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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Old 12-04-19, 04:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Highly Recommended
The Holly and the Ivy (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Whether The Holly and the Ivy (1952) is a "Christmas Classic" in its native Britain I cannot say. I'd only vaguely heard of it; it's certainly mostly unknown in America. And, yet, it's one of the very best films of its type. Adapted from Wynyard Browne's 1950 West End play, it operates from a familiar premise: family members who rarely see one another gather together for a Christmas reunion, but struggle to relate to one another, repressing long-held family resentments that boil to the surface. Rarely are such stories done this well.

The film reminded me a bit of John Huston's wonderful film of James Joyce's The Dead (1987). In both films there's a flurry of activity, cooking and decorating; concerns about one guest who drinks too much; a terrible secret that bubbles to the surface; and a sustained authentic atmosphere, with the movie audience intrigued by the way various characters re...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Buffet froid (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

Wikipedia describes Buffet froid ("Cold Cuts," 1979) as a French crime thriller with strong black humor elements, but that's hardly an apt description. It's really more an absurdist work, cinematic but also almost like a theatrical play along the lines of Beckett's Waiting for Godot. I found the opening scenes intriguing and enthusiastically stuck with it for about half its 93-minute running time. But, along the way, I was increasingly frustrated the movie seemed to play out one scene after another with the same basic tone and purpose, and after a while the entire exercise struck me as basically pointless. Though visually intriguing and well-acted by its game cast, I basically threw my hands in the air and gave up before the end. Your mileage may vary.

The s...Read the entire review »

Hitch Hike To Hell (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

Howard Martin (Robert Gribbin) makes his living as a delivery man for a dry-cleaning company in Crescent City, California. He lives at home with his unusually affectionate mother (Dorothy Bennett), who is clearly damaged ever since his sister Judy split some time ago. Howard's boss, Mr. Baldwin (John Harmon), has been coming down on the young man as of late, the reason being that he's chronically late. This causes Howard headaches and the headaches cause confusion. Howard has seen better days, that's for sure.

The truth behind Howard's lateness is a lot more unusual than just laziness or a matter of forgetting to set the alarm clock. See, he's got a side project going where he picks up runaway teenage girls and, after belittling them for the grief they must be causing their poor, poor mothers, assaulting them and then murdering them in cold blood. The local police, led ...Read the entire review »

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