The Stuff

Oscar Isaac in INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Inside Llewyn Davis It’s NYC in the early ’60s, and Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is trying to make his mark on the folk music scene. His efforts seem to be continually in vain though as pretty much nothing works out they way he wants. Is it fate? Or is it simply because he’s a bastard who fouls every relationship he has with his attitude. It’s probably too early to say, but screw it, it’s my column… Joel and Ethan Coen‘s latest is quite possibly their best and most mature work. From Isaac’s brilliantly nuanced performance to those of the supporting cast (including John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham, and others), from the fantastic score to the gorgeous cinematography, this is a tremendously affecting look at one man’s struggles against the world and himself. The Coens’ script is a work of art from which more beauty is born, and I really can’t recommend the film highly enough. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of]

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Gene Wilder in

When you boil the holidays we celebrate down to their essentials, the vast majority of them all reveal themselves to be about the same exact thing—candy. On Halloween we celebrate ghouls and candy, on Christmas it’s the Baby Jesus and Candy, on Easter it’s Undead Jesus and candy, and on Valentine’s Day it’s romance and candy. Basically, we take a break on Thanksgiving to eat pie, and that’s about the only exception. Sure, Halloween costumes, Christmas lights, and family togetherness all have their attractive qualities, but seeing as we’ve woven the consumption of candy into some level of each of these different holidays, maybe it’s about time we admit to ourselves that they were put together simply as transparent excuses for us to binge on sickly sweet confections in the first place. Of course, for movie geeks, holidays take on an additional purpose than the ones they serve for most other people. For us they serve both as an excuse to eat candy, and as an excuse to have movie marathons. On Halloween we tear through gruesome slashers (and trick or treat candy), on Christmas we stuff ourselves with sappy nostalgia (and stocking candy), and it all feels pretty damned good. There’s a problem with the holiday we’ve got coming up though, Valentine’s Day, in that anyone wanting to keep their movie marathon thematically appropriate is going to have to spend the day watching a bunch of rom-coms, and—let’s be honest—there are only so many of those that are good […]

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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