I gotta tell you, dear reader, that I wasn’t real excited sitting down to watch this new Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of Mississippi Burning. I can’t remember the first time I watched it, must have been a few years after it came out in 1988 for I can’t see 12-year-old me being interested in it. Whenever it was, I quite liked it. Enough so that I bought it on VHS sometime in the mid-'90s. But I haven’t watched it in at least a decade and I was afraid it wasn’t going to hold up. I was worried that it would
June 2019 Archives
A problematic but powerful look at racism in 1960s America.
David Robert Mitchell’s latest is kind of a mess, but it’s also kind of fascinating.
David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake had been pushed back so many times before A24 decided to quietly release it in limited theaters and VOD earlier this year. On one hand, it’s pretty clear why they did it. The film kind of overstays its welcome with a 139-minute runtime, and several shots appear onscreen that make you question the motive for showing something that was not needed. It’s a bit of a self-indulgent tribute to the Hollywood nightlife and to the noir genre under which it’s categorized. But after sitting on it for a few days, there’s something about
Two-Part Doctor Who Special, 'The End of Time,' Comes to U.S. Movie Theaters as a One-Night Event on August 7
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of David Tennant’s final season.
WHAT: This year marks the 10th anniversary of David Tennant’s final season with “Doctor Who,” and perhaps his greatest adventure of all time - the heartbreaking two-part special: “The End of Time.” Cinema audiences have the chance to relive the agony and ecstasy of this thrilling story on August 7 only, with the return of many fan-favorite actors from David Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor: Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, John Simm, Freema Agyeman, Bernard Cribbins, John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen and more. In addition to the feature content, fans will get an exclusive look at a brand new interview with
Stockard Channing is great in her first starring role as an ugly ducking in this dark, funny comedy from Joan Rivers.
They sure knew how to make TV-movies back in the day. In The Girl Most Likely To… Stockard Channing (Grease, Six Degrees of Separation) appears in her first major role as Miriam Knight, an awkward "ugly duckling" bullied and excluded by her college peers. No matter how many times Miriam has switched schools, she just can't get a date. She is brilliant and funny, but that doesn't seem to matter to anyone who meets her, as they only superficially react to her outward appearance. Despite the constant put-downs, Miriam is ever hopeful of finding her true love. After a wellness
She-Devils on Wheels has nothing going for it.
So, when She-Devils on Wheels came across my desk for a potential review, I will admit that the title had me somewhat intrigued. I had never heard of Herschel Gordon Lewis and was not familiar with his other work, but I enjoy a good B-movie now and then, and the promo material certainly did its job: “Have you ever heard the saying it's a man's world? Well don't dare repeat that to The Man-Eaters, a raucous, rowdy, and randy gang of female bikers who ride their men just as viciously as they do their motorcycles. When they’re not racing each
Wyman's story is told through his extensive archive of film, photos, audio recordings and memorabilia.
It’s been 26 years since Bill Wyman quit the Rolling Stones for civilian life in 1993, and the documentary The Quiet One fills us in on what Wyman has been doing since then. Wyman kept detailed archives of his time with the band, and the film begins with him sitting at his computer in an archive room filled with audio, film and other memorabilia. Director Oliver Murray takes a linear approach to Wyman’s life story with the archive as the crux, and doesn’t dig too deeply into any whys or what ifs of Wyman’s life. Original footage and photos from
Season Two has all of the fun of the first season, but the story ventures a little too far into the bushes.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the new It Girl. Not because she is attractive and trendy (though she is both) but because she has been creating and writing (and sometimes starring in) a collection of critically acclaimed and much talked-about television series. She won a BAFTA for Crashing, the British series about a group of twenty-somethings living together as property guardians of a disused hospital. The recently released second season of Fleabag has been getting huge buzz and acclaim. She was most recently hired to help with the script of the most recent James Bond film. I’ve not actually seen any of
Jordan Peele's creepy second work headlines a new, interesting release week.
Director Jordan Peele brings us a new cinematic nightmare with his inventive, sophomore effort, Us, which can be described as a home-invasion thriller like no other. However, Peele has some definite tricks up his sleeve. Although he only has two films under his belt (so far), this and his 2017 smash hit, Get Out, he already has garnered the reputation as a new master of horror. His brand of scaring viewers is the level of social horror, where the shocks are metaphors for the real problems that exist the world we live in. With Us, he tackles the hidden terrors
"Six in September" has a nice ring to it.
Might not want to blow your budget on summer-vacation plans after seeing these September titles from Criterion. New to the collection will be Ritwik Ghatak's The Cloud-Capped Star, John Waters' Polyester, Ernst Lubitsch's Cluny Brown, Charlie Chaplin's The Circus, and Bill Forsyth's Local Hero. Getting a Blu-ray upgrade is Marco Bellocchio's Fists in the Pocket. Read on to learn more about them. Fists in the Pocket (#333) out Sept 3 Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions, in this astonishing debut from Marco Bellocchio. Characterized by a
Three fun but gory short stories of the Yakuza taking the law into their own hands, filled with bloody torture.
Yakuza Law is not even in the top-five craziest movies made by Teruo Ishii, and in it, a man rips out his own eyeball and throws it as his former boss, a thief is tortured by being dragged on the road by a helicopter, and a Yakuza is punished by his friends for stealing is tied to a tree, urinated on, and practically eaten alive by mosquitos. These are just a small sampling of the various horrible goings on in this anthology of short Yakuza stories, each about how the crime syndicates employ their own seedy form of justice. Teruo
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. That is all.
To quote Emma Thompson’s character, Men in Black: International feels like a case of deja vu dismissed just as quickly. It features the traditional premise of suited agents in shades taking down evil extraterrestrials. However, it still acts as a neuralyzer because it’s sadly quite forgetful. It should provide the same entertainment value as the other Men in Black films but doesn’t have the same spark and not necessarily because of the absence of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Instead, this sequel/spinoff focuses on Molly (Tessa Thompson), a woman whose parents whose memories were erased with a neuralyzer by
The writer/director crafts a horrifying portrait of humanity forced to look at itself, definite flaws and all.
When comedy icon and new horror master Jordan Peele made his 2017 smash, Get Out, he created a new type of horror, a horror that reflects the social bleakness of the world we live in today, especially in terms of racism. With his fantastically scary 2019 follow-up, Us, he goes even deeper and darker to depict how we have totally lost our identities to excess and privilege. In this case, he gives us a glimpse of something far more sinister and personal underneath the false comfort we have subjected to. The film starts in 1986, where young Adelaide 'Addy' Thomas
Though the film plays with the story formula of the previous installments, this one works well because they stuck with what worked before.
Kino Lorber Studio Classics has added to their roster Special Edition Blu-ray releases of the first four Road pictures starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour, making the first six of the seven movies now available from them. Road to Utopia (1945) is the fourth in the series. After releasing the first three films over three years, the franchise took a three-year break before audiences saw the return of the lead-acting trio. Hal Walker moved into the director's chair having previously been an assistant director on Zanzibar and Morocco. New to the creative team are screenwriters Melvin Frank and
No need to be quiet about this great little thriller.
An average, ordinary, unambitious bank teller who lives alone, works on chess problems by himself, and collects tropical fish discovers an opportunity to rob a robber and finds himself in a cat-and-mouse chase where the winner takes the money and the loser winds up dead. The teller is Miles (Elliott Gould), who works at small bank in a large Toronto shopping mall. One day, he spies Harry Reikle (Christopher Plummer) dressed as a Santa ringing a bell outside the bank, but he seems to be more interested in who is coming and going from the bank than the kids asking
A stylish, disturbing, and super cool tale of vampirism from one of the finest Korean directors alive.
After the Twilight franchise nearly ruined the vampire film with its sour and teeny-bopper mix of staleness, Coldplay, and glitter, filmmakers set out to revigorate the genre by telling their own stories of the often bloody, sometimes erotic, and very dark nature of the vampire. Fortunately, there was Let The Right One In (2008), its terrific remake Let Me In (2010), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), and director Park-Chan Wook's stunning 2009 thriller, Thirst, which lends a superb eye on not just vampirism, but also desire, disease, and the reflection of faith.
Emma Thompson easily carries this smartly written workplace satire.
While Late Night is full of high points, one of its best ones is how it points out the fallacies of any recent film that has underused Emma Thompson’s talents. Thompson is one of the best actresses working today and it is so relieving to see her once again play such a well-rounded lead character. The film may be a talk-show version of The Devil Wears Prada with Thompson in the Miranda Priestly role but she is still a sharp delight, relishing in her character’s complicated glory. Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, a British late-night talk-show host whose show has been
Available from Warner Archive, the Blu-ray offers impressive high-def video and pleasing audio.
Based on John W. Campbell's 1938 novella “Who Goes There?” The Thing from Another World (1951) tells the story of those at arctic outpost Polar Expedition Six dealing with a plant-based humanoid alien (James Arness) that feeds on blood, no matter if it's human or animal. Understandably once the titular creature starts to kill, Air Force Captain Pat Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) wants the thing destroyed. However, not only must he and his men battle against this powerful thing, which is immune to bullets, but also against head scientist Dr. Arthur Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), who has different ideas on how to
Zabrecky details his journeys into art, failed employment, music, addiction, and ultimately, recovery.
A good magician is always a joy to witness, but when a magician can curate a full experience of amazing magic, mood, and tone for their audience, you never forget it. This is the effect that Rob Zabrecky has had on me every time I have had the privilege to witness one of his performances. And if you have ever gotten the chance to see Zabrecky perform magic, then you know that you have seen something special. It is fair to assume that magicians with that level of skill and artistry have been practicing their craft since they were a
Presenting the band’s legendary Giants Stadium concert from June 17, 1991.
Press release: Global entertainment distributor Trafalgar Releasing is bringing the 9th Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies to select movie theaters on Thursday, August 1. This meet-up marks the first time that acclaimed series will receive a global outing, reaching audiences worldwide. Fans of the iconic classic rock band can now find their local screening and purchase tickets at MeetUpAtTheMovies.com. This highly anticipated annual fan event, this year will showcase the previously unreleased complete June 17, 1991 concert from Giants Stadium in New Jersey, widely considered to be one of the greatest shows of the band's final decade of
Sinatra in Palm Springs: The Place He Called Home Blu-ray Review: A Look at the Love Affair Between the Singer and the City
New documentary takes a look at the life of Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs.
Frank Sinatra was born in New Jersey and synonymous with New York City. He also defined what a Las Vegas entertainer could be. The place where he made his home, however, where he could be himself, was Palm Springs. Sinatra in Palm Springs: The Place He Called Home takes an excellent look at the California city where Sinatra spent the last half-century of his life. Directed by Leo Zahn, Sinatra in Palm Springs mixes archival footage with present-day interviews with many of the people who were around Sinatra during his time in Palm Springs. Sinatra’s third wife, Barbara, is interviewed
Movie enthusiasts and horror fans alike can watch Us again and again to unravel its darkest secrets.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader an Us Blu-ray. Us is available on Digital now, and it will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand June 18. For those wanting to learn more, read Matt St. Clair's review of the movie and Dave Hollingsworth's review of the Blu-ray and the press release is below: Academy Award-winner Jordan Peele follows the success of his blockbuster hit, Get Out, with the masterfully executed and viscerally terrifying Us. Fans around the world can now untether the truth with more than
Robert Louis Stevenson's grand adventure tale loses a lot of its adventure to get bogged down in boring political details.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote over a dozen novels in his lifetime plus multiple short stories, poems, essays, and other works. He was wildly popular in his day and remains so today. He is the 26th most translated author in the world and his most popular works - Treasure Island, Kidnapped and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have been adapted into hundreds of plays, television series, and movies. By my count, Kidnapped has been adapted at least nine times into films. This makes sense as Stevenson wrote adventure stories full of action, romance, pirates, and treasure, all
The mutant turtles join the caped crusader as Foot ninjas descend on Gotham city.
Crossovers are fun because they can never really be consequential. Popular characters are the tent poles of multi-billion dollar corporations with strategies, product streams, all kinds of nonsense that has nothing to do with creativity. No one's going to have anything important happen in a crossover, so the mixing of worlds cannot be anything but cotton candy. That can make it an opportunity for creative teams, who have no real stakes because nothing matters, try and find the essence of the creative property. Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a crossover that might seem like madness at first blush,
An Astaire and Rogers classic headlines a somewhat pivotal week of new releases.
When it comes to classic cinema, I think that the Astaire and Rogers films have to be mentioned somewhere. While they're short on plot, which means that Astaire and Rogers typically play their usual boy-meets-girl, girl-detests-boy, boy-and-girl eventually fall in love schtick. But when it comes to the dancing and musical numbers, they arugbly cannot be beat as perhaps the greatest duo in Hollywood history. And when you have them directed by one of the most celebrated American directors of all-time, Mr. George Stevens, you have a recipe for movie magic. Hence the point, with the new release of 1936's
A bittersweet, slightly satirical look at the dark side of food love.
Being a guy on the chubby side, I can definitely relate to films about the dangers of binge-eating and food addiction. Only a few of them are actually good and quite dark, including La Grand Bouffe; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover; Super Size Me; and my new favorite, the late, iconic actress Anne Bancroft's 1980 sleeper gem and sole directional effort, Fatso. It's a wholly original and painfully funny take on the devastating obsessions we often have with food, as well as an equally hilarious portrait of Italian-American values and family life. The great comedian Dom
Studio Ponoc is back with three animated shorts about modest people doing extraordinary things.
When Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement in 2013, producer Yoshiaki Nishimura grabbed as many animators from the famed studio as he could and created his own animated film company, Studio Ponoc, Last year, they released their first feature film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, which followed closely to the Ghibli format of vividly animated, fantastical films with a lot of heart. It didn’t surpass Ghibli at its best but it definitely felt like a successful follower. Now, Studio Ponoc has released Modest Heroes, a collection of three short films from their large roster of excellent animators. There were supposed to
When even James McAvoy can't save this, you know it's underwhelming.
The last time the “Dark Phoenix” saga from the X-Men comics was adapted for the big screen was in X-Men: The Last Stand back in 2006. While Dark Phoenix isn’t completely identical to the way the storyline was adapted in that film, it still feels quite repetitive. It’s a rehash of the same conflict that is present in the X-Men prequel series and offers shades of X-Men: The Last Stand despite not being a complete replication. When Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) absorbs a cosmic force while the X-Men go on a space mission, she becomes more powerful than ever. As
Ron Howard's new documentary on Luciano Pavarotti is informative, but also has viewers begging for more.
Luciano Pavarotti was one of the best opera singers to have lived, and his memory will live on forever in the music he sang. But, like all other beloved figures, there’s more to him than what is seen in the public atmosphere. If you’re expecting Ron Howard to simply give viewers a glimpse into the life of the late tenor and how he rose to fame, Pavarotti will not disappoint. It’s insightful and is especially a good starting point for those unfamiliar with Pavarotti’s music. But for those who are lifelong fans - or even those who are simply aware
Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents this forgotten gem that's given a second chance on Blu-ray
One of the great joys of being a movie nerd in these times is that we have access to so many movies. Whether it be via your streaming service of choice or one of the many excellent boutique Blu-ray labels, movie lovers have more options than ever on which to view their movie of choice. Alongside all the fantastic movies (and more than a few bad ones) are overlooked gems. Movies one might have never heard or watched were it not readily available in various formats. There is nothing like discovering a new favorite movie, especially when it wasn’t even
The Power Rangers may have met their match when they face off with the most sinister monster the galaxy has ever seen - Ivan Ooze.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Shout Factory! to award one lucky reader a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie Blu-ray, which is currently on sale for the first time on Blu-ray as a stand-alone piece. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release is below: Power up with six incredible teens who out-maneuver and defeat evil everywhere as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! But this time, the Power Rangers may have met their match when they face off with the most sinister monster the galaxy has ever seen - Ivan Ooze. Unleashed upon the good citizens of
Holy ultra hi def, Batman!
It seems impossible now, but 30 years ago there was only one blockbuster cinematic superhero: Batman. In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the DC Comics superhero, and in recognition of today’s upgraded home video capabilities, Warner Bros. has released the first four Batman films as standalone 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo packs and digital purchases. While a box set of the four films will arrive in mid-September, for now consumers can pick and choose their favorite films for immediate individual purchase. Before Burton’s Batman in 1989, the only real superhero presence at the U.S. box office was the Superman series of
There's no sunshine in Claire Denis's low-key and bleak anti-romantic comedy about the absurdity of what we do for love.
For most people, love is a constant slope towards madness and eventual pain. We crave it, but sometimes, when it's not the type that we desire, we throw it away. Basically, adult relationships are messy, complicated, and according to celebrated director Claire Denis' 2017 bleak comedy, Let The Sunshine In, brutally human. With an amazingly complex and subtle performance by the usually compelling Juliette Binoche, Denis paints a frustratingly truthful portait of love that most directors couldn't or wouldn't touch. Binoche brilliantly plays Isabelle, a divorced but successful painter in Paris, whose frequent demands for love belittle her ultimate desire:
An additional 12 minutes of footage and a new song are added into this special edition.
Bradley Cooper showed his prowess for directing with his debut, the 2018 version of A Star is Born. In some aspects, the way the camera moved - and the way the story flowed - makes it seem like Cooper is a veteran in the field. The musical performances immediately immerse the viewer, making it seem like they are witnessing the songs from firsthand experience. Outside of the magnificently captured concert sequences, there’s a deeply affectionate love story about a man whose fame has gotten to his head - and the young lady he falls for, who ignites the audience once
Starfish has a jumbled narrative yet is wonderfully jumbled due to its inventiveness and focus on human emotion.
Starfish is an ambitious piece of science fiction that manages to keep afloat despite its attempt to juggle two vastly different storylines. The film aims to be both a poignant demonstration of grief and a post-apocalyptic monster movie at once. While both stories don’t exactly blend together, Starfish still thrives thanks to its immense panache and a commanding performance from its leading actress. The storyline follows Aubrey (Virginia Gardner) who’s reeling from the death of her best friend, Grace (Christina Masterson). However, after spending time in Grace’s apartment, the world becomes invaded by monsters from another dimension and Aubrey becomes
Marking the third and final live tour for the show's creator, Joel Hodgson
Press release: Original host and the creative vision behind the beloved TV and Netflix comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) for more than three decades, Joel Hodgson announces today that he will headline a North American tour for a third and final time in an all new LIVE production, titled Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour. Produced by Alternaversal LLC, the tour will launch this September in York, PA, and premiere two never-before-screened films: No Retreat, No Surrender and Circus of Horrors. Following the wildly successful "Watch Out for Snakes! Tour" in 2017 and
Despite Ma being merely serviceabile, Octavia Spencer is delightfully maniacal as the titular antagonist.
Most horror films don’t always rely on star power with Ma being a rare exception. With the involvement of names like Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Luke Evans, Juliette Lewis, and Missi Pyle, it seems like a possible indication of the film’s quality. The trailer makes it appear to be a standard stalker thriller but with actors like the ones above, could it something more? Well, sort of. Although Ma nearly succumbs to being a quasi-B-movie, there are moments of brilliance to be found. The picture’s greatest source of brilliance is easily Octavia Spencer as the title character. It shouldn’t
The baton is being passed on.
After an invaluable contribution of nearly eight years running this weekly column, Senior Writer Mat Brewster is stepping away and will be greatly missed. Rather than leaving readers around the world in the dark about what new titles are available to purchase, we'll do our best to fill the void created by his absence. Perusing the list of new titles on sale this week, there was little doubt as a member of Generation X that I would be picking The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Collection from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. As much as it was fun watching the
This insurgent romantic comedy thrives thanks to its hilarity and dramatic heft.
Kind of like the Mariah Carey song the title references, Always Be My Maybe feels like a catchy pop tune. You know the same repetitive beats will play out yet you still can't help but listen because it's an easy, fun tune to sing along to. However, Always Be My Maybe still conjures different lyrics to make it stand out from other interchangeable romantic comedies. The film works as a funny, heartfelt reinvigoration of the "friend zone" trope present within the rather repetitive genre. The premise of the nice guy trying to tell the woman he’s always loved about his
The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Collection Blu-ray Review: A Solid Entry in the Franchise
Celebrity guest stars crossover to help solve mysteries with Mystery Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided our writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are his own. As your resident Scooby-Doo specialist, I've been excited to see what Warner Bros has in store for the 50th Anniversary of this franchise. As I've noted in the past couple reviews, the franchise is at a near all-time low in creativity and level of commitment by WB. So will there be a push to celebrate a character that doesn't have the same appeal to the current crop of young viewers? The first batch of releases include
Looking for more of a laugh this summer season? TFD is also proud to announce the arrival of new titles from The Three Stooges!
Press release: The Film Detective (TFD), a classic media streaming network available on multiple platforms and film archive that restores classic films for today’s cord cutters, is welcoming the summer season with the return of its Drive-In Classics category and new restorations from The Three Stooges. Summer and drive-in theaters have long gone hand-in-hand. First opened by Richard Hollingshead on June 6, 1933, the drive-in embodied more than film. It was an entire summer experience that united friends and families, inviting them to pack up their cars, enjoy a night out, and of course, take a visit to the concessions
Henri-Georges Clouzot's final film is a visually sumptuous, but flawed masterpiece.
The 1960s were a time of enormous cultural upheaval. The aftermath of World War II found many countries with a bountiful economic boom. All that industry and workforce developed to win the war moved away from making bullets and onto inventing all sorts of gadgets designed to make life easier for a quickly developing middle class. All those babies booming were growing up so that by the 1960s those kids were teenagers who knew life not of the Great Depression or of war but of a seemingly unending prosperity. Their values began to change along with this new lifestyle. Social