Archive for category: DVD

Blu-ray / DVD: ‘Cemetery Without Crosses’

1 August, 2015 (02:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

A spaghetti western with French seasonings, Cemetery Without Crosses (1969) is a Franco-Italian co-production shot in Almeria, Spain, the definitive badlands landscape of the Euro-western. The director, screenwriters, two stars, and even composer are French and the supporting cast largely Italian. And while this is not shot in the widescreen dimension of CinemaScope, de rigueur […]

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Blu-ray / DVD: ‘Here Is Your Life’

26 July, 2015 (17:32) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD | By: Sean Axmaker

Here Is Your Life (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD), the 1966 feature debut of Swedish director Jan Troell, is ambitious by any measure: an epic (over two-and-a-half hours long) coming of age drama based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Nobel Prize-winning author Eyvind Johnson set in rural Sweden during the years of World War I. It was […]

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DVD: ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’

14 July, 2015 (22:50) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Olivier Assayas wrote this drama about a veteran actress facing a transition in her career after Juliette Binoche, arguably France’s greatest and certainly most ambitious actress working today, challenged him to write a film centered on women. It was a friendly challenge—she had already starred in two films he wrote for director André Téchiné and […]

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Blu-ray: Two takes on Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Killers’

7 July, 2015 (09:29) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Noir, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Killers (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) is an ingenious double feature: Two crime classics inspired by the Ernest Hemingway short story. Criterion originally released a DVD double feature over a decade ago. Both films have been remastered in HD for the set’s Blu-ray debut and a new DVD edition. The first 15 minutes of Robert Siodmak’s […]

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Blu-ray: Jack Hill’s ‘Spider Baby’ and ‘Pit Stop’

5 July, 2015 (16:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD | By: Sean Axmaker

Spider Baby (Arrow, Blu-ray+DVD) is one of the greatest blasts of creative B-movie inspiration to hit American drive-ins and grindhouses. It was the solo directorial debut of Jack Hill (whose Coffy and Foxy Brown both recently hit Blu-ray from Olive), a low-budget film that was financed by real estate developers who wanted to get into […]

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Videophiled: Neil Marshall’s ‘Dog Soldiers: Collector’s Edition’

25 June, 2015 (20:28) | Blu-ray, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Editor

Dog Soldiers: Collector’s Edition (Scream Factory, Blu-ray+DVD) – “If we engage the enemy, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of you.” Neil Marshall ransacks and revitalizes every cliché in the book in this howling good reworking of the werewolf tale. Borrowing liberally from the “survivors under siege” classics Aliens and Night […]

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Blu-ray / DVD: ‘The Bridge’ – Germany confronts the legacy of World War II

23 June, 2015 (22:44) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Bridge (1959) (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) is a landmark film of post-war German cinema. Filmmakers (and perhaps audiences as well) were reluctant to confront World War II and its legacy in the years after the surrender to the Allies. Bernhard Wicki’s 1959 film, adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Manfred Gregor (the pen name of […]

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Videophiled: ‘Killer Cop’

20 June, 2015 (11:25) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Given the title of Killer Cop (Raro / Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD) a 1975 poliziotteschi from Italy, you might expect a rogue cop thriller, and ambitious young Commissario Matteo Rolandi (Claudio Cassinelli), a rising officer on a major drug case, certainly has good reason to go rogue. His case gets caught up in a major […]

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Videophiled: ‘Run All Night’ with Liam Neeson

17 June, 2015 (08:56) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Liam Neeson is back in action in the gritty crime thriller Run All Night (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD), his third and most satisfying collaboration with filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop). Neeson once again has a very specific skill set—his nickname isn’t Jimmy the Gravedigger for nothing—but he’s been pickling it in booze for years to […]

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Videophiled: Politics on ice in ‘Red Army’

10 June, 2015 (09:12) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Red Army (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) – Director Gabe Polsky, the Chicago-born son of Russian immigrants, dreamed of playing pro hockey and ended up making movies. This documentary, his directorial debut, finds the intersection of sports triumph, political gamesmanship, and personal sacrifice in the story of the powerhouse Soviet national hockey team of the eighties, […]

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Videophiled: ‘Man, Pride and Vengeance’

27 May, 2015 (12:26) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Man, Pride and Vengeance (Blue Underground, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) – There were hundreds of spaghetti westerns produced by Italian studios in the sixties and early seventies. Only a small percentage of them were particularly good, and fewer still genuinely great. You’d think we’d be running out of discoveries by now but Man, Pride and Vengeance […]

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Videophiled: ‘Day of the Outlaw’

20 May, 2015 (14:44) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Day of the Outlaw (Timeless, DVD), a 1959 western set in a snowbound mountain town on the high frontier, is one of the toughest, most tension-filled pictures from Andre de Toth, a studio filmmaker who could be counted on to bring a savage edge to his assignments. The town is already coiled like a spring […]

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Videophiled: Two by Roger Corman with Ray Milland

18 May, 2015 (10:21) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Vincent Price starred in all of Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations but one. Ray Milland took the lead in The Premature Burial (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray, DVD), playing Guy Carrell, an aristocrat with crippling fear that he will be buried alive due to a family history of catalepsy. Corman brings the fear home in the […]

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Videophiled: ‘Still Alice’

12 May, 2015 (23:47) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Still Alice (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) – Julianne Moore won her first Academy Award (after four nominations since Boogie Nights in 1998) playing a renowned linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and starts to experience her identity, her sense of self, slipping away. It’s the kind of performance that doesn’t just support […]

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Videophiled: Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr. Turner’

5 May, 2015 (18:28) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Mr. Turner (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, VOD) – “When I look in a mirror, I see a gargoyle.” J.M.W. Turner, as created in the Mike Leigh’s film Mr. Turner and incarnated by Timothy Spall, is not what we imagine for a grand British artist. Burly, rough-hewn, with speech punctuated by grunts and snorts, he’s […]

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