Divergent

dvd of the week In the world of Divergent, everyone who has survived a horrible, global war now lives in Chicago, which is surrounded by a massive wall and where the population has been divided into five factions: Abnegation, who are selfless civil servants; Amity, who the peaceful, hippy famers; Candor, who are honest lawyers; [...]

Cuban Fury

dvd of the week Despite promises from the film’s distributor, Cuban Fury was never shown in San Diego. Now this delightful film is on DVD. Nick Frost plays Bruce, a chunky Brit with a job in middle management. As a teen, he had been something else: a confident champion salsa dancer. On his way to [...]

Dom Hemingway

When Jude Law is peeling the paint off the walls with his intense recital of writer-director Richard Shepard’s fabulous and filthy monologues, Dom Hemingway is mesmerizing. The plot does not live up to the promise of the many great individual scenes, but those scenes! The plot – involving bank robbers, car crashes, murderous madmen and [...]

Under the Skin

dvd of the week With Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer has made an indelible, hypnotic masterpiece of an art film. In dark and rainy Scotland, a particularly vapid Scarlett Johansson drives a van around Edinburgh, stalking men. After she finds a man who is alone, she seduces and when he is completely naked (and often [...]

Jodorowsky’s Dune

dvd of the week David Lynch’s 1984 sci-fi epic Dune is one of the grander disasters in modern film: weird, long, campy and disliked both by fans of Frank Herbert’s novel and fans of David Lynch. Jodorowsky’s Dune is the fascinating and entertaining story about what Dune could and arguably should have been. The Chilean [...]

The Killing

dvd of the week The complete third season of AMC’s low-rated but brilliant murder mystery was an under-watched marvel. The first season of the show, following two damaged detectives investigating the murder of a teenage girl in rainy and moody Seattle, was a huge success, but after the show failed on its promise to reveal [...]

Enemy

dvd of the week In Prisoners, the Quebecois auteur Denis Villeneuve directed Jake Gyllenhaal to one of his best performances, as a cold and determined cop searching for two kidnapped girls. Enemy, based on Nobel Prize winner José Saramago’s book The Double, is as austere and difficult as Prisoners was pulpy and obvious. Gyllenhaal plays [...]

The Lego Movie

dvd of the week The Lego Movie could be the greatest advertisement ever made. I couldn’t prevent myself from buying Legos after seeing it. But it’s a great movie in and of itself, brilliantly animated, extremely funny and surprisingly emotional affecting. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is a construction worker in a city that runs with clockwork [...]

The Grand Budapest Hotel

dvd of the week In Wes Anderson’s greatest film so far, it is 1932 and the Grand Budapest Hotel is in its heyday. A treasure of the fictional Eastern European nation of Zubrowka, it is packed with suited dignitaries and their bejeweled wives, and the regimented staff is legion; over all of it presides the [...]

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

dvd of the week Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reboot of Carl Sagan’s iconic PBS series Cosmos is the best nonfiction on television this year, updating Sagan’s science and the show’s visuals and using Tyson’s remarkable explanatory power to make astrophysics, evolutionary biology, geology and the history of science as entertaining as most network dramas. Tyson, who [...]

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