Archive for category: Blu-ray

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 […]

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 […]

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

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

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 […]

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 […]

Blu-ray: ‘Used Cars’

4 October, 2014 (12:18) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The opening of Used Cars (1980) has the ominous, wind-scoured character of a modern crime film in a desperate southwest town where a Sergio Leone western wouldn’t be out of place. The camera cranes down from a high shot over a struggling used car dealership, where a few pathetic beaters line the lot, and slowly […]

Blu-ray: ‘Southern Comfort’

1 October, 2014 (15:51) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A motley crew of Louisiana National Guardsman wade out into the swamps for weekend maneuvers. It’s 1973, as the war in Vietnam is grinding away the soul of America and the heart of the military, and this platoon of weekend warriors–a volatile collection of rednecks, hotheads, jokers, and guys who probably signed up to steer […]

Blu-ray / DVD: ‘The Unknown Known’

29 September, 2014 (08:24) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The title of Errol Morris’ The Unknown Known, a profile of the life and career of former Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, is a direct reference to Rumsfeld’s most famous TV appearance. Discussing the evidence (or rather, the glaring lack of evidence) linking Iraq with weapons of mass destruction provided to […]

Videophiled Classic: Blake Edwards’ ‘The Party’ on Blu-ray

27 September, 2014 (07:36) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Party (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD) reunited Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers after a falling out during the second Pink Panther movie for a difference kind of comedy: a modern sound version of a silent movie comedy. They don’t pretend it’s a silent film, mind you, but rather build a series of visual gags on […]

Videophiled Classic: ‘Hangmen Also Die’ restored on Blu-ray and DVD

25 September, 2014 (07:31) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Noir, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Hangmen Also Die (Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD) is Fritz Lang’s fictionalized take on a real-life historical event: the only successful assassination of a major Nazi commander by the underground resistance in occupied Europe. Reinhard Heydrich, who earned the nickname “The Hangman” for his brutality as Reichsprotektor of Czechoslovakia, was attacked in 1942 and died of his […]

Blu-ray: ‘The Big Red One’

24 September, 2014 (09:49) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Sam Fuller | By: Sean Axmaker

Director, writer, pulp fiction author, raconteur and all-around maverick character Samuel Fuller was as proud of his military service as any of his artistic accomplishments. Like hundreds of thousands of other Americans, he enlisted in the armed services after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. He joined the infantry and, as a rifleman in […]

Blu-ray: ‘Caught’

22 September, 2014 (10:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Max Ophuls | By: Sean Axmaker

The American films of German-born filmmaker Max Ophuls have never been as celebrated as his more overtly stylized and seductively romantic French films. That attitude is fed by a sense of ill-treatment by the studios. He dropped the “h” to become Max Opuls in the credits of his Hollywood movies, which can either be seen […]

Videophiled Classic: ‘Eraserhead’ and ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’

18 September, 2014 (17:22) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

“In heaven, everything is fine,” but in Eraserhead (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) nothing is fine. It’s grim, disturbed, mutated, claustrophobic, a world that appears to be unraveling—or, more accurately, decaying—before our eyes. Jack Nance stars as the doughy, dim factory worker who is suddenly thrust into marriage and parenthood and escapes his grimy, droning life by […]

Blu-ray: ‘Countess Dracula’

17 September, 2014 (20:15) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Hammer Studios struggled to remain relevant in the seventies as their lurid Gothic style was upstaged by the transgressive horrors in films like Night of Living Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Witchfinder General, which pushed the boundaries of movie conventions, screen violence, and subject matter. Their answer was to simply push their natural tendencies in […]

Videophiled Classic: ‘Godzilla 2000’ and more giant monster mashes of the new millennium

11 September, 2014 (17:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

When it comes reviving the past, timing and presentation is everything. Sony’s first wave of “The Toho Godzilla Collection” of second- and third- generation Japanese Godzilla films on Blu-ray came out in May, timed to the theatrical release of the American remake (the discs are reviewed on Cinephiled here). This second wave arrives the week […]

Videophiled Classic: ‘High School Confidential!’

7 September, 2014 (09:36) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

High School Confidential! (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD) – Trashy, tawdry, and weirdly energetic, with tough talking high school delinquents played by college grads spouting mock-beat dialogue, this B+ exploitation classic from producer Albert Zugsmith (who went from Written on the Wind and Touch of Evil to such artifacts as Sex Kittens Go to College and Confessions […]