Classics and Other Films on DVD

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD from 2011 and earlier.

Altered States

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

An American in Paris

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: …while it’s a great showcase for Gene Kelly and the Gershwin Brothers’ music, An American in Paris never found a way to bring all the varying elements (songs and whatever passed for the story) together.

The Arrangement

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Below the Sea

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Cleopatra (50th Anniversary)

James Plath @ Family Home Theater

The Clown Murders

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: Except for some flashes in the last 30 minutes where the inherent creepiness of clowns and whispery voices buys the film some atmosphere, it’s got boredom to spare.

Contaminated Man

Steve Biodrowski @ Cinefantastique Online

  • Excerpt: If nothing else, you have to give CONTAMINATED MAN credit for laying all its cards on the table: as you might have guessed from the title, it is indeed about a contaminated man.

Corroboree

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry & Race with the Devil

Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com

  • Excerpt: What was it about driving movies that made them so popular in the 1970s?

Employees’ Entrance

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: The film packs a lot of conflict and bad behavior (not to mention a stock market crash and a suicide) in 75 minutes.

The Howling

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

Il gattopardo

Marcio Sallem @ Em Cartaz [Portuguese]

Ivan the Terrible, Part 1

Peter Gutierrez @ Twitch

  • Excerpt: …it’s helpful if one is in the mood to make ideological and thematic connections to, say, the Communist-approved historical epics that Zhang Yimou embarked on, starting with “Hero.”

Ivan’s Childhood

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: If you have a friend who is intimidated by slow-paced, three-plus hour philosophical epics like “Stalker” or “Solaris,” or if you yourself just want to start in the kiddie end of the Tarkovsky pool, “Ivan” is the go-to movie.

King of the Lost World

Steve Biodrowski @ Cinefantastique Online

Life Is Sweet

Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com

  • Excerpt: Mike Leigh doesn’t do plots, instead giving us the chance to spend time in the personal lives of fairly unremarkable British people. They are fleshed-out, three-dimensional characters with layers, backstories, faults, and dreams.

Lord Jim

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Lord Jim, a blend of heroic myth-making and interior tale dismantling its own myth, was one of Joseph Conrad’s best-regarded works. But, director Richard Brooks’ Lord Jim is one of the great undervalued adventure films

The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Dan Jardine @ Cinemania

  • Excerpt: A sort of feminist Deadwood

The Nest

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

Paul McCartney & Wings: Rockshow

Jamie S. Rich @ Oregon Live

  • Excerpt: McCartney is ever the showman — so much so that the concert suffers when bandmates Denny Laine or Jimmy McCulloch take over the vocals. Ironically for such a big production, the highlight is a stripped-down acoustic rendition of “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”

Rasputin and the Empress

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Rasputin and the Empress is more than just bad history. It’s bad filmmaking, and that might be the bigger sin.

Shoot First, Die Later

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: This is another of di Leo’s gritty, violent dives into the underworld … but this time the conflicts are more personal.

Signs

Jean-François Vandeuren @ Panorama-cinema.com [French]

Skyscraper Souls

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: The pre-code era was famed for its films that pushed the envelope of sex with racy suggestiveness and Skyscraper Souls just oozes with lust and overflows with affairs, but the mercenary business dealings are just as forbidden here.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Dustin Freeley @ Movies About Gladiators.com

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: The absolute nadir of the series, a movie so bad in so many ways that the second-worst has to squint and use binoculars to see that far down.

Star Trek: First Contact

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: If the film itself is a little bit generic, more of a popcorn sci-fi action film than a faithful adaptation of the characters from the series, that’s probably all to the good.

Star Trek: Generations

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: Star Trek at its geekiest, and cursory filmmaking at its blandest.

Still Walking (2008)

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Superman II

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: While Superman II is not a terrible film, it did soon start veering towards more comedy than perhaps it should have.

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: My recommendation would be to skip Superman II altogether and instead watch Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut after watching Superman.

Superman III

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Superman III should have been retitled Richard Pryor Meets Superman.

The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Jamie S. Rich @ Oregon Live

  • Excerpt: Propelled by the actor’s acrobatic stunts and groundbreaking special effects, “Thief of Bagdad” is pure pleasure.

The Thing

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: Carpenter’s film doesn’t so much catch its viewer off guard with such relentless aesthetic decisions as drip slowly and inexorably towards an apocalyptic finale in which neither human logic nor divine hope will save these men from disappearing entirely from existence in an icy no man’s land.

The Wet Parade

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: … plays the evils of drink hard and heavy and the luridness of the melodramatic portrait will be picked up and pushed into more extremes in the drug exploitation films of the thirties.

Whoopee!

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

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