March 2020 Archives

Good Omens Blu-ray Review: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Armageddon

A comedic fantasy about the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) working together to save humanity from the war between Heaven and Hell.
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Based on the 1990 novel by the late Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman, the latter of whom oversaw the television series as creator, co-executive producer, and sole writer, Good Omens tells a comedic story about the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) working together to stop Armageddon in order to save humanity from the war between Heaven and Hell. Narrated by God (Frances McDormand), Aziraphale and Crowley first meet in the Garden of Eden. Crowley, who went by “Crawly” then because he took the form of a snake, tempts Eve into eating the apple from the

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife Blu-ray Review: Lifestyles of the Rich and Zany

The film is a fun romp, but the viewer can't help but discern that the charming David Niven would have been much more convincing than Gary Cooper in the Bluebeard role.
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Kino Lorber has just released Bluebeard's Eighth Wife, starring Claudette Colbert and Gary Cooper. Made in 1938, the screwball romantic comedy was directed and produced by Ernst Lubitsch (Ninotchka, The Shop Around the Corner, To Be or Not to Be). Starring Claudette Colbert and Gary Cooper, the film also features the first screenplay collaboration of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett (Some Like it Hot, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard), who worked together from 1936 to 1950. In Bluebeard's Eighth Wife, millionaire Michael (Gary Cooper) pursues Nicole (Claudette Colbert) all over the French Riviera. Nicole is also adored by Albert (David

Bones (2001) Blu-ray Review: Unleash the Blunt

That's it! Payback! Revenge! Snoop is mad!
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Bones bores. Director Ernest Dickerson, Spike Lee's former DP, pulls off a few nifty visual tricks. Chief among them are a black dog that projectile-vomits maggots, and a bulging wall of flesh that embodies a nightmarish depiction of hell. But we spend the first hour waiting for something to happen, for someone to root for. An enterprising, multi-racial group of young adults renovates a gothic brownstone in the hood. Their plan is to turn it into a nightclub. Little do they know the building once belonged to Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg), a murdered pimp who refused to sell crack to

Show Boat is the Pick of the Week

James Whale's classic 1936 adaptation of Edna Ferber's epic tops a new week of releases.
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Director James Whale was mainly known for crafting legendary horror films/adaptations, such as Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, and The Invisible Man. He wasn't exactly famously connected to other genres, so he seemed like a very odd choice to bring celebrated novelist Edna Ferber's 1926 blockbuster saga, Show Boat, to the big screen. However, his 1936 interpretation of the story is considered to the very best and most faithful telling of Ferber's epic five-decade story of the lives of a theatrical family living on a Mississippi river boat. The great Irene Dunne stars as Magnolia Hawks, a

How to Fix a Drug Scandal Series Review: Ripples of a Sweeping Tragedy

Premiering on Netflix April 1, the limited documentary series is thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and profoundly informative.
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How to Fix a Drug Scandal is the dictionary definition of infotainment. It's thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and profoundly informative. I might just use my new-found knowledge in dinner-table conversations with my family to sound intellectual. It's such a meticulously researched tale that deeply explores the subject matter. Directed and produced by Erin Lee Carr (Thought Crimes: The Case of Cannibal Cop and Mommy Dead and Dearest), the limited series is on the same lines of Netflix’s earlier releases - The Devil Next Door, The Confession Killer, and The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez - which revolve around one particular incident subsequently

Five Cool Things and a Murder Most Foul

Another week of self-isolation, another week of cool things.
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This month's theme was movies in which one character or multiple characters were going mad. I called it March Movie Madness. I did pretty well for the first couple of weeks, and then the virus came and scared the crap out of everybody. Naturally, I turned to apocalyptic movies then. Turns out, zombies and viral outbreaks also tend to star folks who are going quite mad. So all and all, it hasn't been a bad month, theme-wise. But it wasn't as good as it could have been. What I've learned is that choosing a theme that involves something slightly intangible

Impractical Jokers: The Movie Gets Early Digital Release on April 1

The movie combines a fictional narrative with real life footage of over-the-top punishments and callbacks to classic moments from the series.
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Press release: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is bringing the pranks into homes this April Fool’s Day with the early digital release of Impractical Jokers: The Movie on April 1, 2020, only five weeks after its successful theatrical debut. The film, an extension of the wildly successful Impractical Jokers series, was directed by Chris Henchy (Daddy’s Home, “Eastbound & Down”). A truTV original production and produced by Funny Or Die, Impractical Jokers: The Movie carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 for the Digital ($24.99 in Canada) and is rated PG-13. “Impractical Jokers raised the stakes bringing their hijinks to the

Resistance (2020) Movie Review: A Compelling Holocaust Story

The Jesse Eisenberg-starrer has a beautiful message behind its intriguing holocaust story.
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Drawing parallels between current times and the setting of the film tells one thing for sure: irrespective of whether it's the World War II or a global pandemic, humans have always found solace in some form art. We - currently locked down in our homes - are leveraging on films and TV shows on Netflix, prime, etc. Likewise, back during the Second World War, music and slapstick comedy served the same purpose. This facet is beautifully addressed in Jonathan Jakubowicz's Resistance, which is based on the life of Marcel Marceau, one among the most prominent mime artists to ever live.

The Good Place: The Complete Series (Collector's Edition) Comes to Blu-ray May 19, 2020

All 53 episodes from the NBC series will come to Blu-ray in a 9-disc set.
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Press release: Welcome! Everything is fine. The complete series of the fan-favorite comedy hit The Good Place makes its Blu-ray debut on May 19, 2020, courtesy Shout! Factory. All 53 episodes from the NBC series will come to Blu-ray in a 9-disc set, complete with bonus features including the series finale after show and extended episodes, with footage not seen on television. What happens when we die? It’s a question everyone has asked, since the beginning of time. But when Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars) dies tragically, she finds out that the afterlife is amazing: full of frozen yogurt,

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice DVD Review: A Fantastic Appreciation

It's so easy to fall in love with Ronstadt and her music.
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Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice is a biographical documentary that Ronstadt was involved with as she introduces the telling of her story and reveals she no longer sings because she has Parkinson's, although she was later diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy. As I put the disc in the player, I realized I hadn't heard much of Ronstadt's music on the radio in years. As I watched the film, I couldn't understand why because she has a collection of hits that should be staples on rock and country radio stations. But don't take my word for it as the

Come to Daddy Blu-ray Review: Twisty, Twisted Story of Family

Elijah Wood stars in this story of a man reconnecting with his father, and learning terrible secrets about them both.
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Come to Daddy is a twisty movie. A lot of its narrative power comes from its plot surprises, so as a reviewer it is difficult to decide how much to reveal, and how much to hold back to let its potential audience know whether or not the movie is worth their while. The story begins as indie drama: a not-so-young man has been sent a letter by his father, estranged for 30 years, saying that he wants to finally see his son and reconnect. Norval, the son, is having a rough few years and decides to take his dead up

Lionsgate Leading Lady Digital Code Giveaway Featuring Bombshell (2019)

There will be five winners, one for each movie.
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During this unprecedented time and in honor of Women's History Month, Lionsgate and Cimena Sentries are offering a digital code for each of the following films featuring some of our favorite leading ladies: Bombshell, Judy, A Simple Favor, The Spy Who Dumped Me, and The Hunger Games. This means there will be five winners so when tweeting and posting include the title you are interested in. Enter as many times with as many of the five titles as you like. To learn more about the movies, read below: Bombshell The Oscar-nominated provocative real story of three ambitious and strong women

My Gun Is Quick Blu-ray Review: A Hard-boiled Jewel

It is worth investigating for the film's story and the Blu-ray's high-def presentation.
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Produced and directed together by Victor Saville, credited as Phil Victor, and George White, My Gun Is Quick is the third film featuring Mickey Spillane's character Mike Hammer, played by a third actor, Robert Bray, and is adapted from the second Hammer novel of the same. It's a hard-boiled detective story, which might not stand out from the genre, but it traffics in the tropes well enough. One night in a Los Angeles diner, Mike interferes in what appears to be a pimp roughing up a prostitute named Red (Jan Chaney), who is recently out from Nebraska. Mike gives the

TCM Brings TCM Classic Film Festival Direct to Fans with New At-Home Edition

Airing April 16-19, this special remote edition of the Festival will feature 24 hours a day of Festival films
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Press release: This April, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will present the TCM Classic Film Festival: Special Home Edition, a celebration of TCM Classic Film Festival movies and moments from the past decade that fans can enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Airing April 16-19, this special remote edition of the Festival will feature 24 hours a day of Festival films, TCM Hosts, special guests, and additional events on-air and online yet to be announced. All times EST Thursday, April 16 8:00 PM A Star is Born (1954) - Review Opening Night Film at the inaugural 2010 TCM Classic Film

The Passion of Darkly Noon Blu-ray Review: The Story Goes Nowhere

A good cast and beautiful visual style can't save a bad script.
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A man, dressed in a suit and tie but bruised and battered, comes running through the woods. He stumbles and falls, landing unconscious in the middle of a country road. He’s picked up by a delivery driver who takes him to a secluded old house where a young woman swears she’ll take care of him. The man is Darkly Noon (Brendan Fraser) and he’s just narrowly escaped being killed by local townspeople who were no longer willing to abide with the cult Darkly has been a part of. He’s a peculiar young man who obviously has had little interaction with

April Fool's Day is the Pick of the Week

A very misunderstood '80s cult classic headlines a new week of pretty solid releases.
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During the late 1980's, the slasher flick was getting stale, and everyone was trying to either make their own Nightmare on Elm Street, considering how big that film was in 1984, or just simply bailing on the genre. However, there were some standouts near the end of the decade, but for my money, the one that tops them all is Fred Walton's totally underrated 1986 effort, April Fool's Day. I always found this to be an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek fest that has aged way better than its contemporaries. It still contains a style and sense of humor that you don't often

Endless Night Blu-ray Review: Not Your Typical Christie

Newlyweds Michael and Ellie move into the haunted Gypsy's Acre - in an unusual haunted house mystery from Agatha Christie.
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Agatha Christie is well-known for cozy mysteries set in English villages where evil lurks beneath the neatly trimmed hedges; or alternately, in exotic locations where traveling Brits let their passions lead to murderous impulses. Endless Night is a novel she wrote later in her career, in 1967, and it is a departure from those stories, featuring neither of her famous detectives, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. In fact it doesn't feature a detective or a conventional crime at all. It is a story that is hard to define. There are elements of mystery, romance, and even horror. Like Christie's Murder

Judgment at Nuremberg (Special Edition) Blu-ray Review: Guilty of Being a Great Courtroom Drama

A compelling film that asks eternal questions about society and the responsibility of the people within it.
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Previously an episode of the TV series Playhouse 90 (1959), Stanley Kramer's Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) dramatizes the Judges' Trial of 1947, one of several United States military tribunals that took place in the aftermath of World War II. Leading an all-star cast, Spenser Tracy plays Judge Dan Haywood, one of three judges brought to Nuremberg, Germany in 1948 to oversee a trial against four judges and prosecutors charged with numerous atrocities while serving the Nazi government. His task is complicated because the higher-ups don't want a harsh verdict in order to gain the German people's support for the United

Five Cool Things and (Another) Run

Never fear the viral outbreak has not kept me from consuming cool things.
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Week #2 of Coronavirus quarantine. I'm not actually all that shut-in. On normal days, I work from home about 50% of the time. The other time I'm in my truck driving to different jobs and doing various manual labor tasks, or going to the bank, or running to the city to pick something up. Most of those things don't really involve interacting with others face to face. While I am home working, my wife and child remained cooped up in the house and that brings lots of interference into my working day. That's not meant to sound like a complaint.

Superman: Red Son 4K UHD Review: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Communist

Mark Millar’s classic comic book proves to be more relevant than ever in this animated adaptation.
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DC’s latest animated movie explores the question of what would have happened if baby Superman landed in Russia instead of the U.S. The story originated in a 2003 DC Elseworlds comic book tale of the same name by noted writer Mark Millar, most familiar to film audiences as the creator of comic book stories that were adapted into the films Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Logan, and Captain America: Civil War. The new film follows Millar’s comic book blueprint fairly well, even expanding on a few points that were rushed through in limited panels in the book. Thanks to the intriguing tale and

Spenser Confidential Movie Review: Epitome of Mediocrity

The fifth collaboration by Peter Berg & Mark Walhberg is on the downside of the duo's filmography.
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Spenser Confidential is the cinematic equivalent of 'sit back and relax on a lazy Saturday afternoon'. The Netflix original would befit the category 'play in the background while scrolling through your phone' if the platform ever adds one. Laced with mediocrity in every aspect, the film is at its best when seen through the aforementioned context, however, as a standalone film (I'll address this point later), it's mediocre. Extremely mediocre. I mean, pretty mediocre. Allow me to emphasize it one more time, it's spectacularly mediocre. It takes effort to produce such a calculated end product, and it needs to be

The Death and Return of Superman: The Complete Film Collection Giftset Blu-ray Review

The filmmakers made the right decision revisiting and expanding this landmark story.
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The Death and Return of Superman edits together the animated films The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen, the 11th and 12th film in the DC Animated Movie Universe, which are also the 32nd and 33rd film of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, into one film. It is based on the 1992—1993 DC comic book storyline of the same name, which was previously adapted, albeit abridged, into Superman: Doomsday (2007), the 1st DC Universe Animated Original Movie, which is also included in this set. Clark Kent (Jerry O'Connell) is secretly dating Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn). He loves

Kino Lorber Launches Kino Marquee with Brazilian Thriller Bacurau

Kino Marquee is a virtual theatrical exhibition initiative to enable art house cinemas to serve moviegoers and generate revenue during the coronavirus outbreak.
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Press release: Kino Lorber announces today that it is launching a virtual theatrical exhibition initiative called Kino Marquee to enable movie theaters shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak to continue to serve their audiences and generate revenue in this difficult time. The initiative also lets movie audiences support their local theaters with their dollars and view the films digitally. The first Kino Marquee screenings are with New York’s Film at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Jacob Burns Film Center. All will open with Kino Lorber title Bacurau, which would otherwise now be on screen in each venue. Directed by

Richard Jewell Blu-ray Review: Misinformation Sells

A solid Clint Eastwood directorial effort that features a terrific performance from Paul Walter Hauser.
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It has become more of a gamble with Clint Eastwood’s late-career directorial efforts. The Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker, who is still pumping out films even as he pushes 90 years old this year, is reportedly someone who doesn’t like to spend too much time trying to get the best take. "The sooner it can be done; the better" appears to be the mantra by which Eastwood follows. It doesn’t always work, with The 15:17 to Paris being his most recent example and also his most embarrassing effort to date, despite it starring the real people involved in the incident. But, in some

Criterion Announces June 2020 Releases

Need some good news? Here are a few releases to which you can look forward.
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With all that's taking place in the world, Criterion offers something to look forward to by announcing their June releases. They are Paul Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman, Buster Keaton's The Cameraman, Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Elem Klimov's Come and See, and given a Blu-ray upgrade Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad. Read on to learn more about them. An Unmarried Woman (#1032) out Jun 9 One woman’s journey of self-discovery brings about a warmly human cultural conversation about female liberation, in this wonderfully frank, funny chronicle of changing 1970s sexual politics by Paul Mazursky. When her husband of

Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool Available in Multiple Formats on April 10

With bonus Montreux Jazz Festival footage from 1973, 1984, and 1985.
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Press release: Following a successful theatrical run, grossing over $1 million at the box office, Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool - produced by Firelight Films for Eagle Rock Entertainment and American Masters Pictures in association with BBC Music - will be released as a Blu-ray+DVD and 2DVD with bonus Montreux concert footage and a 16-page hardcover book, as well as digital formats on April 10. A historic pillar of music history, Miles Davis is wholly revered for his immeasurable contributions as a trumpet player, bandleader, and composer. This consummate innovator and trendsetter not only broke evolutionary ground in jazz

Bamboozled is the Pick of the Week

Spike Lee's nightmarishly timely satire tops a new week of releases.
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Obviously, when it comes to films that are challenging and confronting, I think that Spike Lee definitely comes to mind. His films are so on the nose, especially when it comes to the depiction of racism and the aftermath of it. From Do the Right Thing to Malcolm X to BlacKkKlansman, he continues to make movies that not only will slap you in the face, but also really give you something to think about. His savage, yet very underrated 2000 masterwork, Bamboozled, does just that. It's a truly uncompromising one that not very many people have seen, but should definitely

Fathom Events and TCM Present King Kong (1933)

Despite its flaws, King Kong remains a wonderful spectacle and a bonafide classic.
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In 1929, while filming baboons in Africa on the set of The Four Feathers, director Merian C. Cooper developed the concept of a film about a giant gorilla battling Komodo dragons. It would begin on an isolated island and end with a spectacular death in New York City. He took this idea to Paramount Studios in 1930, but by then the Great Depression had reared its head and studio execs were none too excited to film such an expensive project. Mega-producer David O. Selznick brought Cooper to RKO studios in 1931 telling him he could make any film he wanted.

Thoughtful & Abstract: A Good Opinion Is Hard to Find

Shawn and Kim return to the fold with some random subjects but spot on opinions.
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It's been a minute rice since we put forth some of our Grade A, doctor-recommended, mother-approved opinions on pop culture and beyond. Instead of a focus on quality shows like The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy, we're going to provide you with a less focused set of thoughts that don't follow any established pattern or rules. Just soak in our brains on paper. KIM: There sure was a lot of brouhaha over the Superbowl Halftime Show this year. What with Shakira and J-Lo and all of the sparkly outfits and whatnot. I really didn't like the halftime show at

Five Cool Things and Another Five Things

After a week off, I'm back with many cool things.
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It has been a weird week. My wife's mother just had hip replacement surgery and the original plan was that my wife would be leaving us today to spend time with her mom. This coming week is Spring Break which means my daughter will be out of school. I still have to work and so there was a bit of a conundrum about what to do with the girl. I kind-of, sort-of work from home so we didn't need to find full-time childcare, but we also didn't want her to sit around watching TV all day. Nor would she be

Inside the Rain Movie Review: A Pretty Heartfelt Mental Illness Dramedy

A simple, empathetic ode to mental health patients that thrives on its sensibility and fine acting.
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Rosie Perez has been having a slight career resurgence, having recently stole the show in Birds of Prey and being a highlight in the misguided The Last Thing He Wanted. As part of her scene-stealing continuation, she does that as a flustered psychologist in the indie dramedy Inside the Rain, becoming one of its biggest selling points in the process. Inside the Rain is about a mentally ill college student named Ben Glass (Aaron Fisher) who has it all: ADHD, OCD, BPD, and Bipolar disorder. Similar to how Ben is juggling a lot, the story seems to be doing just

Fatal Attraction, To Catch A Thief, and King Creole Will Be First Titles in New 'Paramount Presents' Blu-ray Line on April 21

New banner to be used for specialty Blu-ray releases of remastered films and limited runs of classic titles in select theaters.
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Press release: Paramount Pictures announced today that it will introduce a new “Paramount Presents” label to recognize and celebrate films from the studio’s vast and storied library. The “Paramount Presents” banner will be used for a new line of collectible Blu-ray Discs incorporating a curated selection of enduringly popular movies, as well as films that had a cultural impact upon their release. The label will also be used to bring classic films to select theaters for limited theatrical runs so audiences can experience them again on the big screen. “Paramount’s library represents over a century of filmmaking and includes some

Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse Movie Review

Fans of early Pink Floyd should be very pleased.
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Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 by Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals). A few months after the release of their debut album, psychedelic-rock classic The Piper at the Gates of Dawn in August of 1967, David Gilmour (guitar, vocals) was added to augment and then replace the erratic Barrett, who left the band in March 1968. They would go on to have massive success in the 1970s, creating two of the best-selling albums of all time with Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. By the

Canyon Passage Blu-ray Review: Where the Scalps Fly Like Toupees...Only Not Quite

A moody, colorful western from a director who changed horror movie history.
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If you were to say I would love to see a Technicolor noir western directed by Jacques Tourneur, set in Oregon, I would say you are darn tootin.’ I would love to see it and see it I did. Canyon Passage (1946) is that rarest of things: a good art western disguised as a B-movie, buckling at the seams to beat the revisionist wave of westerns by about twenty cool years. But of course—no such motive existed. Rather, Tourneur delivered a crisp, 92-minute oater that combines several genre elements. Rape, poker, murder, lust for gold, love triangles, Indian attacks, cabin-raisings,

Bombshell (2019) Blu-ray Review: Me (and Me and Me, etc.) Too

Almost everyone in Bombshell is complicit - in the culture, in the spin they know they are spinning.
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Available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy, Bombshell uses real news footage mixed with actor portrayals to tell the story of how the women of Fox News exposed Roger Ailes' serial sexual harrassment. Before the film even begins, there are disclaimers from the distributor, Lionsgate Films, about the viewpoints expressed in the film (not necessarily those of the distributor) as well as another blurb before movie starts about real people and events being portrayed by actors. But after that legalese is out of the way, Bombshell takes an unflinching look at the goings-on behind the scenes at Fox and Megyn

Salesman is the Pick of the Week

A landmark 1968 documentary headlines a new week of some pretty good releases.
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The documentary is an often celebrated genre of film that depicts real life, real human behavior, and some of the most infamous moments in history. The famous team of the Maysles Brothers (Albert & David) and Charlotte Zwerin, sit near the top of the list of greatest documentarians, with their iconic portraits of the Rolling Stones disastrous 1969 tour at Altamont (Gimme Shelter), and the eccentric world of the Beales (Big & Little Edie), cousins of Jackie Kennedy (Grey Gardens). With their 1968 masterpiece, Salesman, they successfully captured the brutal and depressing side of an often nihilistic profession. In excruciating,

Queen & Slim Blu-ray Review: A Thrilling Drama Infused with Social Commentary

Queen & Slim suggests the beginning of two great film careers behind the camera.
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Director Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter Lena Waithe, both of whom are also producers on the project, made an impressive feature-film debut with the tragic love story Queen & Slim. After listening to the extras I don't think the story conveys all they wanted, but the film is captivating as the characters' journey takes them from strangers to inseparable lovers. The film opens with the two characters, whose names aren't mentioned until the end of the film but will be referred to by the titular nicknames, in Ohio eating dinner on a first date after meeting on Tinder. Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith)

King Kong (1933) Roars Back to Movie Theaters Nationwide for the First Time in 60 Years

Fathom Events unleashes “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World,” on more than 600 movie screens in a One-Day-Only Presentation on March 15.
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Press release: Though it’s a genuine icon of American cinema, and one of the most instantly recognizable creations ever put on screen, 1933’s King Kong has not had a nationwide theatrical re-release in 64 years. That changes on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (local time), when Fathom Events unleashes “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World,” on more than 600 movie screens nationwide as part of the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics series. Last given a big-screen re-release in 1956 - when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the average movie ticket cost 59 cents, and not

Young Ahmed Movie Review: Minimalistic but Speaks Volumes

Terrific performances invigorate this little film
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It's arduous to write about Young Ahmed without imposing personal views and judgements. Such is its concept. The Dardenne Brothers craft a film minimalistic on scale but speaks volumes about the world it is set in. The French film tells the story of Ahmed, a 13-year-old Muslim boy, on the misguided path of extremism camouflaged as religion. By the time we are introduced to him, this seed has already been planted deeply in him. A person named Imam, seems to be the influence. In the very first scene, he refuses to shake hands with his teacher, Inès, who has been

Swallow Movie Review: Haley Bennett Carries Slow Burn Psychological Thriller

Despite some sluggish pacing and undercooked thematic material, Swallow doesn't bite off more than it can chew.
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Hunter (Haley Bennett) seems to have it all. An idyllic home life with a wealthy and seemingly supportive husband, Richie (Austin Stowell). The first few minutes of Swallow which illustrate Hunter’s daily routine make her life seem literally and figurative squeaky clean. As it turns out, her perfect life is only perfect on the surface since she develops an unusual eating habit once she becomes pregnant. At that point, Swallow becomes a domestic psychological thriller in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby, but without the occult elements. Once Hunter’s husband and in-laws discover her eating habit, they keep a close eye

Antonio Gaudí Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Tone Poem of Gaudí, Barcelona, and Art

After watching Antonio Gaudí, the viewer will not only want to start looking up flights to Barcelona, but need to learn more about this distinctive artist.
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Antonio Gaudí, a film by Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927-2001), is a tone poem of Gaudí, Barcelona, and art - filled with vibrant color and music. The restored 72-minute film from 1984 is not your typical artist biography. There is barely any dialogue. Or narration. Or biography. Teshigahara instead creates a collage of dazzling images featuring the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). Teshigahara, the first Asian director to be nominated for an Academy Award and probably best known for his avant garde feature film Woman in the Dunes (1964), started his career in documentary film. Here, he seamlessly melds

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Coming to Digital (5/5) & 4K/Blu-ray/DVD (5/19)

An epic story of supernatural proportions.
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Press release: The World’s Greatest Super Heroes square off once-and-for-all against the despotic Darkseid - with the fate of all humanity hanging in the balance - in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting May 5, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on May 19, 2020. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be accompanied by the all-new DC Showcase animated short, Adam Strange.

Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible Movie Review

A fascinating feature-length documentary film that highlights an innovative and influential artist who can truly be called the father of modern art.
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Available on iTunes and Amazon on March 10, 2020, comes a new documentary film from Electrolift Creative Productions, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible. Directed by Matthew Taylor and produced by Michelle Taylor, the 90-minute film mixes biography and opinion to create an intriguing portrait of artist Marcel Duchamp. Marcel Duchamp was born in Normandy, France in 1887. The film begins with family photos and a quick introduction to Duchamp's youth and then, like the artist himself, quickly sets off for Paris and the art world. Duchamp's primary artistic mentors were his older brothers, artists Raymond Villon and Jacques

The Sergio Leone Westerns Collection is the Pick of the Week

A box set of legendary director Sergio Leone's greatest classics tops a new week of releases.
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Honestly, legendary director Sergio Leone made me a fan of the Western. His take on the not-so-favorite genre is darker, grittier, and more violent than those from the John Ford, or Howard Hawks era. They aren't fun or conventional; they're full of bad people doing very bad things. Although the plots are not the best parts of the films; it's the style, atmosphere, and obivously Ennio Morricone's breathtaking music that takes center stage. With A Fistful of Dollars (1964); For a Few Dollars More (1965); his first masterpiece, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966); his second, Once Upon

Book Review: The Complete Steve Canyon, Volume 2: 1949-1950 by Milton Caniff

Steve Canyon sets a high mark for adventure comic strips.
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Since January 2012, the Library of American Comics, by way of IDW Publishing, has been releasing collections of Milton Caniff's Steve Canyon newspaper comic strips. Volume 2 was released in August 2012 and presents the strips from December 30, 1948 to December 31, 1950, covering the third and fourth year of the strip's 41-year run. Library of American Comics associate editor Bruce Canwell wrote the introductory essay "A Return Ticket ," which covers the strip's audience-participation campaign that had readers “nominate the film that best reflected American life,” and how both current and historical events impacted the plotlines. As a

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