Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

BR: Band of the Hand (1986)

BR: Band of the Hand (1986)

February 11, 2017 | By

When Miami Vice became a hit on TV, executive producer Michael Mann realized there were assorted opportunities to exploit the specific visual and aural style of the show in other series, mini-series, and feature films, regardless of the period setting, but while Band of the Hand isn’t tied to any characters of Vice, it’s very much a separate story…

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Film: Calling Hedy Lamarr (2004)

Film: Calling Hedy Lamarr (2004)

February 8, 2017 | By

Georg Misch’s 2004 documentary is built around the revelation of the famous actress’ co-creation of spread spectrum frequency hopping, an alternating frequency system designed & patented during WWII to ensure radio-controlled torpedoes couldn’t be jammed by the Nazis…

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DVD: Hedy Lamarr – Secrets of a Hollywood Star (2006)

DVD: Hedy Lamarr – Secrets of a Hollywood Star (2006)

February 8, 2017 | By

Produced 5 years after her death in 2000, this expose of Hollywood glamour goddess Hedy Lamarr draws primarily from a 1970 interview with a German TV crew and interviews with surviving friends and colleagues to peel back the myth of the actress being nothing more than a silver screen beauty…

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BR: Mad Magician, The (1954)

BR: Mad Magician, The (1954)

February 7, 2017 | By

The Mad Magician was one of the most successful 3D films during the format’s first theatrical wave, but it also felt like House of Wax’s lesser but not quite idiot cousin, and expectations for the former film to match the latter’s success in energy, quality, and ghoulishness…

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DVD: Bat, The (1959)

DVD: Bat, The (1959)

February 7, 2017 | By

The third film version of Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood’s 1920 Broadway play was heavily upgraded by writer-director Crane Wilbur with a lumpy structure that tried to update the material for 1950s audiences, perhaps tailoring Vincent Price’s…

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DVD: Chamber of Horrors (1966)

DVD: Chamber of Horrors (1966)

February 7, 2017 | By

The lore behind this grisly horror comedy is somewhat legendary in cult film history: originally titled and conceived as a series very loosely tied to Warner Bros.’ 3D hit House of Wax (1953), the final production was deemed too graphic as a TV pilot, and was released to cinemas, rebranded as Chamber of Horrors…

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BR: From Noon Till Three (1976)

BR: From Noon Till Three (1976)

January 21, 2017 | By

Frank Gilroy’s novel may have flowed from comedy to romance, black comedy to semi-tragedy, with an absurdist finale, but his own adaptation and direction resulted in a most peculiar western which was an impossible sell…

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BR: Murphy’s Law (1986)

BR: Murphy’s Law (1986)

January 21, 2017 | By

It’s hard to decide if J. Lee Thompson’s final years making movies for Cannon could be branded a reprieve from retirement for the veteran writer / editor / director, or the nadir of a skilled filmmaker who peaked with two magnificent back-to-back classics: the WWII epic The Guns of Navarone and the brutal revenge thriller Cape Fear…

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BR: Stardust Memories (1980)

BR: Stardust Memories (1980)

January 12, 2017 | By

Woody Allen’s examination of fame, adulation, and the worth of a comedian’s career is filtered through a Felliniesque lens that’s still a bit of a challenge 35+ years since its release, perhaps because, to paraphrase fan salvos aimed at central character Sandy Bates, ‘it’s not as funny as his older films…

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BR: Zelig (1983)

BR: Zelig (1983)

January 12, 2017 | By

Woody Allen’s Zelig drew plenty of attention for its bravura visual effects in which fictional Leonard Zelig (Allen, of course) and others were seamlessly blended with real newsreel and archival film footage, creative a perfect mockumentary that feels like some previously lost, one-time, feature-length Fox Movietone production that was initially aborted and later completed decades after the footage was discovered in some dank vault holding RKO oddities…

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