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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 31.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Wilmington on DVD: Another Year, Platoon, The Company Men, Sanctum

Mike Leigh's Another Year is another look at the Britain he's chronicled so powerfully and memorably since his first feature, Bleak Moments, in 1971. It's a rich, humane work about people and classes, friendship and anguish, marriage and loneliness: a movie that catches you up, transfixes, moves you. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: True Grit, Marlon Brando

The Western is one of the great America movie myths, and the Coen brothers' new version of Charles Portis' novel True Grit seems to me one of the great movie Westerns. America movies and American literature should join hands more often, and as wondrously well, as they do in this movie, a crackerjack yarn that gives us what many of the best Westerns always do: a great chase, a great gufight, and a touching platonic love affair between a lawman and a lady. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Biutiful, Shoeshine, Grand Prix, I Am Number Four

In Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's sad and moving film Biutiful, Javier Bardem gives an extraordinary performance as a dying man named Uxbal: a small-time Barcelona hustler working a variety of scams and shady deals to support his two young children. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Gnomeo & Juliet, Kes, Silent Naruse

Gnomeo & Juliet seems to have a totally crazy idea -- a musical animated feature riff on William Shakespeare's unbeatable Romeo and Juliet, with two sets of feuding lawn ornaments battling and cussing out each other on the lawns of two feuding next-door neighbors. But, dopey as it sounds, it's more entertaining than you'd expect. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Mechanic, Blue Valentine, No Strings Attached

I suppose it makes sense that, if you were going to remake a movie these days from 1972, it would be something like The Mechanic. This kind of cold, cynical, head-bashing entertainment -- with two protagonists/anti-heroes who would be villains in most other movies -- is exactly the kind of gaudy, slick, bloody show many filmmakers try to make these days. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Illusionist, Patton, Tracy and Hepburn

In this wonderful feature cartoon, master old-style French animator Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) takes an unproduced Jacques Tati script about an aging magician, and the young woman who follows and loves him, and makes Chaplinesque, Tatiesque magic. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Somewhere, A World in His Arms, Gulliver's Travels, Country Strong

Sofia Coppola's film Somewhere is about a star Hollywood movie actor named Johnny Marco (played with deceptively lazy-looking grace and expertise by Stephen Dorff) who lives a pointless life of hedonism and play at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard (the Hollywood landmark where John Belushi overdosed), in between publicity and press appointments orchestrated by his publicity people, room visits by twin blonde pole dancers, sexy/druggie parties, flights off to Italy for film festival appearances and preparations for whatever his next movie may be. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Way Back, Blow Out

What would we do, for example, if we were faced -- as are the eight central characters of The Way Back -- with trekking on foot through freezing, wolf-infested Siberian forests during the height of World War II, with the soldiers of the Soviet Gulag and their guns somewhere behind us? Or crossing the Gobi Desert under a scorching sun with little water, and boots falling apart? >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The King's Speech, Le Cercle Rouge, Bette Davis

The King's Speech -- the highly polished, highly entertaining British period drama from the Brothers Weinstein -- definitely has "class act" credentials. It's well-written (by 71-year-old David Seidler), well-directed (by Tom Hooper), and extremely well-acted by the usual top-notch British cast -- especially by the three leads, Colin Firth (as the introverted, microphone-shy Duke of York and eventually, George VI), Geoffrey Rush (as his rowdily eccentric therapist, Lionel Logue), and Helena Bonham-Carter, as Elizabeth, the future, much-beloved late Queen Mother of today's Queen Elizabeth. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: White Material, Topsy-Turvy, The Mikado, The Norman Conquests

As White Material opens, we are somewhere in West Africa. A slight, pretty Frenchwoman in a thin white sundress with a spray of freckles on her pale face scurries from place to place as her world shatters and falls apart around her. Government troops are massing or leaving; gangs of boy soldiers roam the woods, the local mayor has turned mean and opportunistic, a charismatic rebel leader named the Boxer has been found dead. And then... >More
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