Welcome back to Five Cool Things, the weekly article where I discuss all the interesting, really good, and very cool things that I’ve discovered over the past week. I took the long, hot summer off but I’m done with all my vacationing, school is starting back, and I’m ready to talk cool things once again. I watched and read a lot of interesting stuff over the summer and I don’t have time to talk about it all, but here are some of the coolest things I consumed over the break. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown The Criterion
I'm ready to talk cool things once again.
Acclaimed as one of the greatest family films of all time, The Wizard of Oz will be available for the first time in 4k resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR).
Press release: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that 1939’s acclaimed and beloved classic The Wizard of Oz will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on October 29th. Directed by Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gayle, The Wizard of Oz is widely considered to be one of the most influential films in cinematic history. Adapted from L. Frank Baum 's tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz officially premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. The film was directed by Victor
It's wonderful to see these interviews, which allow the viewers to see the men behind the ball players.
The Dick Cavett Show was a talk show that aired on different TV channels, broadcast and cable, from 1968 to 1996. S'More Entertainment is releasing The Dick Cavett Show on DVD, gathering episodes together under themes. Baseball's Greatest Hits: Pitchers showcases some of the sport's great hurlers of the 20th Century. Released on June 25, 2019, Pitchers Disc 1 presents New York Yankee Whitey Ford and his teammate Mickey Mantle from May 9, 1970; and Dizzy Dean, whose greatest success was with the St. Louis Cardinals, appeared 10 days later. Disc 2 presents Denny McLain, who had only been a
Fans who bring home Toy Story 4 will be treated to over an hour of bonus features celebrating the film's iconic characters, Pixar's filmmaking team and the legacy of Toy Story.
Press release: This summer, Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 took audiences on a hilarious and heartwarming road trip with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the whole gang, earning a 98 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and more than $1 billion at the global box office. Packed with old friends and new faces, the fourth film in the beloved Toy Story series, which leads Woody to an unexpected fork in the road, arrives home on Digital in 4K Ultra HD, HD, and Movies Anywhere Oct. 1, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD Oct. 8. Fans who bring home Toy
Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki wonderfully elevate a biopic hampered by contrivances.
When Vita and Virginia first opens, Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) explains the gender roles expected within her time period. Despite being a novelist, women like her are supposed to be viewed as subordinate and cherish their titles as "wife" and "mother." However, Vita has a rebellious spirit that is reflective of the film itself. Vita and Virginia attempts to break free from biopic standards even as it nearly becomes handicapped by them. The story follows Vita and her forbidden romance with famed author Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki). During their blissful period, Vita became the eventual inspiration for Orlando, Woolf’s most
Includes an impressive 84-piece LEGO Mini Ultimate Batmobile premium set.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader a LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters Blu-ray Combo, which is available now. To learn about the set, read the press release is below: Batman, Robin and Batgirl must stick together even when Gotham’s most dangerous villains attempt to pull them apart in LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters, the latest animated adventure in the LEGO DC series. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and the LEGO Group, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment starting August 20, 2019 on Blu-ray Combo
An expedient look at crime-ridden Mexico with harrowing fantasy.
Guillermo del Toro’s singular vision remains so significant that it feels present in films produced by him or in this case, influenced by him. Tigers Are Not Afraid is not a del Toro production yet writer/director Issa Lopez demonstrates the mix of fantasy and pragmatism present in his work while offering her own creative vision. As opposed to the typical historical settings in a del Toro film, Tigers Are Not Afraid takes place in modern-day Mexico. It follows a group of orphaned children caught in the middle of a drug war. One of them, Estrella (Paola Lara), is given three
Despite its familiarity, Zara Hayes's feature-film debut is a surprisingly delightful comedy.
Based on the trailers alone, Zara Hayes’ Poms could easily be dismissed as something that we’ve seen numerous times and won’t try to break any new ground. And you wouldn’t be wrong with that criticism. Nearly every single moment of the movie is a rehash of others in the genre and not done better either. But, surprisingly enough, the movie comes with a great amount of charm and heart to make it a light, entertaining comedy. It starts off with Martha (Diane Keaton) hosting an estate sale. Through some rather unnecessary voice-over narration, she tells the viewers how she’s lived
One wouldn't know from how well they played music from all eras of their career that this would be their swan song, but they went out delivering a top-notch performance.
In 2014, Rush (guitarist Alex Lifeson, vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee, and druumer Neil Peart) released R40, a collector’s box set that packed together recent concert videos, Rush In Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland, and Clockwork Angels Tour, and according to their website, “a bonus disc of previously unseen and unreleased live material stretching from 1974 to 2013.” In the summer of 2015, the band hit the road for the R40 Live Tour, which was hinted at as, but never confirmed until it was over, their farewell tour. R40 Live is the title for both
Flawlessly acted while still being too reserved in terms of its storytelling.
The Heiresses is a small indie that breaks slight new ground for lesbian cinema. In a queer subgenre filled with pictures about couples with age gaps and young couples within the same age range, this film creates a space for a lesbian couple over 40. In addition, it acknowledges their queerness without it becoming politicized or essential to the plot. Even if The Heiresses succumbs to having too much filmmaking restraint, writer/director Marcelo Martinessi shows a fair amount of promise with his feature-film debut. Martinessi relies heavily on the camera and the lead actress’ face to guide the story rather
One of Steve Martin's most hilarious and heartwarming films gets a new Blu-ray release from Mill Creek Entertainment.
Fred Schepisi’s Roxanne is a film that, at first glance, may seem too contrived and too formulaic to differentiate itself from the standard rom-com genre. But it gives the viewer something that a lot of comedies seem to lack nowadays, and that is a strong heart. While it derives its story loosely from Edmond Rostand’s play, Cyrano de Bergerac, Roxanne is still able to carve its own path and leaves the viewer with a warm, happy feeling all over. It’s a great reminder that comedies don’t need to be crude to be funny, and romance films don’t need to crank
A 1954 Douglas Sirk weepfest rounds out a new week of releases.
When it comes to classic melodrama, director Douglas Sirk can't be beat. In his films, which usually include themes of class, social status, wealth, and human frailty, these stories play out in rich, elegant Technicolor that you can overlook the sometimes overwrought weepiness. His 1954 effort, Magnificent Obsession, is often his most unconvincing film, but with the talents of Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman on display, you just go with it. The plot of a reckless, loaded playboy running over a distraught widow seems saccharin today, but back then it was an actual story. Again, you just have to go
The story of the most important woman in film you have never heard of.
As someone who spent time studying film in college, I was taught about the early pioneers of film like the Lumiere Brothers and Thomas Edison. But until watching Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache, I had never heard of Guy-Blanche or her contributions to the film industry. But I am far from the only one who has never heard of this revolutionary woman and her contributions to the art form as they have been forgotten, overshadowed, and credited to other people. But this documentary is hoping to help change that. Be Natural is written, directed, edited, and produced
Alfred Sole's underrated shocker gets a new, superb upgrade courtesy of Arrow.
When it comes to horror cinema, I think 1970s horror stands at the top for me. Everyone, even those who don't particularly care for the genre, has to have at least five or six favorites from that decade. There was something for everyone, meaning that every film, even the not-so-good ones had at least some type of theme to them. The '70s was a decade of hopelessness and uncertainty, and its horror flicks reflected that. Even more so, there were a lot of often overlooked gems that flew under the radar, including Black Christmas (1974), The Crazies (1973), Martin (1977).
The great fun of this episode is watching the Doctor and Monk outwit each other.
Doctor Who is a long-running British science-fiction television series featuring the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey whose adventures see him travel through time and space. Over the years, different actors have starred in the role, and to compensate for the realities of the television business Time Lords were given the ingenious ability to regenerate their bodies when they die. The Time Meddler is the 17th story of the Doctor and closed the second season. It debuted in four weekly parts beginning July 3, 1965 on BBC 1. This story is notable for being the first without companions
A bonafide crowd pleaser that bursts with emotion.
Bruce Springsteen’s music may be culturally specific with songs like “Born in the U.S.A.” describing the American experience. However, Blinded by the Light shows the universal power of his artistry. It shows that anyone, even a working class Pakistani teenager from 1980's Britain, can find something in his songs to identify with. Once Javed (Viveik Kalra) listens to a few Springsteen cassettes given to him by his friend Roops (Aaron Phagura), he immediately becomes transfixed by the urgency in his voice. Also, the lyrics in his songs illustrate Javed’s state of mind during the exact moments where he listens to
Experience the King Like Never Before with 'Elvis Unleashed' in Movie Theaters Worldwide on October 7 & 10 Only
The event features never-before-seen outtakes and performances from the iconic '68 Elvis Comeback Special.
Press release: Elvis Presley returns to big screens across the globe this fall with the new music special, “Elvis Unleashed,” featuring previously unseen footage on movie theater screens of Elvis as he filmed the iconic “68 Comeback Special.” The two-day cinema event, which includes outtakes and performances that reveal a new side of the King, will air in cinemas on October 7, with an encore screening on October 10. Each screening will include a new 30-minute segment with Los Angeles Times lead music writer Randy Lewis in conversation with actor Dennis Quaid, rising pop/country artist Jade Jackson and the esteemed
All about the Criterion titles out this month.
Criterion will leave shoppers thankful this Novermber with five new titles to the collection. They are Greg Mottola's The Daytrippers, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue, Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, and Irving Rapper's Now, Voyager. Read on to learn more about them. The Daytrippers (#1001) out Nov 12 With its droll humor and bittersweet emotional heft, the feature debut of writer-director Greg Mottola announced the arrival of an unassumingly sharp-witted new talent on the 1990s indie scene. When she discovers a love letter written to her husband (Stanley Tucci) by an unknown paramour, the distraught Eliza
The film's strength is the connection fans have to the characters/actors.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which currently stands at 23 movies (now known as “The Infinity Saga”) is the biggest film franchise of all time in terms of worldwide box office. Yet, the interconnectedness of the characters and stories, an element brought over from the Marvel comic books, has made the endeavor seem more like a TV series. While Spider-Man: Far From Home is the final chapter, it feels more like an epilogue in comparison to the scale, scope, and consequences of Avengers: Endgame. It opens with a brief reminder that Avengers: Infinity War concluded with the heroes having failed to
The monumental cinematic achievement continues the TCM Big Screen Classics series on September 1 and 4.
Press release: One of cinema’s most magnificent and visually stunning achievements, Lawrence of Arabia will return to movie theaters nationwide for two days only - a film made to be seen on the big screen will be presented by Fathom Events as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series. Lawrence of Arabia will be presented digitally in 4K from a meticulous restoration that utilized 8K scans of the original 65mm negative; the picture was painstakingly restored to remove the damage, deterioration and fading the negative had experienced over 50 years. Movie lovers can experience Lawrence of Arabia in its
A terrifically fun murder mystery from Canada.
I am an unabashed detective story/crime drama/mystery fan. Whether these tales are being told via novels, comics, movies, or television series, I’m usually all aboard. I love that as a genre the basic story - a crime is committed and somebody, whether a detective, a journalist, or even a dotty old priest, sets about solving it - remains more or less the same whilst allowing for more creativity to occur within the characters and the way the story is told. There is comfort in how the skeletons of these stories are similar while still allowing for interesting things to happen
Experience the adventure in movie theaters nationwide on September 15 and 18.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures to award one lucky reader a pair of tickets to see their presentaton of Star Trek—The Motion Picture, which is playing in hundreds of select movie theaters nationwide on September 15 and 18. To find a theater near you, check www.FathomEvents.com. For those wanting to learn more, read Gordon S. Miller's review of the film and the press release below: In its first nationwide cinema release since the film premiered in December 1979, the original theatrical cut of Star Trek—The Motion Picturewill include the film’s soaring overture by famed
A rather unknown 1991 travelogue with one of film culture's greatest scholars headlines a week of new releases.
As much I adore legendary film critic Donald Ritchie, I never knew he made a personal travelogue of his trip to Japan. Reading the premise, I actually found The Inland Sea promising, meaning that an individual allows the viewer to take a journey with them to faraway places. You're able to get a life-changing, or at least a spiritual experience that you wouldn't obviously get otherwise. I wish I had more to say, but I have never really heard of this small film until Criterion announced it for this month. It isn't packed with supplements, but the ones on this
Best in small doses because of the similarity of the plots.
As part of the Hanna Barbera Classic Collection, the Warner Archive Collection has released Wally Gator: The Complete Series. The two-disc release presents the 52 cartoons the character starred in, which first appeared as part of The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series on ABC from September 3, 1962 - August 30, 1963. Wally Gator was one of a trio of cartoons the series aired. The other two were Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har and Touché Turtle and Dum Dum. The series is similar to Hanna Barbera's hit cartoon Yogi Bear (1961-1962). Wally Gator is a hat-collar-and-cuff wearing anthropomorphic alligator
A beguilingly weird swan dive into twisted childhood as if made by David Lynch and Terrence Malick.
When it comes to youth, the rites of passage are always paved with dark uncertainty and a celebral outlook on life. The imagination of children seems to come from bouts of incoming trauma and fear of growing up in a world that often doesn't share the same viewpoint. In a shocking way, The Reflecting Skin, director Philip Ridley's 1990 nightmarish portrait of American Gothic seen through the eyes of a child, definitely does just that while reaching levels of boldness that most directors wouldn't dare tread. Set in 1950s rural Idaho, mischevious eight-year-old Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) lives with his
A collection of rarely seen gems that are not to be missed!
Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Alex Toth's Bravo For Adventure as well as Genius, Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, a gigantic tome that served as the third chapter of the Library of American Comics’ overview of the life and career of comic legend Alex Toth, which accompanied 2011’s Genius, Isolated and 2013’s Genius, Illustrated. Together, those three massive (seriously, they’re 9.5” x 13”) volumes provided an astonishing and impossibly in-depth look at one of history’s most accomplished and influential cartoonists. And now, IDW and LOAC once again combine forces like some sort of
Trafalgar Releasing to Bring Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M² to Cinemas Worldwide on October 9
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1999 performance and Grammy-winning S&M album, Metallica & San Francisco Symphony reunite.
Press release: After the announcement of the forthcoming Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M² film last week, Trafalgar Releasing is excited to reveal the official trailer for the film. Metallica and San Francisco Symphony reunite to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their original S&M (Symphony & Metallica) show with S&M², filmed at San Francisco’s new Chase Center. The film will be released on October 9th. Tickets on sale now from metallica.film. The original S&M concerts were performed by Metallica and San Francisco Symphony and conducted by the late Michael Kamen in spring of 1999 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. 2019’s
One of the stronger DCU animated films, in spite of some changes to the original story.
DC’s animated films tend to be adaptations of their classic comic-book works, with this story in particular being one of their remaining crown jewels. As originally written by current Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb and drawn by DC co-publisher Jim Lee, the Hush storyline first appeared across 12 issues of the Batman comic book in 2002-03. That’s a lot of story to compress into one 82-minute film, so it’s understandable that some changes have been made in this adaptation, although most of the principal beats are still intact. Batman is faced with a new challenge in the form of unknown
Hardly any scary stories to tell.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark may be a Guillermo del Toro production, yet his singular directorial vision still feels present. Along with director Andre Ovredal, he incorporates his traditional mix of historical context and supernatural horror found in films such as The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. In this feature, the 1968 Presidential election and the Vietnam War attempt to act as an analog for the titular haunted tales. While the significance of the historical analog remains unclear, Scary Stories still works as a straightforward ghost story. In addition, it has the traditional machinations of a slasher film,
Fans should be quite pleased owning a quarter of the entire series.
Two years later and Time Life is still celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show, which debuted on September 11, 1967 and ran for 279 episodes until March 29, 1978. The latest release is a 21-disc set that collects 60 episodes from previously released material. The Carol Burnett Show was a variety show filled with comedy and musical numbers, although the latter were cut when the show aired in syndication, which repackaged sketches from seasons six through ten into a half hour. Just a few months ago, MeTV got the rights to the early seasons and began airing
Deluxe box, Hardbook DVD, Hardbook Blu-ray, and digital formats available October 18th.
Press release: Less than a year before their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Cure celebrated their 40th anniversary. On October 18th 2019, Eagle Vision will present two special performances in which they commemorated this milestone, when 40 LIVE - CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY is released in a Limited Edition Deluxe Box (2Blu-ray+4CD, or 2DVD+4CD, each with 40-page book), on Limited Edition Hardbook 2Blu-ray or 2DVD (each with 16 page book), and standalone digital formats. The first film -- CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There - was captured on the tenth and final
Trafalgar Releasing Debuts Trailer for 'Roger Waters Us + Them' Film in Theaters Worldwide Oct. 2 & 6
Featuring songs from his legendary Pink Floyd albums and from his last album, Is This The Life We Really Want?
Press release:Trafalgar Releasing are excited to unveil the official film trailer for Roger Waters Us + Them, filmed in Amsterdam on the European leg of his highly successful and critically acclaimed 2017/2018 world tour, US + THEM. The film will be screened in 2500+ cinemas across 60+ countries around the world on October 2 and 6 only. Tickets to see the film are on sale now from rogerwatersusandthem.com. Roger Waters, co-founder and creative force behind Pink Floyd, with visionary director, Sean Evans, brings to the screen the live story of Us + Them to inspire you with its powerful music
Simple and fun, but doesn't demand repeat viewing.
There are two kinds of movies for children, as I see it. First, there are ones with subtlety and nuance in their messaging and with material thrown in to offer something for the grown-ups along for the ride. In this category, I think of the Muppets and Pixar, and to a slightly lesser degree, Disney (there really is nothing for anyone by the third or fourth chapter of an existing franchise being milked for all it's worth). Then we have the movies that are purely for kids in the simplest sense -- the music is less complex and easier to
DS9 fans should be pleased with this love letter.
What We Left Behind, a riff on the title of the series finale "What You Leave Behind," finds Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr hosting this look back at the fourth Star Trek TV series, the “middle child” of the franchise in terms of respect. And that opinion doesn't just come from some Trek fans whose angry reactions are read by cast members, but seemingly the executives at CBS Television Studios as well considering it took thousands of folks listed in the end credits to help finance the project through Indiegogo. Over about two hours, cast, crew members, and
With these three films, Rainer Werner Fassbinder tells the history of post-war Germany through the eyes of its women.
When World War II ended, Germany was due a reckoning. As a nation, they had to come to terms not only with the atrocities of the Holocaust and Nazism but also rebuilding a country wrecked from war. They had to reconstruct the country's infrastructure and economy but its own soul. This new Germany had to decide who it was and what it would become. Of course, they were not alone in asking this question as immediately following their surrender, Germany was split into four districts each ruled by a separate country (Russia, the United States, England, and France). Within a
A highly overlooked 1976 slasher headlines a week of interesting releases.
When discussing the slasher genre, the obvious classics: Halloween (1978), A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), Scream (1996), and most notably the granddaddy of them all: Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), always comes to mind. However, Alice, Sweet Alice, director Alfred Sole's 1976 chiller, is not usually on most horror fans' lips. It should be, because it is an unusual blend of terror and religious iconography that will creep you out. It's certainly not for everyone, but that's beside the point. It's also a slow burn filled with eerie uncertainty that brings to mind Don't Look Now (1973), which I think Sole
While Season Three wasn't as great as the previous two seasons, I'm still excited to see what happens next.
While watching Season One of The Good Place - a series in which four not-so-good humans find themselves in the heaven-like Good Place knowing full well they don't belong - I both thoroughly enjoyed myself but kept wondering how long they would be able to keep up that concept. It is a great idea for a series, but one that didn't seem sustainable. The writers seemed to agree as they created a twist at the season finale. Our four heroes learn that they are not in the Good Place, but rather the Bad Place which has been constructed to look
Episodes included find Dick Cavett joined by Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Dick Gregory.
The Dick Cavett Show was a talk show that aired on different TV channels, broadcast and cable, from 1968 to 1996. S'More Entertainment is releasing The Dick Cavett Show on DVD, gathering episodes together under themes. Inside the Minds of... showcases comedians. Released on April 9, 2019, Volume 3 presents African American comedians on a two-disc set. Although both discs are labeled with all four comics, Disc 1 presents Redd Foxx from July 14, 1969 on ABC; and Dick Gregory from June 17, 1972 on ABC and August 16, 1990 on CNBC. Disc 2 presents Eddie Murphy from November 4,
Packed with 127 classics from a Country Music Who's Who, this singular set includes Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, and many more.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award three lucky readers CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015 (10-disc set) on DVD, which is available on August 6. To learn about the set, read the press release is below: For 50 years, the CMA Awards have spotlighted the top performers of America's favorite music, capturing the songs and artists who've long provided a soundtrack for our lives. In addition to the yearly accolades presented to the biggest stars in country music, the program is famous for historic performances and collaborations - many of which are the first time legendary
The spin-off film retains the over-the-top action the franchise is known for.
Considering the Fast & Furious franchise has generated over $5 billion at the worldwide box office, it's not a surprise producers wanted to expand it. Plus, separating their feuding stars (Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel) was a bonus. Taking two of their most bankable actors, Johnson and Jason Statham, to lead the spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw follows the series' successful formula: over-the-top action scenes set around the world, and a focus on family. A nefarious organization known as Eteon wants to improve mankind through the use of technology. They plan to use a programmable virus dubbed "Snowflake," which is supposed