Archive for category: Blu-ray

Videophiled: The mad passion of ‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’

27 January, 2015 (15:31) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (Drafthouse, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital), Sion Sono’s filmmaking freakout about making a movie in the midst of a Yakuza war, is actually far more insane than that description suggests. For one thing, it takes almost 90 minutes to get to that filmmaking part and the sheer absurdity of the plotting […]

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Videophiled: Liliana Cavani’s ‘The Skin’

24 January, 2015 (06:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Skin (aka La Pelle, Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD), directed by Liliana Cavani in 1981 from the novel by Curzio Malaparte, is ostensibly a war drama, set during the American liberation of Sicily from the Fascists, but it’s really about the politics and economics of occupation. As the Allied forces (led by Burt Lancaster’s General Mark […]

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Videophiled: Preston Sturges’ ‘The Palm Beach Story’

20 January, 2015 (08:10) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Palm Beach Story (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Leave it to Preston Sturges to create the sexiest and most grown-up romantic comedy of his day. Claudette Colbert has never been more desirable as Gerry Jeffers, the flirtatious pragmatist with a clear-eyed take on the realities of men, women, and sex, and Sturges turns Joel McCrea’s […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’

18 January, 2015 (16:53) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Rainer Werner Fassbinder adapted his own stage play for this modern twist on The Women, the great all-woman Hollywood classic of sex and social conventions in high society. Margit Carstensen is successful fashion designer Petra von Kant, who lives alone in her stark apartment […]

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Videophiled: ‘Boyhood’ – Growing up on film

6 January, 2015 (13:40) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Boyhood (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) is arguably the movie of 2014. Even if you don’t think it’s the best film of last year, it dominated Top Ten lists and critics groups awards and it offered a different and daring kind of cinematic experience, something rare enough in American popular cinema. It’s now common knowledge that […]

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Videophiled Best of 2014 on Blu-ray and DVD

31 December, 2014 (17:04) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, lists | By: Editor

The death of Blu-ray and DVD has apparently been prematurely called. Streaming and cable VOD still dominates home viewing but Redbox and other kiosk-based disc vendors have kept disc rentals alive (if not quite robust) and Blu-ray remains the format of choice for movie collectors and home theater enthusiasts, keeping sales robust enough to bring […]

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Videophiled: Mike Nichols’ ‘The Fortune’

23 December, 2014 (09:13) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The timing wasn’t planned but it is fortuitous. The Fortune (Twilight Time, Blu-ray), a screwball comedy directed by Mike Nichols, debuts on Blu-ray a month after Nichols passed away. The 1975 production is set in the 1920s and stars Warren Beatty as a con man trying to get his hands on the fortune of a […]

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Videophiled: Barbara Steele and ‘The Long Hair of Death’

16 December, 2014 (14:31) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The Long Hair of Death (Raro, Blu-ray, DVD) – Raro Video, the American arm of an Italian home video company, is one of only a couple of disc labels with a tightly-defined mission, in this case a focus on classics of Italian cinema that ranges from auteur masterworks to genre landmarks and cult items. The […]

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Videophiled: ‘Out of the Past’ on Blu-ray

14 December, 2014 (18:43) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Noir, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Out of the Past (Warner Archive, Blu-ray) – In a genre full of desperate characters scrambling and plotting to grab their slice of the American dream, Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past (1947) is a hard-boiled tale of betrayal with an unusually haunting quality. Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is the classic doomed not-so-innocent of the […]

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Videophiled: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ versus ‘Time Bandits’

9 December, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney, Blu-ray+Blu-ray 3D, DVD, VOD) is based on one of the more obscure Marvel Comics to get the big screen treatment, but everything about the film suggests a filmmaker trying to recapture the sense of energy and color and sheer fun of Star Wars and the pop space opera. That’s a […]

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Videophiled Landmarks: ‘The Conformist’ restored and reinvigorated

7 December, 2014 (12:49) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Conformist (Raro, Blu-ray, DVD) opens in the deep blue of dawn, an intense, vibrant azure with a hint of ultramarine that blankets the city like an ocean. Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a petty bourgeois Italian who just wants to disappear into the fabric of his society, specifically Mussolini’s Italy in the 1930s, has volunteered […]

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Videophiled: ‘Dawn’ of ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

4 December, 2014 (16:45) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Hundred-Foot Journey (Touchstone, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, VOD) is a film for our culture: a feel-foodie drama of racial tolerance, cross-cultural acceptance, and fusion cuisine. It’s produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (the classiest of contemporary feel-good filmmakers) and it stars Helen Mirren as the bastion of fine […]

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Videophiled Collection: ‘Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection’

2 December, 2014 (23:24) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Stanley Kubrick | By: Editor

Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection (Warner, Blu-ray) – There are no remastered editions or new-to-Blu-ray discs in this box set of eight Kubrick classics, from the 1962 Lolita to his final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), but this ten-disc set does include the previously-released supplements on each film plus it features two new-to-disc documentaries and […]

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Videophiled Landmarks: ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ and ‘Verdun’ restored

30 November, 2014 (09:50) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Editor

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD, streaming) is the grandfather and the godfather of German Expressionist cinema and one of the most influential films of its era. Directed by Robert Weine, it features Werner Kraus as the tyrannical Dr. Caligari, a sideshow barker in cape and top hat who commands the sleeping […]

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Videophiled: Joe Sarno’s ‘Dirty Movie’ and ‘What is Cinema?’

26 November, 2014 (00:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A Life in Dirty Movies (Film Movement, DVD) – The work of Joe Sarno is little known outside of cinephile and cult cinema circles, and not widely seen even among cineastes. That’s because he, with the support and collaboration of his wife Peggy, made his low-budget explorations of adult sexuality within the confines of the […]

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