Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
- 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)
Lawrence of Arabia
- 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
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
- 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
The Ruling Class
- 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
- 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.
Vengeance is Mine
- 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
The Blob (1988)
- Excerpt: Boyhood (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) is arguably the movie of 2014. Even if you don’t think it’s the best film of last year, it dominated Top Ten lists and critics groups awards and it offered a different and daring kind of cinematic experience, something rare enough in American popular cinema.
The Dark Half
- Excerpt: The timing wasn’t planned but it is fortuitous. The Fortune (Twilight Time, Blu-ray), a screwball comedy directed by Mike Nichols, debuts on Blu-ray a month after Nichols passed away.
Inherit The Wind
Kinoshita and World War II
- Excerpt: Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita made 50 films in a 50-year career…. Kinoshita and World War II (Eclipse, DVD) presents his first five films and offers a rare glimpse into the propaganda films made in Japan during World War II.
- Excerpt: The effects are hilarious, the sets are rinky-dink, and the character names are funnier than a full season of ‘Big Bang Theory’: Rayford Steele, Chloe Steele, Buck Williams, Hattie Durham, Shasta Carvell. Yet ‘Left Behind’ is utterly fascinating as a bit of would-be mainstream entertainment that’s transparently attempting to function as stealth proselytizing, yet plays like we can’t see right through it.
Lord of Illusions: Collector’s Edition
Middle of Nowhere
- Excerpt: As Selma opens wide to great reviews, Ava DuVernay’s second feature comes to disc, a small story about a woman who put her aspirations on hold when her husband goes to prison.