The Normal Heart

dvd of the week HBO’s stunningly good production of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s iconic play about the early years of AIDS in New York and the founding of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, arrived more than 29 years after the play’s premiere. Kramer’s alter ego is Ned Weeks (a searing Mark Ruffalo), a neurotic gay [...]

Only Lovers Left Alive

dvd of the week In Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, an incandescent Tilda Swinton plays Eve, an achingly-sweet, centuries-old aesthete who happens to be a vampire. Her similarly afflicted husband Adam, played by Tom Hiddleston (who is Loki in the Thor films and The Avengers), is a glum musical genius who hides from the [...]

Locke

dvd of the week As I was walking out of Locke, a man behind me told his wife, “That’s my worst nightmare.” I was thinking of other clichés, too: for Ivan Locke, the events in the film are a shitshow, a tsunami, his Waterloo, a perfect storm. Most American audiences know Tom Hardy, who plays [...]

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 [...]

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