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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, October 21st, 2019

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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, October 21st, 2019

Old 10-22-19, 04:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Monday, October 21st, 2019

Highly Recommended
When We Were Kings (Blu-ray)
<small>by Ryan Keefer</small><hr />

The Movie:

I forgotten how much I enjoyed When We Were Kings, the 1996 documentary recollecting the 1974 heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. I watched a ton of Ali as a kid, I had a rock em sock em set of sorts, with Ali and a pseudo Ken Norton that you could box with. I may have been the only kid in my neighborhood who had a subscription to The Ring. I bought the Ali biography from longtime Ali friend Thomas Hauser (who appears in the film). And this thought and others came roaring back to life after seeing this for the first time in years.

Noted writers and fight fans Norman Mailer and George Plimpton share their thoughts on both fighters and the fight. And contemporary fans like Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) talk about him at the time as well. The fight itse...Read the entire review »

The Major and the Minor (Blu-ray)
<small>by Stuart Galbraith IV</small><hr />

The Major and the Minor (1942) marked screenwriter Billy Wilder's directorial debut in Hollywood. He'd directed one film before this, 1934's Mauvaise Graine ("The Bad Seed"), made in France after Wilder had fled to Paris as Hitler's power solidified. In Hollywood from 1933, Wilder established himself as a major screenwriting talent, especially following the acclaimed that greeted Ninotchka (1939), and often in partnership with writer Charles Brackett. Wilder cajoled producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr. that he was ready to take another crack at directing, an aspiration motivated initially to help ensure faithful adaptations of his screenplays. One theory is that the front office so tired of Wilder's complaints about what other directors had done with his scripts that they simply gave in, to be rid of him.

This debut is both impressive and mildly disappointing, given the heights Wilder ...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
Lost City Of The Jungle (Blu-ray)
<small>by Stuart Galbraith IV</small><hr />

Part of label VCI's ambitious plan to release newly-remastered Blu-ray editions of classic Universal serials, Lost City of the Jungle (1946) is an entertaining and unusual chapter play for reasons described below. Remastered in 2K from the original 35mm fine grain, the transfer exhibits a lot of wonderful detail much of the time - but, almost perversely, VCI's access to good film elements is profoundly subverted by remastering seemingly designed to make the image resemble smeary VHS. True blacks are non-existent. Everything is a gray, washed-out mess with no contrast. Flashes of fine detail can't compensate for the utter madness of the senseless, washed-out look the project supervisor settled (strived?) for.

VCI has a reputation for gumming up their Blu-ray releases and, to a point, I've been more forgiving than others. But, in this case, it's mindbogglingly counterproductive to have the raw ...Read the entire review »


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