Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

dvd of the week The sequel to the fantastic Planet of the Apes reboot, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a great science fiction action film, but despite what some fans are claiming, it’s hardly perfect. Dawn takes place ten years after the events in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, with [...]

Jersey Boys

dvd of the week Supposedly, Jersey Boys, the Four Seasons jukebox musical, deserved its adulation and four Tony Awards. But as a film directed by Clint Eastwood, Jersey Boys is nostalgic pabulum. The film is a typical musical biopic, tracing the rise, peak, fall and redemption of one of the most successful musical acts of [...]

22 Jump Street

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street

dvd of the week Unlike 21 Jump Street, its sequel 22 Jump Street is, lucky for the gays, not a two-hour mockery of gay sex. The absurdist franchise about lame cops Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) going undercover as much younger guys, this time in college, is based on the more earnest 1980s [...]

Maleficent

dvd of the week Maleficent was sold to us as Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the villain, with Angelina Jolie vamping about and camping it up. It’s not: It’s a complete rewrite of the fairy tale. The story is structured by two neighboring kingdoms, one human and ruled by a nasty king, the other [...]

Begin Again

Keira Knightley and Adam Levine in Begin Again

dvd of the week The plot of John Carney’s delightful musical Begin Again is slight, using a few of the clichés of the let’s-put-on-a-show! genre and focusing on a rather simple redemption narrative in order to string together a bunch of beautifully directed musical performances. Carney’s last major feature, the magical Oscar-winning Once, was emotionally [...]

Snowpiercer

dvd of the week Snowpiercer, Joon-ho Bong’s first English-language film and full of international stars, is an astonishing film, breathtaking in its visuals, bleak in its plot and enraging in its refusal to do what most American audiences expect from their science fiction action films. The film is set in 2031, 17 years after an [...]

X-Men: Days of Future Past

dvd of the week In Bryan Singer’s latest X-Men movie, his third and the franchise’s seventh since 2000, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time to 1973, when shape-shifting Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is going to kill Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the inventor of mutant-hunting robots called the Sentinels. The film includes every single X-Men [...]

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

In what has surely unnerved Tom Cruise and his agents, his latest film, the massively budgeted Doug Limon-directed sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow, got among the best reviews of any of the summer’s blockbusters and barely managed to earn half of its budget back in the United States. (The film made a firm profit [...]

Godzilla

dvd of the week The latest remake of the iconic Japanese monster movie made a lot of money despite giving the actual monster very little screen time. Probably the darkest – both visually and thematically – of any of the 33 Godzilla films, this new one was directed by Gareth Edwards, who had made one [...]

The Fault in Our Stars

dvd of the week The hugely successful tearjerker starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, earned my tears, even if the filmmakers took a few shortcuts to get them. Unless you’ve managed to ignore all of the advertising and hype surrounding the movie, you know the movie is a story about kids with cancer. The narrator [...]

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