July 2016 Archives

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 08-01-16

What star are you going to spend the day with?
  |   Comments
August is Summer Under the Stars month where each day finds the channel's programming devoted to an actor or actress. The first week features Edward G. Robinson, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Fay Wray, Karl Malden, Montgomery Clift, and Jean Harlow. Summer Under the Stars: Edward G. Robinson - Scarlet Street (1945) Monday, August 1 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A middle-aged would be painter falls into the clutches of an unscrupulous woman. Summer Under the Stars: Lucille Ball - Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) Tuesday, August 2 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) A widow with eight children marries a widower with ten,

getTV Celebrates Lucille Ball, Billy Jack, and More in August

Other highlights include stunts starring Cher, Rosalind Russell, Chevy Chase, Cary Grant, and more.
  |   Comments
Press release: getTV gets you through the dog days of summer with an August lineup of Golden Age favorites featuring award-winning dramas, side-splitting comedies, and beloved stars. The month includes a Lucille Ball birthday block; a trio of iconic divas on THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW; a GIDGET two-pack; stunts starring Cher, Jeff Bridges, Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant; a night of classic Mitzi Gaynor specials; and the Oscar®-winning drama THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI; among others. Merv Salutes The Greatest Stars—Mon., August 1 at 8 p.m. ET Merv Griffin sits down with some of cinema’s most iconic divas in

Shout Factory! Releases The Transformers - The Movie (30th Anniversary Edition) on September 13, 2016

Featuring all-star voice cast of Peter Cullen, Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Frank Welker and Orson Welles as UNICRON.
  |   Comments
Press release: Experience the enormously popular animated feature The TRANSFORMERS - THE MOVIE like never before! In celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary, The TRANSFORMERS - THE MOVIE has been meticulously restored and remastered from a spectacular brand-new 4K transfer of the original 35mm film elements. Fans now can immerse themselves in this thrilling animated adventure with stunning picture quality for optimal home entertainment experience. The TRANSFORMERS - THE MOVIE has captured a special place in the hearts of millions and has been a staple in the pop culture zeitgeist since 1986. Featuring memorable characters - the heroic AUTOBOTS, villainous

getTV Adjusts Its Classic TV Daytime Schedule and Adds Docs in August

Programming includes specials highlighting the lives and legacies of William Holden and Will Rogers.
  |   Comments
Press release: getTV puts the spotlight on two of Hollywood’s most beloved entertainers, with a pair of in-depth documentary specials airing August 21 and August 28 at 10 p.m. ET, giving viewers an in-depth look at the lives and legacies of the Golden Age icons whose work has continued to influence and inspire generations of fans and filmmakers. The informative event kicks off on August 21 with WILLIAM HOLDEN: AN UNTAMED SPIRIT—a detailed account narrated by Peter Graves, that illustrates some of the Oscar-winning actor’s most defining moments, from his humble beginnings working for his family’s fertilization company, and being

The Invitation (2016) Movie Review: Paranoia, Isolation, and a Good Wine Party

Karyn Kusama's creepy little thriller finds it scares in strained manners and social tension rather than loud noises.
  |   Comments
Writing about a movie like The Invitation is a delicate business, because much of its effectiveness depends on the surprise twists in the narrative. Even mentioning that there are surprise twists in effect telegraphs what they can be. From any story premise, there are only so many possibilities that can happen. In a story about a man who thinks people are out to get him, he either needs to be vindicated, or shown definitively to be paranoid. A middle road essentially means there's no story. It's a testament to the craftsmanship that went into The Invitation that, even though the

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'Finish The Song'

"This is still the best show currently airing." - Kim
  |   Comments
In which Kim and Shawn are back in love with their Preacher. Kim: There comes a time in every television series when you take a deep breath, look back on what you’ve just witnessed, and are grateful for the time you’ve invested in it. This, for me, is one of those times. There were some serious ‘Whoa!’ moments and a couple of ‘Awwwww!’ moments, and it ended just as the episode began - with a giant “Holy shit!” Let me tell you about my favorite theme in this episode: Bromance! One of the more touching moments in this episode is

LA Podcast Festival 2016 Set for Sep. 23-25 in Beverly Hills, CA

Showcasing the best in podcasting - Comedy/True Crime/Storytelling/Sports/Pop Culture - at the 5th annual festival held at Sofitel Los Angeles.
  |   Comments
Press release: Los Angeles Podcast Festival 2016 (aka LA Podfest 2016), featuring live recording sessions of dozens of popular podcasts, panel discussions, parties, a podcast lab, and stand-up comedy, will take over Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills from Friday, September 23 to Sunday, September 25, 2016. This year’s festival, organized by founders Dave Anthony, Graham Elwood, and Chris Mancini, will unite roughly 2,100 attendees, including popular podcasters, their celebrity guests, fans from across the globe, and the podcasting industry, in celebration of the thriving medium. While the podcasters recording their shows live at the festival are traveling from as

The Girlfriend Experience: Season 1 Blu-ray Review: Beautiful but Shallow

Who knew a show about beautiful people having sex could struggle so much with keeping our attention?
  |   Comments
Steven Soderbergh is one of the more interesting directors of the last thirty years. Starting in 1989 with Sex, Lies and Videotape he not only proved himself one of the more inventive directors of that year but helped launch the Independent Film movement of the 1990s. Since then he’s made films in genres as diverse as period dramas (King of the Hill), crime capers (Out of Sight), science fiction (Solaris), action (Haywire) plus many more. He shifts back and forth from big budget, crowd-pleasers like the Oceans films and Erin Brokovich to more idiosyncratic independent films like Full Frontal and

Maron Ended and My Dad Died, but Not in That Order

How my favorite television show became my port in a storm.
  |   Comments
Three years ago today​, my family and friends gathered at my parent's house to celebrate the life of my father Alan Staniforth, who had died the month before. Two weeks ago today, Marc Maron's television show, Maron, aired its final episodes on IFC. If you are wondering how these two are related, I'm about to tell you. Two weeks ago, on Monday morning, I started my morning commute as I do every morning​ with Marc Maron and his WTF podcast. A few minutes into episode #723, Marc started talking about the Maron season 4 finale. Then he said it. H​e

The Twilight Time Roundup for July

Twilight Time delivers another solid spate of titles in July
  |   Comments
A trio of amazing Twilight Time releases arrive, worthy of your hard-earned money. Romeo is Bleeding(1993) When they say "love is blind," I doubt it extends to the utter blindness exhibited by small-time crooked cop Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) in Peter Medak's 1993 neo-noir. The story of a cop's attempt to kill a vicious Russian assassin, Mona Demarkov, (played by a scantily clad Lena Olin) has an ironic sensibility to it in today's day and age. Upon first glance Olin's sexually aggressive assassin isn't the best depiction of femininity, especially when coupled with the camera's need to showcase her backside,

The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped Review: Totally Enjoyable

Live from 1995, it's the Rolling Stones.
  |   Comments
During 1994/1995, the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood) toured the world behind Voodoo Lounge, which not only found them playing stadiums, but also three small European venues: The Paradiso in Amsterdam in May 1995, and L’Olympia in Paris and Brixton Academy in London in July 1995. Performances from those intimate concerts along with acoustic studio sessions recorded in Tokyo and Lisbon resulted in Stripped, a different type of live album from the band. Twenty-one years later, Totally Stripped revisits Stripped in updated and expanded versions. The CD delivers 14 tracks, with only one performance,

Chato's Land (1972) Blu-ray Review: A Million Ways to Die Hard in the West

Charles Bronson is turned loose for the first time in a marvelously bleak western now available from Twilight Time.
  |   Comments
By the time 1972 rolled in, Charles Bronson was already 51-years-old and had been making moving pictures for 21 years. And yet, it wasn't until Charles Bronson made a splash in Sergio Leone's 1968 epic Once Upon a Time in the West that he finally became a truly "bankable" name in the US. Here, in the dusty wake of his westerns shot in Spain, Bronson finally made his "official" domestic starring role debut in a western ‒ shot in Spain ‒ which took perhaps just a tad bit of inspiration from his Italian cinema phase. Cast as a half-Apache character

The Boss (Unrated) Blu-ray Review: Filled with Brilliant, Comedic Performances

While the unrated version had some extra scenes and funny moments, the theatrical version is tighter.
  |   Comments
Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) is an orphan, rejected by numerous families, who bucks the ideals of traditional family in order to become the celebrity tycoon of her own financial life-coaching empire. After she tells her former-lover-turned-arch-enemy Renault (Peter Dinklage) about her recent insider trading deal, he turns her into the FCC causing Darnell's assets to be frozen, her properties seized, and a prison sentence. After Darnell is released, she ends up on the doorstep of her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), who lives in a small apartment with her young daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson). While Claire is in a hurry

Pioneers of African-American Cinema is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a huge collection of African-American films, several revenge style flicks, Pocahontas. and much more.
  |   Comments
I consider myself an amateur cinephile. By which I mean I take films seriously - I watch with a critical eye, I attempt to understand the artistry and craftsmanship of cinema, and I do my best to dig into the history of the medium. But I also have a life, a job, a family, and not nearly the time I need to dedicate myself full-time to watching movies. This means there are large gaps in both genre and history of movies that I’ve never seen. There is a very long list of movies I really ought to watch before I

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 07-25-16

TCM offers a diverse roster of films this week.
  |   Comments
TCM finally gets to Shane in their Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns series. The cable channels also features a night of Robert Francis films, a night showcasing America in the '70s, and pioneers of African American Cinema. Starring Robert Francis - The Long Gray Line (1955) Monday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An Irish immigrant becomes one of West Point's most beloved officers. TCM Presents: Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: Shane (1953) Tuesday, July 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A mysterious drifter helps farmers fight off a vicious gunman. TCM Presents: Shane Plus A Hundred

Crimes of Passion Blu-ray Review: The Double Life of a Working Girl

Ken Russell's controversial sexual thriller gets a new life in this Arrow re-release.
  |   Comments
The name Ken Russell usually doesn't get mentioned along the ranks of other stylized filmmakers like Kubrick, Cronenberg, Anderson, and Lynch, yet his somewhat trippy-looking films have been an influence for many fellow film buffs so that when you watch one of his movies you start to think you've seen the shots used before but don't remember where. The prolific director has made such films as The Who's Tommy (musical), Altered States (sci-fi/horror), and The Music Lovers (comedy/drama). His 1984 feature Crimes of Passion can fit into many subgenres. It's an erotic drama, a tense psycho sexual thriller, and also

Indian Point Movie Review: Never Goes Nuclear

A lack of punch smothers a truly terrifying premise.
  |   Comments
No matter the environmental documentary, from global warming to fast food production, most emphasize the negativity that arises from complacency and how it is up to humanity to get off the couch and change things. Ivy Meerpool's Indian Point espouses similar messages regarding nuclear power, but it too often keeps cutting off the ever sprouting tentacles of the octopus found in discussions of nuclear power. In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster Americans have become increasingly concerned about their own nuclear power stability, with many plants located near major metropolitan areas. One such plant is Indian

Nikkatsu Diamond Guys: Vol 2 Blu-ray Review: The Sillier Side of Japan

Three movies from the 1960s show the Japanese made more than just deeply felt dramas and samurai flicks.
  |   Comments
The Nikkatsu Corporation was formed in 1912 when several smaller production companies and theatre chains consolidated. They had some success in those years, but struggled in the early post war era. By the 1950s, they hit their stride, producing hundreds of movies in every conceivable genre that drew in the youth crowd by the truckload weekend after weekend. Arrow Video has been mining the Nikkatsu vaults during this “Golden Era” for a number of excellent video releases. Much like the Hollywood system of this era, Nikkatsu began contracting its directors and stars locking them into multi-film deals which created something

Lights Out Movie Review: You Can Keep the Lights On

An interesting premise gets lost in a rushed narrative and overused jump scares.
  |   Comments
What's the first thing people do when the power goes out? Search for light. Whether it's for safety or a genuine fear, no one likes the dark, and the new horror film Lights Out will tell you no one likes it before there's something lurking within it. Lights Out was one of my most anticipated films this year and I hate to say it didn't do anything for me. This could due to a fatigue that's setting in around the films James Wan - who still solid as a horror director - is producing at a pace that verges on

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'El Valero'

"Food court! Food court!"
  |   Comments
In which things make a little more sense to Kim and Shawn, but that's not always a good thing for one of them. Kim: This week’s write-up is painful. Look, I love Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga. I really, really do. I love the characters in this shit hole town. I love the ideas behind this story and all that it entails. But when the best part of a show is some hick getting his dick shot off and carrying it around like it’s his baby, I’ve got to say something. This is a slow burn, and it’s the worst

Doctor Butcher M.D. Blu-ray Review: Ready to Make House Calls Once Again

Severin Films presents a spectacular two-disc, two-movie version of one of 42nd Street's most legendarily notorious offerings.
  |   Comments
If you were one of the lucky lads or lasses who "matured" amid the days of VHS rental outlets, you know how exciting it could be to hunt for something truly extraordinary on the shelves of your local mom and pop store. Sure, the big time stores carried their own fair share of fun flicks, but those corporate suits almost always folded when it came to stocking their boutiques with more controversial filmic offerings. And when it came to being controversial, there was perhaps no greater ground to cover than that which was located in the horror section. Why, even

The 100: The Complete Third Season DVD Review: Ramping up the Action and the Sci-fi Factor

Even with the major changes, it still held true to the previous seasons and was just as enjoyable.
  |   Comments
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. When we last left Clarke (Eliza Taylor), she had just walked away from her friends after their battle with the Mountain Men. Having had to pull the switch that killed them all with radiation and some of the other horrific things she had to do to keep her people safe. she felt herself unworthy to be amongst them and committed self-exile. Unbeknownst to her it, was too late to simply walk away.

Person of Interest: The Fifth and Final Season DVD Review: Goodbye to the Machine

The prescient network TV action thriller comes to a satisfying, emotional conclusion.
  |   Comments
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. Person of Interest has had a strange trajectory. As its themes and storylines became more relevant to real world fears and concerns, its audience has eroded. What was once the fifth-highest rated show on network TV has been unceremoniously burnt off, 13 episodes broadcast in eight weeks, in May and June of this year. What had been a bright spot in CBS's rather staid lineup became an afterthought. The premise behind Person

O.J.: Made In America is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us O.J., Elvis meeting Nixon, three films from Criterion, and much more.
  |   Comments
In the summer of 1994, I was 18, had just graduated high school, and was doing my best to have "The Best Summer Ever" while college loomed just over my shoulder. I was looking forward to that experience, but I had signed on to University in Alabama - a good 800 miles away from my home in Oklahoma - so I was a little nervous about leaving everything I knew for something new. At the same time, the entire world became obsessed with a football player turned actor and the lurid murder of his wife and her friend. Somehow, I

Twilight Time Presents: Sprawling Epics, Sidney Poitier, and a Serial Killer?

Five films from both film and real life history alike make their High-Definition debuts.
  |   Comments
From the rise and fall of great lands to the genesis of new ones, and a few odd points in-between, Twilight Time has all bases of great storytelling covered in this assortment of features from their March 2016 lineup. Here, we pay our respects to filmic adaptations of true historical accounts of the lives (and sometimes deaths) of the grandiose, the humble, and the downright dangerous. We being in a time and place far removed from contemporary society (though the political situation hasn't changed all that much, when you think about it), with a tale of some minor footnote of
The week starts with a visit to the studio by guest programmer Lou Gossett Jr. Then it's another two-night stint of westerns followed by a time jump to "America in the [19]70s" and other classic titles. TCM Guest Programmer: Lou Gossett Jr. - Blackboard Jungle (1955) Monday, July 18 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An idealistic teacher confronts the realities of juvenile delinquency. TCM Presents: Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: A Fistful of Dollars (1967) Tuesday, July 19 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A mysterious stranger plays dueling families against each other in a Mexican border town. TCM Presents: Shane

Return of the Killer Tomatoes Blu-ray Review: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Vegetables and George Clooney's Mullet

This is comedy at most silliest, but it is quite smart and very entertaining, while being self-aware and mocking.
  |   Comments
Once in a while, there is a classic comedy, a comedy so funny and so legendary that it sets the standard for every other comedy that comes after it. The 1988 sequel, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, is not that movie. It is the ridiciously fun follow-up to sheerly absurd 1978 cult film, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which was a spoof of horror-monster movies directed in the style of the Zuckers Brothers' films that redefined parody. While that movie did receive its fair share of love from a certain demographic, Return is actually the better film (yes I said

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Blu-ray Review: Master of Monsters Revealed

This feature-length doc on the special effects master reveals the artistry behind his creature features.
  |   Comments
The advent of DVD extras has, I think, cost a toll on entertainment documentaries. I've seen reviews that refer to serious documentaries on movies, like Man of La Mancha, as "extended DVD extras." At the same time, this overrates most DVD extra documentaries and underrates the hard work documentarians can put into crafting a real film on an entertainment industry subject. Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan is a movie about the stop-motion and general special effects pioneer behind numerous beloved creature features of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. It's also a film that has a point of view, both on

Criterion Announces October 2016 Releases

Tricks and treats from Criterion.
  |   Comments
In October, Guillermo del Toro's Pan’s Labyrinth is available as a standalone from Criterion and also together in Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro with previous entries in the Collection with Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone. There's a two-fer from Robert Altman as McCabe & Mrs. Miller joins the collection and Short Cuts gets a high-definition upgrade. Other new titles include Richard Linklater's Boyhood and Luis García Berlanga's The Executioner. Read on to learn more about them. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (#827) out Oct 11 This unorthodox dream western by Robert Altman (Nashville) may be the most radically beautiful film to

The Swinging Cheerleaders Blu-ray Review: These Girls Do More Than Swing

An exploitation flick with a message.
  |   Comments
Quentin Tarantino once called director Jack Hill the “Howard Hawks of exploitation filmmaking.” I don’t know that I’d go quite that far but certainly Hill made some of the most memorable films in the genre. Working with minuscule budgets and, shall we politely say colorful plots, Hill still put our a fairly large number of very well-made and quite enjoyable films. One of the more interesting things to me is how, though working in the various exploitation genres, Hill still managed to make somewhat thoughtful films that dealt with racism, sexism, and other cultural ills. Certainly he’s still being exploitive,

Ghostbusters (2016) Movie Review: These Gals Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

Paul Feig and crew make a rollicking comedy on par with the original.
  |   Comments
To say that a Ghostbusters reboot courts controversy is like saying water is wet. It took, for lack of a better word, balls. Is the hate warranted? Considering the animosity stems from the film putting women in male roles, hell no. "No self-respecting scientist believes in the paranormal," Kristen Wiig's Erin Gilbert says and I'd have to chime in with "or the idea of women playing Ghosbusters" in spite of all the cosplay to the contrary. Ghostbusters is a fun summer movie that may try too hard to justify its own existence and feminist impulses, but there is plenty of

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'He's Gone'

Just so you know, vanilla extract is flammable.
  |   Comments
In which Kim and Shawn use the bullet-point button for an episode where not much happens. Kim: What I’ve learned this week: The power of suggestion, apparently, wears off. The heartbreak of Tulip and Jesse goes back a long, long way. Cassidy has feelings! Lots and lots of feelings! They use really shitty ketchup in this show. If you’re going to Pokémon Go! at work, you need to bring your charger. Tulip looked amazing in that shirt and skirt. Tulip is done with everyone’s shit. Vanilla extract is flammable. Cass’ cheap shot with the fire extinguisher made me giggly. I

Ghostbusters Reboot: Why We're Cautiously Optimistic

It has been met with constant criticism and seemingly more so than previous reboots and remakes of classic films. What makes this film franchise stand out above the rest?
  |   Comments
The past few years have been met with constant reboots and remakes of old classics, such as Jurassic Park and Spider-Man. Although some have been treated as a money-grab, others have been tactfully remade and received dozens of positive reviews. Regardless, Hollywood stays hopeful and relies on the nostalgic factor of older audiences who once loved popular films of the past. Probably one of the best recent examples of this eternal hope is the soon-to-be-released reboot of the iconic 1984 film, Ghostbusters, gender-switched and set to appear in theaters July 15. Any time a film gets a reboot, you can

The Angry Hills (1959) DVD Review: The Precursor to the 007 Franchise?

Ever wonder what might have happened had James Bond been born an American and started out in World War II? The Warner Archive Collection may have the answer.
  |   Comments
The late great production designer Ken Adam left behind a legacy which no mere mortal could ever live up to. The immaculate lairs he designed and constructed for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as well as several monumentally iconic James Bond movies ‒ whether they were in outer space, underwater, or inside of a dormant volcano ‒ have since gone on to astonish and inspire, with plenty of room left over for parody to boot. But shortly before the German-born award winner started designing his first 007 set on Dr.

Green Room is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a green room, a carnival of souls, passionate crimes and much more.
  |   Comments
Last week I wrote about buying a house and noted that we would be moving in on Tuesday. We did exactly that and then moved right back out. The very evening we moved in the wife and I both took showers. Upon exiting, I noted that the tub was very slow to drain. An hour or so later my wife asked me if I had made a mess getting out of the tub as the towel I had put down was sopping wet. Further investigation noted large amounts of water filling in around the toilet. Our lines were clogged and

Tickled Movie Review: Twisted and Terrific!

The year's best (and strangest) documentary will leave you 'tickled'.
  |   Comments
Tickling is a dangerous business; just ask the directing duo of David Farrier and Dylan Reeve whose documentary debut, Tickled proves just that. Tickled is a deliciously watchable mystery with the intrigue and guilty pleasure personality of a Law and Order: SVU/To Catch a Predator marathon. The story Farrier and Reeve set out to expose is so deliriously weird it makes up for any amateurishness in the directing duo's presentation. Tickled is one of the year's weirdest (and downright) best films of the year! David Farrier is a New Zealand-based journalist who one day comes upon a site advertising "competitive

The Whip Hand (1951) DVD Review: RKO Sets its Sights to Start Seeing Red

The Warner Archive Collection uncovers a fun little flick about reeling in one big Commie plot.
  |   Comments
There are many ways a film can become outdated. Our increasingly advancing world of technological wonders has made countless science fiction films archaic. Obsessions with keeping fit have resulted in reanimated individuals with rigor mortis able to run in zombie movies. Shifting political and economic winds have turned allies into enemies in stories of war. But of all the things which date a motion picture, none has the ability to alienate quite as much as employing a current trend or popular saying in a feature. Mullets may have been "in" at one fashionably challenged point in time (see: hipsters) ‒

Edge of Doom (1950) DVD Review: Can Dana Andrews Save Farley Granger's Soul?

Samuel Goldwyn's one and only film noir is also the bleakest irreligious religious movies in history.
  |   Comments
Prolific filmmaker Samuel Goldwyn left this world in 1974 to start issuing malapropisms in the world beyond, he had personally produced no less than 139 films, to say nothing of the motion pictures he had distributed, presented, or even lent his assistance to for other filmmakers around the world. And yet, with titles such as Wuthering Heights, The Best Years of Our Lives, and These Three under his belt, Mr. Goldwyn only ever made one film noir. And just like many of his other successes, the seldom-seen 1950 noir Edge of Doom, has the distinction of being one of the

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You Movie Review: A Sensitive Portrait of a Socially Conscious Mind

The creator of All in the Family looks at his life, career, and the family ghosts that still haunt him.
  |   Comments
"Each of us is responsible for our own happiness," says television producer and impresario Norman Lear. And Lear, 90 years young, has found plenty of happiness in his own life that it's hard to fathom all the additional happiness he brought to others with his television shows, capturing hearts and opening up minds. It's said there was a time "before Norman" and "after Norman," and in Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You audiences see what the world was like, both before and after Lear's ground-breaking television shows asked audiences to think and act. His socially critical and controversial television

The In-Laws (1979) Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: So Funny It Never Wears out Its Welcome

Run in a serpentine pattern to get yourself a copy.
  |   Comments
While there's a lot of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that goes on whenever a sequel or remake is announced in Hollywood, it's rather surprising anyone bothers since it's long been a business model, and not just with movies, to try and replicate a success. What's even more surprising is when a winning formula is found that isn't repeated, such as the pairing of Peter Falk and Alan Arkin in Arthur Hiller's The In-Laws (1979), a recent addiction to the Criterion Collection. Rather than the typical clashing of families with different personality types, Andrew Bergman's very funny script turns that idea on

These Three (1936) DVD Review: Kids Say the Darndest Things

The Warner Archive Collection outs Lillian Hellman's first filmic adaptation of a once-controversial play.
  |   Comments
Even before the Hays Office began enforcing the content of motion pictures in 1934, certain things just weren't permitted to be said aloud in public. One such topic was that of homosexuality (the more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?), which was completely illegal to mention in public when playwright/screenwriter/activist Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour first debuted on Broadway in 1934. Due to the critical success of the stageplay, however, local authorities in New York City decided to be lax regarding their own law (again, some things never really change, do they?). Alas, the story's subject

TCM Programming for the Week of Alert 07-11-16

Looking for a movie this week? TCM can help.
  |   Comments
Director Martin Scorsese is featured when the TCM spotlight focuses on America in the '70s. Also, the two westerns highlighted below certainly fit the series title, "Hundred More Great Westerns." About Mrs. Leslie (1954) Monday, July 11 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An aging woman recalls the affair that consumed her life. Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: The Naked Spur (1953) Tuesday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A captive outlaw uses psychological tactics to prey on a bounty hunter. Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: The Magnificent Seven (1960) Wednesday, July 13 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) Seven

Kino Lorber Studio Classics Announces its August 2016 Home Video Releases

Some classic films to end your summer with.
  |   Comments
Kino Lorber Studio Classics has presented its August roster, which includes two films starring Tyrone Power, two westerns starring Randolph Scott, and a slew of other titles that include a silent film by John Ford and the '60s spy spoof Modesty Blaise starring Monica Vitt. THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) Blu-ray Street Date: August 2, 2016 Blu-ray SRP $29.95 Blu-ray UPC 738329206192 Adventure | NR | 94 min Director: Rouben Mamoulian Starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard, Eugene Pallette Synopsis: The Mark Of Zorro is regarded by most as the finest telling of the Zorro legend -

FX Announces FXhibition for San Diego Comic-Con 2016

Fans challenged to test their fears in American Horror Story’s Immersive VR Experience.
  |   Comments
Press release: FX Networks is headed to the City in Motion, bringing innovative activations and live entertainment to San Diego this July. FX Networks will take center stage at Hilton Bayfront Park during San Diego Comic-Con July 21-24, 2016 with groundbreaking activations and installations of fan-favorite shows Archer, American Horror Story, The Strain, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. FXhibition will transport guests to each FX series through a visually arresting, one-of-a-kind interactive art space featuring the riveting American Horror Story Fearless VR Experience. For attendees who love a thrill, American Horror Story will curate a virtual reality experience

Cartoon Network Unleashes the Ultimate Fan Experience at San Diego Comic Con 2016

Learn about the panels, events, and signings.
  |   Comments
Press release: Get ready for an epic summer event with Cartoon Network at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with debut panels of fan-favorites, The Powerpuff Girls, We Bare Bears and a first-of-its-kind musical panel of the critically-acclaimed Steven Universe that will have everyone singing alongside Grammy Award-winner Estelle, creator Rebecca Sugar and other key cast and crew. Soaring high above the convention floor, larger-than-life balloons of Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup will be suspended above the Townsville-inspired booth (#3735), where convention goers can immerse themselves in all things sugar, spice and everything nice. Fans can also walk away with their own,

Elstree 1976 DVD Review: Meet the People Behind the Star Wars Masks

Bit characters get their story about their roles in one of the biggest stories ever.
  |   Comments
I love documentaries. True stories are irresistible Maybe it's the story of an product or invention or behind the scenes of a movie or historical event. Often, it's a biography of an important person or group of people. The stories work best when there is a little history between the film and the event. Even if it's your favorite movie ever, I don't want to hear a commentary or see a documentary on Transformers: Age of Extinction. There's just not enough perspective on how important that film is historically yet. That's part of what is wrong with putting all the

Too Late for Tears / Woman on the Run Blu-ray Reviews: At Long Last, Lost Noir

Two forgotten mysteries, each with their own dark histories, get definitive makeovers in these must-have releases from Flicker Alley.
  |   Comments
There is nothing quite so overwhelming as being utterly unable to control one's situation. Despite all of our best efforts, we remain powerless to stop the unseen forces of time and fate. All over the planet, archaeologists have discovered the remains of vast cities and civilizations which have either been buried away by the sands of time or destroyed by cruel acts of fate. For those of us who like to refer to ourselves as film buffs, similar disasters and overall bad bits of luck have obscured many a motion picture. And while the ultimate uncovering of a previously lost

The Family Fang DVD Review: A Beautiful Mix of Sharp Comedy and Poignant Drama

What is Art? And if you are an artist, what do you sacrifice for your art?
  |   Comments
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang use public disruption to create their art. Once they become parents they include their children "A" (for Annie) and "B" (for Baxter) in their antics as well. From pretending they are homeless street children who are jeered by adult onlookers to an elaborate bank-robbery stunt, art becomes the family pastime for all of the Fangs. Their performance art divides the art world but garners devoted fans along the way. Annie grows up to be a talented but troubled actress, and Baxter becomes a best-selling author who self-medicates. However both of them have moved far

Blood and Black Lace Blu-ray Review: Astonishingly Beautiful Depiction of Ugliness

Mario Bava's seminal Giallo film couples a gleeful disregard for good taste with incredibly artful imagery.
  |   Comments
Blood and Black Lace, a lurid proto-slasher movie with gruesome and copious violence, is one of the most visually beautiful movies ever made. Bathing his shots in ostentatious colors with little concern for sourcing the light, Mario Bava’s seminal Giallo film has only a glancing connection to realism (Giallo being the particularly Italian style of murder mystery, de-emphasizing the investigation and focusing on the murders themselves.) It’s more like a fever dream, too sensuous to be a nightmare but too bloody and malign to be a pleasant fantasy. It’s one hell of a movie. The story is hardly the point

Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: 'Sundowner'

"Everything feels headed in the right direction." - Shawn
  |   Comments
In which the Sundowner fight redeems everything. Shawn: I certainly felt that there was a pacing shift here from the slight slow down of the past couple episodes. We were just about back to the craziness of the "Pilot" episode. I have a few observations that don't relate to men in underwear that I'm sure you will cover in detail. 1.) EVIL NOT DEAD. The fight in the Sundowner Motel to start the episode was easily the best fight since Cassidy brought down a plane and Tulip fought her way through the cornfield in the first episode. Killing characters that

Louder Than Love - The Grande Ballroom Story DVD Review: It Was Quite a Place to Be

A key player in the birth of rock and roll as we know it, you just didn't know about it until now.
  |   Comments
When most people think of live music in the late '60s, they probably think of Haight-Ashbury, The Fillmore East and West, "Summer of Love"-type things. The new documentary Louder Than Love tells the story of The Grande Ballroom in Detroit and the musical revolution that happened in its hallowed halls. In the midst of economic and racial struggles that led to riots, fires, and other unrest, there was a haven of peace downtown where local bands were blossoming and the top British acts were making their debuts. The venue may have been peaceful but the music was anything but. The

Blood and Black Lace is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us some Italian horror, Studio Ghibli animation, a '90s indie, some sorority babes, and much more.
  |   Comments
The wife and I recently bought a house. It's the first time we’ve ever done that. We talked about it for years but had never been stable enough in our jobs or location that we felt it was possible. When we moved back to my hometown a couple of years ago, we started talking about it seriously. A little over a year ago we started looking. Got pre-approved from the bank, connected with a realtor, and visited every house within our price range within a 50-mile radius. Turns out it's really quite difficult to choose a place that you are

RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Review: A Complete Blast

Watching educational videos has never been this fun.
  |   Comments
While watching movies in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, with my friends, we would occasionally crack a few jokes at the screen if a character did something that we thought was incredibly stupid. This worked really well whenever we watched a horror movie, because people were always doing something dumb in one of those flicks. Especially the ones we watched in the '90s. None of us could have imagined that just a few suburbs over in the city of Hopkins, talented people would take the task of making fun of bad movies and turn it into an art form. Mystery Science Theater

The Frida Cinema Presents Studio Ghibli Film Festival from July 8 - 21

Twenty animated films screen over the two-week retrospective.
  |   Comments
Press release: From Castle in the Sky (1986) to When Marnie was There (2014), the films of Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli have captured the imagination, swept international awards, and boosted the Japanese film industry, with eight Ghibli titles among the 15 highest-grossing films made in Japan. From July 8 - 21, The Frida Cinema presents twenty of the studio's most celebrated works on stunning new digital restorations, complemented by an Art Show dedicated to the films of Studio Ghibli curated by Santa Ana-based vintage store and DIY music venue Top Acid, and a special presentation of rarely-screened 1988 animated

Suture Blu-ray Review: Standard Plot, Fascinating Presentation

Fairly uninteresting neo-noir pumped up by a really interesting central conceit.
  |   Comments
Two men, half brothers, meet at a bus station and ride back to one of their houses. They have only recently just met, at their father’s funeral, and decide to spend the weekend together getting to know one other. One of them, Vincent Towers (Michael Harris), is obviously rich - he drives a nice car, wears an expensive suit, and lives in a house that makes the word “fancy” feel small and embarrassed. The other, Clay Arlington (Dennis Haysbert), is obviously poor - he arrives by bus, comes from a tiny desert town, and dresses in jeans and an old,

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 07-04-16

It's gonna be a good July on TCM if this week is any indication.
  |   Comments
On the first full week of July, TCM offers patriotic films on the Fourth for those not heading out to see fireworks. The month-long western-themed programming begins with with films by director Sam Peckinpah and films where John Wayne and John Ford teamed up. Also on the schedule is a spotlight on America in the '70's. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) Monday, July 4 at 10:45 p.m. (ET) A musical portrait of composer/singer/dancer George M. Cohan. [Read our review.] Stagecoach (1939) Tuesday, July 5 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A group of disparate passengers battle personal demons and each other while racing

Kung Fu Panda 3 Awesome Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack Review: Another Awesomely Bodacious Panda Adventure for the Entire Family

It's fun, silly, has exciting storylines, good action, and most importantly a heart.
  |   Comments
Once again, DreamWorks has brought everyone’s favorite animated panda to his biggest adventure yet as he tries to save the world from another powerful Kung Fu warrior. Many years ago, Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) banished his best friend, Kai (J.K. Simmons), to the spirit realm after they had stumbled upon a village of pandas who had the extraordinary gift to manipulate chi and could tap into the power of the universe that flows through everything. While Oogway was content to learn the skills they could teach, Kai thought it was better to take what he wanted and ultimately caused

TCM Announces 'Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns,' A Month-long Programming Special

Beginning July 5, the films air from sun-up to sundown every Tuesday & Wednesday in July.
  |   Comments
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) pays tribute the oldest film genre, and perhaps most classically American, with Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns, a month-long programming special featuring more than 100 of the greatest Western movies ever made. Hosted by acclaimed actor and Academy Award® winning songwriter Keith Carradine, programming begins July 5th and airs from sun-up to sundown every Tuesday and Wednesday in July. Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns will feature themed programming including: The Early Years (July 5) - in addition to The Great Train Robbery (1903), these pioneer Westerns include The Squaw Man

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review: Nothing to Stoke the Legend of Greystoke

Abs and a short runtime turn this 'legend' into a short story.
  |   Comments
Tarzan of the Apes, the first novel in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan series, was published in 1912 and critical analysis has written numerous times on how the novels did their part to perpetuate white-male superiority in colonial Africa. Numerous feature films and television shows have done their best since then to change Tarzan with the times. Director David Yates of Harry Potter (and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them) takes his shot at a new incarnation of the loincloth-wearing superman of the jungle with The Legend of Tarzan. John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgard), Viscount Greystoke and formerly Tarzan

Kristen's Book Club for July 2016

What's worth reading this month
  |   Comments
The sun is out and the temperature's rising. What better way to spend your time than with a good book? This month I have four film-themed books worth checking out! The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward Best known as the author of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, author Dashiell Hammett created detectives evoking the real world, a world both shadowy and connected to Hammett himself. Nathan Ward's The Lost Detective gives audiences a glimpse at Hammett through the prose he work. As a former operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Hammett's first novels saw him

Follow Us