New on DVD

Herzog Shorts Collection 2 Michael Atkinson for IFC on White Dog: "[B]eing put off by [Sam] Fuller's smacked-face style means missing the brute power of his metaphors and the audacity of his dialogue with society." Also reviewed is the Herzog Shorts Collection: Volume 2: "What's interesting... is how consistently throughout Herzog's career as a documentarian he has sought out people who almost by definition have no knowledge or interest in who he is, or, often, why he's filming them. Is that why he chooses them as his subjects? Is it an anti-narcissism, or a utopian desire for savage innocence? When is someone going to write a good biography of this myth-heavy man?" Amen.

Speaking of Fuller, though, Glenn Kenny's "Tuesday Morning Foreign Region DVD Report" for the Auteurs' Notebook this week is on Verboten!, Fuller's "statement on Nazis, their war crimes, and the post World-War-II occupation of Germany."

Blog entry 12/18/2008 - 1:18pm


Typically as we get on toward the holiday season, DVD releases slow down in number, but that doesn't mean there aren't some very intriguing titles coming out over the next few weeks. Today you can find something for both dark moods and light, from mindless fun and frothy anime to international classics, horror, an Iraq War TV series and much more. Stuff your queue before you stuff your stockings.

Blog entry 12/16/2008 - 12:24pm

      A fine day for new releases, in the pre-holiday rush to get more films out to the world.  We've got reissues, docs, classic silents, Batman, a man on a wire, a new Criterion title and a bunch of people trapped on an island. All this and more is here in the latest new and coming releases list. 

Blog entry 12/09/2008 - 12:46pm

DVDs, 12/2.

White Dog

"In its blunt, bludgeoning way, White Dog ranks among the toughest and most probing examinations of racism in American cinema," writes Dennis Lim in the Los Angeles Times . "[Sam] Fuller's brute-force direction gives this outrageous allegory the hyperbolic treatment it demands." More from Erin Donovan at the Guru and notes on it from Craig Phillips.

"The late Marguerite Duras's novels, with their accretion of visual detail and incantatory dialogue, lent themselves to movies, but Duras disliked others' adaptations of her work and began, in the 1960s, to direct," writes Richard Brody in the New Yorker. "Her fourth film, Nathalie Granger (in a two-disk set from Blaq Out / Facets), from 1972, is a vehicle for a pair of international divas, Jeanne Moreau and Lucia Bosé, albeit an unusually low-key one; the setting is a cluttered old house near Paris, which was Duras's own."

Blog entry 12/02/2008 - 4:56pm


Now that you've digested your Thanksgiving holiday meal, feast on this week's huge slate of new releases, full of something for everyone -- anime as well as Hanna Barbera, mindless action, docs, international sleepers and a cult favorite from Criterion. Enjoy.

Blog entry 12/02/2008 - 12:43pm


Bottle Rocket "The coincidental releases this week of a pair of cult staples - Freaks and Geeks (in a deluxe 'yearbook' set) and Bottle Rocket (in a Criterion edition) - make for an intriguing compare-and-contrast exercise," writes Dennis Lim in the Los Angeles Times. "Since these early efforts, Judd Apatow and Wes Anderson have emerged as the twin kingpins of misfit man-child comedy." Related: "Owen and Luke Wilson's mom is apparently a pretty kick-ass black-and-white photographer and she documented tons of the Bottle Rocket boys adventures." The Playlist samples the work of Laura Wilson.

"Five years down the line, All the Real Girls retains its position as one of the most visually distinctive American independent films produced," writes Vadim Rizov at Screengrab. It may also be "one of the most influential films of the decade."

Blog entry 11/26/2008 - 3:16pm


This week's platter of new releases comes include several new Criterion gems and some international sleepers, as well as a few comedy side dishes. (And a few turkeys.) Happy Thanksgiving!

Blog entry 11/25/2008 - 12:04pm

The General "The General is a peephole into history and by any definition an uncannily beautiful film," writes Gary Giddins at Slate. "Indeed, for a first-time viewer, I would emphasize the beauty over the comedy."

"With a star-powered trio of Roberts (Ryan, Mitchum and Young) sharing the one-sheet for a film noir produced by the studio that helped define the post-war style, Crossfire really should be a lot better than it is," finds Scott Marks. And then there's Flying Leathernecks. Nicholas Ray "possibly undertook the project in part as a preemptive defense against HUAC who viewed him as a left-leaning, Tinsel Town liberal. They were right, of course, but Ray never went down for them. Undoubtedly Ray and Robert Ryan, both leftist liberals, locked horns with the Duke and his favored GOP co-star Jay C Flippen. Sadly, very little of their off-screen tension found its way into the finished product."

Read more below!

Blog entry 11/19/2008 - 12:46pm


We've said this before, but seriously folks, this is one heck of a DVD releasing day.A bunch of cool anime, several outstanding docs, a rip roaring action satire, Pixar, Audrey Tautou, I mean what more do you want? But don't take our word for it, step on inside for more of this week's releases and some of the titles coming out soon.

Blog entry 11/18/2008 - 12:10pm

Christmas on Mars James Van Maanen talks with Rick Gershon of Warner Bros Records about The Flaming Lips' Christmas on Mars: "They do many unusual things: They produced their own coffee table history book last year, about the first 20 years of their career. They did this independently and then we put it out thru WBR. We were just helpers on it. With this movie, it's a similar scenario. The Lips did most of the financing and everything else. They did this completely and entirely on their own."

And for PopMatters, Drew Fortune interviews Wayne Coyne.

Blog entry 11/13/2008 - 4:12pm

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