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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, December 17th, 2018

Old 12-18-18, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, December 17th, 2018

DVD Talk Collector Series
Gosford Park (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

When it was released in 2001, Robert Altman's Gosford Park was generally likened to the lush, stately Agatha Christie-type mysteries of past decades, movies such as Sidney Lumet's classy, clever film of Murder on the Orient Express (1974), in this case tailored to Altman's signature ensemble filming style.

Today, however, Gosford Park much more clearly plays like a dry run for screenwriter Julian Fellowes's later hit television series (and upcoming movie) Downton Abbey (2010-2015). That TV drama was originally intended as a direct spinoff from Altman's film and while that didn't happen, there are many obvious similarities, most obviously the presence of actress Maggie Smith in both, playing the same character in all but name.

The murder-mystery aspects of Gosford Park, while certainly present, aren't what drives the story, and indeed play a minor role in things ...Read the entire review »

 

Highly Recommended
Gas, Food, Lodging (Blu-ray)
by Justin Remer

The Movie:


NOTE: The images accompanying this article are taken from various online sources and do not represent the quality of the Blu-ray under review.

Along with Alexandre Rockwell's In the Soup and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, the low-budget family drama Gas, Food, Lodging from Allison Anders (Grace of My Heart, Border Radio) was one of the breakout films of the 1992 Sundance Film Festival,...Read the entire review »

Nathan For You: The Complete Series
by Francis Rizzo III

In 10 Words or Less

One of the best comedies ever to grace TV

Reviewer's Bias*

Loves: Nathan For You, Nathan Fielder
Likes: Prank shows, comedy art
Dislikes: Bad impersonators, creeps
Hates: Reality TV

...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
2018 World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox Complete Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

There's little other way to put it; the Boston Red Sox were a juggernaut in 2018. They won two out of every three games, amounting to 108 wins, the most in almost two decades and the most for them since the end of World War II. Offseason acquisition J.D. Martinez led the league in runs batted in (130) and second in home runs (43) and a .330 batting average. Up to Martinez' level? Second baseman Mookie Betts, who was second in home runs on the team (32) but led the league in batting average (.346). Pitchingwise, the Sox lacked a Schilling or Martinez compared to past years, but they had a lot of guys doing things well. Rick Porcello, David Price, Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez combined for a 58-23 record, and averaged a strikeout an inning. In the bullpen? Criag Kimbrel to mop up with 42 saves.

The team started on fire, winning 17 of their first 19 games, and 12 of their ...Read the entire review »

Yes - Yessongs (Blu-ray)
by Neil Lumbard

Yes Songs Blu-ray Review

Thereare moments in time when legendary musical performances happen. YesSongs is one of those moments. The film (which follows theband'salbum released under the same name) has extraordinary musicperformances by the legendary rock group. It's an electrifying mix ofthe band's signature style, wrapped neatly together with ...Read the entire review »

Charmed: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
by Neil Lumbard

Charmed Season 1 Blu-ray Review

Charmedis a series that manages to entertain while revolving around a simplepremise: magical sisters defeating bad guys. The series was createdby Constance M. Burge (who also wrote for series such as RoyalPains). The story focuses on sisters Piper (Holly MarieCombs),Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), and Prue (Shanne...Read the entire review »

How Do I Love Thee? (Blu-ray)
by Jesse Skeen

Jackie Gleason stars in this little-seen film from 1970 as Stanley, a cranky husband and father who finds himself close to death at a hospital in France. When his son Tom (Rick Lenz) hears of this back home, he hops on a plane to be with him and narrates a series of flashbacks that comprise the bulk of the movie, basically explaining what led up to this. We learn of Tom's upbringing with his blue-collar father being a staunch atheist while his mother Elsie (Maureen O'Hara) is devoutly religious leaving Tom (the younger version played by Clinton Robinson) confused in the middle of it all. The parents seem decent enough but it's a mystery how they got and stayed together with such differences between them. About halfway through the flashbacks, Stanley inexplicably takes over narration and fills in a few details the younger Tom wouldn't have known about, such as an affair with an eccentric artist playe...Read the entire review »

Bloody Birthday (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

Bloody Birthday begins in 1970 when three children Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy), Curtis (Billy Jacoby) and Steven (Andy Freeman) are born at the pinnacle of a lunar eclipse where the sun blocks Saturn, which is the planet that according to astrological lore, controls human emotions. Ten years later, the three kids, now fully enrolled in school and well known around town, start killing off some of the townsfolk. Obviously because they're just a bunch of innocent-looking little kids. And we all know kids are angels, right? Nobody suspects them.

A kid named Timmy (K. C. Martel of Growing Pains!) and his sister, Joyce (Lori Lethin), become convinced of their evil disposition and decides to do something about it. The three evil kids, however, are smarter than you'd expect and so they decide that they have to try to get rid of their problem. As things start to get even wor...Read the entire review »

Elf: Buddy s Sing & Cheer Along Edition
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

Remember the days when Will Ferrell wouldn't do so many forced, unfunny comedies and did films that tried to bring some emotional weight to them? Well, Elf might not have had much emotional gravitas, but of all the films Ferrell's done since leaving Saturday Night Live, this one is the one I find myself watching more than the rest.

Written by David Berenbaum (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man 2), Ferrell is the Elf in question named Buddy. Buddy lives at the North Pole and is a firm believer in Christmas, the feelings it brings and everything else associated with the holiday. Yet for his feelings and optimism,...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
The Critters Collection (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movies:

Calling the Critters series a Gremlins rip-off is an easy choice, but we shouldn't complicate things by pretending the premise of rascally, violent creatures wreaking havoc on small town Americana is anything fresh, especially considering the series came to prominence during the late 80s, the breeding ground for such material. What makes these creatures stand out is how singular their motivations are: They're always hungry, and they will eat anything that comes in their way, the end. At least the Gremlins were given different characteristics, especially when it came to Joe Dante's gloriously bonkers sequel. This incredibly simplistic idea can flourish into unabashed schlock in the right hands. Unfortunately, I think only one installment fulfills on that over the top promise. Let's get into each film:

Critters: The one that started the franchise is...Read the entire review »

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