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Recent Reviews 2017-02-27T09:11:30+00:00

3:10 to Yuma (Ultra HD)

April 27th, 2017|Comments Off on 3:10 to Yuma (Ultra HD)

Mangold goes back to the birth of the revisionist Western. The film isn't in the mold of genre busting pictures like The Wild Bunch or McCabe & Mrs. Miller, but more like the films being made at the time the original came out. This new version respects the form of the classic Western, but it adds just enough moral ambiguity to allow for a number of engaging performances.

Crimes and Misdemeanors (Blu-ray)

April 27th, 2017|Comments Off on Crimes and Misdemeanors (Blu-ray)

Considered an important entry in filmmaker Woody Allen's body of work, and certainly one of his most interesting pieces, Crimes and Misdemeanors is an alternately comical and dramatic examination of scruples as it follows two parallel storylines that manage to connect by the story's end. One follows the exploits of a philandering optometrist (Martin Landau) who is trying hard to break off his relationship with an obsessive, overly dependent woman (Angelica Huston) who blackmails him into remaining with her.

Love and Death (Blu-ray)

April 26th, 2017|Comments Off on Love and Death (Blu-ray)

Cowardly scholar Boris Grushenko (Allen) has the hots for the beautiful Sonja (Diane Keaton), but cold feet for the Napoleonic Wars. Devastated by news of Sonja's plans to wed a foul-smelling herring merchant, Boris enlists in the army only to return home a penniless hero! Finally agreeing to marry him, Sonja settles down with poor Boris, to a rich life of philosophy, celibacy and meals of snow. But when the French troops invade Russia and Sonja hatches a zany scheme to assassinate Napoleon, Boris learns in a hilarious but fatal coup attempt that God is an underachiever, there are no girls in the afterlife and that the angel of death can't be trusted!

Rings (Blu-ray)

April 26th, 2017|Comments Off on Rings (Blu-ray)

In this third installment in the Ring… horror franchise, a young woman tries to save her boyfriend from a haunted video that kills people seven days after they watch it. However, she soon discovers that the video's secrets go far deeper than anyone has ever suspected.

Saturday Night Fever: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

April 25th, 2017|Comments Off on Saturday Night Fever: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

The film that launched a young John Travolta into mega-stardom has become such an emblem of the 1970s disco era that it's sometimes easy to forget why the movie became a hit in the first place. In fact, if you can get beyond the polyester suits and high-pitched keening of the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever holds up remarkably well as a gritty urban tale of lower-class striving.

Rumble Fish: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)

April 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Rumble Fish: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)

In this deeply personal tale of estrangement and reconciliation between two rebellious brothers, set in a dreamlike and timeless Tulsa, Francis Ford Coppola gives mythic dimensions to intimate, painful emotions. After releasing the classically styled The Outsiders earlier the same year, the director returned to the work of S. E. Hinton, this time with a self-described “art film for teenagers.”

Finian’s Rainbow (Blu-ray)

April 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Finian’s Rainbow (Blu-ray)

He wears a ratty old cardigan instead of tails, a battered felt hat in place of a topper – but one glimpse of those agile feet and you know he’s Fred Astaire. The great entertainer sang and danced his last musical lead in Finian’s Rainbow, director Francis Ford Coppola’s exuberant movie of the 1947 Broadway hit. Astaire plays an Irish rogue who plants a stolen crock of leprechaun gold in the soil near Fort Knox to reap what he thinks will be a rich harvest.

Buena Vista Social Club: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)

April 21st, 2017|Comments Off on Buena Vista Social Club: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)

Wim Wenders' documentary Buena Vista Social Club is about the adventures of Ry Cooder in Cuba. Cooder, best remembered by film fans for the wailing slide guitar theme of Wenders' Paris, Texas, went to Cuba in 1996 to meet with some legendary 'soneros' musicians of the '30s, '40s and '50s. The result was the album Buena Vista Social Club, recorded with such colorful characters as the 90-year-old singer/guitarist Compay Segundo, guitarist Eliades Ochoa, baritone Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo, "the Cuban Edith Piaf."

Sleepless (Blu-ray)

April 21st, 2017|Comments Off on Sleepless (Blu-ray)

Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) is a Las Vegas police detective at the tail end of a difficult two-year assignment: playing the role of a dirty cop in order to smoke out corruption within his department. While undercover, Downs and his partner (Tip "T.I." Harris) rob a drug shipment, only to realize too late that they've stolen a massive cache of cocaine belonging to casino magnate Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney).

A League of Their Own: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

April 20th, 2017|Comments Off on A League of Their Own: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

Too sentimental by half, and at the same time completely disarming entertainment, Penny Marshall's film scores points for drawing attention to a chapter of sports history many people didn't even know existed. The baseball scenes are remarkably authentic-looking, and the production design is just right, without drawing too much unnecessary attention.

Phantom of the Paradise (Blu-ray)

April 20th, 2017|Comments Off on Phantom of the Paradise (Blu-ray)

Referencing vintage horror, Alfred Hitchcock, and the '70s vogue for supernatural terror, Brian De Palma used his favorite genre to take aim at the sensation-seeking rock audience and the exploitative entertainment machine, skewering such '70s trends as '50s nostalgia and glam rock. With splitscreen effects, he underlines the cost of putting media reality before life, as fame becomes the ultimate Faustian bargain.

Ride the High Country (Blu-ray)

April 19th, 2017|Comments Off on Ride the High Country (Blu-ray)

Sam Peckinpah's second feature united aging Western stars Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott in a beautiful meditation on the passing of the West's heroes. Having survived into the automobile age, McCrea's ex-sheriff stoically maintains his honorable values while Scott's Wild West performer parodies himself for cash.

Django Prepare a Coffin (Blu-ray)

April 19th, 2017|Comments Off on Django Prepare a Coffin (Blu-ray)

Django the drifter returns in this classic sixties Spaghetti Western from Ferdinando Baldi (Texas Addio, Comin' At Ya!), starring Terence Hill (They Call Me Trinity) as the wandering gunslinger, hired as executioner to a corrupt local politician who is framing innocent men, sending them to hang in an evil scheme to take hold of their land.

Underworld: Blood Wars (Ultra HD)

April 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Underworld: Blood Wars (Ultra HD)

In the latest installment of this action-horror franchise about a war between vampires and werewolves, the bloodsuckers are caught off guard when a new werewolf leader named Marius (Tobias Menzies) launches a series of attacks against their kind. Their only hope may be vampire warrior Selene (Kate Beckinsale), who decides to fight back against Marius in order to protect her half-vampire-half-werewolf child, Eve.

The Founder (Blu-ray)

April 17th, 2017|Comments Off on The Founder (Blu-ray)

This biopic of businessman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) chronicles his work transforming McDonald's from a small burger chain in 1950s California to a global franchise. Along the way, he wrests control of the company from its actual founders, the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch), who believe that Kroc's business decisions are stripping the restaurant of its heart and soul.