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  • Somewhere in Time (Collector's Edition) (1980)

    Somewhere in Time (Collector's Edition) (1980)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Universal Studios (2000, Oct 31st).
    Pages:    1

    It's silly, it's superficial, it's so desperately earnest about its tale of time-spanning love that you almost wish for a cheap flatulence gag just to break the solemn mood. But there's something so unabashedly gushy and entertaining about Somewhere in Time that you can't begrudge its enduring popularity. The film has become a staple of romantic-movie lovers since its release in 1980, and endless showings on cable TV have turned it into a dubious classic of sorts--a three-hanky weeper that anyone can enjoy as a guilty pleasure or a beloved favorite, with no apologies necessary. In his first film after the star-making success of Superman, Christopher Reeve stars as a contemporary playwright who visits a posh hotel and sees the portrait of an actress (Jane Seymour) who had performed there in 1912. more

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  • The Color Purple (1997)

    The Color Purple (1997)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Warner Home Video (2007, May 15th).
    Pages:    1

    Steven Spielberg, proving he's one of the few modern filmmakers who has the visual fluency to be capable of making a great silent film, took a melodramatic, D.W. Griffith-inspired approach to filming Alice Walker's novel. His tactics made the film controversial, but also a popular hit. You can argue with the appropriateness of Spielberg's decision, but his astonishing facility with images is undeniable--from the exhilarating and eye-popping opening shots of children playing in paradisiacal purple fields to the way he conveys the brutality of a rape by showing hanging leather belts banging against the head of the shaking bed. In a way it's a shame that Whoopi Goldberg, a stage monologist who made her screen debut in this movie, went on to become so famous, because it was, in part, her unfamiliarity that made her understated performance as Celie so effective. more

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  • Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition) (2000)

    Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition) (2000)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Turner Home Ent (2004, Feb 3rd).
    Pages:    1

    Three days in the summer of 1863, at a place called Gettysburg. Although it received a theatrical release, this four-hour depiction of the bloody Civil War battle was shot as a made-for-television film. But no taint of cheapness or shortcuts should stick to this magnificent picture (well, except maybe for those phony-looking mustaches). Based on Michael Shaara's book The Killer Angels, this film takes a refreshingly slow, thorough approach to the intricacies of battle. In ordinary circumstances, those intricacies might seem of importance only to fans of military strategy or Civil War enthusiasts, yet in Gettysburg they come across as the very stuff of life, death, and unexpected heroism. If the film has a problem, it's that it climaxes too early: the first long segment, detailing the struggle of a "civilian soldier," Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), to hold his ground against long odds, is an enthralling piece of moviemaking. more

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  • The Waltons Movie Collection (A Wedding on Walton's Mountain / Mother's Day / A Day for Thanks / A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion / Wedding / Easter) (2010)

    The Waltons Movie Collection (A Wedding on Walton's Mountain / Mother's Day / A Day for Thanks / A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion / Wedding / Easter) (2010)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Jon Walmsley, Judy...
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Warner Home Video (2010, Jan 26th).
    Pages:    3

    Who says you can't go home again? Throughout six post-series reunion movies, the Walton home still stands, "generous in its love, filled with memories, and always ready to welcome us." From the first gathering of the far-flung mountain clan in A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982) to the final goodnights in A Walton Easter (1997), these uplifting and heartwarming films are quality time spent with one of America's favorite TV families. Each film amounts to a Very Special Episode of the top-rated, Emmy-winning TV series, rich with family milestones (weddings and births), and crises that will test and reaffirm the family credos of hard work, common sense, and faith. Most of the original cast is back. The late Will Geer, as Grandpa Walton, is sadly absent, and Ellen Corby, who suffered a stroke in 1977, plays a diminished role as Grandma Walton. more

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  • Pure Country (1992)

    Pure Country (1992)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Warner Home Video (1998, May 27th).
    Pages:    1

    After 25 chart-topping hits, the singing star becomes a movie star! George Strait makes his film debut in an entertaining look into the heart and soul of country music from Young Guns director Christopher Cain. Superstar Dusty Chandler (Strait) is tired of the smoke, the strobe lights and the overmiked sound of his arena spectaculars. One night, something snaps. "I'm just going to take a little walk," Dusty says as he walks out of the empty hall, ditching his beard, ponytail - and temporarily, his career - to reclaim his down-home country roots. But his manager (Leslie Ann Warren) retaliates: a stand-in (Kyle Chandler) lip-synchs his songs in concert. And a romance with a lovely rancher (Isabel Glasser) is on again, off again like a rodeo cowboy. more

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  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

    The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Sony Pictures (2001, Jun 5th).
    Pages:    1

    Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Scooter, and the rest of the Muppets are celebrating their impending graduation from college by performing Kermit's original musical Manhattan Melodies for their senior variety show. Following graduation, the friends decide to take the production to Broadway, but things don't go quite as planned. They end up living in bus station lockers and hanging out at a local restaurant while waiting for their Broadway dream to become a reality. Eventually, the gang loses hope, everyone goes their separate ways, and Kermit is left alone in New York City. After his initial disillusionment, Kermit rallies and develops a three-step plan to get his play onto the Broadway stage. The question is, will it work? And even if the play makes it to Broadway, will it be too late to reunite all the Muppets? The Muppets Take Manhattan is full of fun song and dance, the puppetry is great, and New York scenery abounds at every turn. more

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  • Seven (Single Disc Edition) (2004)

    Seven (Single Disc Edition) (2004)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   New Line Home Video (2004, Feb 3rd).
    Pages:    1

    The most viscerally frightening and disturbing homicidal-maniac picture since The Silence of the Lambs, Seven is based on an idea that's both gruesome and ingenious. A serial killer forces each of his victims to die by acting out one of the seven deadly sins. The murder scene is then artfully arranged into a grotesque tableau, a graphic illustration of each mortal vice. From the jittery opening credits to the horrifying (and seemingly inescapable) concluding twist, director David Fincher immerses us in a murky urban twilight where everything seems to be rotting, rusting, or molding; the air is cold and heavy with dread. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are the detectives who skillfully track down the killer--all the while unaware that he has been closing in on them, as well. more

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  • Dance With Me (1998)

    Dance With Me (1998)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Sony Pictures (1999, Jan 12th).
    Pages:    1

    It's not exactly Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but this 1998 entry, starring Vanessa Williams and newcomer Chayanne offers its own terpsichorean pleasures. The story centers on Rafael Infante (Chayanne), a Cuban émigré to Texas, where he takes a menial job at a local dance studio run by John Burnett (Kris Kristofferson). There, he falls for Ruby Sinclair (Vanessa Williams), a one-time ballroom championship contender looking for the opportunity to compete for the title once more. The romance seems a foregone conclusion but has some snap thanks to a crisp performance by Williams and a sunny (if limited) one by Chayanne, a singing star in Puerto Rico. Best of all is the dancing itself. In terms of both energy, exuberance, and style, this film's dance sequences rank with the best of the decade's limited celebration of the kinetic art, such as Strictly Ballroom and Shall We Dance. more

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  • The Color Purple (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1985)

    The Color Purple (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1985)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Warner Home Video (2003, Feb 18th).
    Pages:    2

    Steven Spielberg, proving he's one of the few modern filmmakers who has the visual fluency to be capable of making a great silent film, took a melodramatic, D.W. Griffith-inspired approach to filming Alice Walker's novel. His tactics made the film controversial, but also a popular hit. You can argue with the appropriateness of Spielberg's decision, but his astonishing facility with images is undeniable--from the exhilarating and eye-popping opening shots of children playing in paradisiacal purple fields to the way he conveys the brutality of a rape by showing hanging leather belts banging against the head of the shaking bed. In a way it's a shame that Whoopi Goldberg, a stage monologist who made her screen debut in this movie, went on to become so famous, because it was, in part, her unfamiliarity that made her understated performance as Celie so effective. more

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  • Sister Act (1992)

    Sister Act (1992)

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   
    Format:   DVD
    Publisher:   Touchstone / Disney (2001, Nov 6th).
    Pages:    1

    Whoopi Goldberg plays a Reno lounge singer who hides out as a nun when her villainous boyfriend (Harvey Keitel) goes gunning for her. Maggie Smith is the mother superior who has to cope with Whoopi's unorthodox behavior, but the cute script turns the tables and shows how the latter energizes the stodgy convent with song and attitude. A real crowd-pleaser and a perfect vehicle for Goldberg, this is a happy experience all around. --Tom Keogh more

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