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DVD Talk reviews for Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Old 08-24-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Highly Recommended
The Chairman (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

The Chairman (1969), an espionage/sci-fi thriller starring Gregory Peck and directed by J. Lee Thompson, was one of dozens of critical and financial flops that plagued 20th Century-Fox during the late-1960s. Critics hated it, and for a time it seemed to vanish. Years later I remember catching it on commercial television, beginning with a dialogue scene between Peck and an actor playing the Chairman of the title, Mao Zedong himself. Nonplussed, I continued watching this strange movie for a time, fascinated by scenes of Peck sneaking around China at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

Turns out the movie is most entertaining, if occasionally preposterous. Tautly edited, this relatively short (98-minute) feature is fast-paced and genuinely exciting. Peck, as he almost always was, is excellent, and the dialogue written for him by Ben Maddow (adapting Jay Richard Kennedy's novel) is witty and i...Read the entire review »

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