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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.  


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.  

View from the Couch

A discerning list of 2009’s best DVD releases

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Year-end “best-of” lists give me the jitters. Yes, I know: poor Phil. It’s true, though. Ranking 12 months’ worth of DVD releases is an overwhelming task. Worse still is the mad rush to watch as many as possible as the year fades in an effort to catch an overlooked title. The stacks of unwatched screeners that skyscraper over my desk only compound the nerves.  

Not Quite Hollywood (Review)

Magnolia, 2009, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Australia immediately stirs the imagination. Outback regions populated by Aborigines and exotic animals. Free spirits devoted to surf and sand. Apocalyptic, anti-authoritarian warriors tearing up the landscape with hellcars.  

It's Garry Shandling's Show (Review)

Shout Factory, 1986-1990, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2009
There are many reasons why you might not have heard of this fine sitcom. It initially ran on Showtime, before pay cable was a hip destination for original programming. A broadcast outlet picked it up, but FOX was only two years into its existence and audiences were still finding out about the “fourth network.”  

Taxi: The Fourth Season

Paramount, 1981-82, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Every now and then, some entertainment publication tries to come up with a list of the funniest sitcom episodes of all time. There are a lot of great choices to be sure. “Soup Nazi” (Seinfeld), “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (Friends) “Turkey’s Away” (WKRP in Cincinnati), the list really could go on and on...  

Tyson (Review)

Sony, 2009, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
James Toback’s documentary should be subtitled Mike on Mike: It’s 90 minutes of a recently interviewed Tyson speaking directly to the camera — a single-minded perspective that proves both frustrating and fascinatingly intimate. Rambling, emotional and often surprisingly articulate, Tyson ruminates on everything from his troubled childhood and meteoric rise as a boxer.  

Mutant Chronicles (Review)

Magnolia, 2008, Rated R

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In a distant future, competing corporations have divided the Earth, turning it into a non-stop war-field of nationalistic, Orwellian proportions. Battles rage across the globe, and during one particularly brutal frontline assault, an ancient, dormant race of mindless killer mutants is unknowingly unleashed from a prison deep within the planet’s bowels.  

The Big Band Theory: 2nd Season (Review)

Warner, 2009, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
At first glance it’s easy to dismiss The Big Bang Theory. Some might have no time for what appears to be clichéd aspects of geekdom. Indeed, there’s lots of video game playing, comic book collecting and Star Trek references to be had here.  

Une Femme Mariee

Koch Lorber, 1964, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The career of French auteur Jean-Luc Godard can be viewed in stages: a celebrated debut with the Nouvelle Vague; a controversial, confrontational, Maoist phase; and an uncompromising, artistically vibrant period that runs into the present and finds the onetime enfant terrible of the press working far from the spotlight.  

Zabriskie Point

Warner Bros., 1970, Rated R

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Just before making Zabriskie Point, Michelangelo Antonioni — one of cinema’s great existential modernists — had paired his view that the world makes little sense but has great beauty with the swinging London of the 1960s, resulting in the enduring masterpiece Blowup. So the next logical step was to put the Italian filmmaker’s vision up against California youth culture of the day.