Classics and Other Films on DVD (Mar. 27-29, 2015)

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Published on: March 27, 2015

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: Mar. 27-29, 2015

Wide (United States)

Get Hard

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Home

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Expanding (United States)

It Follows

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Limited (United States)

Man from Reno

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: An evocative film noir set in San Francisco and a nearby small town.

The Salt of the Earth

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: Wim Wenders delivers another generously appreciative fellow-artist collaboration with this luminous portrait of epic photographer Sebastião Salgado, whose knack for unearthly imagery is less intriguing than his empathic optimism.

Serena

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

While We’re Young

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: While “Greenberg” had pointed observations to make about a middle aged egotist and his relationship with the younger generation and his own past, this one is muddied by unclear intent and sketchily defined female characters.

White God

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: In this imaginative but inept cautionary parable—the Un Certain Regard prize-winner at Cannes—a girl searches for her beloved dog, who becomes a canine Spartacus after being brutalized by a cruel dog-fighting ring.

2015 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Mar. 23, 2015)

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Published on: March 23, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Adua and Her Friends

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: … what really charges up the film is the feeling of accomplishment and ownership as they work their way through each problem and, almost without noticing, create a successful business out of the restaurant.

Army (1944)

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Army (1944), Kinosuke’s fourth and final film of the war years, pushes the patriotic drumbeat to extremes and sneaks in a sly portrait of the nationalistic fervor that drove Japan to war.

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Handsome with a touch of aloofness (the dress dummies sprawled through each scene add a note of alienation), it’s a quintessentially Fassbinder portrait of doomed love, jealousy, and social taboos, bouncing between catty melodrama and naked emotional need.

The Breakfast Club: 30th Anniversary Edition

James Plath @ Family Home Theater

  • Excerpt: Watch it with the trivia pop-up option. That and a sparkling new transfer make for a great viewing experience.

The Connection

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: It’s experimental theater meets cinéma verité with a self-aware sensibility: a drama in documentary form.

A Day in the Country

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: It’s a bucolic little film with a wisp of a story that builds great emotional resonance from what appears to be a slight, meaningless dalliance.

From Hand to Mouth

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

A Hard Day’s Night

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

James Plath @ Family Home Theater

  • Excerpt: Count me among those who think that the first and third films in the trilogy would have become stronger had Jackson split the material into two films, as he originally thought to do. That said, fans of fantasy and action films may like The Battle of the Five Armies as is, since there’s probably no less character or plot development here than there is in a genre blockbuster like The Expendables.

In The Land of the Head Hunters

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: The storytelling is rudimentary but the imagery is often gorgeous, with Curtis’ photographer’s eye capturing dramatic images set against striking coast landscapes and seascapes.

A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod

  • Excerpt: A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin must count as one of the most eye-catching and well-made works during the vogue for the “giallo” style of Italian horror movie.

Morning for the Osone Family

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Morning for the Osone Family (1946) offers a scathing indictment of the culture that drove Japan into war through the intimate story of a family shattered by it.

The Palm Beach Story

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Leave it to Preston Sturges to create the sexiest and most grown-up romantic comedy of his day.

Le Pont du Nord

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: The scenes were worked out with the performers and then partially improvised and have a playful, meandering quality held together by Rivette’s dashes of humor and visual punning and the bond created between the two women.

Porco Rosso

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: It’s probably safe to say you’ll enjoy this movie when pigs fly.

Psych-Out

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: [Director Richard] Rush appreciates the energy and the idealism of the culture at its best while acknowledging contradictions in the individuals within.

The Rewrite

James Plath @ Family Home Theater

  • Excerpt: Thus far Grant has starred in four of Lawrence’s lightweight PG-13 comedies, and while Music and Lyrics remains the best of the bunch—partly because of the chemistry that Grant had with co-star Drew Barrymore—The Rewrite is better than Two Weeks Notice and Did You Hear About the Morgans?

The Skin

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: This isn’t about war, it’s about civilians caught between invading powers and soldiers in their downtime, and Cavani enjoys the chaos of this world in upheaval without letting us lose our way through.

Viva Las Vegas

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod

  • Excerpt: Whether or not the on-set affair between Presley and Ann-Margret was all it was cracked up to be, what’s plain is the spectacle of the pair getting off on each-other throughout Viva Las Vegas, to a degree that’s almost like watching fully-clothed pornography.

The Wild Angels

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: … a portrait of emptiness and hostility, a social revolution spiraling into narcissism and self-destruction.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Mar. 16, 2015)

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Published on: March 16, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Beyond The Grave (2010)

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Devils

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Bruegel couldn’t have captured the insanity better.

Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: “Hotel Terminus” is a vigorous document made by a filmmaker (Marcel Ophuls) so hungry for satisfaction that every image and interview sequence spits with a personal sense of boiling outrage.

I Stand Alone

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] “I Stand Alone” (Gaspar Noé’s feature debut) is as much a philosophical denunciation of humanity as it is a thought-provoking treatise on mental illness as a socially communicable disease.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Mar. 9, 2015)

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Published on: March 9, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: An angry, misanthropic rant, but also a stunningly beautiful film. I

Grey Gardens

Donald J. Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Grey Gardens

Donald J Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Hell Raiders

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Pom Poko

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Obviously, not all of this is strictly folkloric, but the mixture of legend and anime tropes makes for a surprisingly rich milieu: comic, tragic, and alien all at the same time.

Stage Door

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Watership Down

Steven Greydanus @ Catholic Digest

  • Excerpt: A singular achievement in English-language animation: a thematically and emotionally rich cartoon about talking animals untouched by sentiment and cutesiness.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Mar. 2, 2015)

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Published on: March 2, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

The Connection

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

My Winnipeg

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Relentlessly subjective, Guy Maddin’s ‘My Winnipeg’ is about 90% ‘My’ and only 10% ‘Winnipeg.’

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Feb. 23, 2015)

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Published on: February 23, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Amistad

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk

  • Excerpt: The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is at once mysterious and bare, entangling the audience in its extensive drama, which itself is a manifestation of one interior life exposed on a single set. Rainer Werner Fassbender is melding 1950s melodrama with the dark explorations of his European predecessors, most notably Ingmar Bergman, all inspired by and in tribute to the great master of the “women’s picture,” Douglas Sirk.

Carmen Jones

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

The Deer Hunter

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: The Deer Hunter is actually a form of myth-making. Cimino and Washburn offer a Sophoclean tragedy where earthly, communal lessons and the invocation of fate repeatedly enfold the young heroes. The pure trio of youth, Mike, Nick, and Steven could readily have stumbled out of any point in history for an anthem of doomed youth and gone off to fight in any war.

Executive Action

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Goke’ may be a B-movie in form, but with its convoluted plot, stabs at social relevance, and cosmic imagery that verges on the surreal, its content transcends its genre origins.

Leolo

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: …could be one of the most despairing films ever made.

Lost Horizon

Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: If you’ve seen Lost Horizon over the years on television, see it again. Chances are you saw it at a low ebb in its fortunes. This is a movie that has lived through adventures as exciting and harrowing as its plot.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Feb. 9, 2015)

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Published on: February 9, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Annie Hall: Woody Allen’s Best Picture Oscar for his First Masterpiece

Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com

  • Excerpt: After several whimsical comedies, Woody Allen made his first great film in 1977, a bittersweet semi-autobiograhical chronicle of his doomed romance with Diance Keaton

Bubba Ho-Tep

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Despite the absurdity of the premise, Bruce Campbell’s alternate Elvis is a believable creation, half curmudgeon, half pickled charisma.

Carnival of Sinners

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Dead Ringer (1964)

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

In Cold Blood

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

On The Edge (1986)

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Scorpio Rising

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Evocatively transgressive and subversively poetic, “Scorpio Rising” is a cinematic rebel yell against the fiercely anti-gay hypocrisies of American culture that still dog society in the 21st century.

The Timeless Groundhog Day

Kimberly Gadette @ doddle

  • Excerpt: This isn’t a redo … it’s a “one more.”

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Feb. 2, 2015)

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Published on: February 2, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

The Bride Wore Black

Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk

  • Excerpt: The Bride Wore Black, Francois Truffaut’s homage to Alfred Hitchcock, is a nicely rendered crime thriller, providing a perfect vehicle for star Jeanne Moreau to subvert her cinematic image while also just being good fun. The story of revenge is coy with the violence, but its underlying emotions make for a wickedly dark film with a plenty more to offer than just a trail of bodies.

By the Bluest of Seas

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Charleston Parade

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Many of the director’s fans seem to think of this slice of Gallic zaniness as an embarrassment that Renoir would probably wish he could take back. I, on the other hand, wish more of the Renoir’s movies were this unhinged.

Lost in Yonkers

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit

Waterloo Bridge (1931)

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Jan. 26, 2015)

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Published on: January 26, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is a remarkable outlier in the teen movie genre even if tone-deaf critics like Roger Ebert panned the film upon its release in 1982.

It Happened One Night (1934)

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

Lawrence of Arabia

Emanuel Levy @ www.Emanuellevy.com

  • Excerpt: Five decades later, David Lean’s Oscar winning epic is just as impressive as it was in 1962

The Man With the Golden Arm

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: The intent is to force us to give up on trying to process the narrative and imagery in the conventional sense, and simply submit to its beauty.

Port of Flowers/The Living Magoroku

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

The Ruling Class

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: It’s a blasphemous eulogy for the English class system, a shovelful of disrespectful dirt thrown on its grave. At the same time, it’s a warning that the ghosts of that ancient order still roam the countryside.

A Serbian Film

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: The escalating incidents of pedophilia, incest, and necrophilia that follow reflect a country traumatized by otherwise unspeakable acts of violence committed under the auspices of war. We witness the disgusting underbelly of a broken civilization where human values no longer exist.

Time Bandits

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

Vengeance is Mine

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: “Vengeance Is Mine” is much more than a true-crime movie in the vein of “In Cold Blood.” Rather the film is a richly woven polemic that encompasses turbulent generational shifts in Japanese identity caused by World War II.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Jan. 19, 2015)

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Published on: January 19, 2015

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

3 Women

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: Because 3 Women, which Altman wrote and produced under his own Lion’s Gate banner as well as directed, is not a story that works on paper, it’s not a script with a traditional plot. Its act breaks are more like psychotic breaks, in that the movie transforms twice, shifting when its main characters face trauma, swapping their roles, and yet never stopping to explain.

Screaming Mimi

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee

The Wizard of Oz

Kristen Lopez @ Cinema Sentries

Recent Home Video Releases

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