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…

The Family Stone (review)

So, I was raving to a friend about this great new movie I’d just seen, *The Family Stone,* how it’s about this big wacky family getting together for Christmas– And she stopped me right there with a moan and said, Oh God, it’s not like that Jodie Foster movie *Home for the Holidays,* is it? And I said, Why, yes, it’s exactly like that, but even better. She moaned again and said, Oh, I hate that movie.

Death to Smoochy and Panic Room (review)

A movie is never more of a crushing disappointment than when you’ve gotten your hopes up, when against your better judgment you’ve bought into the hype and the advertising and the how-can-it-miss high concept. Imagine how sad the entire geek community is going to be if Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man sucks. (But it can’t suck, right? Right? I mean, it’s Sam Raimi. It’s Spider-Man. Please, whatever movie gods there are, don’t make it suck. Don’t do that to us.)

Home for the Holidays (review)

Beautifully written by W.D. Richter and directed with a sure hand by Jodie Foster, Home for the Holidays wraps all those contradictory feelings up and serves them for Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps the most realistic holiday movie I’ve ever seen, this oddly charming, poignant, and blackly funny film is a treasure not to be missed.

The Silence of the Lambs (review)

The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological thriller of the highest order, and well deserving of the unusual Oscar nod for Best Picture, never before bestowed upon a film like this. Before or since, action/horror has never been done so well or so cerebrally.