“Brooklyn”: ☆☆☆ 1/2 . An Irish woman comes to America to start a new life but becomes torn between two men. John Crowley creates a hauntingly beautiful tale of love on two continents in his period film.
Crowley allows the story to unfold through the beautiful landscapes of the Irish countryside and Brooklyn in the early 1950s, presenting each with details that bring them to life. Such lavish backgrounds demand players who will not get lost in the shadows.
“Carol”: ☆☆☆☆. Director Todd Haynes has created a world so rich in texture, design and mood that it is easy to fall into its loving arms and get enveloped in its story of love and loss. The art direction, costume design and cinematography are so brilliant and honest, it is as if Haynes had found a movie shot a half-century ago and dusted it off for a modern audience.
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara turn in superb performances as two women fighting against, but eventually giving in to, their emotional connection, despite living in the 1950s when such relationships are considered taboo.
“The Big Short”: ☆☆☆. A group of men predict the collapse of the economy because of bad loans. Christian Bale stars. Director Adam McKay looks to put the financial collapse caused by the housing bubble that happened less than a decade ago into an understandable form.
It’s a valiant effort, but too often the movie gets bogged down in conversations about subprime lending, collateralized debt obligation and other subjects that are the things of Alan Greenspan’s dreams.
“Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine”: ☆☆☆. Director Alex Gibney looks at how Jobs could be ruthless in business, even to the point of cheating his partner, Steve Wozniak, out of a large bonus, but still be revered around the world when he died.
The documentary doesn’t go deeper. It’s not clear whether Gibney did not have access to the smaller moments that helped define Jobs or there was just nothing to find.
ALSO NEW ON DVD
“Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season”: Includes all 10 episodes plus bonus content.
“Sisters”: Sisters throw one last party before selling the family home. Tina Fey stars.
“Mayday”: Mystery unfolds when May Queen disappears.
“Addiction Incorporated”: Research scientist discovers dangers of smoking.
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”: Misunderstanding leaves the Chipmunks worried about their future.
“Half-Shell Heroes: Blast to the Past”: Turtles encounter friendly dinosaurs.
“Censored Voices”: Six-Day War of 1967 is revisited.
“The Nanny: The Final Season”: All 22 episodes in the sixth season of the CBS comedy starring Fran Drescher.
“Odd Squad: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”: Agent Olaf performs the potato song.
“New Tricks, Season 12”: The Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) returns to crack more cold cases.
“The Hatching”: Peaceful town becomes a bloodbath when the eggs of a killer crocodile hatch.
“Debbie Macombar’s Cedar Cove: The Final Season”: Take one more trip to the small seaside town of Cedar Cove.
“Invasion U.S.A.”: Chuck Norris film is on blu-ray.