Streaming/DVD 28 results

Reviews of movies now streaming and on DVD by Katherine Monk and Jay Stone.


The Spoils of Babylon burns oil economy

@Home entertainment: The Spoils of Babylon on DVD SNL alumnus Matt Piedmont creates a strange homage to the era of early '80s miniseries with The Spoils of Babylon, an elaborate, six-episode spoof starring Will Ferrell as a washed up auteur and Kristen Wiig as an oil heiress with the hots for her bastard brother

Peanuts, Macbeth, a big whale and an evil car hit home entertainment

Entertainment: @home releases for March 8 Embrace the joy of Snoopy or explore the many faces of man-made evil as Michael Fassbender cuts to the bone in Macbeth, James McAvoy breathes life into Frankenstein and James Brolin tries to stop a killer car   By Katherine Monk We love you, Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (4/5) The hand-drawn essence of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip comes through with flying colors in this gentle transition to digital from Ice Age director Steve Martino. Martino and the animators realized they didn’t need to reinvent the characters for a modern audience by making Charlie Brown look like a human kid, or turn Snoopy into a drooling lump of pixelated fur. They went for the feel of the source material: ever roving between pre-teen daydream, birthday party bliss and existential angst – with an emphasis on the latter, because it’s that quiet ache of looming adulthood that makes Peanuts the pop culture monolith it is. Charlie ...

Mississippi Grind percolates

Movie review: Mississippi Grind The team behind Half Nelson and Sugar return with a film about chronic gambling that isn't as depressing as it probably should be, thanks to a pair of pocket kings in Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn

Trainwreck lacks emotional carnage

Home Entertainment: November 10 Amy Schumer's blockbuster rom-com doesn't reinvent the comedy wheel but it does apply some rubber, while Ben Kingsley walks a mile in Ryan Reynolds body in Tarsem Singh's so so Self/Less   By Katherine Monk   Trainwreck 3/5 Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Vanessa Bayer Directed by: Judd Apatow Is it an Amy Schumer movie directed by Judd Apatow, or a Judd Apatow movie that stars Amy Schumer? It’s hard to tell, because Trainwreck is sexual, psychologically insightful, funny and, in the end, earnest with a very human message about being real, and putting love first. Yeah. Yeah. Nice. Nice. But I was expecting something a little less conventional from Schumer, the woman who’s been able to “transform comedy” – apparently overnight – by referring to her genitals as often as men. But is that truly transforming comedy, or a case of pushing the boundaries of conformity far enough to include ...

Summer tentpoles hit home entertainment

What's new on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming services With Avengers, Tomorrowland and San Andreas hitting the small screen in October, now everyone can get a sniff of the dogs of summer   By Katherine Monk   Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 4/5 Stars Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon emerged as the breakout director of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival thanks to this touching and cinematically vibrant exploration of high school life that pushes the dramatic needle into the red zone. Unlike other teen traumas that pivot on locker room taunts, mean girls and backstabbing bad apples, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl takes all that generic teen angst and throws it against the brick wall of mortality. Greg (Thomas Mann) is an ordinary high school senior looking to make it to graduation without getting noticed, but when his mother (Connie Britton) asks him to befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke) after ...

Why I’m addicted to The Knick

Clive Owen and Steven Soderbergh create a volatile dramatic mix in The Knick, the HBO-Cinemax series about turn-of-the-century surgeons that broke viewing records last year   The Knick: Season One 4/5 Starring: Clive Owen, Juliet Rylance, André Holland, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Eric Johnson Directed by: Steven Soderbergh Cinemax/ HBO Home Entertainment Available now on VOD, DVD, Digital HD, Blu-ray   By Katherine Monk September 3, 2015 -- It’s as addictive as the cocaine our lead character injects between his toes, and for that, we can thank the unsheathed thespian potency of Clive Owen. The 50-year-old English actor who emerged as a force in the wake of Croupier takes the gloves off for his portrayal of John Thackery, a turn-of-the-century surgeon trying to save lives at the Knickerbocker Hospital. If he sounds like your standard soap opera doctor, you’re partly right. Dr. Thackery engages in all kinds of heroics, as well as sexual escapa...

Home releases: What’s streaming your way in June

Kevin Costner cocks the starter pistol, Liam Neeson runs all night, John Travolta fakes it, Colin Firth pops his brolly and Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart Get Hard -- but it's Red Army's Fetisov who scores on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD, writes Katherine Monk By Katherine Monk McFarland (2015) 3.5/5 Starring: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Morgan Saylor. Directed by Niki Caro. Running time:  129 minutes. Parental Guidance. In sports movies, cliché comes on the side – like coleslaw. You don’t ask for it, and you may not even like it, but there it is: a little white paper cup filled with shredded cabbage, a silent affirmation that you got what you paid for. The coleslaw in McFarland is the idea of the underdog competitor, in this case, a group of Latino high school students in southern California. Jim White (Kevin Costner) used to coach football at a school for privileged white kids, but after he loses his temper, he’s fired ...

Catching up with what’s new on DVD VOD and Blu-ray in May

Manny Pacquaio takes a beating, Bradley Cooper pulls the trigger, Leviathan makes black splash, Julianne Moore proves Oscar-worthy and Tom Cavanagh goes bird man By Katherine Monk Manny (2014) 3.5/5 Starring: Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Jinkee Pacquiao, Mark Wahlberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Dan Hill, Freddie Roach. Directed by Ryan Moore and Leon Gast. Narrated by: Liam Neeson. Running time: 87 minutes. Though it was produced before Manny Pacquaio’s much yapped-about face-off against Floyd Mayweather and subsequent fan lawsuit alleging the whole thing was a fraud, this documentary directed by Ryan Moore and Leon Gast (of When We Were Kings fame) still has a sense of destiny to it, because in the end, that’s what you need in any fight movie – as well as any fighter. Great warriors believe they are fulfilling some unwritten prophecy, and from the moment Manny stepped into the ring as a scrawny, underage kid (he lied on his boxing forms), he felt God was in his corner. ...

New on DVD Blu-ray and VOD this week: Fifty Shades, Mr. Turner, Selma and more

Dakota Johnson body-paints Fifty Shades of meh, Mr. Turner finds brilliance with Mike Leigh's detailed strokes, Anna Kendrick's Last Five Years feels like eternity and David Oyelowo leads slow march to selfhood. Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Two stars out of five. Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, Callum Keith Rennie. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Running time: 125 minutes. MPAA Rating: Restricted It’s bad – and not in that sexy, forbidden, taboo-breaking good way. This adaptation of E.L. James’s inexplicable bestseller features some of the most self-conscious sex scenes since Eyes Wide Shut, only without the rubbernecking thrill of seeing Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in boudoir mode. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, a college student who interviews a secretive billionaire in his soaring office tower in the first scene, only to end up on her back, front and side by the climax. It’s all endlessly kitschy and impossibly ...

Movie review: Brett Morgen’s Montage of Heck

  The beautiful, broken life of the late Nirvana frontman is transformed into a creative examination of the artistic impulse and the soul-crushing force of fame in the new documentary, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck