The GentlemenWhere have you been, Guy Ritchie? We’ve missed your language, your punch, your sleight of hand, and that self-referential swagger that defined your early days as a filmmaker. We got hardly any of that as you set out for more commercial ventures like Swept Away, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,  ...

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)In what might be one of the most exploitative openings in Hammer’s 1970 era, we see a grave robber (Doctor Who's Patrick Troughton) struggle mightily with a corpse in a grave and, after a police officer falls in the now-empty grave, we see a jar of gooey, squishy eyeballs (looking very  ...

Just MercyAt one point in Just Mercy, the new film from director, co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton (The Glass Castle), the film’s main character Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) points out that “the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth, it’s justice.” Those words set the tone for the tangle of legal and  ...

Split Second

Big gun! Number one! Maybe it’s the heavy biker boots announcing his thunderous arrival to all lawbreakers in a post-global warming world.  Maybe it’s the dark, circle-framed sunglasses through which he sees all varieties of criminal behavior in ...

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith2005 saw the end of the prequel trilogy, and what a job it had before it to finally deliver what we’d been promised since the trilogy was announced: the descent of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side and the rise of Darth Vader ...

The WretchedPoor Ben (John-Paul Howard).  No one believes him.  No one.  And he is seeing, as he has come in for the summer to work at his Dad’s marina, a lot of strange shit that defies easy explanation.  Unfortunately, no one believes in witches anymore ...

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Twice now, in different decades, Star Wars has resurrected itself and rewarded Lucas handsomely. With the recent sequel trilogy now behind us, the parallels between their reception and the era of the prequel trilogy are difficult to ignore. Both critics and the Star Wars fan base have major issues with ...

Doctor Who: Tom Baker - The Complete Season ThreeEight discs, six stories, and 650 minutes of classic science fiction.  That’s what fans get with the BBC’s latest Doctor Who release which features the fourteenth season of classic Doctor Who, constituting the third trip around the sun for Tom Baker in the titular role as everyone’s favorite ...

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the CLones (2002)Episode 2 made a couple of firsts in Star Wars history. Firstly, it would be the first of them shot entirely digital. Secondly, and unfortunately, it would be the first of the episodes to debut with a now tarnished perception. The Phantom Menace had not gone down well with the critics and a great ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume III: Adandoned

Because, sometimes, even babies need the support of the police! Pushing a hard-hitting social commentary, Abandoned - with a colorful set of character names - takes aim at selling unwanted babies as the City of Angels becomes ground zero for black ...

cats (2019)There’s a reason Cats had such a successful Broadway run as one of the longest-running musicals in history with over 7,000 performances spanning some 18 years. Many reasons, actually. The biggest being the brilliant songs and catchy tunes from Andrew Lloyd Webber. They are simply wonderful, and  ...

THIRT3EN Ghosts Collector’s EditionArthur Kriticos' dream house - full of shatterproof glass cages and sliding steel panels - has arrived. . . but it’s a damn nightmare!  Critically hammered and only very loosely based on William Castle’s original film, THIRT3EN Ghosts gets a second chance to make a lasting reflection in the glassy Halls of Horror thanks ...

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the JediThis film would be the culmination for a generation of Star Wars fans, and we couldn’t have been better primed for it. We would wait three years to learn the answers to the most tantalizing cliffhangers ever conceived. Was Han Solo gone forever? Was Darth Vader lying to Luke? I can  ...

House of Wax 3D: The Warner Archive Collection (1953)The most successful 3D film of the 1950s has finally arrived on Blu-ray.  André de Toth’s House of Wax brought Warner Bros a lot of fortune and fame during its original run in 1953 but the film is also known for something else: the rebirth of Vincent Price ...

Little Women (2019)Raise your hand if the news of yet another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, Little Women coming to theaters on Christmas Day failed to jingle your bells. Okay, we can all put them down now. After all, with so many previous adaptations – including 1949’s version starring Elizabeth Taylor and ...

Breakheart Pass (1975)Sometimes a classic film - or one we now consider a classic of its genre - underwhelms in its original run.  This is the curious case of Breakheart Pass, a film that continues - every five years or so - to garner more interest in it as it reaches new audiences thanks to Charles Bronson’s  ...

Star Wars: Episode V - The EMpire Strikes Back

The greatest sequel ever made… There. Done… Oh, you want more? All right then. Star Wars changed cinema forever. Some say to its detriment. Its penetration into the world’s lexicon was all encompassing. It was in everyone’s vernacular after 1977, and made the left of field auteur George Lucas the ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume II: The Female Animal (1958)

It is said that when a woman fights for a man, she is like an ANIMAL! Vanessa Windsor (Hedy Lamarr), a spoiled Hollywood star, and her daughter, Penny (Jane Powell), fall head over heels in love with the same man, Chris Farley (George Nader), and they aren’t even aware of the other’s interest in him!  Tabloid...

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New HopeStar Wars’ new caretakers, Disney, have gone to painstaking work to be able to release this series of films for the first time in 4K. After purchasing the franchise from George Lucas, acquiring 20th Century Fox, and continuing the Star Wars saga with (so far) 5 new ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume III: Adandoned

Lady Luck has no heart at all in this morality tale! The Lady Gambles begins with a stunning beatdown as its star, Barbara Stanwyck, is repeatedly attacked, smacked, and punched by a couple of thugs who feel cheated by her use of loaded dice in a ...

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)If one of the final moments of director J. J. Abrams Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - two lightsabers sinking into the sands of Tattooine - hits you rather hollow, it is by the director’s choice.  The Skywalker Saga is over with this film, but what’s shocking is that it really doesn’t feel ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume III: Adandoned

The drugs! The coppers!  The crimes! And the Femme Fatales!  It's all here in The Sleeping City! Sometimes, as is the case with 1950’s The Sleeping City, Film Noir offerings are notable for one thing entirely: their use of their location.  Okay, okay, so The Sleeping City - which has  ...

1917 (2019)Filmmaker Sam Mendes gets down and personal with his new film, 1917 about two young British soldiers sent on an impossible mission to save hundreds of their fellow soldiers. Though largely fictionalized, his tale comes from an actual account told by his paternal grandfather who served in the ...

Streetwalkin'

“Mommy, can we come home?” With those words, Cookie (Melissa Leo) and her kid brother Tim (Randall Batinkoff) plead to return to their mother’s house.  They’ve been kicked out because her new man hates them both.  Their request is denied, so the two wander the bus station as ...

Harriet (2019)There’s a shocking, telling moment late in the movie Harriet (2019). Referring to a group of escaped slaves, the villain Gideon (Joe Elwyn) calls them “three bucks and a female with foal.” Of course, he does much worse throughout the movie. But that ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume II: Thunder On The Hill (1951)

In which the nuns get it done! Thanks to the crackling cinematography of William H. Daniels (Six Bridges to Cross, Harvey, Winchester ‘73) and the performance of Claudette Colbert as Sister Mary who is haunted by the past, Thunder On The Hill roars off the screen with a fury that is relatively unmatched  ...

Black Christmas (2019)The latest iteration of Bob Clark’s ultra-gory yule tide slasher, Black Christmas, promises a modern take on the cult horror classic that stoked the fears of every sorority girl back in 1974  ...

Bruce Lee Greatest Hits Blu-rayIt is no understatement to suggest that Bruce Lee’s return to Hong Kong, after America refused to make him a star, was the best thing for his career.  Lee was pissed off; frustrated by Hollywood’s inherent racism and refusal to put any faith in the idea that an Asian could ever carry a profitable film ...

An American Werewolf in LondonI’ll start this review with a question. 4K has been out for a few years now, and although this reviewer has only recently dipped into this new resolution, I wonder why companies like Arrow are still going to the effort of releasing restored definitive and feature-laden movies from days gone by, at scanned  ...

Brutal Massacre: A Comedy (2007)What has the world come to when the director of Sasquatch at the Mall can't get a gig? That's what horror auteur Harry Penderecki is wondering. Once considered a horror legend, with a string of hits like Bowel Movement, People Pesticide and I'll Take the Ring Back and the Finger Too, he now finds himself  ...

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