Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.
Reviews of Classic Films
All the President’s Men
- Excerpt: Made 40 years ago, Alan Pakula’s All the President’s Men remains the most significant Hollywood movie about the corruptive nature of power and the importance of free democratic press
- Excerpt: Nestled in this unholy dreck is a performance by Cameron Diaz that I admit made me smile. Diaz has always been the sunniest of performers, a happy-go-lucky beauty with a smile that’s as warm and pleasing as a spring day. But more than that, she’s a fearless comedienne in a way that many of her contemporaries are not. I always admire actors who aren’t afraid to look like a jerk.
The Black Stallion (Criterion)
- Excerpt: For a while, it’s like Cast Away, but with a horse instead of a volleyball. Then turns into National Velvet, but with a teenage boy instead of a teenage girl, and a thoroughbred horse race rather than steeplechase.
Eyes Without a Face
The Great McGinty
Hail the Conquering Hero
- Excerpt: I strain now to remember anything about “The Internship.” The only thing that I am sure about is that for one hundred and fifty nine minutes, I sat in front of this movie staring into its colorful maw with a feeling that could only be described as baleful indifference.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
- Excerpt: I have an open mind toward almost anything, but in this case I must confess that there will never be an open spot in my imagination for a story about an existential seagull. Thank God they are in limited supply.
Lust for Life
- Excerpt: It seemed there was one speed Douglas had: INTENSE with a Capital I. Sometimes it looked like he was less acting than he was attempting to do his version of a Frank Gorshin impersonation of Douglas.
- Excerpt: With a running time of 6 hours, Near Death is Wiseman’s longest film. Through his compassionate, unblinking gaze we become attuned to the rhythms of the MICU and reveals the peculiar kind of love of humanity these sometimes brusque clinicians must have to face down death every day of their working lives.
Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
- Excerpt: The look of the movie seems to be a distant cousin of the Sid and Marty Krofft style of the 1970s most notably “The Banana Splits” only without the zaniness or the aura of the 70s groovy time capsule. The characters are adult-sized costumed actors with big eyes that move and mouths that barely move when they talk. They look like lesser versions of The Muppets and inspire you to wonder why this movie wasn’t animated.
- Excerpt: Peeples is an unbearable comedy; a movie hammered together out of spare parts from better comedies and laid out on a foundation borrowed from failed sitcoms. It has the kind of dialogue that sounds weird without a laugh track and a plot that ebbs toward Meet the Parents but doesn’t even bother to come up with any jokes or any genuine feeling for any of the characters. It’s a shooting gallery, a joke is set up and knocked down. There is no attempt to pull the comedy from human nature.
- Excerpt: In his seminal queer film, Sundance Fest winner Poison, director Todd Haynes deals with gay marriage long before it became an issue
Satan Met a Lady
- Excerpt: A big studio sequel can’t replicate the original ‘Terminator,’ because it feels so distinctively homemade, from those chintzy lightning strikes to the wonderfully Harryhausen-esque stop-motion cyborg skeleton of the climax. In scenes like that, ‘Terminator’ feels like it’s handcrafte; the sequels (even, in this respect, ‘T2’) play as if they’ve been made by a committee.
Recent Home Video Releases
The Crimson Cult
For the Emperor
- Excerpt: Lee Min-ki as Hwan and Lee Tae-im are in the kind of scene that Hollywood might have made forty years ago – hot, nude, with bodies tangled. Not exactly “Last Tango in Busan”, but viewers on this side of the globe might forget this is, for South Korean audiences, a mainstream movie.
Hard to be a God
- Excerpt: The legendary fastidiousness of German makes Stanley Kubrick look slap-dash in comparison.
- Excerpt: German’s film is a 2D experience bursting with stereoscopic techniques, and the cumulative effect is of a screen overstuffed with detail. The choice of what to look at—and what to look away from—is ours.
Other Reviews from 2012 and earlier
- Excerpt: …an unexpected assay of the irrational from nouvelle vague auteur Louis Malle, and although it’s congenitally uneven, it makes you wonder how wonderful it would have been if every master director had indulged himself by unleashing one unabashedly surreal film on the world.
The George Raft Story
The Happiness of the Katakuris
- Excerpt: It’s much better in its parts, especially the musical numbers, then it is as a whole. But those parts are strange enough to make it a hard-to-forget oddity.
Hell and High Water
- Excerpt: The film’s official spirit might be pulp adventure but its visuals and thematic stresses scan stark vistas and wastelands, foreboding Kubrick’s Cold War horizons…
- Excerpt: Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Mad Love’ – Peter Lorre Cuts Up A Crazy Love Triangle