Classics and Other Films on DVD

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

12 Rounds

Frank Ochieng @ Yahoo! Voices Movies

  • Excerpt: 12 Rounds may just be another banally boisterous “blow-em up” confection that has all the appeal of a rusty meat clever. Energetic yet convincingly empty-headed in its full force of spectacle stupidity, 12 Rounds is yet another faceless vehicle for wrestling icon Cena to posture in with reckless nonsense.

9 Songs

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Thrillers

Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com

  • Excerpt: Even when limiting themselves to a single genre and to films originally distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (or its subsidiary New Line Cinema), as they do in Best of Warner Bros.: 20 Film Collection – Thrillers, the company is easily able to assemble some of the most highly regarded films of all time. This 20-disc DVD set includes some of the finest work of both the greatest directors and biggest movie stars in history.

The Canterbury Tales

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

Bill Weber @ Slant

Cube

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: [Director Vincenzo] Natali’s handling of mood and pace leave Cube one of the tightest horror-thrillers of the late ’90s.

The Decameron

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

Dog Day Afternoon

Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com

The Double Hour

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Too many of the film’s curiosities are explained away with a cliched device, but Capotondi has created an unsettling mood which creeps beneath the skin.

The Earrings of Madame de…

Mario Alegre @ Primera Hora

El espinazo del diablo

Mario Alegre @ Primera Hora

Falstaff

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

The Fartiste

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: …one hour, while too short for a feature presentation, is too long for an extended fart joke, leaving “The Fartiste” in no-man’s land.

Fur: An Imaginary Protrait of Diane Arbus

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: … the disappointing “Fur” never really flies… in Arbus’ case a more traditional, non-imaginary portrait may have served its subject better.

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: Ridiculous and stupid nonsense even according to the generous grading curve afforded to the beach movies.

Goodbye Solo

Frank Ochieng @ Yahoo! Voices Movies

  • Excerpt: Tender yet absorbingly raw, Bahrani’s third feature film Goodbye Solo is an emotional lullaby about lost diverse souls trying to cope with the rigors of life in a confining, cultural cage of ambivalence. Revealing and profoundly resonate, Goodbye Solo convincingly paints a picture of the immigrant experience struggling with the everyday expectations of survival within the American canvas.

Hannah Montana: The Movie

Frank Ochieng @ Yahoo! Voices Movies

  • Excerpt: Sadly, it’s not the best of both worlds for Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana in this jagged juvenile farce.

Isle of Missing Men

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Juno

Frank Ochieng @ TheWorldJournal.com

  • Excerpt: The winning teen pregnancy comedy Juno is a remarkable triumph because it does the small things correctly. Filmmaker Jason Reitman promotes a heartwarming tone wrapped up in a sharpened flippancy.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com

  • Excerpt: Depending on your familiarity with Disney’s Pooh, Many Adventures may surprise you. This film and the shorts that make it up are excellent pieces of all-ages entertainment.

Muriel, or The Time of Return

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: As artists often do, Alain Resnais tuned into the cultural zeitgeist and his own unease as a witness to the outrages of Vichy and Algeria and crafted a series of films that offered both a visual catharsis and a pointed critique of attempts to erase the past by confusing reality with a less precise and damning narrative: Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Last Year in Marienbad (1961), and the film under consideration here, Muriel, or The Time of Return.

Nightmnares Come at Night

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: It is bad enough to be constantly plagued by nightmares, but imagine—horrors!—if those nightmares were also directed by Jess Franco. They’d be poorly lit, out-of-focus, and go absolutely nowhere.

Observe and Report

Frank Ochieng @ Yahoo! Voices Movies

  • Excerpt: Roguishly appalling but unapologetic in its mindlessness, Observe and Report is a welcomed approach to castrating comedies that want one’s uneasiness to be the real source of valued guilty pleasure.

The Odd Angry Shot

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

Once

Frank Ochieng @ TheWorldJournal.com

  • Excerpt: Filmmaker John Carney’s Once is definitely not enough…and probably the best musical movie to grace the big screen in quite some time. Thoroughly inspirational, lyrical, charming and cheeky, Carney’s ode to heartwarming song between two soul-searching individuals bound by music and personal motivation is a unique take…a winning spark that ignites the lovelorn imagination.

The Pope’s Toilet (El Bano Del Papa)

Frank Ochieng @ Yahoo! Voices Movies

  • Excerpt: Although not the best imaginative movie title ever to grace a matinee sign, The Pope’s Toilet resonates with a distinctive warmth and sense of reality and purpose. This is a noteworthy narrative that shines a poignant spotlight on the allure of Latin American cinema and the urgency of societal struggle that routinely persists within a desperate South American region.

Reservation Road

Frank Ochieng @ TheWorldJournal.com

  • Excerpt: Shockingly, filmmaker Terry George—the mastermind behind the poignantly intriguing Hotel Rwanda—is saddled with overseeing the drippy drama Reservation Road, a tear-jerking tale about parental loss, ethical indifference and the moral dilemma among its grieving participants.

Russian Ark

Jesse Cataldo @ Slant Magazine

Starting Out in the Evening

Frank Ochieng @ TheWorldJournal.com

  • Excerpt: Intelligent films about artistry and romantic/familial relationships aren’t necessary a dime a dozen in abundance. In fact, it is that rare occasion when character studies pertaining to the world of academia and undefined affection register with such prominence and prestige.

Stop Making Sense

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: It’s all so precise even as it is totally loopy, and the music pressed up in our face so urgently and enticingly, that the movie is as close to perfect as it gets.

Subversive Saturday: Pie in the Sky (1935)

Matthew Blevins @ Nextprojection.com

Sunset Serenade

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Ten Tall Men

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Three Colors: Blue

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

Three Colors: White

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: As probing and meaningful as any arthouse hit of the ’90s, lacking only the drama and mystical qualities of Blue and Red to overtly flag itself as such.

To Be or Not to Be

Mario Alegre @ Primera Hora

To Be or Not to Be

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: Lubitsch’s script, which he co-wrote with Edwin Justus Mayer, smartly valued story over shtick, and so the tightly plotted narrative allows for as much drama and suspense as it does jokes; indeed, the trick of To Be or Not to Be is how Lubitsch takes his very straightforward scenarios and finds the humor within them, injecting each moment with wit and letting character flaws disrupt everyone’s efforts.

Twixt

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

Under Western Stars

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Village

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

Vincent & Theo

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Waitress

Frank Ochieng @ TheWorldJournal.com

  • Excerpt: It’s a crying shame that late filmmaker/actress Adrienne Shelly’s November 2006 murder has put a sorrowful cloud over her creative memorable touches in the engagingly quirky and quaint melodrama Waitress.

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