September 2020 Archives

Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project No. 3 Criterion Collection Box Set Review

Scorsese guides viewers through little-known gems from around the world.
  |   Comments
Legendary writer/director and noted film buff Martin Scorsese established The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in 2007 to restore and present classic films from around the world that are little known to U.S. audiences. The latest collection brings together five black-and-white films and one color film that have been painstakingly restored from the best possible elements, a Herculean effort considering their origins in countries with little care for preservation or even outright scorn for cinema. In the case of the film Downpour, the Iranian government purposely destroyed all original elements and known copies of the film, leaving only the director’s

Split Second (1992) Blu-ray Review: Blade Runner and Alien's Stupid Baby

Combines two great sf movies to make a not great horror film, taking place in the distant future of 2008.
  |   Comments
Stealing the antagonist from one Ridley Scott movie and the world building (and star) from another, Split Second could have been a visionary bit of sci-fi weirdness. If it had fully embraced its strange plot and generated an atmosphere that properly combined the occult with the futuristic, it could have been a moody and delirious vision of a grim future. Instead, it's a basic buddy cop movie with an incoherent plot, characters that declare their traits instead of acting them on the screen, haphazard world-building, and a bunch of plot elements that don't come close to coming together into anything

Little Monsters (Vestron Video Collector's Series) Blu-ray Review: A Fun Romp for Children

A film created with a kid's, specifically a young boy's, sensibilities.
  |   Comments
Richard Alan Greenberg's Little Monsters (1989) is definitely a kid's film. Not a family film nor a film for young children, but a film created with a kid's, specifically a young boy's, sensibilities, and in that sense it succeeds. Eleven-year-old Brian Stevenson (Fred Savage) and his family have just moved into a new home. Something suspicious happens in the middle of the night. His father Glen (Daniel Stern) assumes it was Brian, but Brian's younger brother Eric (Ben Savage) claims it was a monster. To prove his brother wrong, Brian sleeps in his bedroom only to discover a blue-skinned monster

Killing Eve: Season 3 Blu-ray Review: Girl Power to the Max

Killing Eve gets to the etheral pleasure of watching televsion, and it is as colorful and outrageous as Eve's fabulous fashion choices.
  |   Comments
Killing Eve is a weird and wonderful show. The cat and mouse attraction/repulsion between British intelligence agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and a female assasin who calls herself Villanelle (Jodie Comer) has sustained audience interest since its premiere in 2018. Its first season was outrageous and acclaimed - by critics and the public - and highly awarded. Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) was the head writer and executive producer for the first series, and her trademark wit was evident in the show's mix of girl power and black humor. The second season upped the ante (especially violence) and was produced and written

The Soul of The Midnight Special DVD Giveaway

The '70s was a special time for soul music and The Midnight Special truly had an affinity for the genre.
  |   Comments
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award three lucky readers The Soul of The Midnight Special DVD set. It will be available to own October 13, 2020. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release below: Like never before The Soul of The Midnight Specialbrings home audiences and music lovers everywhere an unforgettable collection of legendary soul artists performing their hits in the prime of their careers -- uncut performances, just straight-from-the-heart soul singing with live musicians in front of a live audience. Now available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for the first time

Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile (2004) Blu-ray Review: Poirot Solves Multiple Murders

Death on the Nile will be fun to watch for anyone who enjoys a good vintage Christie and has ever been to Egypt (or dreamed of going).
  |   Comments
Acorn Media has released on Blu-ray Death on the Nile, starring David Suchet as the ingenious Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. It was originally shown as a feature-length episode on the Agatha Christie's Poirot television series in 2004. The series always had excellent production values, but they clearly went above and beyond for this film, with its settings, locations, costumes and design. Agatha Christie's second husband was archaeologist Max Mallowan, and she set many of her novels in the locales that he excavated and she visited. Death on the Nile uses Egypt as its backdrop and its locations are brilliantly used

Blumhouse of Horrors 10-Movie Collection Blu-ray Review: A Mixed Bag

Ten of the most popular Blumhouse horror films get a nice boxed set.
  |   Comments
For over a decade now, Blumhouse Productions has specialized in making small budget films, mostly horror, that give their directors creative control and usually make a profit. Sometimes a huge profit. Their first big hit was Paranormal Activity. Made in 2009 on a shoestring budget of $15,000, it went on to make some $193 million worldwide. Since then, their budgets have increased, but not by that much. For instance, Glass had a budget of $20 million but considering it was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, stars Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, and Samuel L. Jackson amongst other A-listers, and is the

The Elephant Man is Pick of the Week

David Lynch's most conventional but beautifully humanistic 1980 masterpiece tops a new week of releases.
  |   Comments
Obviously, the great David Lynch is isn't exactly known for depicting humanity and subtlety, even in some of his greatest films (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mullholland Dr., etc), but when he actually does, he does do it well. This is the case with his strange and savagely humanistic 1980 biopic The Elephant Man, which touches upon themes that he wouldn't explore again until The Straight Story (1999). Based on a true story, the film centers on John Merrick, a deformed Briton who was discovered at a circus as the sideshow attraction by a compassionate doctor, Frederick Treves, during the 19th century.

Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America Blu-ray Review: The Presentation Is First Class

Six songs that may or may not have shook the world are featured in this documentary series.
  |   Comments
In October of 2019, AMC aired a six-episode series called Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America. That series is being released on DVD and Blu-ray as a 2-Disc set featuring the episodes and extras including commentary, additional interviews, and a Barbershop freestyle. Each episode is structured in a similar way. There's a cultural context of what was going on in society and popular culture at the time of the song's release. There's a persepctive of what the artist had done up to that point and how their careers changed because of the release of the song. And there are

Thomas and the Magic Railroad (20th Anniversary Edition) Blu-ray/DVD Giveaway

This film is a family-favorite and has long been requested on Blu-ray by fans.
  |   Comments
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Shout Factory! to award one lucky reader the Thomas and the Magic Railroad (20th Anniversary Edition) Blu-ray/DVD set. It will be available to own September 29, 2020. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release below: Hear that whistle? Ride the rails to adventure with Thomas And The Magic Railroad (20th Anniversary Edition), coming to Blu-ray for the first time on September 29 from Shout! Kids. Starring Alec Baldwin (The Boss Baby, 30 Rock), Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda), Peter Fonda (Easy Rider, Ulee’s Gold), Didi Conn (Grease, Shining Time Station), Russell

The Rolling Stones: Steel Wheels Live (Live From Atlantic City, NJ, 1989) DVD Review: Sucking in the '80s

In 1989, the Rolling Stones played New Jersey. It was a night to forget.
  |   Comments
In 1989, the Rolling Stones returned to the stage from a seven-year touring hiatus. They needn’t have bothered. Ok, so before we go any further, a word on my loyalty to the Stones. I’ve never seen them live; I’ve only seen video clips. I’m a millennial but traveled through the Stones discography at an early age. Cassette-tape-recording a radio broadcast of their 1972 double LP, Exile on Main St., I felt I’d stumbled onto a different band, a weirder band, than the one I’d heard on FM. Exile blew me away. It led me to each of their albums from

Time Life Unveils Dolly: The Ultimate Collection, a Deluxe 19-Disc DVD Set

Highlighting the spectacular career of the Queen of Country.
  |   Comments
Press release: You can call her The Queen of Country, an Award-Winning Songwriter, Actress, Television Star, Philanthropist, Business Mogul, Icon and American Treasure - but to her millions of fans, she's known simply as Dolly. From her start out of Nashville in the '60s to her Hollywood debut and beyond Dolly has done it all...and in 6 inch heels! Now, for the first time ever, the incredible highlights of Dolly's remarkable career are together in a one-of-a-kind 19-DVD set - Dolly: The Ultimate Collection. From her early appearances in the '60s through her own star-studded variety shows in the '70s

Flash Gordon (1980) 4K Ultra HD Review: Garish and Spirited Comic Action

Whether it's too camp or in the proper comic spirit, Flash Gordon's elaborately colorful production bursts onto 4K.
  |   Comments
George Lucas's inspirations for Star Wars were many. He was a voracious reader of golden age science fiction, and picked elements he liked from several different stories: lightsabers were borrowed from Lensman, Tatooine's moisture farming and the spice mines of Kessel were liberated from Dune. But the form of the story, and the real heart of Lucas' ambition was to recreate the thrills of Flash Gordon: the long running comic strip, and the Buster G. Crabbe starring serials that were adapted from it. But the license for Flash Gordon was expensive, and mid-1970s George Lucas was not a billionaire. He

Variety (1983) Blu-ray Review: A Revealing Character Study of a Woman Rediscovering Herself

A moody and very provocative depiction of female obsession and sexuality.
  |   Comments
Usually, films about female sexual awakening and newfound sexuality are often told from the point-of-view of male directors. I'm not knocking this, but they can sometimes feel a little exploitative, salacious, and misogynistic. They can include more female nudity than male nudity, especially for the wrong reasons or it's there just to be there. Meanwhile, it's refreshing to see this type of subject matter from a woman's point-of-view, and Bette Gordon's 1983 stunning neo-noir Variety does just that while also providing a revealing character study of a woman rediscovering herself. The film tells the story of Christine (Sandy McLeod), a

TIFF 2020 Review: 'Get the Hell Out' Is an Incredibly Bonkers Zombie Comedy

An overly stylized yet incredibly energetic feature debut from I-Fan Wang.
  |   Comments
To put it bluntly, Get the Hell Out is a lot. A lot of storyline and thematic material rolled into one adrenaline-fueled package. It’s an admirably abrasive attempt at diverging away from the rinse-and-repeat zombie movie formula since it acts as a blood-soaked political dark comedy with a romantic twist that occasionally feels like it's ripped from a fighting video game. While a zombie virus does hit and forces a group of survivors to fight for their lives while avoiding turning into a zombie themselves, Get the Hell Out is more insightful and bold than the familiar plot may suggest.

Shivers Blu-ray Review: My Favorite Horror Film Ever

David Cronenberg's controversial and super underrated 1975 feature debut celebrates its 45th anniversary.
  |   Comments
Cronenberg, the master of "Body Horror", has more than any other director in the history of cinema, expertly showcased, through film, how we have completely lost control of our bodies, and they can turn on us at any minute. When you think about his legendary oevure, you always hear discussions of Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, and even his later (non-horror) works, including A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises. However, you rarely hear about his shocking 1975 cult classics Shivers (aka The Came From Within), which was the one that started it all. The film takes place at

TIFF 2020 Review: 'Violation' Mixes Heavy-Handed Symbolism with Harrowing Trauma

One of this year's TIFF Midnight Madness selections offers a searing look at sexual violence and trauma.
  |   Comments
When Violation first opens, it shows a wolf observing its dying prey. Accompanied by an ominous score, the opening sequence provides a heavy indication of the horrors that will follow while acting as an example of the picture’s ham-fisted symbolism. Even the title acts as another key reminder that the audience is not in for an easy sit. The story follows Miriam, played by star/co-director/co-writer/producer Madeleine Sims-Fewer, as she and her boyfriend Caleb (Obi Abili) take part in a weekend reunion with her sister Greta (Anna Maguire) and Greta's husband Dylan (Jesse LaVercombe) at a secluded cabin. As the getaway

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Live-streams at New York Comic Con 2020

Their panels will be Batman: Death in the Family; The Flintstones: The Complete Series; and Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo.
  |   Comments
Press release: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) presents three engaging panels - spotlighting the landmark interactive animated short Batman: Death in the Family, The Flintstones: The Complete Series remastered for Blu-ray, and the all-new Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! - to New York Comic Con for the annual event’s new virtual streaming edition October 8-11, 2020. The Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! presentation will be the first-ever Con appearance featuring all four core voices of Mystery Inc. together on the same panel: Frank Welker (Fred & Scooby-Doo), Grey Griffin (Daphne), Matthew Lillard (Shaggy) and Kate Micucci (Velma). WBHE panels will spotlight never-before-seen footage, discussions

Black Test Car + The Black Report Blu-ray Review: Japanese Businessman Noir

Two '60s crime thrillers by director Yasuzo Masumura that explore the dark side of post-war industrialized Japan.
  |   Comments
One of the enduring images of contemporary Japanese culture is the salaryman. The rather anonymous guy in the suit who devotes his life to the company. He might be married and have kids (usually he is: what else would he need to dedicate so much time to work for, if not to keep his family?) but his number one priority is the company. Work 10 hours a day, then go off to drink with your boss, go home to sleep, and come back the next day, six days a week. It's soul deadening, and not the obvious setting for a

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season Review: So Much Fun

This show just keeps getting better and better.
  |   Comments
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. Ever since the Flash entered into the Arrowverse, there have been crossover events. Initially, it was just the Flash hanging out in Star City with Oliver Queen or vice versa, but as the number of series joined the Arrowverse, the events got bigger and bigger. Still, these events are usually one-offs where the various characters would get together to fight a big villain, and then they go back to their respective cities

Full Metal Jacket 4K is is the Pick of Week

Kubrick's harrowing 1987 anti-War masterpiece headlines a new week of releases.
  |   Comments
Stanley Kubrick remains one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. He didn't make a lot of films, but when he did, he really made them. He had a severely keen visual sense of detail, but he could also be a brute, a perfectionist, cold, and a madman behind the camera. Whether showcasing cowardice during wartime (Paths of Glory), doomsday black comedy (Dr. Strangelove), the complex journey of mankind (2001: A Space Odyssey), or modern ultra-violence (A Clockwork Orange), he always brought his own savage style to any genre. And with his supremely brutal 1987 masterpiece, Full Metal

The Best of Cher, Volume 1 & 2 DVD Review: Take It Home

You can turn back time and watch hours of Cher.
  |   Comments
When The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour ended after the couple's divorce, CBS stuck with Cher. She starred in an eponymous variety hour for two seasons, 26 episodes from February 16, 1975 -January 4, 1976. She reunited with Sonny, creatively, for The Sonny & Cher Show which ran until 1977. Time Life has released The Best of Cher Volumes 1 & 2, a nine-disc set that shines a spotlight on the superstar that will surely delight fans. Volume 1 focuses on Cher, presenting 10 episodes. On five discs. Guest stars include Elton John, Bette Midler, Flip Wilson, Tatum O'Neal, Wayne

AFI FEST 2020 Announces Special Presentations

The festival will close with Errol Morris' My Psychedelic Love Story, which explores the dark side of the Timothy Leary saga, and how his doomed relationship with Joanna Harcourt-Smith put the final nail in the coffin of the 1960s counterculture.
  |   Comments
Press release: Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that the 34th edition of AFI FEST presented by Audi will close with the World Premiere of SHOWTIME Documentary Films’ MY PSYCHEDELIC LOVE STORY. The film is directed by Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris and explores the dark side of the Timothy Leary saga, and how his doomed relationship with Joanna Harcourt-Smith put the final nail in the coffin of the 1960s counterculture. The World Premieres of PINK SKIES AHEAD (DIR Kelly Oxford), THE REAGANS (DIR Matt Tyrnauer) and REALLY LOVE (DIR Angel Kristi Williams), in addition to THE FATHER (DIR

Five Cool Things and the Fifth Season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Are you ready for Slasher September?
  |   Comments
I started this month with the intention of watching a lot of science fiction films set in space. As I noted last week, this has been a difficult task to accomplish. There just aren't that many interesting films in that category available on the various streaming services, or in my own collections. So last weekend, I made a switch. It is now the middle of September, which is close to October which holds one of my favorite holidays - Halloween. This whole movie theme idea began several years ago when I watched a whole bunch of horror films in October.

Ronnie Wood: Somebody Up There Likes Me Movie Review

The documentary reviews Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood' musical career, his triumph over addiction, and his second career as a visual artist.
  |   Comments
“I never got beyond 29 in my head,” Ronnie Wood says at the beginning of the documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me. “So to be 70, it’s just so weird. It’s like being in a Dali painting. It’s very surreal.” Directed by Academy Award nominee Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas), Somebody Up There is not your bombastic, run-of-the-mill, rock-star documentary. It’s mostly quiet and introspective, (but not boring). Wood, the exuberant guitarist for the Rolling Stones and Faces, talks about his newfound sobriety and maturity, and a musical career that’s spanned more than half a century, in this low-key film.

[Updated] The Soul of The Midnight Special, a 5-Disc Time Life Set, Arriving on 10/13

The '70s was a special time for soul music and The Midnight Special truly had an affinity for the genre.
  |   Comments
Press release: Like never before The Soul of The Midnight Special brings home audiences and music lovers everywhere an unforgettable collection of legendary soul artists performing their hits in the prime of their careers -- uncut performances, just straight-from-the-heart soul singing with live musicians in front of a live audience. Now available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for the first time on October 13, 2020. In the period between American Bandstand and MTV, there were sev­eral shows that tried to bring new music to television, but it wasn't until The Midnight Special, premiered on August 19, 1972, that live

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review: Full of Feel-good Moments

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season celebrates the show, the comic book, and the positivity in the pursuit of diversity.
  |   Comments
Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season is definitely an enjoyable way to pass the time during self isolation. It is full of feel-good moments reminiscent of the feel good-comic book Supergirl that are more than just Supergirl’s new bangs or pants on her new uniform. The diversity represented through the characters and the telling of their stories is well managed and offers the opportunity to see the multicultural layers of society being told from previously unheard voices. Through the 19-episode progression, Kara (Melissa Benoist) continues her quest for companionship, there's a global VR technological revolutionary roll out, Lena (Katie McGrat) continuing

Christ Stopped at Eboli Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Emotionally Captivating

A beautiful film about living in exile and discovering an unknown way of life.
  |   Comments
Listed as one of the 1,001 movies you need to see before you die, Christ Stopped at Eboli is a film of which I wasn’t aware prior to the Criterion Collection announcing it being one of the latest releases they were adding to their catalogue. And that’s a miss on my end, because this is a truly mesmerizing achievement. Apparently, this original, 220-minute television version had been hard to come across for some time, and the only option to watch the movie was to go for the 150-minute cut. It’s a good thing I waited to see the movie as

Pitch Black 4K Ultra HD Review: Riddick Starts Here

The first film in what became a sci-fi trilogy is a fun throwback action thriller, now in 4K UHD.
  |   Comments
Pitch Black was released in 2000, and it feels very much like the last science fiction action film of the '90s. This was a time when digital effects weren't cheap enough to make the generic movies that clogged the schedule at SyFy, back when it used to show science fiction movies. It comes from a time before the massive cultural influence of The Matrix was fully absorbed. Pitch Black began shooting a couple of weeks before The Matrix was released, but in style and tone it feels like the older film. The setting is distant future movie space opera -

His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: Lyra and Daemons and Bears, Oh My!

It has an interesting premise, but the weakness in the scripts overshadows the strong moments of the eight episodes
  |   Comments
Based on Philip Pullman’s fantasy book trilogy of the same name, His Dark Materials opens with graphics that explain the story begins in a parallel world where a human soul takes the physical form of an animal known as a Daemon. This world has been controlled for centuries by the all-powerful Magisterium, except in the wilderness of the north, where witches whisper of a prophecy of a child with a great destiny. The north is cold and distant, which is the same feeling given off by the series, causing me to have trouble connecting to the story and its characters.

Roman Holiday Blu-ray Review: Audrey Hepburn Epitomizes Charm in Italian Locations

It's one of the best and most memorable romantic comedies of all time.
  |   Comments
Paramount Home Entertainment has released the 1953 Hollywood classic film Roman Holiday for the first time on Blu-ray and it's about time. But the firsts don't stop there. Roman Holiday was the American debut of iconic actress Audrey Hepburn, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as the runaway European princess Ann. She is so poised and lovely it is hard to believe this is her first Hollywood starring role - she easily steals every scene she is in with veteran actors Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert. It's one of the best and most memorable romantic comedies of

Criterion Announces December 2020 Releases

Two pairs to close out the year. Something old, something new.
  |   Comments
The Criterion Collection will be releasing these memorable titles to close out a year worth forgetting. New titles are David Cronenberg's Crash and Alejandro Iñárritu's Amores perros. Blu-ray upgrades are being given to Robert Bresson's Mouchette and Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Two Takes by William Greaves. Read on to learn more about them. Crash (#1059) out Dec 1 For this icily erotic fusion of flesh and machine, David Cronenberg adapted J. G. Ballard’s future-shock novel of the 1970s into one of the most singular and provocative films of the 1990s. A traffic collision involving a disaffected commercial producer, James (James Spader), and an

Weathering with You Blu-ray Review: Anime Girls Make the Rain Stop

The new blockbuster anime film by Your Name director Makoto Shinkai again pits teenage love against supernatural disaster.
  |   Comments
In a 2021 Tokyo that is drenched with constant rainfall, there's a rumor going around about a so-called Sunshine girl: a successor to an ancient tribal shamanic figure, the Weather maiden, the Sunshine girl can use the powers of her prayers to part the clouds in the skies and allow the sun to shine through. It's something that anyone would want, when weeks of rain with no end in sight practically drown the city. The story is being followed by a pair of reporters from a little yellow journal of the occult. One is a pretty girl, Natsumi, who listens

Beau Travail Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Mysterious, Haunting, and Transformative

Claire Denis' 1999 masterpiece of jealousy, erotic/repressed desire, and personal destruction makes it's long-awaited debut to the Criterion Collection.
  |   Comments
The great and visionary director Claire Denis is one the greatest cinematic poets of our time. She's a provocative and original filmmaker who has crafted an extraordinary oervue of films that offer richly observed and perfectly tuned portraits of cultural alientation and emotional/physical tension. Whether contemplating a father/daughter relationship (35 Shots of Run), the harmful awakenings of women (White Material, Let the Sunshine In), or erotic body horror (Trouble Every Day), she continues to be a singular voice of not just for female filmmakers, but for cinema as a whole. However, her second film, 1999's Beau Travail, is considered to

Shivers is the Pick of the Week

David Cronenberg's highly underrated directorial debut top a new week of interesting releases.
  |   Comments
If you ask any true film buff who's the master of "Body Horror", and they tell you it's the legendary David Cronenberg, then I'll will 100% agree with you. I think that Cronenberg, more any director, has successfully showcased how we've fully lost control of our bodies, and how they can turn on you in an instant. Many will say that their favorite films by the icon include Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, and The Dead Zone. As much as I love those films, my pick would have to be his 1975 disturbing (and disgusting) shocker SHIVERS (aka They Came

The Devil All the Time Movie Review: Actors Elevate Excessively Grim Crime Drama

Sebastian Stan and Riley Keough stand out in this distended indictment of toxic masculinity and religious hypocrisy.
  |   Comments
As William Shakespeare famously wrote in his play The Tempest, “Hell is empty. And all the devils are here.” Words that the aptly titled The Devil All the Time greatly stresses as it portrays people either tapping into their worst instincts or embracing their inner demons. Even if the picture delves into the grim nature of humanity to the point where it becomes detrimental, The Devil All the Time still isn’t a piece of cinematic Hell. Based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time follows the life of Arvin Russell (Tom

Five Cool Things and Two Jules Dassin Films Get the Criterion Treatment

What a marvelous week for cool things.
  |   Comments
Last week, I noted that for the month of September I was going to try to watch space-based science fiction films. I love creating themes each month for my movie watching as it helps me to find films I might not otherwise watch. As it turns out, space-based science fiction films are hard to come by. At least they are on the streaming services I subscribe to. My hopes were to find some classic films that fit that category that I haven't seen before. Turns out, I've seen most of the great ones. Or, and I say this again, the

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Announces 'V for Vendetta' Arriving on 4K UHD November 3

An electrifying story of an everyday woman in futuristic Britain who becomes the unlikely accomplice of a mysterious freedom fighter in his radical effort to rid the country of oppression.
  |   Comments
Press release: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that DC’s V for Vendetta, 2005’s thought-provoking action thriller from the creators of The Matrix trilogy, will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD on November 3rd, 2020. From producer Joel Silver, V for Vendetta was written and produced by the Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy), and stars Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. The film was directed by James McTeigue (Ninja Assassin). V for Vendetta is an electrifying story of an everyday woman in futuristic Britain who becomes the unlikely accomplice of a mysterious freedom fighter in his

Bong Joon Ho's Memories of Murder Comes to Theaters on October 19th and 20th

NEON will partner with Fathom Events to bring remastered Memories of Murder to the big screen.
  |   Comments
Press release: NEON is excited to announce they will be releasing Memories of Murder, from Academy Award winning director, Bong Joon Ho. The digitally remastered film will be in theaters nationwide October 19th and October 20th for a two night limited theatrical engagement in partnership with Fathom Events. The special presentation of the film will include exclusive content plus a post-screening conversation with Bong Joon Ho and celebrated filmmaker Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Hot Fuzz). Memories of Murder tells the harrowing true story of the hunt for a sadistic serial rapist and murderer terrorizing a

Pizza, A Love Story Movie Review: A Loving Tribute to New Haven's Tomato Pie

The only drawback is that it will undoubtedly leave you hungry for some tomato pie, and wondering how soon you can book a trip to New Haven, long lines or not.
  |   Comments
Pizza wasn't invented in New Haven. It was perfected there. That's the tagline to MVD Entertainment Group's Pizza, A Love Story, now available September 29 on DVD. While die-hard fans of their local pizzerias may initially object to New Haven's claims to the very best of all American pizzas, by the end of the film director, writer, and cinematographer Gorman Bechard has made a pretty good case for the famous Connecticut tomato pies. Helping Bechard tell his story are lots of faithful local patrons as well as celebrity pizza fans such as Lyle Lovett, Henry Winkler, Michael Bolton, and Connecticut

Superman: Man of Tomorrow Blu-ray Review: A Hero Grows in Metropolis

Although as a longtime Superman fan I could do without yet another origin story, this iteration by screenwriter Tim Sheridan is an interesting take on the material.
  |   Comments
Superman: Man of Tomorrow presents viewers a young Clark Kent (Darren Criss) as he heads from Smallville to Metropolis, knowing little of his history and getting a job as as an intern at the Daily Planet. One of his first assignments is assisting reporters at a press conference where Lex Luthor (Zachary Quinto) presents an orbital telescope intended to make contact with lifeforms in space. Clark has no red and blue costume nor a name, but people are starting to take notice of someone doing superhuman things, including a shadowy figure who trails him. Lois Lane (Alexandra Daddario), a grad

The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection 4K Ultra HD Review: Four Masterworks of Suspense

Four of the Master of Suspense's most popular films make the leap onto 4K UHD.
  |   Comments
Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense, but that's too limited a title for him. Where his talents primarily lie as a storyteller is in the manipulation of audiences. He liked to say, "I enjoy playing the audience like a piano" and he does so with masterful skill, using subtle tricks to shift the audience's sympathies, sometimes from scene to scene from one character to the next. In this way his films, while always intended as popular entertainments and always aimed for box office success (and usually achieving it), have layers of complexity that one rarely finds in

Beyond the Visible - Hilma af Klint Blu-ray Review: An Artist for the Ages

Through this documentary and hopefully, more exhibitions of her work in the future, we will watch, in real time, as art history is rewritten.
  |   Comments
The pictures were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawings, and with great force. I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to depict; nevertheless I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brush stroke. - Hilma af Klint Hilma af Klint is (finally) having a moment. The Guggenheim Museum in New York featured her abstract work, some paintings exhibited for the first time, in 2018. The brilliant, reclusive artist, who had been unknown by many throughout her life and through art history, is now being heralded as the first Western abstract artist. Art history, like

Brute Force & The Naked City Criterion Collection Blu-ray Reviews: A Jules Dassin Double Feature

Two classics film noirs from Jules Dassin get the Criterion treatment.
  |   Comments
There are over 1,000 movies in the Criterion Collection, these are two of them. Jules Dassin has five films thus far in the collection with Brute Force and The Naked City receiving a Blu-ray upgrade this week. Between 1947 and 1950, Dassin made four film noirs, three of which are considered some of the best in the genre. These two are on that list. I came to Jules Dassin via Rififi his classic heist film (also in the Criterion Collection) from 1956. It is one of the greatest robbery films ever put to celluloid. It was made in France and

We Bare Bears: The Movie DVD Review: A Satisfying Send-Off

Join Panda, Grizz, and Ice Bear as the brothers take on one final journey.
  |   Comments
Warner Bros Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. For those unfamiliar with We Bare Bears, the Cartoon Network animated series that ran from 2015 to 2019, it was a show about three brothers, who are bears, and their various adventures or misadventures. The episodes ran for about 15 minutes apiece and two were shown together in a half-hour span on the air. On Netflix and other streaming services, the episodes are shown individually in their short-run format. Sure, the bears aren’t biologically related.

The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection is the Pick of the Week

A new 4K collection of four Hitchcock classics headlines a new week of solid releases.
  |   Comments
What else can be mentioned about the legendary Alfred Hitchcock that hasn't already been so? There are so many reasons why he remains the Master of Suspense. His immense attention to detail; the way he set up scenes and their payoff; how he treated his actors; how he storyboarded every film he ever made; how he was able to craft tensions and suspense; and how he influenced a generation of filmmakers that are still asking themselves, "What would Hitchcock do?" This week, Universal Home Entertainment brings four of his greatest thrillers/films to 4K UHD for the first time ever in

A Stranger Among Us Blu-ray Review: A Shiksa Cop Out of Water

The viewer, like Emily, may feel like a fish out of water watching the rules and customs of the Brooklyn Hasidim, but they will be captivated in the neighborhood and the character of Ariel as well.
  |   Comments
A Stranger Among Us is a strange film. At times a crime thriller, a romance, a fish-out-of-water story, and a golden-toned New York story about a little-known or filmed community. It didn't get very good reviews when it was originally released in 1992, with many reviewers feeling that the story was weak and its star, Melanie Griffith, was woefully miscast as a hard-boiled New York cop. Has anything changed since then? Well, yes and no. Melanie Griffith's best films (Body Double, Stormy Monday, Something Wild) contrast her kewpie doll voice with the brains behind the bod, as she told Harrison

Entwined Movie Review: An Ingenious yet Underdeveloped Horror Pic

An atmosphere creepy woods picture with masterful ideas that often become tangled up.
  |   Comments
When our main protagonist Panos (Prometheus Aleiferopoulos) enters the ominous town of Alyti, he’s informed that he’s the only and first ever doctor to reside there. Right off the bat, it’s clear that Entwined aims to weave us into its eerie trap. A “creepy town” horror film that transcends into “creepy woods” subgenre territory, Entwined often spins an intriguing web even if at times it gets caught up in it. As Panos spends his time in Alyti, he collides with the townspeople who don’t rely on the familial medical procedures that Panos practices and instead prefer more spiritual healing processes.

Mr. Soul! Movie Review: There Has Never Been Another Show Like It

A documentary that explores the history of the ground-breaking show Soul! and its creator Ellis Haizlip.
  |   Comments
There is the old adage that history repeats itself. And if we look to the streets and look to our televisions, we see large numbers of protestors taking up the fight for the equality and protection of Black lives. These images mirror many of the images we would have seen of Black political action during the height of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s. This was also the era when color came to television, but people of color were only portrayed as negative stereotypes or strange anomalies. While representation has made some progress in regard to

Five Cool Things and No Time to Die Trailer

  |   Comments
It has been a while since I did a theme month for the movies I'm watching. I think I got a bunch of review copies in my mailbox which overwhelmed me and so I had to push the pause button on themes. Then I just kept forgetting about it. Well, the theme is back this month and I'm going with science fiction. Actually, I think I'm drilling down into that genre a little bit and going with science fiction films set in space. I only got to one of those films this week, but hopefully, I'll be able to watch

Book Review: Blade Runner 2049 - Interlinked - The Art by Tanya Lapointe

A terrific book that gives fans a look at the concept art behind one of the most visually arresting films ever made.
  |   Comments
I remember back in 2017, after I had just exited the IMAX presentation of Blade Runner 2049, being absolutely stunned by what director Denis Villeneuve had accomplished. A sequel to a film from 30 years prior is rarely a success, but Villeneuve managed to craft something that is mesmerizing and bold. The cinematography by Roger Deakins, who finally won his first Oscar for his work here, is breathtaking and stays on the screen long enough for the viewer to get absorbed into the Blade Runner world. With Blade Runner 2049 - Interlinked - The Art, author Tanya Lapointe (Villeneuve’s wife)

The B-52s: Live at US Festival DVD Review: Will Make You Feel a Whole Lot Better

A fantastic snapshot of the band's original line-up at their peak and it serves as a very good entry point for those new to the band.
  |   Comments
In 1982, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, with the help of concert impresario Bill Graham, spearheaded the US Festival, a three-day music festival held in San Bernadino, CA on September 3-5. Although it had an impressive roster of bands, it reportedly lost $12 million. On the opening day, the line-up of New Wave bands featured Gang of Four, the Ramones, the English Beat, Oingo Boingo, the B-52's, Talking Heads, and The Police. Shout Factory! is releasing the B-52's 13-song set on DVD, the first concert DVD from the band's classic era. Like many in 1979, the B-52s' first single “Rock Lobster”

I'm Thinking of Ending Things Movie Review: Charlie Kaufman's Eccentric Foray into Horror

A slow-burn melancholic horror romance only someone like Charlie Kaufman can pull off.
  |   Comments
I’m Thinking of Ending Things has a seemingly straightforward plot. Woman goes on a road trip with her partner to meet his parents. Seems pretty simple. However, because it is in the hands of the wonderfully bizarre Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is anything but straightforward. Kaufman is a master at the weird and the melancholic and this film proves to be no different. When the film begins, a nameless woman (Jessie Buckley), known simply as the Young Woman, and Jake (Jesse Plemons) begin their journey to meet Jake’s parents. At that point is when the picture

The New York Ripper 4K Ultra HD Review: Sleazy Exploitation American Giallo

A beautiful, terrible slasher film is a document of early '80s New York and its director's grotesque, murderous obsessions.
  |   Comments
The New York Ripper is sleazy. It contains sleaze. It is about sleaze. In its semi-coherent narrative, it indulges in the ugliness that its story decries. This is an ugly, gross film. It's also a weirdly beautiful document of late 20th century New York. The New York Ripper was directed by Lucio Fulci, who made many interesting, intriguing horror films, though I would be hard pressed to say he ever actually made a good one, a movie that could be enjoyed without reservations. He has a knack for crafting devious scenes, that start out relatively benign then become uncomfortable, and

The House by the Cemetery 4K Ultra HD Review: 'Damn Tombstones!'

Lucio Fulci's atmospheric, if baffling horror film arrives in a premium, beautiful 4k video release.
  |   Comments
It's probably not accurate to say Lucio Fulci is an acquired taste. It's more accurate to say, of all the directors of weird Italian horror movie genre, save perhaps Dario Argento, Fulci was the one most likely to create something you might remember after watching. His films have generally simplistic, and barely coherent plots - in fact, The House by the Cemetery with its bare thread of coherent narrative is one of his more complex stories. The power of Fulci's cinema is not in the overall effect but in the moment to moment. The House by The Cemetery has plenty

Announcing the 36th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival - September 24 to October 31

Highlights include: World Premiere of THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME and U.S. Premiere of THE PAPER TIGERS.
  |   Comments
Press release: The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), presented annually by Visual Communications (VC), announced that the 36th edition of the Festival will take place online from September 24 to October 31, 2020. Originally slated to take place in May 2020, the Festival postponed its in-person spring presentation due to COVID-19, and shifted to present the first Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Virtual Showcase. The organization felt it was important to showcase Asian American and Pacific Islander stories during that time, due to the rise in anti-Asian American sentiment and violence. VC continues to move forward, and

We Bare Bears The Movie DVD Giveaway

Cartoon Network’s beloved bears stack up for their first TV movie.
  |   Comments
Press release: Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader Cartoon Network’s We Bare Bears The Movie on DVD. It is currently available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers and arrives on DVD on September 8, 2020. For those wanting to learn more, read David Wangberg's review and the press release below: It all started with a bear stack, and now TV’s most hilarious and heartwarming bears star in their first TV movie! It is an extension of the successful We Bare Bears series, created by two-time Annie Award-winner Daniel

Follow Us