Archive for category: DVD

Videophiled: ‘The Wind Rises’ for Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song

18 November, 2014 (09:58) | Animation, Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Wind Rises (Disney, Blu-ray, VOD) – Hayao Miyazaki is a national treasure in Japan, the director of beloved animated features and a filmmaker dedicated to preserving the art of hand-drawn animation. The Wind Rises, which was released in 2013 and earned an Oscar nomination as Best Animated Feature, was a passion project for the […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘Fedora’ – Billy Wilder’s memorial for old Hollywood

13 November, 2014 (14:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Editor

Fedora (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD) opens with a moment right out of Anna Karenina: a woman throws herself in front of an oncoming train, a steam engine puffing out white clouds against the night sky. A grand, glorious, powerfully melodramatic suicide right out of a glamorous tragic Hollywood romance. It’s a fitting in many ways, but […]

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Videophiled: Monty Python’s Swan Song (or, if you prefer, Dead Parrot) and Shirley Clarke’s ‘Portrait of Jason’

11 November, 2014 (11:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD | By: Sean Axmaker

Monty Python Live (Mostly) – One Down, Five to Go (Eagle Rock, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital) puts to disc the stage performance that was previously shown via satellite in select theaters around the world for one night only earlier in 2014. The first live show sold out with 30 seconds of the moment tickets went on […]

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Videophiled: Angelina Jolie is ‘Maleficent’ and Philip Seymour Hoffman is ‘A Most Wanted Man’

4 November, 2014 (10:12) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Maleficent (Disney, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, VOD) does sort of a “Wicked” number on the story of Sleeping Beauty’s evil sorceress, casting her as the tragic figure of a dark fantasy (but not too dark for children—barely) of a revisionist fairy tale. Angelina Jolie plays the adult Maleficent, a fairy who watches over and defends the […]

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Videophiled Classic: Halloween Disc Pick – ‘Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut’

30 October, 2014 (14:27) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: Special Edition (Scream Factory, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: 3-Disc Limited Edition (Scream Factory, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) Clive Barker’s 1990 film Nightbreed, adapted from his novel Cabal, was taken from Barker’s hands, cut down drastically from his 142-minute rough cut (which made the bootleg rounds in a version called “The Cabal […]

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Videophiled: ‘Snowpiercer’ – Class Struggle on a Runaway Train

22 October, 2014 (10:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Snowpiercer (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray, DVD), an international production from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho based on a French graphic novel, is a high-speed metaphor speeding down the science fiction tracks of genre cinema. That’s the way I like this brand of filmmaking: with the metaphors big, muscular, detailed, and punchy. You either give yourself over to […]

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Videophiled: John Ford’s ‘My Darling Clementine’ on Criterion

14 October, 2014 (18:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, John Ford, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

My Darling Clementine (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD), John Ford’s sublime reinterpretation of the Wyatt Earp story and the Gunfight at OK Corral, rewrites history to become a mythic frontier legend and one of the most classically perfect westerns ever made. Henry Fonda plays a hard, serious Wyatt Earp leading a cattle drive west with his brothers […]

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Videophiled Binge Watch: ‘Penny Dreadful’ and more horror TV

12 October, 2014 (15:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Television | By: Editor

Let’s catch up on a month of TV releases. And as Halloween is coming, let’s begin with some shows from the dark side. Penny Dreadful: Season One (CBS, Blu-ray, DVD) takes a premise similar to the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: the characters and supernatural beings of 19th century horror literature all exist […]

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Videophiled: ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ restored

7 October, 2014 (18:05) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Once Upon A Time in America: Extended Director’s Cut (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD) is Sergio Leone’s portrait of a 20th century American success story as a gangster epic of greed, loyalty, betrayal, and power, seen through the haze of an opium high. Shuffling back and forth through the century, from New York’s East side […]

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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: Editor

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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