Classics and Other Films on DVD (Jul. 7, 2014)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Atlantic City

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: “Atlantic City” is an understated drama, full of compact social editorializing, that elevates its seemingly run-of-the-mill trappings into something sublime by way of its emotionally dependent characters.

The Bitter Tea of General Yen

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: In this subversive Pre-Code romance, Capra builds a dreamy, romantic setting full of sparkling jewels, cherry-blossom moons, caressing costumes, and candle-kissed lighting. Stanwyck glows, her unusual beauty enhanced by Capra’s flattering, soft-focus close-ups, her tears like diamonds on her cheeks.

The Bootleg Files: The Thief and the Cobbler

Phil Hall @ Film Threat

  • Excerpt: A consideration of Richard Williams’ legendary unfinished animated epic

The Divine Lady

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: On the whole I found The Divine Lady to hold up rather well. It told its story well, the acting was not exagerrated (mostly) and as a bonus, it integrated sound effects into a silent film to where it didn’t topple one or the other.

Do the Right Thing

Kenji Fujishima @ The House Next Door

Hearts and Minds

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Matt Brown @ Twitch

Judex

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: For a movie that features both a wicked villainess in a black catsuit and a pretty circus acrobat (Sylva Koscina, Juliet of the Spirits) who randomly shows up to help out, Judex is decidedly unsexy. None of the relationships have much sizzle, nor does the action really ever take off.

Stations of the Elevated

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Kirchheimer relies on formal compositions of New York’s subway rail yards, elevated platforms, and surrounding locations to tell a complex tale of environmental and urban dislocation where pop art billboards — depicting gigantic hamburgers, bikini-clad women, and a male smoker whose enormous mouth issues forth billowing smoke — inform ghetto children who draw on the art and atmosphere around them to create their own original art form.

The Wicker Man (1973)

Diego Salgado @ Diagonal [Spanish]

Recent Home Video Releases

Cannibal Holocaust

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

Desire Me

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: Desire Me is a frigid romance with little thought in it. It’s a war romance with a modicum of both, enough to say it belongs in the genre, but certainly not enough for it to warrant anyone listing it as one of the best.

A Hard Day’s Night

Jordan M. Smith @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: Helping craft and simultaneously critique their cheeky rock star image, Richard Lester’s monumental faux day-in-the-life documentary of the band became a comedic musical masterpiece that set the blueprint for music videos decades before Video Killed the Radio Star set us off into the abyss of MTV.

Hearts and Minds

Jordan M. Smith @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: Part retrospective assessment of the back-door politics that led to the American funding of the Indochina War and the subsequent militarization of South Vietnam, and part straight-laced propaganda, Davis’s equally lauded and hated documentary is a manipulative masterpiece that makes no bones about its intentions to appaul and enlighten with leftist edification that calls on wounded veterans and racist politicians to bend prior ideals.

I Vinti

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

Teacher’s Pet

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: Teacher’s Pet is a fun, if kitschy experience.

The Unknown Known

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com

  • Excerpt: This documentary interview with Bush-era insider Donald Rumsfeld is like a horror movie with a calm sociopath at its center.

Other Reviews from 2012 and earlier

Another Thin Man

Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit

  • Excerpt: director W.S. Van Dyke keeps the humor high and sprightly, while Powell does some of his finest acting in the franchise

Book of Love

P Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

The Buccaneer (1958)

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

The Living Skeleton

Steve Biodrowski @ Cinefantastique Online

  • Excerpt: http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2014/06/the-living-skeleton-1968-review

Marat/Sade

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Shadow of the Thin Man

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: We haven’t gotten a shadow of a movie just yet.

Shenandoah

Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

Whip It

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

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