Archive for category: Film Reviews

Videophiled Classic: Chaplin at Mutual and 25 Years of Mack Sennett

30 August, 2014 (09:09) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Flicker Alley releases two more collections of classic silent comedies. Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies 1916-1917 (Flicker Alley, Blu-ray+DVD) collects the greatest run of comedy shorts in Chaplin’s career in newly restored and remastered editions, and The Mack Sennett Collection: Vol. One (Flicker Alley, Blu-ray) collects 50 comedies of a variety of lengths (including one feature) from […]

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Film Review: ‘The Trip to Italy’

29 August, 2014 (07:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

I’m not sure what the competition is, but I will declare that The Trip to Italy contains the funniest scene ever set at the site of the Pompeii volcanic eruption. Pompeii— not generally associated with comedy— is one stop on the itinerary for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, the British comedians hitting the road again […]

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Film Review: ‘A Five Star Life’

28 August, 2014 (05:13) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Irene is keen at finding flaws and reluctant to commit to permanence. In that sense, her job couldn’t be more ideal: secret hotel inspector. She travels to first-class resorts around the world, sampling the food, checking the dust on the mantels, rating the efficiency of the staff. Already deep into a stylish middle age, Irene […]

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Film Review: ‘Moebius’

28 August, 2014 (05:09) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Ordinarily, one might expect that a total absence of dialogue would be the most distinctive element of a movie made in the 21st century. Rest assured this is not what you will be talking about should you venture out to see Kim Ki-duk’s Moebius, a film that blithely dallies in multiple outrages and borderline-unbearable horrors. […]

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Film Review: ‘The November Man’

28 August, 2014 (05:04) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Here we are in Berlin and Belgrade and Lausanne, and there’s Pierce Brosnan running through the streets. We have Russians, secret interrogation chambers, and terrorists. And microfilm! No, wait, that can’t be right—despite the trappings of Cold War espionage, this is a 21st-century movie. So it’s not microfilm, but something downloaded onto a thumb drive, […]

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Videophiled: Emmy-winner ‘The Normal Heart’ on Blu-ray and DVD

26 August, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

The Normal Heart (HBO, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD), the made-for-HBO feature based on Larry Kramer’s play and directed for cable by Ryan Murphy, arrives on disc the day after winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Kramer wrote the play in 1985, based in part on his own experiences as a gay activist in […]

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Review: Black Christmas

25 August, 2014 (12:04) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] Black Christmas starts to get interesting in the last two minutes. After a series of killings in a college-town sorority house at the beginning of the Christmas holidays, the supposed murderer, in a scene we don’t actually get to see, has been done in by his own […]

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Review: Rooster Cogburn

24 August, 2014 (12:28) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] Rooster Cogburn is a sitting duck for both moviemakers and movie reviewers. Given the prospect of a picture costarring John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn, all Hal Wallis, Stuart Millar & co. had to do was to turn on the cameras and have them pointed in the generally […]

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Film Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

22 August, 2014 (08:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

In the hard-boiled narration describing the gnarly nighttime world of Sin City, people are constantly talking about how rough it is and how lethal the people are. They left out one thing: You could also die of boredom here. Or so it seems in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a sequel to the […]

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Videophiled Classic: Otar Iosseliani’s ‘Favorites of the Moon’

21 August, 2014 (16:55) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Favorites of the Moon: 30th Anniversary Edition (Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD), winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, is a deadpan satire of modern life and social hypocrisy with characters, rich and poor alike, from a lively Paris suburb whose lives criss-cross and tangle with one another. There’s a pompous police […]

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Film Review: ‘Life After Beth’

21 August, 2014 (05:38) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

It is reassuring to know that even after the zombie plague begins in earnest, a strong vein of Jewish humor will thrive. This is the best news to come out of the superbly titled Life After Beth, a comedy that kneads together the relationship movie with the zombie genre. After opening with a brief glimpse […]

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Film Review: ‘Alive Inside’

21 August, 2014 (05:35) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Everything you always suspected about music is true. Scientists can point to the parts of the brain that music stimulates, where our deepest memories and feelings reside. The phenomenon even stretches back to before birth, when the sound of a heartbeat establishes our sensory proclivity toward music. This scientific material is offered in Alive Inside […]

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Film Review: ‘If I Stay’

21 August, 2014 (05:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Young couples in movies are customarily given obstacles to overcome, but If I Stay seems unnecessarily cruel in its dramatic contrivances. Most of the film unfolds in the flashbacks that follow a terrible car accident; all the members of a family have been seriously injured, and our narrator, Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz), is in a […]

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Videophiled: Jim Jarmusch’s vampire ‘Lovers’ and ‘A Brony Tale’

19 August, 2014 (12:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Only Lovers Left Alive (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) is the richest film that Jim Jarmusch has made in some time. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are the eternal lovers Eve and Adam, vampire soulmates who have become disenchanted with a world that the zombie inhabitants (their word for humans) are blithely poisoning. They are sophisticates, […]

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Film Review: ‘The Giver’

17 August, 2014 (17:34) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

“Thank you for your childhood,” says the Chief Elder to each graduating 16-year-old. In this society, that’s not as weird as it sounds; all children who reach 16 are given life assignments and launched into adulthood at a public ceremony. Childhood’s end, indeed. The Giver tells the tale of one such teen, Jonas (played by […]

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