Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Reviewer: Simon Paul Augustine
Ratings (out of five): **** 1/2

Before director Don Siegel created a cultural icon of vengeance by helming the first Dirty Harry installment, he directed a film that established an even more deeply lodged, recognizable cinematic touchstone in American cultural consciousness. (Anti-) hero Harry Callahan and his speeches to doomed criminals are famous among cinema worshippers, but the influence of its predecessor in Siegel’s oeuvre, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has gone beyond the confines of theater-geeks to ensconce itself in several generations of minds, with decades-long household-name status in terms of the influence of both its phraseology and its universally terrifying core concept.

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New and Coming Releases: August 7, 2012.

   

Stir it up with this week's new releases, which include a lovely Bob Marley doc, Dr. Seuss' lively, animated environmental tale, a Chinese martial arts epic, and more. 

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New and Coming Releases: July 31, 2012.

   

It's a small but interesting week for DVDs this week, featuring cult rock legends, Japanese Erotica, more from Criterion, and some just-added upcoming big releases.

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The Devil’s Needle and Other Tales of Vice and Redemption

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of five): The Devil’s Needle - *** ½
Children of Eve - ***
The Inside of the White Slave Traffic - *** ½

Kino Lorber’s The Devil’s Needle and Other Tales of Vice & Redemption compiles three very early (and very odd) melodramas. As time capsule pieces, they’re a priceless look at how very serious social issues were viewed at the beginning of the twentieth century. As entertainments, it’s typical to grade these sorts of works on a bit of a condescending curve. However, in many ways this compilation proves that the movie-as-polemic hasn’t much changed – a film like The Whistleblower (2010) or Biutiful employs the same emotional cattle-prod that was used nearly a century ago. 

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New and Coming Releases: July 24, 2012.

   

It's a day for lusty desires, whether for high end sushi or affairs of the heart. More great releases, inside!

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Something's Gonna Live

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

Something's Gonna Live is filmmaker Daniel Raim's follow-up to his Man on Lincoln's Nose, and once again looks at former Hollywood production designer Robert Boyle, now 97 during the filming of this documentary. It's a love letter to a Hollywood long since gone with some of its surviving members, a sweet, poignant little portrait of a neglected artist. If it has a bit of a home movie feel to it and doesn't have a great deal of dramatic energy to it, for anyone who considers them an aficionado of Old Hollywood, it's very worthy viewing.

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The Beat Hotel

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

Do the names Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky and William Burroughs set your heart aflutter? (My upstairs neighbor runs the other direction when he hears the roster.) For some, these are/were the kind of guys you love to read but wouldn't want to live with. You get the chance to do the latter, possibly as closely as you'd care to, in the new documentary The Beat Hotel that takes us back to the beatnik/bohemian Paris of the period between 1957 - 1963 and to the shabby (but hardly chic) little hotel where they, and others of their ilk, resided.

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New and Coming Releases: July 17, 2012.

   

Today's  roster picks up last week's slack with a huge slate of new releases this week, packed with star turns from leading men Ewan McGreggor, Clive Owen, Willem Dafoe, and more. 

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New and Coming Releases: July 10, 2012.

   

Time to decide whether or not you're on #teammargeret. Out on DVD today with the full, 3.5 hr director's cut, and on Blu-Ray. And we've got other sweeping epics, comedies, and more, leading up to a huge release week next week. Dive on in! 

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In the Realms of the Unreal

Reviewer: Simon P. Augustine
Ratings (out of five): ****

"What can be said to characterize the Outsider is a sense of strangeness, or unreality… that can strike out of a perfectly clear sky. Good health and strong nerves can make it unlikely; but that may be only because the man in good health is thinking about other things and doesn't look in the direction where the uncertainty lies. And once a man has seen it, the world can never afterwards be quite the same straightforward place." – Colin Wilson, The Outsider

 

All of us have seen, or known, or been one of those men or women who inhabit the borders of society, usually in large cities, moving about the corners of busy thoroughfares  –  outsiders or outcasts going about their business with an introversion and sense of sorrow accompanying a quiet presence. 

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