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Monday, December 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 19.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Wilmington on DVD: Win glory before death

Remember Classics Illustrated comic books? Here's a supreme example of that mix of kiddie-pulp and art applied to movies: Robert Zemeckis' ultra-thrilling, sturm und drang, two-fisted motion-capture version of one of the great classics of early literature -- the authorless but imperishable saga of the battle of stalwart hero Beowulf and the deadly super-creature Grendel, along with assorted wizards, sorceresses, dragons, royal ale-quaffers and hordes of soldiers waving swords and clinking flagons. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: George Clooney, the fixer

A slick, brainy George Clooney thriller-drama and one of this year's five Best Picture Oscar nominees, director-writer Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton digs into contemporary corporate malfeasance and legal compromise with swift pace, wit and a wicked thrust. Gilroy, making his directorial debut, wrote much of the Bourne movie series, and this film is just as fast and a little smarter. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The brothers Affleck return to Boston

Gone Baby Gone is a good time-passer, well-acted and street-lingo-zingy, not overloaded with phony action set-pieces. But the resolution is strange and mushy, and the theme of children-in-peril isn't as pointed and moving as it was in Mystic River. But it's a cut above most movies like this. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The poetic rebel of Soviet cinema

One of the world's greatest film directors, a protean moviemaker and a truly supreme visual stylist, was the Russian genius Sergei Paradjanov. His career was cut short by censorship and a prison term, but he still produced a handful of works of extraordinary originality and immense artistry. One can mourn all the films he didn't make -- as well as his cruel and stupid mistreatment by the Soviet hacks who were his nemeses. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Remembering Heath Ledger

Like James Dean, Heath Ledger died too soon -- but that also means that, in the eyes of moviegoers, he'll be forever young. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: A Strindbergian dance-duel

August Strindberg, whose psychosexual dramas Dance of Death and The Dream Play, float like dreams and cut like a knife, was Ingmar Bergman's favorite Swedish playwright. But it was Alf Sjoberg, Bergman's onetime mentor and the director of his youthful film script Hets (Torment), who became Strindberg's finest cinematic interpreter. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Meet me in New York

Director-co-writer Leo McCarey first told the story in An Affair to Remember in 1939 in one of his favorites, Love Affair, scripted by Delmer Daves, with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne in the Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr roles. That film is a classic too, but more rarely seen; screenwriter Nora Ephron's invocation of the later, luscious Technicolor-and-Cinemascope version as the ultimate "chick flick" in her Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan comedy Sleepless in Seattle started a vogue for the later movie that hasn't stopped. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Please Rush to Editor!

David Fincher's Se7en was one of the most fanciful and nightmarish of all serial-killer movie thrillers. His Zodiac, on the other hand, is one of the most realistic. Naturally, it wasn't nearly as popular. Based on the San Francisco Zodiac killings, inspiration for the fictional Scorpio killings in Dirty Harry, this is a real-life detective story that's also an absorbing character study. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The best releases of 2007

2007 may not have always been a good year for movies -- No Country for Old Men, There Will be Blood, Atonement and Away From Her notwithstanding -- but it was another stellar year for DVDs, especially classics and boxed sets. The lists that follow -- one for sets and one for singles (sort of) -- should whet any buff's appetite. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Vory v Zakone

Gangster movies and film noir are two of the choicest and most durable movie genres, and Eastern Promises, from that master of cinematic dread, David Cronenberg, is a great post-post-modern example of both -- a mob romance set in the Russian Mafia, in a London that's unfoggy, clear and sharp as a razor at your throat. >More
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