Results tagged “Warner Archive”

The Gumball Rally (1976) Blu-ray Review: Real Cars. Real Actors. Real Fun.

The Warner Archive Collection revs its engines up for one of the greatest cross-country race flicks to hail from the '70s.
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It never fails to amuse me how many road/race flicks spawned from the same decade now synonymous with "gas shortage." Similarly, those very motion pictures never fail to delight. And now, thanks to the ever-diligent efforts of the Warner Archive Collection, one of the first films to capitalize on Brock Yates' Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash ‒ which Yates himself would cash-in on a few years later with The Cannonball Run, after Burt Reynolds already had in Smokey and the Bandit ‒ has hit Blu-ray for home media enthusiasts who love seeing vintage (and very expensive) automobiles darting across

The Man with Two Brains / My Blue Heaven Blu-ray Reviews: Get Martinized

The Warner Archive Collection re-releases two of Steve Martin's best films, this time in glorious High-Definition.
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From his early days as a collaborator on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Steve Martin's unique brand of humor has always left an impression. Even on people who have never been able to tune in to his sense of comedy, such as my father and just about every critic who saw The Jerk upon its initial release. Fortunately, time has always been on Mr. Martin's side. Well, maybe so not so much in the case of those Pink Panther remakes, but his original classics have maintained their popularity over the years, especially these two new Warner Archive Blu-ray issues. Originally

Freebie and the Bean (1974) Blu-ray Review: How Can Something So Wrong Feel So Right?

Look out, world ‒ because James Caan and Alan Arkin are on the loose again, thanks to the Warner Archive Collection.
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A classic example of "How can something so wrong feel so right?", Richard (The Stunt Man) Rush's classic 1974 action-comedy starring James Caan and Alan Arkin is a delightful politically-incorrect romp through the streets of San Francisco. The granddaddy of the buddy cop genre most of us have grown to despise today, Freebie and the Bean focuses on the outrageous antics of two rogue SFPD detectives, whom we only ever know by their eponymous nicknames: Caan plays the openly corrupt "Freebie," while Arkin ‒ an actor of Jewish heritage, mind you ‒ plays a Mexican-American everyone calls "Bean." And who

Superman: The Movie - Extended Cut (1978/82) Blu-ray Review: A DC Miracle

The Warner Archive Collection soars with this rare, three-hour TV cut of Richard Donner's superhero classic.
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Of all the variable incarnations of motion pictures that exist within the world, there is perhaps none more elusive than the legendary TV version. This holds particularly true in the instance of films made before television censors officially threw up their arms and said "We give up" after Dennis Franz's flabby backside first appeared on late night television airings. Prior to that, many theatrical outings underwent sometimes drastic re-edits before they could be shown to the still-sensitive primetime audiences of the late '70s and early '80s. One good example is the near-legendary network-added prologue to Sergio Leone's A Fistful of

Only Noirs and Horses: Four Flicks from the Warner Archive

From classic psychological thrillers to obscure westerns, these WAC releases are worth betting money on.
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In keeping with their tradition of debuting and re-issuing timeless and forgotten classics alike, the Warner Archive Collection has recently brought forth four titles from its vaults. Among this quartet is the classic psychological thriller Undercurrent, and three new-to-DVD rarities: Full Confession, which may very well be the darkest "religious" film I have ever seen; the fascinating western noir Cow Country; and ‒ branching out from the cowboy motif ‒ the long lost '50s family-friendly adventure, The Lion and the Horse. Undercurrent (1946) By and far the most recognized title in the mix, Vincente Minnelli's Undercurrent (also known as You

Joe Versus the Volcano Blu-ray Review: An Overlooked Tom Hanks Gem

It's a lot of fun, and sometimes that's all you want, or need, from a movie.
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When you have a lengthy and acclaimed filmography like Tom Hanks, some films are going to fall through the cracks. That has certainly been the case of 1990's Joe Versus the Volcano. Even among early-career comedies, this is a movie that gets overlooked. People remember Splash. They remember Big even if it is just to make jokes about the fact the movie features a grown woman having a sexual relationship with a child in a man's body. You rarely hear about Joe Versus the Volcano. That's a mistake, because it is the best of the early-period Hanks comedies. In fact,

The Ballad of Cable Hogue Blu-ray Review: A Bland Western

For its fans, Warner Archive has created a satisfying high-definition presentation with interesting extras about the movie and its director.
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In between The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs, two films that exemplified his work as a director, Sam Peckinpah made The Ballad of Cable Hogue, a lighthearted Western that has an interesting premise about a man noticing the inevitable change of the American West. Unfortunately, it suffers from a story that takes too long to develop and characters that don't connect with the audience. Bowen (Strother Martin) and Taggart (LQ Jones) strand former partner Cable Hogue (Jason Robards) in the Arizona desert. Cable goes without water for four days, but eventually stumbles upon a water hole. Though scoffed at by

Innocent Blood (1992) Blu-ray Review: A Parisian Vampire in Pittsburgh

The Warner Archive Collection unveils a gorgeous new uncut transfer of John Landis' star-studded horror/action/comedy.
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Where An American Werewolf in London and From Dusk Till Dawn points on a map, John Landis' 1992 vampire horror/action/comedy Innocent Blood would probably be somewhere in-between in terms of its ability to both shock and delight. Set in the magical land of Pittsburgh, the film finds La Femme Nikita beauty Anne Parillaud as Marie, a less-stereotypical (and frequently nude) vampire with a heart. Deeming it an immortal sin to feast upon the innocent, Marie prefers to sink her fangs into the worst society has to offer. Namely, those of the criminal underworld. (Whereas today, she'd likely be draining swamps.)

The Hidden (1987) Blu-ray Review: The Best Movie John Carpenter Never Made

The Warner Archive Collection proudly delivers this amazing horror/sci-fi/action/comedy hybrid starring young Kyle MacLachlan.
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The epitome of everything that made '80s cinema everlastingly fantastic, Jack Shoulder's cult classic The Hidden is a rare hybrid of horror, sci-fi, action, and comedy. Set in the ghostly shadow of Los Angeles' past, the 1987 film focuses on a parasitical alien lifeform from the infinity beyond with a local affinity for fast sports cars, deadly assault weapons, more money than it needs (since it doesn't actually need any), loud rock music, and a lot of power over others. Yes, there's one of them there allegories present in that particular synopsis; one which not only becomes all the more

Blood Alley / The Sea Chase (1955) Blu-ray Reviews: The Duke Turns to The Drink

John Wayne runs ashore with Commies, Nazis, Lauren Bacall, and Lana Turner in two seafaring melodramas from the Warner Archive.
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Following in the wake of the Warner Archive Collection's 2016 debuts of John Wayne's They Were Expendable and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, the WAC has assembled another two-fisted encounter with The Duke himself. This time, however, we are treated to two of Wayne's more unusual endeavors, Blood Alley and The Sea Chase, both of which were released in 1955 to less than triumphant box office debuts. And it's pretty darn easy to see why neither movie became the must-see hit of the year, too. Ironically, the trouble with each title is our larger-than-life star himself. Far removed from the

Running on Empty (1988) Blu-ray Review: Fam on the Run

Sidney Lumet's stunning drama, featuring a standout performance by an Oscar-nominated River Phoenix, hits BD from the Warner Archive.
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While I may not be able to recall every single feature I have ever seen in a moviehouse (and, believe me, there have been many), Sidney Lumet's 1988 drama Running on Empty has always managed to stand out in my mind for some reason, despite the fact that I really don't remember much of the movie itself. And yet, at the same time, I found myself saying "Oh yeah, this happens" an awful lot upon my recent second viewing of the film, nearly 30 years after seeing it on the big screen in '88. I suppose the film must have

Seven Days in May (1964) Blu-ray Review: The Terror from Within

John Frankenheimer's political paranoia thriller ‒ featuring a script by Rod Serling ‒ receives a beautiful makeover from the Warner Archive.
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The looming threat of nuclear war. A less-than-favorable US President sporting the lowest approval on record in a heap of trouble concerning Russia. No, it's not something ripped straight from today's news; rather, it's the setting for Seven Days in May ‒ a tense 1964 political thriller from Ronin director John Frankenheimer and Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Released theatrically by Paramount Pictures just two years after the director's previous offering, The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May reunites Frankenheimer with one of his best-known on-screen collaborators, the great Burt Lancaster (Birdman of Alcatraz). Set in an early Cold War-era

The Loved One (1965) Blu-ray Review: I'm Lovin' It

The Warner Archive unleashes an outrageous black comedy cult classic that covers a lot of desecrated ground.
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Whereas motion pictures deliberately constructed to shock and offend people with even the most lenient sense of humor are hardly unusual today, I have to wonder how audiences must have reacted when MGM first premiered The Loved One in 1965. Freely adapted from British author Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy (with shades of Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death thrown in for good measure) by satirist Terry Southern ‒ who previously co-wrote Dr. Strangelove with Stanley Kubrick ‒ The Loved One could quite possibly be the darkest comedy ever to hail from the '60s. In

Where the Boys Are (1960) Blu-ray Review: Life Was a Beach Even Then

The Warner Archive Collection unveils the film that inspired the whole Beach Party Movie genre.
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Three years before the marketing genii at American International Pictures first discovered there was gold in the banks beside the sea with what would become the Beach Party series (and the many bad clones that came with it), the folks at MGM were having a little soiree in the sand all to themselves. Much like the later AIP franchise (which, technically, saw its roots in the late '50s via a couple of drag racing flicks), Henry Levin's Where the Boys Are features a group of kids heading off to the beach for a little fun ‒ something that, amazingly enough,

The Accidental Tourist (1988) Blu-ray Review: Good Grief

Lawrence Kasdan's powerfully therapeutic film starring William Hurt and an Oscar-winning Geena Davis hits BD thanks to the Warner Archive Collection.
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Though he is probably only known to the current generation of stalwart moviegoers as one of the writers of several Indiana Jones and Star Wars pictures, there was a time when the name Lawrence Kasdan was a highly praised by older moviegoers as much as maybe a few younglings craving anything bearing the LucasArts logo might do in forums today. Those of you who may be dangerously close to nearing AARP status now might recall the first-run popularity of one of Kasdan's earliest, important contributions to the film industry, 1983's human drama The Big Chill. In the '70s, as the

The Wheeler Dealers (1963) Blu-ray Review: It'd Be Funnier If It Weren't So Damn True

The Warner Archive Collection deals us a vintage James Garner/Lee Remick screwball comedy that hits a little too close to reality today.
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Given a proper duration of passing time, just about anything that was once considered cool or comical may malform into something wholly other. And there is truly no better example than the hip 1963 screwball comedy The Wheeler Dealers ‒ an early theatrical effort from director Arthur Hiller (The In-Laws) which finds the great James Garner as a shrewd businessman with a big mouth and persona to match. Dressed to the hilt in classic Texan millionaire garb, Garner's Henry Tyroon was the very sort of man whom the very sort of untrustworthy jerks who have ruined America solely in the

Spencer's Mountain (1963) Blu-ray Review: Good Morning, Johnboy

Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, and James MacArthur inspire everything from each other to TV shows in this classic family drama from Warner Archive Collection.
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Nine years before The Waltons was broadcast across the nation's airwaves for the first time, Henry Fonda was hard at work building the very homestead the aforementioned TV series would later inhabit. Figuratively speaking, that is. And while the names, places, and events depicted in the 1963 Warner Bros. hit Spencer's Mountain differ vastly from the famous television show it would later inspire, there's no denying the simple country worlds depicted in both incarnations stem from the same Earl Hamner, Jr. novel. Set in rural Wyoming somewhere in the first half of the 20th Century, Spencer's Mountain finds one of

Protocol DVD Review: Goldie Hawn Comedy Too Light-hearted for Its Own Good

For fans who like Goldie being Goldie, she takes part in mildly amusing antics.
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Protocol tells the story of Sunny (Goldie Hawn, playing a variation of her simple-minded persona that ingratiated her to many since she appeared on Laugh-In), a Washington D.C. cocktail waitress, whose actions leads to notoriety and a job with the U.S. State Department. The movie has moments where it seems like it wants to be a satire of politics and the media, but its critiques are blunted to allow Hawn to stand out as a comedienne. Sunny is struggling to get by. She has an unreliable car, is not happy with her job where some patrons think the bar also

36 Hours (1964) Blu-ray Review: Captivating Wartime Espionage

James Garner finds himself right in the middle of a dirty Nazi trick in this taut WWII thriller from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Imagine waking up one day, only to discover five years have passed and your memory isn't what it used to be. No, it's not another melodrama about people suffering from Alzheimer's. Rather, that is the heart of a nifty Nazi conspiracy in George Seaton's 1964 World War II thriller 36 Hours. Here, the late great James Garner stars as an American intelligence officer who ‒ after attending a top-secret briefing about the forthcoming Invasion of Normandy ‒ heads off to Lisbon to meet an informant. Alas, he doesn't make it that far. Kidnapped by Der Führer's men, our hero instead

The Rounders (1965) Blu-ray Review: Glenn Ford. Henry Fonda. 'Nuff Said.

The Warner Archive Collection wrangles up a classic western comedy starring two of filmdom's greatest cowboys.
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The Rounders is the sort of film that made a bigger impression on the public than anyone had anticipated. Originally released on the tail end of a double feature ‒ a spot generally reserved for movies nobody expected much from ‒ the 1965 cowboy comedy starring the unbeatable pairing of western icons Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda garnered enough attention to launch a prequel TV series starring Ron Hayes and Patrick Wayne. But whereas the television version was doomed to failure (as was just about any project starring Ron Hayes or Patrick Wayne), this adaptation of Max Evans' 1960 novel
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