Bridge of Spies

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dvd of the week Steven Spielberg’s by-the-numbers spy suspense film stars Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a respected lawyer who is assigned to defend a Soviet spy in the late 1950s. Despite occasionally violent opposition to his treating Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) as deserving of due process and legal assistance, Donovan soldiers forth, the pinnacle […]

Ant-Man

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dvd of the week Surprising to many, Ant-Man, the movie about one of the Marvel Universe’s more minor characters that went through a tortured development, turned out to be a damn fine film, much more enjoyable and coherent than the massively hyped Avengers: Age of Ultron. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a thief with a […]

Tangerine

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dvd of the week Tangerine, a masterpiece of LGBT cinema, is about one day in the lives of two transgender prostitutes in Hollywood. Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) are about to share a celebratory donut – it’s Christmas Eve, and Sin-Dee has just gotten out of jail – when Alexandra accidentally blurts […]

Amy

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dvd of the week Amy, Asif Kapadia’s excellent and disturbing documentary about Amy Winehouse’s life, is composed entirely of home movies, television video and voice-over of interviewed friends and family. Chronically depressed as a teenager, which she blames on her parents’ divorce, she became bulimic and then self-medicated with alcohol and pot; when she was […]

Best of Enemies

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Best of Enemies, impeccably crafted by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon, tells the story of the televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. during the 1968 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In order to create excitement for their coverage of the conventions, ABC decided to pit the two most entertaining political wits […]

Magic Mike XXL

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dvd of the week The sequel to Magic Mike, the movie about the surprisingly smart male stripper with a heart of gold, is as star and writer Channing Tatum promised, more what people expected from the original film. It’s not remotely dark, and there’s a lot more dancing, and that dancing is all about hot […]

Stonewall (1995)

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dvd of the week Nigel Finch’s low-budget 1995 adaptation of Martin Duberman’s novel about the Stonewall riots does not have the squeaky clean production values of Roland Emmerich’s mess, and the older film is not great. But it’s a better movie and yet it ostensibly has a similar plot. Frederick Weller is Matty, the white […]

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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dvd and streaming Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was one of the most successful films of all time, and it was also good. For the sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Whedon has produced another greatly enjoyable piece of popcorn entertainment, one of the best episodes in the increasingly populated and complicated MCU storyline. The Avengers […]

Cinderella

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dvd of the week Sometimes, you have to do it straight. Sometimes you need to resist the temptation to change a classic. Cinderella, one of the most indelible of Western fairy tales, has been re-interpreted countless times since it first appeared in print in the 17th century, but mostly the story stays true to its […]

dvds of the week

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Mad Max: Fury Road This third sequel to the post-apocalyptic classic Mad Max is the best action film in years: jaw-dropping, bold, ambitious and thrilling. At the beginning of the new film, Max (now played by Tom Hardy, replacing Mel Gibson) is again a loner on the run in the barren wasteland left by a […]

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