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DVD Talk reviews for Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Old 03-14-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

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The Iceman Cometh (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Director John Frankenheimer's acclaimed 1973 film of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh marked the debut of the American Film Theater (AFT), a unique form of movie distribution that resulted in a baker's dozen of feature-length adaptations of classic and contemporary plays. The brainchild of Ely Landau, whose early credits as producer included Long Day's Journey into Night (1962), The Pawnbroker (1965), and the acclaimed documentary King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis (1970) earned him a reputation as a filmmaker of considerable taste.

His revolutionary idea was to bring legitimate theater, in cinematic form, to the masses by way of a subscription service similar to a theatrical company's season tickets. Exhibition was limited to 500 movie theaters in 400 cities, movies Landau promised wouldn't be shown anywhere else, including network television or video, hence...Read the entire review »


The Deadly Mantis (Blu-ray)
by DVD Savant

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Universal's sci-fi monsters in the second half of the 1950s suffered from a lack of imagination. Their second copycat movie about a big bug was released in 1957 almost neck-and-neck with Bert I. Gordon's micro-production Beginning of the End. Because monster no-budget monster fare literally exploded in 1956-'57, the suits in the front office likely decreed that little or nothing be spent on the show. Why go all-out when the competition's cheapies earned just as much?

The Deadly Mantis sees William Alland's producing unit taking on an epic monster story with next to no budget resources. Martin Berkeley's screenplay regurgitates ideas from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms an...Read the entire review »

The Front Runner
by Olie Coen

Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Hugh Jackman, J.K. Simmons, Vera Farmiga
Year: 2018

Spotlight-style dramas are currently selling for a dime a dozen, and that's no surprise at all. Audiences have always been eager to buy expos s and true life crime stories, they speak to our less-than-empathetic natures and our baser desires to see people caught & punished. We also like to play the judge; just look at the current trends of making a murder docuseries, serial killer analysis, deep reporting podcasts. Americans like to feel like they are in the know, and they like to feel superior to; enter this genre of film. Fast paced, real life, doing wrong, getting caught; we eat it up, and Hollywood has taken notice. The ...Read the entire review »

Captain Marvel
by Olie Coen

Director: Anne Boden, Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn
Year: 2019

The twenty-first addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is here, and for the first time we have a female lead and title character. Black Widow is one of the Avengers, Gamora is one of the Guardians, Wasp got her name in the second Ant-Man movie, but Captain Marvel is Marvel's answer to DC's Wonder Woman, an elite and powerful character who is here to make a huge impact on the entire story arc of the MCU. To get the job done, Disney chose, *checks notes*, the directors of Mississippi Grind and the actor from Read the entire review »


Rent It
Mortal Engines (Blu-ray)
by Thomas Spurlin

The Film:

There are four installments that make up Philip Reeve's quartet of "Mortal Engines" novels, built around the popularized steampunk brand of post-apocalyptic atmosphere that came about following a manmade collapse of society. A wide array of characters from across the spectrum of morality comprise the people who inhabit Reeve's world: a rebellious orphan with a physical abnormality, a promising intellectual limited by their obligations, the conflicted daughter of an authoritarian, and so on. In short, no shortage of potential for a new cinematic franchise cranks- n-spurts at the core of "Mortal Engines", potential that Lord of the Rings...Read the entire review »

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