An edgy update, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Warner; Movie •••½, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) takes several liberties with Roald Dahl's classic book, but it also manages to convey the story's dark humor.
You don’t watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High for any home theater glories. More likely, it’s a favorite movie to get stoned to — er, a series of memorable vignettes of high-school teenagers attempting to lose their virginity while surviving soul-destroying service-industry jobs.
If you were around during the launch of high-def TV, you may remember an interesting phenomenon: People with HDTVs became oddly knowledgeable about esoteric topics, such as the migratory patterns of North American birds or the concept of Dark Matter.
The following reviews appeared as "Reference DVD" features in the Movies section of Sound & Vision. Out of the 22 discs chosen for their exceptional audio and video from September 2000 through July/August 2003, I consider these five the standouts. BLUE CRUSH Universal
Like all seminal works, 1959’s Ben-Hur elicits some strong opinions. Is it one of the best films ever made? Or is it simply an overhyped sword-and-sandals flick? And how does it compare with the likes of Lawrence of Arabia, Quo Vadis, Spartacus, or even the Lord of the Rings trilogy?