Archive for category: Blu-ray

Restorations, Revelations and Debuts of 2014

23 November, 2014 (12:40) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, lists, streaming | By: Sean Axmaker

Film history discovered and rediscovered on Blu-ray, DVD and digital formats. We never stop recovering our film history. In 2014 alone we found a 1916 version of Sherlock Holmes starring the legendary stage actor William Gillette (the only known footage of the man considered the definitive Holmes of his era in character) and an unfinished […]

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Videophiled Classics: Otto Preminger’s ‘Bunny Lake is Missing’

20 November, 2014 (09:54) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Bunny Lake Is Missing (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) – In the late 1950s and early 1960s, no American director melded classic Hollywood style and cool modern European elegance better than producer/director Otto Preminger. His handsome films are celebrations of introspection and stylistic remove and his best work defined not by heroes and villains but complex, flawed, […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Wind Rises’ for Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song

18 November, 2014 (09:58) | Animation, Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Wind Rises (Disney, Blu-ray, VOD) – Hayao Miyazaki is a national treasure in Japan, the director of beloved animated features and a filmmaker dedicated to preserving the art of hand-drawn animation. The Wind Rises, which was released in 2013 and earned an Oscar nomination as Best Animated Feature, was a passion project for the […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘Fedora’ – Billy Wilder’s memorial for old Hollywood

13 November, 2014 (14:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Editor

Fedora (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD) opens with a moment right out of Anna Karenina: a woman throws herself in front of an oncoming train, a steam engine puffing out white clouds against the night sky. A grand, glorious, powerfully melodramatic suicide right out of a glamorous tragic Hollywood romance. It’s a fitting in many ways, but […]

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Videophiled: Monty Python’s Swan Song (or, if you prefer, Dead Parrot) and Shirley Clarke’s ‘Portrait of Jason’

11 November, 2014 (11:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD | By: Sean Axmaker

Monty Python Live (Mostly) – One Down, Five to Go (Eagle Rock, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital) puts to disc the stage performance that was previously shown via satellite in select theaters around the world for one night only earlier in 2014. The first live show sold out with 30 seconds of the moment tickets went on […]

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Videophiled: Angelina Jolie is ‘Maleficent’ and Philip Seymour Hoffman is ‘A Most Wanted Man’

4 November, 2014 (10:12) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Maleficent (Disney, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, VOD) does sort of a “Wicked” number on the story of Sleeping Beauty’s evil sorceress, casting her as the tragic figure of a dark fantasy (but not too dark for children—barely) of a revisionist fairy tale. Angelina Jolie plays the adult Maleficent, a fairy who watches over and defends the […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Point Blank’

3 November, 2014 (05:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film music, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

When documentary filmmaker John Boorman made the leap to feature filmmaking with Catch Us If You Can (aka Having a Wild Weekend, 1965), a low-budget rock-n-roll vehicle for the Dave Clark Five, he transformed the quickie into a surprisingly biting satire of popular culture set to a bouncy soundtrack, displaying a remarkable sophistication and creativity […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Ravenous’

1 November, 2014 (10:29) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Ravenous (Scream Factory) channels the story reminiscent of the Donner Party disaster and the legend of Alferd Packer (the only American ever convicted of cannibalism) into a gruesome survival thriller with a crimson-hued streak of black humor and an elemental hint of the supernatural. The resulting film takes top honors as the definitive frontier cannibal […]

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Videophiled Classic: Halloween Disc Pick – ‘Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut’

30 October, 2014 (14:27) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: Special Edition (Scream Factory, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: 3-Disc Limited Edition (Scream Factory, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) Clive Barker’s 1990 film Nightbreed, adapted from his novel Cabal, was taken from Barker’s hands, cut down drastically from his 142-minute rough cut (which made the bootleg rounds in a version called “The Cabal […]

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Videophiled: Hola ‘Companeros’!

28 October, 2014 (09:23) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Compañeros (Blue Underground, Blu-ray) is an ironic title, but then as a spaghetti western—a genre steeped in mercenaries and con men and double crosses—it would have to be. Swedish gun runner Yodlaf (Franco Nero), in Mexico in the heat of the revolution to sell his weapons to the highest bidder, and hot-headed Mexican peasant turned […]

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Videophiled Classic: Halloween Disc Pick – ‘The Vincent Price Collection II’

25 October, 2014 (20:42) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The Vincent Price Collection II (Scream Factory, Blu-ray) follows up last year’s collection with the debut of seven more Vincent Price horror films in a special edition set. Shout Factory (under its Scream Factory imprint) draws from its licensing relationships with 20th Century Fox and MGM to complete the run of Roger Corman Poe films […]

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Videophiled: ‘Snowpiercer’ – Class Struggle on a Runaway Train

22 October, 2014 (10:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Snowpiercer (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray, DVD), an international production from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho based on a French graphic novel, is a high-speed metaphor speeding down the science fiction tracks of genre cinema. That’s the way I like this brand of filmmaking: with the metaphors big, muscular, detailed, and punchy. You either give yourself over to […]

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Videophiled: John Ford’s ‘My Darling Clementine’ on Criterion

14 October, 2014 (18:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, John Ford, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

My Darling Clementine (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD), John Ford’s sublime reinterpretation of the Wyatt Earp story and the Gunfight at OK Corral, rewrites history to become a mythic frontier legend and one of the most classically perfect westerns ever made. Henry Fonda plays a hard, serious Wyatt Earp leading a cattle drive west with his brothers […]

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Videophiled Binge Watch: ‘Penny Dreadful’ and more horror TV

12 October, 2014 (15:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Television | By: Editor

Let’s catch up on a month of TV releases. And as Halloween is coming, let’s begin with some shows from the dark side. Penny Dreadful: Season One (CBS, Blu-ray, DVD) takes a premise similar to the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: the characters and supernatural beings of 19th century horror literature all exist […]

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Videophiled: ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ restored

7 October, 2014 (18:05) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Once Upon A Time in America: Extended Director’s Cut (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD) is Sergio Leone’s portrait of a 20th century American success story as a gangster epic of greed, loyalty, betrayal, and power, seen through the haze of an opium high. Shuffling back and forth through the century, from New York’s East side […]

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