Based upon the best-selling novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist was a huge success. It earned over $66 million when it was released in 1973 and went on to become one of the biggest horror movies ever made. Adjusted for inflation, it is the top-grossing R-rated film of all time. Of course, there was going to be a sequel. But man, is it a hard movie to make a sequel from. I mean what can you do? The easiest thing would be to let poor little Regan get possessed again, but that seems boring. You could follow another possession
September 2018 Archives
John Boorman's sequel to one of the scariest movies of all time is a psychedelic, visually stunning, totally camp, incomprehensible mess, and also kind of awesome.
The depressing Life Itself will surely be a contender for worst movie of the year.
They say there is no greater journey than life itself. Well, one thing about life that isn’t great is the journey of sitting through movies like Life Itself. Even though the ensemble drama has an incredible cast, even they can’t save this mess which is schmaltzy to the point where it becomes nauseating. I mean, if the movie wants to demonstrate how life is full of unexpected surprises, why make it so depressing for the sake of being depressing? The way that the storylines are connected is practically designed to demand buckets of tears from the audience members. Just on
Time Life invites home audiences to a hilarious, star-studded celebration 50 years in the making!
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award three lucky readers The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special on DVD, which is available Sept 25. Also, the press release reads: The Carol Burnett Show turns 50! To celebrate the momentous occasion, CBS honored the groundbreaking comedy series with The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special, which aired to a whopping 15.4 million viewers on Sunday, December 3, 2017. Nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special, the one-night event, which was filmed at the series' original soundstage at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, features Burnett, original
A sickness cancelled our movie night with friends but I still enjoyed some cool things.
Several years ago, before we moved, the wife and I had a regular foreign-film night. Every second Saturday of the month, we’d put on a foreign-language film and watch it with whoever stopped by. It was an open invitation to all our friends so we never knew who would show up. It was tons of fun. Since moving, we’ve continually talked about doing that again but never got around to actually setting it up. I finally started talking to some friends about it and promised we’d do the first one in September. For the first couple of weeks, I kept
Don't cheat yourself, film noir fans. Pick up a copy.
Produced by the Film Noir Foundation, restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and presented by Flicker Factory, The Man Who Cheated Himself is much more interesting than its generic title implies since many a film noir lead character cheats himself in some form or another. The film opens with Howard (Harlan Warde) and Lois (Jane Wyatt) Frazer heading towards a divorce after three years of marriage, and both having people on the side. When Lois (Jane Wyatt) finds a receipt for a gun sale Howard made recently, she calls her paramour, homicide detective Lt. Ed Cullen (Lee J.
Put your PJs on, this giallo will put you to sleep.
In 1934, the corpse of a woman clad in exotic silk pajamas was found lying in a culvert in New South Wales, Australia. She had been beaten, shot, and partially burned, leaving her identity a mystery. Police were perplexed. The media made it a sensation and the crime enthralled the country. Especially after the body became a public spectacle when she was laid in a formaldehyde bath for display in Sydney. In 1977, Flavio Mogherini turned the story into a movie. It is an odd, often-salacious, rather-dull police procedural that for some reason gets lumped into the giallo genre (Arrow
Teruo Ishii's strangest film of murder, doppelgangers, and the titular malformed men finally makes it to Blu-ray.
Escaped asylum inmates, mistaken identity, resurrection from the grave, bizarre biological experiments, murder, incest, and a plot for world domination via freaks - the barest bones of a plot outline makes Horrors of Malformed Men, directed by Teruo Ishii, sound itself malformed - overstuffed with ingredients that can’t cohere. Surprisingly, the film maintains an integrity to its own oddity and perversity, never pausing for a moment to let a hint of self-awareness turn the proceedings into farce. We meet our protagonist, Hirosuke Hitomi, in a woman’s cell of an insane asylum, where half-naked women dance around him and try to
In a career-best turn, Keira Knightley amazingly brings a famed novelist's story to life.
As an actress, Keira Knightley has become rather synonymous with period dramas. In fact, her two Oscar nominations were for period pieces: Pride and Prejudice and The Imitation Game. But here’s hoping that she can be in the running for a third nomination with Colette, a biopic on the life of a famed novelist who slowly found the courage to speak up after being silenced for so long. Knightley manages to do some of the best work of her career, portraying a complex woman who is vulnerable, sexually liberate, and tenacious. The titular novelist whom the film is based on
Season Three loses some of its melodramatic tendencies, adds in more action and adventure, and improves in almost every way.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. In last season’s finale in order to stop the Daxamites from destroying Earth, Supergirl had to flood the atmosphere with lead (which works like Kryptonite on Daxamites). Before doing this, she had to put her Daxamite boyfriend Mon-El onto a ship and launch him into space not knowing if he’d ever return. Season Three opens with a lot of moping around the house to sad songs. Supergirl knows she made the right
A must-see for anyone who is a fan of these four legendary thespians.
The documentary Tea with the Dames is exactly as it is advertised: A quartet of legendary British dames having a long conversation about their lengthy careers while sipping tea. As a result, we might not see it compete in the Oscar race for Best Documentary since films in that category tend to deal with heftier subject matter. But Tea with the Dames is still a worthwhile experience regardless. It’s an insightful look into the lives of legendary performers that also works as a piece of pure escapism. Seeing Dame Maggie Smith discuss becoming a mainstay in pop culture thanks to
Rare studio & live recordings spanning nearly 25 years will be in Super Deluxe 8-CD/1-DVD Box Set, plus 2-CD, 2-LP and digital formats.
Press release: R.E.M. grew up with the BBC, and this historic relationship is lovingly celebrated across an incredible collection that beautifully illustrates the career trajectory of one of modern music’s greatest bands. The collection—available as a super-deluxe edition 8-CD/1-DVD box set, as well as 2-CD, 2-LP and digital formats—comprises a treasure trove of rare and unreleased live and studio recordings culled from the BBC and band archives. This is a must-have collection for R.E.M. fans and an authoritative introduction for newcomers. In-studio performances featured in the 8-CD/1-DVD box set include a John Peel Session (1998), Drivetime and Mark and Lard
"Two in, I’m still not overly impressed." - Kim
In which Kim and Shawn consider the first two episodes of Kurt Sutter's Mayans MC. Kim: 10.) After two episodes, I know three character names - EZ, Angel, and Coco. I’m not sure if they aren’t saying the names, or if I’m not picking them up in the dialog. But so far, I don’t care about any of them. I’m not sure I’m ever going to. They aren’t being established as sympathetic characters. The only redeemable quality I see in any of them is that EZ likes to read. I mean, he’s a snitch too, so there you go. And
Superheroes, dinosaurs, aliens and more are all in this week's new Blu-ray releases.
I cut the cord many years ago. For the most part, I haven’t missed cable at all. I don’t watch sports or any live events really. I’m happy to wait for whatever movie or TV show I want to watch comes to one streaming service or another. The one thing I do miss is Turner Classic Movies. They show all sorts of great movies, many of which would not have been on my radar otherwise. They put together interesting line-ups featuring particular directors or actors, or any other number of themes. Their hosts are informative and interesting. It was always
Three new titles are added to the collection as 2018 concludes.
In December, Criterion is releasing a few titles you might want someone to get you during the holiday season. They are Euzhan Palcy's A Dry White Season, Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns, and Julien Duvivier's Panique, and Ingmar Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel is getting a stand-alone Blu-ray edition. Read on to learn more about them. A Dry White Season (#953) out Dec 11 With this bracing drama, made at the climax of the anti-apartheid movement, director Euzhan Palcy issued a devastating indictment of South Africa’s racist government—and made history in the process, becoming the first black woman to direct a Hollywood
Francis Ford Coppola weaves an interesting story of a car, a man, and a Dream.
Under the hands of a lesser director, the story of a man obsessed with bringing out the car of his dreams in the 1940s, could have been quite a sel- absorbed mess. With Francis Ford Coppola at the helm, Tucker: The Man and His Dream turned into an inspiring and fascinating bio-pic. The 1988 movie has a 30th Anniversary release from Liongate on Blu-ray that brings the oft-forgotten film back for deserved recognition. The year 1988 was not great for film releases. The comedy was broad and the drama and action often revolved around war like Rambo III or Die
Programming Tribute Airing on December 26 to Include Smokey and the Bandit (1977) & The Longest Yard (1974)
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of iconic actor, director and producer Burt Reynolds with a six-film tribute on Wednesday, December 26. Reynolds, who passed away on September 6 at the age of 82, was an Academy Award-nominated actor who was in more than 100 feature films ranging from comedies to thrillers and was also a staple on television shows like Evening Shade. The following is the complete schedule for TCM's tribute to Burt Reynolds: TCM Remembers Burt Reynolds - Wednesday, December 26 8:00 p.m. Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - A maverick trucker
John Carpenter's Halloween Celebrates its 40th Anniversary in Select Theatres Beginning September 27
The horror classic is being re-released in advance of the sequel Halloween (2018).
Press release: CineLife Entertainment, the event cinema division of Spotlight Cinema Networks, has teamed up with Compass International Pictures and Trancas International Films to bring John Carpenter's seminal 1978 classic back to select theatres worldwide beginning September 27, 2018. In the film, the villain, Michael Myers, has spent the last 15 years locked away inside a sanitarium under the care of child psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. On October 30, 1978, Myers escapes and makes his way back home to Haddonfield, turning a night of tricks and treats into something much more sinister for three young women, including Laurie Strode, the
The county fair is tonight in my fair land. I personally find it rather obnoxious what with its filthy smells, loud noises, annoying crowds, overpriced fatty foods (seriously how many things can you deep fry?), and expensive rides. But the daughter loves it and I love her so in a few minutes we are off. So I’ll make this quick. Here are five things that I enjoyed this week. The Sound of Music TCM and Fathom Events put on a showing of this Rogers and Hammerstein classic staring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer this week. As it is my mother's
Ben Mendelsohn is the strong center of the naturalistic ensemble dramedy by writer/director Nicole Holofcener.
Much like Enough Said, director Nicole Holofcener’s last film, The Land Of Steady Habits is a poignant telling of a person going through a midlife crisis. However, while Enough Said was a romantic comedy, The Land Of Steady Habits is a seriocomical ensemble piece about how growing up is different from growing old. At the center of the film’s ensemble is Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn), a divorced financier who decides to leave behind his career that he’s become disillusioned with and try to restart his life. In the meantime, he tries to maintain his relationship with his college graduate son
American Genre Film Archive and Something Weird to Release 'Take It Out In Trade', Ed Wood's Long Lost Film
The previously lost final film from writer-director Edward D. Wood, Jr. from the only 16mm theatrical print in existence on Blu-ray November 13, 2018.
Press release: Alamo Drafthouse’s American Genre Film Archive, the largest non-profit genre film archive in the world, and Something Weird are excited to announce a November 13, 2018 release date for the TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE Blu-ray/DVD combo. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, AGFA purchased a film scanner to create new digital transfers of titles from the Something Weird library. TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE is the fifth release of dozens in this partnership, following THE ZODIAC KILLER, BAT PUSSY, Ed Wood’s THE VIOLENT YEARS, and GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS. Ed Wood was the filmmaker behind PLAN
An admirably unconventional depiction of PTSD anchored by a strong performance by Leven Rambin.
When Lost Child first opens, our main character Fern (Leven Rambin of The Hunger Games fame) is sitting on a bus heading home after fighting in the Army. When we hear the sound of gunshots while she’s resting, it seems to set the tone for the movie. Right off the bat, it looks like we’re in for a PTSD character study. In a way, the film is that but it also turns out to be an interesting genre bender as a way to avoid being a typical story about an Army soldier readjusting to home life. As Fern returns home,
Clumsy lip-syncing and silly scenarios drag down Paul Weitz's latest effort.
Is it too much to ask for someone who can both act and sing exceptionally well? Apparently so. In last year’s The Greatest Showman, Rebecca Ferguson portrayed opera singer Jenny Lind. But while it looked like she was the one singing “Never Enough,” it was actually Loren Allred’s voice that people heard while Ferguson lip-synced. As for the song itself, it sounded less like opera and more like a '90s pop ballad, but that’s beside the point. The reason I bring this up is because Paul Weitz’s adaptation of Ann Patchett’s bestselling book, Bel Canto, does the same exact thing
Although Tag seemed to get overlooked in this summer’s box office competition, it’s well worth chasing down on Blu-ray this fall.
Tag is based on the remarkably true story of a group of men who have kept their same childhood game of tag going for decades, risking their safety and careers in pursuit of pulling one over on their friends. It’s a ridiculous concept for a feature film that could have resulted in a real dud, but thanks to some solid casting and a hilarious script, it works so well that it’s easily my favorite comedy of the year. Each year for a month, the men play tag wherever they are, resorting to costumes and tomfoolery to track down their targets
If you don't like food jokes, then this movie will not be for you.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. The Scooby-Doo franchise is releasing their 28th direct-to-video feature this month. Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost continues the crossovers the franchise has attempted in this format - WWE, Batman, KISS, etc. and returns to a more traditional story of haunted old mansions and food-related jokes. I've been on record lately as the resident Professor of Scooby Studies here as claiming the franchise is at an all-time low right now. The most recent
Here's what's interesting in the new Blu-ray releases this week.
With reboots, re-imaginings, remakes, sequels, prequels, etc. and so forth, it's hard to keep up with all the ways Hollywood takes an existing property and changes it just enough to get us back into theaters (or at least attempt to do that). I get why they do it. You’ve got an established property with a built in fan base, but it's a few years (or decades) past its expiration date so you bring in fresh faces and start over. But it's hard not to be cynical about these things. Ocean’s 8 is an interesting twist in this ever-expanding and changing
Despite the lurid title, Tomu Uchida’s most famous work is more social commentary road movie than samurai action film.
Director Tomu Uchida was an esteemed contemporary of Japan’s most internationally well-known directors, Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, and yet his work is barely known in the U.S. Arrow Academy aims to correct that oversight by presenting this remastered Blu-ray of his most famous film. The film follows a samurai and his entourage as they venture toward Edo (modern-day Tokyo), but rather than focus on swordplay action scenes one might expect from the title, it instead spends time on ancillary commoners they meet along the way, such as a poor orphan boy and shady man who seems to have gained
Everyone must have felt the same con fatigue as me for Tulsa's Wizard World was half empty this year.
This weekend’s Wizard World in Tulsa was my third and possibly last con. Judging by the crowd this Saturday afternoon, it may be Tulsa’s last one as well. Tulsa is a mid-sized city deep in the heart of fly-over country. It's never gonna get the big-named celebrities that a San Diego or London Con will get. J.J. Abrams is never gonna fly out to show us a never-before-seen clip of his new Star Wars movie. We’re small potatoes. Always will be. What we do get is some interesting, decently famous celebrities giving talks, answering fan questions, and posing for photos
Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season Blu-ray Review: With the Loss of So Many Allies Can the Winchester Brothers Manage to Carry On?
Once again, this show gives the fans what they are looking for.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Every season the writers and creators are left with the daunting task of trying to come up with a new angle for the show. Not only something the audience hasn’t seen before, but something even bigger and bolder than the previous seasons. At the end of Season 12, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) were brought down to a new low. Instead of one of the brothers sacrificing themselves to save
The Academy to Honor Kathleen Kennedy, Marvin Levy, Frank Marshall, Lalo Schifrin and Cicely Tyson at 2018 Governors Awards
The three Oscar statuettes and Thalberg Award will be presented at the Academy’s 10th Annual Governors Awards on Sunday, November 18, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Press release: The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (September 4) to present Honorary Awards to publicist Marvin Levy, composer Lalo Schifrin and actress Cicely Tyson, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The three Oscar statuettes and Thalberg Award will be presented at the Academy’s 10th Annual Governors Awards on Sunday, November 18, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. “Choosing the honorees for its awards each year is the happiest of all the Board of Governors’ work. And this
Hey, it is Friday so here's the cool things I watched this week.
This was a good week, all in all. I saw some classic films, caught one in the theater for the first time in ages, and caught up with the Doctor. Here are the details. Kin It's been awhile since I stepped inside a movie theater so I was excited to learn that my wife would be taking my child somewhere this past weekend giving me a chance to catch a new movie. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot showing that looked remotely interesting. I took a chance on Kin, knowing nothing about it. I should have stayed home and watched
These are some of the places you'll find me in Canada.
This year, I am fortunate enough to be attending another Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a mix of films trying to get noticed for the unfortunate business that is Awards Season and those trying to get distributors. Over the years, I have seen films at TIFF that have gone on to win Oscars (Julianne Moore earned Best Actress for Still Alice), films that have become cult favorites (Machete Maidens Unleashed!), films that have regrettably disappeared ( Barry Levinson's The Bay), and films I can't imagine playing in America (the documnetary ANPO). The festival runs Sept 6 through 16, and I'll
Terry Gilliam's controversial tale of an innocent in a grotesque world is four parts beautiful, six parts repulsive.
In a recorded introduction to Tideland, director Terry Gilliam states flat out, "Many of you are not going to like this film." And "Don't forget to laugh." I didn't find a whole lot to laugh about in Tideland, which earned Gilliam the worst reviews of his career and scared up very little in the way of box-office returns. Gilliam has never been a commercial filmmaker, though. A challenging vision coming from him isn't a surprise. And Tideland is not some routine carnival of shock and gore. It is more thoughtful in its repulsive elements, and more likely to get under
Features 24 complete, remastered episodes loaded with classics yuks and an unbelievable roster of guest stars.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award three lucky readers Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Sixth Season six-DVD set, which is available currently on sale. For those wanting to learn more, read Gordon S. Miller's review of the series' final season. Also, the press release reads: By the time Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In signed off the air on March 12, 1973 with 140 trailblazing episodes across six seasons, the show had become a cultural touchstone without peer. Winner of the 1969 Golden Globe for "Best Television Show" and the most watched program on television during its
Director Aneesh Chaganty delivers what is easily the most immersive and innovative film of the year.
It’s hard to know where to begin when describing the sheer brilliance of Searching. For one, it handles a really interesting gimmick of having the entire film shot on smartphones and computer webcams. Not only that, but the gimmick never overshadows the emotional storyline which deals with a father who will go to great lengths to save his missing daughter. The film’s ability to let the story and technical aesthetics go hand in hand smoothly is thanks in large part to writer/director Aneesh Chaganty. Along with leading man John Cho and co-writer Sev Ohanian, he has easily created one of
Here's all that you need to know about this week's new Blu-ray releases.
I loved watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood growing up. I have only the vaguest memories of actually watching the show, but what is there is very warm. Later in life, my mother used to be bewildered by this fact. She always figured kids should prefer the more lively kids shows like Sesame Street and didn’t get the appeal of Mr. Rogers who seemed, well, kind of boring. But millions of kids like me completely get that his gentle demeanor and warm kindness wasn’t boring, it was comforting. In the years since, I’ve come to see Fred Rogers a radical cultural rebel.
I went to Wizard World and all I got was this lousy cold.
I’ve had a solid week to ponder upon my annual visit to Wizard World Chicago. A week of quiet solitude, a week of reflection, a week of watching my seven-year-old son wear the Spider-Man mask he bought at the show pretty much every waking moment of the day. And sadly, a week of body aches, weakness, and stuffy nose. Indeed, 2018 was the year that, despite my best efforts and constant use of hand-sanitizing gel, the Con Crud caught up with me. Not unlike Galadriel, I passed the test but I was left diminished. Speaking of diminished, I’m sad to
Because they were kept in the vault for so long, this final season is like getting 24 new episodes for many fans of the show.
On September 4, Time Life concludes their release of individual seasons of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In with The Complete Sixth Season, presenting all 24 re-mastered episodes across six discs that aired Monday nights at 8pm, September 11, 1972 - March 12, 1973. For the first time, the show had failed to make the Top 30, which surely contributed to the series being canceled. According to IMDB, “George Schlatter did not produce the final season, but he won the rights to those episodes in a subsequent court battle. For many years, he neither allowed those episodes to be re-aired, nor any