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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, January 14th, 2019

Old 01-15-19, 04:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, January 14th, 2019

Highly Recommended
The Jerk - Shout Select 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
by Tyler Foster

Navin R. Johnson (Steve Martin) has just received a big shock: his decidedly black mom (Mabel King) and dad (Richard Ward) have just confessed they aren't his biological parents ("You mean I'm gonna stay this color?"). Shortly thereafter, he sets off on a cross-country journey that will take him out of his comfort zone and into the big city, where he'll get a job for a gas station manager (Jackie Mason), run from a homicidal madman (M. Emmet Walsh), learn about his "special purpose" from a sexually aggressive carnival motorcycle stuntwoman (Catlin Adams), meet a lovely woman named Marie (Bernadette Peters) who may be the love of his life, and invent something for a friendly entrepreneur (Bill Macy) that will inadvertently make him into a millionaire -- even though he's recounting his story from an alley, with nothing to his name but a trusty thermos.

This new 40th Anniversary of The Jerk...Read the entire review »

The Third Murder (Blu-ray)
by Justin Remer

The Movie:

At first blush, the 2017 law thriller The Third Murder looks like an anomaly in the career of director Hirokazu Kore-eda, who tends to specialize in atypical family dramas like the acclaimed Still Walking and Like Father, Like Son. But there is a detectible kinship between The Third Murder and Kore-eda's newest film, still playing in arthouses: Shoplifters (which is great, by the way). While Shoplifters returns Kore-eda to the world of unusual family dynamics, both films eventually confront the gulf between real...Read the entire review »

Topper Returns (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Topper Returns (1941) was the third and final "Topper" movie starring Roland Young as henpecked husband Cosmo Topper, even though the fine British character actor never got better than second billing on any of the three films. The first, Topper (1937), starring Constance Bennett and Cary Grant, was producer Hal Roach's first real bid into A-picture production, his small Culver City studio known mainly for short comedies and modest feature films starring Laurel & Hardy, among others. That film was well-received, but Roach was unhappy with MGM's distribution and advertising, and released all his product thereafter through United Artists, including the first Topper sequel, Topper Takes a Trip (1938), reuniting Young with Constance Bennett but not Cary Grant: in that short time he had far eclipsed Bennett on the Hollywood star scale. For Topper Returns, Bennett's character w...Read the entire review »

What Will People Say
by Olie Coen



Director: Iram Haq
Starring: Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain
Year: 2017

A foreign language candidate out of Norway came to America this summer and was mostly missed by audiences, including myself. The critics that saw the film sung its praises, but otherwise it slid under the radar and went under-seen, which needs to be remedied. I came across it by accident, knowing nothing about Iram Haq's strong debut five years previous, I Am Yours. The Pakistani-Norwegian director tells emotional stories about women living where two cultures clash, and attempting to steer their way through expression and emotion while this battle rages on. What Will People Say is a coming-of-age tale from this perspective, a look at how the most exciting time of a young person's life can quickly become a waking nightmare when she is restrained from...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
The Puppet Masters: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
by Randy Miller III

Based on Robert A. Heinlein's hugely influential 1951 sci-fi novel of the same name, Stuart Orme's The Puppet Masters (1994) should feel a lot more original and unique than it actually is. Here's the problem: its source material had already been borrowed from liberally (in films and TV shows like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Outer Limits) or at least loosely (Jack Sholde...Read the entire review »

The Nun (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

I am a big fan of the Conjuring universe and its dramatization of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren's real-life cases. I have enjoyed each film thus far (yes, even the black sheep Annabelle), but came into The Nun with appropriate expectations. I knew coming down from the high of Annabelle: Creation that this side-story follow-up would likely not be as dramatically engrossing. I also knew the titular, demonic abomination here was a late-game addition to Conjuring 2, so The Nun is a well-meaning cash-in no matter how you cut it. That said, d...Read the entire review »

La Boyita (aka The Last Summer of La Boyita)
by Tyler Foster

Jorgelina (Guadalupe Alonso) has not yet entered puberty, but her curiosity about the changes that are going to happen to her have already taken hold. She steals medical books from her parents and peeks at the diagrams and pictures of women's bodies until she can't stand to keep looking, and she is alternatively fascinated by and infuriated with her older sister, Luciana (Maria Clara Merendino), who has already started getting her period and goes to the beach to try and spend time with boys. All Jorgelina wants is to spend another fun summer playing in the trailer on their property known as La Boyita, but when it's clear that isn't going to happen, she decides to spend the summer at her father's house out in farm country. There, she meets a young man named Mario (Nicolas Treise), working as a farmhand on his father's farm. Jorgelina is attracted to Mario, lying in her wading pool and whispering his nam...Read the entire review »

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
by Francis Rizzo III

In 10 Words or Less

A charismatic guy, a fascinating life and Hollywood's secrets

Reviewer's Bias*

Loves: Hollywood history, good documentaries
Likes: LGBTQ documentaries
Dislikes: gossip
Hates: hoarding

T...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
Clouzot: Early Works (Blu-ray)
by Neil Lumbard

Clouzot: The Early Works Blu-ray Review

Henri-GeorgesClouzot (The Wages of Fear, Diabolique)is consideredone of the masters of French cinema. The filmmaker has a master's eyefor visual storytelling. His most cherished works clearly demonstrateClouzot's artistic brushstrokes as a director are uniquely his own.With several classic films ma...Read the entire review »

The Chamber (Blu-ray)
by Tyler Foster

Attorney Adam Hill (Chris O'Donnell) has chosen his first death row case, and it's a doozy: prevent notorious Klansman Sam Cayhill (Gene Hackman) from going to the gas chamber over the bombing of a law office in 1967 that killed two innocent children. Yet, as surprised as Adam's boss, Mr. Goodman (Robert Prosky) is when Adam asks for the job, he's outright stunned by Adam's reasoning: Sam Cayhill is Adam's grandfather. With Mr. Goodman's reluctant approval, Adam arrives in Mississippi and finds himself facing the heartbreak of his aunt, Lee (Faye Dunaway), the watchful but potentially helpful eye of a governor's aide, Nora (Lela Rochon), and Sam's own ornery distaste for Adam's idealism. With only 28 days left before Sam will be executed, it's up to Adam to break through Sam's stubbornness, re-examine the facts of the case, and work through a series of tragedies and crimes that have haunted his family ...Read the entire review »

Peppermint (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

The law of diminishing returns has affected French director Pierre Morel since he hit it big with District B13 and Taken; perhaps because follow-ups like From Paris with Love and The Gunman lack their own identity and simply chase the director's past successes. His latest, Peppermint, is a facsimile of Taken in that it sees a parent seek revenge against the criminals who hurt her child. Jennifer Garner is the lead here, and, while she is believably deadly (calling back moves from her "Alias" days), Garner does not have the gravitas of Liam Neeson to support the st...Read the entire review »

 

Skip It
Pet Shop (Blu-ray)
by Tyler Foster

After Joe Yeagher (Terry Kiser, of Weekend at Bernie's fame) rats out big-time Brooklyn mobster Tony Marino (John LaMotta) and gets him thrown in jail, Joe's got no choice but to enter the Witness Protection Program, which means moving his family -- his wife, Marilyn (Joanne Baron), his college-bound son Charlie (David Wagner), and his tomboy daughter Dena (Leigh Ann Orsi) -- across the country to Cactus Flats, Arizona, where everyone is miserable trying to fit in with square suburban life. The only person who sees a silver lining in their predicament is Dena, who desperately wants a puppy. Mom objects, but when Dena runs into one of the new pet store owners behind the shop, he gives her a dog for free and Charlie conspires with her to get it into the house on a parental technicality. Dena is thrilled, but she gets more than she bargained for when her new puppy turns out to be a shape-shifting...Read the entire review »

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