November 15, 2011
RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Larry Crowne and Beginners
One might be inclined to think that the fact we're leading off this week's column with Larry Crowne is an indication of a fairly dry selection of home video choices, but one would be wrong. Granted, most of the noteworthy choices are older films getting the hi-def treatment, but they're great choices nonetheless. We didn't even have time to mention, for example, Blu-ray rereleases of Evil Dead 2 or Metropolis. What we do have this week is a directorial misfire by Tom Hanks (co-starring Julia Roberts), a heartfelt romance starring Ewan McGregor, and a strange indie road film. On top of that, Criterion is releasing new Blu-rays of a Jean Renoir masterpiece and an acclaimed trilogy, and we've got new editions of Infernal Affairs, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady. So, overall, not a terrible week at all!
June 30, 2011
Critics Consensus: Transformers: Dark of the Moon is Less Than Meets the Eye
This week at the movies, we've got robots in disguise (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starring Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), a recession romance (Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts), and a royal mix-up (Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester). What do the critics have to say? Three films into the franchise, we pretty much know what we're getting with a Transformers movie: tons of hyperkinetic robot action, with little in the way of character development or coherent plotting. So it is with Transformers: Dark of the Moon; critics say this latest installment is a marked improvement over Revenge of the Fallen, but it's still an exercise in sensory overload that favors special effects over storytelling.
June 27, 2011
Total Recall: Best Tom Hanks Movies
Co-starring in a short-lived sitcom about cross-dressing friends generally isn't the most direct path to superstardom, but there's an exception to prove every rule -- only one, though; sorry, Peter Scolari -- and after racking up over $3 billion in domestic ticket receipts, winning a mantel full of awards (including back-to-back Best Actor Oscars), and starring in some of the best-reviewed films of the last 25 years, Tom Hanks has demonstrated that he's pretty darned exceptional. With his latest project, the grown-up romantic comedy Larry Crowne, arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now was the perfect time to pay tribute to an impressive body of work by twirling the dials on the Tomatometer, making a list of Hanks' best-reviewed films, and playing Total Recall!