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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily


Wilmington on DVD: The Dark Knight, Still Life, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

As long as we're living in an age where the biggest-movie budget loot tends to be sunk into adaptations of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, rather than, say, War and Peace, Remembrance of Things Past, Henderson the Rain King or V, The Dark Knight is the kind of movie we should be happy enough to get: fast, hip, expensively mounted, beautifully crafted and hell on wheels to look at. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Prince Caspian, White Dog, The Grocer's Son, Douglas Fairbanks, Wanted, and Step Brothers

Prince Caspian, the second of the Walt Disney Studio's lavish, no-expense-spared adaptations of C.S. Lewis' classic '50s children's series The Chronicles of Narnia -- once again directed and co-written by Andrew Adamson -- is even more spectacular than the first, though not as charming or as magical. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Fanfan la Tulipe, D.W. Griffith, and Hancock

Gerard Philipe, a genuine French movie star legend, plays the dashing 18th-century French provincial Casanova and hero Fanfan, wooing beautiful ladies and crossing and slashing swords against black-hearted, elegant villains in one of the all-time great comic swashbucklers Fanfan la Tulipe -- an almost sinfully entertaining movie. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: WALLE, J'Accuse, and Tropic Thunder

WALLE is a huge, high-tech project, involving hundreds of filmmakers, actors and film workers. But even with all those people milling around, it has a heart-lifting buoyancy and wit, an entrancing screwball sense of fun. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Hellboy 2, The General, Budd Boetticher, The Clone Wars

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is one of my so-far favorites of this year's flood of big, splashy action-fantasy movies. In many ways, it's more fun, more magical, more delightfully characterized, more splendiferously imagined and more stunningly visualized than the others. Director-co-writer Guillermo del Toro is obviously a genius at this kind of unbuttoned fairytale horror story. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Kung Fu Panda, Transiberian, Planet of the Apes, Get Smart

Kung Fu Panda, which I enjoyed, initially sounds like a one-joke comedy -- all about a plump and dumpy kung fu-loving panda who sounds like Jack Black and eventually turns tables and kicks cartoon animal butt. The Karate Kid meets The Forbidden Kingdom? But there's more to the package than that. This DreamWorks movie looks great, and, though it's not especially witty or imaginative, the production people and voice actors put it across. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Two new stars of world cinema

Tuya's Marriage, a moving, splendid movie from China, introduces to us a fine new writer-director, Wang Qua'nan, and an extraordinary actress -- Yu Nan, who plays the title role with perfect control and quiet power. It also immerses us in a country -- Mongolia -- and a culture that, during the course of the film, become more and more strangely familiar, even as the story veers off into realms of eccentricity and even madness. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Smash!

It's been a good movie year for Marvel, and The Incredible Hulk can only make it better, at least financially. I'm not being sarcastic here. I liked the movie, and it held me all the way, though the film's grip relaxed pretty soon after I left the theater. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Indiana Jones vs. Genghis Khan vs. Errol Morris

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a damned good movie, one capable of pleasing both the masses and the cognoscenti -- or at least that part of the cognoscenti that hasn't decided to go terminally smart-ass. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Not enough Michael Moore

Premiering on DVD and screens as a conscious political gesture -- to try and influence the upcoming Obama vs. McCain election -- Slacker Uprising is probably director/comedian/agitator Michael Moore's weakest movie in recent years, mostly because it's mostly a straight-out concert doc. The event is fascinating -- his 62-city tour calculated to bring out the youth vote, attracting its audience with guest stars as well as free Ramen noodles and new underwear. >More
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