Film & TV

‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ ‘La Grande Illusion’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

History Channel’s terrific miniseries about the well-publicized feud between the Hatfield family of West Virginia and the McCoy family of Kentucky was recently nominated for 16 Emmy Awards. The well-deserved accolades include acting nods for stars Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger and Mare Winningham; a best directing nomination for Kevin Reynolds; and a nomination for outstanding miniseries or TV movie. 

The Darkest Knight: James Holmes and the Choice of Destruction Over Ethos

Russell Morse

Movies reflect, predict and process the violence and ethos of a generation. And in the case of the recent shooting in the movie theater in Colorado, The Dark Knight Rises became the setting for a real-life tragedy. It's worth considering that if the shooter had actually seen the film, things might have turned out differently. Maybe.

The Dark Knight and the Rise of ‘Realistic’ Superheroes on Screen

Christopher Karr

Batman has been stuck in the same cycle for 70 years. As soon as the “Dark Knight’s” mythology becomes too dark, he is reinterpreted through the faddish lens of pop cultural parody. Consequently, Batman’s legend lacks substance. So he’s reinterpreted once again with darker shadings. But “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s epic addition to the Batman myth, looks past both interpretations. As Nolan promised us from the beginning, his trilogy offers a realistic superhero. But can there really be such a thing? Should there be?

‘Footnote,’ ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

The Israeli drama “Footnote” earned a nomination for best foreign language film at the 2011 Academy Awards, but this is one case where the acclaim is more noteworthy than the movie itself. Although the film carries a fascinating premise, the pace is often painfully slow and the ending is a considerable letdown.

 

How the Eccentric Coen Brothers Became American Film Icons

Christopher Karr

Think of drastically different genres. Fuse some with others and add new elements. Borrow patterns, themes and impressions from the halls of movie history and blend them with postmodern philosophy, a wickedly self-deprecating sense of humor and a heavy dose of playful ironic detachment. The resulting mixture pays homage to directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Sam Raimi and Preston Sturges, and writers like  William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler. I’m referring to none other than the work of Joel and Ethan Coen, the modern American maestros of cinematic cross-breeding. 

“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” "Three Stooges" Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

As a writing-directing team, Peter and Bobby Farrelly have been consistently inconsistent. Their filmography ranges from the sublime comedy “There’s Something About Mary” to the less enticing “Hall Pass.” Still, their films are always worth consideration because when they’re good, they’re very good.  Sadly, the Farrellys’ Three Stooges homage is a failure, although it’s hard to hold them entirely at fault. 

‘Flowers of War,’ ‘American Reunion’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

It’s natural for people to feel an affinity for favorite movie characters, and it can be particularly interesting to follow them through major life changes. “American Reunion,” the latest addition to the “American Pie” franchise, exists for just that reason. The movie is set about a decade after 2003’s “American Wedding,” and it brings the old gang back together for a high school reunion.  

Why the ‘Twilight’ Obsession Rages On (and On)

Rimpa Khangura

It’s not just a legend; these mysteriously mortiferous creatures really do exist, albeit in our book stores and movie theaters, but that is enough to spawn a billion-dollar-based industry. From Count Dracula to Edward Cullen, vampires have remained a mysterious source of intrigue amongst audiences.  But the real question on everyone’s mind is  why exactly the Twilight franchise is so popular?

 

Fourth of July Films Available on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

No major theatrical releases are making their way to video this week, so it seems like the perfect time to suggest some movies that are sure to put an exclamation point on your July 4 holiday. All of the following, including the aptly named "Independence Day," "The Patriot," and "Born on the Fourth of July, are readily available on home video. 

Woody Allen Pays Homage to the Eternal City in His Latest Comedy of Errors

Elizabeth Pyjov

Continuing the tradition of films that capture the magic and mystery of the Eternal City, the most famous of which are Federico Fellini’s“Roma” (1972), William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” (1953) and Roberto Rossellini’s “Rome, Open City” (1945), Woody Allen’s new film, “To Rome with Love,” is his own portrait of of Rome. In an ode to the Italian capital as well as to Italian cinema, Allen adopts a structure more similar to that of Fellini in “Roma” with a series of loosely connected episodes. Through these stories, Allen pays homage to the city’s beauty, energy and its knack for absurd situations

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