New on DVD:

There’s something about Abbas Kiarostami’s approach to his 1990 breakthrough film Close-Up that can be found in one of the most fascinating characters in his curious fiction/documentary hybrid – and it’s not the star. At the beginning of the film, we’re in territory familiar to appreciators of his 1997 classic Taste of Cherry. In a wandering, looping manner, we follow a cabbie as he drives casually through a Tehran caught so sharply in the crisp autumn light that every stone wall, every falling leaf jumps out at you…

Close-up is now available in a beautifully-packaged 2-disc edition from Criterion. Read the full review at PopMatters.

In Theaters:

During a particularly gnarled strand of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, where plot and exposition are delivered at a speed best reserved for those wearing appropriate crash gear, Ellen Page’s character—a quick-minded but childlike elf with the pointedly symbolic name of Ariadne—asks, “Now, whose subconscious are we going into now?” It gets a good chuckle from the audience, which at that point has been racing along with the characters as they jump from one level of dreaming to the next, fending off phantom guardians of the subconscious and struggling to finish a mission of world-shaking importance. From that point on, it’s every viewer for himself…

Inception opens wide on Friday. You can read the full review at PopMatters.

In Theaters:
The Girl Who Played with Fire

Although it opens in an unexpected locale – a sunny Caribbean resort, as opposed to the serenely stone-grey streets of Stockholm – it isn’t long before Daniel Alfredson’s unnecessarily stoic take on Stieg Larsson’s second “Millennium” mystery is back on more familiar ground, which is not necessarily a good thing…

The Girl Who Played with Fire is in limited release now. You can read the full review at