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DVD Talk reviews for Friday, February 14th, 2020

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DVD Talk reviews for Friday, February 14th, 2020

Old 02-15-20, 04:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Friday, February 14th, 2020

Highly Recommended
Crooklyn (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movie:

Crooklyn might not go down in Spike Lee's filmography as a thematically and technically important achievement, but it might be his most heartwarming and charming work. This makes sense, since it's pretty much an autobiographical film about growing up in 1970s Brooklyn, communicated through the rosiest of rose-colored glasses. Sure, he tackles some serious issues, like the drug use that permeated his neighborhood, but it's mostly a love letter to his youth, giving back to the borough that defined him as an artist and a person.

Zelda Harris is downright adorable as Troy, a precautious nine-year old firecracker who's beginning to truly discover her neighborhood and how it connects to his family made up of her four siblings, her teacher mother (Alfre Woodard), and her jazz musician father (Delroy Lindo) during 1973. The exuberant color scheme and the visi...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Jungle Fever (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movie:

Spike Lee is often accused of being an issue and message-based filmmaker, but most of his socio-politically charged output would not work without a strong base narrative to support it. Jungle Fever is an honest exploration of how much society still needs to evolve on interracial relationships, with a scornful condemnation of the crack cocaine epidemic that ravaged African-American communities as a side dish. But even if we were to put the racial context aside, it's a pretty solid Douglas Sirk-style domestic melodrama about a married man (Wesley Snipes) having an affair with his secretary (Annabella Sciorra) and how that affects everyone involved.

The conflict that both sides of the affair have to overcome feels insurmountable even without everyone around them giving the couple crap about the racial element. Lee doesn't hold back from examining the pre...Read the entire review »

2019 World Series Champions: Washington Nationals (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

I'm not that big of a baseball fan anymore, and certainly am not a fan of the Washington Nationals, for reasons outside of loyalty or customer experience. However, with current events coming out in baseball these days it's hard to deny that their 2019 season and World Series win were something to behold, largely because of what they had to overcome. More on the former in a minute.

As of this writing, the Astros have been found to be cheating to wide and elaborate degree; stealing pitching signs, then tipping off their batters using television monitors and hitting a trash can. I don't know when it started (I haven't been up on the scandal as much as others), but they went from 84 wins in 2016, to winning more than 100 in each of the last three seasons, winning the World Series in 2017 and then returning in 2019 to face the Nationals.

The Nats were in dire straits ear...Read the entire review »

The Deadly Trap (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Ren Cl ment's The Deadly Trap (La Maison sous les arbres, "The House Under the Trees," a far better title, 1971) is an okay French-made (but English-language) thriller starring Faye Dunaway and, in an early role, Frank Langella. Normally on films that don't grab me by the 40-minute mark I tend to lose interest and tune out, but The Deadly Trap is an exception. I found the first 40 minutes rather slow, dated, and not very compelling, but it won me over by the end.

Jill (Dunaway) and Philippe (Langella) are a married American couple living in an old apartment in Paris with their two children, thoughtful six-year-old Cathy (Mich le Lourie) and four-year-old hellion Patrick (Patrick Vincent). Jill is overwhelmed with family problems: the kids are a handful...Read the entire review »


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