Dark Touch

RUSH

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Rush Formula 1 racing reached its most exciting and dangerous time in the ’60s and ’70s, and for a time the sport’s biggest stars were James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). The two men approached racing from completely different perspectives, with one in it for the fun and celebrity while the other appreciated its meticulous nature and the allure of being the actual best. Ron Howard hasn’t made a compelling film in well over a decade, and the last one that fully entertained was 1996’s Ransom. So yes, I’m more than a little surprised that his period piece about a sport that means nothing to me is a film that enthralls from the first scene and never lets up its grip. The acting and details are strong throughout, with Brühl in particular delivering the dramatic goods, but the racing drama is equally exciting. It’s a damn fine film, and it shows that Howard isn’t out of the picture just yet. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, deleted scenes]

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2013.deepcuts

There are big movies and there are little movies. I mean that entirely in the sense of budget and release, promotion and theatrical scope. In the United States we talk most about our wide studio releases, then homegrown smaller independent films and the big-name foreign imports. But that leaves quality filmmaking to fall through the cracks. Movies that, for one reason or another, no one seems to be talking about. There are overlooked gems, and then there are the deep cuts. The homegrown niche dramas, the Irish horror flicks, the Latin American comedies, the Scandinavian experiments in nonfiction? This year saw some extraordinary unheralded work from abroad, alongside some excellent films that came from unexpected domestic places. Here are thirteen of them.

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Frankenstein

What makes for a great midnight movie? It’s sort of hard to pin down, one of those “you know it when you see it” sorts of things. Yet looking at the best of this year’s Tribeca Midnight slate, a few commonalities emerge. Honestly, I think it boils down to one thing – a midnight movie needs to keep you awake. It’s got to be effortlessly entertaining, able to keep you energized well after your bedtime. Many of the best of them are hilarious, sending you into peals of raucous laughter almost nonstop. Others are frightful, using fear and the thrill of the cheap scare to keep you on edge.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
A-


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