DVD reviews

  • DVD Review: Beauty and the Beast

    DVD Review: Beauty and the Beast

    The new, live-action “Beauty and the Beast” is not a feel-good movie. It is a feel-great movie. You come out of the theater merry and refreshed. It’s definitely magical: How else to explain the enchantment of a movie that is scene-for-scene and character-for-character identical to the 26-year-old cartoon version? Most of us already knew the

  • DVD Review: Doctor Strange

    DVD Review: Doctor Strange

    We’ve been here before. It’s “A Christmas Carol” relocated from London to Greenwich Village, but the Scrooge character undergoes an identical transformation. It’s “Regarding Henry” (1991) where a cold-hearted lawyer played by Harrison Ford gets shot in the head and emerges from a coma a much nicer guy. This time around, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict

  • DVD Review: Moonlight

    DVD Review: Moonlight

    “Moonlight” is the little movie that could. With a budget of just $1.5 million (compare that to the $30 million budget of another of last year’s “indie” films, “La La Land”), the quiet, romantic and heartbreaking “Moonlight” has become one of the most culturally poignant films in recent decades, earning Academy Awards for best supporting

  • DVD Review: Manchester by the Sea

    DVD Review: Manchester by the Sea

    For our money, there is no one better at depicting reality than Kenneth Lonergan, the best screenwriter you may never have heard of. Writer/director Lonergan affirms his mastery in his third film, “Manchester by the Sea.” The movie tells the story of the troubled and traumatized Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), who finds himself suddenly the

  • DVD Review: Arrival

    DVD Review: Arrival

    “Arrival,” the alien movie starring Amy Adams, walked away from Sunday night’s Academy Awards with a win for best sound editing. Such an award had never entered our consciousness until we realized, Hey, that movie really does have an important soundtrack. In fact, sound editor Sylvain Bellemare’s choices create the ambience for what is an

  • DVD Review: ‘Free State of Jones’

    DVD Review: ‘Free State of Jones’

    While the Confederacy was busy seceding from the Union, Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey) and a band of Mississippi slaves and small farmers were striving to secede from the Confederacy. The story is true, which doesn’t mean the movie is entertaining. It’s earnest and overly thorough, complete with on-screen footnotes and jarring flash forwards to the

  • DVD Review: The Magnificent Seven

    DVD Review: The Magnificent Seven

    A remake of a remake does not instill confidence. Sure enough, this updated version of the 1960 original, itself a do-over of Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” (1954), is anything but magnificent. We live in an age of excess. The bad guy in the 1960 iteration, Calvera (Eli Wallach), was a laughing bandito. The villain in the

  • DVD Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

    DVD Review: Florence Foster Jenkins

    Maybe one day we’ll be so wealthy that no one will ever tell us we’re bad at anything. Writing? You’re the next Hemingway! Painting? A modern day Michelangelo! Brain surgery? A genius! Such was the life of the real Florence Foster Jenkins, an early 20th century Manhattan heiress and “opera singer” with a laughable singing

  • DVD Review: The Manchurian Candidate

    DVD Review: The Manchurian Candidate

    A president of the United States maneuvered into office by the Russians? A brash, uncouth bully poised to assume the highest office in the land thanks to a gigantic communist conspiracy to take over our government? You can’t make this stuff up. Actually, you can. Someone did — 55 years ago. “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962),

  • DVD Review: Jason Bourne

    DVD Review: Jason Bourne

    Observing Matt Damon’s character once again tearing the lid off CIA black ops’ skullduggery, we wondered if, after all the sequels, can there possibly be a single ugly secret left in Langley? Our hero, Jason, the humorless amnesiac and government-groomed assassin, is once again bringing down the temple. This would be the same top secret