I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

by Ethan Alter March 25, 2014 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Because Oscar voters failed to do so, Leonardo DiCaprio toasts himself on a killer performance in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Indie Snapshot: Jodorowksy’s Dune

by Ethan Alter March 21, 2014 6:00 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>Jodorowksy’s Dune</i>

See the greatest movie never made. According to its director, anyway.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

by Ethan Alter March 18, 2014 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Elsa lets it all go on Blu-ray.

Bad Words: Under His Spell

by Ethan Alter March 14, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Bad Words</i>: Under His Spell

The title of Jason Bateman's directorial debut, Bad Words, isn't the only thing that's reminiscent of another dark comedy about a not-very-nice-person, 2003's holiday classic, Bad Santa. Both films seek to get a lot of comic mileage out of watching their central creeps treat everyone around them -- adults and, especially, children -- like dirt as they put in motion a scheme for personal fun and profit. Where Bad Santa has the courage of its convictions, though, Bad Words gets squishy and sentimental as it approaches its endgame, operating on the mistaken assumption that it needs to explain its anti-hero's pathology and, thus, let him off the hook for his behavior.

I Want My VOD: March 2014

by Ethan Alter March 12, 2014 12:19 pm
I Want My VOD: March 2014

Elijah Wood is the Piano Man in a new high-concept thriller.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

by Ethan Alter March 11, 2014 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam and watch Inside Llewyn Davis, the best film of 2013.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Welcome to the Hotel Europa

by Ethan Alter March 7, 2014 6:00 am
<i>The Grand Budapest Hotel</i>: Welcome to the Hotel Europa

Not since the Overlook has there been a cinematic hotel as immaculately constructed as The Grand Budapest Hotel, the titular lodging glimpsed in Wes Anderson's latest confection. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with the director's work, which consistently features some of the most lavish, yet carefully precise production design seen this side of an Architectural Digest layout. Still, even by Anderson's standards, the Grand Budapest is a honey of a setting: a rustic 1930s-era retreat perched amidst the picturesque hills of Zubrowka, the Eastern European nation that, on a map, would probably be located somewhere between Freedonia and Latveria. A private funicular deposits you on the hotel's stoop and, once you pass through the front doors, you're inside an opulent, high-ceilinged lobby, with the well-trained staff buzzing about, directing you to the dining room, spa, outdoor deck or your own quarters. Though it overlooks the outside world, the Grand Budapest functions as its own little universe where time itself seems to stand still.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

by Ethan Alter February 25, 2014 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

So when are we getting the Loki franchise, Marvel?

Why The Ice Harvest Is One of Harold Ramis’s Best Movies

by Ethan Alter February 24, 2014 5:11 pm
Why <i>The Ice Harvest</i> Is One of Harold Ramis’s Best Movies

Many of the testimonials about the life and career of Harold Ramis, who died Monday morning in his native Chicago, will deservedly highlight his involvement -- as either a writer, director or actor (and occasionally all three) -- in such superior, generation-defining comedies as Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Back to School, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Analyze This. There's one deserving movie that may be left out of the conversation, though and that's The Ice Harvest, a wicked, witty little thriller that Ramis directed in 2005.

Pompeii: Snow Versus the Volcano

by Aly Semigran February 21, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Pompeii</i>: Snow Versus the Volcano

I'm not entirely sure what the hell the makers of Pompeii were thinking when they decided to turn a bona fide natural disaster picture (not to mention the first real big screen treatment of famous ancient Roman tragedy-turned-tourist attraction) into a regurgitated, by-the-numbers, and ultimately very boring gladiator tale, but it certainly seems like something of a wasted opportunity.

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