Blu-ray Review: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, Scorsese's Finest, a Transcendent Piece of Mannered Savagery

Timed to coincide with the end of the theatrical run of Daniel Day-Lewis' "final" performance in Phantom Thread (a retirement claim I will take to heart approximately 20 years from now), Martin Scorsese's 1993 period romance The Age of Innocence...

Blu-ray Review: In AN ACTOR'S REVENGE, a Female Impersonator Walks Home Alone At Night

Made right in the middle of the most fertile period in the career of director Kon Ichikawa (The Burmese Harp, Tokyo Olympiad), An Actor's Revenge joins the Criterion Collection this week as spine #912. It's a drab tale of melodrama...

Rey Before Rey: Padmé Is the Protagonist of THE PHANTOM MENACE

Among many things, one area where The Phantom Menace falls behind the other Star Wars films is its lack of a clear hero's journey, driving the narrative as Luke's drives Star Wars and Rey's drives The Force Awakens. Fans like...

Blu-ray Review: THE BREAKFAST CLUB, a Criterion Collection Triumph

The announcement that The Breakfast Club would be joining the Criterion Collection was met with a kind of uproar -- either from fans (like me) enthusiastic about seeing John Hughes' seminal 1980s teen drama preserved and restored in 4K; or...

ScreenAnarchy's Favourite Films of 2017

Another year over, and what an annus horribilis it proved to be in so many ways. But away from the political atrocities that took place in pretty much every country you care to mention, and the sexual harassment scandals that...

Blu-ray Review: Landmark Lesbian Drama DESERT HEARTS Looks Tremendous and Feels Almost as Good

A woman arrives in Reno by train and will leave the same way, with one seismic difference: she has met and fallen in love with Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a local artist and resident free-spirit. The year is 1959, and Vivian...

10+ Years Later: THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a Failed Footnote in Fantasy Adaptations

Released at the end of 2007, The Golden Compass aimed to become the third jewel in a crown of mega-grossing 21st century fantasy adaptations, following The Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. The first...

Blu-ray Review: Musical Man-Eating Mermaids in Agnieszka Smoczyńska's THE LURE

Part of the appeal of the Criterion Collection for lovers of film is its simple act of curation. Though weighing in at over 900 titles in its current run (The Lure is #896, hitting stores October 10), the collection still...

Blu-ray Review: Kelly Reichardt's CERTAIN WOMEN Joins the Criterion Collection

I love the rhythm of Kelly Reichardt's 2016 film, Certain Women. An unhurried triptych of stories about women in small-town Montana, Certain Women has the time (and the sense) to let moments hang, as tiny calibrations of feeling pass across...

Blu-ray Review: Mike Leigh's MEANTIME, A Well-Timed Criterion Release

One of many, many, many films I'd never heard of before Criterion sought to add it to their numbers (number 890 in this case), Mike Leigh's 1984 TV movie Meantime comes across as an unintentional political statement. It pulls us...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Cannot Illuminate the Multitudes Within Tarkovsky's STALKER

Stalker is my Ulysses. It is a totemic work in my understanding of its respective art form, but one that I "get" only in glimpses and echoes. This will be my third time seeing the film, and I am heartily...

Destroy All Monsters: That's Fine, There Never Should Have Been A HAN SOLO Movie Anyway

I'll get my biases out of the way right at the top: I think, and always have thought, that a Han Solo prequel movie is a terrible idea. There's the Patton Oswalt joke where he filibusters his way through the...

Destroy All Monsters: In Light of WONDER WOMAN, It's Time To Reconsider 1984's SUPERGIRL

"Squirt? Squirt." - Peter O'Toole as Zaltar in Supergirl (1984) Wonder Woman continues to dominate the box office both domestically and abroad, adding a disproportionately low second-weekend drop (for this genre, the best since Batman Begins) to its list of...

Destroy All Monsters: The Long Sad Tale of My Love for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

It started abruptly in the summer of 2003. I had not seen Mouse Hunt, but I had seen The Mexican and The Ring. I sort of thought Gore Verbinski was a terrible director. I definitely thought making a movie out...

Destroy All Monsters: Hell Is The Human Race In ALIEN: COVENANT

Spoilers. "Mortal, after all," crows the android David (Michael Fassbender) in Prometheus, upon discovering that the "gods" his crew has sought - the Engineers - can in fact be killed. In Alien: Covenant we learn that David took his name...

Blu-ray Review: JEANNE DIELMAN, Criterion's Three-Hour Slog To Pure Cinematic Perfection

Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles was released by the Criterion Collection a few years ago in a standard-definition DVD, but gets upgraded to Blu-ray this week, which finally gave me the chance to catch up...

Destroy All Monsters: The Abysmal Fathers Of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

My dad went in for surgery this week, which (Thor be praised) is a new experience for our family - the first hospital visit, the first recovery period, the first time dealing with that set of worries. And no need...

Destroy All Monsters: Did Marvel Seriously Just Pivot To The Right?

I have sympathy for anyone in a floundering, long-lead industry - whose desperation to improve matters is kept at actionable arm's length by the exigencies of the production cycle. But did Marvel Comics seriously look at the election of Donald...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's TAMPOPO Will Make You Hungry

Make sure your noodle-wrangling skills are on point before spinning up this delicious disc.

Destroy All Monsters: Thanks, GIRLS!

I'm not going to add much to the discussion of Girls, where other writers have ably carried the conversation, besides returning to a point I made a few years ago: I'm glad this show exists, has existed, did exist; and...