Armchair Cinephile

PICK OF THE WEEK:A very classics-aware, hardcore gangster epic from new-action master Johnny To. Less interested in milking the viewer’s sympathies than his predecessors were, To barely hints at where his own sympathies lie — and rarely suggests he wants you to enjoy the brutality.

On the other end of the Hong Kong spectrum, John Woo desperately tugs our heartstrings as we giggle ourselves silly in this, his most delirious Hollywood outing to date.

One of literature’s most famously urbane wits is celebrated as BBC all-stars fill seven discs with plays from Private Lives to Design for Living.

Our favorite purveyor of rare samurai cinema, AnimEigo, turns its obsessive attention to a Lone Wolf adventure whose subtitle — Slashing Blades of Carnage! — has our pulses pounding.

If you’ve read a film mag in the last two months, you’ve heard of “Mumblecore,” the loosely defined clique of DIY twentysomething films. This Joe Swanberg entry follows Andrew Bujalski’s celebrated self-releases and the Netflix edition of The Puffy Chair into the DVD kingdom.

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