Results tagged “Warner Archive”

Wally Gator: The Complete Series DVD Review: Delightfully Silly, Don't Y'know

Best in small doses because of the similarity of the plots.
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As part of the Hanna Barbera Classic Collection, the Warner Archive Collection has released Wally Gator: The Complete Series. The two-disc release presents the 52 cartoons the character starred in, which first appeared as part of The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series on ABC from September 3, 1962 - August 30, 1963. Wally Gator was one of a trio of cartoons the series aired. The other two were Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har and Touché Turtle and Dum Dum. The series is similar to Hanna Barbera's hit cartoon Yogi Bear (1961-1962). Wally Gator is a hat-collar-and-cuff wearing anthropomorphic alligator

Klute is the Pick of the Week

A gritty '70s masterwork leads a week of interesting releases.
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The 1970s was a hugely groundbreaking decade for film. During this decade, Cinema reflected on the aftermath of Vietnam, the Watergate scandal, women's rights, and the uncertainty of more political unrest. Director Alan J. Pakula reflected this with his unofficial 'paranoid trilogy', which included 1974's The Parallax View and 1976's All The President's Men. However, his 1971 neo-noir thriller, Klute, started it all. It's a film about menace, uncertainty, but also a woman's place in the world. That woman is Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), a self-liberated call girl who's given one trick too many, and finds herself on the wrong

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the Pick of the Week

John Cameron Mitchell's 2001 cult classic rounds out a pretty great week of new releases.
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Being that this is still Pride month, I think John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) makes sense as my Pick of the Week. Although I have only seen the first half of the film, I know that it definitely compares to Rocky Horror as the new Midnight Movie, but with more emotional and oddly realistic poignancy. It also captures the spirit of rock and roll and how it connects within the soul of people who really desire their own voice. In terms of today's unholy and misguided transphobia, I think the film stomps the usual stereotypes to

The Thing from Another World Blu-ray Review: A Classic of the Sci-fi Genre

Available from Warner Archive, the Blu-ray offers impressive high-def video and pleasing audio.
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Based on John W. Campbell's 1938 novella “Who Goes There?” The Thing from Another World (1951) tells the story of those at arctic outpost Polar Expedition Six dealing with a plant-based humanoid alien (James Arness) that feeds on blood, no matter if it's human or animal. Understandably once the titular creature starts to kill, Air Force Captain Pat Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) wants the thing destroyed. However, not only must he and his men battle against this powerful thing, which is immune to bullets, but also against head scientist Dr. Arthur Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), who has different ideas on how to

The Prize (1963) Blu-ray Review: Lots of Talent, Big Disappointment

The Prize could have been a bonafide classic under a different director, instead it's just ok, but mostly forgettable.
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Based upon a popular novel by Irving Wallace, The Prize (1963) was written by six-time Academy Award-nominee Ernest Lehman and stars Hollywood hot-shot Paul Newman and Hollywood heavyweight Edward G. Robinson. It was shot on location in exotic Stockholm. It is a tale of intrigue, mistaken identities, spies, and murder. It should have been a bonafide classic. Were it directed by someone like Alfred Hitchcock or Orson Welles, it would have been. Instead, it was helmed by Mark Robson and we got a film that’s just okay and mostly forgettable. Newman plays Andrew Craig, a writer who is beloved by

Year of the Dragon Blu-ray Review: An Underrated Cop Thriller

Warner Archive gives a solid Blu-ray upgrade to Michael Cimino’s edgy crime thriller.
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Michael Cimino may have never had another critical and/or commercial success after The Deer Hunter, but that doesn’t mean he, at least, made some films that are still worthy of a conversation piece. Heaven’s Gate was a giant bomb in 1980, but it is still talked about and gets new restored versions of it every so often - with the most recent being a 2012 release from The Criterion Collection of the film in all its three hours-plus glory. Year of the Dragon may not have the same reputation as Heaven’s Gate does of being a costly, box office failure

Warner Archive Collection at WonderCon 2019

Surprise guests join trio of exciting WAC panels over WonderCon weekend.
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Press release: Warner Archive Collection (WAC) presents a trio of exhilarating panels at WonderCon over the March 29-31 weekend in Anaheim with the focus on newly-remastered, coming-to-Blu-ray presentations of the original Man From Atlantis TV movie pilot and the entire original Jonny Quest animated series, plus a special 10th anniversary celebration of Warner Archive Collection itself. WAC’s guest panelists include an extraordinary array of talent ranging from Man From Atlantis star Patrick Duffy and Shazam! TV series heartthrob Michael Gray to renowned voice actress Julie Nathanson and Daniel Zaldivar, the original voice of Hadji on Jonny Quest. WAC’s programming for

Brewster McCloud Blu-ray Review: A Weird, Strange Trip into the Altmanverse

Robert Altman's follow-up to M*A*S*H is an idiosyncratic, weird little film that only he could make.
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After spending a decade or so making industrial films then directing television episodes, Robert Altman finally connected with critics and audiences on a feature film. Released in 1970, M*A*S*H, a satirical account of a medical unit in the Korean War, was a smash hit. It won awards, made big money (and spawned a hugely successful TV series), and put Altman on the map as an exciting filmmaker. With the success of M*A*S*H, the studios gave Altman a green light to make any film he wanted. He chose the hottest screenplay around, Brewster McCloud, a black comedy about a New York

Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 Blu-ray Review: Impressive Visuals but Disappointing Audio

After 10 years, completists will certainly be glad Warner Archive is continuing the release of Popeye cartoons.
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From July 2007 through November 2008, Warner Brothers released three volumes of Popeye the Sailor cartoons on DVD, which contained the first 123 cartoons from Popeye the Sailor (1933) through to Cartoons Ain't Human (1943). Aside from three Popeye Color Specials, two-reelers shot in Technicolor, those cartoons were in black and white. Now 10 years later, Warner Archive is continuing the run with Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1, featuring the next 14 theatrical cartoons made by Famous Studios, all in Technicolor, from Her Honor the Mare (1943) through to Mess Production (1945). For those new to the Popeye

Condemned! | The Devil to Pay! DVD Reviews: Both Worthy of Exclamation Points

The Warner Archive Collection dusts off two pre-Code Ronald Colman classics featuring Ann Harding, Loretta Young, Myrna Loy, and a familiar-looking terrier.
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Once again, the Warner Archive Collection has unveiled a couple of forgotten titles starring Ronald Colman, the British-born talent who transcended from stage to silents to talkies with the greatest of ease, resulting in three Oscar-nominations during his 40+ career in the world of entertainment. Here, the WAC presents us with two pre-Code rarities ‒ a serious drama and a madcap comedy ‒ both of which are well worth the cost of admission. Condemned! (1929, United Artists) Set on the isle of Cayenne ‒ the infamous French penal colony better known as "Devil's Island", from whence Humphrey Bogart would repeatedly

San Diego Comic-Con International 2018 Review: Go for the Comics, Stay for the Stories

Another year of Con but this time it's the Big Picture
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Is it as easy as copy and paste? If you have followed my writings even tangentially over the past eight years, you know I thrive on two things - consistency and nostalgia. I attend many of the same panels each year, like reuniting with old friends or watching an old familiar film for comfort. The annual gathering of misfits known as the San Diego Comic-Con International brings together tribes from all over the world. If you're there - badge or not, costume or not, Captain America shield, Batman mask, or Stormtrooper helmet - you are among your brethren. Usually this

Lights of New York (1928) DVD Review: The Most Sublime Milestone in Cinema

The Warner Archive Collection brings us the first all-talking motion picture ever, which deserves a look-see for that very reason alone.
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Given that even the cheapest films produced today can be presented in faux widescreen with 7-channel surround sound and special effects manufactured entirely via computer software, it's extremely easy to take some of cinema's most important milestones for granted. Much like the very first motion pictures to be shot digitally as far back as the early 2000s have already faded from the memory of the general public, the movies which introduced the world to surround (let alone stereo) sound and the phenomenon once known as CinemaScope have become little more than mere footnotes in cinematic history. One such milestone ‒

Fireman, Save My Child (1932) DVD Review: Old Hatter Up

Joe E. Brown strikes out in a tired pre-Code baseball comedy now available from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Admittedly, a movie from the early '30s is bound to feel more than just a tad bit outdated when viewed today. That said, Lloyd Bacon's Fireman, Save My Child ‒ a First National Pictures comedy starring the mouth himself, Joe E. Brown ‒ was already old hat (or old fire helmet, as it were) when it was released by Warner Bros. in late February of 1932, as it had already been made twice before during the Silent Era. The first film to carry the title was Hal Roach's one-reel short from 1918 with the great Harold Lloyd in the lead,

Alexander Hamilton (1931) DVD Review: I Never Expect to See a Perfect Work Anyway

An entirely-too-old George Arliss portrays a much younger Hamilton in this early pre-Code biopic from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Far removed from the musical stage sensation of today, the 1917 Broadway production of Hamilton presented audiences with a condensed version of the first Secretary of the Treasury's battle to pass his Assumption Bill funding act in the years following the end of the Revolutionary War. With very little else in-between. But that didn't seem to matter much to the public, who were probably more excited to see recent Academy Award winner George Arliss ‒ the first (and youngest) English-born actor to earn such an honor in the US ‒ parading about amid a compelling human drama he himself had

The Hanging Tree (1959) Blu-ray Review: Hangin' with Mr. Cooper

The Warner Archive Collection knots it up with this captivating western starring Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, and first-timer George C. Scott.
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Several years before a more somber wave of performers rode into town, Gary Cooper was ‒ as he had done so eloquently before ‒ pioneering a unique protagonist who would fit right at home in a '70s revisionist western. In Delmer Daves' The Hanging Tree, released two years before one of the genre's quintessential heroes passed away, we witness the stalwart High Noon icon delivering his final lead performance in a cowboy picture. This time, however, Cooper does not play a man haunted by what he must do. Rather, he's tormented over what he has done. Set in the tiny

The Gay Bride (1934) DVD Review: Married to the Flop

Carole Lombard and Chester Morris unite for a well-aged gangster screwball comedy, now available from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Some marriages just need a little time to get things right. Crafted at the tail-end of Hollywood's golden age of gangster pictures, MGM's classic screwball comedy The Gay Bride failed to wed audiences upon its initial release in 1934. But when I first witnessed this union betwixt Carole Lombard (My Man Godfrey, To Be or Not to Be) and future Boston Blackie star Chester Morris (Five Came Back, The She-Creature) 84 years later in 2018, I found this once-dejected Bride to be quite worthy of a suitor ‒ Gayor otherwise. Set in New York (but clearly filmed in Los Angeles),

The Ship from Shanghai (1930) DVD Review: Slippery When Whet

The Warner Archive Collection raises an early Sound Era seafaring thriller featuring Kay Johnson and Louis Wolheim.
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Were you to examine the wake of just about every cinematic maritime thriller pitting a random assortment of passengers against an onboard maniac, the trail will more than likely trace back to 1930's The Ship from Shanghai. As the title may indicate, the story opens in Shanghai. Well, it's technically an assortment of stock footage from the Orient and a Hollywood nightclub set ‒ complete with an all-too lively gweilo playing the drums in yellowface while an otherwise Asian band plays "Singin' in the Rain" in Chinese. Fear not, though, for the film shifts into an entirely different gear soon

MGM's The Big Parade of Comedy (1964) DVD Review: When Compilations Were String

For whatever reason, the Warner Archive Collection releases Robert Youngson's effortless cut-and-paste documentary to DVD-R.
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One would expect a collection of clips featuring some of cinema's greatest comedians and comediennes to be a laugh-a-minute mini-fest; a cinematic party tape devoted entirely to some of the biggest names in comedy during their best moments on-screen. And, while such compilation movies surely exist somewhere, you will not find anything remotely resembling such in MGM's The Big Parade of Comedy ‒ a dreadful cut-and-paste wonder from the once-respected mind of documentary filmmaker Robert Youngson. Beginning his career at Warner Bros. in the late 1940s as the director of documentary shorts ‒ two of which won Academy Awards ‒

A Lost Lady (1934) DVD Review: A Lost Cause

The Warner Archive Collection finds a rare Barbara Stanwyck flick co-starring the famous Emerald City Wizard himself, Frank Morgan.
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After witnessing the man she is due to marry (in just two days) get gunned down in front of her by a jealous husband (the cad!), poor Marian (Barbara Stanwyck, Double Indemnity) becomes a bitter, dejected, clinically depressed recluse. Months later, her family, completely uncertain what to do with her now that she's so very sad and boring, pack up her belongings and ship her off to the Canadian Rockies so she can mope in peace there. And indeed she does, until she decides to run off into the woods after nearly experiencing an emotion, wherein she promptly falls off

The Chastity Belt (1967) DVD Review: As Uncomfortable As You'd Expect

Tony Curtis and Monica Vitti are more than a bit rusty in this appallingly unfunny Italian sex comedy from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Every once in a while, a film critic encounters a difficult obstacle to overcome. The late '60s, Italian-made sex comedy The Chastity Belt ‒ originally given the very late '60s title of On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who… ‒ proved to be one such challenge. Starring Tony Curtis and Italian bombshell Monica Vitti, this 1967 medieval "farce" incredibly credits A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum writer Larry Gelbart, the same man who would later turn Robert Altman's hit M*A*S*H into an even bigger television sensation. After making it into the film
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