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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.


The Brooke Ellison Story (2004)

Christopher Reeve's film seems geared less towards portraying the warts and all existence of a disabled person, than showing what can be achieved with a little selfless dedication.


Wednesday, May 25 2005

Gilmore Girls: The Complete Third Season

The casual, chatty extras capture the series' spirit: whimsical, free-spirited, and tinged with nostalgia.


Tuesday, May 24 2005

Son Volt: Live From Austin, TX [DVD]

Jay Farrar and co's lack of visual flair sinks an otherwise-strong set of alt-country tunes.


The Lone Gunmen - The Complete Series

Being a network TV show and therefore bound by certain attractiveness requirements, The Lone Gunmen couldn't just follow the nerds.


Around the Bend (2004)

Henry's instructions bring Turner and Jason to important landmarks that dredge up memories and force them to face events that have haunted their lives.


Monday, May 23 2005

Various Artists: Basement TV, Vol. 1 [DVD]

No interviews or extraneous footage, just live hip-hop performances at the record store or in the club presented by L.A.'s Basement Records.


The Big Town (1987)

In Cullen's rise to the top, he summarily steps on everyone who tries to help him or slow him down.


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