Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
A Chorus Line
- Excerpt: It’s a little shaggy when compared to his Spider-Man movies, more in line with the anything-goes approach of Army of Darkness, endearingly sloppy with details and filled with invention flourishes and a film-lover’s fun when it comes to playing with genre conventions.
The Epic of Everest
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
- Excerpt: There’s an admirable modernity amidst the old-fashioned elegance of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), a romantic ghost story with a strong-willed young widow and the salty but gentlemanly spirit of a sea captain.
The Jungle Book
The Legend of Suram Fortress
- Excerpt: …like flipping through a beautiful old illustrated fairy tale storybook written in a language we don’t understand.
The Long Day Closes
- Excerpt: To describe The Long Day Closes is to try to summarize the plotless. Davies’ film recreates his childhood growing up in 1950s Liverpool. It’s a string of anecdotes filtered through memory.
Many Wars Ago
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
- Excerpt: Mamet’s script could almost be divided in half. There is the stuff leading up to the murder, and then the aftermath of the crime and what happens when these two volatile people are stuck with each other with no one to come in between.
Reflections in a Golden Eye
- Excerpt: Framed in widescreen, obscured by a great deal of shadow or forest haze, and scored to a creeping, tension-filled medley of flutes, clarinets, strings, and glockenspiels by Toshirô Mayuzumi (the composer for several key films by Mizoguchi, Oshima, and Imamura), Reflections drifts along like a dream, with many muggy lulls punctuated by sudden bursts of heightened emotion.
- Excerpt: In the end, Tomorrow Night winds up feeling like a series of arbitrary, off-kilter events which happen to a collection of grotesques. That’d be fine if the film itself was, on average, pretty funny, and while it does have some moments that are really, really amusing, it lacks either the comedic consistency or the genuine warmth to get away with how weird and off-putting a lot of it is.
Recent Home Video Releases
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
- Excerpt: … a character piece about the foolish things people do for love, directed from a script that plays as if all the exposition has been edited out.
Dallas Buyers Club
- Excerpt: Matthew McConaughey is so good in “Dallas Buyers Club” that he shows up the limitations of this based-on-true-events drama.
How I Live Now
- Excerpt: A high-minded entry in the post-apocalyptic teen genre, Kevin Macdonald’s adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now lowballs it on just about every aspect that makes these kinds of stories interesting.
- Excerpt: It’s uncompromising and uncomfortable, a film that had me knotted up in anxiety yet unable to turn away, and it’s Vinterberg’s best film since The Celebration.
- Excerpt: Profoundly disturbing psychologocal drama…
On the Job
A Single Shot
- Excerpt: ‘A Single Shot’ has potential, but bogs down in mumbled noir shoe-gazing.
- Excerpt: [T]he first feature film produced in Saudi Arabia and the country’s first submission to the Oscars, did not make the final cut, but it is just as worthy as any of the nominated films I’ve seen.
Other Reviews from 2011 and earlier
James Wegg @ JWR
- Excerpt: Its theatrical roots translate surprisingly well to the big screen…
Eve of Destruction
Fujimi Orchestra: Cold Front Conductor
- Excerpt: In Satoshi Kaneda’s marvellously paced and crafted take on a music-laden love triangle, the stereotypical situations and characterizations are, thankfully, much more avoided than embraced
Night of the Demons
Pennies from Heaven
- Excerpt: The Herbert Ross-MGM “Pennies from Heaven” largely transforms Dennis Potter’s very dark tale into a literal homage to 1930s musicals, with 17 different musical numbers.