Weekend (Criterion)

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

On his ballot for the recent Sight and Sound poll, Weekend director Andrew Haigh cited Michael Mann’s The Insider as one of the ten best films ever made. Watching Weekend, the inclusion makes total sense. Haigh’s tightly controlled, color-coded mise-en-scene is very closely akin to Mann’s. Weekend also shares visual DNA with two other recent astonishing breakthrough films – Steve McQueen’s Hunger and Antonio CamposAfterschool. However, unlike the three filmmakers mentioned above, Haigh’s film has a deep humanity that provides a messy contrast to his visual restraint.

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New and Coming Releases: September 4, 2012.

   

This smaller release weeks brings us some new-to-DVD gems, including Patricio Guzman's searing documentary against Augosto Pinochet, Fritz Lang's elusive Secret Beyond the Door, and more. 

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Lonesome (Criterion)

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

Paul Fejos’ Lonesome is a kaleidoscopic document of the cadences of modern (circa 1928, anyway) living and loving. It’s a simple tale –an ordinary working stiff falls for a woman he meets at the beach – told via a series of florid, propulsive camera tricks and highly advanced montage.

The beginning of Lonesome has the familiar feeling of a city symphony – think People on Sunday or Man With A Movie Camera. Manhattan wakes up; boats shuttle through the harbor, crowds pound the pavement, and a title card offers the philosophical thesis of the film: “In the whirlpool of modern life, the most difficult thing is to live alone.”

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Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Reviewer: Craig Phillips
Ratings (out of five): ***

The Duplass Brothers, Mark and Jay, are back with this sweet indie comedy that is surprisingly funny, if a bit less interesting substantively than Cyrus. While it suffers a bit from some contrived plottings, the cast and good humor shine through sweetly.

Jason Segel and Ed Helms, both doing some of their best work to date, play estranged brothers who reconnect to help each other out of sticky situations. Segel's Jeff is, as the title suggests, a slacking manchild who currently lives with his mother (Susan Sarandon, who seems to be having a second life lately supporting roles in indie dramedies -- and I'm not complaining).

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New and Coming Releases: August 28, 2012.

   

It's a nice mix of mainstream and arthouse on this week's new slate of DVDs. Rent everything from action and romance blockbusters to Oscar-nominated French films and Hollywood golden age classics. 

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: August 28, 2012.

Korczak

Reviewer: Jeffrey M. Anderson
Ratings (out of five): ***

Directed by Andrzej Wajda -- a four-time nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, as well as the maker of the masterpiece Ashes and Diamonds (1958) -- Korczak is a Holocaust picture and a biopic about a real-life Polish hero. Janusz Korczak (played by Wojciech Pszoniak) was a teacher, author, and doctor who took it upon himself to care for 200 orphans during the Nazi occupation of Poland in WWII. As far as I can tell, Korczak never received a release in the United States, other than possible festival dates. Now Kino has graced it with a new DVD and Blu-ray release.

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New and Coming Releases: August 21, 2012.

   

As we've said before, "A minor Richard Linklater film is better than no Linklater at all." This week's slate of DVDs brings us small treasure from Linklater, a breakout feature from Andrew Haigh, Sasha Baren Cohen's Dictator, and much much more. 

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: August 21, 2012.

ParaNorman Prize Pack Giveaway!

In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he'll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Drew Taylor at The Playlist praises, "ParaNorman is a micro-sized masterpiece that wears its heart (and its half-eaten brains) on its sleeve." With voice work by Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and more, ParaNorman is brought to you by LAIKA (the makers of Coraline) and Focus Features and hits theaters this week.

And now you can win a fun prize pack from the film! More details, inside.

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La Promesse and Rosetta (Criterion)

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of five): **** 1/2

Today marks the Criterion debut of two masterpieces by the Dardenne brothers, La Promesse and Rosetta. Despite nearly two decades of documentary work and a pair of prior features, these were the films that made the Belgian brothers favorites of both critics and festival juries. Watching both for the first time (as a beautifully bleak double feature), it’s easy to see why.

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New and Coming Releases: August 14, 2012.

   

We're over the mid-summer doldrums with a huge release week this and the coming weeks! Check out the full list inside. 

Continue Reading New and Coming Releases: August 14, 2012.

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