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DVD Talk reviews for Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Old 12-21-18, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Highly Recommended
A Story from Chikamatsu: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)
by Justin Remer

The Movie:

Kenji Mizoguchi's directing career started in the silent era, but he's best known (at least in the West) for his late-career gems, Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff. Made shortly after those films, 1954's A Story from Chikamatsu (aka The Crucified Lovers) is no less impressive, even if it is not as well known.

The key traits of Mizoguchi's filmmaking are front and center. This adaptation of 18th-Century puppet theater playwright Chikamatsu touches on Mizoguchi's pet theme of Japanese society's unfair treatment of women, which the...Read the entire review »

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

In 1987, Lawrence Appelbaum decided to bankroll a sequel to the controversial 1984 Santa slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night, a film that drew no shortage of controversy to its theatrical release by using an image of Santa Claus holding an axe in its advertising campaign. The plan for this sequel was to incorporate a whole lot of existing footage from the original film, something that has gone on to give this second picture in the series almost as much notoriety as the original (really, this movie recycles roughly forty-minutes from its predecessor!).

The story follows Ricky Caldwell (Eric Freeman), the younger brother of Billy, the killer from the original picture. Ricky is a troubled young man who lives in a prison hospital where Dr. Henry Bloom (James L. Newman) hopes to successfully pick his brain in order to find out why he's turned out the way he's turned ou...Read the entire review »

Sangaree (3-D) (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Sangaree (1953), an historical melodrama starring soon-to-be-marrieds Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl and filmed in 3-D, isn't exactly good, but it's restoration and release for 3-D Blu-ray format is nonetheless most welcome.

One of the first 3-D titles of the 50s craze, it was Paramount's first 3-D movie, and opened on 27 May 1953, mere weeks after the first Hollywood studio-made depthies, including Man in the Dark and House of Wax, had premiered. The rush to get this out apparently resulted in various problems, as informatively reported on the disc's extras. A 3-D version wasn't ready in time for the sneak preview, and various production and printing problems, to say nothing of age and neglect, made it an especially challenging title for the 3-D Film Archive, the wonderful little firm that's done many of these fine restorations. Based on what they started with, elements sample...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Starman: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
by Randy Miller III

Few directors are as synonymous with their prime decades as 80s-era John Carpenter. Sure, his most iconic production came out several years earlier, but one look at the man's filmography from 1980-89 reveals an almost embarrassingly bulletproof lineup. Yet one of his very best films, Starman (1984), sits quietly behind less subtle fare like The Thing (my personal favorite), Read the entire review »

Sawdust And Tinsel: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)
by Randy Miller III

Promotional image courtesy of The Criterion Collection

Reviled by critics and audiences alike upon its theatrical release, Ingmar Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel (1953) has since become a much more respected part of the director's deep filmography. Its story follows the travelling Alberti Circus, a motley crew led by Albert (Ake Gronberg, above) that also includes his mistress Anne (Harriet Andersson), along with Frost the clown (Anders Ek) and his wife Alma (Gudrun Brost). Not coincidentally, Albert and his group arrive in a small town where his estranged wife Agda (Annika Tret...Read the entire review »

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
by Randy Miller III

Don't let the pandering cover and oddball premise fool you: Richard Lanni's Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (2018) is an enjoyable and effective movie that you probably didn't know even existed until now. It's a CGI production about a cute li'l doggie that inadvertently ends up fighting alongside "our boys" in WWI and earning a medal or two in the process, thanks to his street smarts and ability to salute commanding officers -- a story that would be ridiculous if it weren't actually true. Yet even ignoring the real-life historic...Read the entire review »


Last edited by Adam Tyner; 12-21-18 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 12-21-18, 07:50 AM
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Re: DVD Talk reviews for Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Hmm, all starting with s.
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