Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

Nick Spacek sez:
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Post image for Rock Doc ‘Punk in Africa’ Out on DVD Now

Rock Doc ‘Punk in Africa’ Out on DVD Now

by Nick Spacek on March 18, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

The concept of Punk In Africa (out now from MVD Visual) is amazing – underground bands, in the time of apartheid, integrating racially and playing music that speaks truth.

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Two films from last year that both employ odd narration strategies couldn’t be farther apart in tone, actually. Here’s a review of American Hustle and The Book Thief, new out on Blu-ray now:

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Perhaps more than any other art-house European film of the 1960s, Ingmar Bergman’s striking 1966 masterpiece Persona embodies the period.

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The only shock that registered when Spike Lee’s Oldboy was released in theaters was at how little money it made. It shows just how far violence in the movies has come in 10 short years, because this new Oldboy — released today on Blu-ray and packaged with a digital copy — is technically more overtly graphic.

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There’s an immersive summer camp experience waiting for her Keri Russell in ‘Austenland,’ out on Blu-ray, where actors in period costumes play out the typical Austen roles as women like her live out their fantasies. Like strippers, however, there is no actual intimacy at Austenland.

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Eric Melin sez:
Solid Rock Fist Up
Solid Rock Fist Up
Post image for New Blu-ray Releases Full of Fascinating Stories Behind Stories

New Blu-ray Releases Full of Fascinating Stories Behind Stories

by Eric Melin on February 11, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

The Armstrong Lie is a fascinating portrait of a man in denial, told from the firsthand perspective of Gibney, who himself was duped at a certain level by Armstrong’s own confidence and charm. Wadjda is about an 11-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia who longs for some of the same freedoms that women in the Western world take for granted.

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Stop-motion animation is a painstakingly long process, one point made perfectly clear by many of the excellent special features on the Criterion Dual Format Blu-ray-DVD combo of Wes Anderson‘s 2009 Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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Eric Melin sez:
Swiss Fist
Swiss Fist
Post image for Horror Film ‘Banshee Chapter’ Out on DVD Now

Horror Film ‘Banshee Chapter’ Out on DVD Now

by Eric Melin on February 7, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

Out on DVD now, the independent horror movie Banshee Chapter is a weird amalgamation of a found-footage movie and a governmental conspiracy thriller.

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If the broad lowest-common denominator comedy Last Vegas is The Hangover of oldster party movies, then the indie feature Old Goats is that genre’s Best in Show.

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Eric Melin sez:
Minor Rock Fist Down
Minor Rock Fist Down
Post image for ‘Captain Phillips’ Out in Blu-ray DVD Combo Pack

‘Captain Phillips’ Out in Blu-ray DVD Combo Pack

by Eric Melin on January 21, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

Filmed in the docudrama style that has become Paul Greengrass’s trademark, ‘Captain Phillips’ is out now in a Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Combo Pack.

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Eric Melin sez:
Solid Rock Fist Up
Solid Rock Fist Up
Post image for Classic ‘In the Heat of the Night’ Out on Blu-ray

Classic ‘In the Heat of the Night’ Out on Blu-ray

by Eric Melin on January 20, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

One year before the death of Martin Luther King Jr., with the civil rights movement in full swing and the black power movement on the way, Hollywood produced a movie that used the classic Hollywood narrative style that people were used to, but in the service of a story they weren’t used to seeing.

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Eric Melin sez:
Rock Fist Way Up
Rock Fist Way Up
Post image for ‘Sunrise’ Has the Power to Stun on Blu-ray

‘Sunrise’ Has the Power to Stun on Blu-ray

by Eric Melin on January 16, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

‘Sunrise’ is a reminder of how quickly film language developed into something so remarkable in under 20 years and how few modern filmmakers today take advantage of the innovative concepts that Murnau and his fellow silent-film pioneers perfected.

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Experienced completely through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy named Bud, Terence Davies’ 1992 film The Long Day Closes is a deeply personal impressionistic triumph, out in a dual-format Blu-ray and DVD from The Criterion Collection.

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Nick Spacek sez:
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Minor Rock Fist Up
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‘Rewind This!’ Looks at VHS Subculture, Fascination

by Nick Spacek on January 13, 2014

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

So many of the people in “Rewind This!’ are 100 percent honest about how success on VHS was about presentation of product, meaning that films were sometimes sold on the basis of a title and cover art alone.

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Director Michael Mann may be best known for the crime film ‘Heat,’ but ‘his debut, 1981′s Thief’ is a moody precursor, out in a new Criterion Blu-ray/DVD edition now.

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