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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, April 15th, 2019

Old 04-16-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, April 15th, 2019

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The Kid Brother (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Though not as famous as Safety Last (1923) or The Freshman (1925), The Kid Brother (1927) remains one of Harold Lloyd's finest silent comedies. It was Lloyd's personal favorite, and it's easy to see why. It crystalizes the three components that exemplified Lloyd's best features: a strong, character-driven story; expertly executed sight gags and humor derived through realistic, believable circumstances; and singularly polished production values.

Criterion's new Blu-ray ranks among the best ever done for a silent feature. The transfer itself is impeccable. The image is incredibly sharp and steady, and presented at the proper frame rate - there are movies from the 1950s on Blu-ray that don't look as good as this does. Further, the wealth of extra features is fascinating and creative. This is a top-notch disc.

Read the entire review »

 

Highly Recommended
The Green Inferno (Collector's Edition) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

Click an image to view Blu-ray screenshot with 1080p resolution.

Writer's note: This review is an updated version of my 2016 review of the film's original Blu-ray release. Screenshots are taken from that disc.

Leave it to Eli Roth to direct a cannibal horror film three decades after the "cannibal boom" when films like Cannibal Holocaust and Read the entire review »

The House of the Seven Gables (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Despite appearances, The House of the Seven Gables (1940) is in no way a horror movie, though Universal Pictures seems to have been at least partly motivated to produce it on the strength of the resurgent interest in that genre. Rather, the film, adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1851 novel (and, more explicitly, an earlier silent version) is a Gothic melodrama, something like a low-rent, road company version of the literary adaptations made a short time later by director David Lean. Though made on the cheap (a mere $161,625) it tells a compelling story with flashes of imaginative direction by Joe May, and the performances, while variable, are at times excellent. Some elements, such as a once-grand estate allowed to fall into a state of gloomy disrepair while its psychologically troubled owner rarely leaves it, to say nothing of the presence of actor Vincent Price, anticipates Roger Corman's Po...Read the entire review »

Tarantula (Blu-ray)
by DVD Savant

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

A fun shocker for monster fans everywhere, William Alland's titanic hairy spider provides plenty of chills for 1950s drive-ins, delivering exactly the naïve monster thrills teenagers craved. Five years after its debut on a Region B German Blu-ray, Universal's biggest monster creeps and crawls across the Arizona desert and into our hearts. Jack Arnold seems in to much of a rush to do anything interesting with his actors, but they make an impression anyway; Reynold Brown's spectacular poster art (which adds an exclamation point to the title) is one of the top monster One-Sheets of the 1950s.

This trend-follower of Warners' 1954 hit Them! plays out in a budget version of the desert town from Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Archer: Danger Island Season 9
by Ryan Keefer

The Show:

Archer headed into its ninth season and approached the (still?) magical 100-episode mark but placing its characters into an interesting environment. Long ago Sterling Archer moved from the government espionage in a Mad Men era to the same practice in the Miami Vice 80s, to a film noir backdrop in Season Eight. In Season Nine? Well, it's different, in that it's set in the late 1930s and the only parallel I could remotely relate it to would be Raiders of the Lost Ark.

In Season Nine, the characters you've grown to love play similar character but not exact ones. Archer (H. Jon Benjamin, Bob's Burgers) and his mother Mallory (Jessica Walter, Arrested Development) retain their names. From there, Cyril (C...Read the entire review »

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