Kathleen Turner delivers in uneven ‘The Perfect Family’

Kathleen Turner in 'The Perfect Family'
Kathleen Turner in ‘The Perfect Family’

[rating=3]Starring: Kathleen Turner, Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter, Michael McGrady
Director(s): Anne Renton
Writer(s): Claire V. Riley, Paula Goldberg

Once again Kathleen Turner is playing a woman who on the surface seems to be the ideal wife and mother. But unlike Serial Mom, her character in The Perfect Family is driven by a deep dedication to Catholicism.

Read moreKathleen Turner delivers in uneven ‘The Perfect Family’

‘Snow White: A Deadly Summer’ is a bad apple

Starring: Shanley Caswell, Maureen McCormick, Eric Roberts, Tim Abell
Director(s): David DeCoteau
Writer(s): Barbara Kymlicka

Shanley Caswell stars in 'Snow White: A Deadly Summer'
Shanley Caswell stars in ‘Snow White: A Deadly Summer’

It’s been 75 years since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it seems like everyone except Disney is taking advantage. Capitalizing on the release ofMirror Mirror comes Snow White: A Deadly Summer on DVD.

This version brings things into the modern day, and its contribution to the legacy pretty much ends there.

Read more‘Snow White: A Deadly Summer’ is a bad apple

Lena Dunham is excellent in ‘Tiny Furniture’

Lena Dunham wrote, directed and starred in 'Tiny Furniture'
Lena Dunham wrote, directed and starred in ‘Tiny Furniture’

In what I had thought was a wholly unique experience, I spent my initial post-graduation days at home in limbo, unsure of where I was heading or if I’d even get started on that journey. But now it appears that it wasn’t just me, as Jill of all trades Lena Dunham draws on that precise situation and feeling in her breakthrough film, Tiny Furniture. This 2010 film, which won best narrative feature at South by Southwest and best first screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards, has finally found its way to DVD and Blu ray thanks to the Criterion Collection.

After graduating from college in Ohio, Aura Freeman (Dunham) returns to her New York City home to live with her mother Siri (actual mother Laurie Simmons) and younger sister Nadine (actual sister Grace Dunham). Neither particularly care that she’s come back, and the more into the film we get, it becomes clear that they treat Aura’s presence as more of a burden. In a strange — and fitting for the purposes of this story — coincidence, Siri and Nadine look like each other and don’t resemble Aura physically all that much. It’s almost like Aura was adopted. One has to wonder if Lena herself ever feels that way.

Read moreLena Dunham is excellent in ‘Tiny Furniture’

‘Godzilla’ roars with Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray beautiful black-and-white

Godzilla (Gojira) first trampled through Tokyo in 1954
Godzilla (Gojira) first trampled through Tokyo in 1954

[rating=4]Starring: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Takashi Shimura, Raymond Burr
Director(s): Ishiro Honda
Writer(s): Shigeru Kayama (story), Takeo Murata, Ishiro Honda (script)

Godzilla, the creature who was baptized in the fire of the H-bomb and survived. This film icon that’s crossed international and generational lines has been with us for nearly 60 years. Films, video games, television, and music videos inside Japan and out continue to draw inspiration from it. Now the 1954 film that started it all has been added to the Criterion Collection in a new digital restoration on DVD and Blu-ray.

Read more‘Godzilla’ roars with Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray beautiful black-and-white

‘Straw Dogs’ remake cannot compare to Dustin Hoffman’s original

Kate Bosworth in 'Straw Dogs' (2011)
Kate Bosworth in ‘Straw Dogs’ (2011)

[rating=1]Starring: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgard, James Woods
Director(s): Rod Lurie
Writer(s): Rod Lurie

In 1971, Straw Dogs starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George and directed by Sam Peckinpah was released to much attention. Over 40 years, it has become a classic that stands as one of the finest achievements of the director and actors.

Read more‘Straw Dogs’ remake cannot compare to Dustin Hoffman’s original

‘Island of Lost Souls’ still retains its power to horrify

Kathleen Burke in 'Island of Lost Souls'
Kathleen Burke in ‘Island of Lost Souls’

[rating=4]Starring: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen
Director(s): Erle C. Kenton
Writer(s): Screenplay by Philip Wylie, Waldemar Young; based upon the book by H. G. Wells

The early 1930s is thought of as the golden age of horror films, and for good reason. This was the era that gave us DraculaFrankensteinDr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeMFreaksVampyr, and King Kong. And now thanks to the Criterion Collection, Island of Lost Souls officially makes its way to DVD and Blu Ray for the very first time.

Read more‘Island of Lost Souls’ still retains its power to horrify

‘Secrets in the Walls’ only worth watching for Jeri Ryan

Jeri Ryan in 'Secrets in the Walls'
Jeri Ryan in ‘Secrets in the Walls’

[rating=2]Starring: Jeri Ryan, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Kay Panabaker, Peyton List
Director(s): Christopher Leitch
Writer(s): William Penick, Chris Sey

A family moves into a new home, which seems like an improvement from where they last lived. It doesn’t take too long after that for someone, most likely one of the children, to realize there are things going bump in the night. The protagonist character is skeptical but decides to do some digging and discovers that these strange events have some connection to a cold case crime from long ago. Then it’s up to our hero, possibly with the assistance of someone who dabbles in the supernatural, to set the wrongs of the past right and make the home a happy place again.

Read more‘Secrets in the Walls’ only worth watching for Jeri Ryan