'Beyond,' a short story in the Matrix-inspired animated anthology 'The Animatrix.'

‘The Animatrix’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The Wachowski Siblings conceived and produced The Animatrix (2003), an anthology of nine original animated short films, as a companion piece to their Matrix trilogy and a tribute to Japanese anime, one of their visual inspirations. The best pieces are short stories in the Matrix-verse concocted by the Japanese animation veterans: Beyond, a fanciful Miyazaki-in-Matrixland story […]

Mel Gibson in George Miller's original 1979 'Mad Max'

‘Mad Max’ on FilmStruck

The original Mad Max (1979), George Miller’s grungy 1979 revenge flick, was an international smash when American International Pictures—the kings of the drive-in movies who spawned Roger Corman, teen horror, and biker films—acquired the film and replaced those Aussie accents with good ol’ American talk. It never really hit in the US and it’s hard to […]

Al Pacino is Cuban thug turned Miami drug lord Tony Montana in Brian De Palma's 'Scarface'

‘Scarface’ – Say hello to my little friend on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Brian De Palma’s Scarface (1983), ostensibly a remake of the Howard Hawks gangster classic, moves the iconic rise and fall crime opera from the tommy-gun gangster street battles of the prohibition era to the cocaine wars of Florida in the eighties. In the process, De Palma, screenwriter Oliver Stone, and star Al Pacino carved out […]

Robert Pattinson stars in David Cronenberg's creen adaptation of Don Delillo's sprawling novel

David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Cosmopolis (2012) is a microcosm of a disconnected existence, life lived in a bubble in financial dealings and digital communications and brief face-to-face conversations and sexual intermissions in a space shuttle of a limousine creeping through the gridlock of an anonymous New York City. David Cronenberg adapts Don Delillo’s massive novel, distilling it down to […]

Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Clara Bow in Wings

‘Wings’ – The First Best Picture on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Clara Bow takes top billing in Paramount’s lavish 1927 war drama Wings (1927) and Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Richard Arlen (both virtual unknowns at the time) play the buddies and fellow pilots at the center of the film, but the real star of this World War I picture is the amazing aerial spectacle: the dogfights […]

The cast of 'All About Eve' - Gary Merrill, Bette Davis, George Sanders, Anne Baxter, Hugh Marlowe, and Celeste Holm.

‘All About Eve’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

“Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” All About Eve (1950), Joseph L. Mankeiwicz’s acerbic view askance at the Great White Way, is the writer/director’s Citizen Kane, a little less complex perhaps, but masterful in its own way in its cynical portrait of ambition on the boards. The barbed dialogue is […]

Kathryn Bigelow's 'Near Dark.'

‘Near Dark’ – There’s a price for the night – Blu-ray and DVD

They hunt by night, picking off stray hitchhikers, wandering loners and anyone else unlucky enough to stray into their path. They keep to back roads and lonely towns of the American southwest. They are a feral clan, more a pack than a gang. They are family. And they feed off the blood of humans. To […]

'Mad Monster Party?' from Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass is an animated monster movie spoof. With songs!

‘Mad Monster Party?’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Everyone is familiar with the landmark horror classics. This is one in a series of suggestions for Halloween viewing that may not be so familiar, including titles that teens and tweens (and in some cases adolescents) can watch without breaking the R-rating. In the midst of making their classic Christmas specials (like Rudolph the Red […]