Archive for category: DVD

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: Editor

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: Liliana Cavani’s ‘The Skin’

24 January, 2015 (06:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Skin (aka La Pelle, Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD), directed by Liliana Cavani in 1981 from the novel by Curzio Malaparte, is ostensibly a war drama, set during the American liberation of Sicily from the Fascists, but it’s really about the politics and economics of occupation. As the Allied forces (led by Burt Lancaster’s General Mark […]

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Videophiled: Preston Sturges’ ‘The Palm Beach Story’

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

The Palm Beach Story (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Leave it to Preston Sturges to create the sexiest and most grown-up romantic comedy of his day. Claudette Colbert has never been more desirable as Gerry Jeffers, the flirtatious pragmatist with a clear-eyed take on the realities of men, women, and sex, and Sturges turns Joel McCrea’s […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’

18 January, 2015 (16:53) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Rainer Werner Fassbinder adapted his own stage play for this modern twist on The Women, the great all-woman Hollywood classic of sex and social conventions in high society. Margit Carstensen is successful fashion designer Petra von Kant, who lives alone in her stark apartment […]

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Videophiled: ‘Kinoshita and World War II’

17 January, 2015 (09:27) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Editor

Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita made 50 films in a 50-year career, including Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) and the original The Ballad of Narayama (1958), both of which Criterion has released on disc. Kinoshita and World War II (Eclipse, DVD) presents his first five films and offers a rare glimpse into the propaganda films made in Japan […]

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Videophiled: ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay’s ‘Middle of Nowhere’

13 January, 2015 (17:11) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Middle of Nowhere (Lionsgate, DVD, Digital HD, VOD) – As Selma opens wide to great reviews, Ava DuVernay’s second feature comes to disc, a small story about a woman who put her aspirations on hold when her husband goes to prison. Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) drops out of medical school and takes a nursing job so […]

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Videophiled: ‘Boyhood’ – Growing up on film

6 January, 2015 (13:40) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Boyhood (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) is arguably the movie of 2014. Even if you don’t think it’s the best film of last year, it dominated Top Ten lists and critics groups awards and it offered a different and daring kind of cinematic experience, something rare enough in American popular cinema. It’s now common knowledge that […]

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Videophiled Best of 2014 on Blu-ray and DVD

31 December, 2014 (17:04) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, lists | By: Editor

The death of Blu-ray and DVD has apparently been prematurely called. Streaming and cable VOD still dominates home viewing but Redbox and other kiosk-based disc vendors have kept disc rentals alive (if not quite robust) and Blu-ray remains the format of choice for movie collectors and home theater enthusiasts, keeping sales robust enough to bring […]

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Videophiled: Barbara Steele and ‘The Long Hair of Death’

16 December, 2014 (14:31) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The Long Hair of Death (Raro, Blu-ray, DVD) – Raro Video, the American arm of an Italian home video company, is one of only a couple of disc labels with a tightly-defined mission, in this case a focus on classics of Italian cinema that ranges from auteur masterworks to genre landmarks and cult items. The […]

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