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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Old 08-28-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

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

The Champagne Murders (Le scandale, 1967), a psychological thriller starring Anthony Perkins, is a real curio. It was made in France by French director Claude Chabrol, but apparently entirely financed by a Hollywood company, Universal, under the banner Universal Productions France. Universal had produced Fran ois Truffaut's film of Fahrenheit 451 about a year earlier, possibly to burn off money earned by the company in France but which had to remain there, but these are the only two I'm aware of made that way.

In any case, it was Chabrol's only "Hollywood" film. The cast is mostly French, though the key players also made English-language films, and there are a few other Hollywood actors in the mix, notably character actor Henry Jones and Canadian beauty Suzanne Lloyd. Kino's Blu-ray is in English only, with no French-language version. According to the Internet Movie Database, tw...Read the entire review »

The Harder They Come: Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
by Oktay Ege Kozak

The Movie:

Early in The Harder They Come, the Jamaican gritty crime melodrama legendary mostly for its spectacular Reggae soundtrack, co-writer/director Perry Henzell's na ve country boy protagonist Ivan (Jimmy Cliff) has just arrived in the city with big dreams of becoming a recording artist and zero money and resources to achieve it. In between begging random rich people for work, he happens upon a movie theatre that's showing the original Django. As Franco Nero pulls the minigun out of the coffin and fills an entire platoon of bad guys full of lead in that infamous scene, Henzell flash cuts to the Jamaican audience hooting and hollering in support of the anti-hero.

These cuts are revisited during vital moments in the climax, yet this time it's Ivan who's the anti-hero. Henzell lays out the thesis for his film right then and there, while also showcasing why he risk...Read the entire review »

Magnificent Obsession (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

I've slowed to a little bit of a crawl on new release films and find myself looking back more and more, perhaps as part of my full-blown transition to an old. On the positive, it does give me the chance to take a first look at films from people who others have revered for years, and this time it turns out to be German director Douglas Sirk's Magnificent Obsession.

Robert Blees (Frogs) adopted the Lloyd Douglas novel that served as Sirk's imprint on American audiences. Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson, Giant) is a businessman/playboy who loses control of his speedboat and finds himself in the hospital and on a respirator. The doctor who provides the equipment for Merrick dies of a heart attack, and is without use of the machine t...Read the entire review »

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