Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
- Excerpt: “Atlantic City” is an understated drama, full of compact social editorializing, that elevates its seemingly run-of-the-mill trappings into something sublime by way of its emotionally dependent characters.
The Bitter Tea of General Yen
- Excerpt: In this subversive Pre-Code romance, Capra builds a dreamy, romantic setting full of sparkling jewels, cherry-blossom moons, caressing costumes, and candle-kissed lighting. Stanwyck glows, her unusual beauty enhanced by Capra’s flattering, soft-focus close-ups, her tears like diamonds on her cheeks.
The Bootleg Files: The Thief and the Cobbler
Phil Hall @ Film Threat
- Excerpt: A consideration of Richard Williams’ legendary unfinished animated epic
The Divine Lady
- Excerpt: On the whole I found The Divine Lady to hold up rather well. It told its story well, the acting was not exagerrated (mostly) and as a bonus, it integrated sound effects into a silent film to where it didn’t topple one or the other.
Do the Right Thing
Hearts and Minds
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Excerpt: For a movie that features both a wicked villainess in a black catsuit and a pretty circus acrobat (Sylva Koscina, Juliet of the Spirits) who randomly shows up to help out, Judex is decidedly unsexy. None of the relationships have much sizzle, nor does the action really ever take off.
Stations of the Elevated
- Excerpt: Kirchheimer relies on formal compositions of New York’s subway rail yards, elevated platforms, and surrounding locations to tell a complex tale of environmental and urban dislocation where pop art billboards — depicting gigantic hamburgers, bikini-clad women, and a male smoker whose enormous mouth issues forth billowing smoke — inform ghetto children who draw on the art and atmosphere around them to create their own original art form.
The Wicker Man (1973)
Diego Salgado @ Diagonal [Spanish]
Recent Home Video Releases
- Excerpt: Desire Me is a frigid romance with little thought in it. It’s a war romance with a modicum of both, enough to say it belongs in the genre, but certainly not enough for it to warrant anyone listing it as one of the best.
A Hard Day’s Night
- Excerpt: Helping craft and simultaneously critique their cheeky rock star image, Richard Lester’s monumental faux day-in-the-life documentary of the band became a comedic musical masterpiece that set the blueprint for music videos decades before Video Killed the Radio Star set us off into the abyss of MTV.
Hearts and Minds
- Excerpt: Part retrospective assessment of the back-door politics that led to the American funding of the Indochina War and the subsequent militarization of South Vietnam, and part straight-laced propaganda, Davis’s equally lauded and hated documentary is a manipulative masterpiece that makes no bones about its intentions to appaul and enlighten with leftist edification that calls on wounded veterans and racist politicians to bend prior ideals.
- Excerpt: Teacher’s Pet is a fun, if kitschy experience.
The Unknown Known
- Excerpt: This documentary interview with Bush-era insider Donald Rumsfeld is like a horror movie with a calm sociopath at its center.
Other Reviews from 2012 and earlier
Another Thin Man
- Excerpt: director W.S. Van Dyke keeps the humor high and sprightly, while Powell does some of his finest acting in the franchise
Book of Love
P Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
The Buccaneer (1958)
The Living Skeleton
Steve Biodrowski @ Cinefantastique Online
- Excerpt: http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2014/06/the-living-skeleton-1968-review
Shadow of the Thin Man
- Excerpt: We haven’t gotten a shadow of a movie just yet.
Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]