Sylvain Chomet's animated film of a Jacques Tati script

‘The Illusionist’ on Amazon Prime Video

With The Illusionist (France, 2010), animator Sylvain Chomet (of the delirious The Triplets of Belleville) transforms an unproduced script by they great French auteur Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle) into a tender tale of a French magician and a Scottish girl in the theater-folk society of London as the old world of stage performance gives way […]

Hiromasa Yonebayashi directs the animated fantasy based on the children's novel by British author Mary Stewart

‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ – a magical odyssey on Netflix

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Japan, 2017), the magical fantasy by Japanese animator and filmmaker Hiromasa Yonebayashi (director of the marvelous When Marnie Was There), based on a children’s novel by British author Mary Stewart, follows the adventures of a schoolgirl who receives magical powers for a day from a magical flower that blooms once […]

Holy retro, Batman! It’s ‘Return of the Caped Crusaders’ on Amazon Prime Video!

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) is a different kind of animated superhero film, a flashback to the tongue-in-cheek approach of the 1960s Batman TV series. It isn’t really a theatrical feature—it was produced for Warner Bros.’s DCU Original Animation unit for VOD and home video—but perhaps thanks to the nostalgic pull of the […]

Lambert Wilson as Jacques Cousteau in the film by Jérôme Salle

‘The Odyssey’ of Jacques Cousteau on Netflix

The Odyssey (France, 2016) is not Homer’s mythic quest but the epic voyage that Jacques Cousteau took around the world for years of TV documentaries on the exploration for marine life. Lambert Wilson is Jacques-Yves Cousteau in a biographical drama that presents a portrait of a man cultivating an on-screen image very different from the […]

Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Martin Scorsese's love letter to the movies and his first PG movie

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ on Amazon Prime

Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese’s first family film (it’s PG!) and his first engagement with 3D, is a love letter to the magic of cinema. Based on the novel by Brian Selznick, it is a tribute to early film pioneer George Méliès (played by Ben Kinsgley), a child’s adventure through a grown-up world of loss and […]

Steve Martin and Michael Caine star in the comedy directed by Frank Oz

Steve Martin and Michael Caine are ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988, PG), sloppy, brash American con man Steve Martin tramples through the carefully guarded French Riviera territory of elegant charlatan Michael Caine. This, of course, means war. The prize is the easy pickings of the rich widows who pass through the wealthy resort town. The battle? The first to separate an […]

The animated adventure 'Kubo and the Two Strings' from Laika

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ – An animated Japanese odyssey on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) – In the age of CGI and Pixar’s animation domination, the Oregon-based Laika is keeping the art of stop-motion animation alive in inventive, engaging, and engrossing features filled with textures and details you won’t find in even the greatest Pixar accomplishments. “If you must blink, do it now,” recommends […]