Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
Design for Living
- Excerpt: A generation after WWII, Louis Malle shed light on French collaborators
- Excerpt: Its layers of allegorical resonances, together with its astounding Futurist visuals and melodramatic leaps in logic, help the movie feel monumental, even when its explicit message seems pedantic and naive.
Ride the Pink Horse
- Excerpt: The film is both tough and touching, with crackling dialogue (scripted by the great Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer) and stylized scenes…
The Spook Who Sat by the Door
- Excerpt: The sometimes violent clashes between the black communities in Ferguson, Mo., New York City, and, most recently, in Baltimore are historic, as in déjà vu all over again. This 1973 film on the National Film Registry, cowritten and coproduced by Sam Greenlee from his 1969 novel of the same name, includes scenes that could have been footage from dozens of news reports made within the past week.
Recent Home Video Releases
- Excerpt: So cynical, generic and lazy, it should be named Found-Footage Movie and be directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
Eclipse Series 42: Silent Ozu—Three Crime Dramas
- Excerpt: Ozu’s filmmaking in these early capers is unmistakably, spiritually indebted to American genre cinema without necessarily incorporating any specific references. Beyond their pulpy plots, which all more or less take the form of crime-doesn’t-pay parables, there are visual flourishes that Ozu would largely dispose of as his career progressed.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
- Excerpt: … a genre film with a fresh approach and a distinctive cultural texture: a vampire movie from a female director who stirs American movie references into her stylized Iranian street drama.
The House at the End of Time
- Excerpt: Has some flaws, but is overall an enjoyable, engaging mystery-thriller.
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar – 3D
The Man with the Iron Fists 2
- Excerpt: A credible action film that’s entertaining despite its familiarity, largely due to Neeson’s talents and appeal.
Other Reviews from 2012 and earlier
La Belle Captive
- Excerpt: The theme of the mysterious woman who appears in numerous guises but is never obtained or even fully comprehended by her male admirer is one of Robbe-Grillet’s favorites. His male protagonists are often solid, even dangerous men who find themselves humbled, grasping at a slippery feminine that always squirms out of their grasp.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Class of 1984
Day of Anger
- Excerpt: Day of Anger is another reminder of why Lee Van Cleef became a major spaghetti western star. He doesn’t just dominate Day of Anger (1967), he owns the film…
- Excerpt: It’s all pretty harmless and certainly likable, mostly thanks to the good cheer of the performers; Zellweger, in particular, is just plain spectacular, putting her whiskey-voiced spin on even the weakest of lines (“Shock me shock me shock me with your deviant behavior”) and dominating the picture with her unapologetic sexiness (her apron-and-underwear scene retains its considerable, um, memorability). The movie rings true to anyone who’s ever worked a shitty part-time job with friends who became like a family–it plays, more often than not, like a midway-through-the-run episode of a wacky workplace sitcom, “another treat,” as Zellweger puts it, “from the gang at Empire Records.”
Frank Sinatra 5-Film Collection
- Excerpt: For family movie night, the best bet in the Frank Sinatra 5-Film Collection is Robin and the 7 Hoods—a 1964 prohibition musical-comedy set in Chicago that offers an amusing gangster version of the Robin Hood legend.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
The House of Mystery
- Excerpt: It plays like a modern TV mini-series, more concerned with dramatic complications and character conflict than with action-film cliffhangers.
- Excerpt: This is a film where complex concepts of quantum physics and powerful human emotions are inextricably intertwined and the ghost that haunts the farmhouse has both a scientific explanation and a sense of supernatural power.
Live And Let Die
The Man They Could Not Hang
- Excerpt: Cinema Fearité Presents ‘The Man They Could Not Hang’ – The ‘Other’ Movie Where Boris Karloff Is Brought Back From The Dead
- Excerpt: It’s a sharp-looking film, shot in black and white widescreen with dynamic designs and graphic flair, and Shishido is the coolest of the cool and a tragic figure all at once…
- Excerpt: Their total disregard for the safety of themselves or the people working for them lends the film its most noteworthy quality: it’s so deranged and ill-advised that it achieves a kind of sublime wrong-headedness.
Vice & Virtue
- Excerpt: … the titillating title that Roger Vadim gave to his 1963 take on two Marquis de Sade stories, “Justine” and “Juliette,” which he reframed as a morality play set in Nazi-occupied France.