Archive for category: Film Reviews

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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Film Review: ‘Citizenfour’

30 October, 2014 (05:54) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Edward Snowden sits on his hotel-room bed, about to keystroke a password into his laptop. Without looking particularly sheepish about it, he drapes a blanket over his head and upper body, so he can comfortably input the information without being observed. This gesture evokes many things: a kid reading a book under the covers at […]

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Film Review: ‘Young Ones’

30 October, 2014 (05:49) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The old postapocalyptic shuffle is alive in Young Ones, but this catastrophe is more credible than most such speculations. The problem here is water, which has evaporated, at least in this corner of the world. Patriarch Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon, apocalypse vet from Take Shelter) trades trinkets in exchange for supplies, and just manages to […]

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Review: ‘Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’

29 October, 2014 (10:29) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 42, July 1975] In Mean Streets Scorsese used a relatively unknown but near-perfectly cast group of actors to play out his sort-of-autobiographical story of smalltime gangsters enmeshed in the violence, death, and deadendedness of a grotto in the New York underworld. In Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore he has peopled […]

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Videophiled: Hola ‘Companeros’!

28 October, 2014 (09:23) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Compañeros (Blue Underground, Blu-ray) is an ironic title, but then as a spaghetti western—a genre steeped in mercenaries and con men and double crosses—it would have to be. Swedish gun runner Yodlaf (Franco Nero), in Mexico in the heat of the revolution to sell his weapons to the highest bidder, and hot-headed Mexican peasant turned […]

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Review: The Phantom of the Paradise

27 October, 2014 (11:48) | by Peter Hogue, Film Reviews | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] The Phantom of the Paradise is funny and entertaining. It’s best as a comedy grounded in rock culture and it’s somewhat less successful as a humorous horror film. Perhaps because rock music has a power that exceeds that of a routinely developed horror plot, there’s a skittish […]

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Videophiled Classic: Halloween Disc Pick – ‘The Vincent Price Collection II’

25 October, 2014 (20:42) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The Vincent Price Collection II (Scream Factory, Blu-ray) follows up last year’s collection with the debut of seven more Vincent Price horror films in a special edition set. Shout Factory (under its Scream Factory imprint) draws from its licensing relationships with 20th Century Fox and MGM to complete the run of Roger Corman Poe films […]

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Film Review: ‘Birdman’

23 October, 2014 (08:59) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Even if it doesn’t live up to its festival reviews or its crazy possibilities, Birdman serves so many heady moments it qualifies as a bona fide happening. The movie begins quietly enough—an actor meditates in his dressing room before a stage rehearsal—but there’s a curveball. The actor is floating in mid-air. No mention is made […]

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Film Review: ‘John Wick’

23 October, 2014 (08:55) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

In the title role of John Wick, Keanu Reeves plays the sort of cool, silent assassin who has only a few dozen lines. He’s a slick, lethal hit man; why should he talk much? And yet you wish he’d shut up already. This movie needs only a simple setup to function, but there’s John Wick, […]

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Film Review: ‘Listen Up Philip’

23 October, 2014 (08:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Anyone who had trouble putting up with Ben Stiller’s abrasive title character in Greenberg might pause before entering the world of one Philip Lewis Friedman. A bearded New York novelist whose second book is about to be published, Philip is self-centered, vindictive, and—worst of all—articulate. He’s played by Jason Schwartzman, an actor unafraid of letting […]

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Film Review: ‘Stonehearst Asylum’

23 October, 2014 (08:47) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

There may be no ideal time to wander into the halls of a remote Victorian-era home for the mentally impaired, but the waning days of December 1899 appear especially unfortunate. Nevertheless, a young doctor named Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess, from Cloud Atlas) arrives at Stonehearst Asylum just in time for Christmas dinner—because of austerity measures, […]

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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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Review: Hennessy

21 October, 2014 (09:12) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] Hennessy … the name offers to hang over this movie the way “Juggernaut” and “Drabble” spiritually pervaded theirs (Drabble having been the original title of The Black Windmill). That a fellow named Hollis lays more of a claim on our attention, let alone imagination, says a lot […]

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Review: The National Health

20 October, 2014 (09:19) | by Ken Eisler, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] by Ken Eisler The National Health, adapted by Peter Nichols from his own stage play, remains pure farce, but the form has undergone a marvelous cinematic sea-change. The characters, governed as before by Humours and idées fixes, enter, exit; doors slam on them—the doors, in this case, […]

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Doppler Effect at the Dunbar

18 October, 2014 (11:32) | by Ken Eisler, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] by Ken Eisler In the city of Vancouver, a foreign-film addict enjoys two major connections, the Pacific Cinémathèque (downtown) and the University of British Columbia’s Cinema 16 series (on campus). Both sources dry up during the summer, but fortunately in mid-July along comes Don Barnes’ annual International […]

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