Swiss Army Man

dvd of the week You could call Swiss Army Man a cross between Weekend at Bernie’s and Castaway. It’s as bizarre and puerile as Bernie’s and aspires to Castaway’s depth; Swiss Army Man uses the insanity of its premise to create a powerfully symbolic fever dream about the power of friendship to heal the wounds […]

The Jungle Book

dvd of the week Disney’s live action remakes of its classic animated movies have all been good, and some great. Malificent was fun to look at, and featured a fantastic Angelina Jolie, but it was uneven in its retconning. Cinderella was remarkably beautiful and moving. But The Jungle Book is another thing altogether, an absolutely […]

Women He’s Undressed

dvd of the week Orry-Kelly won three Oscars for costume design, including for Some Like It Hot and An American In Paris. He designed the costumes for Auntie Mame, Casablanca, 42 Street and several of Bette Davis’ most iconic roles: Jezibel, Dark Victor, and The Letter. This career makes him important, but he was also […]

The Boss

dvd of the week Melissa McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, who is some sort of combination of Martha Stewart, Paula Deen and Leona Helmsley. She talks folksy, but she is ruthless. After a stint in jail for fraud, she emerges penniless and friendless. So, she camps out at the home of her former long-suffering assistant Claire […]

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

dvd of the week Continuing their string of damn fine moderately budgeted comedies –I Love You, Philip Morris, Crazy Stupid Love, and Focus – Glenn Ficarra and John Requa turned Kim Baker’s Afghanistan foreign correspondence memoir into a fantastic vehicle for Tina Fey and her deeply satisfying trademarked feminist comedy. Fey plays Kim, a bored […]

Midnight Special

dvd of the week Jeff Nichols’ low-budget science fiction thriller was met with some ecstatic reviews when it was released a few months ago. They were hyperbolic, because the film isn’t as smart or deep as many claimed it was, but it’s worth watching for the acting and Nichols’ taught direction. Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) is […]


dvd of the week Kids’ movies tend to have rather clear lessons for their viewers, whether about friendship bonds (Toy Story), emotional regulation (Inside Out), or rebellion (Brave), but few have been as a politically blunt as Zootopia, a parable of race relationships about as obvious in its messaging as The Crucible or 1984. It […]

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

dvd of the week Burr Steers’ adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s rewriting of Jane Austen’s great 19th century novel Pride and Prejudice as a zombie apocalypse love story is delightfully silly. It is exactly the same story as Austen’s novel except that everyone is also fighting zombies in addition to falling in love while making errors […]


dvd of the week Deadpool is a raunchy, hyper and hilariously violent anti-hero’s tale about a wise-cracking, super-powered mercenary seeking revenge and redemption. Based on one of the edgiest characters in Marvel’s X-Men universe, the film both panders to the basest sensibilities of the young men who make up the lion’s share of comic book […]

The Revenant

dvd of the week The Revenant, a ruthless and bombastic tale of revenge in the cold western American frontier, is focused on a man battling nature, with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass trying to survive alone while severely wounded in the cold, snowy mountains; he dreams and hallucinates memories of his dead Pawnee wife and their […]

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