Film Reviews by Adam Long

Now in Theaters:

 

West Side Story

Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in West Side Story

West Side Story (***) Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the classic musical and Best Picture winner works better than it has any right to, mostly in part to his energetic staging and the palpable chemistry between leads Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler. Other than a meaty role for the original film’s co-star, Rita Moreno, that’s more than just a glorified cameo, the film’s plot is basically the same. Still, it manages to move the audience in quite an extraordinary way that surprises, especially during the final act, considering the age of the source material.

New to Disc:

Criterion:

The Red Shoes (1948) Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s technicolor feast concerning a ballerina torn between two domineering men in her life makes its debut on the 4K format. Previously issued extras have been retained which include documentary, featurettes, commentary, booklet and trailer.

Paramount:

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Martin Scorsese’s dramatization of the raucous life and times of stockbroker, Jordan Belfour, makes the leap to 4K in a new edition including all of the previously issued extras.

Shout Factory:

The 2021 World Series Collector’s Edition: The Atlanta Braves (2021) Chris Ludacris Bridges narrates this documentary take on the recent world series. Includes bonus featurettes.

Arrow:

My Stepmother is an Alien (1989) Recently widowed Dan Aykroyd falls in love with Kim Basinger, the intergalactic being of the film’s title, in this comedy from director Richard Benjamin.

Kino:

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979) Alan Alda is a politician attempting to resist temptation in this effective film from director Jerry Schatzberg. Extras include a new commentary.

The Four Seasons (1981) Alan Alda and Carol Burnette are one of three couples, all of whom are dealing with ups and downs over the course of a year, in this well-made comedy-drama written and directed by Alda. Extras include new commentary, trailer and radio spots.

Slow Dancing in the Big City (1978) Paul Sorvino is a NYC newspaper columnist who finds himself falling for a health challenged ballerina who lives in his apartment building in this winning drama. This moving and effective film was director John G. Avildsen’s follow up to the Oscar winning, Rocky, from two years prior and failed miserably at the time of its release. It’s ripe for rediscovery.

Film Movement:

Memory House (2021) Joao Paulo Mirana Maria directs this Brazilian drama which examines racial tensions as told from the point of view of an Indigenous black man. Extras include commentary and bonus short film.

Warner Archive:

Ivanhoe (1952) Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor star in this technicolor adaptation of the classic Sir Walter Scott novel. Extras include a Tom and Jerry cartoon and the film’s trailer.

Universal:

The Card Counter (2021) Oscar Issac is an ex-military man turned gambler ruminating on his checkered past in the latest drama from writer/director Paul Schrader. Extras include a featurette.


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