Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD from 2011 and earlier.
- Excerpt: Sadder, rangier and more ambitious than its admirably low-key antecedent,  is a fiery burst of creative energy from a director who could have rested on his artistic laurels after having already contributed, over the course of seven distinctive features, one of cinema’s richest collective portraits of urban melancholy and lovesickness. Instead, while the film offers a compendium of Wong’s trademark stylistic tics and thematic obsessions, it also presents exciting new prisms through which to view them.
Angel and the Badman
- Excerpt: The first starring vehicle that John Wayne produced himself, the 1947 western Angel and the Badman is a nuanced romantic picture that explores the nature of violence, pitting the myth of the gunslinger against a sincere belief in a higher power.
The Asphalt Jungle
- Excerpt: The Asphalt Jungle is a brilliant film in its understanding of all the character’s motivations: their greed, their cynicism, their faults, but also their sad and tragic hopes to escape the world they live in.
Babette’s Feast (1987)
- Excerpt: Films are very much like art museums. The Dutch masters may not be suitable for everyone
A Boy and His Dog
- Excerpt: If the surface is a savage arena, the so-called civilization underneath is a tyrannical dictatorship under the front of a malignant fantasy.
- Excerpt: An early submarine movie from director RenÃ© ClÃ©ment
The Devil’s Backbone
- Excerpt: [Guillermo] Del Toro’s best films are richly imaginative, filled with color and packed with intricate detail, but here he strips the images to stark, bold, intense visions: an isolated villa baked clay red by the dry yellow sun of the Spanish desert, an unexploded bomb teetering in mid-fall in the courtyard, the bone-white phantom of a boy floats in the air with a red wisp oozing from his scalp like a cloud and a halo of bubbles suspended around his head.
- Excerpt: While visual anarchy can be starling and bracing in chunks, Domino quickly settles into a one-tone-fits-all groove that’s desperately wearying.
The Earrings of Madame de…
- Excerpt: The European films of Max Ophuls are elaborate dances of romance and seduction in a world of social constraints and fickle lovers, and his 1953 “The Earrings of Madame de…,” considered by some critics one of the perfect pictures of cinema, is the most elegant of these melancholy waltzes.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
God’s Little Acre
- Excerpt: …a lusty mix of satire, slapstick, and Tennessee Williams-style family dynamics, making for a movie that is often hyperactive in its presentation, going over the top and then down into darker depths.
Prom Night III: The Last Kiss
- Excerpt: As cheap and as horrendously acted as you’d ever want a DTV movie released in 1990 to be.
The Public Eye
The Satanic Rites of Dracula
- Excerpt: Cinematographer James Wong Howe is a master of images and shoots this in a stark black and white style that is both clinical and unreal…
That Night’s Wife
Valley of the Dolls
- Excerpt: Valley of the Dolls derives its humor from the fact that it is trying so hard, so desperately hard, to be serious, to be a searing expose into the dark side of fame. In its efforts to be serious, the situations become so outrageous, almost idiotic, that it is impossible not to laugh.
Voyage of ‘The Damned’: The 1947 French war thriller makes its American home video debut
- Excerpt: The Damned (Cohen) is a superb title for an unusual 1947 French war thriller from René Clément, about a secret Nazi mission in the final days of World War II to send a special team to South America by submarine to prepare the way for Reich’s arrival.