Archive for category: DVD

Videophiled: Battling ‘The Hobbit’

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

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, VOD), the third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s supersized take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy, opens with a spectacular dragon attack on Laketown and tops it with a battle that nearly dwarfs the Middle Earth-shattering war Lord of the Rings trilogy (pun […]

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Videophiled: ‘Vice and Virtue’ and ‘Mark of the Devil’ – Sex and sadism on Blu-ray

17 March, 2015 (20:18) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Vice & Virtue (Kino Classics, Blu-ray, DVD) is the titillating title that Roger Vadim gave to his 1963 take on two Marquis de Sade stories, “Justine” and “Juliette,” which he reframed as a morality play set in Nazi-occupied France. Annie Girardot and Catherine Deneuve star as sisters representing diametrically opposed responses to the occupation. Girardot’s […]

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Videophiled: Alain Resnais’ ‘Life of Riley’

10 March, 2015 (13:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Life of Riley (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD) – It is curious that Alain Resnais, who was the most narratively experimental and ambitious of directors at the birth of the nouvelle vague in France, spent the last two decade of his filmmaking career melding cinema and theater in productions that are both highly theatrical and uniquely […]

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Milestones: ‘In the Land of the Head Hunters’

8 March, 2015 (17:13) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

In the Land of the Head Hunters (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD) is not a documentary but it is an invaluable historical document nonetheless. Famed photographer Edward S. Curtis made a career documenting the native tribes on the west in the early 20th century, preserving the imagery of a culture that had almost entirely eradicated through resettlement […]

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Milestones: Shirley Clarke’s ‘The Connection’

8 March, 2015 (13:12) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Connection (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD), the debut feature from Shirley Clarke, turns a stage play originally produced by New York’s revolutionary Living Theater as a play within a play into an innovative work of cinema. Clarke was a pioneering American independent filmmaker before that label was even invented and this is Volume One of Milestone […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I’

3 March, 2015 (17:27) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Editor

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD), the number one box office hit of 2014, follows the lead of the Harry Potter and Twilight series by splitting the final book into two film installments, making this the third of four films. For anyone who has read the books that might seem like […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Wild Angels’ and ‘Psych-Out’

28 February, 2015 (09:44) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Before Easy Rider there was The Wild Angels (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD), directed by Roger Corman and starring Peter Fonda as Heavenly Blues, the leader of a California chapter of Hell’s Angles. This is a gang of disaffected drop-outs and scruffy road rats who live to ride in packs and parade their colors (black leather, mostly, […]

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Videophiled: Oscar winners ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Big Hero 6′ on disc and VOD

24 February, 2015 (17:00) | Animation, Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Two freshly-anointed Oscar winners arrive on home video this week: Whiplash, which won awards for Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons and for editing, and sound mixing, and Big Hero 6, this year’s Best Animated Feature, debut on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD. In Whiplash (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, VOD), music competition is a bloodsport and J.K. […]

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Videophiled: Tommy Lee Jones is ‘The Homesman’

17 February, 2015 (08:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Homesman (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD), one of my favorite films of the year, was overlooked by critics in the rush to praise more conventional and less resonant films. It deserves a second look. Tommy Lee Jones directs, co-writes, and stars in the film as George Briggs, a drifter saved from a lynching by Mary Bee […]

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Videophiled: Jacques Rivette’s Paris in ‘Le Pont du Nord’

15 February, 2015 (17:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Making its stateside home video debut on Tuesday, February 17, is Jacques Rivette’s Le Pont du Nord (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD), a dark sister film to his more buoyant and whimsical Celine and Julie Go Boating. Longtime collaborator Bulle Ogier stars with her daughter, Pascale Ogier, and they co-wrote the film with Rivette and Suzanne […]

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Videophiled: Jean Renoir takes ‘A Day in the Country’

15 February, 2015 (10:11) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A Day in the Country (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Jean Renoir has long been called the cinematic successor to the French Impressionists—he is, after all, the son of Auguste Renoir, and his generosity and humanism and interest in the lives of working class folks is in the spirit of the movement. But while his style […]

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Videophiled: Jake Gyllenhaal – ‘Nightcrawler’

10 February, 2015 (08:39) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Nightcrawler (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) earned an Oscar nomination for director Dan Gilroy’s screenplay, a wicked satire of the tabloid news television that chases sensationalistic stories for ratings (the cliché “if it bleeds, it leads” is the guiding philosophy). It should also have earned a nomination for Jake Gyllenhaal, whose Louis Bloom is a twisted […]

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Videophiled: Dear White People

8 February, 2015 (07:23) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Dear White People (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD), the feature debut of director / writer Justin Simien, is a sharp, smart, ambitious satire of race, racism, privilege, prejudice, and power at an Ivy League college that has drawn comparisons to Spike Lee. Which is fitting; Simien uses humor and provocation to explore issues of race […]

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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: ‘Adua and Her Friends’

25 January, 2015 (06:39) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Adua and Her Friends (Raro / Kino Lorber, Blu-ray) are prostitutes from a Rome brothel attempting to take charge of their own lives after their place is shut down in the aftermath of Italy’s Merlin Law, which ended legalized prostitution in 1958 (the film was released in 1960). Adua (played by Simone Signoret), a veteran […]

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