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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, July 8th, 2019

Old 07-09-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, July 8th, 2019

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War and Peace (Criterion) (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

A staggering production, the Soviet-financed, four-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (1965-67) is an epic among epics, the biggest scale film production ever attempted, the kind of motion picture event that almost certainly will never come again. But this seven-hour-plus film is far more than its immense scale, artful in ways quite unlike Hollywood's epics from the same period, though it's understandable that its incredible "money shots" have always grabbed all the headlines.

For years in the west, it was believed to have cost around $100 million in mid-1960s dollars, or around $700 million in today's money, and that 120,000 extras were employed for its recreation of the Battle of Borodino alone. Director (and star) Sergei Bondarchuk later scoffed at such estimates, insisting, "All I had was 12,000 (extras)." A mere pittance. More contemporary research put the final cost of the p...Read the entire review »


The Landlord (Blu-ray)
by Jesse Skeen

Hal Ashby's little-seen 1970 directorial debut comes onto Blu-Ray from Kino. A young Beau Bridges plays Elgar, part of a rich white family in Long Island who hasn't done much with his life and doesn't really need to. He wants to move out on his own though, so he buys an old apartment building in Brooklyn with the plan to rip out most of the insides and design his own home with high ceilings. It's not too clear why he chose this building in this area; the big shock is supposed to be that the population is mainly poor black people when he's a rich white person, but he seems open to embracing cultures different than his own. His plans get put on hold when he meets the building's residents. Pearl Bailey steals the movie as Marge, who first greets him with a shotgun telling him to leave but then invites him inside for lunch once he explains he's the new landlord where they quickly connect despite their ...Read the entire review »


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Destroyer (Blu-ray)
by Thomas Spurlin

The Film:

If the measure of quality one uses to evaluate a film's strength is whether it made the individual feel something, regardless of what that feeling might be, then Destroyer could be seen as a roaring success. The latest film from The Invitation director Karyn Kusama takes great strides to make those watching get involved with the harrowing life of a gaunt, ramshackle police detective -- and mother -- whose past encounters while undercover continue to impact and, in ways, curse her life some decades later. The psychological and physical hits that she takes, the fear and guilt that she exudes, and the absence of an ability for her to lead a real life come together ...Read the entire review »

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