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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Old 12-04-18, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Highly Recommended
Urban Legend (Collector's Edition) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


Sometimes Shout! Factory releases are sobering reminders that I am not a kid anymore. Their new Collector's Edition of Urban Legend is a welcome addition to their horror catalogue, but I was shocked to see the film came out 20 years ago. Damn, where did the time go?! Two years after Scream re-ignited the teen horror craze, studios were churning out horror films seemingly every other weekend. Some of them were decent (The Faculty), but many were not (Teaching Mrs. Tingle ). Something is special about Urban Legend. It has a cast stocked full of young, familiar faces (Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Tara Reid), and the premise - a serial ki...Read the entire review »

BlacKkKlansman (4K Ultra HD) (Ultra HD Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


Spike Lee's latest is certainly right up his alley of issue-driven but entertaining dramas. Based on a memoir by Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer and detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, BlacKkKlansman is topical, timely and highly enjoyable. Anchored by excellent performances from John David Washington and Adam Driver, the film recounts Stallworth's infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s with the help of his white partner. Lee's films are always passionate but not always subtle, but BlacKkKlansman offers a nimble mix of social commentary, crackling drama and lightning-quick humor. This is a wild true story, something the film proudly declares in the opening titles, highlighting that it is based on some "fo real, fo real shit." Any film that undermines racial bigotry with targeted humor is welcome in these tur...Read the entire review »


Short Night of Glass Dolls (Blu-ray)
by Tyler Foster

The word giallo likely inspires a very specific set of images in the minds of most horror fans: black gloves, beautiful naked women, and bloody violence (often inflicted with straight razor blades). 1971's Short Night of Glass Dolls eschews those trademarks for something more subtly surreal and unique, so much so that many fans debate whether or not the film actually fits in the genre. Directed by Aldo Lado and starring the handsome Jean Sobel, this oddball mystery offers a great hook, gorgeous visuals, and an extremely slow-burn approach to horror that add up to a pretty memorable and singular suspense picture.

American reporter Gregory Moore (Sorel) has a mystery to solve. A few days ago, Gregory's beautiful girlfriend Mira Svoboda (Barbara Bach) arrived in Prague to see him, much to the chagrin of his previous girlfriend, fellow journalist Jessica (Ingrid Thulin). Then, followin...Read the entire review »

Black Widow (1954) (Blu-ray)
by Tyler Foster

Peter Denver (Van Heflin) has nothing to complain about, really: the star of his latest play, Carlotta "Lottie" Marin (Ginger Rogers) creates drama and gossip, which can be frustrating when Peter and his wife Iris (Gene Tierney) live directly beneath them, but Peter enjoys the friendship of her husband Brian Mullen (Reginald Gardiner). So when Iris, before flying off to see her mother, asks Peter to make an appearance at Lottie's latest party, he begrudgingly agrees. There, he runs into Nancy "Nanny" Ordway (Peggy Ann Garner), an aspiring writer struggling to figure out what famous author to imitate and harboring a nearly insatiable appetite. A platonic dinner gets Peter out of his party obligations, and they become friends, with Peter eventually offering to let Peggy write in his apartment while he's at work so she can enjoy the view of New York City from his living room. There's nothing illicit about...Read the entire review »

by Tyler Foster

Gravel Road Pictures and Indiepix have teamed up for the Retro Afrika collection, consisting of nearly 50 films that have been found and restored from Apartheid-era South Africa. With movies from the 1970s through to the 1990s, this unearthed treasure trove of true independent international cinema has been compiled for digital release, on Indiepix's Amazon Prime channel, as well as a select few that are also being offered as Amazon MOD DVD-R releases. Umbango is the third of the movies I've watched, following Gone Crazy and Fishy Stones, and the best has been saved for last, with this final film, a western, featuring the most successful filmmaking of the trio.

KK and Jake have just rolled into a small town and declared themselves the new leaders of it, staking their...Read the entire review »


Rent It
Urban Legends: Final Cut (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


"Sometimes you can be too clever," says Producer Gina Matthews in a newly shot interview included on this disc. I agree with her, and it is refreshing to hear the filmmakers and cast discuss what went wrong with Urban Legends: Final Cut, which has a shocking amount of pedigree for such a lousy sequel. Directed by composer and editor John Ottman, Final Cut was written by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson, who went on to direct Sinister and Doctor Strange. Ottman also edits and scores the film, which stars Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis and Eva Mendes. The biggest problem with Final Cut - and there are many - is that it is not scary. Not only is it not scary, it is often boring; a fatal flaw for...Read the entire review »

Incredibles 2 (4K Ultra HD) (Ultra HD Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


Disney may soon begin suffering from sequel and franchise fatigue if Internet grumblings are to be believed. Coming 14 years after the incredible The Incredibles, this sequel offers all the gorgeous animation and voice talent the Mouse House can bankroll, but Writer/Director Brad Bird constructs a film lacking in fresh ideas. A middling Disney/Pixar film is better than a large segment of the family film market, but Bird and company had every opportunity to create an interesting follow-up story for the Incredible family and failed to do so. There are glimpses of interesting superhero angst and a cute, shape-shifting baby that steals the show, but Incredibles 2 is undercooked and overproduced.

This sequel picks up immediately after the events of the original film, as superhero family t...Read the entire review »

Fishy Stones (Retro Afrika)
by Tyler Foster

Two men, Robert and Makhosi, have just pulled off a diamond heist, but immediately find themselves pursued by cops with little chance of making it to safety. Instead of being caught with the loot and losing it, they decide to toss it out the window of their car. Shortly thereafter the diamonds are discovered by David and Alex, two young men having a little camping trip together. While they're excited about their valuable find, they're concerned the original owner might come looking for it...a concern that turns out to be warranted when Robert and Makhosi break themselves out of prison and turn up expecting to get their big score back.

Fishy Stones is one of the films in Indiepix's new Retro Afrika series, which consists of low-budget motion pictures made in Apartheid-era South Africa, when the region has no access to Hollywood movies. These independent productions provide a fascinating look ...Read the entire review »

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