Cinema

​First 3-D musical now on 3-D Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 31st, 2017

After reviving the 3-D craze in the mid-2000s, Hollywood is still making some movies in 3-D (or converting movies shot in 2-D into 3-D), especially digital animated movies.

However, for some reason after ballyhooing 3-D television sets since 2010, HDTV manufacturers have been quietly dropping 3-D models from their 2017 lines over the past several months, so anyone thinking of switching to 3-D should consider buying a 2016 or older model as soon as possible, or (perhaps a better choice)…

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​Love outside the bubble: “Everything, Everything”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 31st, 2017

WARNING: The following review reveals plot information. Read only if you have seen “Everything, Everything.”

Planted squarely in the heart of YA-adapted teen fantasy, Stella Meghie’s film of Nicola Yoon’s 2015 novel “Everything, Everything” doesn’t always capitalize on its absolutely bananas premise, but logs excellent mileage from charming lead Amandla Stenberg.

Following in the contaminant-free footsteps of “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” and “Crystal Heart” (but…

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​Killer serial makes Blu-ray debut

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 24th, 2017

“Daredevils of the Red Circle.” Who are they? What is it? Before the internet, before television, serialized drama was still a significant part of popular culture. Novels were serialized in magazines and newspapers going back to the 19th century.

By the time the movie industry was firmly established in the mid-1910s, weekly chapters of movie mysteries and adventures had become a regular part of many theatres’ programs, with unresolved “cliff-hanger” endings designed to draw…

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​Mad monster party: Vigalondo goes ‘Colossal’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 24th, 2017

“Colossal,” Nacho Vigalondo’s highest profile film to date, mashes genres with a premise so otherworldly that it nearly gets away with its distressing supply of missed opportunities.

The gonzo suggestion that the actions of a giant monster looming over Seoul, South Korea are directly, psychologically linked to an American alcoholic will attract curiosity seekers.

Others will be intrigued by the presence of Anne Hathaway in the lead role of Gloria, whose booze-soaked…

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Diverse classic indie films new to Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 17th, 2017

The number of vintage films getting new high-definition video masters and/or restorations has been increasing over the past year, with numerous new releases to the home market on Blu-ray from specialty distributors like Olive, Twilight Time, Criterion, and especially Kino-Lorber through its “Studio Classics” division.

Sadly, these rarely are carried in stores, so must be ordered online from the companies themselves or other online retailers. Last month two very different independent…

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​Bon Appetit: ‘The Dinner’ challenges the taste buds

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 17th, 2017

Immediately following the dizzy, frightening, ambiguous, disorienting final scene of Oren Moverman’s “The Dinner,” which ends with a character saying “I love you” and a cut to black, the credits roll while Savages’ “F*ckers” nails the prevailing mood on the soundtrack.

Jehnny Beth sings, “Don’t let the f*ckers get you down, don’t let them wonder why you frown,” as the audience stumbles into the light, hopefully to do a good deed or maybe take a shower. The song…

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​Vintage westerns remastered for Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 10th, 2017

Republic Pictures was a small movie studio that was active from 1935 to 1959. Although it produced and distributed a wide variety of genres, it is best remembered for its low and modest-budget B-westerns starring the likes of John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and its action-adventure serials.

Representative examples of each cowboy star’s Republic work made their high-definition debuts this spring on Blu-rays from Kino Video.

John Wayne’s first starring role was in the 70mm western epic…

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​Gunning for the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 10th, 2017

WARNING: The following review reveals plot information. Read only if you have seen “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

In the sequel, the franchise, and the series, the dialectical tension pitting familiarity against novelty challenges the storyteller to thread the eye of the needle. “Is it is good as the first one?” is, unsurprisingly, the question that drives conversation.

In “The Myth of Superman,” Umberto Eco recognizes a parallel conundrum for the mythological figure: the…

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​Westerns defying stereotypes, new to Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 3rd, 2017

Westerns are no longer as prominent among movie release schedules as they used to be, but for over half a century they ranked among the most popular genres in America’s theatres, with various western subgenres. The form gradually faded away during the 1960s and 1970s as “revisionist” westerns replaced the classic formulas that were soon appropriated by modern police stories and then science-fiction sagas.

For the past generation, movie westerns (with a few exceptions) have tended…

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​“Casting JonBenet”: Kitty Green’s engrossing study of the unsolved crime

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 3rd, 2017

Available to view on Netflix beginning April 28, Kitty Green’s challenging, fascinating, and unnerving documentary feature “Casting JonBenet” is one of the best films of the year.

Ostensibly about the ongoing fascination and morbid curiosity surrounding the 1996 murder case referenced in the film’s title, Green’s conceit is to populate her study with actors -- almost entirely locals and wannabes from the areas surrounding the Ramsey family’s Boulder, Colorado home --…

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