Movies » Movie Reviews & Stories

DVDs Nuts

Lesser-seen, critic-approved films on disc and on demandby Justin Strout and John Thomason

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Once Upon a Time
  • Once Upon a Time

Lovely Molly This supernatural thriller about a young wife pursued by the ghosts of her past is tight, tense and well-made. Our Molly, it turns out, has quite a raft of horrors in her history, and her efforts to document her latest bedevilments on camera make for an engaging entry in the unreliable-videographer genre. Writer-director Eduardo Sanchez's interest in avoiding the purely conventional sometimes prevents him from deciding exactly which story he wants to tell. But the night-vision sequences of things going bump accomplish just what they need to. (available now)
Special Features: featurettes

Monsieur Lazhar There's an awful lot of power at work just below the surface of Philippe Falardeau's Oscar-nominated grade-school drama. After their teacher commits suicide in school during recess, a classroom of 11- and 12-year-olds confronts a tidal wave of unfamiliar emotions upon the arrival of a new teacher, an earnest Algerian refugee who lied to get the position. Falardeau takes Ernst Lubitsch's advice – "Let the audience add up two and two. They'll love you forever" – to heart. He attacks the material with a stern yet soft touch, avoiding the obvious pitfalls and coaxing equally impressive performances from his actors. (available now)
Special Features: featurette, director interview

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season Whenever a rookie show catches fire in its first season, careful viewers can usually pinpoint a specific episode or arc that ignited the flame. For Once Upon a Time, which started its life as seemingly little more than an expensive platform with which to get audiences accustomed to the idea of fairy tales as high drama in advance of the coming flood of Grimm Brothers-inspired features, that moment was defined by one loaded moniker: Rumpelstiltskin. As played by the ever-inventive Robert Carlyle, "Mr. Gold," as he's known in the town of Storybrooke, where an evil witch's curse has convinced its mythological citizens that theirs is actually a life devoid of magic, gave the show a tragic emotional pulse. By the time it was revealed that Rumpel's long-lost love is actually Belle (the pitch-perfect Emilie de Ravin, who becomes a series regular in the upcoming second season), the Beauty to his Beast, the stage was set for a shocking and wholly satisfying season. (available now)
Special Features: audio commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, bloopers


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