DVD Reviews

Russia has successfully beaten off invaders from the West time and again, and the epic struggles to preserve the nation’s identity against outside enemies have given rise to many excellent films. One of the greatest, Come andSee (1985), is a visi.. more

Apr 11, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

The first thing you notice watching an episode of “Columbo” isn’t that we know who committed the murder but the relatively long buildup to murder. Jerry Orbach and the “Law and Order” squad would already be grilling the suspect by the time a “Col.. more

Apr 3, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

The world is heading for a cliff at high speed and the breaks are failing. And according to the documentary Crude Impact (out now on DVD), the car wreck is not being driven by the global economic meltdown. Filmed before recent events and circulat.. more

Apr 1, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Although Italian director Luchino Visconti was a pioneer of the grungy, grit-and-all filmmaking style called neorealism, he also loved all things grand and operatic. His final film, L’Innocente (1976), was in the latter mode, a costume drama in .. more

Mar 24, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Peter Bogdanovich was part of a generation of 1960s film critics who brought serious analysis to the products of old Hollywood. Soon enough he became a filmmaker, and although he felt at odds with the early ‘70s generation of Hollywood mavericks,.. more

Mar 21, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Landmines are the threat that keeps on threatening. Years and even decades after the end of a conflict, the mines that were sown remain, always underfoot and ready to kill or maim. The documentary Disarm (out now on DVD) concerns the efforts .. more

Mar 20, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

The Axe in the Attic opens with footage shot four months after Hurricane Katrina in a misty, ramshackle district of Louisiana. The camera takes in the scene from above before proceeding at an elegant pace up a rutted road, past trees turned to ki.. more

Mar 18, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

East of Eden was among the great Hollywood films of the 1950s. Director Elia Kazan tuned its Woodrow Wilson-era story to the underlying minor key of the Eisenhower era in the dawn of a restless and uncertain generation. It worked as well as it di.. more

Mar 10, 2009 4:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Robbie Coltrane never became a big star except in the most literal sense. But this hulking elephant of a man should at least have become a major character actor up there with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His role in the British television series “Cra.. more

Mar 7, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Recently the New York Times cautiously advanced the word “depression” into articles on the current downturn. It’s a scary term, but maybe staring it down might not be a bad idea. Examining the last depression could be helpful if the correct concl.. more

Mar 5, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Along with Philip Glass, John Adams is the most popular composer to emerge from the minimalism of the 1960s and ‘70s. Adams has often turned to opera, where he mined recent events such as Nixon’s visit to China and Palestinian hijackers. In 2005 .. more

Mar 2, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

During World War II as the British Isles held out against the Nazi onslaught, only the tiny Channel Islands, undefended and near the French coast, fell to the invader. “Enemy at the Door” is a 13-episode British television dramatization (out now.. more

Feb 24, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Like a Cold War Kafka character, the man known only as 6 (a relentlessly angry Patrick McGoohan) awakens in unfamiliar surroundings, captive to a conspiracy bewildering in extent. 6 was the protagonist of “The Prisoner,” the 1967 British televisi.. more

Feb 10, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

The troops in Vietnam amused themselves with Playboy centerfolds; in Iraq, it’s probably Internet porn. Back in World War II G.I.s consoled themselves with “pin-up girls,” shapely things usually showing a little leg circulated in full-color image.. more

Feb 9, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

With his wild halo of hair and sad penetrating eyes, Albert Einstein became an instantly recognizable star in the 1920s. His face shone as brightly as anyone in Hollywood and unlike most movie stars, his light hasn’t faded. When he visited Americ.. more

Feb 7, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Dennis Potter is not a name widely familiar in the U.S. despite his occasional work in Hollywood, including screenplays for Gorky Park and Pennies From Heaven. In his British homeland, however, he is acclaimed for his many television dramas. A tr.. more

Jan 27, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Last summer a Biography Channel documentary simply titled “Barack Obama” was released on DVD. Just in time for Inauguration Day, a new edition has been issued, prefaced by jubilant scenes in Chicago from Nov. 4 and additional interviews and foota.. more

Jan 20, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

When Elie Wiesel condemned the 1978 mini-series “Holocaust” for trivializing the events it depicted, he stood on the shoulders of those survivors who deemed it impossible to represent or depict the destruction of European Jewry. The horror was to.. more

Jan 10, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

Science has uncovered some strange creatures, especially in the depths of the sea where sunlight never reaches. But from the dark corners of the world’s surface come reports of creatures science refuses to admit to its zoology. The History Channe.. more

Jan 3, 2009 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood

On Oct. 4, 1957 the world was startled when a new moon entered the Earth’s orbit. It was an artificial satellite, the first space probe, and its name was Sputnik. The US was frightened because its Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, developed Sput.. more

Dec 26, 2008 5:00 AM I Hate Hollywood