August 2015 Archives

The French Lieutenant's Woman Criterion Collection Review: Parallel Tales Rooted in Forbidden Passions

The dual roles played by Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons provide each of them the opportunity to portray desperation, longing, and tortured vulnerability.
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Based on the John Fowles novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman tells parallel tales rooted in forbidden passions and the complexity of human emotions.Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons play the central characters in both narratives. The foundational story is set in the Victorian-era where Charles (Irons) is an upper-class English gentleman engaged to Ernestina (Lynsey Baxter). Soon after their engagement, they see a woman, Sarah (Streep), at the end of a jetty in danger of being thrown into the water due to a storm that is brewing. When Charles makes efforts to go help Sarah, Ernestina stops him by explaining that

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Blu-ray Combo Pack Review: The Joker is Back to Take Over the World

...and give Batman another exciting adventure.
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Batman is back for another film in the Unlimited series that is based on a toy line in a semi-futuristic universe. Once again, Green Arrow, Nightwing, and Red Robin come along for the ride but this time a new hero has been added to the mix, Cyborg. And while in the previous film they found themselves up against a group of animal-themed villains, in this latest incarnation they are fighting Silver Banshee, Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, and Clayface with The Joker as their leader. The villanous group is collecting random pieces of electronic equipment to allow them to upload a laughing

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom! Review: A Surefire Success for Your Household

LEGOs + Superheroes = the Best of All Possible Worlds.
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Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom! is the latest original LEGO movie to feature the stalwart heroes of the DC Universe, now updated to reflect their current New 52 status. Which pretty much just means that Superman wears his underwear on the inside now and Cyborg has been promoted to being a full-fledged member of the League, just like in the Super Powers cartoons from 30 years ago. I guess comic books and their animated counterparts really are cyclical, huh? Speaking of the Super Powers show, Attack of the Legion of Doom! is chock full of references to

Call Me Lucky Director Bobcat Goldthwait Talks about Barry Crimmins, the Loss of His Best Friend, and the State of Comedy Today

"This movie is just a weird combination of my love for Barry and the courageousness Barry has and the byproduct ended up being this thing that sometimes helps other people." - Bobcat Goldthwait
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Call Me Lucky is Bobcat Goldthwait’s funny and powerful documentary about comedian, political satirist, and activist Barry Crimmins. The film not only documents Crimmins' life and career as a comedian and political force, but the horrific rapes that he experienced as a child. While the film does address dark subject matter, Goldthwait does not just hand over his audience into the darkness of sexual abuse. He paces the film perfectly by introducing us to Barry Crimmins and allowing us to get to know him, his family, his comedic talent, and his passion for fighting injustice. Goldthwait weaves together footage of

getTV Brings Back Classic Western TV Series: Nichols, Hondo, and A Man Called Shenandoah

Channel will air mini-marathon of one series each week.
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Press release: getTV introduces classic TV series to its lineup for the first time by adding a block of rarely seen Western series starting Saturday, September 12 at 12 p.m. ET. The brand new block is a part of the network's popular ongoing all-day Saturday Westerns lineup, and will debut with five episodes of the 1971 series NICHOLS, starring beloved leading man James Garner and a young Margot Kidder, in one of her first major roles. Additionally, getTV will present five episodes of the wandering gunslinger series HONDO from 1967, starring Ralph Taeger and Michael Pate, on September 19; and

He Ran All The Way Blu-ray Review: Beautiful Cinematography Elevates Standard Noir

A small thriller (John Garfield's last film) draped in spectacular black and white imagery by cinematographer James Wong Howe.
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He Ran All The Way was written by Dalton Trumbo and directed by John Berry, both just before they were blacklisted in Hollywood as Community Sympathizers after the HUAC hearings. Try as I might, I couldn’t find much Red propaganda in the film. What I did find was a taut, beautifully shot little thriller about a guy who terrorizes and invades the home of a girl who, had he met her just the day before, he would have probably dated her for a while, maybe even got married. It was a mess of circumstance and bad habits and pretending to

Count Your Blessings (1959) DVD Review: More of a Curse, Really

Deborah Kerr, Rossano Brazzi, and Maurice Chevalier sink in a dreary comedy set across the English Channel.
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Anyone who has ever given online dating a shot knows full well how truly horrible a romance can go if you dive into it head first. Here, in the 1959 MGM flick Count Your Blessings, we witness the horrors of not only a rushed romance in a time before computer dating, but we also see what happens when people rush a film into production as well. From the get-go, Count Your Blessings had this certain je ne sais quoi to it that translated to my gut as "Yeah, there's a reason you've never heard of this one before." Sadly, I

Callaway Went Thataway DVD Review: Mad Men and a Drunken Hopalong Cassidy

Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire, and multiple Howard Keels shine in this delightful MGM comedy.
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As the American motion picture industry first began to boom in the first half of the 20th Century, Hollywood moviemakers found it was quite profitable to go up into the hills for weeks on end - years, perhaps - and shoot one low-budget western after another. In fact, so many of these cowboy quickies - "oaters," as they are affectionately known as today - were produced, that most of them didn't even get traditional movie posters in some circuits. Instead, bijou owners near and far would display generic movie posters advertising the Tim McCoy, Tex Ritter, or Tom Mix (or

Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear the Walking Dead: 'Pilot'

At least we have Sunday Dead again!
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In which Kim and Shawn offer their initial thoughts on the first epiosode of the Fear the Walking Dead. Kim: 1) Boys who dress in midriff pirate shirts are asking for trouble. 2) I have no idea what the characters' names are. I think the father figure dude might be Travis. The Mom is maybe Angie, but I don't really think so. The kids are girl, druggie, and emo boy. Hopefully, I got that right. I do know the first girl you see turned in the church - she's Gloria. That is really the only name that I'm certain on.

Run of the Arrow DVD Review: Samuel Fuller's Dances with Wolves

A blaring Rod Steiger and a bronzed Charles Bronson highlight a forgotten feature with an still-relevant social commentary.
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A simple surf through the today's news channels should painfully remind you human beings don't see eye to eye on a great number of things. This, of course, can lead to war and an unending hatred and fear of people whose cultures are dissimilar to our own. But if there's one thing most film aficionados and historians will agree on, it was filmmaker Samuel Fuller's ability to pen a great story - especially when it came to depicting man's inhumanity to man. With Run of the Arrow, 1957 western produced by RKO Radio Pictures (hey, check it out: it's the

A Sentry Spends a Summer Sunday at the Cinema

The weather was hot this summer. The movies were not.
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There are not a lot of people that can or want to sit through three consecutive movies at the theatre, but I enjoy it. Of course, entering the theatre has changed a bit. The recent shootings in theatres are horrible tragedies that have resulted in security measures being enforced when you enter the theatre. My friend had to open her purse for a theatre employee when we entered. I, carrying my hoodie because I hate being cold in the theatre, was not subjected to any type of security check. Here’s the problem; I believe all the theatre shootings were perpetrated

The Iron Giant: Signature Edition Back in Theaters Remastered with New Scenes

Tickets on sale now for director Brad Bird’s classic animated action adventure on September 30 and October 4.
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Press release: Warner Bros. Pictures and Fathom Events are excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for the animated action adventure The Iron Giant, being re-released in theaters for a limited engagement this fall, remastered and enhanced with two all-new scenes as The Iron Giant: Signature Edition. This special screening comes to U.S. movie theaters on Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. local time, with an encore event in select markets on Sunday, October 4 at 12:00 p.m. local time. Tickets for The Iron Giant: Signature Edition can be purchased online at, or by visiting participating cinema

Honeymoon Hotel (1964) / Come Fly with Me DVD Reviews: Sexist '60s Rom-Coms

Two more rarities from the swingin' jet-set era by director Henry Levin make their digital debuts courtesy the Warner Archive Collection.
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Not too terribly long ago - a few weeks ago, in fact - I dived into three features from the swingin' '60s, as recently unburied and released to DVD via the Warner Archive Collection. While two of said films were passable entertainment at best, the third - an abominable ice creature known as Quick, Before It Melts - was so utterly awful, it genuinely made me question as to whether or not I would be able to look another movie starring Robert Morse in the eye ever again. Sure enough, such a test arose immediately thereafter when two relics from

2016 TCM Classic Film Festival To Be Held April 28-May 1

Festival to celebrate iconic films with Moving Pictures theme. Passes on sale Nov. 19.
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Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced April 28-May 1 for the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival, marking the seventh annual gathering of legendary stars, award-winning filmmakers and classic movie fans from around the globe. The theme for the four-day event will explore Moving Pictures, the movies that bring us to tears, rouse us to action and inspire us. Passes for the latest edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival will go on sale to the public on November 19. TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will once again serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film

Book Review: The Shining: Studies in the Horror Film, Edited by Danel Olson

A deep dive into every aspect of The Shining combines academic analysis, technical explanations and fun facts for fanboys.
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For a director whose output totaled only about a baker’s dozen of feature films, Stanley Kubrick embraced a remarkably wide range of genres during his nearly half-century career. There was a heist movie (The Killing); war movies (Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket); a big-budget swords-and-sandals epic (Spartacus); highbrow literary adaptations (Lolita and Barry Lyndon); the blackest of black comedies/satires (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb); foundational sci-fi (2001: A Space Odyssey); and Eyes Wide Shut, a YGIAGAM (Your Guess Is As Good As Mine). Then there’s his scary/funny take on the

The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Editions Shown for the First Time During Three-Night Event

"It will give Hobbit fans a chance to binge-watch as a community!" - Fathom Events CEO John Rubey
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In October, fans can return to Middle-earth to experience Peter Jackson's Extended Editions of The Hobbit Trilogy for the first time in theaters. Gordon S. Miller reviewed those versions of An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug when they were released on Blu-ray. To learn more about the Extended Trilogy event, read on: Press release: Fathom Events, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures will present all three extended editions of The Hobbit Trilogy across a three-night theatrical event, featuring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Monday, October 5; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Wednesday,

Criterion's Release of Two Days, One Night is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a timely drama from Belgium, a terribly reviewed comedy from Hawaii, a serious documentary, and a gory zombie show.
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My DVD/Blu-ray collection is divided up into a few different categories. There are TV shows, foreign films, my main collection, and then the Criterions. I mention this because over the last week I’ve had two different sets of people over to the house admiring my collection who had no idea what the Criterion Collection was. They were both movies lovers with decent collections themselves, not some noobs with only a couple of Disney flicks in their home library. It was shocking to me that they hadn’t heard of Criterion. In the small, nerdy world in which I tend to live,

La Grande Bouffe Review: Strangely Succeeds Despite Its Uncomfortable Content

Warning: You may need several bottles of Pepto Bismol and a few grains of salt for this one.
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As many of us know, 1970s cinema was a changing time in a new kind of filmmaking, where the content was more sexually graphic and explicit than the decades before it. The most pivotal films of this kind included Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris and Pasolini's Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom, which were censored and banned outright. But since then, the shock of these films have become tamer and less explicit than films now are. Director Marco Ferreri's scandalous 1973 cult feature, La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast), his once extremely controversial "food and sex" epic, joins these

Yellowbeard Blu-ray Review: A Brutal and Brutally Unfunny Pirate

Half of Monty Python, a gaggle of Mel Brooks regulars, and James Mason waste their time and ours.
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As is the case with a number of cinematic failures, the production history of Yellowbeard is far more interesting than anything that actually made it to the screen. Star and cowriter Graham Chapman’s behind-the-scenes book has the details — among them, the film was partially financed by The Who’s Keith Moon and featured aborted involvement from Adam Ant and an unused soundtrack from Harry Nilsson. These may not seem like scintillating revelations, but compared to the film — well, let’s just say an oral history from Adam Ant on all the roles he didn’t play would probably be a better

Spenser: For Hire: The Complete Second Season (1986-87) DVD Review: SPEN-SAH!

The criminally neglected cult ABC TV series starring the late great Robert Urich returns courtesy of the Warner Archive.
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A frequently used adage from the past likes to remind us "The more things change, the more they stay the same." This can be particularly pithy when it comes to television shows, including the numerous changes ABC's '80s private eye neo-noir series Spenser: For Hire went through during its second season. From the very opening of its second season, Robert Urich's titular P.I. experiences new changes, beginning with his old abandoned firehouse station pad - which he had moved into after his quaint top-floor apartment burned down in the first season - being replaced by a new and entirely different

Music from Love & Mercy Review: An Auditory Journey into the Mind of a Troubled Genius

The soundtrack reveals the good and bad in the life of Brian Wilson.
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The word "genius" gets thrown around a lot when referring to various musicians, but in the case of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, it is genuinely appropriate. Of course, many musical geniuses tend to be troubled people and, in that regard, Wilson is no different. The movie Love & Mercy, which stars Paul Dano as the young Brian in his 1960s creative peak and John Cusack as the overmedicated, misdiagnosed “patient” of Dr. Eugene Landy, does an excellent job of showing both the highs and lows - and there are plenty of both - in Wilson’s life and career. Of

Wizard World Chicago 2015 Review: It Was a Good Show

The convention was, in a word, insane.
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So I went to Wizard World yesterday (August 22, 2015) at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, where the event has been held for… I’m not really sure how long, but it's been there as long as I can remember and probably even before that. That said, my memory is a little hazy these days, due in no small part to some of the activities I participated in whilst attending Wizard World events of days gone by with the variety of n’er-do-wells and miscreants that I call my friends. Anyway, after a fairly long stretch of attending the event and

The Babysitter Blu-ray Review: For Those Too Scared to Watch Cinemax

Alicia Silverstone shows she's still clueless in this 1990s erotic thriller lacking in both areas.
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Clueless remains one of my favorite films of all time. From the minute I saw its pastel colored world of baby-doll dresses and platform shoes, worn to success by the luminously blonde Alicia Silverstone, she taught me everything I needed to know about beauty, fashion, and to always leave a note when you sideswipe another car. In the wake of what I call Clueless-mania, Silverstone became Hollywood's "it" girl, a moniker that was never proven despite her success in Amy Heckerling's film. The Babysitter, released just three months after Clueless as a means of capitalizing on Silverstone's success, sailed by

Johnny Angel / Riff-Raff (1947) DVD Reviews: Double Fistin' RKO Film Noir

The Warner Archive Collection unleashes several underrated film noir gems from the iconic studio.
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Every film buff has that one particular genre that - though they may not consider it to be their favorite - will almost always be game for viewing at the drop of a hat. Especially when said item of men's apparel happens to be found on an abandoned cargo vessel adrift at sea, or is preceded by the man wearing it after both were pushed out of a moving plane. And with this duo of recent Warner Archive releases, we get just that: plus the fun little mysteries that follow. Part of a five title wave also including Two O'Clock

She's Funny That Way Movie Review: Wastes the Talent of the Cast and the Time of the Audience

It tries desperately to be a kitschy Woody Allenesque farce but never really gathers enough comedic momentum to go anywhere.
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Director/co-writer (along with Louise Stratten) Peter Bogdanovich has gathered together a powerhouse cast full of amazing comedic talent. With Owen Wilson, Rhys Ifans, Will Forte, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Austin Pendleton, Richard Lewis, Cybil Shepherd, and more, all of whom we have seen give stellar comedic performances, this film was ripe for epic laughter. Sadly, this sitcom script is full of underdeveloped characters and contrived circumstances that leave you wondering in what way is she funny? The “she” we are wondering about is Isabella Patterson the hooker/actress at the center of the antics. Imogen Poots gives a distracting performance as

Twilight Time Presents: Absolute Beginnings and Bitter Endings

From Bowie to Brando to Blofelds, this selection of five fairly forgotten flicks has an awful lot going on.
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For all things in life, there is a beginning and an end. And somewhere in the middle of all that mess, there is usually a great big production number. Sometimes, we start out with a big bang. In other instances, we go out with a grand finale worthy of the ending from All That Jazz at the most, or - at the very least - Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space. Providing you're working on a really restrictive budget, that is. And while this lineup of Twilight Time releases sadly has no correlation to the magnificent offerings of Edward

X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut Blu-ray Review: Two Versions of the Same Story

For those looking to spend more time with the X-Men, The Rogue Cut will satisfy.
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After two movies away from the helm, Bryan Singer returned to the director's chair for the triumphant blockbuster Days of Future Past, which blends the two iterations of the franchise into one continuity. Based on the landmark issues X-Men #141 and #142 by Chris Claremont and John Bryne, Days of Future Past finds humanity on the brink of extinction after a robot force known as the Sentinels intended to wipe out mutants comes to the realization that humans are the source of mutations. Mankind's only hope is Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) going back in time to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series DVD Review: Still the Best

Is it a very long DVD review? A semi-comprehensive episode guide? Why, it's all those things, and still more!
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“Open Channel D.” Perhaps you're a bona fide fan of the original. Or you've been intrigued (or perhaps let down) by the recent big screen prequel/remake. Either way, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series brings you all four campy seasons of the cult classic television series starring Robert Vaughn as quick-witted secret agent Napoleon Solo (a man who has no problem taking time out during a chase to tell a story and who has no inhibitions whatsoever with making a wisecrack at the most impromptu of occasions) and the David Hyde Pierce of his time, David McCallum as Illya

Five Came Back (1939) DVD Review: The Birth of the Disaster Film Genre

The powerful melodrama, co-written by Dalton Trumbo, makes its long-overdue debut from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Ninteen hundred thirty-nine may be remembered in the world of film as "the year that really made a killing" at the box office as far as most classic movie aficionados are concerned. That final stretch of the decade may have seen the beginning of the Second World War, but it also paved the way for such motion picture classics as Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, and some seldom-seen flick called The Wizard of Oz. In-between the dozens of lavish A-list motion picture unveilings - featuring the likes of the Greta Garbo, James Stewart, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Basil Rathbone

La Grande Bouffe Blu-ray Review: A Feast For The Senses That Leaves One Overstuffed

Marco Ferreri's controversial film gets a grand treatment from Arrow Video, but leaves one filling a bit sick to the stomach.
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They say Catherine Deneuve refused to speak to her then lover Marcello Mastroianni for a week after seeing his performance in La Grande Bouffe. It created a huge stir at the Cannes Film Festival. It was rated X in America, banned outright in Italy, and became part of a censorship legal battle in Britain. It is surprising, then, just how tame the film seems from a modern angle. You’ll see more nudity and sex on a typical episode of Game of Thrones, more abandoned gluttony on any number of reality-television programs, and more scatological humor on any given night of

Add Disney•Pixar's Inside Out to Your Collection This Fall

A major "emotion" picture beyond compare.
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The Walt Disney Studios presents Inside Out on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) October 13th and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack and On-Demand November 3rd. The official synopsis reads: Do you ever look at someone and wonder what’s going on inside their head? Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes an exciting and hilarious journey into the mind to find the answer. Based in Headquarters, the control center of 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy. She strives to make sure Riley stays happy as she operates alongside fellow emotions Fear, Anger, Disgust

getTV Presents Bogart Classics from 1949; 1954 Crime Capers + More - Tuesdays in Sept

Other highlights include Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, a Three Stooges two-pack, Gregory Peck in Marooned, and more.
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Press Release: getTV presents an all-star “The Year Was” lineup in September, headlined by cinema icon Humphrey Bogart in two Film Noir favorites from 1949, on September 1 at 7 p.m. ET. The month begins with Bogart as an ex-serviceman who gets mixed-up in a deadly plot to smuggle war criminals into Japan in TOKYO JOE, with Alexander Knox and Florence Marly. And Bogart stars as Andrew Morton, an attorney who takes the case of a young man accused of killing a police officer in the critically acclaimed crime drama KNOCK ON ANY DOOR, with John Derek and George

Psycho Beach Party Blu-ray Review: The Lovechild of Norman Bates, Gidget, and Mrs. Vorhees

It's like a Scooby Doo mystery for adults.
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Psycho Beach Party bills itself as "a 50's psychodrama, a 60's beach movie, and a 70's slasher film" [sic]. The original stage play was adapted to film by its author Charles Busch back in 2000, and now it's seeing a high definition Blu-ray release 15 years later. It's an eclectic mix that works in its own strange way, but I can see why it never quite reached mass appeal. Its gross take in the first six months of release was less than a fifth of what it cost to make. You can pair up psychotics and slasher films without much

Criterion Announces November 2015 Releases

Dear, Santa. This year I would like the following...
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Christmas comes early thanks to Criterion's offerings in Novemeber. New to the collection are Michael Haneke's Code Unknown, Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy, Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood, and D. A. Pennebaker’s Don't Look Now. Also available are a new digital restoration of Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru and a new addition to the Eclipse series with Julien Duvivier in the Thirties. Read on to learn more about them. Eclipse Series 44: Julien Duvivier in the Thirties out Nov 3 Remembered primarily for directing the classic crime drama Pépé le moko,Julien Duvivier was one of the finest filmmakers working in France in

Day For Night is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us Francois Truffaut's film about filmmaking, a Spaghetti Western, a French-Italian film about eating yourself to death, and some Disney shorts.
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As someone who has never made a film but absolutely loves watching them, I’m completely fascinated by movies about making movies. Through the history of film, there have been a surprisingly number of them, many of which are great films in their own right. From the Coen Brothers making one of the greatest movies about writer’s block (Barton Fink) while trying to work through their own writer’s block (they were stuck in the middle of Miller’s Crossing) to Tim Burton’s glorious take on Ed Wood making one of the worst films ever made (Plan 9 From Outer Space), filmmakers have

Book Review: Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays, Volume 1 (1949-1953)

Super shenanigans, madcap hijinks and tomfoolery... they sure don't make Men of Steel like this anymore.
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At the risk of sounding like that old guy down the street wearing black socks with sandals and shaking a rake at those darn neighbor kids who just won’t get off the lawn, today’s comic readers just don’t know how good they’ve got it. In my day, if you wanted to take part in the classic adventures of your favorite superheroes, you had to embark on a quest to find the old issues and pay an exorbitant price, then live the rest of your life in fear that this highly priced item would become ruined and useless and your investment

Still of the Night Blu-ray Review: Not Everything Meryl is Gold

Little life or suspense is contained in this sluggish Hitchcock homage.
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Meryl Streep. An actress often named among the greatest actresses who ever lived. An actress whom, many claim, has never starred in a bad picture. I debunk that myth and point to this 1982 mystery thriller, Still of the Night, now on Blu-ray through Kino's KL Studio Classics. It's certainly interesting watching this Hitchcock throwback; and it couldn't have come at a more propitious time in Streep's career - released eight months after she won an Oscar for Sophie's Choice. However, despite the reteaming of Streep with director Robert Benton, helmer of Kramer vs. Kramer, Still of the Night is

getTV Presents a Month of Classic Musicals in September

Highlights include Dick Van Dyke and Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, Jane Wyman in Let's Do It Again, Jack Lemmon and Janet Leigh in My Sister Eileen, and more.
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Press release: getTV celebrates some of Hollywood’s finest musicals with a month-long lineup featuring 10 unforgettable classics, every Thursday in September starting at 7 p.m. ET. The star-studded event opens on September 3 with a pair of “Swinging ‘60s” favorites, featuring funnyman Dick Van Dyke as a desperate songwriter who schemes to get his latest tune into the hands of a drafted rock star in the beloved 1963 smash BYE BYE BIRDIE, with Ann-Margret and Janet Leigh. And young lovers Joey and Piper sail to the City of Lights with marriage on their mind in the 1962 comedy TWO TICKETS

Roger Waters The Wall Concert Film Plays Cinema Screens Worldwide on September 29

Beyond the outstanding music, Waters reflects on the impact of war on his own family as he embarks on a deeply personal pilgrimage.
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Press release: Roger Waters, the creative genius behind musical pioneers Pink Floyd, in association with Fathom Events and Picturehouse Entertainment, is set to bring his groundbreaking masterpiece, “Roger Waters The Wall,” to cinemas across the globe on Tuesday, September 29 at 8 p.m. local time for one night. ‘The Wall Live’ - the biggest worldwide tour by any solo artist in history - now comes to select movie theatres as a groundbreaking concert film, written and directed by Roger Waters and Sean Evans. “Roger Waters The Wall” is a film that unfolds on many levels: an immersive concert experience of

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes from the First Five Seasons Are Coming on DVD

Not seen for over 40 years, these two collections feature the best original broadcast episodes from the legendary variety show, hand-picked by Carol herself.
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Press release: This summer, Time Life will unearth rare treasures from the Golden Age of TV not seen in more than 40 years with THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: THE LOST EPISODES. Showcasing the early days of one of the most honored and beloved shows in television history, Time Life will initially release long lost episodes from the first five seasons ofThe Carol Burnett Show in two singular configurations. THE LOST EPISODES ULTIMATE COLLECTION, priced at $200, will include 22 DVDs, over 20 hours of specially-created bonus programming, a collectible guest book and more, housed in a deluxe collector's box. For

Person of Interest Season 4 DVD Review: A.I. Supercomputer Battle Royale

Season Four is bumpier than average, but this season's highlights more than make up for some weak patches.
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Every season of Person of Interest ends with some kind of apocalypse, some place to recover from. A lot of TV series do this, and it's usually a trick - an "Oh man, how will they ever recover from this?" moment at the end of the season, which is as quickly as possible scrubbed over so the show can get back to doing the same thing again and again in the next season. Person of Interest, in contrast, has been quite good at making its massive earth-shaking decisions stick, and at the end of season three, they threw up a

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Blu-ray Review: A Magical Series About Real Magic in England

A faithful adaptation of the modern classic novel, a complicated and convoluted fantasy story about rival wizards in 19th-century England.
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There are people who cannot handle fantasy. There are viewers who think that any mention of the specifically impossible (instead of what fiction is normally filled with, which is the "practically impossible" or the "completely improbable") invalidates a story. I know people who like Game of Thrones who get upset at the dragons and the Red Woman and the White Walkers - which is strange, since the very first scene of the first episode has White Walkers in it - they came first. Those elements are "unrealistic", while all the other made up stuff is taken in stride. For the

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us an adult version of Harry Potter, a TV show from a film director, a classic film that was later made into an even more classic film and much more.
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I have a good friend who is probably the smartest guy I’ve ever met. I like to joke that he’s like a human version of Wikipedia. He knows stuff about everything. It's embarrassing how smart he is sometimes because he’ll casually start talking about the minutest details of some obscure something or other and I have to pretend I have the foggiest idea I know what he’s talking about. Or I just admit I’m completely lost, and as a testament to how cool he is, he never lets on how dumb I really am and just moves on to something

Orphan Black Season Three Blu-ray Review: Maslany Clones a Success

BBC America's ambitious sci-fi show returns its focus to Maslany's multiple characters.
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The latest season of Orphan Black is easily superior to Season Two for one reason: more Tatiana Maslany. Where the previous season got derailed by far too much exploration of the newly introduced male clones played by Ari Millen, these episodes wisely keep the focus on Maslany’s many delightful guises. That’s not to say the overall arc for the season makes much sense, but at least we’re consistently entertained by Maslany’s clone characters. As the new season gets underway, deranged and unstable clone Helena is locked away in a secret military compound, left so isolated that she begins having conversations

Book Review: The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road by Abbie Bernstein

It is sure to illuminate and inspire.
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One of the most anticipated films of 2015 was Mad Max: Fury Road. After 30 years since the uneven Beyond Thunderdome, and with Tom Hardy taking over the lead role from Mel Gibson, there was understandable trepidation from fans about returning to the apocalyptic future that is Max Rockatansky’s Wasteland. However filmmaker George Miller, who has overseen the entire series, proved the doubting Thomases wrong with a sensational action film for the ages that is arguably the best of the series. Fury Road finds Max entering the fiefdom of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Bryne), a cruel ruler who controls the region’s

Ten Thousand Saints Movie Review: See It for the Great Performances

A well-acted, if not entirely successful time capsule of 1980s New York
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There have been many coming-of-age films set in the 1980s that work so well, such as Let The Right One In (2008), This is England (2007), Adventureland (2009), and Mysterious Skin (2004). Most of them centered on the often misunderstood, sometimes violent youth engaged in sex, drugs, and rock & roll. They touched upon the lost souls who were trying to figure out their lives, and their place in the world during a time of materialistic excess, punk rock music, and the ever horrible yuppie generation. Some of them managed to remain relevant, while others were quickly forgotten. In this

Alexander Skarsgard Talks About The Diary of a Teenage Girl

"It was just the most amazing atmosphere to creatively be in." - Alexander Skarsgard
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The Diary of a Teenage Girl opened this past Friday in select theaters. It is the directorial debut for Marielle Heller and stars Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Meloni. The film is the story of Minnie, a young girl who is growing up in San Francisco during the late 1970s. While trying to figure out life and love, she begins a sexual relationship with her mother’s boyfriend Monroe. I wrote a review of this incredible film for the site. The character of Monroe is played by the talented and charming Alexander Skarsgard. Monroe is a complex character

The Decent, the Mediocre, and the Dreadful: The Warner Archive Revisits the Swinging Sixties

Three rarities starring David McCallum, George Hamilton, and Robert Morse resurface. But is that really a good thing?
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The '60s, ladies and gentlemen. It was a time when filmmakers and studio executives - for whatever ungodly reason - decided the implementation of corny animation, still images of goofy faces, and half-baked musical interludes would entertain older generations and the growing "mod" audience of the time alike. (And if those selling points seem ridiculous to you, just remember: people are still paying to see Adam Sandler movies in theaters today.) Of course, in many instances, it wasn't quite enough. Easily the "best" offering out of this little line-up, 1967's Three Bites of the Apple was one of several starring

The Diary of a Teenage Girl Movie Review: A Refreshing and Honest Look at Female Adolescence and Sexuality

A stunning debut for Marielle Heller as a director.
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The Diary of a Teenage Girl is based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel of the same name. It tells story of Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley), a teenage girl growing up in 1976 San Francisco. She wants to be an artist and a cartoonist, but like most teenage girls also wants to be loved and wanted. After a night of drinking and flirting at a local bar, Minnie begins a sexual relationship with her mother Charlotte’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard). What follows is an unflinching tale of female adolescence told through the eyes of a young girl who is

Insurgent Blu-ray Review: Improved FX Help It Surge Above Its Predecessor

The second entry in The Divergent Series benefits from fancy special effects but not much else.
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The films of The Divergent Series have firmly established themselves in the second tier of young-adult literature adaptations, joined by such other lesser lights as The Maze Runner and Percy Jackson films. This second film in the series doesn’t contribute much to change that position, aside from a noticeably larger effort in the special effects department. There’s very little action to be had here, and far too much dialogue, leading to a largely unconvincing film punctuated by occasional bursts of CGI wizardry. Now that our heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) has discovered her true nature as a powerful divergent, she and

The Crest Theater Hosts a John Hughes Tribute on Sundays in August

"The thoughts and feelings and emotions of someone at 16 are as valid as my thoughts at 35." - John Hughes
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Throughout the rest of August, The Crest Theater, located in Westwood, CA, honors filmmaker John Hughes every Sunday at 5pm with a screening of one of his films. The schedule is as follows: August 9 - Sixteen CandlesAugust 16 - The Breakfast ClubAugust 23 - Weird ScienceAugust 30 - Uncle Buck To learn more about the films, read the following press release. The Breakfast Club (1985) starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall is the tenth screenplay written by the late John Hughes and his second directorial classic. In an Eye on the Movies

Doctor Who Returns to the Big Screen Nationwide on September 15 and 16

Featuring a never-before-seen prequel to season nine and an exclusive interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman.
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Days before the ninth season of the modern Doctor Who premieres Saturday, September 19 on BBC AMERICA, Whovians (and the curious) can watch the last two episodes of season eight in theaters across the country. Learn more below: Press release: BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events announce the return of the longest running sci-fi television series, Doctor Who, to the big screen for a two-night special theatrical event, Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven in spectacular 3D, starring Peter Capaldi. Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven, the show’s two-part eighth season finale, will be presented in RealD 3D and

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 1 DVD Review: Open Channel T for Tie-in

A good dossier for fans of the Man and those who enjoy the '60s spy genre.
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Timed to tie-in with the August 14 debut of Guy Ritchie's feature-film prequel, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is releasing The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 1, a 10-disc set presenting 29 international affairs of espionage featuring agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) that aired on NBC during the 1964/65 television season. With contributions from Ian Fleming in its creation, which resulted in legal action from producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. certainly has a Bond influence. Napoleon Solo is a secret agent traveling around the world on behalf of the

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies Present Grease Sing-A-Long In Select Cinemas on August 16 and 19

Fans can sing their hearts out while enjoying Paramount Pictures’ beloved classic on the big screen.
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With summer being the season of high-school reunions, it seems as good a time as any to revisit Danny, Sandy, and the rest of the gang from Rydell High, and the fine folks at Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies have teamed up to make that possible. Read on to learn when and where. Press release: Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) continue their TCM Presents series with Grease Sing-A-Long on August 16 and 19 at 2:00 p.m. local time and 7:00 p.m. local time (both dates). The event will include a special introduction by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.

Orphan Black: Season Three is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us crazy clones, casual vacancies, a couple of film noirs and lots of TV.
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I have this completely random rule that I have to watch at least 10 movies every month. Now to all you movie buffs out there in Cinema Sentry-land that’s probably nothing. You probably watch 10 movies a week. But to this "self-employed, works weird hours, and has a wife and a four-year-old daughter" dude, 10 movies is hard to achieve. I usually get home sometime after 4pm to find the wife exhausted from dealing with the endlessly energetic child. So it becomes my duty to play with her while supper is cooked. Then there is eating, after which we take

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' Movie Review: An Entertaining Anime Adventure

"What a pathetic ending." - Beerus. He has a point.
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Appearing on screens in the United States for a limited run, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', the 19th Dragon Ball film, sees the return of the series' most popular villain, Lord Frieza, as he seeks revenge against his nemesis Goku in this entertaining anime adventure. Set between chapters 517 and 518 of Akira Toriyama's long-running Dragon Ball manga, Lord Frieza is resurrected after Commander Sorbet finds Earth's seven dragon balls and makes a wish. However, even the great dragon Shenlong's powers are limited. Unable to make Frieza whole after being sliced and diced by Trunks' sword, Shenlong reanimates the pieces

LEGO Jurassic World PS4 Game Review: Captures the Fun of Both Franchise

Nothing prepares one for the first time you see Jeff Goldblum as a LEGO mini-fig.
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LEGO continues its video-game franchise with the new LEGO Jurassic World from Warner Brothers Games and TT Games. If gamers are a fan of the Jurassic Park franchise as well as the LEGO franchise, they will be a fan of this game. Even if gamers are not familiar with either franchise, it is a fun game. LEGO Jurassic World draws on moments from all four films in the Jurassic Park franchise and uses LEGO-fied cut-aways that make the player feel like they are watching the LEGO versions of the films. And nothing prepares one for the first time you see

A Month in the Country Blu-ray Review: The Film Birth of Branagh and Firth

Twilight Time releases this beautifully rendered ode to art and life for the first time on Blu-ray.
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British cinema has a style, a feeling all its own, which is why some of the world's greatest actors and actresses hail from the land of our past oppressors (I say that with love, of course!). With that being said, it's great to look back at certain British films and see our top actors back when they were just beginning, as is the case with Twilight Time's recent Blu-ray release of 1987's A Month in the Country. A quiet, meditative film, A Month in the Country gave us the acting debuts of both Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth, playing roles

Heaven Adores You Blu-ray Review: As Personal as Elliot Smith's Music

The friends and family of Elliot Smith create a beautifully intimate film about his life and music.
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I wanted to watch and review Heaven Adores You, the new documentary about Elliot Smith, because I am a huge Elliot Smith fan. Though I cannot claim to have discovered Smith’s music off of a mixtape out of the Portland music scene, my connection to his music is still a deeply personal one. I believe that such a personal connection is a common thread among Elliot Smith fans, regardless how or when they discovered his music. When I heard the news that Elliot Smith had died, I was riding shotgun in my manager’s car. We were on our way to

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