Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD from 2011 and earlier.
The Big Broadcast of 1938
- Excerpt: The Big Broadcast of 1938 is the closest we’ll get to seeing a “Gold Diggers” movie as directed by Tex Avery.
- Excerpt: Clearly taking cues from Hollywood, this is a big religious epic that wrongheadedly mimics what makes films like The Ten Commandments so questionable regarding matters of faith while being so entertaining in their sincere silliness.
- Excerpt: Though a bit hokey at times, Dick Tracy is a romp through classic newspaper comics, made to look like the funny papers come to life. Director and star Warren Beatty plays it straight, embracing everything he loves about comic strips and classic pulp, turning the old Chester Gould serial into a visual tour-de-force.
La Dolce Vita
- Excerpt: I travel to Italy to close out the 2012 Blindspot List, where a cnematic master gives us a taste of the good life.
Fear and Desire
- Excerpt: A similar dynamic and mood to Kubrick’s later war films is clearly present in a blunt and embryonic form, as the struggle seems to stumble far beyond its nominal boundaries and the protagonists attempt to keep their heads and their souls together deep in enemy territory.
- Excerpt: Two years before Memento, this British drama established Christopher Nolan’s flair for creative storytelling with twisty nonlinear narratives as well as his tastes for mystery, suspense, crime, theft, and mistaken identities.
The Great Love (Le Grand Amour)
- Excerpt: This was the director’s first film in color and both the French New Wave and the Swinging 60’s show their influence.
- Excerpt: Heaven’s Gate, fittingly, is a movie about an idealist made by an idealist, and both lose control of their situation, ground beneath a machine that is larger than they ever imagined, and yet tragically heroic for doing so.
- Excerpt: Killer’s Kiss sees Kubrick seemingly more at home in the precincts of Manhattan he had spent his teenaged years haunting as a photographer, to the point where the film often feels less like a narrative movie than a photographic record and portfolio showing off the manifold attractions, both glitzy and seamy, of the cityscape.
Long Arm of the Law
- Excerpt: The kind of crime film that’s recalled here is closer to some of the American crime films of the Forties, influenced by Italian neo-realism and the greater immediacy of bringing cameras out of the studios and into the streets.
The Lost Missile
One Rainy Afternoon
- Excerpt: Pablo Larraín’s 2010 feature Post Mortem is an intriguing, sometimes perplexing film, a study of interior character juxtaposed against a tumultuous exterior. Alfredo Castro delivers a controlled performance as the film’s lead, a transcriptionist in a morgue who finds his desire for love steamrolled by political revolution.
Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation
- Excerpt: The atmosphere is so pervasively “low budget L.A.” that it never ceases to feel like the exact thing it is, a chintzy DTV movie.
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker
- Excerpt: Junky direct-to-video pap, and only the fact that it does, for a brief spell, involve a murderous Santa Claus gives it any sort of leg up over the other films in its series.
Subversive Saturday | L’Age D’or (1930)
The Suitor (Le Soupirant)
- Excerpt: Inspired by classic silent cinema slapstick and of the school of Tati, Étaix’s first film grabs us from the get go with a one-two punch of great visual fakeout gags.