Latest Home Video Reviews
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.
High Time (1960)
Plays dated these days, though what now seems like a pitch straight down the middle probably seemed more like a screwball fifty-two years ago.
falls a bit short of the mark, it remains a likeable artifact of talented people giving a ridiculous task the old college try...
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
You know, for kids! Best to repeat that mantra-style if you’re an adult sitting down to watch 1964’s kiddie flick
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Kubrick again turns his unsparing eye to the dread of existence...of a godless universe...of moral frailty and civilization gone wrong...
Wilfred: The Complete First Season (2011)
'A boy and his dog' is a storytelling trope that goes back for centuries, but there's never been a 'boy and his dog' story quite like
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season One (1987)
The shakedown cruise of
Star Trek: The Next Generation
—may have been a bumpy one, but it got the newest incarnation of the U.S.S. Enterprise into action while winning over the 'Trekker' fanbase at large.
Dirty Pretty Things (2003)
At its best delineating the absurdities of immigrant life lost in the London rat race.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
The cast is impeccable from top to bottom, and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat reliably go for the gut.
Home on the Range (2004)
This bouncy Western musical-comedy adventure is long enough on charm, but wisely short and sweet at 76 minutes. It's also totally bereft of innovation...
Treasure Planet (2002)
The awkward trappings of this Disney adventure mechanize and blunt the tale's humanity. It pops and squeaks and rumbles, but
lacks the strength to transport audiences.
Boorman's interpretation of the material resulted in an American cinematic classic built not only on shock and awe, but emotional subtlety.
A pretty much ideal big-screen adaptation of the material, which becomes convincingly cinematic.
Louie: The Complete Second Season (2011)
After a critically acclaimed first season, emboldened writer-director-star C.K. doesn't fix what ain't broke, and remains agreeably irreverent about his own creation.
Superman vs. the Elite (2012)
The conflict between The Elite's way of doing things and Superman's sets up a 'might makes right' allegory wrestling with national and global politics as well as, on a more personal level, civilian tolerance of capital punishment.
In Darkness (2011)
With straits at least as dire as those in
The Diary of Anne Frank
(and moral dimensions far more murky),
deals with survival at whatever cost, including compromise of personal principles.
Road Trip (2000)
Just a cut above the typical, but it goes without saying: your mileage may vary.
Thin Ice (a.k.a. The Convincer) (2011)
Were it not for a horribly transparent bit of narration in those opening moments,
would have a better shot at working on its audience the way the filmmakers obviously hoped it would.
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