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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

25 March 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

Broadway’s delightful — but wickedly accurate — satire of big business was brought to movie screens almost intact, with the story, the stars, the styles and dances kept as they were in the long-running show that won a Pulitzer Prize. This is the place to see Robert Morse and Michele Lee at their best — it’s one of the best, and least appreciated movie musicals of the 1960s.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1967 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 121 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony Teague, Maureen Arthur, Sammy Smith, Robert Q. Lewis, Carol Worthington, Kathryn Reynolds, Ruth Kobart, George Fennemann, Tucker Smith, David Swift.

Cinematography: Burnett Guffey

Film Editor: Allan Jacobs, Ralph E. Winters

Original Music: Nelson Riddle

Art Direction: Robert Boyle

Visual Gags: Virgil Partch

From the play written by Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3-D

25 March 2017 11:57 AM, PDT

 

J. K. Rowling is back with a wizard world tale over which she has complete control — a diverting period adventure starring Eddie Redmayne and scores of fanciful magic creatures that belong on an endangered species list. Yep, it’s 2+plus hours of CGI illusions — in glorious 3-D for those so equipped, and Ms. Rowling has populated it with charming, personable actors. “You know — for adults.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

3-D Blu-ray

J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

2016 / Color / 2:40 widescreen /133 min. / Street Date March 28, 2017 / 3-D 44.95; Blu-ray & DVD 35.99

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Samantha Morton, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight, Josh Cowdery, Dan Hedaya, Johnny Depp. .

Cinematography: Philippe Rouselot

Film Editor: Mark Day

Original Music: James Newton Howard

Written by J. K. Rowling

Produced by J.K. Rowling, Lionel Wigram

Directed by David Yates

 

“And lo, the magical super-franchise of Harry Potter doth continue. »

- Glenn Erickson

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23 Paces to Baker Street

25 March 2017 11:52 AM, PDT

No, not a blind Sherlock Holmes, but a blind Van Johnson, who directs his butler, his girlfriend Vera Miles and the London police to thwart a crime based on something he overheard in a bar. Henry Hathaway directs a complicated murder mystery that plays like a combo of Rear Window and Wait Until Dark, with a cranky Van Johnson as the central character.

23 Paces to Baker Street

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker, Patricia Laffan, Maurice Denham, Estelle Winwood, Liam Redmond, Isobel Elsom, Martin Benson, Queenie Leonard.

Cinematography: Milton Krasner

Film Editor: James B. Clark

Original Music: Leigh Harline

Written by Nigel Balchin from the novel Warrant for X by Philip MacDonald

Produced by Henry Ephron

Directed by Henry Hathaway

 

In the 1950s the murder mystery thriller came of age, as creakier older formulas »

- Glenn Erickson

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Bloody Pit of Horror

23 March 2017 10:00 PM, PDT

Pretty subtle title, huh? Produced in Italy as Il Boa Scarlatto,  this lurid gorefest  also goes by The Crimson Executioner, A Tale of Torture, and Some Virgins for the Hangman, among other titles.  Campy, sadistic  Eurotrash that played off in the Us paired with another retitled Neapolitan thriller, Terror-Creatures from Beyond the Grave. They don’t make ’em like these anymore. A comparison of the original with the 9 minutes-shorter Us version can be found here. The entire film can be seen (in sections) here  but the rather vivid color is faded.

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- TFH Team

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Tower

21 March 2017 11:12 AM, PDT

A fateful day is re-examined by its survivors, whose stories are told via a brilliant narrative arrangement, and the use of animated recreations is only one aspect of it. The Texas tower shootings put our present, everyday reign of violent terror in a humanist context. It’s not exploitative — the killer’s name is barely mentioned. It works, it’s riveting, and its positive message is one of calm sanity. Highly recommended.

Tower

Blu-ray

Kino Lorber

2016 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 82 96 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 34.95

Starring: Violett Beane, Louie Arnette, Blair Jackson, Monty Muir, Chris Doubek, Reece Everett Ryan, Josephine McAdam, Aldo Ordoñez, Vicky Illk, John Fitch, Karen Davidson, Jeremy Brown.

Cinematography: Keith Maitland, Sarah Wilson

Film Editor: Austin Reedy

Original Music: Osei Essed

Produced by Megan Gilbride, Keith Maitland

Directed by Keith Maitland

Advance publicity on Keith Maitland’s Tower set me against it from the start. »

- Glenn Erickson

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Fences

21 March 2017 11:07 AM, PDT

Verdict? The film of August Wilson’s play is absorbing, intense. If we rate by quality of writing, acting skill, and the craft of direction, Denzel Washington’s film betters most of its fellow Best Picture nominees. It’s also something positive for the arts, a ‘black experience’ play that can’t be pigeonholed as merely black- themed. The appeal of its compelling characters goes beyond racial boundaries. Viola Davis did win a well- deserved Oscar, and this is fine work from one end to the other.

Fences

Blu-ray + Digital HD

Paramount

2016 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 138 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / 39.99

Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney.

Cinematography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Film Editor: Hughes Winborne

Original Music: Marcelo Zarvos

Written by August Wilson from his play

Produced by Denzel Washington, Scott Rudin, Todd Black

Directed by Denzel Washington,

2017 is the year for envelope- fumbling at the Oscars, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Phaedra

21 March 2017 11:02 AM, PDT

 

Or, “Never on Sunday with Your Stepson.”   Director Jules Dassin’s monument to his beloved Melina Mercouri transposes a Greek tragedy to a modern setting. The pampered wife of a shipping magnate is like a queen of old — she can fling a priceless gem into the Thames on just a whim, and she goes in whatever direction her heart takes her. When her attractive stepson Anthony Perkins enters the picture, there will be Hell to Pay.

Phaedra

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1962 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 116 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.95

Starring: Melina Mercouri, Anthony Perkins, Raf Vallone, Elisabeth Ercy.

Cinematography: Jacquest Natteau

Film Editor: Roger Dwyre

Original Music: Mikis Theodorakis

Written by Jules Dassin, Margarita Lymberaki from the play Hippolytus by Euripides

Produced and Directed by Jules Dassin

 

Anyone into amour fou, the romantic notion of a love without limits, beyond the harsh constraints of reality? »

- Glenn Erickson

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Multiple Maniacs

20 March 2017 2:28 PM, PDT

Multiple Maniacs

Blu-ray

1970 / Black and White /96 Min. / 1:66 / Street Date March 21, 2017

Starring: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce and Mink Stole.

Cinematography: John Waters

Film Editor: John Waters

Written by John Waters

Produced by John Waters

Directed by John Waters

 

Andy Warhol was nothing if not a multi-media maven. Along with his ubiquitous silkscreens and sculpture, he embraced movie-making beginning as early as 1963 with such literal-minded efforts as Haircut (a haircut) and Taylor Mead’s Ass (one hour of exactly what you think) and pretty much closed shop with 1968’s Lonesome Cowboys, a 109 minute western satire that, of all his films, came closest to approximating a traditional tinseltown production.

Essentially Warhol was parodying the Hollywood studio system, rounding up his acolytes and hangers-on, from supermodels to pushers, and casting them as regular performers in a series of deadpan documentaries. Meanwhile in the wilds of Baltimore, Warhol fan John Waters »

- Charlie Largent

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Kiss Kiss… Kill Kill

19 March 2017 10:00 PM, PDT

Based on Kommisar X, a popular series of crime novels from Germany, 1965’s Kiss Kiss… Kill Kill is the first of seven lightly satirical adventures starring a suave pair of crime-busting spies played by Tony Kendall and Brad Harris. Kiss Kiss is notable for its proto-Our Man Flint plot featuring a criminal mastermind, his private island and the bevy of hypnotized playmates who guard it. A brassy, Shirley Bassey-esque theme song, “I Love You Joe Walker”, kicks off the proceedings in style.

»

- TFH Team

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