DVD reviews

  • 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

  • DVD Review: Imperium

    DVD Review: Imperium

    It says something about “Imperium” that we spent the entire hour and 45 minute film thinking up alternate titles. Some contenders: “Harry Potter and the Crosses of Fire”; “Harry Potter and the Half-wit Klansmen”; or “Harry Potter and The Order.” To be fair to Daniel Radcliffe, the erstwhile ’Arry Pottah, the actor has done a

  • DVD Review: London Has Fallen

    DVD Review: London Has Fallen

    “London Has Fallen” is a long, bombastic wallow in anti-Muslim hysterics. We thought it would be a diverting shoot-em-up, what with it being the sequel to 2013’s noisy, mildly preposterous “Olympus Has Fallen,” in which the White House is taken over by terrorists. But we got our trumpupence. Here’s the story: England’s prime minister dies

  • DVD Review: Terminator: Genisys

    DVD Review: Terminator: Genisys

    This is the fifth and, hands-down, the worst of the “Terminator” sequels. Which is quite an accomplishment as “Terminator 3” and “Terminator Salvation” also were the spawn of a talentless, avaricious crew of screenwriters striving to squeeze a few more mill from the franchise. Come to think of it, the original “Terminator” (1984) wasn’t much.

  • DVD Review: Ex Machina

    DVD Review: Ex Machina

    Love it or hate it (either response is defensible), “Ex Machina” is an exceptionally intelligent movie and that rare effort at science fiction that never degenerates into a) horror, b) action-adventure or c) futuristic fantasy. It is about science and hardly puts more than one toe in the pool of fiction. The subject is artificial