Film & TV

‘Albert Nobbs,’ ‘The Grey’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

“Albert Nobbs” didn’t set box office records during its theatrical run, but it garnered enough critical acclaim to earn three Oscar nominations, including nods for best actress and best supporting actress. Glenn Close landed in the former category for her outstanding portrayal of the title character, a 19th-century Englishwoman pretending to be a man so she can retain her job as a hotel waiter. 

Is Streaming Another Fad or a Lasting Trend in At-Home Entertainment?

Gabriella Tutino

How movies are made will affect the format of the home-video and video rentals. VHS had petered out by the mid-2000s with the introduction of the DVD. The DVD format had a higher resolution and better sound quality than VHS, but it was expensive to remaster films for the new format This issue has repeated itself with the existence of Blu-ray discs -- most classic films aren’t available on Blu-ray because of the digital and photochemical process it takes to change formats. But more and more companies are switching to streaming.

'Underworld: Awakening,' 'The Vow' Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

With stories about vampires and werewolves more popular than ever, Sony saw fit to deliver a fourth entry to the “Underworld” franchise. Like the previous films, “Awakening” meditates on the complicated, and mostly adversarial, relationship between werewolves and vampires, but with a new twist. But “Awakening” is a bad movie even by “Underworld” standards, and the bar isn’t particularly high.

Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ Take on (Old) Calcutta

Sandip Roy

West Bengal’s chief minister promised to turn Calcutta into London. But Joss Whedon in the Marvel comics saga, The Avengers, has gone backwards instead. Calcutta in the age of superheroes looks suspiciously like the one described in the City of Joy circa 1985 – cramped, squalid and leprous. Mark Ruffalo is Dr. Bruce Banner, keeping his inner Hulk under control by saving the eternally ill slum-dwellers of Calcutta.

Top Ten Comedies Every Highbrow Should Watch

Kurt Thurber

Even the most highbrow of highbrows needs to relax and, on certain days when a retreat to the solarium in a favorite alpaca sweater while sipping on a red from the Bordeaux region simply doesn’t cut it, there is another outlet. The comedic offerings of film from across the ages to relax the wary mind burdened with the world’s problems.  The highbrow thinkers of  the world can indulge in film entertainment between solving global warming by using algorithms from a Harvard library window and discussing why James Joyce hated punctuation over tea at 4 o’clock Greenwich time. 

“Haywire,” “George Harrison – Living in the Material World” Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

With “Haywire,” mixed-martial arts (MMA) star Gina Carano has completed her transition from fighter to actress, and the result is impressive. “Haywire” takes Carano’s career to new heights by allowing her to anchor a feature film while acting alongside Hollywood heavyweights, including Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas. 

The Unfortunate Rise of Dumbed-Down Hollywood Comedies

Kurt Thurber

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Lowbrow comedy. Lowbrow comedy who? It’s lowbrow comedy everywhere because it’s easy to write and cheap to produce. The entertainment industry is bigger than ever. Therein lies the problem:  Hollywood has produced lowbrow comedy for every generation,  and it now has the capability to produce dumbed-down movies in every genre tenfold. 

Film Enthusiasts Address the Importance of Rescuing ‘Orphan Films'

Maggie Hennefeld

What is an “orphan film?”  This month (from April 11-14),  more than 300 film enthusiasts, filmmakers, programmers, scholars, and archivists congregated in the newly renovated Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, to address this question. Loosely defined, an orphan film is one that has been abandoned by its original owner or producer, a decaying print with no prospect for distribution. The stories behind some of the films in this year’s 8th biannual Orphan Film Symposium  were nothing short of heroic. 

“Contraband,” “Cinema Verite” Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

In 2008, Baltasar Kormakur played the lead role in “Reyjavik-Rotterdam,” an Icelandic thriller about a former smuggler tempted back to a life of crime. Four years later, Kormakur has returned to the material, but this time as director. “Contraband” is an English-language remake of the Icelandic movie, and it stars Mark Wahlberg as Chris Farraday, an expert smuggler who went straight after a stint in jail. 

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” Shame” Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

Each of Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” films has had a different director, and the latest to take the helm is Brad Bird, a man who made his name with the animated hits “The Iron Giant,” “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles.” If Bird had difficulty transitioning from cartoons to the real world, it isn’t apparent on screen. “Ghost Protocol” is a fast-paced, exciting thriller that’s as entertaining as any of its predecessors. 

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