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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

DVD

Wilmington on DVD: Farewell, Paul Newman

Paul Newman was the Great Good Guy of American movies. He was a film-star prince of middle America, a heartbreaker with a brain, an athlete with a soul. He became a movie star in the mid-'50s, by the time he was 30, and at first he seemed most famous for his good looks -- for that Grecian profile, that middleweight's body and those legendary blue eyes, as well as the flip, sardonic wisecracks that could issue somewhat surprisingly from his chiseled lips. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda get carried away

I liked it. The filmmakers and the actresses have taken these characters so far and done so much with them, given them such fullness and depth, that they've grown into a thoroughly pleasant predictability, the blessed TV kick of familiarity. Also, Sex the movie scores points by balancing its bouts of sex (pretty steamy) and hilarity, with the drama and real anguish. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: A small town epic

Small towns are often romanticized and sentimentalized in the movies, turned into fantasies of good will and overly fond memories that sometimes make the consummately homey visions of painter Norman Rockwell look like the works of a cynical satirist. David Gordon Green's Snow Angels, however, takes the opposite course. It's nastier and more realistic, though, in the end, almost as poetic. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: My friend, The Dude

Jeff Bridges' greatest acting creation, and the main man in the Coen Brothers' funniest movie, is Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski: ex radical activist, bowler, connoisseur of second hand rugs and the most remarkable and hilarious of all Philip Marlowe-inspired L. A. detectives (No, I'm not forgetting Elliott Gould) in the greatest Raymond Chandler-inspired neo-noir comedy we'll probably ever see. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: A Chris Marker collection

This is one of the most important, illuminating and thoroughly enjoyable DVD releases of the year: a double disc of Alexander Medvedkin's great silent comedy Happiness, which makes merry among the Russian peasantry as farms are collectivized, joined with The Last Bolshevik, Chris Marker's great documentary on Medvedkin, which exposes the reality of the farms and the Stalinist Communist era -- a period to which Medvedkin, sadly, resigned himself. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Orson Welles in La Mancha

Viva Welles! The wreckage of a great artist's most cherished labor of love is still well worth our time -- often far more than the successes and best efforts of lesser men and women. Take Orson Welles' troubled production of Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes' literary masterpiece, the great Spanish novel of chivalry and illusions. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Truth is stranger than fiction

Recount, a recent HBO original, is one of the best and most revealing of all dramatic movies about American electoral politics -- except, of course, it's not fictional. The performances here are something else -- especially Tom Wilkinson's smooth-talking Texas sharpie James Baker, a near-perfect impersonation, and Laura Dern's priceless Katherine Harris, a bizarre figure, with quasi-vamp makeup and wildly flickering smile, right out of a classic '30s screwball comedy. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: West Africa animated

Right now, we're in a golden age of ultra-computerized movie animation, of the voluptuous sights and fantastic shapes of WALLE and Finding Nemo. But that doesn't mean the older style can't still summon up its old charms -- especially the splendid Japanese fairytales of Hayao Miyazaki and the wonderful "Kirikou" films of French animator Ocelot. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: A magnum opus from the BBC and Evelyn Waugh

Beautifully scripted by John Mortimer and very richly and finely directed by Charles Sturridge and Michael Lindsay Hogg, the BBC version of Brideshead Revisited is one of the most faithful, lavish and wondrously literary of all the best British TV classic novel adaptations. In its sumptuous 11 episodes and 659 minutes, we follow Charles (Jeremy Irons, in his deservedly star-making performance) and his love affair with a family and a house: the Marchmains and Flytes of Brideshead. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Scorsese exalts The Rolling Stones

Anyone who loves movies or rock 'n' roll, or both, and doesn't get excited at the prospect of Shine a Light -- the new concert film with the Rolling Stones, directed by Martin Scorsese -- well, what can I say? They run the risk of cheating themselves out of an incandescent experience and a knockout show. This DVD is the vibrant record of a live 2006 concert at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre on the "Bigger Bang" tour -- and it's thrilling and warming and knock-you-on-your ass brilliant: a sexy super shock wave of rock. >More
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