Yalitza Aparicio in "Roma." Photo credit: Alfonso Cuarón / Netflix

Streaming the 2019 Oscar nominees

The Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 24. Are you caught up on the major nominees? Eight films made the cut in the category of best picture and a few of them are still in theaters, notably the offbeat royal drama The Favourite (2018, R), which came away with ten nominations, political […]

Blu-ray: Orson Welles’ ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ on Criterion

The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) How did it take so long for the sophomore feature from Orson Welles to finally get its Blu-ray debut? I don’t need an answer, I’m just thrilled that it’s finally here, and in such a beautiful edition. The magnificence of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) is apparent from the first […]

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Who would have predicted that the second revival of the Planet of the Apes series would be so smart, so moving, so… human? Whatever your feelings on the 1969 original, at the time a startlingly unique film built on a warped-mirror fantasy premise, the sequels were exercises in diminishing ambition and the ridiculous 2001 Tim […]

Streaming the 2018 Oscar nominees

The Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, March 4. Are you caught up on the major nominees? Many of the nominated films are still going strong in theaters, notably the monster movie / romantic drama The Shape of Water, which leads this year’s class with thirteen nominations; the polarizing Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, […]

‘My Life as a Zucchini’ – Oscar-nominated animation from France on Netflix

The Academy Award-nominated animated feature My Life as a Zucchini (France, 2016) uses stop-motion animation to tell the bitter-sweet story of an imaginative, vulnerable boy nicknamed Zucchini who is orphaned after the death of his abusive, alcoholic mother and sent to a foster home. But while it is set in France (the view from Zucchini’s […]

Natalie Portman stars in 'Jackie,' directed by Pablo Larraín

Natalie Portman is ‘Jackie’ on HBO Now

Jackie (2016) – Natalie Portman earned an Oscar nomination playing American First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the week following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This is not the conspiracy drama of Oliver Stone’s JFK, nor is it a sentimental spectacle of a country mourning the death of an inspirational President. This is 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 […]

‘Y tu Mama Tambien’ on Criterion Channel and Sundance Now

Y Tu Mamá También (Mexico, 2001), Alfonso Cuaron’s return to Mexico after his initial sojourn in Hollywood, recharged his ambitions and his creative juices. Ostensibly a coming of age drama by way of a sex comedy, it’s vivid, thoughtful, political and unapologetically raw. Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna star as best friends, a pair […]