With close to 200 appearances on screen, Harry Dean Stanton is one of our best character actors, and it’s often through his quiet moments that he does great work, from a rare starring turn in Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas,” to a blue-collar space engineer in “Alien," to Lyle Straight, brother of Alvin Straight in David Lynch’s “The Straight Story,” to the sympathetic father of Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink.”
If the road movie has a home, it's surely the United States. After all, the settling of America was itself a kind of humongous road picture — all those wagons rolling across the new continent's spectacular vastness. And with our ceaseless love of movement, we became the first people to be transported — in every sense — by the automobile. Small wonder, then, that so many famous Hollywood films, from It Happened One Night to Thelma & Louise, are all about hitting the road.
Today, the DVD of the Oscar-nominated film “Philomena” is being released. One of the special features contained on the DVD is an interview with the real Philomena Lee. Her life story of being forced to give up her son for adoption and her long search for him inspired the film.
We spoke with Philomena and her daughter Jane Libberton, who helped Philomena with her search, back when the film was in theaters, and today we revisit that conversation.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:35 am
Are we witnessing the twilight of DVD and Blu-ray?
Kinda-sorta. With the emergence of various digital distributions systems — streaming and downloading through your laptop, your cable system, your game console — it's easy to see how these discs will be the next physical media formats to fade away. DVD and Blu-ray could well go the way of CDs and vinyl, becoming a niche boutique market for collectors.
At one time in America, “The Little Tramp” was one of the most recognized characters in the world. Among classic movie characters, I think Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” has since surpassed him, but I’ve been doing my part to introduce my own kids (now 8 and 6) to the joys of silent cinema, and Charlie Chaplin is their favorite star from that era.
Here's a short list of some of the most exciting recent TV offerings on DVD. These are sets you can still order and receive in time for the holidays — and regardless, they're perfect to dive into over the vacation period, enjoying an episode or two a night.
“The mystery of faith” is a phrase heard every week by millions of Catholics at Mass, just before the sacrament of Holy Communion. The words describe something indescribable, really. There are some teachings of the Church that are above reason, hence the word “mystery.”
Long, long before it was a bumpy night for the guests of Margo Channing (“All About Eve”), and even before “Now, Voyager,” Bette Davis appeared in dozens of films as a rising actress. Two of her early films, “Hell’s House” and “Of Human Bondage,” are newly available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, in what is touted as an “archival restoration.”
It’s really a shame that any review of “On the Waterfront” is colored by Elia Kazan’s infamous friendly testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. By some accounts, including Kazan’s own on occasion, “On the Waterfront” was the director’s defiant gesture toward his critics. Now sixty years later, can it stand outside the controversy? I believe it can, as it’s a great film and an American classic. As brilliantly played by Marlon Brando, Terry Malloy stands up for what is right, not what his so-called friends would muscle him into doing. It’s as American as “Mr.