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DVD Talk reviews for Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Old 11-28-19, 04:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

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Pan's Labyrinth (4K Ultra HD) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


A true modern fairytale that hits with devastating precision, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is just as impactful 13 years after its original release as it was back in 2006. Released as part of an elaborate Blu-ray boxset from the Criterion Collection in 2016, as well as on standard DVD and Blu-ray, the film is now available on 4K Ultra HD courtesy of Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema. The visuals remain intoxicating and the story gripping, and this wholly original film is one of writer/director del Toro's finest achievements. Set in 1944 Spain, during the Francoist period following the Spanish Civil War, Pan's Labyrinth sees adolescent Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) face the horrors of her brutal stepfather,...Read the entire review »

The Omen Collection: Deluxe Edition (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


Horror fans rejoice! Shout! Factory has released another excellent franchise boxset, this time for the supernatural horror series that began with 1976 classic The Omen, from director Richard Donner. The plot is now familiar but remains brutally effective: American diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) consents to the hospital chaplain's plan to replace his seemingly stillborn son with an orphan baby to spare Thorn's wife Katherine (Lee Remick) the pain of losing her child. The boy is named Damien (Harvey Spencer Stephens), and Robert later becomes U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Once the family relocates to London, strange events surround Damien. His nanny publicly commits suicide at his birthday party, sh...Read the entire review »

An American Werewolf In London (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


John Landis' American Werewolf in London has always been one of my favorite horror comedies. Since I first saw the movie (when I was far too young), I have been taken by its easy blend of dark humor and werewolf action. Arrow Video has now released the definitive edition of the film, with restored video and audio and a host of supplemental material. With its Academy Award-winning effects by Rick Baker, upbeat rock soundtrack, and excellent performance from lead David Naughton, American Werewolf in London holds up better than most films of its era nearly 40 years later. Director Landis does not reinvent the wheel on werewolf mythology but instead drops the creature into modern London alongside a pair of wisecracking American tourists, one of whom is forced to wear the mark of the beast. Hilarious and quickly paced, with some real suspense and a splash ...Read the entire review »

Un flic (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

French director Jean-Pierre Melville had two great obsessions: the French R sistance, of which he was a part, and best represented by his great film Army of Shadows (1969); and crime films heavily influenced by Hollywood-made pictures, particularly John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950), reportedly his favorite. But Melville's own thrillers, despite their hardly-inconspicuous big American cars and unfashionable fedoras and emblematic fatalism, were also emphatically French, and uniquely Melvillian, none more so that Un flic ("A Cop," 1972), the last he made before his untimely death in 1973, at the age of 55.

Un flic isn't his greatest crime film; that would probably be Le Cercle rouge (1970) or, some would say, his influential Bob le flambeur (1956), but Un flic is nonetheless captivating, even fascinating. It's almost a distillation of everything Me...Read the entire review »


Highly Recommended
The Peanut Butter Falcon (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

Apparently there is a resurgence or even "comeback" for Shia LaBeouf in some film circles which, well, OK I guess. But there has been some praise for his work bandied about in Honey Boy but also The Peanut Butter Falcon, which was a film that quietly came and went to a fair amount of adulation earlier in 2019 and hopefully will see a similar resurgence now that it's on video and on demand.

The film is written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz, and LaBeouf plays Tyler, a boat hand who burns some fishing gear of Duncan's (John Hawkes, The Sessions) and flees. Tyler runs into Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young person with Down Syndrome who continually tries to run away from his care facility and caretaker Eleanor (Dakota Johnson, Read the entire review »


Teddy Pendergrass If You Don't Know Me (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

With the surge of biopic films on 70s musicians like Queen and Elton John, apparently there is a muted call for a similar treatment for Teddy Pendergrass. For those in the dark on him, the Philadelphia-born singer began in modest settings that saw tragedy and various points through his life; his father was stabbed to death when he was 11, and then the more widely known car accident that rendered him a quadriplegic just before his 32nd birthday, and his death in 2010 before he turned 60. There is talk about a retelling of his life, but the documentary "If You Don't Know Me" dips a toe in that water beforehand.

Directed by documentary director Olivia Lichtenstein, the film aired on the Showtime cable network earlier this year, along with the BBC. Featuring interviews with his friends, musicians and family, and including some old interview footage of Pendergrass, the film lo...Read the entire review »


Rent It
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison


I have been a fan of the Fast and the Furious franchise since the release of the original film in 2001. Sure, the films can be silly, with their over-the-top action and California sun-soaked bro culture, but the eight (and counting) core films have been remarkably entertaining, especially after the return of Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker to the series in 2009. This ninth film and the franchise's first spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw, has the trappings of another winner in talented action director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde), a $200-million pedigree budget, and affable stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, but it never reaches high gear. Despite strong supporting talent in Idris Elba, Vanessa ...Read the entire review »

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