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Thursday, July 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 65.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily

DVD

Wilmington on DVD: Super 8, Sarah's Key

Super 8, the best of its kind this year, made me feel, for a while, as if I were 12 again -- and I'm sure that's just the effect that J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg wanted. It hooked me fast: Super 8's mass-audience pop-movie tale of six kids shooting their own Super 8 zombie movie, who then become involved in a real-life horror-story of monster alien attacks and military conspiracies erupting all around them. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Rolling Stones: 'Some Girls' Live in Texas '78, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Larry Crowne, The Trip, Bellflower, Despair

The Rolling Stones: "Some Girls" Live in Texas '78, a record of the Stones' Lone Star/Stone Star State gig of the American tour done in support of the recent release of their now-classic album Some Girls, is priceless show, one of their best on film. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Park Row, The Change-Up, 13

All fine things must come to an end, and so finally has the Harry Potter series: the books first of all, and now the movies, climaxing at last in a final explosion, a last spell, and a last credit-crawl, that closes the long-awaited unreeling of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Water for Elephants, A Christmas Tale and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Raffaello Matarazzo

Water for Elephants, co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz as an incendiary circus triangle -- takes place in 1931, in a flashback, in a circus, on a train or under the big top. And it's awash in memory, about the romance of the circus: about the circus as the canvas-tent palace of dreams. It's fitting, in a way, that this movie is set in the Depression, when America's illusions were being progressively stripped away. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Last Mountain, Page One: Inside The New York Times, Bad Teacher

Imagine a monster movie, a science fiction horror film called The Last Mountain. Except it's not the usual alien invasion or creatures-run-amok tale, but something a little more...plausible? Something like a Sundance Film Festival documentary, we'll say, set it in the present day, in a typical working-class America state like West Virginia, in a area called Coal River Valley, where for years people have mined coal and pulled it from the earth. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Tree of Life, Scream 4, Jean Vigo

In The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick dares the cinematic heavens again and, as far as I'm concerned, he wins the bet. The movie marks another grand, offbeat, wildly ambitious work realized with striking artistry and beauty by its unfailingly brilliant writer-director. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Princess of Montpensier, Green Lantern, Horrible Bosses, Zookeeper

Bertrand Tavernier's The Princess of Montpensier is a rich, emotional, supremely intelligent work -- a passionate romance, a penetrating political critique and a rousing adventure story. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Sergei Eisentein's Strike, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

In 1925, Sergei Eisenstein directed two silent films that would shake the world. Those two movies, made in a new way for, supposedly, a new audience, would glorify that same revolution (by showing two earlier proletarian uprisings in Russia). In many ways, they would also revolutionize filmmaking throughout the world. They were Eisenstein's debut feature, Strike, and his follow-up, The Battleship Potemkin. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Bridesmaids, Le Quattro Volte, Captain America: The First Avenger

Kristen Wiig is one funny lady, and Bridesmaids -- in which she is both star and co-writer -- is one funny movie. But it's not as if it has a lot of competition. Male buddy-buddy comedies I Love You, Man or The Hangover keep popping up all over the multiplexes and box-office charts, misbehaving wildly and scoring big, while female buddy-buddy comedies, which tend to be sappier and better behaved -- and less funny -- are fewer and rarer. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Meek's Cutoff, Thor, The Colossus of New York, Monkey Business

Meek's Cutoff, like the Coen Brothers' True Grit, is an art-film Western for a contemporary audience, and an unusually good one -- made by a director and writer who show a real feeling for what it must have been like to cross the Western plains along or near the Oregon Trail, westward toward California, in frontier times, mostly without maps or guideposts, and apparently without the U.S. Cavalry to come riding to the rescue. >More
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