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Darkest Hour stands apart from more routine historical dramas.

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The Man Who Invented Christmas

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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DVD is dead; long live Blu-ray!

From Jeff Shannon, film critic, Seattle WA:

Just a brief clarification, if I may: I checked out the "Baraka" review and saw the italicized notice at the bottom. Strictly speaking "Blu-ray DVD" is a misnomer, since it combines the names of two completely different formats.

Yes, I know I'm nitpicking, but it's for the long-term purpose: DVD will disappear, and Blu-ray (upper-case B, lower-case R is correct) will remain. I'm not sure what works best...Blu-ray disc? Just Blu-ray? Eventually, the industry standard of "BD" may be commonly accepted.

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Anyway...check out the Coppola Restoration of the "Godfather" trilogy on BD. Absolutely gorgeous. The set also includes a fantastic, graphically helpful demonstration of digital image restoration and how it's achieved. They really honored Gordon Willis on this one.

Looking forward to the BD of "Baraka," and it won't surprise either of you to discover that anything from an all-digital source (like the Pixar movies or even -- dare I say it -- "Speed Racer") is absolutely stunning on BD. Older films also benefit, of course, but only with all-digital source material will you see BD at its fullest potential.And so far (with the exception of Disney) they've only scratched the surface of the potential for interactive features. Keep a close watch on the big titles (like "Iron Man") and you'll see some really great supplements.

And, as you probably heard already, Criterion has embraced BD 100%. They're already releasing BDs of their bestselling DVD titles, with many more in the pipeline.

DVD is dead. They should give the format a premature burial, but market saturation is too deeply established to cut it off completely -- figure on a five-year death rattle. There's a good story idea for you.

Ebert footnote: BD sounds like bondage & discipline! How about BluD? Nope, sounds like blood. How about BRD...Bludisc...RAY? I think RAY plays the best.

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