Movies

‘The Judge,’ ‘Fury’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Robert Duvall has again entered the Oscars race thanks to his portrayal of a grumpy-but-fair-minded legal professional in “The Judge.” The movie features Robert Downey Jr. as Hank Palmer, a flashy, big-city defense attorney who returns to his tiny, Indiana hometown for his mother’s funeral. Director David Dobkin wastes no time establishing that Hank and his father, Joseph (Duvall), have unresolved problems. The latter is a no-nonsense judge known for dispensing firm rulings.

‘The Boxtrolls,’ ‘Lucy’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Laika, the studio that brought us “ParaNorman” and “Coraline,” continues its outstanding theatrical work with “The Boxtrolls,” an animated feature based on the Alan Snow novel “Here Be Monsters!” The stop-motion project, which is nominated for best animated movie at the Academy Awards, is set in the fictionalized town of Cheesebridge during the Victorian era.

Why Art Should Never Censor Itself

Andrew Lam

Government officials and world institutions are even worse when it comes to self-censorship. On Feb 5, 2003, before then Secretary of State Colin Powell in his infamous WMD speech at the United Nations in New York, U.N. officials rushed to cover up the giant tapestry version of Pablo Picasso's anti-war mural "Guernica." Powell held up a little vial and told the world that, had that vial really contained WMD, it could kill tens of thousands. He managed to convince the already paranoid public that US invasion Iraq is a must. 

‘Jersey Boys,’ ‘Tammy’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” is a delightful and beautifully crafted trip down memory lane. Like the Broadway show, Eastwood’s film recounts the history of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, often pausing so key players can address the audience and put their personal spin on events. The story of the Four Seasons is interesting because despite the band’s clean-cut image, the members grew up on the streets of New Jersey and – to varying degrees – had criminal ties. 

‘German Doctor’ Sheds Light on Nazi Atrocities and Josef Mengele’s Life After WWII

Mark Goebel

The film, Argentina’s selection for the foreign language category at this year’s Academy Awards, is chockfull of well-thought out Nazi symbolism and does a solid job conveying in a subtle way the unremitting perversions that were part and parcel of Mengele’s genetic experiments at Auschwitz. The actors all do a superb job of playing unsuspecting, knowing, or conniving, depending on their role in the film.

‘Divergent,’ ‘Oculus’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

The plotting of the book and movie centers on Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), a teenager who must choose her place in society. In her world, it is customary for youth to be tested for various personality traits, then asked to devote themselves to one of five related factions. When Tris’ test indicates that she could fit into several of these groupings, she is warned to keep quiet. 

‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Lego Movie’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Although there are many great writers and directors working in cinema today, few have voices as distinct and pleasurable as Wes Anderson’s. With films ranging from “Bottle Rocket” (1996) to “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), Anderson has introduced moviegoers to unusual worlds, fantastical characters and bizarre settings that entertain while provoking thought. He is a manufacturer of fairytales for our modern age and, as such, his projects should be widely celebrated. 

Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche Wage an Artistic War in ‘Words and Pictures’

Tara Taghizadeh

While the tug-of-war between art versus language serves as a backdrop for the film, the real story is Jack’s tenure as teacher and the danger he faces from the board for losing his job. There are teachers and administrators who side with him and praise his teaching skills, and those who would rather see him go. In the midst of his midlife crisis and his continuous efforts to combat alcoholism, we witness a budding (and surprising) romance between him and Dina.

‘Galapagos Affair’ Recounts Real-Life Sinister Events on the Island

Angelo Franco

This film has it all: intrigue, jealousy, European aristocracy, murder.  It’s also set in a seemingly idyllic utopia, a tiny piece-of-rock island off the coast of Ecuador that lends its Darwinian fame as the stage for this commendable documentary.  That would be the island of Floreana, a 67 square-mile desolate land in the southern region of the Galapagos archipelago, where Friedrich Ritter and his mistress Dore Strauch decide to relocate to escape modern civilization and build their own Eden. 

 

‘Her,’ ‘I, Frankenstein’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Movie lovers can count on writer-director Spike Jonze to tackle fascinating projects that live outside the mainstream, but his films often meander. These competing tendencies make him one of the most exciting – and frustrating – filmmakers working today, and he displays both his gifts and limitations in “Her.” The movie is, in many ways, a work of creative genius, delivering insights on topics ranging from romantic relationships to the failures of modern technology. 

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