‘The Substance': LSD’s long strange trip

Albert Hofmann of LSD fame

"High" on LSD doesn't quite cover it. The hallucinogenic drug provided such a mind-altering experience that almost all users of the 1960s swore off the stuff, sooner or later. Mostly sooner. As a social phenomenon (and widespread social problem), LSD's run lasted only a few twisted years in the 1960s. But its influence lingers, like some never-ending flashback. Martin Witz's splendid … [Read more...]

‘I, Claudius’ on DVD: Thumbs up … finally

Derek Jacobi as Claudius

Acorn's new five-disc retelling of "I, Claudius" opens with an ominous warning about the condition of the 1976 miniseries. "Occasional flaws ... that were beyond our ability to correct." "I, Claudius" fans could be excused a shudder of paranoia upon reading the disclaimer, especially given the treatment the BBC presentation received on home video over the years. No need to fret. Acorn's new … [Read more...]

Long live ‘Prime Suspect’ U.K.

helen mirren and costars in Prime Suspect 2

Maria Bello is a fine actress and all, but NBC's remake of "Prime Suspect" has a lot going against it. First and foremost, the new "Prime Suspect" soon will be drowning in comparisons to the British source material -- arguably the smartest, best-written and best-acted cop series on any continent. The series spread out across 15 years, with the 22 hours of superb TV concluding in 2006. Then … [Read more...]

‘Epitafios’ returns with a new face of evil

Julio Chávez and Cecilia Roth in Epitafios 2

"The gates of hell are wide open tonight," says the coroner, the busiest man in Buenos Aires. The soaring body count signals the return of "Epitafios," the brilliant and gruesome crime miniseries from HBO Latin America. The pay channel's video unit just released the sequel in the U.S. as a four-DVD set. "Epitafios: The End Now Has Two Faces" features the few surviving main characters from … [Read more...]

‘If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise’

da creek-dont-rise-documentary

Spike Lee began filming his second New Orleans documentary on the day of the 2010 Super Bowl, with cameras rolling in Miami and New Orleans. They were shooting "because we knew the Saints were gonna win," Lee recalls. After capturing the wild celebration following the city's first Super Bowl win, "We thought we had the (documentary's) ending ... but BP thought otherwise." Lee's first New … [Read more...]