‘Up’ – a wondrous animated odyssey on Disney+

The fantastical adventure from Pixar is a film of whimsy and wonder, mixing Jules Verne imagination with the bubble-gum colors of a children’s picture book and Pixar’s trademark bouncy humor, all stirred with memories of childhood dreams.

David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu and Peacock

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), the American screen adaptation of the Swedish bestseller directed by David Fincher and scripted by Steve Zaillian, is a darker, richer, more compelling adaptation than the original Swedish version. Yes, after all those years of complaining about uninspired remakes of European films, we actually get to see a […]

Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, and Jodie Foster star in Spike Lee's 'Inside Man.'

‘Inside Man’ on Peacock

Inside Man (2006) isn’t the kind of film you expect from Spike Lee, who has always favored conversation over action. That’s part of the pleasure. It’s a high concept heist thriller starring Clive Owen as the brains behind a bank robbery turned hostage situation and Denzel Washington as the presiding NYPD Detective on the scene, […]

‘The Silent Partner’ – crooked Santa on Criterion Channel and free on Kanopy

The twist of the ingenious crime drama The Silent Partner (1978) comes early in the film. Miles (Elliott Gould), a teller in a mall bank during the busy Christmas season, figures out that the suspicious Santa (Christopher Plummer) is casing the branch for a robbery. So he plots his own heist, stealing money that will […]

‘Starcrash’ – the most marvelously ridiculous ‘Star Wars’ knock-off on Amazon Prime

The shamelessly and fabulously derivative Italian space opera Starcrash (1979) is both the most ridiculous and the most irresistible of all the Star Wars knock-offs of the late seventies and eighties. Caroline Munro spends much of the film in a black latex bikini as the great outlaw starship pilot Stella Star, who is arrested by […]

Christopher Plummer hosts 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' a film by Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ on Netflix

With The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Terry Gilliam, the mad imagineer of such wickedly funny and wildly creative visions as Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Twelve Monkeys (okay, that last one isn’t quite so funny), dives back into his diabolical imagination for this carny sideshow of a Faust tale in the […]

Peter Sellers is Inspector Clouseau in six Pink Panther comedies directed by Blake Edwards

Blu-ray: ‘The Pink Panther Film Collection’ on Shout! Factory

All six Pink Panther features directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau are featured in this six-disc Blu-ray collection, four of them making their respective Blu-ray debuts. Clouseau was but a supporting character in The Pink Panther (1963), a comic heist film with David Niven as the legendary jewel thief “the […]

Charlie Hunnam stars in the 2002 'Nicholas Nickleby' from director Douglas McGrath

Blu-ray: ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ on Twilight Time

Nicholas Nickleby (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) (2002) – You can’t fault Douglas McGrath for his ambition. Determined to bring Charles Dickens’ 900 page semi-autobiographical novel to the screen, he condenses, chops, and briskly skips through what’s left of a dense pattern of improbably colorful characters, and still winds up with a Dickens of a tale. The […]