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A is for Axe: The Filmic Butchering of 'The Scarlet Letter'

As is often the case with classics, what could have been a brilliantly updated film adaptation of The Scarlet Letter was consumed by the Hollywood machine that instead spits out a shallow and action-packed romp with a glossed-over ending.

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The Handmaid's Tale: Not So Sci-fi

The terrifying, 'it could happen today' message of this story is best told in the Atwood's book, rather than the film version.

Film

Not to be Silenced: To Kill a Mockingbird

'To Kill a Mockingbird' is more than an enlightening tale of the racial inadequacies in the South during the Depression -- it inspired people to study law.

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Off the Radar - The Top 30 DVDs of 2008

Oddly enough, while the major studios continue scratching their heads over how to sell yet another new format (Blu-ray) to disinterested consumers, several outside distributors made sure that this would be a digital year to remember.

Reviews

Four Christmases

Motherhood, Four Christmases submits, is all Kate needs to be happy. The husband, he's incidental.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: November 2008

Like the sainted sigh of relief that comes after another shriek-filled All Hallow's Eve, November usually means the start of the 'nominate me' process for the proposed prestige pictures of 2008.

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Digital Dynamite: The 30 Best DVDs of 2007

It was the year of the behemoth box set, the multi-disc triumph that tried to give long suffering fans everything their demanding little digital hearts ever desired. Here are PopMatters' 30 picks for the best DVDs of the year.

Reviews

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse

The openness and honesty with which Eleanor Coppola portrays her husband is by far the greatest asset of Hearts of Darkness.

Reviews

We Own the Night

You can see -- though the brothers take a few more scenes to catch up -- that each envies the other: Joe wants Bobby's seeming independence, Bobby wants daddy's approval.

Reviews

The Outer Limits: (The Original Series) - Volume 1

Idealistic scientists, less idealistic military-industrial complexes, and governments of varying ethical strength are always creating things that they shouldn't in the real world and in The Outer Limits.

Reviews

The Godfather: Blackhand Edition

Man, there's something really satisfying about hitting someone.

Kevin Garcia
Reviews

Lucky You (2006)

A good movie about poker, but only good enough to appeal to those who enjoy watching card games on TV.

Brett Parker
Reviews

Lucky You (2006)

The cuts are obvious, the rhythms sluggish, and the dialogue redundant, as if the movie's afraid you've missed it the first time.

Film

Monkey Business (Part 1: May)

Talk about frontloading your approach. Each week in this first full month of patented popcorn movies finds another famous franchise icon making a major blockbuster bow. Only truly disastrous results from these guaranteed crowd-pleasers will keep the coffers from clogging with cash.

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Time Encapsulating: The Best DVDs of 2006

From solid single issues to amazingly complete film and television compilations, the works highlighted here argue for DVD's continued importance.

Reviews

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

Naylor doesn't need a "human" face; we love him the minute he offers us a light.

Tiffany White
Reviews

Robert Altman Collection: Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duvall, Carol Burnett - PopMatters

This uneven collection is a definite example of the adage 'when he's good, he's very good, but when he's bad, he's very bad'.

Matt Mazur
Film

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

The ironies of Thank You for Smoking are not subtle.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Francis Ford Coppola's focus on his family, in the film and his memory, could not be more poignant or more public.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Gone in 60 Seconds: Director's Cut (2000)

The trailer for Gone is a particularly unpretentious distillation of the film's key elements.

Jesse Hassenger
Reviews

Sling Blade - Director's Cut (Miramax Collector's Series) (1996)

Sling Blade is a piece of true Southern Gothic in the vein of Flannery O'Connor, Harry Crews, and (yes, I'll say it) William Faulkner.

John G. Nettles
Film

Kicking & Screaming (2005)

Mike Ditka has the most fun here, announcing to his young charges, 'I eat quitters for breakfast and I spit out their bones.'"

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Deep Impact: Special Collector's Edition (1998)

Mimi Leder's Deep Impact is both less and more than a science fiction-styled disaster melodrama.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Secondhand Lions (2003)

The phallic imagery of guns as associated with male potency is everywhere in Secondhand Lions.

Todd R. Ramlow
Film

Open Range (2003)

Kevin Costner's film assumes the usual mythology: the West 'died' when corporate thinking encroached on the boundless spirit of the cowboys.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Assassination Tango (2003)

Even the most generous viewer is hit by the absence of rationales, however bizarre or slender, for the film's plot turns.

Lesley Smith
Film

Gods and Generals (2002)

Avoids examining the underlying cause of the Civil War -- the South's terror of abolition -- and instead remembers the Confederacy as a noble army defending its 'homeland'.

Josh Jones
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