I recall two films from the '80s that dealt with the relationship between an aging father and an adult son. Both featured hot comedic actors of the day as the sons and comedy legends as the dads. Nothing in Common starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason, in what would be his final film, hit screens in the summer of '86. A little more than two years later, Billy Crystal and Alan King shared Memories of Me, which has much in common with Nothing in Common and is out on Blu-ray in time for Christmas. I enjoyed both these films when
How about some adult angst from the '80s for a change?
Be somebody and add this to your collection.
The Jerk came out in 1978 when Steve Martin was a king of comedy. He had moved on from small clubs and was now selling out arenas like a rock star. He appeared so often and was so good on Saturday Night Live he was considered an unofficial cast member by some viewers. “King Tut” was a hit single off his Grammy-winning comedy album, A Wild and Crazy Guy. He even had a best-selling book, The Cruel Shoes. He was the King of All Media before Howard Stern. The Jerk was his first-starring feature role. He had previously had tiny
An unflinching and sadly relevant drama of violence and ongoing oppression.
Racism is one those things that just doesn't seem to go away. Every day you turn on the news to find more unarmed black men being shot by white cops; white people calling the police on innocent black people, and the underestimation of Black Lives Matter. Unfortunately, it has gotten much worse, especially ever since an orange someone was elected President. The violent consequences of prejudice is mostly directed to the wrong groups, and director Euzhan Palcy's 1989 film, A Dry White Season, shows how that hate is definitely universal, meaning that it doesn't just happen in the movies. Based
A film about Dr. Vasant Lad, the man who brought Ayurvedic medicine to the United States.
Kino Lorber presents The Doctor from India, a documentary film by Jeremy Frindel that explores the life and career of Dr. Vasant Lad, the doctor who first brought Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine to the United States. The film combines interviews, animation, playful stock footage, and archival footage to tell Dr. Lad's story. The Doctor from India also includes interviews with Usha Lad, Deepak Chopra, Robert Svoboda, Dr. David Frawley, Claudia Welch, and Len Blank. Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine from India that is said to have been created when Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of Ayurveda, decided to incarnate
It's wonderful to have them on hand, complete and able to watch at one's leisure.
Rankin/Bass Productions, named after co-founders Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, will forever be remembered in the annals of television history for creating some of the most beloved Christmas-related animated specials, many of which continue to air on TV over 50 years later. Universal Studios is making five of those programs available in The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition. They are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Cricket on the Hearth (1967). Additionally the first three are also available in individual new Deluxe Editions
Kids behaving badly in a really bad movie.
What is is about kids behaving badly that makes for such delightfully creepy cinema? The genre has been around since at least Patty McCormack’s turn as a demented killer in 1956’s The Bad Seed and has turned out such classics as Children of the Corn and Village of the Damned. There is just something about children doing horrible things that is both really disturbing and really fun to watch. In 1981, cult director Ed Hunt took the killer-kids genre and spliced it onto the burgeoning slasher genre and made Bloody Birthday an ultimately silly flick that generally fails to do
The anti-A Star Is Born in the best possible ways.
Normally, I don’t like to compare one film to another when doing a film review. But Vox Lux is very much what people are labeling it as: The anti-A Star Is Born. It’s much more cynical and also quite violent. Yet, I still found it to be pretty brilliant. Understandably, not everyone is completely on board with it but it still had some interesting things to say about the nature of celebrity and how artistry can be used as a way to heal. After Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a school shooting, both she and her sister Eleanor (Stacy Martin) perform
I may have given up on Christmas movies but I still found some cool things this week.
I’ve pretty much given up on my whole Christmas theme for this month. I’ll probably watch another movie or two and maybe a couple of Christmas-themed episodes of something or other, but for the most part Christmas in media just isn’t going to happen. That doesn’t mean I won’t be consuming good, interesting or even cool things, but they likely aren’t going to involve the December holidays. As this week will prove out. First Reformed Ethan Hawke gives an intense, outstanding performance as a troubled minister at a historic, but declining upstate church in what is being hailed as director
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It's movie madness next March from Criterion with the release of six titles. They are Ted Wilde's The Kid Brother, Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour, Barbara Loden's Wanda, Robert Zemeckis's I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and Carlos Reygadas's Japón. Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute is getting a Blu-ray upgrade. Read on to learn more about them. The Magic Flute (#71) out Mar 12 This scintillating screen version of Mozart’s beloved opera showcases Ingmar Bergman’s deep knowledge of music and gift for expressing it cinematically. Casting some of Europe’s finest soloists—Josef Köstlinger, Ulrik Cold, Håkan Hagegård, and Birgit Nordin among them—the director
One of Mary Pickford's most successful films pulls on the heartstrings with admittedly shameless melodrama.
Mary Pickford was 32 when she made Little Annie Rooney, where she plays a girl barely into her teens who spends all of her time picking fights with boys and getting into child gang warfare, when she isn't doting on her cop dad. It's a testament to Pickford's particular talents that she often easily passes for someone that young, even when surrounded by other child actors: she's tiny, her face is ageless, and she knows how to hold herself in a way that belies physical maturity. That she becomes the love interest for an apparently much older man (played by
The robots are out for revenge, but it's hard to care for most of the season.
Warner Bros.Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in the Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. I was a bit lukewarm on the first season of HBO’s Westworld. I didn’t feel that it really brought about anything new in regards to the theory of artificial intelligence rebelling against its creator(s), but there was plenty in which I got invested. It was mainly the star power - most notably Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, and Thandie Newton - that kept me tuning in, and I was interested in seeing where it was
Ingmar Bergman's only Hollywood production is wildly uneven, rather strange, but still worthwhile.
In January of 1976, famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was arrested on charges of tax evasion. The charges were later dropped, it all being a mix-up over a large transaction between two companies Bergman owned, but the damage was severe and long lasting. Bergman suffered a nervous breakdown and fled the country. He first travelled to Germany and then to California where he met famed producer Dino De Laurentis who agreed to finance his next film. The Serpent’s Egg bombed - critics hated it and it did horrible business. It is generally considered one of Bergman’s worst films. When your
A censored Deadpool 2. Nothing more, nothing less.
Once Upon A Deadpool is exactly as it is advertised. It’s a fun, censored re-release of Deadpool 2 made to be a light holiday event. It features the exact same story just with added scenes of Deadpool reading to an adult Fred Savage in a replica of the bedroom from The Princess Bride. However, the opening credits scene with Celine Dion singing “Ashes” is nowhere to be found. The fact that this is the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 allows it to be even more self-referential since that’s the nature of the character and is what makes him so distinctive.
Although there aren't too many characters to grow attached to, the subject material of the film is what keeps it going.
I’m a sucker for films based on historical events, especially those that don’t get told often or have yet to be told at all. And if it revolves around World War II or afterward, you can guarantee I’ll be watching it sometime soon. Operation Finale is exactly the type of movie that piques my interest. After having so many movies focus on Adolf Hitler and other stories that we were told countless times in history classes, director Chris Weitz gives us one that isn’t as well known but is as important to learn about. The funny thing is, this is
"So this is kinda becoming an annual thing, huh?" - Supergirl
A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. See their coverage of Part 1 and Part 2. Gordon S. Miller In a fun twist, the episode begins not with Kara's usual introduction to viewers, but that of John Deegan who reveals he is now Superman. Why he has a black and white uniform over the traditional colors is never expalined but was probably to identify between the two SuperDeegan (Tyler Hoechlin) confronts the powerless Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephen Amell), but they escape him. Members of Team Arrow and Flash
Here's a few new releases to add to your Christmas stocking.
Over the years, I’ve become a pretty big Brian De Palma fan. It has been a slow process. I first came to him through the Oscar-winning, Al Capone-drama The Untouchables in 1987, then it was likely another decade before I caught him again in Mission:Impossible. I’d then catch a film here, a film there. Then the last couple of years, I’ve really started to pay attention. I’ve caught up on a lot of his older films - The Fury, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill - and while his stories are often a gloriously mess, I really dig his visual style.
If this is an audition for a Batwoman series, then I'd say, "bring it on". - Shawn Bourdo
A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. See their coverage of "Part 1." Todd Karella In tonight’s second episode of the "Elseworlds" crossover event, we find our three main heroes, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), the Flash (Grant Gustin), and the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) heading to Gotham City chasing after some unknown individuals that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had Vibed an image of and Oliver Queen had drawn a sketch of. But before they head over there, they stop by A.R.G.U.S. to get Team Arrow involved in trying in the whole body-switching
There is just enough black humor and movie-star style to make watching it fun, even if you walk away at the end long having figured out the multiple twists and wishing it had been better.
Director Paul Feig's (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) A Simple Favor doesn't know what it wants to be. Murder mystery? Psychological thriller? Black comedy? Twisted romance? All of the above? Unfortunately it doesn't tip in any one direction long enough to embrace any genre, so it falls short in all of them. But there is just enough black humor and movie star style to make watching A Simple Favor fun, even if you walk away at the end long having figured out the multiple twists and wishing it had been better. Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, an overachieving single Mommy-vlogger who is swept up
The Atomic Cafe Blu-ray Review: How I Learned to Keep Worrying, Laugh Uneasily, and Continue to Fear the Bomb
One of the most essential films, documentary or otherwise, in the history of Cinema.
When converseing of satire about our deepest, troubling fear about potential nuclear catastrophe, Stanley Kubrick's 1964 masterpiece, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, seemed for its time the only cinematic representation of very bleak humor of nuclear proportions. However, if there's one film that matches it for extremely black comedy, or ever betters it, it is the 1982 cult-classic documentary, The Atomic Cafe, which does the derision in such an absurd way that it actually remains as alarmingly vital as it obviously was almost 40 years ago. Mixed with Cold War blasphemy (or
The stories are enjoyable adventures with an arc that sees the Rebellion setting up on the ice planet Hoth where they are located when The Empire Strikes Back opens.
IDW/The Library of American Comics' presentation of the Star Wars newspaper comics concludes with Volume 3, which presents nine stories written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Al Williamson and others that ran from July 26, 1982 until March 11, 1984. Return of the Jedi had been released in May 1983, but none of the movie's events had any impact because these stories are set between Star Wars and The Empire Stikes Back. The book opens with “A Matter of Character,” an essay by Rich Handley about those who joined the ranks of the Expanded Universe, rebranded “Star Wars Legends”
While the large overarching plot was only touched upon at the beginning and end of the episode, it came across as a self-contained story that just loosely connected the shows over the next three nights. - Todd Karella
A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. Shawn Bourdo The idea of an Elseworld story in the DC Comic Universe is that you don't have to be aware of current continuity as much as you only need to know the basic constructs of the characters. That is not necessarily the case with this fifth annual Arrowverse crossover. While not all of the shows are represented in this mashup, let's review where they stand. Arrow - Tired of telling Team Arrow stories with flashback side stories, the show is trying to
The acting, direction, and writing represent a uniqueness rarely found in cinema.
In a year of dysfunctional families, alien horror, and more superhero nonsense, it was refreshing to finally find a film that doesn't cater to the usual tropes of what a film is supposed to be. You know, a depressing tale of a very emotionless woman who seems to be lost to everyone and everything around her, and director Christina Choe's troubling orchestration of the bizarre premise is arguably, for me, the true discovery of 2018. The film is NANCY. The story centers on a very lonely young woman, Nancy Freeman, who craves connection with others by creating distinctive indentities and
Taye Diggs, George Lopez and John Cusack star in this action-packed battle for revenge at any price.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Cinedigm to award one lucky reader River Runs Red on Blu-ray. Currently available on Digital now and on 4k Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on December 11 For those wanting to learn more, read the press release is below: Taye Diggs, George Lopez and John Cusack star in this action-packed battle for revenge at any price. Respected Judge Charles Coleman (Taye Diggs) and his wife have devoted their lives to law enforcement. The two are thrilled when their son is accepted into the police academy, but everything changes when he is shot by two
This week wasn't as Christmas-y as I had hoped but I caught some cool things anyway.
It turns out I’m not really a fan of Christmas movies. In October, I watched a bunch of horror movies, but I like horror movies so that was easy. November became Noirvember, and I caught up on a bunch of film noir I’d not seen before but always meant to (plus a few I had never heard of). December is supposed to be Christmas movies but unlike horror and noir films, I’m not really drawn to holiday films. Maybe that’s because most of them are dreadful. Maybe it's because they aren’t as easy to find on streaming services. Or maybe
Five of some of the most timeless holiday films come together.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read Gordon S. Miller's review. The press release is below: Five of some of the most timeless holiday films come together on Blu-ray and DVD in The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition available now from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring all-new bonus features and unforgettable characters, experience these five classic holiday specials with your whole family. ‘Tis the season to enjoy the timeless holiday classics in The Original Christmas
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States released their nominees for the 2019 Grammy Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The eligibility period was October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8-11:30 pm ET/5-8:30 pm PT. Honoring the "best" music in Visual Media are the following categories. Links go to our coverage of the films. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media (Award to the artist(s) and/or ‘in
Boy Erased has its heart in the right place but doesn't have a proper voice.
Boy Erased is one of those movies that has its heart is in the right place but almost falters due to its slightly hampered execution. It does have its high qualities and it does its part by keeping the message alive about conversion therapy which is sadly legal in some states. However, it still doesn’t quite come together despite its admirable efforts. The film is based on a true story about the life of Garrard Conley who was sent to conversion therapy by his parents after being outed as gay. But Jared Eamons, who is the main character played by
Did your favorites get nominated?
The Hollywood Foreign Press has selected their nominations in film and television for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, the Golden Globe Awards will air live coast-to-coast on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Best Motion Picture-Drama: BlacKkKlansman | Review Black Panther | Review Bohemian Rhapsody | Review If Beale Street Could Talk A Star Is Born | Review Best Motion Picture-Musical Or Comedy: Crazy Rich Asians | Review The Favourite | Review Green Book | Review Mary Poppins Returns Vice Best Director:
Movie lovers can journey from Oz to outer space as films play in hundreds of movie theaters nationwide for 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics series.
Press release: Film fans can take a yearlong journey through Hollywood history in 2019 when Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) come together for the fourth annual TCM Big Screen Classics, presenting 14 film favorites throughout the year, spanning seven decades. From the Golden Age of Hollywood to groundbreaking movies from the seventies, eighties and nineties, the TCM Big Screen Classics series combines each film with little-known facts and insight provided by TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. In addition, every film is presented in its original aspect ratio, offering audiences the chance to see these movies on the big
Blue Underground gives Lucio Fulci's groundbreaking "massacre-piece" a gorgeous new 4K restoration, and the results are even more shocking than ever.
It's hard to keep a good zombie down, and the regular re-emergence of Lucio Fulci's seminal Dawn of the Dead rip-off onto home video is quite the indication it will never go out of style. One of the most quintessential Italian splatter flicks ever made, this epic bastard sequel to George A. Romero's masterpiece launched the horror movie career for director Fulci, whilst simultaneously leaving a noticeable boot print on the map for Italy itself. Known around the world by an oft-bizarre assortment of alternate titles ‒ including Zombi 2 (its original title, as christened to cash-in on the release
Criterion continues their welcome attention to the works of director Kenji Mizoguchi with this superb new Blu-ray release.
When an adulterous nobleman learns that his wife is rumored to be carrying on an affair with a member of his staff, he seeks to punish both of them. Sure, it’s fine for the man to brazenly step out on his wife, but when the smallest hint of initially untrue impropriety is leveled against her, his righteous indignation speaks volumes about the vast gender morality imbalance. There’s also the matter of his continued noble status, as his failure to punish his perceived transgressors carries the risk of loss of his esteemed title. With that setup in place, director Kenji Mizoguchi
The second of the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan-starring films is a delightful and witty romantic comedy.
A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were watching a movie when a trailer for Fathom Events’ presentation of Sleepless in Seattle came on. She smiled and stated how much she loved the movie. I ashamedly admitted that I had never seen it. To be honest, when I was growing up, I didn’t find myself getting attached to romantic comedies that much - or even romantic dramas. I think I had watched some here and there, but I always dismissed them as cheesy, sentimental goo. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to appreciate a lot of them more
The documentary gives us an interesting glimpse Hollywood’s gay “underground” during the 1940s and '50s.
Movie studios kept a close watch on their actors’ private lives in the 1940s to the 1970s. It was important at that time for stars to have a wholesome image. That wholesomeness meant gay actors and actresses had to stay in the closest. Even heterosexual thespians had to project a squeaky-clean image, even if it was contrary to their real, off-screen lives. Scott Tyrnauer’s Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood explores the wild life of Scotty Bowers, a 95-year-old author and former Hollywood pimp to the stars.(Tyrnauer’s previous documentaries include Valentino: The Last Emperor and Studio 54). Bowers wrote
This pick of the week will self destruct in seven days.
I have pretty much completely given up on action movies over the last decade or so. I long ago grew tired of more car chases, more explosions, more bigger and bigger guns. I still do watch superhero movies which I suppose are kind of like action flicks, but with capes, but whatever. Straight up action is pretty much gone from my movie queues. The exceptions being the Bond films (which I can call spy films and still get away with my "no action movies" mantra) and the Mission:Impossible films (also technically spy films, but who are we trying to kid?).
Documentarian Steve Mitchell pays respect to Larry Cohen and his interesting filmography.
While many argue about the subjective success of a movie, there is one indisputable objective marker of a movie's success and that is whether it has recovered its cost. Regardless of the former, those who have repeatedly accomplished the latter make careers for themselves in the business and deserve respect. Documentarian Steve Mitchell pays that respect to Larry Cohen and his interesting filmography with King Cohen, which La-La Land Entertainment is releasing in a Limited Edition set of 5,000 that includes the film on Blu-ray accompanied by its soundtrack by Joe Kraemer on CD. Mitchell tells Cohen's story through an
I am happy that it ended on such a high note but will always feel the wanting for more.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions share are her own. I am so grateful to Netflix for giving us three more seasons of Longmire after it was cancelled by A&E. While I was still not ready for it to end, at least we got a final season to leave these characters in a thoughtful and fulfilled way. Our beloved Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) continues to face intense personal and professional challenges. His best friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Philips)
As Angie’s increasingly reckless ways spin her life and the lives of those around her out of control, she must learn to transcend the hardships of her past and step into the light.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Shout Factory! to award one reader MDMA on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release below: Step into the drug-fueled 1980s with this provocative and powerful drama based on the true-life experiences of writer/director Angie Wang. A period crime drama that offers the unique perspective of a working-class, Asian-American woman scrambling for status in a world of white, west-coast privilege, MDMA is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Shout! Studios. This release includes a number of bonus features, including audio commentary with filmmaker Angie Wang, an interview with Francesca Eastwood,
I end Noirvember with a bang.
It is the last day of Noirvember. All told, I watched 12 film noirs (7 classic, 5 neo-noirs), which is pretty good, I think. Especially considering how no more than two years ago, I generally didn’t watch 10 movies a month (I watched 13 non noir this month as well). This week found me watching two noirs and a few others. I really enjoyed watching film noirs. I’m excited about coming up with themes for each month. Next month, I suppose I’ll do as many holiday-themed films as I can. That feels kind of boring to me, but appropriate. I
The Favourite is completely innovative and easily Yorgos Lanthimos' most actor-driven picture.
Yorgos Lanthimos tackling a period piece is a segway as unorthodox as his previous work. However, as it turns out, The Favourite proves to possess the same absurdist touch as The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer even if the script isn’t written by Lanthimos this time around. Admittedly, because Lanthimos didn’t pen the script, it is easily his most accessible film. But thanks to the use of techniques like the disorienting cinematography and the acting from two of his leading ladies who have previously collaborated with him and understand his esoteric vision, The Favourite still remains in
Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal & Rob Reiner to Open 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival with When Harry Met Sally
The 30th Anniversary screening kicks off TCM's 10th annual classic film festival.
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will kick off the 10th annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, April 11th with a 30th anniversary screening of the seminal romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally… with beloved stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan and acclaimed director/producer Rob Reiner in attendance. The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival, held in the heart of Hollywood April 11th-14th, marks the 10th annual celebration of classic films on the big screen from TCM. The TCM network will also celebrate its 25th anniversary on closing night of the festival. Celebrated director Rob Reiner had no idea he