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The White Ribbon (Review)

Sony, 2009, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Set in a small, pre-World War I German-Protestant village, the narrative is conveyed via the voice over of a now-aged former village schoolteacher who admits that the "strange events" about to unfurl might not reveal "the truth in every detail" but that they "may cast a new light on some of the goings-on in this country."  

City of the Living Dead (Review)

Blue Underground, 1980, Unrated

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 23, 2010
George A. Romero is cinema's point man when it comes to zombie horror, and rightfully so. His groundbreaker, 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968), and its sequels set the rules and regulations for the subgenre: The dead have come back to life, they move slowly and they want to eat you. However, another director must be credited for some of contemporary zombiedom's successes, too: Lucio Fulci.  

La France (Review)

Kino, 2007, Unrated

0 Comments · Monday, June 7, 2010
War films detailing the loneliness, camaraderie, fears and moral questionings experienced by those in battle and on the home front are nothing new. French filmmaker Serge Bozon's 'La France' is no exception in that regard, though a series of jaw-dropping surprises transform the film into a wartime chronicle unlike any ever filmed.  

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (Review)

Time Life, 1968, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 26, 2010
If you rank the greatest, most historic moments in series television, near the top would have to be an early 1968 episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in which Pete Seeger sang his classic “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” a pointed, caustic attack on the disastrous Vietnam War and the “big fool” of a U.S. President (Lyndon Johnson) who pushed it. (Yes, it’s more important than Lost’s last episode.)   

The Baader Meinhof Complex

MPI, 2008, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Baader Meinhof Complex, a 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee, continues this introspection, charting the rise and fall of the Baader-Meinhof Group, the inner circle of the hard-left terrorist organization The Red Army Faction, which besieged Germany and much of Europe from the late 1960s through the late ’70s.  

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

First Look Pictures, 2009, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I’ve been complaining for years about Nicolas Cage’s slide from subversive, unpredictable actor (see Valley Girl or Vampire’s Kiss, among other ’80s gems) to the checkcashing Hollywood joke he appears to be today. An entire generation of moviegoers has essentially come of age thinking of Cage as the guy in big-budget mediocrities like The Rock and National Treasure movies.  

Bigger Than Life (Review)

Criterion Collection, 1956, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Because of the gentle family sitcoms of the period like Leave It to Beaver most of us think of the 1950s as a golden era for life in middle-class America. But the movies had a different view (as did literature), one suggesting that underneath the pleasantness not everything was perfect.  

Suburbia

Shout Factory, 1983, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Penelope Spheeris knows youth culture. From her notorious Punk and Metal docs to big studio successes like Wayne’s World, she has made a mark as a filmmaker with an eye for the looks, tastes and attitudes of America’s young.  

Taxidermia (Review)

Koch, 2006, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 21, 2010
A scruffy, harelipped guy runs a lit candle across his naked body. The flame makes him wince in pain and whisper laughter. The laughs continue as he begins to masturbate furiously, eventually ejaculating a stream of fire high into the air. This shock opens Hungarian director György Pálfi’s Taxidermia, and it sets the tone perfectly.  

Blank Generation (Review)

MDV Visual, Not Rated, 1979

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 14, 2010
More than 30 years ago, Werner Fassbinder protégé Ulli Lommel set up camp in New York and became ensconced in the city’s burgeoning Punk movement. The experience inspired him to make a movie about the disaffected youth who were sneering at the music industry’s status quo at top volume with only the barest concern for structure, melody and convention.  

Alice In Wonderland: Classic Film Collection (Review)

Infinity Entertainment Group, 2010, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tim Burton’s latest has catapulted Lewis Carroll’s most famous creation back into the cultural limelight. Capitalizing on this, Infinity Entertainment Group has released a bare-bones single-disc assemblage of related shorts and features that span the history of cinema — some adhering closer to Carroll’s vision than others. Though raggedy, the collection contains a few gems.  

The T.A.M.I. Show: Collector's Edition

Shout! Factory, 1964, Not Rated

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Plenty of music fans have been waiting decades for this 1964 concert film — the greatest Rock concert film of all time, in many people’s opinion — to finally come out on DVD in its entirety. (A weird, truncated version called That Was Rock came out on video in the 1980s.) Here, finally, it is in all of its newly mastered glory — and is it ever terrific!   

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning

Magnolia, 2008, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Five years after the original, martial-arts whiz Tony Jaa returned to the world that made him famous, co-directing a follow-up with Ong Bak scripter Panna Rittikrai. Though touted as a prequel, Ong Bak 2: The Beginning holds zero ties to its progenitor — other than being a first-class martial-arts showcase.  

Bright Star (Review)

Sony, 2009, Rated PG

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Jane Campion’s love letter to the brief but passionate romance between poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and his neighbor Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) does its best to combat the inherent limitations of the biopic genre, breathing life into characters whose unfortunate fates are known from the get-go.  

Bronson

Magnolia, 2009, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Charles Bronson is Britain’s most dangerous prisoner. No, not the badass American actor of Death Wish fame. Charles Bronson is the nickname of Michael Peterson, a criminal incarcerated in the British penal system for the past 34 years — 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement.