It hasn't even been a year-and-a-half since the UK-based Arrow Video label first expanded into the U.S. market, but in that short amount of time, they have managed to conquer many a blackened heart, releasing a number of significant cult classics from all over the world very few folks ever thought they would even see on DVD, let alone Blu-ray. With a venerable selection of trippy Italian thrillers already under their belt, Arrow continues to broaden the horizons of giallo lovers who, up to this point, though that they had seen everything when it comes to movies centering on anonymous
Duccio Tessari's bizarre giallo/poliziotteschi/krimi hybrid hatches once again thanks to the diligent efforts of Arrow Video.
Tom Ellis brings the infamously infernal Vertigo/DC Comics character to life, giving boring cop shows a fresh, much-needed twist.
Do you know what would happen if you were to take every police procedural television series in the last 20 years alone and watched them back-to-back? Frankly, you'd be in Hell ‒ especially as the paint routinely and ritually applied over each show's numbers quickly began to peel away. At that point, you'd yearn to be saved by someone ‒ anyone ‒ from that which a GTA radio commercial once (aptly) described as "forensically boring." And it almost seems that such a scenario befell prolific producer Jerry "I'll Produce Anything" Bruckheimer. No doubt fearful the CSI franchise he has been
Did your favorites make the cut?
The editors of BBC Culture "decided to commission a poll of critics to determine the 100 greatest films of the 21st Century," even though it's only been 15 years (and incorrectly though intentionally included the year 2000,) because they "wanted to prove that this century has given us films that will stand the test of time, that you will continue to think about and argue about if only you give them a chance and watch them." Not sure why they think this would change the minds of those who thought like that, but so many people love looking at lists.
From Humphrey Bogart to Alfred Hitchcock, the WAC offers up some of the best mysteries ever available now on Blu-ray.
Along with the many wonderful Standard-Definition releases of films that have slipped through the cracks of time, the Warner Archive has also been releasing a limited assortment of classics on Blu-ray. During the last few months alone, the Manufactured-on-Demand outfit ‒ which only issues a handful of titles per week ‒ has unveiled an unbeatable selection of movies hailing from the dark side of classic motion pictures, including many film noir titles from the '40s and '50s. For this modest capsuling of features, I have chosen four Humphrey Bogart films, including one of his most famous characterizations; an alternate (first)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: Brings the Fun Back to Comic Book-related Shows
It ties in well to the Arrowverse and may be the best comic-book show on TV right now.
While DC’s recent superhero movies have gotten mixed reviews for being too dark or brooding or not understanding the source material (particularly with Superman), they seem to be doing everything right with their television shows. Programs such as Arrow and, especially, The Flash remember that these shows are based on comic books and that comic books, at their heart, are supposed to be fun. Much like their competition at Marvel has built a shared universe with their movies and, to a lesser extent, their TV shows, DC has done the same. The Flash spun off of Arrow and the characters
A chaotic classic worth seeing again.
In association with Fathom Events, the TCM Big Screen Classics series, which brings classic films to theaters, is even more important than ever. The latest release of National Lampoon's Animal House from 1978 isn't exactly a "lost classic". This is a film that is in the general pop-culture reference library. It's not hard to find, it plays on TV, it's readily available on home video, and is referenced in other current releases. What's missing is the theater experience. No matter how we improve the home experience, it's not the same as sitting in the dark for two hours with strangers
Warner and DC Comics' small-screen reboot of the Batman franchise grows, leaps, and slays in great strides.
The ascension to success is quite often a very bumpy climb. Just ask Gotham's hero Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Poor Jimbo was continuously getting bumped up and down the police department ladder of rank and popularity ‒ random punishments sentenced to him by his corrupt superiors that even included a brief stint as a security guard at the infamous Arkham Asylum, where all sorts of video game scenarios are formed. In Gotham: The Complete Second Season, things are even more wild for both Jim Gordon and the residents of Arkham. Our hero gets demoted and promoted and hired and fired
Who knew a comedy about a cannibalistic serial killer could be this unfunny?
I used to have a roommate named Bobby. He was a nice guy, but not very culturally sophisticated. He was the kind of guy who, even though we were working 10-hour shifts and there was a 45-minute commute to and from the job would come home and immediately spend an hour at the gym. He was the kind of guy who, after a night at the club, would see a cute girl on her way out, roll down his window, and ask, “Are you hot or not?” He was the kind of guy who was attractive enough to make that
Tony Richardson's tale of the sweet and sour gifts life delivers to us.
A renaissance in British cinema erupted in the 1960s; known as the Free Cinema and instigated by directors Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson, and Karel Reisz, British cinema of the era espoused fantasy for gritty realism. These "kitchen sink dramas" dealt with the uncertainty and futility of living poor in England. Richardson's own A Taste of Honey, out today on DVD and Blu via Criterion, depicts these issues with the faintest glimmer of a silver lining. Jo (Rita Tushingham) is a young teen struggling to find some stability with her flight, man-obsessed mother (Dora Bryan). Jo soon falls for a kind
Arrow Video releases Duccio Tessari's classic giallo film in a stunning new Blu-ray edition.
I must start off this review with a confession. The only giallo (supernatual/mystey films that were usually made in Italy) movies I have ever seen were Suspiria and this one. There was a foreign film section at the video store when I was younger. But they never had such original titles like A Suitcase for a Corpse, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave ,or my favorite, Kill the Fatted Calf and Roast It. I'm not sure if they come up with the title first and then write the script, but these titles are awesome. Even the name of
This week brings us the return of the Evil Dead, more zombies, the devil living in L.A., and much more.
I turned 18 in 1994. So though I consider myself a child of the '80s, it was really the early '90s that informed who I am culturally. I have a great fondness for much of the TV, movies, and music that came from the '80s but when I really break it down, it was that period from 1990 to 1994 that I began to take the culture’s artistic mediums seriously. I may reach a nostalgic sort of glee when I hear Tiffany sing “I Think We’re Alone Now” or I catch Gremlins running amok, but its not until I hear
Not really horror, not really funny, but definitely dark, and definitely takes too long.
Microwave Massacre tells the tale of Donald (Jackie Vernon), a construction worker with simple tastes driven mad by his wife's obsession with fancy cuisine and constant nagging about his lack of sophistication. One night he snaps, kills his wife, and, a short time later, accidentally eats some of her remains as a midnight snack. Turns out he has a taste for human flesh, and he sets about town, luring prostitutes back to his place for sex and dinner, in that order. There's enough there to make some sort of movie out of, but I was left wanting. Vernon plays the
A little kindness goes a long way in making a good convention great.
If you’ve been reading my Wizard World columns for the past few years (2014, 2015), you’ve probably already steeled yourself for yet another barrage of nostalgia and reminiscing about conventions of days gone by. There’s a fair chance you’re already sick and tired of reading saccharine-soaked stories of how much I enjoy taking my children to conventions instead of taking shots before and after the show (full disclosure: I totally did a shot of whiskey after the show, but after being on my feet for that long with an eight-year-old in tow, I’m pretty sure I’d earned it). But there
Olive Films unleash one of the Cannon Group's greatest franchises in High-Definition via releases fans are sure to get a high-flying kick out of.
There are a number of things that made the 1980s the 1980s. New Wave music. Big hair. Video game consoles. Outrageous fashions. Odd expressions. Even the film industry pertaining to that particular decade offered up a variety of awesome flicks from every genre possible, from westerns to comedies, and from horror to action. But it is the latter category to wit we owe an eternal debt of gratitude, thanks largely in part to an amazing slew of low-budget wonders from Golan-Globus Productions, and their now-infamous distribution company, the Cannon Group. The men behind this outfit, Yorum Globus and Menahem Golan,
Whatcha watching this week?
The "Summer Under the Stars" month-long marathon continues on TCM with days devoted to Robert Montgomery, Brigitte Bardot, Constance Cummings, Van Johnson, Boris Karloff, James Garner, and Jean Arthur. Summer Under the Stars: Robert Montgomery - Lady in the Lake (1947) Monday, August 22 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) Philip Marlowe searches for a missing woman in this mystery shot entirely from the detective's viewpoint. Summer Under the Stars: Brigitte Bardot - Love On A Pillow (1963) Tuesday, August 23 at 9:45 p.m. (ET) After saving a man from suicide, a young woman falls in love with him. Summer Under the
Trust us: "You oughta try it, you really oughta try it...".
Thank the fates Sean Lennon's Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger opened for Les Claypool's Primus last summer because it led to a bonding that resulted in The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Their outstanding debut album, Monolith of Phobos, takes listeners on a marvelous psychedelic-rock trip, simultaneously back to the '60s while traversing the present. The duo begins by setting a course for "The Monolith of Phobos" with sounds of futuristic machinery preparing for the journey as they tinker with their instruments. Main character Buzz is affected by the Monolith, making him ponder life, which only brings more questions as will
Hiroshi Teshigahara's enigmatic, hypnotic tale of a man trapped is equal parts Twilight Zone and Kafka, and completely absorbing.
Every night, the woman shovels sand from the bottom of a hole, which gets carted up by a rope pulley, and hauled away. She lives at the bottom of a deep pit, and every night the sand builds up. If she leaves off for more than a couple of days, the sand will get everywhere, and eventually the house will collapse, and she will die. Her husband and daughter were killed by the sand. So she digs, each night, for most of the night. She sleeps during the day, nude, sometimes not even under a blanket, since sleeping with the
This is not your typical Stephen King tale.
How often do we wish we could go back in time and do things differently or make different decisions? Based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King, the eight-episode series 11.22.63, which originally aired on Hulu, takes on this idea and the resulting repercussions.Jake Epping (James Franco) is a high-school English teacher in the process of getting divorced. He also teaches adult-education classes in an effort to try and help people improve their lives, but learns with one of his students who he tries to assist with a promotion that he is powerless to make a real difference. His longtime
Harold Lloyd hits a comedy home run in his last silent film.
Not only is "Speedy" the title character played by Harold Lloyd in his last silent film and last appearance as his The Boy/Glasses Character, but it also describes the fast-paced lifestyle that was overtaking New York City at the end of the Roaring '20s. Railroad businessmen want to buy out Pops (Bert Woodruff), the grandfather of Speedy's girlfriend's Jane (Ann Christy), so they can make use of the track on which his horse-drawn streetcar runs. Naturally, it will fall onto to Speedy to save the day. He is a clever fellow, but only seems to put his mind to making
Todd Phillips hopes lightning strikes with his aggressive tale of bros, guns and international arms dealing
War Dogs ads have glommed on to the recent trend of lampooning Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan as a means of illustrating American deceifulness. But War Dogs dips a toe into the water, excoriating the "dude-bro" mentality inherent in Trump's acolytes while simultaneously condemning his, and America's, actions. Hangover director Todd Phillips' desperation to follow in fellow comedic director Adam McKay's footsteps clings to this film like Jonah Hill's flopsweat as he liberally borrows from every Wall Street movie, from The Big Short to Boiler Room. Aided by two of Hollywood's most divisive actors with regards to disingenousness,
Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Review: She'd Have Killed Bill in the First Movie
Meiko Kaji and her incredible cheekbones star in four Japanese women's prison movies with varying levels of insanity.
Despite all the blood, boobs, torture, cruelty, crazy lighting schemes, and wild camera angles, the most indelible image in these four women's prison movies is Meiko Kaji's face. In particular, her big-eyed, vengeful glare. Her hair is jet black, and in some memorable shots her pale, beautiful face is the only thing lit in frame. In an almost silent role as Nami Matsushima (a.k.a Scorpion), her large, staring eyes and why she's glaring so intently frame the central theme of the movies: the victimization of women by men, and by extension, themselves. Of course, to deliver this theme, these movies
From bitter one-armed, one-legged, one-eyed veteran vigilantes in Santa Barbara to faithful female Jewish writers smuggling money into Nazi Germany, this lot of features proves all is indeed fair in love and war.
In a previously penned piece, I published my admiration of Michael Winner's Chato's Land (1972), which saw a recent Blu-ray debut via Twilight Time. It was just one of six titles from the label released in April of 2016, along with five more motion pictures, each sporting their own similar feelings towards not only love and war, but the rules we break in order to win one or the other. In Chato's Land ‒ an allegory to the Vietnam War ‒ Charles Bronson's halfbreed huntsman only takes to killing once his adversaries take their little cat and mouse game off
Showcasing some of the series’ best episodes, featuring guests such as David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Betty White, Carol Burnett, the Jackson 5 & many more,
Press release: getTV brings one of television’s most beloved couples back to the forefront, as the network welcomes former husband-and-wife duo Sonny and Cher—comprised of accomplished songwriter Sonny Bono, and legendary songstress Cher—to its popular Monday Night Variety Block. The weekly lineup handpicks some of the best episodes from the hit variety series THE SONNY & CHER COMEDY HOUR, CHER, and THE SONNY & CHER SHOW, airing every Monday at 8 p.m. ET, starting on September 12. Many of these episodes have not been seen on television in over a decade. The block kicks off with three weeks of the
Overall, the show was entertaining, filled with good storylines, villains of the week, and an overarching story that came to a satisfying conclusion.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. With the success of the DC shows currently running on the WB network, CBS decided to acquire their own superhero show based on Superman’s most famous relative, Kara (Melissa Benoist). Just before the destruction of Krypton and moments after her cousin was sent to Earth, Kara was placed in a spacecraft to help look after him since she was much older. But just as her ship left the atmosphere, the planet exploded
A wonderful and inspiring look at fandom, friendship, and childhood dreams come true, no matter what the cost.
The power of film has its perks: you're able to collect anything and everything about film, you find and make friends with people who feel the same way about film as you do, and you become apart of a very special community that is passionate about this ongoing medium. Fandom can take a whole new life of its own, whether you're a trekkie, star wars fan, or comic book lover. If you're Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb, you go even further and you make a shot-by-shot remake of an all-time classic film, Steven Spielberg's 1981 masterpiece, Raiders of
This week brings us fan films, angry birds, murders by appliances, Elvis, and more.
Movies were a huge part of my childhood. I have all sorts of fond memories of going to the cinema and watching them on TV. My parents were early adopters to the Beta and VHS home-movie formats and nearly every weekend we’d wind up at the rental place finding something to watch. As a teenager, I thought my parents were completely lame and I didn’t get along with them most of the time, but I still went with them to the movies regularly. It was the one way in which we could enjoy each others company. But I never went
No need to wait for Black Friday.
In November, those looking for Xmas presents for film fans in their inner circle need look no further than this roster. The six films from the Lone Wolf and Cub series are collected in a box set. Also being added to the Collection are Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love, Marlon Brando's One-Eyed Jacks, and Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale. Read on to learn more about them. Lone Wolf and Cub Collector's Set out Nov 8 Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody, new
Ouch! A Salute To Slapstick begins Sep. 6th hosted by comedian Greg Proops.
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will pay tribute to pratfalls and double-takes with Ouch! A Salute To Slapstick, a month-long programming special featuring more than 50 films exploring the history of slapstick. Hosted by acclaimed stand-up comedian Greg Proops, the special will feature programming from silent masters Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd to modern master Will Ferrell, and will premiere Sep. 6th and air every Tuesday and Wednesday during the month. Additionally, TCM is once again partnering with Ball State University and Canvas Network to offer a free online multimedia course on slapstick comedy. Enrollment begins today and comedy fans
The Immortal Story Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Marvel of Deep Emotion and Haunting Spareness
A minimalist, but soulful depiction of lost souls in the 19th century.
We all knew that Orson Welles was mad, but we also knew that he had the ability to make cinematic works of art that transcend any genre. After his legendary 1941 masterpiece, Citizen Kane, he felt that he could do anything, but after he changed film history with Kane, he started to feel the slump of Hollywood. This is definitely no apparent more than when he made 1948's flop, The Lady from Shanghai, that kind of signaled the beginning of the end of his gifts as director/writer/actor extraordinaire. However, he made a comeback, a sort-of experimental one, as he started
Vittorio De Sica, Neil Simon and Peter Sellers are a comedy dream team, right?
So, you’ve got one of the greatest Italian film directors of all time in Vittorio De Sica, one of the most beloved of all American playwrights in Neil Simon, and one of the chief members of the British comedy pantheon in Peter Sellers. This collaboration must be a surefire classic, or at the very least, a notable misstep among three sterling careers. Except, it’s not. About the only thing remarkable about 1966’s After the Fox is how unremarkable the film is, despite the array of talent on hand. Did I mention it features a (maddening) theme song by Burt Bacharach
And what classic film star will you be spending time with this week?
The "Summer Under the Stars" month-long marathom continues on TCM with days devoted to Roddy McDowall, Anne Baxter, James Edwards, Angie Dickinson, Ruby Keeler, Humphrey Bogart, and Bette Davis. Summer Under the Stars: Roddy McDowall - My Friend Flicka (1943) Monday, August 15 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A boy's love for his horse helps him grow up. Summer Under the Stars: Anne Baxter - All About Eve (1950) Tuesday, August 16 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An ambitious young actress tries to take over a star's career and love life. Summer Under the Stars: James Edwards - Home of the Brave
Not enough crime, too little passion, far too much Anthony Perkins with a giant vibrator.
Crimes of Passion is a psychosexual drama from Ken Russell (Tommy, Altered States). It works best when you think of it as a moral satire but mostly it's just a hot (but not that kind of hot) mess. Kathleen Turner’s performance would be considered brave if it were not so over the top that it veers into the ridiculous. She plays Joanna Crane, a respected fashion designer who lives a double life as prostitute China Blue, who fulfills various men’s kinkiest desires. John Laughlin plays Bobby Grady, an investigator stuck in a sexless marriage, who is asked to spy on
Featuring an exclusive live interview with Edward Snowden by filmmaker Oliver Stone, in cinemas nationwide on September 14.
Press release: Get full security clearance for Snowden, one of the most anticipated upcoming releases, ahead of the thriller’s wide release. Fathom Events and Open Road Films are taking an exclusive look into the world of former CIA employee Edward Snowden through the eyes of Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone for a one-night event on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 live at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT and tape-delayed to 7:30 p.m. MT/PT. “Snowden Live” gives audiences the opportunity to be the first to see Snowden on the big screen and hear directly from the man who inspired it
Press release: To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 science fiction horror film Aliens, Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Laguna Niguel has partnered with SquaredCo Events to present moviegoers with a spirited lobby experience and film-themed pop-up art show in advance of a special screening of the cult classic. Guests can expect to: View Aliens-themed fan art commissioned by an international roster of pop culture artists Have the opportunity to win surprise giveaways and limited edition event posters designed by animator and illustrator Jason Yang of Invisible Element Have film-themed photo-ops throughout the decorated theater lobby and with a costumed Aliens
One woman's mediocre rise to fame looks good, if nothing else.
Best known to 30-somethings as the director of High Fidelity (or for one of my favorite crime dramas, The Grifters), Stephen Frears' output over the last ten years has clung fast to the tea and crumpet set. Between the Academy Award-winning The Queen and the Academy Award-nominee Philomena, you can see Frears hopes third time's a charm with Florence Foster Jenkins. The presence of Meryl Streep alone could make this a walk to the Oscars, but Frears suffers from diminishing returns in this take on the braveries of mediocrity reminiscent of this year's Eddie the Eagle. Florence Foster Jenkins (Streep)
"Opened my eyes to the poetic expressiveness of the cinema. When I saw 'Destiny,' I suddenly knew that I wanted to make movies." - Luis Buñuel
Press release: Kino Lorber is proud to announce the Blu-ray and DVD of Fritz Lang's 1921 silent masterwork, DESTINY, in a stunning new 2K restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung. Weaving together stories of tragic love, set in three distinct historical places and periods, DESTINY established director Fritz Lang as one of the leading filmmakers of the German silent era, and laid the groundwork for his highly-stylized classics such as Die Nibelungen and Metropolis. This new restoration of DESTINY was released theatrically by Kino Lorber, opening at New York's Film Forum in May 2016 before moving on to engagements in national markets.DESTINY
It was such a treat to see musicians so filled with joy playing together.
In the same vein as his 2014 co-headlining tour with Paul Simon, Sting teamed up with his former Amnesty International touring mate Peter Gabriel for “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” which found them playing concerts across North America in June and July. They combined their talented bands and in addition to Gabriel on keys and Sting on bass, the blended ensemble was comprised of two guitarists, another bassist, two more keyboardists, two drummers, three back-ups singers, an electric fiddle player, and a percussionist. The night began with Gabriel coming out first and performing “Rhythm of the Heat” with powerful percussion highlighting the
The lesson is harsh but clear: in history, only the truly disruptive ideas are destined to matter.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Anchor Bay Entertainment to award one lucky reader Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season on DVD, currently on sale. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: The critically acclaimed AMC hit drama, Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season, will be available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on August 9. From creators Chris Cantwell (Vicariously) and Christopher C. Rogers, comes the ten-episode series, featuring buzzworthy performances from Lee Pace (Lincoln, Pushing Daisies, Guardians of the Galaxy), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Mackenzie Davis (Smashed), Kerry Bishé (Argo, Red State)
This week brings us time travel, holograms, superheroes, and more.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 looms large in our American identity. Hell, it looms over my own identity and I wasn’t born until 13 years later. The 1960s as a whole were greatly influential upon our culture. It gave us the Beatles, the Stones, Dr. Strangelove, Lawrence of Arabia, hippies, free love, Woodstock, Altamont, the Civil Rights Movement and the murder of a President. In the years since that decade died, countless amount of words have been written, documentaries filmed, and art created praising those ten years as monumental. Sometimes, it feels like that from the very
Will Smith being fatherly is always kind of hot, so that gave me a few moments of happiness.
Even though the critics said it was a horrible movie, I took my favorite tween to see Suicide Squad this past Friday. I convinced my friend to come along by promising him the fabulous burgers across the street afterwards. So I’ve seen it. I’ve made my own decisions. I have opinions about the movie and I feel that I really need to share them with both of you who read this. I should point out that part of my enjoyment of any movie is the giant vat of popcorn we generally plow through. Although this particular theater had the "butter