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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Old 08-14-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Highly Recommended
A Blonde In Love (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movie:

Once Milos Forman left his home country of Czechoslovakia for Hollywood, he was allowed to fully explore the anti-authoritarian context of his work without worrying about the oppressive state interfering with his art. This created some of the boldest examples of brutal and often tragicomic condemnation of abusive authority that dehumanizes its subject either in the name of unchecked power or as a form of brainwashing. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Hair are still some of the boldest examples of counterculture cinema of the 70s.

Forman wasn't so unchained during the 60s, when he was still directing in Czechoslovakia. The communist country's draconian rules against art that challenged the party line meant that Forman had to be saddled with non-political work that forced him to include politically satirical elements under a veneer of mainstream comedy....Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Missing Link Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movie:

Even though the Laika stop-motion animation studio, based in my town of Portland, Oregon, consistently produces uniquely awe-inspiring, creative, and entertaining animated features, their films have bombed so repeatedly at the box-office that the company is going through some dire financial straits these days. I think the short-term problem of Laika's sustainability derives from their work being patently hard to market. They do tell family-friendly stories, perhaps with a bit more edge that harkens back to harsher fairy tales of old, but they don't compromise from their artistic vision to provide easily packaged and immediately forgettable animated fare with uniformly bright colors and bland pop culture references.

Their aesthetic is a bit darker and bolder, the visuals follow the requirements of each individual story and tone, rather than the expected confines of the t...Read the entire review »

The Front Page (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movie:

I know I'm committing some form of film critic sacrilege, but this is my favorite of the many film adaptations of Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur's iconic play about the press' thirst for scoops no matter how grisly and tragic the subject. Yes, that includes His Girl Friday. One advantage that Billy Wilder's version has over that classic screwball comedy is that it sticks to the gender assignment of the play and has two male protagonists. This strips the project from His Girl Friday's unnecessary romance sub-plot and dated sexism.

Yet there are many other adaptations with two male leads, what makes this one special? First of all, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau come to the rescue once again as they bring their trademark manic, moral opposites energy in full force. Another reason is that Wilder captures a nostalgic old Hollywood feel by only using obvious soundstage...Read the entire review »

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