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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 29.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

DVD

Wilmington on DVD: Nothing But the Truth, Alain Resnais, Bride Wars, and Notorious

The most effective of writer-director (and ex-movie critic) Rod Lurie's political melodramas is this absorbing legal thriller, obviously inspired by the case of the New York Times' Judith Miller (but widely departing from it). >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, In the Realm of the Senses, and Precinct 13

I'm not sure Mickey Rourke isn't the best of them all. Certainly he seems to be suffering the most for his art here -- very convincingly, and with physical and emotional courage, giving us the very image of an over-the-hill wrestler, desperately trying to hang on and come back. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: The Reader, Pete Seeger, Happy Together, Pre-Code Hollywood

Some movies are quintessential Oscar-nominee candidates, and so is The Reader, which helped deliver the 2008 "Best Actress" statuette to Kate Winslet. Not that she didn't deserve it, but it's a very obvious choice: Winslet plays Hanna, a tragic German anti-heroine who experiences ecstasy and agony during a forbidden romance with a younger Jewish boy, all set against a Holocaust background. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Doubt, The Last Metro, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Yes Man

Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing a gorgon nun and a progressive priest, battling in a Bronx parochial school in 1964, stage a classic actor's duel in Doubt -- director-writer John Patrick Shanley's tense, humane adaptation of his Tony-winning play. And they made it an obvious but deserving candidate for 2008's prestigious film acting prizes. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Slumdog Millionaire, Danton, Il Generale Della Rovere, and An American in Paris

Slumdog Millionaire is a dancing, crackling shockwave of a movie, an incandescent, visually explosive tale of poverty, wealthy, love and crime in contemporary India. It's a pulse-racer, a technically exhilarating movie that uses many of the modern devices and tricks of cinema, infuses them with a wild, rushing energy and -- without sacrificing social insight or dramatic depth -- ends up all but blowing you out of your seat. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Quantum of Solace, Dodes'ka-den, L'Innocente, and William Wellman

Quantum of Solace, eh? The first James Bond picture I saw was Goldfinger, during its first national release, at the Orpheum Theater. The theater was packed from stem to stern, and the audience, many probably University of Wisconsin students like me. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Synecdoche, New York, Faust, Hiroshi Shimizu, Twilight, and Bolt

On screen, Philip Seymour Hoffman can project so much sparkling intelligence on the one hand and so much dysfunctional eccentricity on the other that he's something of a synecdoche himself: humanity for the actor, or the actor for humanity. He's a natural for the crazy artist role in ace screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's brilliantly oddball writer-directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Milk, Happy-Go-Lucky, Rachel Getting Married, and Cadillac Records

Milk is an Oscar-slanted project, of course, and it doesn't fumble any of its balls or chances -- either in re-creating the period, analyzing its roots, capturing its politics, making its dramatis personae come alive, or in acing what seemed at first a very risky casting choice in Gus Van Sant's pick for the role of assemblymen Harvey himself: fiery-tempered Sean Penn. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Australia, Tales of Beatrix Potter, and East of Eden

Over-the-top it may be, sport, but Baz Luhrmann's visually scrumptious, rousing epic of World War II-era Australia unbound, was one of my favorite movies of 2008. >More
 Wilmington on DVD: Paul Newman, Dear Zachary, Natalie Wood, What Just Happened, and Sex Drive

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were one of the great American movie couples -- I'd rank them with Tracy and Hepburn -- and they prove their mettle in the brooding romantic drama Rachel, Rachel. It's the best of the five Newman movies released by Warner last week, and the blue-eyed racer and food impresario makes nary an appearance. >More
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