Blu-Ray review tagged posts

Blu-Ray Review: Fright Night (1985)

Director: Tom Holland

Writer: Tom Holland

Cast: William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark

Cert: 18

Running time: 106 mins

Year: 1985


Film:medium_5
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: High school student Charley Brewster is convinced his new, debonair next door neighbor Jerry Dandridge is a vampire. Can he make anyone believe him before it’s too late?

What’s the verdict: Ah, the 1980s. When vampires were monsters and vampire films had sexual subtext without a glaze of wan-faced mopiness.

Released in 1985, a now-unthinkable time when vampires were passé and slasher movie villains sat astride the horror throne, little was expected of Tom Holland’s Fright Night...

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Blu-Ray Review: Lone Wolf and Cub Box Set

Director: Kenji Misumi (films 1-3 & 5), Buichi Saito (film 4), Yoshiyuki Kuroda (film 6)

Writer: Kazuo Koike (screenplay), Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima (manga)

Cast: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Tokio Oki, Minoru Ôki, Tatsuo Endo, Go Kato, Isao Kimura, Yuko Hamada, Michi Azuma, Tomomi Sato, Akihiro Tomikawa

Cert: 18

Running time: 506 minutes (6 films)

Year: 1972-1974

  • Sword of Vengeance (1972)
  • Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
  • Baby Cart to Hades (1972)
  • Baby Cart in Peril (1972)
  • Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (1973)
  • White Heaven in Hell (1974)

Films: medium_5
Extras:


What’s the story: A ronin, a masterless samurai, pushes his three-year-old son around Japan in a wooden baby cart, seeking vengeance on those who killed his wife and clan.

What’s the verdict: We’re talking six films here (and spi...

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Blu-Ray Review: Multiple Maniacs

Welcome to Cinematic Greens

#6 – Multiple Maniacs (1970)

Director: John Waters

Writer: John Waters

Cast: Divine, Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Cookie Mueller

Cert: 18

Running time: 96 minutes

Year: 1970


Contemporary review:
“Even the garbage is too good a place for it.”
Mary Avara, Maryland Board of Censors

“(Print) Destroyed” – Canadian Censor report

Film: 

Extras: 


What’s the story: A couple who front a bizarre traveling circus become murderous when their relationship collapses.

What’s the verdict: “A CELLULOID ATROCITY!” pants the original, hand drawn promotional material for John Waters’ sophomore feature. And it ain’t lying.

47 years may have tempered Multiple Maniacs’ shock value, but trace echoes remain of just how bizarre and vile it must have...

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Blu-Ray Review: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Writer: Ranald MacDougall

Cast: Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Bruce Bennett, Jo Ann Marlowe

Cert: PG

Running time: 111mins

Year: 1945


Film: medium_5 

Extras:


What’s the story: A murder investigation delves deep into the life of Mildred Pierce, a woman who has struggled for years to provide a better life for her children.

What’s the verdict: An irresistible puzzle, wrapped inside in a 1940s Woman’s Film and garbed in film noir finery, Mildred Pierce may be 77 years old, but she’s aging beautifully.

Based on the novel by James M. Cain, famed for works such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, and directed by Casablanca helmer Michael Curtiz, the movie nonetheless belongs to Joan Crawford.

Curtiz hated the idea of casti...

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Blu-Ray Review: Cul-de-Sac

Welcome to Cinematic Greens

#5 – Cul-de-Sac (1966)

Director: Roman Polanski

Writer: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach

Cast: Donald Pleasence, Françoise Dorléac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran

Cert: 15

Running time: 112mins

Year: 1966


Accolades:
1966 Berlin International Film Festival
Golden Bear

Contemporary review:
“Pleasence, in a role that requires him to run sideways most of the time with his head at a crooked angle, is hilarious and frightening as a man going mad, and the film has an eerie appeal.” –
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times, 1967

Electric Shadows rating:
Criterion Extras:


What’s the story: Two gangsters, one badly wounded, arrive at remote castle on Holy Island in Northumberland, England...

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Blu-Ray Review: His Girl Friday

His-Girl-Friday---Criterion-Collection-coverDirector: Howard Hawks

Writer: Charles Lederer (screenplay), Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur (play)

Cast: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Helen Mack, Joe Qualen

Cert: U

Running time: 92mins

Year: 1940


Film: medium_5

Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns (Grant) schemes to keep his ex-wife and best reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) from marrying new fiancé Bruce (Bellamy).

His-Girl-Friday---Cary-Grant,-phoneHis-Girl-Friday---Cary-Grant,-Rosalind-Russell

What’s the verdict: Renowned as the archetypal screwball comedy, 76 years on from its original release His Girl Friday remains sparkling and surprisingly relevant. With a few wince-inducing comments that betray its age.

On the surface this is the madcap rom-com territory Howard Hawks previously traversed to great effect in 1934’s Twentieth Century and Bringing Up Baby four years later...

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Blu-Ray Review: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

akira-kurosawas-dreams-blu-ray-coverDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Mieko Harada, Hisashi Igawa, Martin Scorsese

Cert: PG

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2016

 


Film:
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Across eight vignettes, including fantastical tales of Japanese folklore and dark apocalyptic visions, director Akira Kurosawa reveals his dreams.

akira-kurosawas-dreams-rainbowakira-kurosawas-dreams-world-war-2-japanese-soldiers

What’s the verdict: Those who remember Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams release in 1990 but are only now catching up with the film itself are due for a pleasant surprise.

Originally met with a mixed response (it still holds a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating), to modern eyes Dreams is a burst of sunshine through the current blizzard of smeary CGI pseudo-spectacle.

Split into eight separate stories, each introduced by a title and the legend “I had another dream…”, Kurosawa spir...

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Blu-Ray Review: The Hills Have Eyes

the-hills-have-eyes-arrow-films-blu-ray-dvd-coverDirector: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Cast: Martin Speer, Robert Houston, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier, Virginia Vincent, Russ Grieve, James Whitworth, Michael Berryman, Lance Cordon

Cert: 18

Running time: 89mins

Year: 1977


Film:

Extras:


What’s the story: A white-collar suburban family, stranded in the California desert, are targeted by a cannibal clan, igniting a desperate fight for survival.

the-hills-have-eyes-arrow-films-blu-ray-dee-wallacethe-hills-have-eyes-arrow-films-blu-ray-james-whitworth

What’s the verdict: On the accompanying audio commentary (recorded in 2003 for an Anchor Bay release of The Hills Have Eyes) the sadly departed Wes Craven refers to this 1977 mini-classic as his second movie, omitting his 1975 porn film The Fireworks Woman, made under the pseudonym Abe Snake.

Fitting however for the Craven canon that The Hills Have Eyes is the official second movie as it s...

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-Ray – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Star-Wars---The-Force-Awakens---Harrison-Ford,-Chewbacca,-Peter-Mayhew
Episode 3 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees our intrepid raconteurs Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis setting their lightsabers to full beam when talking about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-Ray. Discussing the triumphant return of a franchise long thought dead, they also make room for those pesky prequels and the promise of Rogue One. We’re home indeed…

More of Rob Wallis’ musing on movies can be found at his site Of All The Film Blogs. Check it out (after listening to the podcast)…

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Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Inn (1967)

Dragon-Inn---Blu-ray-coverDirector: King Hu

Writer: King Hu

Cast: Shih Chun, Shangguan Lingfeng

Cert: 12

Running time: 111mins

Year: 1967

Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)


 


What’s the story: 15th century China, the Jingtai era. Minister of Defense Yu Chien is executed after being framed by the evil eunuch Zhao, controller of the Eastern Agency and Palace Guards. Zhao orders Yu’s children also be killed, but warriors sympathetic to the minister spirit them away. Assisted by the mysterious traveller Xiao, they must face Zhao’s forces at the remote desert tavern, Dragon Inn.

Dragon-Inn---remote-tavernDragon-Inn---Shangguan-Lingfeng-2

What’s the verdict: Relatively obscure in the West, in the East Dragon Inn has cast a long shadow over wuxia (martial arts hero) movies...

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