Smash: Season 1 [DVD Review]

The brainchild of Steven Spielberg, the hour-long drama was supposed to depict the development of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe from the perspective of both its creators and the actresses vying for the lead. A talented ensemble cast, including Debra Messing and Angelica Huston, converges with catchy music from the songwriting team behind Hairspray and a frank depiction of the brutal New York theatre machine. Unfortunately, in practice, the parts don't all work.

Arbitrage [Blu-ray]

Arbitrage is in some ways downright scary. Richard Gere plays a deceitful businessman whose adultery, fraud, and manslaughter are all on their way to ruining his perfect world. Tim Roth makes a great adversary to Gere’s evil genius, but really this is Gere’s show, and it may be the best he’s ever given.

Trouble With The Curve [Blu-ray]

Trouble with the Curve, Clint Eastwood’s latest outing, is a movie Hollywood can be proud of. Despite its lack of a decent script or a believable plot structure, this predictable baseball flick is still a good time thanks to the endearing romance of Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake.

Gunsmoke: The Seventh Season, Vol. 1 [DVD Review]

Gunsmoke is the longest running drama in television history, airing from 1955-1975. In it, U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) keeps watch over the troubled town of Dodge City, helped by his incompetent deputy Chester (Dennis Weaver), the scruffy Doc Adams (Milburn Stone), and Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake), the clever and attractive saloon owner.

Les Misérables [Blu-ray]

What is it about Les Misérables that gets its fans into such a tizzy? Is it the melodramatic romance, the tragic revolution, the noble self-sacrifice? Whatever the magic combination the original and stage versions possess, though, is sadly missing here.

41 [DVD Review]

Using a deceptively simple structure, director Jeffery Roth examines George H.W. Bush, not as a president – indeed, he steers away from politics – but as a man. The only interviewee is Bush himself, who speaks frankly and personably about his life from babyhood to old age. It's a treat for political junkies and biopic lovers; a little bland for anyone else.

Lawless [Blu-ray]

Lawless features excellent performances by Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy, a confident portrayal of time and place, and a polished style make this western/gangster hybrid one of the better films of 2012, and possibly among the best.


From the DVD cover art of three African-American women singing in Supremes-style gowns, one would assume Sparkle is an entertaining but inferior Dreamgirls. In large part, that assumption would be correct.

Your Sister's Sister [Blu-ray]

In this unconventional rom-com, Iris (Emily Blunt) sends her friend Jack (Mark Duplass) to her family cabin, only to find Iris’ sister Hanna (Rosemarie Dewitt) already in residence. The ensuing shenanigans toe the line between comedy and melodrama, which is ultimately both entertaining and exhausting. Enemies of mumblecore should stay far away.

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