe just a little, but consider the franchise relaunched...
This version...won't be remembered as a major one—it's too faithful and too wobbly for that—but it's an entertaining novelty version, largely justified by the casting and Gemignani's slavish devotion to the original Broadway orchestrations.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Strikes just the right balance of irony and sincerity...genuinely heartwarming, from its opening dedication to Henson and Hunt to its joy-to-the-world finale.
is deep, after all, with Weyland Corporation standing in for 20th Century Fox in an allegory for Scott's artistic aspirations: funding and undermining his ambitions at the same time.
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
Entirely larky...for Beatlefans, what's not to like?
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
'Eat Gray Love'...the whole enterprise [is] too platitudinous, but with powerhouse actors like Dench, Nighy and Wilkinson, even a critic can agree it's better to be plucky than a sour stick-in-the-mud.
American Horror Story: The Complete First Season (2011)
Murphy and Falchuk don't go after anything deep...they just want the reflected glow of America's collective nightmares as they peddle their own ambitious, at times affecting, but generally klutzy serialized/recurring bad dream.
The French Connection (1971)
With its deathless car chase, Friedkin's film became an instant American classic...
General Education (2012)
What have I learned? High school movies can be duller—and more sour—than previously thought possible...The least generic element of
is its openly hostile attitude toward gay people.
Where Do We Go Now? (2011)
Part religiopolitical satire, part smalltown sitcom, with a hint of romance,
Where Do We Go Now?
is pleasingly populated with 'characters' and light farce that occasionally breaks out into a movie musical.
Modern Family: The Complete Third Season (2009)
While fully embracing the single-camera and mockumentary trends that have all but taken over modern sitcoms, the show hearkens back to...snugly-fitted farcical plotting and traditional sitcom writing...
Damsels in Distress (2012)
Since the halfwitty
Damsels in Distress
wants to have it both ways, its satire is about as cutting as a plastic knife through a porterhouse.
An anti-musical...based on The Who's 1973 "rock opera" concept album...all the more brilliant for this seemingly counter-intuitive approach.
Sons of Anarchy: Season Four (2011)
It's good that
Sons of Anarchy
has pointed itself more clearly in the direction of an end game, as narrative wheel-spinning doesn't serve the show well.
Homeland: The Complete First Season (2011)
The Manchurian Candidate
as a television series, and you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for with Showtime's paranoid thriller
, adapted from the Israeli drama
Prisoners of War
Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (2011)
The reach for epic status sets
Once Upon a Time
apart; one hopes that reach will result in more grasp during the upcoming sophomore season.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Eighty-eight minutes of sublime silliness...should appeal in equal measure to adults as to children.
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
A sensitive and fairly subtle work, with the deceptive simplicity of a well-honed short story.
A Separation (2012)
Above all, Farhadi’s parable teaches that a rush to judgment inevitably turns back on the judge.
The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under (1977)
It's easy to root for Bernard and Bianca...The sequel also tweaks the formula with a brisker pace, and development of the leading characters...
Decide for yourself if the narration is a necessary concession for kids: it's a take-it-or-leave-it proposition that doesn't make but also doesn't quite break
Pocahontas/Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1995)
It's hard to excuse the reconception of the eleven or twelve-year-old Pocahontas...as a statuesque supermodel, especially as kids don't need their stories to be hung on romance to deem them, err, shapely.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games
on screen doesn't exactly catch fire (as does its hero Katniss Everdeen), its savvy pop culture mash-up and the charge of teens in life-and-death peril remain intact.
The Dictator (2012)
Cohen's act wears thin...still,
has several memorable moments...
The Aristocats (1970)
Proves that even the studio's halfhearted larks still have life in them, thanks to golden-age animators...tunesmiths...and vocal talent.
Glee: The Complete Third Season (2011)
In its third season,
tenaciously held its ground as one of TV's most ambitious shows, in terms of production value and the sheer size of the ensemble it sets out to serve.
Despite the dirty jokes hidden in plain sight ('Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!'),
is a PG-rated comedy that makes silliness sublime.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Anyone allergic to high-fructose corn syrup might do well to stay away, but the winking humor and musical gusto of this pop-artful camp standard-bearer still carry the day.
Dexter: The Sixth Season (2006)
The show has meandered back over too-familiar ground in its fifth and sixth seasons, stalling for time when it should be daringly advancing its storyline.
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