THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 123 minutes

It may have its Hallmark moments and gloss over an unflattering fact or two but the film in the end triumphs as a portrait of a brave, brilliant man and the equally courageous woman who gave him everything…


Posted on November 26, 2014 by

MST3K: VOLUME XXXI: THE TURKEY DAY COLLECTION (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 480 minutes

The latest “MST3K” collection centers on the show’s famous Turkey Day marathons from the early to mid-90s, complete with 30 minutes of original bumpers, a retrospective of those events, new Turkey Day intros from Joel Hodgson and CGI versions of the bots, and a few interviews focused on the movies in this set…


Posted on November 25, 2014 by

THE WIND RISES (BLU-RAY)

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 127 minutes

It’s a lyrical film that deals with passion and loyalty, and how far one should go in pursuit of both, as it unspools the fictionalized personal life of Japanese plane designer Jiro Horikoshi, who was responsible for his country’s infamous Zero fighter planes during World War II…


Posted on November 24, 2014 by

WHIPLASH

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 107 minutes

What a weird film. Are we not supposed to notice that it’s a valentine to an abusive relationship? Or that kids are pitted against one another like they’re attending the University of Hunger Games?


Posted on November 22, 2014 by

LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 74 minutes

IN LIMITED RELEASE AND ON VOD! How the investigation unfolds, and the dramatics escalate, is as engaging as any compelling narrative can be…


Posted on November 21, 2014 by

THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW 1962-1986 (DVD)

5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 2520 minutes

This may sound like apostasy, but the comedy highlights from Griffin’s 1960s shows surpassed anything that Carson was doing in that same period…


Posted on November 20, 2014 by

PRINCESS MONONOKE (BLU-RAY)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 134 minutes

Miyazaki’s classic film “Princess Mononoke” is now available in a Blu-ray + DVD edition, but, unfortunately, the bonus features aren’t up to par with its status as a classic.


Posted on November 19, 2014 by

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (BLU-RAY)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 105 minutes

If you’re a big Kiki fan, or you don’t own the film yet, this is a good release to pick up, but if you already have that 2010 DVD release, the question becomes whether the Blu-ray upgrade is worthwhile…


Posted on November 18, 2014 by

PLASTIC GALAXY: THE STORY OF STAR WARS TOYS (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 70 minutes

If terms like “Early Bird box” and “Jawa with a plastic cape” evoke some serious nostalgia, then “Plastic Galaxy: The History of ‘Star Wars’ Toys” is the documentary for you. The DVD also includes close to 40 minutes of bonus material.


Posted on November 17, 2014 by

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (BLU-RAY/DVD)

1 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 106 minutes

By contemporary standards, the film is a bore – it comes across like a dreary vacation tour where nothing of interest happens, despite the constantly changing scenery…


Posted on November 15, 2014 by

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)

5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 119 minutes

The picture is a stylistically fearless rush; surreal one moment, satirical the next but never for a second dull, showy or overreaching. I haven’t seen a film this year with half as much to say about what it means to be an artist, much less the nerve to ask whether art even matters any more in a world where comic book movies and movies about giant toys can generate more money than entire national economies…


Posted on November 13, 2014 by

FALL TO RISE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

2014 NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL SELECTION! The choice of pursuing a career as a professional dancer is specific to the film, but the ideas and conflicts associated are universal, and that’s where the film is going to work the best, because you can relate regardless…


Posted on November 13, 2014 by

MONTY PYTHON LIVE (MOSTLY): 1 DOWN, 5 TO GO (BLU-RAY)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 137 minutes

It may not be Python in their prime, but it’s still a blast for the fans, and it’s a great way to send them out on a high note. This Blu-ray has a few behind-the-scenes bits — I wish there was more, especially of the “How this came about” variety, but that’s not a terrible loss…


Posted on November 12, 2014 by

MAMALIGA BLUES

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 55 minutes

The nice thing about the film is the wealth of family memorabilia that Cassio sprinkles throughout. Photographs. Postcards. Talking heads with his extended Brazilian branch; lots of stories…


Posted on November 9, 2014 by

NIGHTCRAWLER

5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 117 minutes

It’s a seat-glueingly suspenseful, chillingly visionary film comment as perfect for its time as “Taxi Driver” or “The King of Comedy” were for theirs…


Posted on November 5, 2014 by

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