Blogs

Making Plans for Lena

Reviewer: James van Maanen
Ratings (out of five): ** 1/2

Making Plans for Lena is writer/director Christophe Honoré's third film to use Chiara Mastroianni, but it comes nowhere near the level of his earlier Love Songs. I find myself running hot and luke-warm to the work of this filmmaker; his latest is definitely in the latter category. Beautifully filmed in Brittany, the movie -- as well as the Lena character played by Mastroianni -- fairly reeks of entitlement.

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New and Coming Releases: July 3, 2012.

   

God Bless America, indeed, on this new DVD day falling the day before our nation's independence day. This week features some wonderfully darker fare than usual - enjoy!

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: July 3, 2012.

The 39 Steps (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of five): ****

Every hero has a beginning. At least, that’s what we’re taught by the Hollywood/comic book nexus that sees fit to shove a reboot/origin story into theaters every year or two. And Criterion’s Blu-Ray release (also on DVD) of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (1935) lays bare the beginnings of an unequaled cinematic hero. The film is Hitchcock concentrate, a microcosm of the style and subjects that would mark the master’s five-decade career. Arguably, the period when he made his “thriller sextet” – which consists of Steps, the first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, Secret Agent, Young and Innocent and The Lady Vanishes – is the epoch where Hitchcock-the-man became Hitchcock-the-adjective.

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Primer - Dangerous Liberation: The Japanese New Wave of the 60’s and 70’s

 Terayama-Throw-Away-Your-Books-Rally-in-the-StreetsBy Simon P. Augustine

"Your liberation – who is it for?"
       – from Throw Away Your Books, Rally In The Streets

The advent of the internet has changed the landscape for cinema lovers forever,unveiling whole treasure troves, and in some cases entire sub-genres of filmic history that may have heretofore escaped the eyes of even the most ardent critic or cinephile. Within the matrix of video rental services, websites devoted to cinema culture, blogs, etc., there is almost no dark corner of the world’s movie theater that cannot now be explored. A happy example of this phenomenon for me is a recent encounter with a group of bold, visually stunning, intellectually challenging, spiritually and erotically charged films that rival the most daring films of today’s international and independent scene: the cinema which emerged from Japan in the 60’s and 70’s.

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New and Coming Releases: June 26, 2012.

   

A classic 80's cop show gets the comedy treatment, titans show their wrath (again) and a GreenCine Fantastic Fest Favorite (Bullhead) rears its head on DVD this week, along with many others. Check out the full list, inside!

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: June 26, 2012.

Eclipse Series 32 - Pearls of the Czech New Wave

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of five): SET **** ½
Pearls of the Deep: *** ½ (Shorts: Mr Baltazer’s Death **, The Imposters *** ½, House of Joy **** ½ , The Restaurant The World *** ½ , Romance ****)
Daisies: **** ½
A Report on the Party and Guests: *** ½
Return of the Prodigal Son: *** ½
Capricious Summer: ***
The Joke: **** ½

Eclipse’s latest set ingeniously collects ten films – five shorts and five features – by five directors at the forefront of the retroactively titled “Czech New Wave.” Pretty much every film presented here was eventually banned by the Soviet overlords who micromanaged the Czechoslovakian culture following the Warsaw Pact.

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How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?

Reviewer: James van Maanen
Ratings (out of five): *** 1/2

Architects are more and more in the movies these days. Over the past few years, we've had the likes of Louis Kahn, Frank Gehry (and just why isn't the Gehry film, Sketches of Frank Gehry, listed on the IMDB or as part of the oeuvre of its director Sydney Pollack?) and Charles Eames getting their very own movie (though Chas had to share his with wife Ray). Now comes Sir Norman Foster, a knight of the British realm, whose name is new to me (clearly, I doesn't follow architecture, at least, not until a movie is made about that architect) but whose work, when you see it all together as you do here, is pretty damned impressive.

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New and Coming Releases: June 19, 2012.

    

Some festival favorites from 2011 (and 2012!) are finally hitting DVD this week, so check out the full lineup - inside!

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: June 19, 2012.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Contest!

Taking audiences on a humorous, moving, and intimate journey against an epic backdrop of Earth’s final days, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist). Set in a too-near future where time at once stands still and is slipping away forever, the writer/director explores what people will do and how they will feel when humanity’s end is near. Starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as the unlikely traveling companions, this "witty, warm-hearted and impressively original" (Hollywood Reporter) romantic comedy hits theater this Friday, June 22, 2012. 

Check the jump for details on how to enter our Seeking a Friend for the End of the World prize pack giveaway, and be sure to check out Focus Features site for more cool "end of the world" themed prizes!

Continue Reading Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Contest!

New and Coming Releases: June 12, 2012.

    

This week Criterion brings us gems from Danny Boyle, Charlie Chaplain, and Hal Ashby, plus we've got another stellar lineup of DVDs and Blu-Rays full of Nikkatsu and Pink films from Japan, box office hits from the US, and more! 

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: June 12, 2012.

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