Classics and Other Films on DVD

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

5 Broken Cameras

Sean Axmaker @ Turner Classic Movies

  • Excerpt: … a mix of citizen journalism and social memoir. Emad Burnat is not just the storyteller. He’s a part of the story, and the very act of documenting the protest is his contribution to it. It puts him in harm’s way time and again (in one instance, his camera takes a bullet that would likely have otherwise killed him) and it informs his perspective.

L’Age d’Or

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Badlands

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: Badlands is, in many ways, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, but filtered through the angst and existentialism of mid-20th Century Americana.

Breaking In

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Brewster’s Millions

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: … a modestly staged but sprightly executed comedy…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Capsule Reviews: Entry #4

Danny King @ The King Bulletin

The Deer Hunter

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: If there’s one thing The Deer Hunter fully understands it’s masculine stubbornness and the absurd lengths to which a man will go to affirm his bravery and self-sufficiency, or, to put it more fittingly in the terms of the film, to prove that he’s not a pussy. The issue with the film, however, is not the degree to which it represents this quality of virility, but the astounding arrogance it takes to conflate this position with national identity.

Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: Diary of a Chambermaid is far from Jean Renoir’s best, to be sure, but it’s still a Jean Renoir picture and thus still has enough going on to make it worthwhile. Specifically, we get an excellent supporting cast and some fantastic individual scenes that, together, do their best to make us forget Paulette Goddard’s off-note performance and the general tepidness of the plot itself.

Diary of a Chambermaid (1964)

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

Dr. No

Dustin Freeley @ Movies About Gladiators.com

  • Excerpt: Who would have thought a film with such a minimal arc and bland character could spawn a five-decade-long franchise?

Easy Rider

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

Escape in the Fog

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Evilspeak

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Female Teacher: In Front of the Students

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

  • Excerpt: Of the Roman Porno films now out on DVD, I would hardly call Female Teacher: In Front of the Students essential viewing, but something more for the more curious students of the genre.

Gone With the Wind

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: Does it avoid the elephant in the room?

Hud

Marcio Sallem @ Em Cartaz [Portuguese]

Journey in Italy

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Roberto Rossellini’s very personal exploration of a marriage in trouble offers none of the usual assurances of all being right with the world when the institution of marriage has been affirmed. Indeed, it reveas this illusion for what it is—a power struggle that in the 1950s meant that women had to lose.

The Late Mathias Pascal

Sean Axmaker @ Turner Classic Movies

  • Excerpt: … a marvelous example of silent cinema at its most ambitious from one of the most inventive and most influential French directors of the era.

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Ministry of Fear

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Fritz Lang directing a Hitchcockian screenplay, but the sensibility is all Lang.

Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder

  • Excerpt: …much like in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, in which the labyrinthine New York streets don’t resemble any Manhattan we’re familiar with, [MINISTRY OF FEAR]’s London bears only the remotest affinity to its real-world counterpart.

Mulan

James Plath @ Family Home Theater

Mulan & Mulan II

Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com

  • Excerpt: Though Disney’s musical formula was not drawing and delighting crowds in the late ’90s to the extent it had a few years earlier, it remained a reliable blueprint for praiseworthy entertainment.

A Nightmare On Elm Street Blu-Ray Collection

Brent McKnight @ Beyond Hollywood

Oasis of the Zombies

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: … the distracted, sloppy camerawork, perfunctory scripting, flat dubbing, and ratty make-up make this one for the Franco-philes, and for those who find camp value in clumsy, shamelessly brazen exploitation.

Rebecca

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: Hitchcock creates a ghost story about a dead woman who is so spellbinding that we come to know her even though we never see her.

Return to Oz

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

  • Excerpt: On its own merits, has some very fine cinematic flourishes… if we can but manage the herculean feat of separating it from the older movie.

Sansho the Bailiff

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: Mizoguchi is the poet laureate of Japanese cinema, gracefully exploring the battered but resilient souls in the cruel worlds of Japan’s feudal past and present.

The Scar

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Silent Souls

Sean Axmaker @ Turner Classic Movies

  • Excerpt: … a spiritual journey, a remembrance, a rumination on a life and a cultural identity, a symbolic odyssey that recalls the patient, poetic work of Andrei Tarkovsky in its long takes and imagery that seems to emerge from the mists, and an anthropological tour through the distinctive (and disappearing) culture of the Meryan people in West-Central Russia.

Strangers in the Night

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt:

    Director Anthony Mann (Cimarron, Side Street) was only a handful of films into his lengthy career when he made Strangers in the Night, a slight melodrama attempting to cash in on the sea spray and shadows that made Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca a big hit a few years earlier

The Territory

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Welcome to the Rileys

Tiago Ramos @ Split Screen [Portuguese]

You Can’t Take It With You

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: Third-rate Capra-corn

Zombie Lake

Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View

  • Excerpt: [Jean] Rollin’s dreamy, surreal touch is almost nowhere to be seen throughout the rest of this clumsy, blunt production.

Matthew Lucas @ From the Front Row

  • Excerpt: Even by Rollin’s low-budget, high art standards, Zombie Lake marks one of his biggest detours into Z-grade territory, and despite a few weak efforts to elevate the material, it remains disappointingly limp.

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