Movie

Fury (DVD)

By David Ayer, Director
3
Rated by Jed D.
Jun 29, 2015

Take one part 300, one part Das Boot, and one part Inglourious Basterds, and you have Fury, a brutal and overly-earnest tank battle movie. Set in the final days of WWII, five American soldiers are trapped in a disabled tank and must fend off hordes of Germans. Brad Pitt, the commanding officer named Wardaddy, leads Michael Peña, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman and Jon Bernthal in an exciting and bloody fight for their lives. The non-stop action is entertaining, but the numerous war movie clichés make Fury mostly forgettable. Also of interest to some, LaBeouf was reportedly involved in behind-the

Jan 19, 2019

Looking for a fun, scary movie to keep you awake on a cold, dark night? Would you like this movie to be based on an actual location which really was featured on CNN Travel's list of 7 Freakiest Places? Well, here you go!


With a name like Gonjiam, Haunted Asylum, many assumptions you might make would prove correct about this Korean-language horror flick:


  • There are ghosts
  • The asylum's patients were mistreated (soooo.. angry ghosts)
  • Things probably aren't going to go so well for most of the living characters in the film (but hey, sometimes one person survives in the end, right?)

Now

Goon

By Magnolia Home Entertainment
4
Rated by admin
May 22, 2020

Canceling hockey amid a global pandemic was the socially responsible thing to do, I remind myself regularly. In the absence of watching actual games, I've been re-watching some movies with hockey themes. The first one I bring to you is the heartwarming, comedic, and frequently violent, story of Doug Glatt in the movie Goon.


Doug (Seann William Scott) is a pretty simple man, not very smart but very strong. His strength and fighting ability make him the perfect bouncer for a local bar in his Massachusetts hometown. While he has ample ability in brute strength, Doug has a very simple moral

Her

By Spike Jonze
4
Rated by Robin D.
Sep 8, 2014

This 2014 Academy Award Winning movie for Best Original Screenplay written and directed by Spike Jonze is your typical boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl is an advanced computer operating system....wait, what? Actually, Her is anything but a typical love story. It is instead a very interesting exploration of the increasing role that technology plays in our everyday lives and where that might take human relationships in the future. Joaquin Phoenix has the starring role as Theodore Twombly, a man recently separated from his wife, who installs a new advanced operating system (voice played by

Hitler's Children (DVD)

By Hitler's Children (DVD)
5
Rated by Diane H.
Oct 19, 2013

What would you do if you found out that your father, grandfather, or great-uncle was responsible for the murder and torture of thousands of men, women, and children? Would you change your name? Live in isolation? Deny what your family members had done? This dilemma has been faced by the descendants and relatives of Hitler’s top officials.


In Hitler’s Children, Hermann Goring's and Heinrich Himmler's great-nieces, Hans Frank's son, Rudolf Hoess’ grandson, and others discuss how their lives have been impacted by having such infamous relatives.


This powerful documentary faces head-on the

Horns

By Joe Hill
4
Rated by Diane H.
Dec 4, 2015

Don’t watch Horns if you can’t, or don’t want to, imagine Daniel Radcliffe as anyone but Harry Potter. Admittedly Horns has supernatural elements. And it does deal with moral issues – doing what’s right even if it means a personal sacrifice. But there the similarities end. Horns is a murder-mystery/dark fantasy/horror/revenge/love story.


The protagonist in Horns, Ig Perrish (brilliantly portrayed by Radcliffe), is accused of killing his girlfriend. Despite repeatedly and passionately denying the accusation, everyone around him, including his family, believes he did it. They see him as evil

How to Die in Oregon (DVD)

By Peter D. Richardson
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jan 20, 2017

In my heart, I have always supported the right to die movement without knowing exactly why. Except that, I always euthanize my pets when their suffering outweighs all else. And I watched my Grandmother suffer indignities she would have been horrified by and wonder why we work so hard to prolong lives long over.  


How to Die in Oregon confirms my belief in the right to decide, with your doctor, when you want to end your own suffering. Those interviewed made their own decisions with their families, obtained a prescription from a doctor, and administered the medicine to themselves, under

Jan 19, 2017

I Am Big Bird is a must-see for fans of Sesame Street, Jim Henson, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, or all of the above. It’s a documentary focusing on the life of Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who plays both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, and also sometimes other famous Sesame Street characters like Bert. As I’m sure you already know, Sesame Street is like a big family where everyone helps one another to educate and entertain children. You will not only get the inside scoop on the puppets in this documentary, but you will also enjoy learning about Caroll Spinney, members of the Sesame Street team

Into the White (DVD)

By Peter Naess
3
Rated by Katie S.
Jun 14, 2015

Into the White portrays the true story of soldiers aboard German and British fighter planes after they are shot down over the wilderness of Norway on April 27, 1940. The three German soldiers stumble upon an abandoned cabin after trekking through the snowy landscape for days only to find two British soldiers wanting to use the shelter as well. Out of pity, the Germans take the British soldiers in as their prisoners and they begin a push-and-pull for power as the days drag on. Cold, hungry and with one wounded soldier, all five men learn that in order to survive, they have to work together. In

Into the Woods

By Stephen Sondheim
5
Rated by Caitlin T.
Dec 3, 2015

What a fabulous movie version of this amazing musical! This is arguably Stephen Sondheim's best musical with lyrics that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you rewind to listen to them again. Though I was nervous when the movie rights were sold to Disney, I was delighted to find they did not sugarcoat the potentially risqué topics of infidelity, child abandonment, and death.


The singing is fabulous with the two exceptions being the two biggest names, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences clearly disagrees with me though, since Ms. Streep

Iris (DVD)

By Albert Maysles
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Jan 17, 2016

Documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles is known for treating his subjects with distance, allowing them to show themselves in ways that make us forget that they’re being filmed. In Iris, at the age of eighty-eight Maysles films Iris Apfel, herself also at a late age.  Candid and at home in front of the camera, she appears to us as if nothing is staged or otherwise manipulated.


Apfel has curated a collection of clothing and accessories, and wears them in innovative arrangements. What she’s done is visionary, actually, considering how limited we all are in terms of what’s considered acceptable

Jane (DVD)

By Brett Morgen
5
Rated by LeeAnn B.
Jun 27, 2018

Jane Goodall is a living legend and one of the women I most admire. Her chimpanzee research during the 1960’s at the Gombe National Park in Tanzania is the subject of this National Geographic documentary. The film features never-before-seen footage from her early years of research. 


This documentary by Brett Morgen captures some of what it must have been like for a young Ms. Goodall to embark as an untrained, female researcher and make astonishing discoveries about chimpanzees living in the wild. She was the first to observe them using tools to search for food. Morgen also touches on Ms

Jimi: All Is by My Side

By John Ridley
3
Rated by Katie S.
May 20, 2015

Everyone famous has to be discovered at some point in time. Jimi Hendrix was discovered in 1966 while playing guitar for a funky rock group in one of Manhattan's numerous clubs. Linda Keith, then girlfriend of Keith Richards, becomes captivated while Jimi plays and begins a frantic search to make him a star. She eventually lands Chas Chandler from the Animals as Jimi's new manager and whisks him away to London which is where, in the middle of the historical rock-and-roll scene, Jimi makes his mark on the music world and begins his journey to stardom.


Although this movie focuses less on his

Jodorowsky's Dune

By Frank Pavich
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Feb 2, 2015

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean filmmaker known to take viewers on surrealist travels exploring the bizarre and bordering on the absurd (but never the senseless!).  A master of late night cult classic art films, here he is at 84, energetic, articulate, full of passion and wonderment for life and for art.


During the mid-seventies he was selected to create a movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. After  assembling a team of “warriors”: Dan O’Bannon on special effects, HR Giger for set design , and Jean “Moebius” Giraud as illustrator – all of whom are men of great talent and vision – the

Jodorowsky's Dune

By DVD - 2014
5
Rated by Jed D.
Sep 23, 2014

Frank Herbert’s (mostly) beloved Dune series was turned into a train wreck spectacle in the 1984 version directed by David Lynch.  Personally, I love that train wreck, but it has many detractors.  So, imagine if Dune was instead made by eccentric Chilean/French director Alejandro Jodorowsky during the crazy 1970’s.  He lined up a cast and crew like no other: Orson Welles as the evil Baron.  Salvador Dali as the Emperor.  Mick Jagger in the role later occupied by Sting.  It was to be scored by Pink Floyd.  Throw in Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger (Alien, Aliens…), and you have the potential for an

Jupiter Ascending (DVD)

By The Wachowskis
5
Rated by Amanda H.
Oct 2, 2016

This movie is crazysauce, that’s all I can say. Crazysauce poured over an amazing sci-fi spectacular with a generous dose of cheese and a side of over-the-top drama, and those with a healthy sense of the ridiculous will eat it up with glee. If you are not a fan of campy fun, it may not be your cuppa. But if you enjoy stylish space opera with a capital O, cult classics like Labyrinth and Dune, or fangirl over broody heroes, this movie will be your catnip. The Wachowski siblings have created a true extravaganza of beautifully designed worlds, costumes, aliens, human hybrid breeds, gadgets and

Karl Marx City (DVD)

By Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Apr 25, 2018

Filmmakers Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker travel to Chemnitz, Germany because a mystery surrounds Petra’s father’s death. Just before ending his life, he sends his daughter a sweet note with no indication of his plans other than his disappointment with East Germany and the surveillance practices of the Stasi. What Epperlein and Tucker uncover is that place in the mind we all go, or would go, when very few around us are trustworthy and nowhere is safe from the gaze of surveillance, neither your home nor anywhere you visit. Every encounter is overlaid with the possibility that nothing is as

Kubo and the Two Strings

By Laika
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Jun 20, 2017

"If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish."


Thus begins the saga of Kubo.


I don't want to give away plot details, so I'll talk about themes. There is exploration of family, both good and bad. Well-meaning relatives can want what they feel is best for you, but still be hurting you. But the ones who shelter you, no matter how flawed, will do their best by you

La Moustache (DVD)

By Emmanuel Carrere
3
Rated by Magda B.
Nov 15, 2011

It all started so innocently with a morning shave of a trademark moustache – but, nobody noticed. Nobody.  Neither the wife, nor the boss. All tried to convince him that he never even had a moustache ever before.  All feels like a twilight zone: Is he losing his mind or is it an elaborate group conspiracy against him?  The premise of this movie is rather original and intriguing and one expects this movie to be a comedy, but it turns dark a few fast frames later.  The viewer is kept guessing as the plot is continuously shifting further away from domestic solitude nearing a psychiatric asylum

Léon the Professional

By Luc Besson
4
Rated by Scott S.
Oct 28, 2017

Léon: The Professional tells the story of a child-like hit man named Léon and his relationship with (and subsequent training of) a 12 year-old named Mathilda who is orphaned at the hands of insane, corrupt New York cop Norman Stansfield. It features that unique French mixture of absurdity and realism: In what world does a 12 year-old boldly shoot a handgun out of a window without consequence? How is that Léon and Mathilda's relationship is simultaneously creepy and sweet? How can a cop so violently corrupt as Stansfield not be in federal prison? This constant contradiction of everyday minutiae

Leviathan (DVD)

By Verena Paravel and Lucien Castain-Taylor
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Aug 18, 2016

A camera looks up at the sky as seagulls follow a fishing boat for the detritus left behind. Then the image topples. Birds are upside down, the water rushing above them. None of this is unusual within the context of Leviathan, which says a lot about how well the filmmakers prepare us to see the world reversed.


Leviathan was made at the sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, and its filmmakers, Lucien Castain-Taylor and Verena Paravel, both have backgrounds in art and photography. Coming at filmmaking with an arts outlook, they’re inclined to veer away from the mainstream and push

Life in a Day

By DVD - 2001
5
Rated by Megan C.
Jul 15, 2014

This film is the perfect antidote to the evening news. Rather than dwelling on the grim or sensational, it magnifies the beauty of the quotidian as it follows a single day in the life of people all over the world. Not only visually stunning, it is also emotionally impacting to see the human race in all its variety and realize how different, and how very much the same, people can be.

Jul 26, 2017

Logan is first and foremost another chapter in the X-Men comic book series of popcorn movies, but it is also one of the best Western films I've seen made in recent years. Unlike any of its predecessors, it has a quiet elegance about it. While there is still plenty of gripping action, it is filmed with great care and the cinematography is gorgeous. Much like a traditional Western, the film is also pretty gory (it contains the most violent sequences of any X-Men film to date). However, the violence is carried out by more than guns in Logan. The story focuses on two veteran X-Men, an aging

Love & Mercy DVD

By Paul Dano
5
Rated by Brent W.
Aug 26, 2017

In portraying Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame, Love & Mercy perfectly evokes the Southern California of 1967. I left the theater deeply affected by the sweep of Wilson’s tumultuous life. Paul Dano is superb as the young Brian, and John Cusack is very moving as the deeply troubled middle-aged Brian. In fact, all the actors are superb. While I wasn’t a fan of either the man or the group before, I am now. This is a great movie and I’ve watched it at least five times.

My favorite scenes depict the recording of Brian's masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Highly recommended.

Machine Gun Preacher Documentary

By Zac Simpson
3
Rated by Edward R.
Nov 18, 2015

When a documentary is made about a polarizing figure, the film itself may receive praise simply for existing rather than earning acclaim as a well thought-out film. Zac Simpson’s documentary about Sam Childers, otherwise known as the Machine Gun Preacher, has capitalized on Childers notoriety. Already in the spotlight through a successful biography, news stories, and even a feature film starring Gerard Butler, his transformation from a drug dealer and user, as well as a member of a biker gang, to a born-again Christian that patrols South Sudan with a gun in his hand, has been well documented

Mad Max Fury Road

By George Miller
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Feb 27, 2016

I've been sitting on this review for months, unable to express my feelings for this movie. I watched all of the originals, I remember when Max was a cop, I know who runs Bartertown, and I was incredibly leery of rebooting an old property like that. Except this isn't a reboot. It's just a story in the mythology of a man named Max in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And it is, start to finish, incredible.


I'm into words. Language is my thing, not images, and yet this movie, with what probably amounts to six pages of dialogue, tells an incredible story with sparse words and lush images. It also

Magical Universe (DVD)

By Jeremy Workman
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Mar 6, 2016

Al Carbee’s entire home and its many ramshackle additions are filled with Barbies situated within dioramas - environments rich with every conceivable option for the doll. Filmmaker Jeremy Workman is responsible for bringing Carbee’s work to our attention. He frames Magical Universe in such a way that the artist’s eccentricities are accentuated for effect rather than in support of his art, yet over time (filming lasted 10 years) their relationship becomes increasingly tender, almost symbiotic. Carbee is so inventive that it’s difficult to tell who is in control of the film, particularly when he

Manchester by the Sea (DVD)

By Kenneth Lonergan
5
Rated by Sheida B.
Oct 10, 2017

Love. Pain. Death.  Family.  These are the main themes of this excellent Amazon production. 


Set among the cold and beautiful New England scenery, the story follows Lee (played by Casey Affleck) as he goes back to his hometown to take charge of his teenage nephew, Patrick (played by Lucas Hedges) after the death of Lee’s brother.   


From the start, it is obvious that something more than grief is going on.  Lee is very reluctant to go back.  There are nudges and whispers by the townspeople at the sight of him.  Why does everyone treat him with kid gloves, and why is Lee such a jerk to

Meru (DVD)

By Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhely
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Oct 14, 2016

I have long admired climbers for their singleness of purpose and puzzling assessment of risk. Dwindling food reserves. Lack of oxygen. Numb toes. Incoming avalanche. Keep climbing!


Offering a first ascent, Mount Meru attracts climbers with an insatiable hunger to test their mettle. I was expecting to witness an arrogant expedition. What I saw instead was less a story about adversity and triumph than one about the relationships between climbers. Meru poignantly captures the subtleties of human interaction when partners experience the unfortunate – keeping in mind these folks court misfortune

Miss Sharon Jones! (DVD)

By Sharon Jones
5
Rated by Brent W.
Aug 10, 2017

Miss Sharon Jones! is worth seeing for Jones' performance in a little country church of "His Eye is on the Sparrow" alone. Her grit, power and will to sing are amazing. The film covers a critical period in her life with her band, the Dap Kings, when she is dealing with intense cancer treatments and, at the same time, trying to keep the group together. Her humor, bravery and explosive talent fill the screen.  


Having seen Sharon and the Dap Kings at the 2016 New Orleans Jazzfest, I wanted to see more performance footage, but recognize we are lucky to have any at all. The film is equally