DVD Spotlight

     

It's a great week to revisit old movies, as we've got everything from Kubrick's earliest, a new on DVD Polanski movie, mad science sci-fi from the 60's, and much, much more. 

Blog entry 08/16/2011 - 9:38am

     

If Wall Street's got you down there's plenty of escapism to be had in this week's batch of new releases, including lots of comedy, foriegn horror (appropriately addressing a sociopathic desire for home ownership), anime, and more, inside!

Blog entry 08/09/2011 - 10:52am

   

We've got a small but eclectic offering this week, which includes a 1960's stranded-in-a-desert flick from Olive Films, a new one from Film Movement, and more, inside. 

Blog entry 08/02/2011 - 11:00am

   

It's a great week to revisit our podcasts, as 2 new DVDs out today have been featured at GreenCine Daily: Heartbeats and Life During Wartime. We've also got some fun summer cult films and docs, sci fi, and more. 

Blog entry 07/26/2011 - 11:07am

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

Max Manus: Man of War is a WWII epic based on a true story of Norwegian resistance fighter Max Manus. With a DVD release title and cover art that makes it sound like a comic book straight to video, the film from Bandidas directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Roennin looks good and is exciting enough to hold attention, especially for war history buffs, but the script doesn't break any especially new ground.

Max Manus opens with an obligatory and probably unnecessary "how we got here" WWII background montage before starting in a 1940 Finland snow-covered  battlefield then flashing back a few months earlier to when Germany has taken over Finland. Manus, our hero (played by Aksel Hennie), says "I was embarrassed to be from Finland." And thus we get the story of how Manus bravely became part of an unheralded resistance movement in his native country.

Blog entry 07/18/2011 - 3:16pm

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

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives details the final days in the life of the eponymous character, who is dying of kidney disease. The film also features ape ghosts with glowing red eyes who stalk the forest in anticipation of Boonmee’s departed spirit.

The works of Apichatpong “Joe” Weerasethakul have always straddled the mundane and the psychospiritual, often times within the same scene, but all of Weerasethakul’s preoccupations seem to meet their apex in Boonmee. The film is shaggier than its predecessor, Syndromes and a Century, returning to the swoony, free-form jungle idyll of Blissfully Yours and Tropical Maladay.

Blog entry 07/12/2011 - 2:45pm

Reviewer: James van Maanen
Rating (out of five): * * * *

The Queen and her Corgis, Churchill and his bulldog, J.R. Ackerley and Tulip.  If that last one doesn't ring the bell, no matter: a gong may sound in perpetuity once you've seen the new animated film My Dog Tulip, the newest from husband-wife filmmaking team Paul and Sandra Fierlinger.  J.R Ackerly, a British literary editor and writer, had his book of the same title (a reminiscence about the relationship between him and his dog) published in 1956 in England and later here in America. Reissued by New York Review Books in its Classic Series, Tulip is currently that series' best-seller.

While all this may sound a bit like the Brit version of Marley and Me, be assured that it is not.  For one thing, Tulip is not a film for children. One of the first things to greet us on-screen are the book author Ackerley's words: "Unable to love each other, the English turn to dogs."  Sad, ironic, rather nastily funny -- and definitely not for kids. The story that unfolds thereafter tells of a quiet, highly intelligent and lonely man who has never had a committed relationship with another person.  Into his life comes the dog Tulip.

Blog entry 07/12/2011 - 12:54pm

Reviewer: Vadim Rizov
Rating (out of 5): **½

Takashi Miike chooses the strangest times to assert himself. By IMDB's count, since 1991 he's directed or is wrapping up some 85 titles; if he's no longer cranking out five films a year, inconsistency is still his hallmark. Miike's best known for both AuditionOzu meets torture porn — and a series of films that alternate between inspiration and filler with very little warning. If Miike was a band, he'd have an awesome greatest-hits disc that would make you get rid of all the albums proper.

Blog entry 07/05/2011 - 5:49pm

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of 5): Chains **** ; Tormento **** ½ ; Nobody's Children **** ; The White Angel *** ½  ; SERIES ****

Chains (1949), the first film in Eclipse’s Raffaello Matarazzo set, begins simply enough: a stolen car breaks down and the thief, desperate to avoid apprehension, hides out at a mechanic’s garage. 388 minutes and four films later, 1955’s The White Angel closes the set with a standoff between a fearless nun and a group of ruthless female inmates who are holding an infant hostage.

These two scenes best illustrate the milieu of Director Raffaello Matarazzo, one of Italy’s most commercially successful filmmakers. Matarazzo’s films vacillate violently between the mundane and the histrionic, more than earning the set’s label: "Runaway Melodramas". Those who prefer subtlety in their storytelling have received fair warning.

Blog entry 06/30/2011 - 12:43pm

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Rating (out of 5): **** 1/2 

It would be misleading (however accurate) to tout People on Sunday as a film from the makers of Detour, Sunset Boulevard, The Killers, and High Noon. Aside from technical grace, not too much about Sunday suggests the careers Edgar G. Ulmer, Billy Wilder, Robert Siodmak, and Fred Zinnemann (respectively) would have following this early effort.

Shot over six weeks without a script (despite the credits’ claim otherwise), the film details the exploits of young people living in Weimar Republic-era Berlin. 

Blog entry 06/28/2011 - 3:53pm

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