Film » Film Features

Home Theater

New DVDs this week...



Modern Times (Criterion)

Charlie Chaplin's final turn as the Little Tramp is one of his best movies, a part-silent/part-sound film that rides this dichotomy to hilarious and momentous results. Made in 1936, long after every other filmmaker adapted to sound technology, Modern Times uses noise sparingly in the story of an unemployed factory worker and his down-on-her-luck girl. It's a biting satire that skewers the Depression, automated jobs, and even a proto-Big Brother overlord. The opening segment — set inside a massive factory — may be Chaplin's greatest movie moment. This Blu-ray debut includes tons of extras, including historical essays and a couple of Chaplin shorts.

Disney's A Christmas Carol (Disney) — Remember the creepy CGI used in The Polar Express? It's even more unsettling here. Jim Carrey stars as Dickens' famous crotchety old man, who learns a thing or two about compassion (and goofy faces). The extras are mostly blah-humbug.

The Kids Are All Right (Universal) — Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a lesbian couple raising two teens. Everything's cool until Mark Ruffalo and his penis enter the picture. The comedy doesn't always stick, but the acting is top-notch. The behind-the-scenes bonus stuff is a waste of time.

The Night of the Hunter (Criterion) — This is Robert Mitchum at his most badass and off-the-hook scary. He plays a religious nut who marries a woman for her cash, but can't get to it because her meddling kids won't tell him where it is. One of the all-time greats, now with outtakes and other archival goodies.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.