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Classics and Other Reviews

Classics & More on DVD (Aug. 31, 2015)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

The Inglorious Bastards

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] “Bastards” is popcorn entertainment from the days when people used to yell stuff back at the big screen while smoking pot in a dingy cinema on 42nd Street.

Lawrence of Arabia

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Celebrated British director David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” is a textbook example of “epic” cinema. Like the previous year’s “West Side Story,” Lean filmed it in Super Panavision 70 [mm], to capture stark desert locations with an awe-inspiring sense of depth and beauty.

A Man Escaped

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] French filmmaker Robert Bresson invented the prison escape genre in 1956 with a beautifully sparse piece of cinematic storytelling told from the personalized viewpoint of an escaped prisoner.

Throne of Blood

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

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Classics & More on DVD (Aug. 24, 2015)

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Reviews of Classic Films

The Clock

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: I don’t think of The Clock as a forgotten film. I think of The Clock as undiscovered treasure, a sweet, gentle movie that works and that is still relevant today (if perhaps a bit dated and not as believable due to technological advances).

Foreign Intrigue

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Fountainhead

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: I found that The Fountainhead has a great idea for a plot and some beautiful visuals. It also has at least two strikes against it: some lousy directing and some heavy-handed writing, which threaten to derail the film.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Housekeeping

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Housekeeping strikes as delicate a balance in its storytelling as Sylvie maintains in her restless, preoccupied mind. While fashioning a rather clichéd story of conventionality versus free-spiritedness, Forsyth and his appealing and talented cast offer something more akin to fable.

The People Under the Stairs

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Queen of Outer Space

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Everything you might think about Queen of Outer Space is true: it’s badly acted, it has silly sets and a pretty silly plot. However, I found it a great pleasure (guilty, perhaps, but a pleasure nonetheless).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

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Classics & More on DVD (Aug. 17, 2015)

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Reviews of Classic Films

Last Tango in Paris

Kenji Fujishima @ Brooklyn Magazine

A Man Escaped

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] French filmmaker Robert Bresson invented the prison escape genre in 1956 with a beautifully sparse piece of cinematic storytelling told from the personalized viewpoint of an escaped prisoner.

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Classics & More on DVD (Aug. 10, 2015)

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Reviews of Classic Films

Ben-Hur

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] It’s worth sitting through four hours of Charlton Heston’s hammy pregnant pauses of strained dialogue and toothy grimaces just to savor the legendary larger-than-life marathon where single rider chariots, pulled by four-horse teams, race at a full galloping fury.

Roman Holiday

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Top Hat

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Westworld

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

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Classics & More on DVD (Aug. 3, 2015)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Blu is the New “Black”

Robert Cashill @ Popdose

  • Excerpt: Blu-ray reviews of Criterion titles including The Black Stallion.

A Brighter Summer Day

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Edward Yang’s first masterpiece differs from the similarly themed West Side Story is in its broad, intricate consideration of entire families of mainland Chinese uprooted by the ascendency of Mao Tse-tung and its examination of the transition from one set of cultural values—respect for authority and one’s elders—to another—Western individualism, emancipated youth, and possession-oriented consumerism.

Cesar and Rosalie

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Gay Divorcee

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Max and the Junkmen

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

My Reputation

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Ned Kelly

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Platoon

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Platoon is in the end I think not about Vietnam. It is about morality: in war and within ourselves.

Shall We Dance (1937)

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

The Sting

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The Sting is a delight from beginning to end.

Swing Time

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Wings

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Looked at as a monument to the craft and dynamism of Hollywood filmmaking at the cusp of that first great, wrenching change in the industry, the transition to sound, Wings is indeed a stirring, even staggering relic.

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Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 27, 2015)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Anchors Aweigh

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Baby Face

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Here is Your Life

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Jean de Florette / Manon des Sources

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] “Jean de Florette / Manon des Sources” is an emotionally potent movie whose lush depiction of Provence captures your imagination in such a tangible way that you feel as though you were living there during the period.

The Killers

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

On the Town

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Report to the Commissioner

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Truck Turner

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

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Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 20, 2015)

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Reviews of Classic Films

Lolita (1997)

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Although it is considered sacrilege in some circles to say this, Adrian Lyne’s 1997 film version of Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial 1954 novel is a vast improvement over Stanley Kubrick’s beloved 1962 standard.

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Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 13, 2015)

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Reviews of Classic Films

The Fisher King

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: The multiple tones actually mesh surprisingly well, until the tale goes errant into the Realms of Rom-com, from whence no sane plot emerges unscathed.

Heavenly Creatures

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Jackson’s vision makes the film memorable, but Lynskey and Winslet made it possible; without their confident performances, simultaneously naive and knowing, overwrought and realistic, ‘Heavenly Creatures’ would have been doomed to failure.

Masters of the Universe (1987)

Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Há um único motivo cinéfilo válido para ver este filme. É a facilidade em perceber a ténue fronteira entre o mau filme e o filme de culto.

A Place in the Sun

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Though the film’s predictable final act plays to Hays code tropes of the era, “A Place in the Sun” is a suspenseful drama sprinkled with equal parts social study, romantic melodrama, and a surreal pairing of Hollywood beauties.

She

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod

  • Excerpt: She remains visually impressive all the way through.

The Third Man

Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: This is one of the absolute classics of film noir. It spins a suspense story of pure evil, and does it with style.

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Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 6, 2015)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

All the President’s Men

Emanuel Levy @ www.Emanuellevy.com

  • Excerpt: Made 40 years ago, Alan Pakula’s All the President’s Men remains the most significant Hollywood movie about the corruptive nature of power and the importance of free democratic press

Bad Teacher

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: Nestled in this unholy dreck is a performance by Cameron Diaz that I admit made me smile. Diaz has always been the sunniest of performers, a happy-go-lucky beauty with a smile that’s as warm and pleasing as a spring day. But more than that, she’s a fearless comedienne in a way that many of her contemporaries are not. I always admire actors who aren’t afraid to look like a jerk.

The Black Stallion (Criterion)

James Plath @ Family Home Theater

  • Excerpt: For a while, it’s like Cast Away, but with a horse instead of a volleyball. Then turns into National Velvet, but with a teenage boy instead of a teenage girl, and a thoroughbred horse race rather than steeplechase.

Eyes Without a Face

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The Great McGinty

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Hail the Conquering Hero

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

The Internship

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: I strain now to remember anything about “The Internship.” The only thing that I am sure about is that for one hundred and fifty nine minutes, I sat in front of this movie staring into its colorful maw with a feeling that could only be described as baleful indifference.

Jaws

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: I have an open mind toward almost anything, but in this case I must confess that there will never be an open spot in my imagination for a story about an existential seagull. Thank God they are in limited supply.

Lust for Life

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: It seemed there was one speed Douglas had: INTENSE with a Capital I. Sometimes it looked like he was less acting than he was attempting to do his version of a Frank Gorshin impersonation of Douglas.

Near Death

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: With a running time of 6 hours, Near Death is Wiseman’s longest film. Through his compassionate, unblinking gaze we become attuned to the rhythms of the MICU and reveals the peculiar kind of love of humanity these sometimes brusque clinicians must have to face down death every day of their working lives.

Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: The look of the movie seems to be a distant cousin of the Sid and Marty Krofft style of the 1970s most notably “The Banana Splits” only without the zaniness or the aura of the 70s groovy time capsule. The characters are adult-sized costumed actors with big eyes that move and mouths that barely move when they talk. They look like lesser versions of The Muppets and inspire you to wonder why this movie wasn’t animated.

Peeples

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: Peeples is an unbearable comedy; a movie hammered together out of spare parts from better comedies and laid out on a foundation borrowed from failed sitcoms. It has the kind of dialogue that sounds weird without a laugh track and a plot that ebbs toward Meet the Parents but doesn’t even bother to come up with any jokes or any genuine feeling for any of the characters. It’s a shooting gallery, a joke is set up and knocked down. There is no attempt to pull the comedy from human nature.

Poison

Emanuel Levy @ www.emanuellevy.com

  • Excerpt: In his seminal queer film, Sundance Fest winner Poison, director Todd Haynes deals with gay marriage long before it became an issue

Satan Met a Lady

Kristen Lopez @ ClassicFlix

The Terminator

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: A big studio sequel can’t replicate the original ‘Terminator,’ because it feels so distinctively homemade, from those chintzy lightning strikes to the wonderfully Harryhausen-esque stop-motion cyborg skeleton of the climax. In scenes like that, ‘Terminator’ feels like it’s handcrafte; the sequels (even, in this respect, ‘T2’) play as if they’ve been made by a committee.

The Yearling

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

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Classics & More on DVD (Jun. 29, 2015)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Around the World with Orson Welles

Sean Axmaker @ Keyframe

  • Excerpt: Welles foregrounds the machinery of moviemaking, reminding us that he’s brought a crew with him, and he manipulates his documentary footage as aggressively as he does in his fictional storytelling.

The Bridge

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Day of the Outlaw

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: ne of the toughest, most tension-filled pictures from Andre de Toth, a studio filmmaker who could be counted on to bring a savage edge to his assignments.

The Fisher King

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Killer Cop

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: The northern capital of Milan, the symbol of modernity and progress in the Italian cinema of the 50s and 60s, is the epitome of official corruption and the urban mob in the crime cinema of the 70s.

Man, Pride and Vengeance

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Man, Pride and Vengeance (1967), from director Luigi Bazzoni and star Franco Nero, is a respectable find.

A Master Builder

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Premature Burial

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Like most of Corman’s Poe films, the script (this one by Charles Beaumont and Ray Russell) borrows little more than the central idea and the title from Poe. This one owes a debt to Gaslight and Diabolique…

Le Silence de la Mer

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Melville called it an “anti-cinematic” film, and he creates the expressiveness in what remains unspoken, the glances and gestures that take on grand drama in the minimalist presentation.

Spider Baby

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Stunning Debuts: Terrence Malick’s Badlabds

Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com

  • Excerpt: Terrene Malikc made a stunning debut in 1973 with Badlands, which world-premiered at the N.Y. Film Fest, announcing the arrival of a major artist

The Trial (1961)

Sean Axmaker @ Keyframe

  • Excerpt: The legal system is a literal maze in Welles’ visualization and the disparate locations all lead back to one another.

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