Coming Soon

30 Aug

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New to Home Video 8/30/16

30 Aug

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Review

Home Video Hovel: Two-Minute Warning, by David Bax

29 Aug

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Shout Factory’s decision to release Larry Peerce’s Two-Minute Warning on Blu-ray at this time is a curious one, given the national climate and mood when it comes to mass shootings. You could charitably chalk it up to an attempt to add to the public discourse, shining a light on a major film on the subject from 40 years ago. That take doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, though. Upon actually viewing the film, the queasiness around it only increases as it becomes apparent that, handsomely made though it may be, it’s nothing more than shlock and exploitation.

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Home Video Hovel: Here Comes Mr. Jordan, by David Bax

29 Aug

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It’s no wonder, really, that Alexander Hall’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan is just one of many retellings of the same story. First, it was a play by Harry Segall called Heaven Can Wait, then Hall’s film version came along, then Warren Beatty remade it in 1978, restoring the original title, then Chris and Paul Weitz remade it again in 2001 with Chris Rock in the lead role, calling it Down to Earth, the name of the 1947 semi-sequel to Here Comes Mr. Jordan. In each case, folks seemed eager to take another crack at the terrifically compelling premise of the story. Unfortunately, in most cases, there’s a low return on the high concept.

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Musical Notation: Wendy Carlos

29 Aug

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In this episode, West discusses music composed and performed by Wendy Carlos.

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Double Feature: Hands on a Hardbody/They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

29 Aug

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In this episode, Eric and Michael discuss Hands on a Hardbody and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

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EPISODE 473: THE REEL THING 2016

29 Aug

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In this episode, David talks about his experiences at this year’s The Reel Thing.

Home Video Hovel: The Commitments, by West Anthony

28 Aug

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I don’t think people ever fully appreciated what a great big weirdo Alan Parker was as a filmmaker.  Before packing it in with The Life Of David Gale in 2003, Parker seemed to make great sport of confusing his constituency by shifting between rather dark cinematic fare – Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, Angela’s Ashes – and musicals.  (Pink Floyd The Wall managed to be both.)  Very few of his contemporaries attempted even one musical (Martin Scorsese, John Huston and Woody Allen did; Francis Ford Coppola and Richard Attenborough each managed two) – Parker made five.  In the golden age of Hollywood that might not be considered a big deal, but five musicals in this day and age is nearly unheard of; that’s two more than Rob Marshall OR Bob freakin’ Fosse, for heaven’s sake.  And although it may not be considered a beloved classic like Fame, and it may not have quite the cult status of Pink Floyd The Wall, Parker’s 1991 adaptation of the Roddy Doyle novel The Commitments is definitely his most feisty, his most foul-mouthed, and just maybe his most relatable to a new generation of viewers growing up in our present era of limited upward mobility and DIY determination.

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Blood Father: Fight for Redemption, by Tyler Smith

26 Aug

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Jean-Francois Richet’s Blood Father begins with our protagonist, John Link, sitting at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, stating his general philosophy. It is filled with cynicism and regret; the admission that he has hurt people and would like to repair those relationships, but the understanding that they might be irreparable. Link is haggard and weather-beaten, with a faraway look in his eye, as though he is perpetually looking for something that will never arrive. That Link is played by Hollywood outcast Mel Gibson isn’t merely an interesting element of the movie. It is the movie. That, along with some nice pulpy, crackerjack writing and some solid supporting performances, is what gives Blood Father its weight. And, like Link’s emotional burden, it weighs a ton.

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Don’t Breathe: Wait Until Dark, by Rudie Obias

26 Aug

Jane Levy stars in Screen Gems' horror-thriller DON'T BREATHE.

In 2013, Fede Alvarez made his directorial debut with The Evil Dead remake. While most remakes lazily follow the same template as the original, Alvarez brought a certain sense of tension and dread while building on top of what Sam Raimi did in 1981. For his new film Don’t Breathe, Fede Alvarez takes that same sense of tension and dread while tightly building something original and all his own.

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