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The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: ‘Contraband’ Starring Mark Wahlberg
Cinema Verite — Diane Lane and Tim Robbins play a bickering couple that was the focus of the groundbreaking 1971 PBS documentary miniseries An American Family — recognized as one of the first reality shows. James Gandolfini stands out as a manipulative producer who tries to orchestrate drama, turning family members against one another. This Read More
The PhilmGuy Reviews: ‘The Lucky One’ Starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling
If those guys who make all those Scary Movie-style parodies ever tried to make fun of Nicholas Sparks books, you’d hardly be able to tell their mockeries from the originals. The author, who has figured out the magic formula to make forgiving romantics swoon and everyone else cough up a hairball, has no fear of Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: ‘Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol’ starring Tom Cruise...
Chinatown Blu-ray — In director Roman Polanski's 1974 throwback to 1940s film noir, Jack Nicholson plays a private eye who is hired to track down a husband suspected of cheating. He tumbles down a rabbit hole that finds him tangling with power players in the corrupt Los Angeles bureaucracy. The film endures as a classic Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: ‘The Iron Lady’ Starring Meryl Streep
Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous — Adapted from a graphic novel series by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, the hourlong, voice-acted motion-comic spins a gripping and mature X-Men yarn about an off-the-rails mutant who is determined to destroy the superhero clan from within. The extras are lacking, but the movie is well worth at least a rental Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,' 'The Bodyguard'
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked — The first two live-action/CGI Alvins were surprisingly charming, but the wheels fall off during the third outing. The Chipmunks and Chipettes board a cruise ship and somehow wind up on a deserted island, where they burst into spontaneous song while mocking Survivor and Cast Away. It seems as though Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Reviews: 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', 'The Muppets'
Battle Royale: The Complete Collection Blu-ray — An off-the-rails, hyper-violent cult favorite series from Japan, the films are cited by many as inspiration for The Hunger Games. Originally released in 2000 and 2003, the movies tackle a near-future dystopia in which teenagers are forced to battle to the death for the amusement of a jaded Read More
The PhilmGuy Reviews: '21 Jump Street' Starring Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum
Jonah Hill is no longer the discount version of Seth Rogen. He's emerging as a formidable talent that matches or surpasses that of his mentor/pal. Hill has proven he can hang with an excellent dramatic cast in Moneyball, and is starting to get as much bromance action than Paul Rudd. But if he keeps signing Read More
The Philmguy's DVD Reviews: 'My Week With Marilyn' and 'The Descendants'
The Adventures of Tintin — Steven Spielberg goes the route of The Polar Express in this whimsical adaptation of the Belgian comic book series about a baby-faced reporter who totes his little dog through rollicking adventures. The film plays something like a computerized painting come to life, with creepily realistic expressions on every character. The Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'Game of Thrones', 'Jack and Jill'
The Deer Hunter Blu-ray — Director Michael Cimino's devastating, Oscar-winning 1978 best picture drama about how serving in Vietnam affects a group of small-town, blue-collar guys looks spectacular in high definition. The war scenes are unbelievably intense, and performances from the brilliant cast (Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, John Savage and Meryl Streep) shine through Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'Hugo', 'Johnny English Reborn'
Hugo – Martin Scorsese's whimsical adaptation of Brian Selznick's magical realism-infused novel is a relentlessly charming, although a slightly overrated family film that panders to cineastes more so than kids and parents looking for a breezy good time. Set in 1930s Paris, it's a tale of an orphan (Asa Butterfield) who lives in a train Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'J. Edgar' Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, 'Tower Heist'
J. Edgar – Leonardo DiCaprio cakes on a goofy makeup mask to play sexually repressed FBI head J. Edgar Hoover as he rises up the ranks and manages the department with a self-righteous, paranoid angst through decades of volatile political times. Although DiCaprio is up to the challenge of tackling the historical figure, the unconvincing Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'The Rum Diary' starring Johnny Depp, 'Take Shelter'
All Quiet on the Western Front Blu-ray – One of the first great movies with sound, the 1930 classic tells the sad, brutal saga of German teens who enlist to fight in World War I at the behest of a saber-rattling professor. The film unblinkingly shows the horrors of one of the more brutal wars Read More
The Philmguy Reviews: 'Safe House' Starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington
Safe House plays out just like a romantic comedy, only with slightly more explosions, car chases, hand-cuffings, ear-yankings and stabbings with glass shards. You know how it goes. The leads meet cute, maybe at a park bench or perhaps in an interrogation room in South Africa. They vow to spend most of the rest of Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1' with Robert Pat...
Anonymous – A fun piece of historical fiction. Shakespeare nuts will eat this up, as will fans of The Tudors. Excellent acting and costumes help buoy a convoluted story that contends William Shakespeare was simply the front for a ghostwriter, nobleman Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans), who was forbidden by social customs to express himself Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'Drive' Starring Ryan Gosling
Adaptation Blu-ray — The trippy 2002 film from the formidable Spike Jonze–Charlie Kaufman directing-screenwriting team casts Nicolas Cage in a double role as a pair of twin screenwriters who attempt to adapt the book The Orchid Thief into a movie. Meryl Streep plays the author, who gets involved in the twins' shenanigans, and Chris Cooper is Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: '50/50,' 'Paranormal Activity 3'
Belle du Jour Blu-ray – Director's Luis Buñuel's lavish 1967 drama stars Catherine Deneuve as the original desperate housewife, who begins moonlighting as a prostitute as an escape from her dreary daily grind. Buñuel's dreamlike imagery melds with Deneuve's unforgettable performance to form a cinematic dynamo that, while no longer as shocking as it was Read More
The PhilmGuy’s DVD Review: 'Abduction,' 'The Ides of March'
Abduction — The serviceable thriller follows a path set by Enemy of the State, only with a high school bent. Taking a break from his broken-hearted werewolf calling card, Taylor Lautner shows the makings of an action star. He plays a teen who learns that he might have been abducted as a child, and begins Read More
The PhilmGuy's DVD Review: 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Moneyball'
Boardwalk Empire: Season 1 – HBO's exquisite Prohibition-era drama details the exploits of fictionalized bootlegger barron Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), who wrangles family life while trading favors with mobsters, politicians and celebrities to elude the feds and help him take over Atlantic City. Michael Pitt plays his protege who ventures off on his own, Kelly Read More
The Philmguy's Top 10 Movies of 2011: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' And More!
1. The Artist — Like all film lovers, I've held my nose and plowed through the silent classics in order to develop an appreciation for the caveman days of the art form. I found all of them, even the "greats" from the likes of Keaton, Lloyd and Chaplin, to be as about enjoyable as salt mining. Read More
The PhilmGuy's DVD Review: 'The Borgias', 'Shameless', 'Jersey Shore'
Apollo 18 A silly faux-doc – think Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project – tells the story of a fictional final Moon landing that went awry, leading to confrontations with aliens. The drab film tries to emit scares but ends up breaking its found-footage illusion too often to take seriously. Commentary, an alternate ending Read More