Half a rollicking, goofy near-parody of noir and half a queasy, German New Wave-inflected portrait of futility, Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1972) is a singular film from iconoclastic director Samuel Fuller. Dead Pigeon is actually an episode of the (still-running!) German television series Tatort, though it was also granted a theatrical release in several countries, making it Fuller’s only feature-directing credit of the decade. Olive Films presents the restored director’s cut on a stellar new Blu-ray release. Watching Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street will make you wish Fuller had directed an entire season of a crime procedural. His episodic,
Fuller's only feature-directing credit of the 1970s found him infiltrating the ranks of a German crime procedural.
Natalie Portman more than holds her own as the star, but it's Joel Edgerton that really shines.
Plagued by production difficulties, it's a wonder Jane Got a Gun ever saw the light of day. In 2011, the film made the Black List, an annual listing of popular unproduced screenplays. By May of 2012, Natalie Portman had signed on to star in the film alongside Michael Fassbender with Lynne Ramsey to direct. By the next year, Fassbender was out due to scheduling conflicts and Jude Law was in. Then Ramsey quit over artistic conflicts and out went her cinematographer with her. And Jude Law. Bradley Cooper came and went just as fast. Eventually they did make the film
"Creating a fan club allows us to super-serve and further engage with our most passionate and devoted fans," said Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM.
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced the launch of its first ever-official fan club, TCM Backlot, which will serve as the ultimate destination for enthusiasts of TCM. TCM Backlot will give fans unprecedented access to all things TCM including exclusive content, never-before-seen talent interviews, archival videos from the TCM vault, an exclusive TCM podcast, as well as opportunities to win visits to the TCM set, attend meet and greets with TCM hosts and the opportunity to influence programming through online votes. TCM Backlot can be accessed at tcmbacklot.com for an $87 annual fee and will be available for
A far cry from David Lean's big epics, but sometimes small is just as beautiful.
Christ, David Lean knew how to compose a shot. I swear you could take all of his movies, put them in a pile, shuffle them up, and no matter what scene came up, you could make a stunning poster out of the image. We tend to think of his later, grand pictures like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, and Doctor Zhivago when we think about David Lean’s stunning images, but Brief Encounter proves he could create something epic out of little things as well. Filmed in 1945 in the final vestiges of the European stage of
This week brings us two movies about the Holocaust, three films from Criterion, Natalie Portman with a gun, a Christmas horror story, and more.
The Holocaust has been milked and bilked of every possible dramatic meaning for decades on screens both big and small. One would think you couldn’t possible find another way to tell its story. Apparently one would be wrong. Son of Saul tells the story of a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando - Jewish concentration camp prisoners forced to help with disposing of their comrades' corpses or be killed themselves. I’d heard of these people before, and imagined how horrible that experience must have been, but this is the first time I’ve heard of it being presented dramatically. A fresh story
"I may have experienced some nervous energy during last night’s episode. It lasted all of 30 seconds." - Kim
In which crabs eat zombies eating crabs and most of the best things are the promos for upcoming shows. Shawn: When I saw the really awkward title of this episode, I should have thought that maybe there was something a little different here. And there was. Just a little. But the bar is so low that I need to examine if there was really actual entertainment happening here. 1.) THE LOST DEAD. I guess I was most excited about getting closure from all of those 30-second spots we watched during the last season of The Walking Dead. I was afraid
Allison asked the Liars to come home and give statements that would attest to the okay-ness of Charlotte being released. Yeah, right.
At the end of Season Five, we left the Liars plus Mona still captured inside Big A’s lair. The girls were forced to create a creepy Prom, but kudos to them, they managed to escape the lair - only to find themselves outside, but still held within the perimeter of an electric fence. And it starts to rain. Not good. Season Six begins as the girls have been let back inside the “Dollhouse” and tortured. Season Six has a unique feature -- a five-year time jump. Before the jump, the girls of course need to be shown dealing with various
"Join us for a 'Crazy Crazy Night' at your cinema!" - Gene Simmons
Press release: Fans worldwide are anxiously awaiting the release of KISS Rocks Vegas, and now stateside fans are one step closer to this spectacular concert event as tickets for the cinema event are now on sale domestically. Presented in the U.S. by Fathom Events, MusicScreen and Eagle Rock Entertainment on May 25 at 7:30 p.m. local time, KISS Rocks Vegas immortalizes KISS’ historic nine-show run at the infamous Hard Rock Hotel in November 2014. From this blistering live show, fans can expect sky high flames, show-stopping dramatics and more than a few drops of blood! This spectacular event also offers
Six Yakuza movies from the '60s, replete with knife fights, anguish, and women falling in love with the wrong gangster.
How is being an Outlaw Gangster different from just being a gangster? By definition, they're all outlaws, aren't they? It turns out, no, it takes a very special soul to be an outlaw among gangsters. Especially if one is also, as the title of this collection implies, a VIP. This simple appellative explains a lot about the protagonist of this loose series of Yakuza movies. Goro Fujikawa, played by Tetsuya Watari in every one of the six movies included in this box set. Goro was born in poverty, lost his entire family when he was young and ended up in
An odd-ball action/horror hybrid that will surely scratch that bad '80s flick itch.
Oh the '80s! Was there a better decade for watching bad movies? The advent of home video not only meant you could watch bad movies from the comfort of your own home, but it also ushered in the era of direct-to-video productions and thousands of more bad movies coming out every year. The action and horror genres probably got the biggest boost as you could make those films on the cheap and genre fans would eat them up without necessarily caring if the production quality was all that good. Cashing in on this concept, director Nico Masorakis smashed the two
You'll believe he coulda been a contender when you see it on the big screen.
Director Elia Kazan named names. He at first refused to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities but when push came to shove, he gave them the names of eight people who had been Communists. Though it angered a great many in the more liberal Hollywood circles, it saved his career. He was not blacklisted and went on to make a great many more wonderful films including On the Waterfront. That film was his own personal statement as to why he testified. It's hard to watch the film today without that baggage seeping through. Harder still is to watch
Yet another journey with classic films on the big screen thanks to TCM.
Through some type of technical snafu that occured who knows when, the first part of my 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival coverage for Blogcritics has disappeared off their website, so it is being reposted here. The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival returned to Hollywood on April 25 - April 28 for its fourth annual outing for classic-film devotees, though most people I know who can't imagine watching movies all day for a number of days refer to us as something else. Aside from the usual tributes, essentials, and special presentations, this year's main theme focused on journeys, which included sub-themes
In between TCMFF 2016 updates, here's what's playing.
As TCM returns to Hollywood for its seveth annual Classic Film Festival, here's what you can watch from the comfort of your home. TCM Spotlight: The Best of the Barrymores - Grand Hotel (1932) Monday, April 25 at 10:15 p.m. (ET) Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through scandel and heartache. Because They're Young (1960) Tuesday, April 26 at 9:45 p.m. (ET) A crusading high school teacher tries to help his troubled students. Pandora's Box (1929) Wednesday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A young innocent's sexuality destroys all who come near her. Live from the 2015 TCM Classic
Larry Cohen's comical, horrifying look at rampant commercialism, American gluttony, and corporate greed gets another chance to creep around thanks to Arrow Video.
As a screenplay artist, Larry Cohen has many a unique offering under his literary belt. The New York-born auteur first started writing mysteries for television when he was only in his early twenties, and his god (told me to) given knack for penning thrillers soon found him cranking out teleplays for cult airwave favorites such as Branded, The Invaders, and Columbo during the '60s and '70s. Then, during the early '70s, Mr. Cohen was permitted to expand his filmmaking résumé with a directorial debut in the realm of a present subgenre phenomenon: blaxploitation movies. As a result, Larry was also
From deadly strolls about in High Heels to casual executions committed at Midnight, this two-fer from Arrow Video USA is sure to make a killing among fans of classic Italian thrillers.
Though born in the early '60s, only a few short years before various forms of psychedelic and sexual revolutions began to spin a seemingly stuck planet in circles far too fast for even God to fathom, the giallo film truly started to roll about freely once the 1970s came to pass. The titles were unabashedly long and lurid; the storylines both baffling and beguiling; the murders downright bloody, yet immeasurably inventive. These were the thrillers ripped straight from Italy's sleazy pulp fiction crime novels boasting distinctive yellow (or, "giallo," if you will) jackets which kept moviegoing audiences glued to their
The roster features 14 classic series at launch, divided into three blocks of rare comedies, westerns, and action/crime dramas.
Press release: Fueled by the positive response to its programming blocks celebrating rare classic television series, getTV has launched an all-new weekday schedule focusing on hard-to-find favorites. The lineup includes 14 television series to start, with more to be added throughout the cycle. The new schedule is divided into three distinct blocks—Comedies, Westerns, and Action/Crime—airing weekdays from 7 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET, beginning May 2. In a special kick-off event, getTV will present the two-hour premiere of the 1984 series RIPTIDE, starring Perry King, Joe Penny, and Thom Bray, as part of the network’s Silver Screen Favorites block
Two Italian giallos get the Arrow treatment.
After the success of his first film as a director, Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, Luciano Ercoli directed two more giallos before moving on to other genres. These two films, Death Walks on High Heels, and Death Walks at Midnight have been lovingly restored and upgraded by Arrow Video into a very nice boxed set. Besides sharing similar titles, Ercoli also used the same actress, Nieves Navarro - here going by the stage name Susan Scott (his then girlfriend, later turned wife) as the lead in both films as well as using the same writer, similar themes, and
Does "All Fall Down" refer to all the sense in this show currently?
In which Kim and Shawn try to make sense of the episode. Kim: We’re only on the second episode of the second season and I am seriously not even sure I can continue supporting this show with my viewing. I was happy to see a Preacher commercial, even though it wasn’t an intriguing one. Just the fact that it’s coming in just over a month is more entertaining to me than this show. This episode made zero sense and I mean "zero." So, your boat driver tells you that as soon as it’s clear, you’re heading out again. What a
A stylish thriller that combines both Let The Right One In and Carrie.
Bullying is one of those issues the media and the public have been ranting about in the last few years. Now that’s not to say there should not be any discussion on the subject. I just think this whole thing gets very little results. Not everyone is going to like you and no group meet-ups or tweet outs is going to change that. When you are faced with a bully, there are a few options. You can either stand up to them or you can run away. Another choice is to do what our main character does and just let
A quintet of moving pictures that are guaranteed to hear your prayers (or at least be your friends when you're feeling unknown and all alone).
Everyone strives for a little more room to breathe in this world. Some seek solace far away from others on islands previously unexplored by man. Others, beget into dystopian lies, defy omnipresent eyes around them in order to discover the truth. Still more are simply born with their own freedom, albeit one that is easily taken away with the mere flick of a trigger. To further illustrate this endeavor, I submit to you this collection of Twilight Time offerings (initially released in December of 2015), which take us into all of the aforementioned mysteries of personal freedoms ‒ and then
There can be only one. But is this much-anticipated (and greatly needed) BBC miniseries event truly 'it'?
Of all the stories written and published by Britain's crowned queen of mysteries, Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None has had the privilege of being adapted, staged, filmed, re-adapted, re-staged, re-written, re-published, remade, and ripped-off more than any other tale in the literate world. And it stands to reason that it should: it is, after all, one of the most ‒ if not the most ‒ successful mysteries ever published. Originally published in its native country with a far less respectable title taken from an 1860s blackface song (you may look it up at your discretion and leisure), the
This unnecessary prequel/sequel piles on opulence in lieu of interest.
When Snow White and the Hunstman debuted in 2012, it marked the beginning of what's become sloppily known as the "revisionist fairy tale" genre, a genre that still hasn't found the presumably fervid audiences that'll eat every morsel Hollywood serves up to us. The Huntsman: Winter's War will leave you near starving with the lack of anything that passes for intrigue or stakes, with its beautifully costumed cast aimlessly wandering a landscape so unsure of itself it refuses to declare itself a sequel or prequel and becomes both. Freya (Emily Blunt), the sister of Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), has spent
A documentary that both fascinates and infuriates audiences to action.
In a true-crime landscape of Serial and Making a Murderer there's absolutely no better time for Deborah Esquenazi's documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Similar to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost series with its exploration of small town conservatism and a group of outcasts accused of a heinous crime with little evidence, Esquenazi's documenting of the women collectively known as the San Antonio Four infuriates and terrifies in equal measure. With the case still being investigated currently the story is only beginning... In 2000 four women were accuses of sexually assaulting two little
Maggie Smith as a one-note character is the only good thing in this very droll comedy.
When watching a movie, there are some things that are good to reveal about a character right away and some things that should be left toward the third act. How would we respond as viewers, if for example in the movie Psycho, Norman Bates was seen wearing his mother’s clothing and then we cut to the moment when he first meets Marion. It would feel a bit out of place and that is how I felt when I watched this movie. At the very start, we see an elderly lady driving away from one of the most backwards cops ever
This week brings us Leonardo DiCaprio getting torture porned, Maggie Smith living in a van, Julia Louis-Dreyfus playing politics, and much more.
If you relentlessly abuse your no-name actors, then your film gets called torture porn, but if you treat Leonardo DiCaprio in the same manner, then you win Oscars. Or something. There’s a lot of nonsense politics involved in the Academy Awards and with critical evaluations of genres, and just general movie watchng. Just read the message boards on IMDB on any given film and you’ll see nothing but nonsense. Personally, I can dig a little low-brow torture porn alongside my high-minded films where big named stars get mauled viciously by bears. The Revenant certainly does abuse Leonardo DiCaprio over and
Here's a cure for the summertime blues.
The six offerings from Criterion in July are four new titles to the Collection and two upgrades. The former are Arthur Hiller's The In-laws; Alain Resnais’ Muriel, or The Time of Return; King Hu's A Touch of Zen; and Terrence Malick's The New World. The latter are Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls and a second Resnais title, Night and Fog. Read on to learn more about them. The In-laws (#823) out Jul 5 Peter Falk and Alan Arkin make for a hilarious dream team in this beloved American sidesplitter. Directed by Arthur Hiller from an ingenious script by Andrew Bergman,
All the gore (and humor) you want from the franchise.
Brian Yuzna’s sequel to the cult classic Re-Animator is the very definition of a film that is not for everyone. For your humble reviewer, it was about the point when the re-animated dismembered fingers, which have been attached to an eyeball, escape the lab and are accidentally squished by the police lieutenant that I knew Bride of Re-Animator was a film totally for me. Bride strips the original of its - well I don’t want to say import as Re-Animator isn’t much more than a hilariously gory zombie romp - so let's say artistic meaning and gleefully reproduces its blood-splattered
A highly detailed look at the art of this superhero blockbuster.
Batman V Superman — Dawn Of Justice is a landmark event in the DC Extended Universe. It marks the first time the company’s big three — Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — have shared the screen together in a major motion picture. With decades of visually stunning comic pages to pull material from, the film needed to be equally impressive, and it largely succeeds in this aspect. Batman V Superman — Dawn Of Justice: The Art Of The Film takes a look at what goes into making such a film, from concept to finished product, detailing these legendary characters’ worlds.
Screening of pilot episode to take place in four select cities.
Press release: AMC announced today a social media campaign that will bring special pop-up screenings of the highly-anticipated new series Preacher to super fans’ hometowns in the weeks leading into the show’s May 22 premiere. Beginning today, fans can visit Twitter or Instagram to post their most creative photos, videos or comments about why their hometown deserves an exclusive “Preacher” screening using the hashtag #PreacherFanScreenings. AMC will select four cities or towns for a screening of the series’ pilot episode on April 30, May 7, 15 and 21. Fans can visit PreacherFanScreenings.com for more information. Based on Garth Ennis and
After nearly 70 years of anticipation, the documentary nobody ever asked for is unearthed from the sands of tides ‒ and it still stinks to high heaven.
By the time Fish Story had been shot, scored, and pasted together for its (presumably very limited) theatrical debut in 1947, the recently-added category for Best Documentary in the Oscars was only five years old. And, upon even the most casual, non-committed viewing of Fish Story ‒ which has recently been rediscovered after nearly 70 years of obscurity and released on DVD-R via budget label Alpha Video under the more "marketable" moniker of John Carradine Goes Fishing ‒ it's easy to see why this documentary never found its way to the Academy for award-worthy approval. Granted, a good part of
Ladies dominate the highlights this week. If that bothers you, seek professional help.
This week on TCM finds Ethel as the Barrymore in the spotlight, Gloria Steinham guest programming, and more than one "Funny Girl." TCM Spotlight: The Best of the Barrymores - The Spiral Staircase (1946) Monday, April 18 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) A serial killer stalks a mute servant girl in a remote mansion. Guest Programmer: Gloria Steinem - Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Tuesday, April 19 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) A young writer gets caught up in a party girl's carefree existence. Metropolis (1926) Wednesday, April 20 at 3:00 a.m. (ET) In this silent film, a city of the future is
T&A are on the job trying to make sense of this season of FTWD.
In which Shawn and Kim head out on the a one-hour tour with our cast. Shawn: Is this just some backhanded way to get me to watch a show that I might bail on? Is it some morbid curiosity? 1.) PREVIOUSLY ON FTWD. Before that little montage at the beginning (and truthfully afterwards too), I remember these few things about the initial season. Kim Dickens is hot. There's a boat that not-Morgan led them to. Drug teen was annoying. After much teeth gnashing, some lady was killed. And the Army was going to bomb Los Angeles. This show had moved
A very interesting portrait of a group that made an impact in our lives but have never been recognized for it until now.
Now that everyone can post all sorts of videos on the internet today, it’s easy to take the technology we use for granted. Anyone with a cell phone can now be considered a journalist. They just have to be at the right place at the right time or the wrong time depending on what the occasion is. I remember when the beating of Rodney King first aired and how it sparked a revolution/riot. People were talking and debating about that tape for a long time. In my mind, I thought that this was the first time independent video got into
You may not want to go hiking or camping anytime soon after viewing The Forest, but you are likely to want to seek out Natalie Dormer in her next feature.
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, The Tudors) stars in the supernatural thriller The Forest. The film is an old-school jump-scare movie that substitutes a haunted house for a creepy forest in Japan. The only problem with this conceit is that the spooky forest featured in the film, Japan's Aokigahara Forest, at the foot of Mount Fuji, is a real place, with a real and poignant modern history of being a site where people choose to go to die. The Forest quickly presents this fact and then...does not much with it, proceeding with its fairly traditional ghost story.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ covers everything you need to know about Frank-N-Furter and company and then some.
Richard O’ Brien’s gender-bending musical The Rocky Horror Show premiered in London in 1973, at the height of the U.K.’s glam-rock craze. Although most glam entertainment eventually dissipated, Rocky Horror remained the one true constant from that time, retaining its kitschy ‘70s glory throughout the decades. The film version introduced Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf to a worldwide audience and taught millions of devoted fans how to do “The Time Warp”. The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ from the Applause Books FAQ series, covers everything you need to know about Frank-N-Furter and company and then some.
A soulfully creepy and courageous depiction of two lost souls crossing paths.
Films that deal with uneasy relationships, such as Sundays and Cybele, can have a certain uncomfortable effect on audiences. Maybe they can't deal with stories about characters who have questionable interactions with other people, or that they are in denial about their own lives, but however you see it, these types of films do start conversations. Director Ross Partridge's 2015 film, Lamb, is one such film. Despite the film's unhealthy subject matter, it is more of a heartbreaking tale of two broken individuals finding each other at just the exact moment. Partridge himself stars as David Lamb, a lonely and
Jon Favreau recreates The Jungle Book lusher and grander than ever before.
Almost fifty years have passed since The Jungle Book graced movies screen, marking the end of an era as the last film personally overseen by Walt Disney. Disney's corporate jungle has changed a lot in 49 years but director Jon Favreau brings the magic back with his interpretation of Rudyard Kipling's tale, engaging audiences in a lush world beautifully rendered in photo-realistic CGI while introducing old characters with added nuance and pathos. Favreau treads a new path by simply repainting and expanding the old one, creating a new tale Uncle Walt would be proud of. Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) has
The creator of television's greatest hits is the focus in this great documentary.
Before I explain anything about Norman Lear or this documentary, I feel that It’s important to give a quick, little lesson on early TV programs. Most of the sitcoms that were made in the early '50s were ones that did not reflect society but were ones a lot of people thought society wanted to be. Shows like Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it To Beaver showed a very idealistic way the moral majority viewed the American family. Most of the problems involved simple things like the boss coming over for dinner and little Jimmy cheating on a test. All that
Fathom Events and RiffTrax present a side-splitting get together with beloved MST3K cast of characters.
Press release: Get ready for a Satellite of Love-fest as the guys of RiffTrax -- Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett (best known for the groundbreaking Mystery Science Theater 3000) -- celebrate their 10th year at RiffTrax by producing “RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show,” an amazing night of riffing and comedy with most of the original MST3K stars. Joining Mike, Kevin and Bill live, in front of a packed house at the State Theater in Minneapolis, will be none other than MST3K creator Joel Hodgson (“Joel Robinson”), Trace Beaulieu (“Dr. Clayton Forrester,” “Crow T. Robot”), Frank Conniff (“TV’s
Desires and religion clash in this absorbing familial documentary.
Blood is thicker than water is a common adage trotted out in order to emphasize the unbreakable bonds of family. Our family, in theory, should be comprised of the people who know us best and, conversely, whom we know as well as ourselves. Director Cecilia Aldarondo questions familial authenticity in the gripping documentary Memories a Penitent Heart. Turning the camera inward, Aldarondo explores her own family and identity through investigating her deceased uncle. Comparisons to Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell abound, but Aldarondo tackles something beyond just her insular family world, casting a net which comprises the religious and cultural