Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
Cat People (1982)
- Excerpt: Calling this a remake isn’t really accurate, even with a couple of notable homages to the original film. … It still equates sex with the animal inside, but along with the fear of unleashing that force is the exhilaration and freedom it brings.
The Chess Players (1977)
Drums Along the Mohawk
- Excerpt: While Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz are often regarded as the standard bearers of Technicolor photography, it’s hard to fathom why Drums Along the Mohawk isn’t mentioned right alongside them. Here is a film from a man who would give us the sweeping Monument Valley vistas of The Searchers 17 years later, flexing his considerable Technicolor muscles for the time, and the results are absolutely stunning.
Eden is West
The Epic of Everest
Frankenstein Created Woman
- Excerpt: Frankenstein Created Woman plays less like a classic Frankenstein tale than a ghost story or possession horror, with the dead driving the living to carrying out his vengeance.
The Jungle Book
- Excerpt: It has become something of a classic thanks to its catchy Sherman brothers songs like”Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You,” but seeing it again after all these years, I was surprised just how uneventful it was.
The Lower Depths
Man in the Dark
- Excerpt: This 1953 production is a true oddity. Not only is it the only 3D film noir, it beat “House of Wax” to the theaters (by two days!) to become the first 3D feature released by one of the major studios.
Night Train to Terror
- Excerpt: The idea is this: take three el-cheapo horror movies that no one wants to distribute, cut two-thirds of the exposition out of them (leaving just the “good parts” behind), write a wraparound premise about God and Satan watching these stories on a train as they debate the fate of their protagonists, and—what the hell—the MTV is popular with the kids now, so let’s spread a music video throughout the movie, too.
- Excerpt: [Alain Robbe-Grillet] directed ten features in a career that spanned over 40 years and Trans-Europ-Express (Kino / Redemption, Blu-ray, DVD), a lighthearted play with spy movies, erotica, and storytelling from 1966, was his most popular success and most audience-friendly production.
- Excerpt: When “Vera”‘s imagery is on, it’s mind-meltingly sublime, but there are too many times when the CGI isn’t up to the tasks Athié sets for it. The movie serves as a reminder of why you should always shell out the big bucks for the top-shelf peyote, and not save a few pesos buying the shriveled-up buttons on sale for half off.
- Excerpt: The Visitor (Drafthouse, Blu-ray, DVD), a 1979 Italian giallo-esque supernatural horror with an American cast and a former Fellini assistant taking the directorial reigns with more imagination than storytelling discipline, is not the first Exorcist knock-off to come out of the Italian genre factory. It may, however, be the least coherent.
What’s Up Doc?
- Excerpt: Barbara Streisand takes over the feminine human incarnation of Bugs Bunny’s free-spirited cartoon character in Peter Bogdanovich’s enthusiastic homage to the screwball comedy.
Recent Home Video Releases
Camille Claudel 1915
- Excerpt: Camille Claudel 1915 is literally just three days in the life of a famous woman with mental problems, and outside of a surprising knife twist at the end, not even a very remarkable three days. If Dumont’s goal was to show us the harsh conditions of mental health facilities one hundred years ago and communicate the despair of a one unhealthy woman then…yay? Success?
Inside Llewyn Davis
- Excerpt: Can we weep for Llewyn Davis at the end? Sure. Do we believe he will improve? No, and that is why we weep.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
- Excerpt: A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex.
Out of the Furnace
- Excerpt: A pungent reek of testosterone stinks up this high-toned apologetic for vigilantism and revenge. Still: great performances!
Other Reviews from 2012 and earlier
The 300 Spartans
The Agony and the Ecstasy
A Brief History of Time
- Excerpt: Esa forma de contar la historia crea partes que funcionan muy bien, crea otras que no tanto (lo peor de la película es que a veces es incómoda de ver porque te exige demasiado esfuerzo mental para seguirla), y sobre todo sirve para enmascarar que la trama tiene muy poca coherencia.
The Scent of Green Papaya
Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
- Excerpt: Lovely, lyrical and has happy as a spring day.