Foxcatcher

dvd of the week Both Mark Shultz (Channing Tatum) and his brother David (Mark Ruffalo) won gold medals at the 1984 Olympics, and while David parlayed his fame to a coaching job, Mark is at loose ends, living alone and training with scowl. One day, out of the blue, Mark is asked to fly to [...]

Whiplash

dvd of the week It’s hard to imagine a teacher worse than Terrence Fletcher, the jazz band leader at fictional Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York who J.K. Simmons plays with terrifying, unpredictable, sadistic joy. Fletcher, something like a cross between a Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket and Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter [...]

Birdman

dvd of the week Innovative, hilarious, and moving, Birdman is a film about theater, film and actors, as well as regret, love, family, and, in a way, the meaning of life, and it soars. Michael Keaton is blockbuster star Riggan Thomas, who wants to earn respect by appearing on Broadway, so he writes, directs and [...]

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

dvd of the week Lewis Bloom, played by a balls-out brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal, is a nightcrawler, a freelance reporter who spends the nights wandering the city, waiting for a police scanner to announce a car crash or a murder that can be filmed and turned into the bloody local TV news. Pathologically ambitious, solicitous and [...]

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 [...]

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