The Drop

dvd of the week Tom Hardy is Bob, a slow-talking, seemingly sweet bartender, who finds an abandoned pit bull and nurses him back to health with Nadia, a wary woman with a past (Noomi Rapace). Bob works for Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini in his last role), who has made a series of terrible deals with [...]

Gone Girl

dvd of the week David Fincher’s fantastic adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller about a missing woman and the husband who is accused of making her disappear was a huge hit this fall, and with good reason. Ben Affleck has never been better as an ethically challenged Midwestern man who desperately wants out of his marriage [...]

Pride

dvd of the week In the somewhat tired genre of British movies that focus on plucky working class folks winning contests and defying mores (The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, Brassed Off, etc.) the politics of class conflict are usually sublimated by the up-from-our-bootstraps plotlines. But while Pride, about a group of gay activists in London [...]

Skeleton Twins

dvd of the week   Skeleton Twins, a dark comedy about two siblings haunted by their father’s suicide and their own failure to love the right person, was one of Sundance’s big hits this year, and it deserved the hype. The film opens with Milo (Bill Hader) drunkenly attempting to commit suicide with a razor [...]

Guardians of the Galaxy

dvd of the week Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s surprise megahit, is hugely entertaining. Our hero Star Lord – played by crazily hot, adorable and very funny Chris Pratt –is joined by the furry Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), hilariously taciturn and wooden Groot (Vin Diesel), a green lady named Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and a super-literal [...]

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 [...]

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