Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy

Review by Johanna and KC Carlson The 25th Anniversary Trilogy edition of Back to the Future totally justifies the purchase of our Blu-ray player. The excellent picture quality (newly restored for this release) made me feel like I was watching it for the first time. As for special features, the set is so comprehensive it’s almost overkill. You have the movies on both Blu-ray and DVD. You have all these extras (some redundant, but extra points for being complete). You […]

Read more

The Social Network

KC and I went to see The Social Network last week. You can probably tell how much I enjoyed it by considering that it took me this long to get around to writing up my thoughts. I don’t regret seeing it, but it wasn’t as entertaining as I hoped. The Social Network is a Citizen Kane for our time, looking at a media mogul — in this case, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, played by Jesse Eisenberg — who is […]

Read more

Sherlock Holmes

I hadn’t seen this Victorian action movie in theaters, so I was glad to see the DVD come out only three months later. I knew there’d been lots of debate over whether this version was really Sherlock Holmes or not, and I wanted to see for myself. The movie doesn’t play much on what Holmes has come to mean as a brand, but since it’s billed as a “bold reimagining”, fair enough. The Sherlock Holmes film is faithful to the […]

Read more

Ponyo

Ponyo is the newest Studio Ghibli movie to come to DVD in the U.S. Thanks to Ed’s laptop, I was able to sample this in Blu-ray. (Although we had a bit of trouble getting the thing to talk to my television. I thought it would be as simple as plugging in the cable to the HDMI port, but it seems that you have to disable the laptop screen to get the TV image to show; otherwise, the software gives you […]

Read more

Voices of a Distant Star

In the near future, an interstellar war separates two teens in love in Voices of a Distant Star. This short anime, while competently created (apparently by one guy on his home computer) appeals not because of the visuals — the character designs are familiar and uninspired, and the cross-cutting choppy — but because of the mood. I describe the two as “in love” because it’s the closest I can get to describing them (and “lovers” sounds silly, because it’s not […]

Read more

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Continuing to sample the works of Miyazaki, I tried Kiki’s Delivery Service. Upon the advice of my readers, I watched the subtitled instead of dubbed version, and I agree, Phil Hartman as the voice of the cat would have been too distracting. Although I’ve only seen a couple of Miyazaki films, I could already identify his common themes here: spirited young woman unsure of her skills meets neighbor boy fascinated by her strength and with unusual interest of his own. […]

Read more

My Neighbor Totoro/Whisper of the Heart

I’ve been hearing how much I need to see Miyazaki’s films for a long while now, so I used the Turner Classic Movies showings to sample two. The first, My Neighbor Totoro, was fluffier than I expected. I knew that the movie was about two girls who meet a fantasy character, but I was surprised that the first third of the film was simply about them setting up housekeeping out in the country. The images were beautiful, as expected, but […]

Read more

Labyrinth

My gracious, I do love Labyrinth. I just watched the DVD again, and I always forget how engrossing it is. David Bowie turns in a superb performance as the Goblin King, scary and exotic and attractive and magical all at once. The older I get, the more patience I have with Jennifer Connelly’s performance, too. Once I thought she was much too wooden, just something existing for the creatures to dance around, but she seems more subtle to me these […]

Read more
1 2 3