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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Wilmington on DVD: Ridley's replicant cuts

Nowadays, director Ridley Scott's visually overwhelming film of the Philip K. Dick novel is rightly judged a classic -- a masterpiece of both science fiction and film noir, and a fit subject for this stunning five-disc "ultimate" collector's edition, Dick's novel was originally called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep; the title comes from "beat" master William Burroughs. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The little masterpiece Moolaadé

I first saw Moolaadé at Cannes, where it was one of the sensations of the film festival -- and deserved to be. The story hooks you immediately. When three frightened young women seek sanctuary with the well-respected wife of one of the village elders, she takes them in -- and her husband becomes infuriated at his wife's interference, a schism that tears the village apart. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The nonpareil maker of movie Westerns

I haven't given out any A+ grades since the column started. But I was sorely tempted this week by the release of Ford at Fox, a wonderful, comprehensive package of John Ford's films for 20th Century Fox, a great box set that includes both famous masterpieces (The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, Young Mr. Lincoln, My Darling Clementine) and delightful obscurities hitherto unavailable. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Desi America

Mira Nair, the wondrously talented and exuberant India-born director of the modern classics Salaam Bombay and Monsoon Wedding, adds a third jewel to her crown with The Namesake, a complex, warmly humane, gorgeously shot family saga. I loved it -- and not just because I have a soft spot for Nair. It's really the sort of film she was born to make, full of life, intelligence and shrewd observations of Asian and Western life and the spaces in between. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Into thin air with Hitchcock

Something has gone dreadfully wrong on this vacation excursion turned nightmare -- but perfectly right with this great Alfred Hitchcock romantic suspense comedy, one of the most entertaining movies Hitchcock (or anyone) ever made. The script is by the crackerjack team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, the cast is unimprovable, the technique is perfect. Hitchcock loved trains and he makes us fall in love with this one, too. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The greatest gift

It's one of those movies that almost all moviegoers know, many love and a few pooh-pooh. But Frank Capras's populist masterpiece deserves its primal place in our pop culture and our Christmas memories. It's a jarring, stirring exhilarating mix of Norman Rockwell and film noir, angelic fantasy, small town comedy, and political fable: the tale of a man who sacrifices himself all his life to help his family and neighbors and then finds himself on the brink of suicide when his bread seems to sink in the waters. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Won't you please, please help me

A wildly colorful spoof of James Bond and other '60s movie and TV staples, with the boys pursued by a fantastical Indian killer cult hell-bent on removing a sacred ring from Ringo's finger, Help! is full of playfully satiric digs. There are also surreal homages to director Richard Lester's idol silent comedy genius Buster Keaton, and seven spellbinding Lennon and McCartney songs. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Smile while you're makin' it

One of the great films of the 1970s -- and one that too much of the current audience has missed -- was director Lindsay Anderson's, writer David Sherwin's and star-cowriter Malcolm McDowell's, sprawling picaresque follow-up to their 1968 English public school-revolution classic If..... McDowell's If character, smirking, cocky Mick Travis, sees and experiences a vivid, funny panoply of '60s England, based on McDowell's own youthful life as a coffee salesman. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Love on the run

Days of Heaven is a piece of cinematic poetry that can almost hypnotize you with wonder -- and also pretty close to the ultimate '70s American film classic, heir to all the freedom and license that Easy Rider begat and that climaxed with Apocalypse Now and Raging Bull. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: My smile is just skin deep

Four horrific silent features and one bizarre documentary take us back to the heyday of '20s silent Hollywood horror: a simpler, more elegantly scary time when the sets were darkly lit and nightmarish, the stories thrillingly Victorian or Gothic and the acting (especially by the great Lon Chaney and John Barrymore), blood-chillingly unrestrained. >More
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