A considerable improvement over 2015’s total waste of time Irrational Man, it’s safe to put Woody Allen’s new movie Café Society (Lionsgate/Amazon Studios) in the recommended column. Allen, who once again shows a greater affinity for the past, in this case 1930s Hollywood and New York, than the present (i.e. Irrational Man), delivers a complete package here. There’s a love story. There’s comedy. There’s glamour and grit. The attention to detail, whether depicting a pool party in the Hollywood hills, a Hollywood agent’s office or a Manhattan nightclub, is remarkable. Allen also gets some high caliber performances from his cast, especially queer actress Kristen Stewart, as well as Jesse Eisenberg and Steve Carell.
It's been a few years since we left both the literary and filmic wizarding world of Harry Potter, but author J.K. Rowling just couldn't stay away, penning new stories including the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child now playing in London. She's also written the script for the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, setting the story decades before our precious Harry is even born.
Who doesn’t love movies? The DVD and Blu-ray titles that follow cover a broad range of subjects and genres. There are dramas (including The Dresser), comedies (such as the Neighbors sequel), and several documentaries (Tab Hunter Confidential, for example). In other words, there’s something for almost everyone on your holiday gift list. There are probably even movies that you might enjoy watching or owning. Popcorn and Milk Duds sold separately.
Horror movie fans, and movie fans in general, reacted quite negatively when Universal announced they would be bringing another board game to the big screen after the debacle that was 2012’s Battleship. But under the guidance of Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions (and the unfortunate participation of Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes), the first Ouija movie wasn’t as bad as most people thought it would be. And it was successful enough to spawn a sequel ... or rather prequel with Ouija: Origin of Evil.
Originally airing at Christmastime 2015 and now available on DVD, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors (Warner Brothers Home Entertainment) is a “family-oriented, faith-based” dramatization of Parton’s beloved song, one that she considers to be her favorite. In many ways, Coat of Many Colors is exactly what you might expect it to be considering its genesis and that it’s a prime-time network TV movie. Although safe and sanitized, sensitive queer viewers will no doubt feel a stirring while watching the early stages of what would go on to be a lifelong friendship between Dolly and her close childhood friend Judy.
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