Home Video Picks & Passes 04.15.18

The Iron Giant always gets a thumbs-up.

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The Iron Giant (1999) — PICK

Phantom Thread (2017) — PICK

 

One of the most popular pop-culture references in Ready Player One has just landed on Netflix, where you can enjoy him with his personality and heart intact.

There’s a purity to Brad Bird’s terrific The Iron Giant that would be inconceivable today, and it was a quixotic outlier even in 1999: a 1950s-set boy’s adventure with no cuddly animal sidekicks, musical numbers or contemporary soundtrack.One of the most popular pop-culture references in Ready Player One has just landed on Netflix, where you can enjoy him with his personality and heart intact.

The film’s kinship with Spielberg’s E.T. is obvious: A young boy with a single mother (Jennifer Aniston) befriends a stranded visitor from outer space. The boy teaches his friend to speak English, introduces him to youth pop culture, and does his best to hide him from his mother and the federal government.

New on Blu-ray, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread was one of last year’s most acclaimed, divisive films, but I can’t recommend it.

Daniel Day-Lewis gives a magnificently controlled performance as the revered, tyrannical head of a London house of haute couture. A sumptuously stylish tale of genius and cruelty, beauty and power, love and violence, I found it alternately funny, appalling and tiresome.

Bonus Pick: Lewis Milestone’s 1930 anti-war masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front is new on Blu-ray.

 

Caveat Spectator: The Iron Giant: Large-scale animated violence; some cursing; some rude humor. Phantom Thread: Much rough language and cursing; mature themes.

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