Archive for category: DVD

Videophiled Classic: ‘Cry Danger’ Restored and ‘Used Cars’ Revived on Blu-ray

17 April, 2014 (14:57) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Noir, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

You can thank The Film Noir Foundation for the rediscovery of Cry Danger (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD), the independently-produced 1951 film noir developed by star Dick Powell as a follow-up to Pitfall (1948). Like a lot of films made outside of the studio system, it fell through the cracks and was only recently restored by UCLA […]

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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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MOD Movies: ‘The Big House,’ ‘5 Fingers,’ ‘Roadblock

13 April, 2014 (11:26) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Noir, Film Reviews, Pre-code Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

The Big House: Triple Feature (Warner Archive) is a special edition for the MOD (manufacture-on-demand) line. The 1930 The Big House, directed by George Hill, is the original men-in-prison drama in terms of the way it established the conventions. There’s the pecking order of tough guys behind bars, the culture of loyalty, the sniveling snitches, […]

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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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DVD: ‘I Am Divine’

7 April, 2014 (15:02) | by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Divine is, of course, the name of the most famous (or perhaps more accurately infamous) drag queen of the 1970s and 1980s, and the subtitle to Jeffrey Schwarz’s I Am Divine–”The True Story of the Most Beautiful Woman in the World”–comes right out of Divine’s stage show introduction. But the title is also a commentary […]

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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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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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DVD: ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’

31 March, 2014 (15:59) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The title of the The Broken Circle Breakdown, a major hit in its native Belgium and an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in the U.S., is a riff on the American country spiritual “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” This is the story of a great love and a devastating loss, and it indeed […]

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DVD: ‘Young America’

30 March, 2014 (06:58) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Spencer Tracy gets top billing in Frank Borzage’s 1932 depression-era drama as Jack Doray, a hardware store owner with the wise-guy manner of a mug and the high-society lifestyle of an industry magnate, but Young America is really about an orphan named Art (Tommy Conlon). Art is a hard-luck saint among the kids of neighborhood, […]

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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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