• Letter to the Editor: Sign language

    To the Editor: It is tempting to view the signs which are appearing around us stating that “hatred does not live here” as a comforting reminder that most of us do not hate each other. However, there are other easily overlooked aspects to the signs that are troubling, particularly the fact that the sentiment is

  • DVD Review: Rogue One

    DVD Review: Rogue One

    With “Rogue One,” the “Star Wars” franchise has completed its narrative arc: main story, sequel, prequel and, finally, Nyquil. Has there always been a Rebel Alliance? And the Empire … was it ever not mean and nasty? OK, the tension is infinite, and we are instructed to accept that the battle between good and evil

  • 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

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