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DVD Talk reviews for Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Old 08-22-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Highly Recommended
Amazing Grace
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

The story of Amazing Grace might be just as intriguing and emotional as the film itself. Sydney Pollack (Tootsie) directed the film that showed Aretha Franklin's two-night performance at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972, but they could never sync the print with the audio tracks, which were released as a live album in 1972, and a subsequent complete recordings set was released years later. Pollack gave the film to Alan Elliott before his death in 2008 and allowed him to complete the film. And was thwarted two different times by Franklin (citing image rights reasons) before her death in 2018. Shortly thereafter, Franklin's family agreed to the release of the film late last year.

And man, what a performance it is. The church appears to be fairly nondescript, maybe a little intim...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Blackmail (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

Alice White (Anny Ondra) is at a restaurant when she flirts with an artist (Cyril Richard). She winds up back at his place where he asks her to pose naked for him. When she disagrees is sexually assaulted and in fending off her attacker, she winds up killing him with a knife in self-defense. Thankfully for Alice, her boyfriend happens to be Detective Frank Webber (John Longden), and he's savvy enough in these things that he's able to cover up the killing in the hope that it will keep Alice out of trouble. What neither of them realize, at first, is that Alice was spotted by Tracy (Donald Calthrop), a snake of a man who uses his knowledge of the events to blackmail Alice.

Alfred Hitchcock's first talkie' is an innovative and interesting picture. Released in 1929, the film was originally intended to be released as silent picture but as sound technology was made available ...Read the entire review »

Sweet Charity (Blu-ray)
by Jesse Skeen

Sweet Charity, copyrighted 1968 but released in 1969, was one of the big expensive musicals of that era that ended up killing the genre as audiences had seemingly lost interest in them. Based on a stage musical which was based on the Fellini movie Nights of Cabiria, Shirley MacLaine plays the title character Charity Hope Valentine- a somewhat ditzy and na ve woman who just wants to be loved but is more often taken advantage of. She works in New York as a "dance hall hostess," basically a euphemism for prostitute although since this movie is rated G dancing is all we see her do. The only explanation she gives for being in this position is "the fickle finger of fate" and is sure that she'll move on to something better any day now while her co-workers Nickie (Chita Rivera) and Helene (Paula Kelly) seem to laugh at that. Charity's other big hope is finding a perfect man who will sweep her ...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
UglyDolls (Blu-ray)
by Jesse Skeen

When I heard about a forthcoming movie called UglyDolls, it sounded right away like an instant flop. Now it's found itself on Blu-Ray during the same "summer" as the quick theatrical release. It turns out UglyDolls have already been around for a few years in the form of toys but I hadn't heard of them before- this movie's premise reminded me quite a bit of the "Island of Misfit Toys" in the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" special though and figured it had potential.

Robert Rodriguez wrote the story, which I didn't know until the end as there are no opening credits. The setting is an automated toy factory, where toys are scanned on the conveyor belt and any that show imperfections a...Read the entire review »

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