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DVD Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    John Wayne—But Not In 3-D

    John Wayne’s 'Hondo' might have been the first major studio picture from the 3-D era of the 1950s to come to home video, but today’s welcome Blu-ray release from Paramount is in conventional 2-D. Too bad. Paramount trumpets the fact that it’s in widescreen for the first time, which is true.

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    The Pirates! Band Of Misfits—movie review

    I’m a sucker for Aardman Animations’ films, and have been ever since I first set eyes on Nick Park’s unforgettable short 'Creature Comforts' more than twenty years ago.

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    Under The Radar: A Kiwi Western And A Jazz Doc

    Some movies open “wide,” on thousands of screens; others play in just a handful of theaters. And some films, lacking promotion or advertising budgets, simply materialize, with the hope that people will discover them On Demand, or cable, or DVD, like a sleeper from New Zealand I was lucky...

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    Monsieur Lazhar—movie review

    The hype-meisters of moviedom have made it difficult to use words like “heartwarming” and “inspiring” without sounding like a huckster…but when you see a film as moving and well-wrought as 'Monsieur Lazhar', it’s hard to resist. Yet what I admire most about the picture, which was an Oscar nominee th...

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    A Capra Classic Made Whole

    A year before 'It Happened One Night' famously swept the Oscars, Frank Capra and screenwriter Robert Riskin made 'Lady for a Day', which earned four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture—but because it was withheld from TV and 16mm distribution for years, it never attained the widespread...

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    Wrath Of The Titans—movie review

    I remember feeling a certain amount of wrath over the ham-handed 3-D effects in 2010’s 'Clash of the Titans', but the film itself wasn’t bad: uneven, to be sure, but strengthened by adhering to the story template of the 1981 movie of the same name, written by Beverley Cross. If I were 12 years old I...

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    UPA Cartoons—At Last!

    I’m proud to be associated with TCM’s exclusive new three-disc DVD set of 'Jolly Frolics', the innovative, award winning UPA cartoons that have been neglected on home video so long. I’m speaking of 'Gerald McBoing Boing', 'Unicorn in the Garden', 'The Tell-Tale Heart', 'Rooty Toot Toot', and the fir...

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    The Hunger Games—movie review

    As someone who hasn’t read Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of novels, going to see 'The Hunger Games' “cold,” I felt comforted by the presence of two young actors I admire, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. Given the downbeat nature of the story, set in a bleak future world, having warm-blooded actors...

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    21 Jump Street—movie review

    Following in the hallowed footsteps of 'The Brady Bunch Movie', '21 Jump Street' revives a vintage TV series and subverts it at the same time. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who have written and directed TV and theatrical animation such as 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs', resist the...

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    From Renoir To Ellington: Scanning Recent DVDs

    I haven’t been able to keep up with Twilight Time’s limited-edition DVD and Blu-ray releases since the company launched last year, so it’s ironic that the first disc I’ve spent real time with—Jean Renoir’s 'Swamp Water' (1941)—benefits least from the label’s innovative offering of isolated music tra...

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