Cinema

​New Blu-rays complete collection of Cinerama classics

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 18th, 2014

“Seven Wonders of the World” and “Search for Paradise,” the remaining two of the five 1950s travelogues filmed in the revolutionary Cinerama process have recently been restored and released on Blu-ray last month from Flicker Alley. Of course, viewing the two films at home, even on a large HDTV, can never quite compare to seeing them in a genuine Cinerama theatre, but projecting the “Smilebox” Blu-ray onto a large home screen with a good surround sound system gives an…

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​Places in the World: Reichardt Makes “Night Moves”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 12th, 2014


Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt continues to build her reputation as a storyteller of remarkable skill with “Night Moves,” a pressure cooker of a movie that observes the actions of a trio of radical environmental activists who plot to blow up a dam in the Pacific Northwest. Like her recent work, including “Meek’s Cutoff,” “Wendy and Lucy” and “Old Joy,” “Night Moves” operates with visual precision and thoughtful staging. Rather than depend on dialogue-driven exposition…

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​Quintessential Italian masterwork finally on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 10th, 2014

Last week I reviewed still-active Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci’s breakthrough film “The Conformist,” but that’s not the only Italian classic new to Blu-ray. The legendary Federico Fellini (1920-1993) is probably the best-known director of Italian cinema around the world, by name at least, even among people who have seen few, if any, of his films. He has influenced not only numerous other directors but popular culture itself, with his own name turned into the adjective…

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​Innocence and experience: “Ida”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 5th, 2014

Warsaw-born, UK-based Pawel Pawlikowski delivers one of the year’s most rewarding cinematic experiences in “Ida,” a stark, monochromatic treasure set in Poland in 1962. Quiet, introspective and deliberate on the outside, the movie’s interior life is by contrast filled with the most tumultuous emotional upheaval imaginable. Raised by nuns and now on the verge of becoming one herself, Anna is instructed by her mother superior to seek out the aunt she never knew she had. Reluctant…

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​Visual masterpiece ‘Conformist’ finally on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 4th, 2014

Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci has been making movies professionally for half a century, from 1962 through 2012. Arguably his best film, the groundbreaking “The Conformist” (1970) came out on DVD eight years ago and the Blu-ray upgrade released last week by Raro Video has been long overdue.

“The Conformist” is one of the most beautifully photographed movies ever made. Every shot is a work of art, with the style of lighting and composition changing as the film goes on,…

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​Visual masterpiece ‘Conformist’ finally on Blu-ray

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 4th, 2014

Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci has been making movies professionally for half a century, from 1962 through 2012. Arguably his best film, the groundbreaking “The Conformist” (1970) came out on DVD eight years ago and the Blu-ray upgrade released last week by Raro Video has been long overdue.

“The Conformist” is one of the most beautifully photographed movies ever made. Every shot is a work of art, with the style of lighting and composition changing as the film goes on,…

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​The limits of control: “Whiplash”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 26th, 2014

Late in writer-director Damien Chazelle’s sophomore feature “Whiplash,” monstrous music teacher Terence Fletcher states, “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.” By this point, the viewer will have formed a few troubled thoughts about Fletcher, who berates and belittles his students in much the same way R. Lee Ermey’s Parris Island drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman shouts down his U.S. Marine Corps recruits in “Full Metal…

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​Classic 3-D on 3-D Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 25th, 2014

Three-dimensional movies may be regarded by many as the latest in 21st century technology, requiring modern digital cameras and projectors. The concept of 3-D photography actually goes back to the mid-19th century, and various attempts at 3-D movies have been around since the early 1900s. In an attempt to compete against television, Hollywood had a short but intense period of 3-D film production from 1952-54, followed by sporadic specialty films in 3-D and a brief revival during the…

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What we talk about when we talk about Birdman

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 19th, 2014

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman” gives Michael Keaton the “Being John Malkovich” treatment in a messy, noisy backstage drama enamored of its own ruminations about art and artifice, celebrity worship, self-respect, narcissism and several dozen additional big ideas. In 2000, “Amores Perros,” the first installment of Inarritu’s “death trilogy,” divided audiences, a trait extending through “21 Grams,” “Babel” and “Biutiful.” Those who share the…

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Expressionist landmark restored for Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 19th, 2014

The movement in avant-garde modern art known as Expressionism began in Germany just over a century ago, shortly before and especially during and right after World War I. It employed harsh contrasts with distorted colors and angles to express an underlying psychological feeling rather than representing its subjects literally. By 1919, forward-looking German filmmakers began applying its anti-realistic ideas to movie production. The first major example and one of the most extreme is the…

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Cinema

​Controversial epic now on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs

With 2017 so far one of the lowest summers for movie attendance this century, the year 1946 was perhaps the all-time peak year of movie attendance, with close to 60% of Americans providing 90 million individual ticket sales,…

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​Talking to strangers

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​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

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