Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

While this might be least-known of director Jack Hill’s efforts, even within the pantheon of work he did for Corman’s New World Pictures, it’s definitely worth a closer look.

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On the surface, this 1970 movie from Czech New Wave auteur Jaromil Jireš seems like a softcore porn Alice in Wonderland but without quite enough nudity to qualify.

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The Bridge is one of the best anti-war movies I’ve ever seen. Certainly its about the futility of war, but it goes farther than that.

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Vinegar Syndrome’s DVD release of the 1969 Nazisploitation/sexploitation flick The Cut-Throats — limited to 1,500 copies — is a very basic one. It has a 2k restoration, along with the original trailer, and that’s about it.

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Beloved Sisters, out now on Blu Ray and DVD through Music Box Films, is a dull slog through Enlightenment-era Europe about two aristocratic sisters who fall in love with German writer Friedrich Schiller.

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Damian Szifron’s extraordinarily fun and twisted movie Wild Tales, out on Blu-ray tomorrow, was nominated for a best foreign language film Oscar earlier this year.

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Chappie, out on Blu-ray now, may be a mess, but it has a strange kind of staying power, amidst all the madness.

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Red Army, out on Blu-ray now, runs parallel to the events that led to the fall of the Soviet Union and reiterates Communist ideals through the sport of hockey.

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In the classic 1941 comedy Sullivan’s Travels, available now in a sterling new digital restoration on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection, writer/director Preston Sturges stumps for the value of pure, unadulterated laughter in motion pictures.

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Vinegar Syndrome’s DVD/Blu-ray combo release of Don’t Go in the Woods … Alone! is an excellent-looking version of a very cheap movie that appeals to a very specific subset of people that I now must consider myself part of.

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Two new DVD releases from Music Box Films explore unusual communities. Happy Valley shows the collective denial of a community shaken by accusations of abuse against one of its most prominent members, while Antarctica: A Year on Ice romanticizes a group that chooses to live far from civilization.

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Despite being billed as being from “master of Filipino sleaze, Cirio Santiago,” the exploitation flick “The Muthers” is surprisingly good-natured.

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With this new Criterion Blu-ray (and DVD) reissue, Ride the Pink Horse should take its place among the film noir genre as one of the greats.

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If you’re looking to get beyond Sergio Leone’s Man with No Name films and want to explore the world of Italian Western cinema, this is an excellent start. As part of Arrow’s first batch of releases here in the United States, they’ve managed to hit it right out of the park.

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Whether Fellini Satyricon is a paean to excess or a reflective deconstruction of ancient myths and legends, one thing is for sure: It isn’t driven by a strong narrative or what one would consider effective acting, in any sense. Instead, its a series of stagey set pieces that happen to feature one of a couple main characters, loosely strung together by theme.

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