Dusty Somers

Things to Come Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: An Overly Didactic Technical Marvel

The Film An impressive technical achievement, even if its didacticism threatens to overwhelm all other elements, H.G. Wells' Things to ...
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Quantum of Solace Movie Review: A Rebooted James Bond Takes Two Steps Backward

The second Daniel Craig Bond film is a good reminder that despite a new actor, new visual aesthetic, and new ...
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Die Another Day Movie Review: The Epitome of 007’s Descent into Dumb Action Tropes

The final outing for Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, Die Another Day doesn't seem totally execrable -- but that might ...
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The Overcoat (1952) DVD Review: A Genre-Bending Satire from the Age of Neorealism

Made when the Italian Neorealist movement was still prominent, Alberto Lattuada’s The Overcoat sounds like a prime example of the ...
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Traffic Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Thrilling and Uncompromising Look at the War on Drugs

The Film One of the predominant narratives used in describing Steven Soderbergh’s career is that he’s a director capable of ...
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Eat This New York DVD Review: Jumbled Restaurant Documentary Proves Unsatisfying

There are two movies duking it out in Andrew Rossi’s and Kate Novack’s Eat This New York, a 2004 documentary ...
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Sid & Nancy Blu-ray Review: Grotesque and Sublime Doomed Love

The Film I had to laugh when reading the back of the newly released Fox/MGM Sid & Nancy Blu-ray, which ...
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I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive DVD Review: Study of Post-Adoption Scars Falls Flat

There are some severely displaced feelings at the center of I’m Glad My Mother is Alive, a 2009 French film ...
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Sabu! Criterion Collection DVD Review: Adventures With The Immensely Charming Child Star

Plucked from obscurity as an elephant handler in southern India and vaulted to international stardom largely by the efforts of ...
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The Moon in the Gutter Blu-ray Review: Ponderous Movie, Worse Blu-ray

The Film After his art house crossover hit debut feature Diva, Jean-Jacques Beineix followed it up with The Moon in ...
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Stars and Stripes Forever Blu-ray Review: A Deadly Dull Biopic

The Film John Philip Sousa occupies an undeniably important place in American music history, and Henry Koster’s 1952 Technicolor biopic ...
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Come Have Coffee With Us DVD Review: Italian Sex Comedy Subverted

A bitterly ironic and slyly subversive Italian sex comedy, Alberto Lattuada’s Come Have Coffee With Us mostly succeeds in spite ...
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Behind the Mask (1946) DVD Review: Inert Pulp Adaptation

One of a number of films based on pulp magazine hero The Shadow, Behind the Mask (also known as The ...
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Under Fire: Journalists in Combat Movie Review: Slapdash Production Values Undermine Compelling Content

Oscar shortlisted documentary Under Fire: Journalists in Combat has one major factor in its favor — its subjects are all ...
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The Music Lovers DVD Review: A Spirited Symphony of Excess

The first theatrical feature in Ken Russell’s series of unconventional composer biopics, The Music Lovers must be a frustrating experience ...
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The Sleeping Beauty DVD Review: French Provocateur Catherine Breillat Re-imagines the Fairy Tale

French director Catherine Breillat’s depictions of sexual awakening can be shocking — consider the seemingly out-of-nowhere conclusion to her 2001 ...
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Rushmore Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Wes Anderson’s Best Film Dazzles in High-Def

The Film By and large, there’s been quite a backlash against the films of Wes Anderson, and even though I’m ...
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Identification of a Woman Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Futile Search for Romantic Fulfillment

The Film Among those disinclined to enjoy films without a clear story arc, well-defined conflict, and a resolute conclusion, the ...
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Kuroneko Criterion Collection DVD Review: Expressionistic Horror in Feudal Japan

A spooky, poetic Japanese ghost story, Kuroneko is the kind of film that captivates you by virtue of an astonishing ...
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Le Havre Movie Review: Another Low-Key Delight from Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Kaurismäki’s films often require the viewer to get on a specific wavelength in order to appreciate the wry tone ...
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Leap Year (2011) DVD Review: A Painful Portrait Of Isolation

There’s not much respite for Laura (Monica del Carmen), the plain freelance journalist who’s onscreen nearly every second in Michael ...
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O Brother, Where Art Thou? Blu-ray Review: An Epic High-Def Upgrade

The Film A bit of a trifle compared to more exactingly crafted Coen Brothers films, O Brother, Where Art Thou? ...
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The Phantom Carriage Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Spooky Silent Cinema That Transcends Genre

The Film Victor Sjöström’s intensely atmospheric, technically brilliant The Phantom Carriage was highly influential on the career of Ingmar Bergman, ...
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Le Beau Serge and Les Cousins Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: The True Origins of the French New Wave

The Films The French New Wave evokes thoughts of two films above all others — François Truffaut’s and Jean-Luc Godard’s ...
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Dressed to Kill Blu-ray Review: Brian De Palma Conflates Sex and Death

The Film Exhibit A of the “Brian De Palma just rips off Hitchcock” trope has to be Dressed to Kill, ...
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Orpheus Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Cinematic Magic from a Familiar Tale

The Film Jean Cocteau had a knack for applying a distinct surreal stamp to familiar tales. He did it in ...
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The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara DVD Review: Diverse Dispatches from the Japanese New Wave

Watching the five films in Criterion’s latest Eclipse offering, The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara, one gets the sense that ...
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La Rabbia DVD Review: A Politically-Charged Italian Oddity

Differing opinions don’t get much more diametrically opposite than those put forth in La Rabbia or The Anger, a two-part ...
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The Big Lebowski Blu-ray Review: Not Quite a Gutterball, but Close

The Film There’s no film in the Coen Brothers’ oeuvre quite like The Big Lebowski, which seems to have generated ...
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The Battle of Algiers Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Political Powder-Keg

The Film The Battle of Algiers doesn’t simply tack on a cinema verité veneer to achieve a sense of realism; ...
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Donnie Darko 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review: Nothing New to See Here, Folks

The Film A bona fide cult classic and champion of the home video era after a disastrous post 9-11 limited ...
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Wedding Daze Blu-ray Review: Agreeably Low-Key Rom-Com

The Film For a movie about a spontaneous marriage proposal, the stakes feel pretty low in Wedding Daze, essentially a ...
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A cover for the Leon Morin Priest

Leon Morin, Priest Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Sex and Religion on the Mind

The Film Léon Morin, Priest is a somewhat atypical film for director Jean-Pierre Melville and star Jean-Paul Belmondo, at least ...
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The Myth of the American Sleepover Movie Review: Naturalism and Awkwardness in Equal Measures

It’s to writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s credit that he takes the concerns of his teenage characters seriously in his debut ...
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Make Believe Movie Review: Teen Magicians Vie for Glory

Somewhere, there’s a stack of embarrassing pictures of me as a kid, dressed in one of my dad’s suit coats ...
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Park Row DVD Review: Samuel Fuller’s Energetic Ode to the Newspaper Business

I bet I’d have a hard time finding a journalist who wouldn’t have a soft spot for Samuel Fuller’s Park ...
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Adua and Her Friends DVD Review: A Moving Italian Drama

Antonio Pietrangeli isn’t a particularly well-known filmmaker within the United States, but his wonderful 1960 film Adua and Her Friends ...
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The Misfits (1961) Blu-ray Review: An Overlooked American Classic Looks Stunning In High-Def

The Film With the powerhouse combination of writer Arthur Miller and director John Huston behind the camera and the star ...
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The Horse Soldiers Blu-ray Review: One of John Ford’s Lesser Films

John Ford elevated the western from sturdy B-picture to bona fide art form with his 1939 film Stagecoach, and would ...
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Some Like It Hot Blu-ray Review: A Timeless Comedic Classic Impresses on Blu-ray

An enduring classic that’s often considered one of the finest American comedies ever made, Some Like It Hot is a ...
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The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Blu-ray Review: Effective, if Dated, Political Paranoia

The Film Political thrillers don’t get much more famous than The Manchurian Candidate, John Frankenheimer’s entry into the pantheon of ...
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Summer Children DVD Review: A Lost Film Is Found Again

Never properly released after it was shot in 1965, Summer Children was recently unearthed by producer Jack Robinette and finally ...
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