Archive for category: Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’

18 September, 2014 (20:41) | by Andrew Wright, Film Reviews | By: Andrew Wright

Amid the gumshoed masses of fictional detectives, author Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder looms large and wounded, an unlicensed private eye who continually takes the weight of the world on his shoulders in an attempt to quiet his inner demons. Adapting the 10th book in Block’s Scudder series, A Walk Among the Tombstones nails the mournful […]

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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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Film Review: ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them’

18 September, 2014 (06:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A suicide attempt, hauntingly staged: Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) walks across a New York City bridge on a pleasant day, and at one point abruptly dodges out of frame. The startled reaction of a passerby tells us where she goes. The rest of the movie is an attempt by Eleanor—and her family, friends, and husband Conor […]

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Film Review: ‘The Guest’

18 September, 2014 (06:26) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Whatever Adam Wingard is drinking, please keep ’em coming. The director’s most recent two features are uneven but brimming with nerve and invention: You’re Next (released here last year) upends the conventions of the home-invasion slasher movie and let viewers laugh through their gasps; and The Guest works increasingly daffy variations on the mysterious-stranger subgenre. […]

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Film Review: ‘Life of Crime’

18 September, 2014 (06:19) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The best thing about Life of Crime is the cast, a lively combination of character types, scene-stealers, and one slumming superstar. And yet the movie feels like a community-theater walk-through. Despite the tentpole presence of Jennifer Aniston and its roots as an Elmore Leonard adaptation (it shares characters with Leonard’s Rum Punch, which Quentin Tarantino […]

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Film Review: ‘My Old Lady’

18 September, 2014 (05:52) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Most of My Old Lady is set in the kind of apartment you have dreams about after eating Camembert late in the evening: old, rambling, with a garden view through big upper-floor windows in the back. And, oh yes, it’s in Paris. The film is based on a play by Israel Horovitz, and no wonder […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Countess Dracula’

17 September, 2014 (20:15) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Hammer Studios struggled to remain relevant in the seventies as their lurid Gothic style was upstaged by the transgressive horrors in films like Night of Living Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Witchfinder General, which pushed the boundaries of movie conventions, screen violence, and subject matter. Their answer was to simply push their natural tendencies in […]

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DVD: ‘Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide’

17 September, 2014 (15:12) | by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The term “video nasty” isn’t exactly a common phrase in the U.S. but in Britain it defines an era of nanny state censorship. The British Board of Film Censorship, or BBFC, determined what could be shown in British theaters and often forced cuts to content or outright banned films, but home video did not exist […]

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Videophiled: ‘Burning Bush’ is fiery history

16 September, 2014 (16:12) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Burning Bush (Kino Lorber, DVD), Agnieszka Holland’s almost four-hour political thriller, tackles one of the most harrowing events of Czech social history: On January 6, 1969, college student Jan Palach doused himself in gasoline and lit himself afire in downtown Prague to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Originally created as a three-part cable film […]

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Review: ‘Middle of the World’

16 September, 2014 (09:37) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 44, September 1975] A thin mist covers an eerily silent, seemingly uninhabited countryside; a car carrying two men seeps into view and, without warning, tumbles off the road and into a field. We suddenly realize that we have viewed what is perhaps death (we never do find out what happens […]

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Review: ‘Posse’

15 September, 2014 (10:11) | by Robert C. Cumbow, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert C. Cumbow

[Originally published in Movietone News 44, September 1975] All right. Posse is an unusual Western. But not that unusual. And it doesn’t end like nothing I’ve ever seen. In fact, it ends very much like a number of other films I’ve seen (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was only the first of several to […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘Godzilla 2000’ and more giant monster mashes of the new millennium

11 September, 2014 (17:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

When it comes reviving the past, timing and presentation is everything. Sony’s first wave of “The Toho Godzilla Collection” of second- and third- generation Japanese Godzilla films on Blu-ray came out in May, timed to the theatrical release of the American remake (the discs are reviewed on Cinephiled here). This second wave arrives the week […]

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Film Review: ‘The Drop’

11 September, 2014 (05:58) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The easiest knock against The Drop is that it operates in an overexposed milieu: current urban American crime. It’s hard to pump something new into this world, but the film succeeds because of its rich attention to detail and a Dennis Lehane script with a surplus of tasty dialogue. Lehane, the author of Mystic River […]

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Film Review: ‘Jealousy’

11 September, 2014 (05:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

In the opening scene of Jealousy, a relationship comes to an end. Shaggy-haired actor Louis (Louis Garrel) is leaving his girlfriend Clothilde (Rebecca Convenant) as their young daughter Charlotte looks on. The moment isn’t hugely original, or even especially dramatic. It’s a thing that has to happen, and everyone knows it, and each person’s reaction […]

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Film Review: ‘Love Is Strange’

11 September, 2014 (05:46) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Of the titles from Hollywood’s golden age that aren’t broadly recognized as classics but really ought to be, Make Way for Tomorrow is on the short list—no arguments brooked. Leo McCarey, a director with a notable human touch, crafted this 1937 masterpiece from a simple story about two long-married folks forced to live apart when […]

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