Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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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

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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 […]

Zootopia

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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

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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 […]

Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds and Stefan Kapicic in Deadpool

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

Leonardo DiCaprio in 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 […]

Sisters

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dvd of the week Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are as great a comedy team as any, and whether on Saturday Night Live, hosting the Golden Globes, or in the silly Baby Mama (2008), their easy connection and thrilling repartee is pure joy to watch. In Sisters, they again play opposites, though in a switch, […]

Brooklyn

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dvd of the week An assured and stunning Saoirse Ronan is Eilis, who leaves stifling small town Ireland for expansive and exciting Brooklyn in the early 1950s. She falls in love with an Italian-American plumber (Emery Cohen, in a star-making performance) but then returns home after a death in the family, suddenly unsure where she […]

Creed

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dvd of the week Ryan Coogler’s Rocky sequel-cum-reboot turns Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) into the trainer and Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son Donny (Michael P. Jordan) into the boxer with something to prove. The plot is a by-the-numbers boxing movie, but Stallone’s seventh turn as Rocky Balboa is arguably his best, and Michael P. Jordan is again […]

Steve Jobs

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dvd of the week Michael Fassbender was nominated for an Oscar playing Apple founder Steve Jobs, who is on screen at virtually every moment in the film written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle. Few of his dialogue partners – played by Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels, among others – are […]

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