Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD from 2010 and earlier.
The Bad News Bears
Basket Case 3: The Progeny
- Excerpt: I wouldn’t be surprised if the DVD looks far better than when the movie played at second run houses and drive-ins back in 1991.
The Big Land
Bringing Up Baby
- Excerpt: In Bringing Up Baby, Howard Hawks delights in introducing zany element after zany element, an accumulation of absurd details so overwhelming that it’s a wonder he manages never to lose sight of the film’s fundamental dramatic and thematic goals.
Cat People (1942)
- Excerpt: The scariest American horror movie of the 1940s.
Confessions of an Opium Eater
- Excerpt: … an exploitation picture that trades on the mythology of the “mysterious Orent,” with Vincent Price playing a traveling mercenary who gets tangled in the net of a white-slavery ring. The 1962 B-movie prefigures psychedelic filmmaking to come, and director Albert Zugsmith has some interesting ideas about how to show Price’s opium dreams, but the weirdness is not enough to overcome the flat scripting and racist caricatures.
- Excerpt: While it could be sharper and a little subtler, it is nicely acted, written and directed, a perfectly fine human drama that is well worth seeing.
Fear and Desire
- Excerpt: Naturally, the impulse is to rate a Stanley Kubrick effort much higher and to immediately call it essential, but when it comes down to it, “Fear and Desire” does not likely have that broad an appeal outside of the most obsessed cinema circles.
Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
Humilhados e Ofendidos
Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
In the Mood for Love
- Excerpt: The reason so many romantic comedies don’t work is the same reason that an untraditional, experimental film like “In the Mood for Love” does. It’s because most romantics, the true ones, are actually cynics.
- Excerpt: “Institute Benjamenta” has a delicate beauty that, like a lover, is simultaneously intimate and unfamiliar.
The Last Angry Man
A League of Their Own
- Excerpt: While “League” is never exceptionally funny or inspiring, it is nonetheless appealing with its history lesson, team camaraderie, and well-defined characters.
The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride
- Excerpt: It does not live up to the original’s visual legacy, and it does not expand the characters or setting in a meaningful or consistent way.
The Miracle Worker
Márcio Sallem @ Cinema com Crítica [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: (…) a história de uma jovem brilhante portadora de deficiência e que, contra todas as expectativas, viria a se tornar uma renomada escritora e filosofa.
The Most Dangerous Game
- Excerpt: The movie is melodramatic, the acting stiff, and the music overwrought; yet I’m sure that’s exactly why audiences liked the movie in the first place and why we find it so much fun today.
Native Son (1951)
- Excerpt: In a world where the signposts and milestones of achievement that whites take for granted have been denied to African Americans, Native Son ends up being nothing but a lost artifact or, as a friend calls it, a curio.
Return to Horror High
The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2 & The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
- Excerpt: Sentimental but not saccharine, still funny and so much fun, “The Santa Clause” is a modern-day classic and one of the best Christmas films of its time. Its two sequels also entertain, but not to the same extent as their magical predecessor.
Street of Shame
- Excerpt: The final movie in Eclipse’s “Kenji Mizoguchi’s Lost Women” also turned out to be the last film the director made. 1956′s “Street of Shame” not only shows how far Mizoguchi has come as a cinematic storyteller, but it provides a fitting finish for the thematic arc that he began with “Osaka Elegy” in 1936.
- Excerpt: The Tempest may not be as kinky and outlandish as “Tromeo and Juliet,” but if conventional Shakespeare doesn’t have enough kick for you, this bizarre variation might just be the answer to your Bard blues.
The Screen at Kamchanod
- Excerpt: The ghostly aspects of the film are steeped in Thai culture.
Tomorrow Never Dies
- Excerpt: Not, in aggregate, the worst of the Pierce Brosnan Bond films, but… it has the weakest excuse for a conflict.
Wake in Fright
- Excerpt: The big Yabba gaming scene which sets everything in motion has a similar tension and hysteria on display as the Russian roulette betting of “The Deer Hunter.” Later Grant descends into a nightmarish madness like Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now,” ‘the horror’ in this case the slaughter of indigenous, if non-human, innocents.
Woman of Tokyo
- Excerpt: The Woodmans is a documentary that tackles both of these difficult topics, using the troubled photographer Francesca Woodman as its focal point. In examining her life and work, director C. Scott Willis not only goes as deep into her interior world as he can, but also looks at her function as a component of a family, one that is made up entirely of artists, and how her decision has left a lasting impact on how they live their lives and the work they do.