DVD reviews

  • DVD Review: The Accountant

    DVD Review: The Accountant

    As the lights come up and the credits roll, you’ll find yourself asking your companions, “Can anyone tell me what just happened?” “The Accountant” had already cooked the books of credibility by offering us the character of Christian Wolf (Ben Affleck), a math savant who lives in an Airstream trailer, an amoral assassin who collects

  • DVD Review: Manchester by the Sea

    DVD Review: Manchester by the Sea

    For our money, there is no one better at depicting reality than Kenneth Lonergan, the best screenwriter you may never have heard of. Writer/director Lonergan affirms his mastery in his third film, “Manchester by the Sea.” The movie tells the story of the troubled and traumatized Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), who finds himself suddenly the

  • DVD Review: Hacksaw Ridge

    DVD Review: Hacksaw Ridge

    Mel Gibson, pariah of the decade, has gradually emerged from the Hollywood doghouse. After his calamitous anti-Semitic rant in 2006 when he was pulled over for drunken driving, the studios dropped him like a live grenade. Then came his ugly break-up with his Russian girlfriend and more offensive comments that were caught on tape. Then

  • DVD Review: Arrival

    DVD Review: Arrival

    “Arrival,” the alien movie starring Amy Adams, walked away from Sunday night’s Academy Awards with a win for best sound editing. Such an award had never entered our consciousness until we realized, Hey, that movie really does have an important soundtrack. In fact, sound editor Sylvain Bellemare’s choices create the ambience for what is an

  • 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