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Friday, May 16 2014

We’re Back on the Horse Again with ‘Blazing Saddles: 40th Anniversary Edition’

The Blu-ray extras here are quite good, but of course, the film is an enduring, hilarious classic for those with that Mel Brooks and Monty Python-like sensibility.


Thursday, May 15 2014

‘Riot in Cell Block 11’ Has the Courage to Ask Important Questions

Will America's prison system ever change? Or is meant to keep America’s caste system in place?


Wednesday, May 14 2014

‘Breaking the Waves’ Has the Touch of the Divine

If only for its artistic value, Breaking the Waves will always be a reminder that we can come in touch with the divine even when we’re unsure of its existence.


‘The Strange Woman’ Makes Clear, You Can’t Always Want What You Get

For this strange woman, every selfish action is balanced by a selfless one.


Tuesday, May 13 2014

‘Shelter Island’ Makes Harald Olsen’s Art a Living, Breathing, Organic Experience

Shelter Island is the sort of film that can take audiences who know nothing about art or care nothing for it and make them feel something.


Monday, May 12 2014

‘The Best Offer’ Leaves the Gears of One’s Mind Turning

Nothing is ever quite as it seems in this dramatic tale of art, love, fear and deceit.


Friday, May 9 2014

Living the Nightmare of ‘An Unreal Dream’

An Unreal Dream explores the personal journey of one man in devastating circumstances, and proves itself to be more enlightening than one might imagine.


Thursday, May 8 2014

Otto Preminger’s Disorientation in ‘Danger—Love at Work’ and ‘Margin for Error’

The very unevenness of these early projects bespeaks a filmmaker who sets about very precisely to be ambiguous.


Wednesday, May 7 2014

‘City That Never Sleeps’ and ‘Hell’s Half Acre’ Try Unusual Methods in Their Storytelling

These crime thrillers tell their stories via a talking city, a mechanical man, a bilious little rodent of a man, and even a soundtrack with Hawaiian guitars.


Tuesday, May 6 2014

What Changed for Our Protagonist in ‘The Pawnbroker’?

The Pawnbroker remains an important work, especially as one of the first major studio films to explore the Holocaust.


The King and Queen of Postwar Pop

Doris Day and Frank Sinatra's creamy Hollywood dreams simmer with tension and uncertainty in Young at Heart.


Monday, May 5 2014

‘Bastards’ Makes Despair Bleed from the Walls

Claire Denis' jagged filmmaking is matched by the nihilistic darkness of her latest assault on the senses.


Friday, May 2 2014

D.W. Griffith’s Cinematic Continuity Influences the Danish Classic, ‘Master of the House’

Carl Theodor Dreyer's mastery of film technique makes Master of the House (1925) rewarding viewing today.


Thursday, May 1 2014

Meryl Streep’s Incomparable Performance in ‘Sophie’s Choice’

No matter how you may feel about the story, Sophie's Choice is worth watching simply for the pleasure of watching Meryl Streep act.


Wednesday, April 30 2014

‘Grudge Match’ Proves It Ain’t Over for De Niro or Stallone

Three decades later, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are still the stars they were at 35, and it's their efforts that carry Grudge Match over the top.


‘Labor Day’ Is a Labor-Intensive Watch

Even with all of the talent on display, Labor Day is a major disappointment.


Tuesday, April 29 2014

It’s the End of Paris as We Know It in ‘Dead Shadows’

The hazards run the gamut from the predictable to the grotesque, but at least they're set to a cool Francophone hip-hop soundtrack.


‘The Borderlands’ Is Where Faith Goes to Die

Just like the unfathomably popular Paranormal Activity, The Borderlands often relies on tired old horror film tropes to generate frights.


Monday, April 28 2014

‘Big Bad Wolves’ Is Designed to Scare the Parents, Instead of the Children

Unpredictable, twisted, and energetic, Big Bad Wolves is a unique, writhing beast that constantly subverts your expectations.


Friday, April 25 2014

‘Persona’ Doesn’t Need to Be Understood to Be Loved

Ingmar Bergman’s film is profoundly mysterious, and the more we try to comprehend it, the farther away we move from its magic.


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