Archive for category: Blu-ray

Videophiled: Ralph Fiennes is Charles Dickens in ‘The Invisible Woman’

15 April, 2014 (11:56) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Invisible Woman (Sony, Blu-ray+DVD Combo, Digital, On Demand) is a refreshingly mature adult drama of love and passion and society in 1880s England from director / star Ralph Fiennes. He plays Charles Dickens and Felicity Jones is the young actress Nelly Ternan, who became his mistress in a long-term love affair played out in […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Hobbit’ meets Smaug, Claire Denis’ ‘Bastards’ and ‘A Touch of Sin’

8 April, 2014 (16:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (New Line, Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, DVD, Digital HD, On Demand) – “What have we done?” asks hardy hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) in the final seconds of the second film in the Hobbit trilogy. If by “we” he means Peter Jackson and company, then “we” have reimagined J.R.R. […]

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Blu-ray: Lon Chaney’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

6 April, 2014 (07:38) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Lon Chaney was the most unlikely of Hollywood superstar actors. Talented and ambitious, he fearlessly took on roles of tortured victims, twisted villains, and misshapen outcasts, parts that he brought to life with a mix of elaborate make-up, physically demanding incarnations, and emotionally intense performances. In some ways, you could see him as the De […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1′

5 April, 2014 (07:44) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

If you’re arriving late to class, here’s the recap: director / producer / modern B-movie legend Lloyd Kaufman directed the original Class of Nuke ‘Em High, a flamboyantly grotesque parody of high school movies and radioactive mutant horror, in 1986. The premise: a high school in Tromaville, the most toxic city in America, is located […]

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Videodrone Classic: ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia’

3 April, 2014 (08:38) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Sam Peckinpah | By: Sean Axmaker

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Twilight Time, Blu-Ray), one of Sam Peckinpah’s personal favorites of his films (and the rare Peckinpah film not to get reworked by the studio), opens on an idyllic river scene with a pregnant girl soaking her feet in the lazy current with a beatific smile on her face. […]

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Videophiled Essential: Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Persona’

2 April, 2014 (09:04) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The greatest leap in home video technology since Criterion released its first DVDs 15 years ago or so is the amazing improvement in mastering technology. With the digital revolution making digital prints the standard for cinema projection, the combination of elevates standards for film-to-digital quality and the HD standard of Blu-ray has brought near-cinema quality […]

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Blu-ray/DVD: ‘Knights of Badassdom’

1 April, 2014 (08:44) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Knights of Badassdom (eOne, Blu-ray, DVD), a modest little horror comedy set in the fantasy gaming LARP (that’s Live Action Role Playing) culture, has a good time sending up its obsessive nerds and cosplay veterans gathered for a weekend championship of stage combat and mock-Shakespearean patter. Then it unleashes a succubus from hell on them. […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Dead Kids’ (aka ‘Strange Behavior’)

31 March, 2014 (06:57) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Originally released in the U.S. under the name Strange Behavior, Dead Kids is the debut screenplay by future director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Condon (he Oscared for Gods and Monsters) and the directorial debut of producer Michael Laughlin (Two-Lane Blacktop), two Americans who got their offbeat horror movie made by filming it as an Australian […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Prey’

29 March, 2014 (08:39) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

France has been resetting the yardstick on international action cinema for over a decade, thanks largely to a successful slate of mid-budget action films from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp featuring the likes of Jason Statham, Jet Li, David Belle, and Liam Neeson, but that brand of slick, sleek, colorful continental thriller is not the only flavor […]

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Videophiled: Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Past’ and Bruno Dumont’s ‘Camille Claudel 1915′

26 March, 2014 (12:47) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Past (Sony, Blu-ray+DVD Combo, Digital, On Demand), Asghar Farhadi’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning A Separation, relocates from Iran to Paris to tell an equally nuanced story of the complications of marriage, romance, family, and communication. Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) has returned to Paris from Iran to finalize a divorce from Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and steps […]

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Review: Larry Fessenden’s ‘Beneath’

25 March, 2014 (08:18) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Beneath was one of the best horror film of 2013. But most people never heard about it. Produced by Chiller, a horror-themed sibling to the SyFy cable network still struggling for name recognition and access to cable systems, Beneath is the first feature in almost a decade directed by Larry Fessenden. It played a few […]

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Watching with Larry Fessenden, director of ‘Beneath’

24 March, 2014 (15:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Interviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Larry Fessenden loves horror movies. As a director he has brought his own unique approach to the classic horror stories and conventions in such films as Habit, Wendigo, and his animist ghost story / environmental thriller The Last Winter. Through his production company Glass Eye Pix his has produced or co-produced dozens of films, including […]

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Videophiled Classic: Kurosawa’s ‘Fortress’ and DeMille’s ‘Samson’ Debut on Blu

20 March, 2014 (17:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

In The Hidden Fortress (Criterion, Blu-ray+DVD Combo, DVD), Akira Kurosawa melds western fairy tale adventure with Japanese history for a pre-Samurai era classic of a young princess and a determined General (the gruff ruthless, and often comically exasperated Toshiro Mifune) trying to escape from behind enemy lines with a fortune in royal gold. Long recognized […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Long Day Closes’

19 March, 2014 (13:33) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Terence Davies, an actor turned filmmaker who directed his first short film in 1976, has made a mere six features since 1988, when he released his debut feature Distant Voices, Still Lives. Like his earlier shorts, Distant Voices was an autobiographical film about growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s, beautiful but somber and almost […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Wadjda’

18 March, 2014 (17:26) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Wadjda is the first feature film produced entirely in Saudi Arabia (a country where there are no cinemas) and the country’s first submission to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category. That it did not make the final cut is no comment on the film itself, which is compassionate, committed, compelling, and accomplished. […]

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