Home / Tag: DVD reviews
03.02.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Along with Philip Glass, John Adams is the most popular composer to emerge from the minimalism of the 1960s and �70s. Adams has often turned to opera, where he mined recent events such as Nixon�s visit to China and Palestinian hijackers. In 2005 he debuted his depiction of the birth of the atomic age, Doctor Atom, at the San Francisco Opera. The documentary Wonders Are Many (out now on DV...
02.24.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
During World War II as the British Isles held out against the Nazi onslaught, only the tiny Channel Islands, undefended and near the French coast, fell to the invader. �Enemy at the Door� is a 13-episode British television dramatization (out now on DVD) about life on one of those islands during the occupation. With the unhurried pace of a soap opera (but with an intelligent script), �Ene...
02.10.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Like a Cold War Kafka character, the man known only as 6 (a relentlessly angry Patrick McGoohan) awakens in unfamiliar surroundings, captive to a conspiracy bewildering in extent. 6 was the protagonist of �The Prisoner,� the 1967 British television series that drew an avid, unusually intelligent cult following for its modish style, jarring camera angles and sound, surreal blend of the banal and t...
02.09.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
The troops in Vietnam amused themselves with Playboy centerfolds; in Iraq, it�s probably Internet porn. Back in World War II G.I.s consoled themselves with �pin-up girls,� shapely things usually showing a little leg circulated in full-color images. A minor Hollywood actress called Betty Grable became the most popular pin-up in the U.S. military on the strength of her legs. For several years her ...
02.07.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
With his wild halo of hair and sad penetrating eyes, Albert Einstein became an instantly recognizable star in the 1920s. His face shone as brightly as anyone in Hollywood and unlike most movie stars, his light hasn�t faded. When he visited America for the first time, a crowd of 15,000 greeted him on the Manhattan pier. After laboring for years in obscurity, Einstein�s fame resulted from intense ...
01.27.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Dennis Potter is not a name widely familiar in the U.S. despite his occasional work in Hollywood, including screenplays for Gorky Park and Pennies From Heaven. In his British homeland, however, he is acclaimed for his many television dramas. A trio of them, originally aired in the UK within weeks of each other in 1980, has been issued on a DVD set, �Dennis Potter: 3 to Remember.� Potter c...
01.20.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Last summer a Biography Channel documentary simply titled �Barack Obama� was released on DVD. Just in time for Inauguration Day, a new edition has been issued, prefaced by jubilant scenes in Chicago from Nov. 4 and additional interviews and footage putting Election Day in perspective. Last summer all bets were off. Now we know he made it. Clocking in at under an hour, �Barack Obama� large...
01.10.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
When Elie Wiesel condemned the 1978 mini-series �Holocaust� for trivializing the events it depicted, he stood on the shoulders of those survivors who deemed it impossible to represent or depict the destruction of European Jewry. The horror was too heavy for art to bear. On the other hand, �Holocaust,� for all its many dramatic faults, became the primary point of exposure for contemporary audienc...
01.03.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Science has uncovered some strange creatures, especially in the depths of the sea where sunlight never reaches. But from the dark corners of the world�s surface come reports of creatures science refuses to admit to its zoology. The History Channel series �Monsterquest� exploits and investigates the legends of everything from Sasquatch to giant squids. Season two has been released on DVD. ...
12.26.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
On Oct. 4, 1957 the world was startled when a new moon entered the Earth�s orbit. It was an artificial satellite, the first space probe, and its name was Sputnik. The US was frightened because its Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, developed Sputnik in secret. If a Russian missile could send a satellite into space, could Soviet technology also rain nuclear warheads on American cities? Sp...

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