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DVD alternatives to this weekend’s multiplex offerings

President Obama may have us all feeling more confident that the collapse of civilization because of credit swap defaults — instead of the way-cooler zombie apocalypse or ape uprising The Movies had promised us — has been headed off for the moment, but that don’t mean a penny saved ain’t still a penny saved. And … more…

Gladiator (again) (review)

I’ve seen Gladiator half a dozen times now — thrice on a big screen and thrice on DVD — and it gets me deeper in the gut every time: By the time Maximus whispers his final words, assuring Lucilla that “Lucius is safe,” I’m starting to sniffle. By the time Juba is reverently burying Maximus’s totems of his wife and son, I’m bawling.

The Omega Code (review)

Maybe you’ve heard of The Omega Code. This is the ‘Christian thriller’ that shocked Hollywood last year by breaking into the box office top 10, if only momentarily, playing on only a handful screens across the Bible Belt. Why Hollywood was shocked is a bit of a mystery: The independently produced The Omega Code is illogical, anti-intellectual, tedious, and absurd, but no more so than any given Adam Sandler movie. Why should religious folks be any more discriminating than the vast secular majority? A real shock would be if, say, The Insider was such a blockbuster that Mattel cashed in with Jeffrey Wigand inaction figures.

Gladiator (review)

Is Gladiator an action movie? Is it an historical drama? Is it a sweeping epic? Yes. Like The 13th Warrior, this is a thinking person’s action movie. Like Braveheart, this is a story of a brutal era told with stunning realism. Like Terminator 2, this is a violent movie that indicts our appetite for violence. Like The Matrix, this thrills on both a visceral and cerebral level.

top 11 movies of 1999

Like Nigel Tufnel’s amp, this one goes to 11. I agonized over this, trying to whittle down a list of about 25 great movies of 1999 to a mere 10, and I just couldn’t go that far. It pained me to eliminate some wonderful — and wonderfully adult — dramas from the list. The Cider … more…