Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
All That Jazz
- Excerpt: The elevator pitch for All That Jazz was something like The Death of Bob Fosse: The Musical, but it could just as easily have been The Death of the 1970s. This is where all the excess and the partying and the ugliness caught up with a generation.
Around the World in 80 Days
- Excerpt: How this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture must certainly be one of the great anomalies in the Academy’s illustrious history. Now reflect on the fact that it beat The King and I, The Ten Commandments and Giant and the win seems even more egregious.
- Excerpt: Though overly dramatic with some stumbles here and there in terms of narrative cohesion, John Ford’s 1931 Sinclair Lewis adaptation Arrowsmith is a solid vehicle for star Ronald Colman. The handsome actor stars as a struggling, well-meaning doctor looking to be a “hero of health.”
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
- Excerpt: If you can separate the film from all the cultural baggage that it’s acquired over the past two decades, and approach it with something like fresh eyes, it’s sort of surprising what an odd and risky movie it is. Director Robert Zemeckis pitches the tale as neither comedy nor drama, but as a loose, vignette-heavy mixture of pop history and folk storytelling.
- Excerpt: I still cite Ghostbusters any time I’m asked to list my top movies. I’ll admit my love is influenced by nostalgia, but I find it has lost none of its luster.
- Excerpt: Such is Cassavetes’ jagged storytelling style, however. His narratives are rarely clean, and his expression as ragged as the fashions he outfits his actors in. Hence the choppy nature of Love Streams’ opening scenes, or the disconcerting shifts over time and even reality.
The Mating Season
- Excerpt: The second film version of James M. Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, the film was banned after Mussolini’s son rejected it as not reflecting the reality of the Italian people, and Visconti was forced to turn over all prints and negatives for destruction. We only have this valuable document of wartime Italian filmmaking, as well as Visconti’s pungent directorial debut, because Visconti held back one negative.