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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

DVDs/Home Viewing

01 Jan 2013
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If you missed this one in theaters, you missed one of the year’s best big-screen experiences. Director Rian Johnson’s time-travel thriller is startlingly good-looking film. It’s also a great brain-twister, featuring a bravura performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a hired assassin killing people sent back from the future the instant they pop up in front of him. Things get a little kooky when the person sent back to be offed is actually an older version of himself (a strong Bruce Willis). Gordon-Levitt wears makeup to achieve a look more akin to Willis, but it’s the smirk and airy voice that really nail it down. Gordon-Levitt had a blockbuster year with this and The Dark Knight Rises, with this being the best screen work he has done to date. A supporting cast including Paul Dano, Noah Segan and Jeff Daniels is top-notch. Dano is especially good as a fellow assassin…
23 Dec 2012
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Jeremy Renner replaces Matt Damon at the center of the Bourne franchise, and the studio should've just left well enough alone.The events of The Bourne Legacy take place at the same time as Damon's last Bourne outing, The Bourne Ultimatum. We know this because Matt Damon's character is mentioned on occasion, and his image shows up during TV news telecasts. It's just a reminder of how much more fun the franchise was with Damon starring. Renner plays Aaron Cross, who, like Damon's Bourne, is part of a superagent experiment. He's a superstrong, supersmart agent thanks to some magic drugs and outlandish writing. Renner is a decent enough actor, but he's no Matt Damon. Consequently, Aaron Cross is no Jason Bourne. Edward Norton is new to the series as a suspicious retired colonel, and Rachel Weisz is cast as well. Both barely register. Yes, the Bourne movies made a lot of…
12 Dec 2012
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It's the holidays, a time for giving people movies, because you love movies, and you want them to love movies, too. You are bullish and pushy by nature, and this needs to stop. This guide assembles some of the best releases from the past year. Let it assist you in the art of handing over a film to a friend to cherish and enjoy, rather than having him use it as a coaster or squirrel-decapitator. And if you have a friend who would indeed ferociously fling a Blu-ray at a squirrel with the intent of taking the poor thing's head off ... perhaps you should reconsider this friendship. The prices listed are for Blu-ray, unless otherwise noted. These were <Amazon.com prices at press time, and they change frequently. There are bargains all over right now, so shop carefully. SPIELBERG!!! Oh ... the Spielberg fans had a good Blu-ray year. Oh,…
23 Nov 2012
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I consider The Amazing Spider-Man to be one of the year's bigger disappointments—not only because we got this instead of a fourth film directed by Sam Raimi (he quit when the producers tried to force a villain for the pic on him, as they did with Venom in Spider-Man 3), but also because I dislike the goofiness director Marc Webb brought to the universe. He apparently thinks everything needs to be explained. He must show us Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) making mechanical web devices to show how smart Peter is, for example. Well, I don't need all of the physics of Spider-Man explained. And I certainly don't need another Spidey origin story so soon after Raimi's version. It's also a little weird to watch a man in his late 20s playing a high school student. What is this, Grease? The villain this time out, the Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans,…
09 Nov 2012
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This gem of a movie stands out as one of the year's best. When a newspaper investigates an advertisement seeking a time-travel partner, everyone figures the person who placed it will be a real kook. Such is the case when journalism-intern Darius (Aubrey Plaza) meets wannabe time-traveler Kenneth (Mark Duplass). He's an obsessive sort who wants to travel back in time to save an ex-girlfriend, and Darius can't help but find his scheme endearing. There are wonderful side stories involving Darius' boss (Jake Johnson), who uses the investigative-journalism trip to hook up with an old flame. And there's co-worker Arnau (Karan Soni), a shy virgin who happens to look really good when he puts on sunglasses. Johnson (funny as the principal in this year's 21 Jump Street) is a real standout, delivering hilarious and heartfelt work as an aging playboy who has a strange way of trying to help others.…
30 Oct 2012
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While watching this, I got to thinking that male strippers have done so much better at the movies than female strippers. Men get this almost-cerebral treatment when they take their clothes off; they also get cleverly funny stuff like The Full Monty. Women get Striptease and Showgirls. Channing Tatum, who is having a terrific year, stars in this stripper tale, based a bit on his own story before he became a big-actor type. It’s funny and even a little dark, thanks to the work of one Steven Soderbergh, a director who rarely has a misstep. Matthew McConaughey is also on hand as the mentor to the strippers, and, I must say, he’s the best-looking dude in this movie with his shirt off. Sorry, Channing … Matthew is in killer-diller shape! It’s a fun watch, but don’t rent this one thinking it’s proper for a bachelorette party. It’s an actual movie…

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