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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, June 10th, 2019

Old 06-11-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, June 10th, 2019

DVD Talk Collector Series
Blue Velvet (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

"I can't figure out if you are a detective or a pervert." - Sandy Williams

Masterpiece, catastrophe, lurid, satirical, devastating, hilarious, Americana. I have seen so many terms thrown around concerning David Lynch's seminal Blue Velvet that I have lost count. I first experienced this film in a way many others have - in a college film seminar. I have loved it ever since, and now Blue Velvet receives its well-earned spot in the Criterion Collection. Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini offer some of the most committed performances ever recorded on film, and Lynch's masterpiece plays more like an intoxicating dream than a nitrate-fueled thriller. This is both a film to study and one to enjoy; it is a master class in mood, performance, mise en sc ne and dialogue. Blue Velvet also excites, horrifies and immerses its audience in the...Read the entire review »

 

Highly Recommended
Batman Returns (4K) (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

The second and final Batman film to be directed by Tim Burton, 1992's Batman Returns introduces us to The Penguin, born as Oswald Cobblepot, the deformed boy (whose parents are played by Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger) clearly has issues far beyond his unusual appearance. Unable to handle their son, they wrap him in a blanket, place him in a basket and float him downstream where he winds up drifting into the zoo's shuttered penguin exhibit.

Jump ahead three decades or so and business tycoon and serial polluter Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is attending a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Gotham City's Mayor (Michael Murphy). After a quick speech, the ceremony is interrupted by a group of bizarre circus performers who try to abduct Schreck but who are subsequently stopped by Batman. Their second attempt, however, is successful and a captive Schreck is scur...Read the entire review »

Universal Horror Collection: Vol.1 (Blu-ray)
by DVD Savant

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Fourteen years ago Universal released a Bela Lugosi Collection on DVD, featuring five much-desired horror items not aligned with any of the studio's 'name' monster franchises. Four out of the five starred both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, and those four have been restored, remastered and reunited for this Universal Horror Collection Vol. 1. But that doesn't mean that the equally classic Murders in the Rue Morgue, a Lugosi solo effort, will top-line an eventual Vol. 2.. The titles tagged for that are The Mad Ghoul, The Strange Case Of Dr. Rx, The Mad Doctor Of Market Street and Murders In The Zoo. The last film in the list is actually a Paramount Picture, however.

Scream Factory initially announced that the disc set would be called the 'Karloff and Lugosi Collection,' but somebody stepped...Read the entire review »

The Informer (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

As noted in Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's excellent documentary series Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (1995), during the silent era Great Britain lagged far behind the European continent when it came to innovative cinema. There were exceptions, of course, like Hitchcock's silent films, and there was The Informer (1929), the first film version of Liam O'Flaherty's novel.

John Ford's very different 1935 Hollywood feature starring Victor McLaglen is far better known, and for years the only version of the 1929 film available was a part-talkie version. That cut was nearly 20 minutes shorter than the silent film, and while most of it consisted of footage from the earlier version, the talking sequences and dubbed silent scenes are faintly ludicrous for reasons explained below.

Kino's new Blu-ray utilizes a BFI restoration of both versions, defaulting to the silent film but also offer...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
The Man Who Haunted Himself (Blu-ray)
by Francis Rizzo III

In 10 Words or Less

Two Roger Moores for the price of one

The Movie

Roger Moore didn't need to be James Bond to be a star, as his roles in The Saint. The Persuaders and a slew of other projects wer...Read the entire review »

PAW Patrol: Ultimate Rescue
by Ryan Keefer

The Show:

Lately I've been using Paw Patrol the same way I had (and sorta still) use the Peppa Pig films for my son, albeit in a different way lately. In the past I'd been using them as a means of occupation while his meals for the day are made, now they are tied in to how he goes to bed the previous night. We're in sleep independence now, and if he does not stay in his bed or room, no Paw Patrol the next morning. We're not at a live or die without it point yet, but we could be getting there?

The premise of the show is very much like one you may be accustomed to when you were a kid and discovered television for the first time; a group of friends (in this case, dogs) join up when they are called upon to solve a case, for lack of a better word. It's storytelling 101, introduce characters, provide confl...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
The Prodigy (2019) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:Nicholas McCarthy's The Prodigy certainly does not reinvent the "bad seed" genre, but it is a relatively effective thriller perfect for renting. A young couple's son is born the same night a notorious serial killer is gunned down by police, and the man's soul inhabits a part of the young boy's brain. The film poses some engaging questions on what, exactly, this young child knows and how much of him, if any, is truly the innocent boy birthed to loving parents. Nicely shot and released under the reborn Orion Pictures label, The Prodigy offers a chilly narrative from writer Jeff Buhler, a strong central performance by Taylor Schilling ("Orange is the New Black") and enough slow-burn chills to warrant a viewing.

You do not learn much about serial killer Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux), other than that he cuts his female victims' hands off and that he exhi...Read the entire review »

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