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DVD Reviews

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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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    Project X—movie review

    So, is this merely an extreme teenage version of The Hangover, or is it another sign of the end of civilization as we know it? How you feel about Project X will have a lot to do with your age and gender. If I were a hormonally charged 16-year-old boy, I might think it was...

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    Wanderlust—movie review

    If you’re a fan of the comedy generated by The State and 'Stella’s' David Wain, Ken Marino, and their performer pals, you’ll either be the perfect audience for 'Wanderlust' or you may find the humor overly familiar. I am not a diehard fan, and I found the film mildly amusing.

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    The Secret World Of Arrietty—movie review

    We’ve come to expect so much from Japan’s Studio Ghibli—especially the films directed by Hayao Miyazaki like 'Spirited Away' and 'Howl’s Moving Castle'—

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