Early in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, there's a big special-effects scene that finds some Death Eaters causing havoc in London. Does this sixth movie in the series fully open up the story to the world of Muggles? No: We are swiftly returned to Hogwarts School.
The first extra I jumped to after experiencing the 1998 film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s seminal brainspill Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream was the author’s commentary.
It's amazing how many ways a story can be told. Byron Haskin's 1953 version of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (Warner; Movie ••••, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) has a completely different focus and tone than Steven Spielberg's gloomy take on the H. G. Wells fantasy.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Sony; Movie ••••, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras •••) didn't win any major American awards, but for many who saw the directorial debut of actor Tommy Lee Jones, this beautiful yet unsentimental take on the modern Western was the film to beat in 2005.
Given that Spider-Man has been spinning his webs in comic books for almost 40 years, it's about time the wall-crawler made the leap to the big screen. Besides starring in his own flick this spring, Spidey has his sticky fingers into - appropriately enough - the World Wide Web.
La Belle et la Bête, Jean Cocteau’s modernist and poetic interpretation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s story, is full of symbol and metaphor but uses the simplest cinematic tricks to enchant and deceive. And now, it continues to work its magic on Blu-ray.