DVD reviews

  • DVD Review: Free State of Jones

    DVD Review: Free State of Jones

    While the Confederacy was busy seceding from the Union, Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey) and a band of Mississippi slaves and small farmers were striving to secede from the Confederacy. The story is true, which doesn’t mean the movie is entertaining. It’s earnest and overly thorough, complete with on-screen footnotes and jarring flash forwards to the

  • DVD Review: Snowden

    DVD Review: Snowden

    Glowing screens, windowless offices, soulless hotel rooms, algorithms and computer nerds impart a contained, subdued mood to Oliver Stone’s latest biopic. Instead of excitement and diversion we get tension and unease as we follow the career of the world’s most infamous whistle-blower. Rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt happens to be the spittin’ image of Edward Snowden.

  • DVD Review: The Magnificent Seven

    DVD Review: The Magnificent Seven

    A remake of a remake does not instill confidence. Sure enough, this updated version of the 1960 original, itself a do-over of Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” (1954), is anything but magnificent. We live in an age of excess. The bad guy in the 1960 iteration, Calvera (Eli Wallach), was a laughing bandito. The villain in the

  • DVD Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

    DVD Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

    Maybe one day we’ll be so wealthy that no one will ever tell us we’re bad at anything. Writing? You’re the next Hemingway! Painting? A modern day Michelangelo! Brain surgery? A genius! Such was the life of the real Florence Foster Jenkins, an early 20th century Manhattan heiress and “opera singer” with a laughable singing

  • DVD Review: The Manchurian Candidate

    DVD Review: The Manchurian Candidate

    A president of the United States maneuvered into office by the Russians? A brash, uncouth bully poised to assume the highest office in the land thanks to a gigantic communist conspiracy to take over our government? You can’t make this stuff up. Actually, you can. Someone did — 55 years ago. “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962),

  • DVD Review: Jason Bourne

    DVD Review: Jason Bourne

    Observing Matt Damon’s character once again tearing the lid off CIA black ops’ skullduggery, we wondered if, after all the sequels, can there possibly be a single ugly secret left in Langley? Our hero, Jason, the humorless amnesiac and government-groomed assassin, is once again bringing down the temple. This would be the same top secret

  • DVD review: Goliath

    DVD review: Goliath

    The washed-up lawyer who, having once shown great promise, is now a drunken ambulance-chaser is familiar ground. Paul Newman had that role in “The Verdict” (1982). Arthur O’Connell did the honors in “Anatomy of a Murder” (1959), playing Jimmy’s Stewart’s rum-soaked partner. Keeping it fresh now is Billy Bob Thornton as William McBride, the protagonist

  • Marauders

    Marauders

    Finally: a new standardized test to replace the SAT, Learning Results and Leave No Child Behind. And it’s CHEAP! Here’s all you have to do. Rent “Marauders” and show it to a roomful of high school juniors. Any kid who can explain the plot gets a full ride to Harvard. It’s not that the plot

  • DVD Review: The Infiltrator

    DVD Review: The Infiltrator

    This may not be the most critically objective movie review, since we’d be content to sit around and watch Bryan Cranston read the phonebook. But trust us; “The Infiltrator” is a great movie from start to finish. It is based on the 2009 autobiography of the same name by Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs undercover