Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD from 2011 and earlier.
Dan Jardine @ Cinemania
- Excerpt: Weird. Trippy. Horrific. Befuddling. Maddening. Almost certainly great.
3:10 to Yuma (1957)
- Excerpt: The original 3:10 to Yuma holds up better than the vast majority of American westerns, remaining a tense, gripping thriller without a wealth of style or action.
Clash of the Titans (1981)
- Excerpt: The visual effects are clearly the only thing here that’s worth bothering with.
- Excerpt: Call it whatever you want; I call it a schlock masterpiece. PUT YOUR WEIGHT ON IT!
- Excerpt: Forever Amber is one of the more striking crossbreeds of late 1940s Hollywood cinema, as Preminger combines the lush Technicolor expanse of an historical melodrama with a powerful dose of female-centric noir.
Howl’s Moving Castle
- Excerpt: I am reluctant to call Howl’s a great film. But it is a very good one, full of ideas, many of them compelling and original, some of them even adding up clearly and actually making sense.
- Excerpt: The Informant! is so brisk and entertaining, so agreeable to the casual viewer with its bouncy rhythms and eye-catching but unprovocative visuals, that it hasn’t the time or will to openly announce itself as the multi-faceted political statement that it is.
Jason and the Argonauts
- Excerpt: A great adventure movie… presents spectacle in the most wide-eyed, awe-inspired register.
Les Miserables (1934)
- Excerpt: The greatest film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s sprawling, the inexplicably obscure French director Raymond Bernard directs the definitive Jean Valjean, Harry Baur, in a film with both a sweep and intimacy that are irresistible.
My Neighbor Totoro
- Excerpt: My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki’s shortest film, is also his sweetest and most accessible. This G-rated family drama may strike some Miyazaki fans as lacking in action or complexity, but its simple, poignant fantasy to me exceeds everything else in the director’s sterling oeuvre.
Night at the Crossroads
Priest of Evil
- Excerpt: There’s a very thin line separating Finland’s obscure Priest of Evil from Sweden’s sequel-and-remake-spawning international blockbuster The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Priest doesn’t have as strong a mystery or as incendiary storytelling, but it is a gripping, competent dark mystery in its own right.
Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: You can’t get a whole lot less substantial than this, but well-played, friendly banter is tough to do, and the film hits its mark perfectly on that front.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- Excerpt: Merely a weak, inapt Star Trek movie, not a completely awful one.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- Excerpt: This isn’t great “for a Star Trek movie”, it’s one of the best sci-fi adventure films of the post-Star Wars era.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
- Excerpt: Almost certainly the best of the “bad” Star Trek films… and for the first 30 or 40 minutes, it’s not really even bad, to speak of.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
- Excerpt: A bit flimsy to be legitimately counted as “great” Star Trek, but aware enough of its characters and their attachments to each other and the audience that it’s “fun” Star Trek.
Swimming to Cambodia
- Excerpt: A film consisting of a man sitting at a desk and talking for 80 minutes should have trouble keeping you engaged, but Gray’s command, composure, and compelling content all effortlessly prevent you from drifting even slightly.
- Excerpt: Orson Welles, the great grayscale poet, proves the perfect adapter of Kafka, imprisoning the beleaguered Josef K. in bars of light and shadow.