Miguel Sandoval, Spike Lee, and Ossie Davis

Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ on Peacock

Do The Right Thing (1989), Spike Lee’s vibrant, vital, thoroughly accomplished third feature, opens on a call to action – “Fight the Power,” shouts Public Enemy in the credits – and ends with a call to “Wake up!” Rosie Perez pumps out an aggressive shout of a dance in the opening credits, staged in front […]

Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in Martin Scorsese's 'The Color of Money'

Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Color of Money’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

“You remind me that money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (1986) hasn’t the ragged beauty and personal charge of Mean Streets, the ambition or the intensity of Taxi Driver, or the cinematic density of GoodFellas. Yet it is possibly his most accessible film and his answer […]

Rosanna Arquette and Madonna in Susan Seidelman's 'Desperately Seeking Susan'

‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ on HBO Max and HBO Now

Desperately Seeking Susan (1982) is remembered for giving Madonna her first starring role; she’s the Susan of the title, a free spirit in thrift store chic fashions who connects up with her musician boyfriend through personal ads in the local weekly papers. This modern bohemian take on the classic screwball comedy (complete with amnesia, mistaken […]

John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and George Clooney in the Coen Bros.' screwball odyssey 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'

‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ – That old-timey Coen comedy on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

In the opening credits of Joel and Ethan Coen’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), their depression-era prison break movie-turned-screwball odyssey through the deep south, is the attribution: “Based upon The Odyssey by Homer.” It’s a cheeky proclamation and it doesn’t take a classical scholar to note that, if it’s indeed true, they’ve taken liberties […]

To Live and Die in L.A. - Photo credit: MGM, Blu-ray by Shout! Factory

Blu-ray: ‘To Live and Die in L.A.: Collector’s Edition’ from Shout Select

To Live and Die in L.A.: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray) (1985) has aged well. While on the one hand you can hold it up as the quintessential expression of the era’s music video aesthetics and sleek, slick style, it’s also a distinctively singular, perfectly pitched action thriller from William Friedkin, a director in full […]