The Good Life

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DVD Spotlight: Nov. 26 - Dec. 2

Brief capsules on new DVDs worth renting.

By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic

Dir. David Yates

In this sixth installment of the enormously popular fantasy saga, there's nary a trace of the pixie-dust kid stuff that appeared in earlier chapters like Chris Columbus's "Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets." "Half-Blood Prince" is a mature, dark and sometimes seriously scary epic, approached by the cast and crew with the utmost artistic integrity. Undoubtedly caused by a desire to please "Potter" devotees, the film lags a bit as it places too much emphasis on the teen romances brewing in the halls of Hogwarts school. Still, it is a magical, extremely impressive achievement, standing as the best "Potter" flick since "Prisoner of Azkaban." (Available Dec. 8.)

Dir. Nora Ephron

In what will surely land her a 16th career Oscar nomination, Meryl Streep is delectable as Julia Child in this imperfect but irresistible dramedy from writer/director Nora Ephron. Apated from the book by blogger Julie Powell, "Julie & Julia" is a breezy, largely delightful experience, even if the half with Julie (Streep's "Doubt" costar Amy Adams) pales in comparison to the Paris-set bliss of Julia's portion. It's a credit to Ephron's skill and determination that the dual-biopic approach worked at all, and strong -- albeit, sidelined -- turns from Chris Messina and the wonderful Stanley Tucci are icing on the cake. (Available Dec. 8.)

Dir. Larry Charles

British envelope-pusher Sacha Baron Cohen outdoes himself with "Bruno," the shocking and side-splittingly hilarious follow-up to his 2006 hit, "Borat." Plenty of scenes in this film left my face covered in tears of laughter, as Cohen proves how fearless a guerilla comedian he truly is. Certainly not for everyone (and definitely not for children), "Bruno" earns every inch of its R rating. It's also the funniest movie of the year. (Now available.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]