Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
The Black Swan
- Excerpt: They set sail against Maxfield Parish skylines and battle in a riot of indigos and royal blues and crimson reds with flourishes of gold.
Call of the Wild
- Excerpt: he 1935 screen adaptation Call of the Wild, the first sound version of the adventure, makes Buck a supporting character in the human story of Jack Thornton, a brash, cheerful miner who begins the film by gambling his entire fortune away in a saloon and sets out with an old buddy to start again, this time with a map to an unclaimed mine that may or may not be reliable.
Cat People (1982)
- Excerpt: Alan Ormsby’s screenplay doesn’t just update the story, it reimagines it with a backstory mythology that is both more literal and more dreamlike than the original and Schrader paints it with a palette of old world atmosphere and modern, unreal colors.
Cry of the City
- Excerpt: Imagery and style aside, what makes this such classic noir is the world of corruption and betrayal and desperation.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Excerpt: The simple tale of how a high school senior spent one glorious spring day playing hooky after faking an illness. It doesn’t sound like a saga destined for greatness, but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has become iconic.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Just a little… funny. Dr. Strangelove on its 50th anniversary.
Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
- Excerpt: Basil Dearden is no epic director (the grandiose sweep of the rationed spectacle is courtesy of second unit director and legendary stuntman Yakima Cunutt) but he plays the game of wills and wiles with a nice understanding of imperialist realpolitic maneuvering.
The Killing Fields
- Excerpt: It’s the first feature directed by Roland Joffe, who came from TV and stage, and he shoots the drama with an unforced realism, lent a terrible grace by the handsome images and smooth, unobtrusive long takes of cinematographer Chris Menges …
Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers
The Sack of Rome
- Excerpt: A deliriously romantic fable on a magnificent scale, F.W. Murnau’s 1927 Sunrise is a story of reconciliation and renewal and a Utopian vision of paradise lost and regained.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
- Excerpt: After 40 years, the buzz still has bite.
La Vie de Boheme
- Excerpt: Kaurismäki has a good time with the classic story, infusing it with his own kooky sense of humor while also having fun with the conventions of nineteenth-century dramatic novels.
- Excerpt: You could argue that it’s something of a flag-waiver but Zulu is not about triumph. It’s about survival and luck, about arrogance and the cost of colonialism and occupation.
Recent Home Video Releases
The Crash Reel
- Excerpt: Walker never preaches, she and Kos just lay out an incredible journey with a few supportive side trips to build her case against extreme sports while still celebrating the athletes who participate in them.
- Excerpt: Jem Cohen’s gentle, meandering tale of two middle-aged strangers who meet in the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum in Vienna, could be a Lost in Translation for an older generation.
Satyajit Ray Hits Criterion: On Three Late Films From an Ailing Master
You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
- Excerpt: You could call it a film within a play, or a play within a film, but neither really captures the Russian nesting doll quality of the deft merging and doubling of the two arts.
Other Reviews from 2011 and earlier
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
- Excerpt: If there was ever a movie that was ahead of its time, it’s ‘Dr. T,’ which was too avant-garde for 1953 populist entertainment, but has proven to be a timeless pleasure for the lucky generations who’ve grooved to its odd beauty since its initial failure.
For Ever Mozart
- Excerpt: It feels like assigned homework for Professor Godard’s graduate-level ‘Advanced Semiotics in Cinema’ course.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
- Excerpt: Portuguese Short Film