DVD reviews

  • DVD Review: Rogue One

    DVD Review: Rogue One

    With “Rogue One,” the “Star Wars” franchise has completed its narrative arc: main story, sequel, prequel and, finally, Nyquil. Has there always been a Rebel Alliance? And the Empire … was it ever not mean and nasty? OK, the tension is infinite and we are instructed to accept that the battle between good and evil

  • DVD Review: In Dubious Battle

    DVD Review: In Dubious Battle

    Not so much dubious as tedious. John Steinbeck’s first serious novel came after “Tortilla Flat” and before “The Grapes of Wrath” and proved, if nothing else, that Steinbeck could switch from laugh-out-loud to bummer faster than a speeding bullet. “Dubious,” published in 1936, reads like a first draft of the much better known “Grapes of

  • DVD Review: Beauty and the Beast

    DVD Review: Beauty and the Beast

    The new, live-action “Beauty and the Beast” is not a feel-good movie. It is a feel-great movie. You come out of the theater merry and refreshed. It’s definitely magical: How else to explain the enchantment of a movie that is scene-for-scene and character-for-character identical to the 26-year-old cartoon version? Most of us already knew the

  • DVD Review: Dr. Strange

    DVD Review: Dr. Strange

    We’ve been here before. It’s “A Christmas Carol” relocated from London to Greenwich Village but the Scrooge character undergoes an identical transformation. It’s “Regarding Henry” (1991) where a cold-hearted lawyer played by Harrison Ford gets shot in the head and emerges from a coma a much nicer guy. This time around, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict

  • DVD Review: Moonlight

    DVD Review: Moonlight

    “Moonlight” is the little movie that could. With a budget of just $1.5 million (compare that to the $30 million budget of another of last year’s “indie” films, “La La Land”), the quiet, romantic and heartbreaking “Moonlight” has become one of the most culturally poignant films in recent decades, earning Academy Awards for best supporting

  • 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