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Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Blu-ray Review: Don't Worry, You Didn't Miss Anything

Gus Van Sant assembles an impressive cast for a lackluster biopic.
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Gus Van Sant’s latest project barely made a ripple at the box office during its brief theatrical release this summer, and that trend isn’t likely to change now that the film is available for home viewing. While arthouse dramas have fallen on hard times in our blockbuster-obsessed theatrical climate, there’s little chance this particular film would have made an impact even if Gus Van Sant had made it in the 1990s with his original choice for star, Robin Williams. That’s because the source material simply isn’t all that special or particularly moving. Although Van Sant’s film is made with impeccable

Ant-Man and the Wasp Blu-ray Review: A Delightful Addition to the MCU

After the serious, universe-altering Avengers: Infinity War, this light-hearted comedy is a welcome follow-up.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp is the second Ant-Man movie and 20th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the serious, universe-altering Avengers: Infinity War, this light-hearted comedy is a welcome follow-up, although the stakes for some of the characters are just as dire. Years ago while on an assignment with Ant-Man/Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the Wasp/Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) shrank so small she ended up trapped in what is known as the Quantum Realm, In the previous film, Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) went there and returned, inspiring Hank to try and retrieve his wife. Two years following the events

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 7 by John Byrne

It's fun to see further adventures of the Original crew, particularly because Byrne understands the characters.
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As stated in my previous reviews of this book series, John Byrne and IDW Publishing are presenting the lost missions of the Original Series Enterprise crew in the form of photonovels. That format uses photographs instead of drawings like the Star Trek Fotonovels of the late '70s. Byrne manipulates images of characters and backgrounds from the TV show combined with new material such as dialogue in word balloons, narration, and photos of actors playing new characters and bodies of old ones. Volume 7 collects issues #18-20. During a routine resupply in the Polymax system in "What Pain It Is to

Bad Times at the El Royale Movie Review: A Thrilling Genre Bender

Bad Times at the El Royale is wonderfully chaotic and boasts a killer ensemble cast.
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If there was an Oscar given for Most Well-Marketed Movie Of The Year, Bad Times at the El Royale would easily be a frontrunner. The film's marketing is so in sync with the shroud of mystery that surrounds it up until the final climax. Even while you're watching the movie, it’s difficult to determine what kind of movie you're watching. Is this a black comedy? Is it some kind of horror movie? Are we watching an Agatha Christie-style thriller? What kind of movie is this? Well, I can tell you one thing: This movie is a total blast. Its genre

LAFF 2018 Review: Stuntman

A story about pursuing dreams and redemption, and the highs and lows that can come with it.
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One of the biggest stars of the 1970s was daredevil Evel Knievel, who made a living risking life and limb performing crazy stunts. His biggest career failure occurred in 1974 when was his attempt at jumping Snake River Canyon was cut short when the rocket's parachute deployed shortly after take-off. Unbeknownst to me, which seems hard to believe in this information-overload age, another team attempted to redeem Knievel and his crew. Although the title doesn't make that clear, Stuntman tells that story. Like many Gen-X kids, Eddie Braun looked up to Knievel, but he took that inspiration and became a

Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Blu-ray Review: The Magazine of Record and Records

An entertaining trip down memory lane even if it can't help but mythologize.
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Originally a two-part documentary on HBO, broken down into six episodes across two Blu-ray discs for this Shout Factory! release, Alex Gibney and Blair Foster's Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge tells the story of the famed magazine, and that of the United States during its run, by highlighting its major articles. The documentary opens with the early days of the magazine when Jann Wenner, his wife Jane, and Ralph Gleason founded the magazine in San Francisco in 1967. It wasn't just about the music that young people were into but a look at the culture also, both of which

New York Film Festival 2018 Review: Roma Is Flawlessly Transcendent

Alfonso Cuaron's latest film Roma is heart wrenching, awe inspiring, and vital all at once.
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The best word that can be used to describe Roma is that it is transcendent. It is a transcendent piece of cinematic art that captures your heart and is also a theatrical experience that manages to rupture the senses. After director Alfonso Cuaron made Gravity, the cinematic event of 2013 and one of the most monumental cinematic experiences of the decade, some of us probably wondered how he would follow that up. Well, he has made a film with a story that is smaller in scale yet is still quite simplistic. It seems like a straightforward story involving the life

The Public Image Is Rotten Movie Review: A Fine Introduction to John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols Career

Not surprisingly, the documentary spends a lot of time focusing on this original period of the band when it produced its most influential and challenging work.
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In the aftermath of the Sex Pistols’ demise, the press, particularly in England, probably felt they had heard the last of Johnny “Rotten” Lydon. Instead, the controversial singer returned, as confrontational and dangerous as ever, with an exciting new group, Public Image Ltd. (PiL), that arguably pushed musical boundaries further than the Pistols ever did. Four decades later, The Public Image Is Rotten takes a look back at this original punk’s wild journey. The film, which was directed by Tabbert Fiiller, mixes killer concert footage with current and archival interviews from Lydon and band members past and present. Lydon’s differences

A Star Is Born (2018) Movie Review: A Perfectly Adequate Remake

Bradley Cooper offers an effective glimpse at his potential greatness as a director with his decent remake.
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After getting two remakes of the famed 1937 classic, do we really need another version of A Star Is Born? Well, while the old story remains the same, director/actor/co-writer Bradley Cooper still manages to make his rendition both modern and timely. Also, Bradley Cooper may be one of the best actors of his generation but with A Star Is Born, he proves that as an actor, he can be an even better director. It goes without saying that his performance as fading country star Jackson Maine is terrific. However, what makes his direction even better is how he puts such

The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special DVD Review: A Few Too Many Guests

The Carol Burnett Show looks good at fifty.
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With reruns of The Carol Burnett Show on almost every night, it’s hard to believe that we could be celebrating the 50th anniversary, but celebrate they did, and we got to watch. In December 2017, CBS aired Carol and friends return to Stage 33 at Television City and on September 18, 2018, Time Life released the special on DVD. The special is everything that you would expect and more. The “more” is not always good, but different. There have been numerous specials over the years celebrating and reminiscing about the wonderful comedy created by Carol, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle

LAFF 2018 Review: The Great Buster: A Celebration

The film is an absolute delight in large part to the many entertaining clips taken from Keaton's filmography.
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Director Peter Bogdanovich pays tribute to the life and work of Buster Keaton in this biographical documentary about one of cinema's greatest filmmakers. Opening with his appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Bogdanovich starts the “celebration” singing the praises of Keaton. He then presents the story of Keaton in a near-linear manner. Joseph Frank Keaton was born into a vaudeville family in 1895 and at three years old joined his parents' act, thanks to his ability to take a fall without getting hurt. Legend has it, Harry Houdini was responsible for giving young Keaton the name “Buster” after seeing him

Cabin Boy (1994) Blu-ray Review: Still Floating After All These Years

Kino Lorber bravely launches a Special Edition release for one of the most hated films of the mid '90s.
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Though I never saw the film in its entirety until much later in life, I was nevertheless present when Adam Resnick's Cabin Boy briefly flickered onto silver screens near and far in 1994. I was also there when word began to spread (and quickly, at that) regarding just how popular of a title it was at the time. But my personal favorite Cabin Boy story hailed from a secondhand account, wherein a former acquaintance of mine enjoyed the movie's many, many flaws so much, that he exited the cineplex in tears, resulting in one very confused usher walking up to

A Star Is Born (1954) Blu-ray Book Review: Judy Garland is at the Top of Her Game

An absolute treasure for fans of the film and is well worth checking out for fans of Hollywood musicals.
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After being unceremoniously dismissed from MGM in 1950 due to erratic behavior as a result of psychological problems and addiction, Judy Garland made a triumphant return to the silver screen in a musical remake of A Star Is Born, one of many films that counter the argument against Hollywood remakes. Garland plays Esther Blodgett, a young singer whose talent is noticed by Norman Maine (James Mason), an actor whose career is collapsing due to his alcoholism. He strongly believes in her and suggests she give up singing with the band she's with to take a screen test. She becomes a

Gotti (2018) Blu-ray Review: Sleeping with the Fishes

It rightfully deserved the whacking it received from critics.
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Despite the colossal amount of negative press it received during its theatrical run, I half-expected Gotti to at least have some entertainment value in how terrible it is. At certain parts of the movie, there is this feeling of glee when something so outrageously, horribly executed appears on the screen. It starts right at the beginning of the film when an establishing shot shows John Gotti (John Travolta) looking up to the stars and then turns to the camera and breaks the fourth wall as he begins to explain his story. He starts off by spouting generic, gangster lines such

Book Review: The Complete Dick Tracy, Volume 24: 1967-1969 by Chester Gould

Throughout Volume 24, Gould continues to deliver adventures filled with thrills, laughs, and action.
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As the Library of American Comics and IDW Publishing continue to collect The Complete Dick Tracy by Chester Gould, Volume 24 presents the dailies and Sunday strips from July 3, 1967 through to April 2, 1969. The book has an introductory essay by consulting editor Max Allan Collins, "Is All This Moon Stuff Worth It?" about the state of the strip at the time. It concludes with contributing editor Jeff Kersten's "Hard as Hell - Act Two" about Gould and provides interesting annotations. The book opens with Dick Tracy and Diet Smith hot on the trail of the bearded duo

The Transformers: The Movie Review: Still Got the Touch

Two screenings, 30 years apart, and still a great ride.
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On August 8, 1986, the original Transformers lit up the silver screen for the first time in The Transformers: The Movie. On September 27, 2018 -- just 32 years, 1 month, 20 days later -- it screened once more in theaters across the country courtesy of Fathom Events. I had the privilege of seeing it both in 1986 and a few days ago (and about a hundred times in between on VHS and DVD). I'm told there were five other "Transformers" movies made in the interim. Pfft. They've got nothing on this flick, with some of the first prominent cartoon

Gold (1974) Blu-ray Review: Always Believe in Your Soul

Kino Lorber digs up this strange British mish-mash of just about every genre under the ground starring Roger Moore, Susannah York, Ray Milland, and Bradford Dillman.
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For years, finding a copy of Gold in its original unaltered form was about as rare as the eponymous mineral itself. Thankfully for a wide array of vintage offbeat film enthusiasts, Peter Hunt's unsung mashup has been refined for a new High-Definition release from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. And boy, oh boy, what a strange little "dig" this one makes for! Set (and mostly filmed) in South Africa during its infamous apartheid regime, Gold stars the late great Sir Roger Moore (who had only inherited the role of James Bond from Sean Connery the year before) as the very manly

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season Three Blu-ray Review: Legendary Television

This series keeps getting better and better.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. I almost didn’t make it through the first season of Legends of Tomorrow. The main characters weren’t interesting and it didn’t do anything that any of the other superhero shows weren’t already doing. Most of the heroes--er, legends seemed like b-grade characters or worse. But over time, I’ve grown to love both the series and those rejects. Much like the show itself, I’ve learned to embrace their lack of a slick sheen. They aren't heroes.

A Raisin in the Sun Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Wonderfully Acted Film

A masterpiece adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's eternal play about the conflicts of Black life.
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While some movies about the African-American experience are embarassing and downright stereotypical, there are others that realistically transcend the bad taste, to tell truthful stories of the issues and obstacles that face people of color. Director Daniel Petrie's brilliant 1961 adaptation of celebrated author/playwright Lorraine Hansberry's eternal play, A Raisin in the Sun, is definitely one of the seminal films of all-time. It takes place mostly in a cramped Chicago apartment that houses the Younger family: Lena (Claudia McNeil), the strong and proud matriach; her son Walter Lee (Sidney Poitier), an ambitious but often reckless man; his wife Ruth (Ruby

A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968) Blu-ray Review: And Nearly Two Hours to Snooze

Kino Lorber unholsters one of the most boring, cynical, shallow, and violent attempts to cash-in on the Spaghetti Western craze.
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If you had the good fortune to grow up in or around video rental stores during the '80s and '90s, then there's a darn good chance you saw a very generic-looking videocassette cover for A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (Un minuto per pregare, un istante per morire) on the shelf at one point or another. I know I certainly did, and I was always a little put off by the lack of its "enticing" artwork. Nevertheless, when teenaged me beget his Spaghetti Western phase and I had burned through all of the more popular-looking titles, Franco Giardi's

LAFF 2018 Review: Making Montgomery Clift

An engaging, informative documentary about the man, his craft, and show business.
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Co-created by Hillary Demmon and Robert Clift, the actor's youngest nephew and son of his brother Brooks, Making Montgomery Clift is an engaging, informative documentary about the man, his craft, and show business. As a fan of classic film but not the gossip associated with it, I knew about Monty's work so was aware that he, along with Marlon Brando and James Dean, were at the forefront of an acting style that embraced sensitivity as a component of masculinity. However, I was unaware that rather than his movie performances, the documentary suggests Marty was better known for allegedly destroying himself

The Baby Blu-ray Review: Could Have Been a Cult Classic

Ted Post's odd ball 70s horror film has all the trappings of a camp classic but the execution left me bored out of my skull.
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The 1970s must have been an amazing time to make movies. The studio system was breaking down, allowing more independent cinema to get made. The censorship inherent within the Hays Code was destroyed, allowing for more freedom of expression. Money was pouring in from all corners. Grindhouse cinemas were willing to play any kind of movie at all hours of the day and night with willing patrons flowing through their doors. This allowed all sorts of imaginative, wonderful, and terrible films to be made and find an audience. Made in 1973, The Baby is a film so bizarre it defies

The Public Image Is Rotten Movie Review: Traces the 40-year History of John Lydon and Public Image, Ltd.

What makes the film engaging is the no-BS honesty of all its interviewees.
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Near the beginning of The Public Image is Rotten, a young John Lydon is asked how long he’ll live. “I’m one of the very few people in pop history who will not go away.” Forty years later, he’s still capturing the attention of fans and the media, whether he’s onstage making music or simply walking through an airport. His band, Public Image Ltd., has been together in one form or another for forty years, too. The Public Image is Rotten, a documentary about the band, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and is playing in limited engagement at

Where Hands Touch Movie Review: Well-Acted and Well-Intended yet Misguided

It retains the same theme of finding your identity that director Amma Asante has demonstrated in her previous work.
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Before I go further into my review, I’ll just get one thing out of the way. If you plan on seeing Where Hands Touch but haven’t seen the trailer yet, then my advice would be to skip the trailer and just see the film. The preview makes it seem like the film’s forbidden romance, which has been an understandable point of controversy, is its focal point. But as it turns out, Where Hands Touch is really about finding your identity and trying to survive in the midst of war. Leyna (Amandla Stenberg), a biracial woman, tries to pass as a

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. Movie Review: Raw/Chaotic/Fascinating

Less a documentary than a lightly curated trip through M.I.A.'s personal video archives, the film explores her wildly unconventional life.
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M.I.A. rose to fame as a recording artist, but her back story is so intriguing that she’d make a superb documentary subject even without her name recognition. Born as Matangi, the daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, then transplanted to England as a refugee immigrant where she adopted the moniker Maya, she found a creative outlet in documenting her daily life via video footage that makes up the bulk of this film. It’s rare for viewers have access to such a vast amount of pre-fame videos of a star, and even more exceptional when those archives

My Man Godfrey Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: My Man Powell Strikes Gold

Screwball comedy masks an insightful examination of the class divide in the wake of the Great Depression
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At a glance, My Man Godfrey appears to be a typical formulaic production from Hollywood’s golden age. Headlined by two huge stars and fellow Oscar nominees for this film, William Powell and Carole Lombard, the film focuses on an upper-crust family in New York City, with all their trappings of success and opulent parties on full display. However, this is far from a standard wealthy family, and that’s where the film proves its originality. Based on his novel and featuring a screenplay co-written by Eric Hatch, the film is a comedic social critique examining the class divide between the homeless

Exorcist II: The Heretic Blu-ray Review: Terrible Sequel, Great Movie

John Boorman's sequel to one of the scariest movies of all time is a psychedelic, visually stunning, totally camp, incomprehensible mess, and also kind of awesome.
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Based upon the best-selling novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist was a huge success. It earned over $66 million when it was released in 1973 and went on to become one of the biggest horror movies ever made. Adjusted for inflation, it is the top-grossing R-rated film of all time. Of course, there was going to be a sequel. But man, is it a hard movie to make a sequel from. I mean what can you do? The easiest thing would be to let poor little Regan get possessed again, but that seems boring. You could follow another possession

Life Itself (2018) Movie Review: Dour, Sentimental Drivel

The depressing Life Itself will surely be a contender for worst movie of the year.
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They say there is no greater journey than life itself. Well, one thing about life that isn’t great is the journey of sitting through movies like Life Itself. Even though the ensemble drama has an incredible cast, even they can’t save this mess which is schmaltzy to the point where it becomes nauseating. I mean, if the movie wants to demonstrate how life is full of unexpected surprises, why make it so depressing for the sake of being depressing? The way that the storylines are connected is practically designed to demand buckets of tears from the audience members. Just on

The Man Who Cheated Himself Blu-ray Review: You Can't Trust Anyone

Don't cheat yourself, film noir fans. Pick up a copy.
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Produced by the Film Noir Foundation, restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and presented by Flicker Factory, The Man Who Cheated Himself is much more interesting than its generic title implies since many a film noir lead character cheats himself in some form or another. The film opens with Howard (Harlan Warde) and Lois (Jane Wyatt) Frazer heading towards a divorce after three years of marriage, and both having people on the side. When Lois (Jane Wyatt) finds a receipt for a gun sale Howard made recently, she calls her paramour, homicide detective Lt. Ed Cullen (Lee J.

The Pyjama Girl Case Blu-ray Review: Fact Is More Interesting Than Fiction

Put your PJs on, this giallo will put you to sleep.
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In 1934, the corpse of a woman clad in exotic silk pajamas was found lying in a culvert in New South Wales, Australia. She had been beaten, shot, and partially burned, leaving her identity a mystery. Police were perplexed. The media made it a sensation and the crime enthralled the country. Especially after the body became a public spectacle when she was laid in a formaldehyde bath for display in Sydney. In 1977, Flavio Mogherini turned the story into a movie. It is an odd, often-salacious, rather-dull police procedural that for some reason gets lumped into the giallo genre (Arrow

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