Classics and Other Films on DVD

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD from 2010 and earlier.

1900

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

Abbott and Costello Go to Mars

A.J. Hakari @ CineSlice

Batman (1966)

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: Even if it is a compromised version of the TV show, it’s far, far better than nothing.

Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: Holy retro Batman, Batman! A look back at the 1966 camp classic.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: Among the boldest and most ambitious stories ever attempted in its franchise, and it is as acute, and compelling, and satisfyingly Batmanny as any of the Batman features, if not moreso.

Belleville Tokyo

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: Belleville Tokyo is fetishistic to the core, which explains why it gets all the surface features right (the unfussy compositional sense, the measured editing, the carefully choreographed but organic blocking) but none of the intangibles. It lacks the probing intelligence of Rohmer, the knowing self-reflexivity of Godard and Rivette, the quotidian calm of Ozu, and the performative chemistry in Jarmusch.

Cold Heaven

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Cries and Whispers

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: Cries and Whispers boasts some of Bergman’s finest and most respectful direction of actresses, a skill he was able to master throughout his career, but here the performances reach majestic levels of complexity and candidness. Andersson with her gasping, unflinching morbidity, Thulin with her ice-cold hatefulness and detachment, Ullmann with her self-involved vulnerability, and Kari Sylwan (as the maid Anna) with her bruised despair; it’s impossible not to think of the film first in terms of its faces, big, bold, and passionate, always dominating the screen.

Dune

Stephen Carty @ Flix Capacitor

The Faculty

Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com

  • Excerpt: While Quentin Tarantino went on hiatus following the release of his “Jackie Brown”, Robert Rodriguez teamed with another hip young screenwriter on “The Faculty”, a sci-fi horror movie set in high school. The scribe was Kevin Williamson, then riding very high on teen genre success from the two “Scream” movies and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (not to mention, his WB drama creation “Dawson’s Creek”).

For Criterion Consideration: Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark

Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast

  • Excerpt: Tossing Western style tropes, brutal action sequences, rockabilly-infused vampires and a pulsating ‘80s score all into a blender, director Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire masterpiece Near Dark may not be the highest of high-brow horror features, but it is in this grit and the grime that the real beauty of this film comes out of.

Force of Evil

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: Force of Evil is a 1948 John Garfield vehicle that is one-part film noir, one-part “crime does not pay” cautionary tale. Co-written and directed by Abraham Polonsky (Tell Them Willie Boy is Here), it’s an early example of a gangster movie staple: the bad guys trying to go straight turning their illegitimate business into a legitimate one.

Hell Is a City

A.J. Hakari @ CineSlice

Insomnia (2002)

Ryan McNeil @ The Matinee

  • Excerpt: Everybody you talk to loves all things Nolan. Well…almost all things Nolan. There’s that second-cousin from Alaska that many in the family like to ignore.

Judge Dredd

Stephen Carty @ Flix Capacitor

King of the Hill

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Live and Let Die

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: The first outright terrible Bond picture.

Mala Noche

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Man Bites Dog

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Naked Truth

John J. Puccio @ Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTOWN)

  • Excerpt: While the ending gets fairly manic, you’d expect that of what is essentially a screwball British comedy. …funny stuff.

Panda! Go, Panda!

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: A cute early effort from Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. The two short cartoons about a young girl and her panda family are made for younger viewers, but are fun enough that most adults will like them, too–especially the Ghibli fans.

Pay or Die

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

A Personal Journey Through Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

Dan Jardine @ Cinemania

  • Excerpt: The dialectical tension between the styles and outlooks of these two films serves to enhance our appreciation of their depth and significance.

Putney Swope

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: … retains a razor-like satirical focus while simultaneously dealing in jokes that, for the most part, are so nonsensical that Monty Python would have rejected them for being too oblique and absurd.

Revolutionary Road

Stephen Carty @ Flix Capacitor

La Terra Trema

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: Director Luchino Visconti’s second full-length feature, La terra trema (The Earth Will Tremble), is a triumph of the Italian Neorealist movement. Made in 1948, it solidifies the aesthetic, marrying real life to fictional storytelling in an imperceptible, irresistible union.

Unforgiven

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: One of the absolute masterpieces of American cinema in the 1990s.

The Way Ahead

John J. Puccio @ Movie Metropolis

  • Excerpt: Carol Reed directed this 1944 war film from a script by Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov.

The Wedding March

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: The strange thing about [The Wedding March] is that its earnestness and visual bravado always manage to cut through the often bulky construction, head-slapping metaphors, and outrageous innuendos. This is a beautifully unkempt film, a rich man’s cinema of irreverence and honesty.

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