Archive for category: DVD

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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DVD: ‘Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide’

17 September, 2014 (15:12) | by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The term “video nasty” isn’t exactly a common phrase in the U.S. but in Britain it defines an era of nanny state censorship. The British Board of Film Censorship, or BBFC, determined what could be shown in British theaters and often forced cuts to content or outright banned films, but home video did not exist […]

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Videophiled: ‘Burning Bush’ is fiery history

16 September, 2014 (16:12) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Burning Bush (Kino Lorber, DVD), Agnieszka Holland’s almost four-hour political thriller, tackles one of the most harrowing events of Czech social history: On January 6, 1969, college student Jan Palach doused himself in gasoline and lit himself afire in downtown Prague to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Originally created as a three-part cable film […]

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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 […]

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Videophiled: ‘Night Moves’

2 September, 2014 (18:16) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Night Moves (New Video, Blu-ray, DVD, Cable VOD), the fourth film that New York-based director Kelly Reichardt has made in Oregon, is her most commercial project yet, though you won’t mistake this drama of eco-terrorists who blow a dam on a southern Oregon river for a Hollywood thriller. Reichardt and longtime screenwriting partner Jon Raymond […]

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Videophiled: Emmy-winner ‘The Normal Heart’ on Blu-ray and DVD

26 August, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

The Normal Heart (HBO, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD), the made-for-HBO feature based on Larry Kramer’s play and directed for cable by Ryan Murphy, arrives on disc the day after winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Kramer wrote the play in 1985, based in part on his own experiences as a gay activist in […]

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Videophiled Classic: Otar Iosseliani’s ‘Favorites of the Moon’

21 August, 2014 (16:55) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Favorites of the Moon: 30th Anniversary Edition (Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD), winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, is a deadpan satire of modern life and social hypocrisy with characters, rich and poor alike, from a lively Paris suburb whose lives criss-cross and tangle with one another. There’s a pompous police […]

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Videophiled: Jim Jarmusch’s vampire ‘Lovers’ and ‘A Brony Tale’

19 August, 2014 (12:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Only Lovers Left Alive (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) is the richest film that Jim Jarmusch has made in some time. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are the eternal lovers Eve and Adam, vampire soulmates who have become disenchanted with a world that the zombie inhabitants (their word for humans) are blithely poisoning. They are sophisticates, […]

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Videophiled: ‘Locke’ – The measure of a man

12 August, 2014 (08:08) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Locke (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD), on its surface, sounds like one of the those high-concept / stunt thrillers and horror films that sprouted up like weeds a few years ago: one actor in a car, driving alone in a stretch of freeway at night, talking to the people in his life through phone calls (hands […]

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