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Wednesday, June 15 2005

Heaven Can Wait: Criterion Collection (1943)

The newly dead Henry Van Cleave (Don Ameche) wants to be judged.


Tuesday, June 14 2005

Drive-By Truckers: The Dirty South: Live at the 40 Watt [DVD]

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Star Trek: Insurrection (Special Collector’s Edition) (1998)

Star Trek: Insurrection has been left without a defender of its particulars. I volunteer.


Sunday, June 12 2005

X: Live in Los Angeles [CD and DVD]

The seminal LA punk band that has never quite broken up plays their best songs with their classic line-up on the Sunset Strip. And, to our relief, they still sound like much more than just a punk band.


Friday, June 10 2005

World Poker Tour: Season Two

The Travel Channel's World Poker Tour has helped make poker the hottest obsession around.


The Nomi Song (2004)

It is the footage of Klaus Nomi that best demonstrates the immense talent and heart that lie beneath what could have been nothing more than nightclub kitsch.


Thursday, June 9 2005

The Machinist (2004)

Trevor is an image disappearing, more about reduction and loss than self-knowledge and identification.


Wednesday, June 8 2005

The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete First Season

The Bob Newhart Show manages to rise above generic formulas.


Tuesday, June 7 2005

Richard Pryor: Stand-Up (2005)

More than anything else, Richard Pryor was a confessional artist whose monologues derived from his own chaotic and frequently self-destructive life, Brother Richard testifying from the lip of the abyss.


Sunday, June 5 2005

The Vibrators: Live Energized: CBGB 2004 [DVD]

The poor Vibrators get a bad rap. On the surface, they seem to have a great punk pedigree, but as ubiquitous as they've been, the Vibrators are one of the most derided bands of British punk.


Friday, June 3 2005

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2004)

The very process of documenting freestyle is at once contradictory and ambitious, futile and crucial.


Thursday, June 2 2005

The Golden Girls: The Complete Second Season

In The Golden Girls, which can be exceedingly smart, this kind of writing just feels lazy.


Malevolence (2004)

The movie toggles over into autopilot, following the flight path established years ago by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.


Wednesday, June 1 2005

The Saint - The Early Episodes, Set 1

Such righteousness could have easily overwhelmed another TV series, but Roger Moore's charisma saves the day.


Tuesday, May 31 2005

Lucinda Williams: Live from Austin, TX [DVD]

This 16-song set documents the period in Lucinda Williams' career when she was about to leave the mortal realm of underground hero and enter the pantheon of great American songwriters.


Jules and Jim: Criterion Collection (1962)

'Truffaut had the dread of everything conventional. Above all, he detested the conventionality of the nonconventional,' Jean Gruault notes.


Monday, May 30 2005

The Stranglers: Live 1978 in San Francisco [DVD]

There must be some better vintage live footage of the Stranglers out there somewhere.


Friday, May 27 2005

Moog (2004)

Synthesizer pioneer/nice guy Bob Moog deserves a thorough, artistically bold biopic. Director Hans Fjellestad isn't up to the challenge.


Thursday, May 26 2005

Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash: Ridin’ the Rails (The Great American Train Story) [DVD]

Choo-choo: Take a ride on the railroad with the Man in Black and learn one version of American railroad history.


Flame Trees of Thika (1981)

The filming oscillates uneasily between Masterpiece Theater lushness and National Geographic-style ethno-voyeurism.


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