July 14, 2016 |
Philly soccer doc When Major League Soccer (MLS) was granting franchises around the country, it overlooked Philly. Local soccer fans were chagrined. But instead of cursing their luck, a small group of dedicated fans banded together to form a group, Sons of Ben, that lobbied hard to get MLS to reconsider our market. Eventually, they helped Philly get its own team, the Philadelphia Union. The work of those valiant few is immortalized in director Jeffrey Bell' s doc, Sons of Ben: The Movie , which will be available July 22 on DVD and all digital and VOD platforms.
January 9, 2016 |
No matter how explosive, extreme, or radical, most political thrillers from Hollywood usually feature a straw man for a bad guy: The crazy CIA operative, the overambitious senator, the wacko general. Rarely, if ever, do they criticize the actual institutions that make up our society. They give a pass to political bodies such as the Senate, not to mention the justice system, military, and the corporations that seem to influence so much of our lives. That is, until USA Network premiered its cyber-thriller Mr. Robot last season.
December 12, 2015 |
Want to give the gift of film but are afraid that handing out DVDs to family members makes you look cheap? Don't worry: Most distributors offer box sets that come with a little extra - a toy, a figurine, or some little plastic tchotchke to make the giving seem bigger, better, cooler. Consider The Walking Dead Season 5 Limited Edition from Anchor Bay Entertainment. It comes, appropriately enough, with a zombie figurine. But this ain't just a little doll. It's a whole scene: The zombie in question is crawling across a rather sizable chunk of graveyard.
September 5, 2015 |
Comic book adaptations seem to be getting darker, bleaker, and harder-edged by the year. Just look at the history of Batman, from the 1960s TV show to Christopher Nolan's extraordinary Dark Knight trilogy. A dark spirit also is at work in Fox's beautifully conceived Gotham , which will return Sept. 21 for its second season. Developed by Bruno Heller, whose credits include HBO's Rome and CBS' The Mentalist , Gotham isn't exactly a superhero story. Set during Bruce Wayne's childhood (played on the show by 14-year-old actor David Mazouz)
July 18, 2015 |
A Disney animal fable shot through with a hearty dose of social realism and spiced with some serious R-rated violence, White God is a strange, wonderful, disturbing, heartwarming story about a teenage girl, her pet dog, and the intense love that binds them in the face of hardship, misfortune, and separation. Brilliantly shot and edited - the picture includes sequences from the dog's point of view - and featuring a remarkable cast of hundreds of dog extras, Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó's minor masterpiece is a postmodern Lassie with a heart of gold and the bite of a rabid wolf.
July 11, 2015 |
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders, who established himself in the 1970s and 1980s with a series of classic dramas such as The American Friend , The State of Things , and Paris, Texas , also has become one of Europe's premiere documentary filmmakers, with fascinating, no-nonsense pictures that profile other artists, including fashion designers ( Notebook on Cities and Clothes ), musicians ( Buena Vista Social Club ), and other filmmakers ( Lightning Over Water , Tokyo-Ga )
June 27, 2015 |
Ronald Reagan was sometimes mocked by his detractors for his less-than-stellar career in Hollywood, where he never quite reached A-list status. Yet the actor, who would go on to occupy the White House for two terms, was nothing less than brilliant as the villainous mob boss Jack Browning in director Don Siegel's veritably vicious 1964 crime drama The Killers , a remake of Robert Siodmak's 1946 noir classic. Both films have been restored in pristine 4K and will be released July 7 in an affordable single-set release by the Criterion Collection.
June 20, 2015 |
Elmore Leonard, best known for his crime novels, turned to the infamous location of Harlan County, Ky., for inspiration to create a new character, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. He appears in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and the short story "Fire in the Hole. " The latter inspired Canadian writer-producer Graham Yost ( Boomtown ) to create Justified for FX. Over the course of six seasons, Timothy Olyphant ( A Perfect Getaway , The Crazies ) made the character his own, imbuing the lawman with a sharp, dry wit, an ironic self-consciousness and a low-burning but ever-present anger hidden just beneath a polite veneer.
June 6, 2015 |
"Thunderbirds are go !" That line from the family TV series Thunderbirds had to be one of the most exciting refrains from my childhood. Produced between 1964 and 1966 by British TV genius Gerry Anderson and his wife, Sylvia Anderson, the sci-fi adventure show featured distinctive characters played by marionettes who interacted with the grooviest scale-model props - planes, trains, and automobiles - in a hybrid film technique the Andersons called...
May 30, 2015 |
Fans knew something special was in the offing when director David Wain ( Wanderlust ; They Came Together ) announced the cast of his 2001 comedy, Wet Hot American Summer . It was a veritable Who's Who of comedy: Janeane Garofalo, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Judah Friedlander, and David Hyde Pierce. What's more, they were backed by a group of great actors including Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, and Bradley Cooper. A raunchy, sharp-edged satire that was equally affecting and nostalgic, the film was about the crazy goings-on at a summer camp in 1981.