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Wednesday, August 24 2005

Eric Lewis: Hopscotch [CD and DVD]

A non-anonymous set by a pianist the expert employment agency of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra booked, trio then suddenly unaccompanied swinging in a two-handed style with Jaki Byard for precedent. You get to see him play all but one track on an accompanying DVD.


The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season

The commentary tracks repeatedly demonstrate the mutual respect and camaraderie of the Simpsons veterans.


XXX: State of the Union: Special Edition (2005)

D quotes Tupac -- 'Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal' -- and hip-hop saves the nation.


Tuesday, August 23 2005

The Truman Show: Special Edition (1998)

You want the happy ending and Truman's self-assertion, even if that desire is shaped by those ideologies and ideals marketed by both Truman Shows.


Monday, August 22 2005

The Mamas and the Papas: California Dreamin’: The Songs of the Mamas and Papas [DVD]

The band's comet-like rise and fall is a great story, but you won't learn about it here.


The Red Tent (1971)

The 1971 Sean Connery film recounts the true story of an ill-fated 1928 expedition to the North Pole. In a dirigible.


A Lot Like Love (2005)

The Ashton Kutcher vehicle tries to make use of its stars' appeals, structuring a regular romantic comedy out of charmingly imperfect, well-performed moments.


Friday, August 19 2005

Tying the Knot

Tying the Knot makes a passionate plea for same-sex marriage rights.


Thursday, August 18 2005

Undeclared: The Complete Series

As Judd Apatow points out, 22 minutes is a challenging timeframe for developing characters, making jokes, and advancing the plot.


Wednesday, August 17 2005

Wishing Stairs (2003)

This is a gorgeous piece of work with superior production values, a mystical, haunting score, and superb young actors.


Tuesday, August 16 2005

Sin City (2005)

Like the guys, the girls are undone by their reliance on conventional male power signs.


Monday, August 15 2005

The Chorus (Les Choristes) (2004)

Christophe Barratier's Les Choristes demonstrates that French directors can challenge America's best in the saccharine stakes.


The Bottom of the Sea (El Fondo del Mar) (2003)

The Bottom of the Sea is a thriller, but not for the usual reasons.


Friday, August 12 2005

Father of the Pride: The Complete Series

Beyond the Roy factor, the likely reason for Father of the Pride's failure is that it's just a really odd show.


Power Rangers: SPD - Joining Forces: Volume 1 (2004)

While CG was sweeping American cineplexes, other parts of the world still worshipped at the shrine of pen and ink.


Thursday, August 11 2005

The Secret Garden (1975)

This Secret Garden is so faithful to the novel that it plays as a live-action picture book.


Lost in Space: Season 3, Vol. 2

These momentary failures of grammar betray a befuddlement at birth and death, that story of origin and destination without which humanness has little meaning.


Wednesday, August 10 2005

The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Second Season

While Barney's marginality reinforces Andy's norm by contrast, their coupledom is consistent.


Alexander: Director’s Cut (2004)

Oliver Stone calls his Alexander 'a new genre, a masculine-feminine action figure,' more like Monty Clift and James Dean than Russell Crowe.


Tuesday, August 9 2005

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

When Landlady works in tandem with her husband, they form a stunning and loving pair of fighters, old school and raucous at the same time.


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