DVD/Blu-Ray

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Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” had more obstacles to avoid than the Millennium Falcon flying through an asteroid field. Here is the inevitable Han Solo prequel adventure, sans Harrison Ford, with promising newcomer Alden Ehrenreich (the scene stealer of “Hail Caesar!”) taking over the role of the “scruffy lookin’ nerf herder,” scoundrel/pilot. In…

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Downsizing

Every great director has the occasional creative set-back and helms a project that falls short of its potential. Some of our best dialog/character-driven filmmakers, who have a gift with casual onscreen conversations, stumble once in a while. To cite a few examples, the late, great Mike Nichols had “What Planet Are You From?,” Jason Reitman…

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Lady Bird

The lists of the best high school movies seem to always start with John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club” or “Sixteen Candles.” As much as I enjoy Hughes’ works and the genre in general, the finest movies about high school are directed by women. Why? Because there’s a needed balance in their depiction of adolescent sexism,…

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The Florida Project

A few years ago, a writer/director named Sean Baker emerged with “Tangerine,” his film about transgender prostitutes, which he shot on his cell phone. Amazingly, the film looked great (you’d never guess it was shot on an iPhone 5S) and offered a funny, uniquely unguarded depiction of its subject matter. You can argue that “Tangerine”…

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Snatched

The premise of “Snatched,” the new Amy Schumer vehicle, is so unfit for a comedy, it’s amazing the scant laughs on hand are here at all. Schumer stars as Emily, a spoiled, unpleasant, child-like party girl whose current boyfriend (Randall Park, in a funny cameo) is dumping her to become a sexed up rock star….

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Colossal

Nacho Vigalondo’s “Colossal” sports a unique premise, one of the most original in a long time. Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, a New York writer whose relationship with Tim, her boyfriend (played Dan Stevens), goes south after too many drinking binges. Following many nights of Gloria becoming blackout drunk and forgetting details about her day,…

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Song To Song

Terrence Malick’s new film, “Song to Song,” is neither a masterpiece nor the disaster many of his dissenters claim it to be. It’s more of the same, though often far greater than merely that and is, at the very least, a consistently stunning film. After his cinematic masters’ thesis, “The Tree of Life,” in which…

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Remember

An elderly man named Zev, played by Christopher Plummer, departs from his room in a retirement home to embark on a cross country journey. His friend, Max, played by Martin Landau, has financed Zev’s journey, in which Zev’s long journey, hotel accommodations and travel expenses are taken care of. What we gradually learn is that…

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Steve Jobs- The Man in the Machine

It’s too early to make a film about Steve Jobs and his overall impact on humankind. How can we possibly know the full impact of Jobs’ work, particularly when his creations are constantly being upgraded, are a part of our everyday lives and provide us with constant distraction? The ipad, the iphone and itunes are…

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Sunshine Superman

Carl Boenish didn’t jump out of planes because he was a thrill seeker, but because he was aiming to expand his experience as a human being. In “Sunshine Superman,” the eye-popping documentary on his life, Boenish expresses his love for sky diving and free fall jumps the way most would describe a divine sunsets. His…

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