12 items from 2013
This week’s new home video releases include a couple of long-awaited box sets, an even longer cut of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (read our review here), and a classic from filmmaker D.W. Griffith. Briefly: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UltraViolet) - $29.99 (45% off) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) - $24.99 (31% off) White House Down (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) - $22.99 (44% off) Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga Box Set [Blu-ray] - $44.99 (40% off) Grown Ups 2 (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) - $22.99 (44% off) Parkland [Combo Blu-ray + DVD] - $13.15 (47% off) Lovelace [Blu-ray] - $16.99 (43% off) Clear History (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) - $17.96 (28% off) Passion [Blu-ray] - $19.99 (33% off) Intolerance [Blu-ray] - $42.48 (15% off) Mad Men: Season Six [Blu-ray] - $27.99 (44% off) Under the Dome [Blu-ray] - $34.99 (55% off) Farscape: Complete Series [Blu-ray] - $74.99 (50% off) Boy Meets World: Complete Collection - $74.99 (25% off) »
- Adam Chitwood
Chicago – Another week of a hodge podge of new Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that we call What to Watch. Looking for something new? Something very old? Something rare? Something from TV? There’s a little bit of everything and even a story about porn too. Check it out, ranked in how interesting I find them.
Photo credit: Cohen Media Group
“Intolerance” would be a massive, amazing undertaking in 2013. Can you even put in perspective what it was like 100 years ago? Arguably one of the most important and influential silent films ever made, “Intolerance” runs almost three hours and covers centuries of storytelling. It’s a fascinating film both in the history of cinema and the way it addressed cultural concerns of the time. Cohen Media Group continues to expertly restore and highlight great films. They’re quickly rising the ranks of the most important Blu-ray studios working today. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 5, 2013
Price: DVD $39.99, Blu-ray $49.98
Studio: Cohen Media
Just one year after the huge success of his Birth of a Nation, pioneering filmmaker D.W. Griffith was emboldened to prove his faith in the new medium of motion pictures with his historical silent epic Intolerance.
Four separate stories are interwoven: the fall of Babylon, the death of Christ, the massacre of the Huguenots, and a contemporary (early 20th Century) drama — all crosscut and building with enormous energy to a thrilling chase and finale. Through the juxtaposition of these well-known sagas, Griffith joyously makes clear his markedly deterministic view of history, namely that the suffering of innocents makes possible the salvation of the current generation, symbolized by the boy in the modern love story.
Last Friday evening, I finally started watching Mark Cousins’ much-discussed, often-derided, but undeniably-important The Story of Film: An Odyssey, a 15-part, 915-minute examination of the history of the medium. Covering the first two decades of cinema’s development, he naturally touches on D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance, a film that was shown this past weekend here in Los Angeles in a new digital restoration, a few blocks from my apartment, where I also could have watched the film from the same service – Netflix – through which I was watching The Story of Film. Nearly one hundred years ago, Griffith shot the film’s famous Babylon set at the intersection of Sunset, Hollywood, and Hillhurst, in a part of town now known as Silver Lake, and where our great Vista Theatre now operates. The location is well known because the set stood standing as a local attraction until 1919. It later provided the basis »
- Scott Nye
Out of the cradle endlessly rocking comes a tale interweaving four struggles across centuries. Babylon falls; a man called Christ is persecuted by Romans for being too radical; 16th-century French Catholic rulers slaughter Protestants; and, in modern times, the poor flail against the will of the most intolerant force imaginable—the law. The pure, simple love between couples is threatened by other people's ignorance throughout D.W. Griffith's film epic Intolerance (completed the year after The Birth of a Nation), which barrels forth like a freight train to condemn progress as mankind's enemy. Swoops through extravagant pageants across lavishly produced sets give way to close-ups of human faces whose wide eyes register tenderly, regardless of period. The near-century- »
★★★★★ It would be something of an understatement to label D.W. Griffith's American Civil War epic, The Birth of a Nation (1915), as controversial. The film became infamous due to its overt racism and negative stereotypical portrayals of African-Americans, coupled with the rampant glorification of the Ku Klux Klan, causing widespread outcry. Such was the strength of the reaction against it that Griffith was driven to produce Intolerance (1916) the next year, partly as a response to heavy criticism. This was not before the Kkk had embraced the film and its sources as inspiration for the organisation's resurgence.
This is a film littered with dualities: two families (the Stonemans and the Camerons) in parallel interconnected stories; two opposing sides of the war; two races in conflict. The film's structure reflects this with the narrative cleaved into two parts - one presenting America before and during the war, and the other concerned with the post-war union. »
- CineVue UK
I don’t remember when I’d first heard about the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Y/A sci fi novel, Ender’s Game – a few weeks ago, a few months – but despite all the talk about the book being some sort of cult fave which has sold millions since it’d first been published in 1985, I’d never heard of Card or the novel before. And having heard of it, I wasn’t particularly interested in reading the book (which I understand is quite good), or seeing the movie (which may be quite good).
Oh, it had nothing to do with Card’s outrageous statements on homosexuality (we’ll get to that in a bit) of which I also knew nothing. It was more my having had my fill of young questing heroes in some fantasy/sci fi milieu delegated by fate and circumstance to crush some great evil. »
- Bill Mesce
Visuals are a key element to films. While the movie certainly isn’t 100% reliant on a good look, it can be key to making sure the movie sticks in the mind of the audience.
Sometimes visuals are special effects in the movie, other times it can be the set design, the landscape, the costumes, or even makeup or the sheer amount of extras in a scene! There are countless ways directors and cinematographers have found unique and interesting ways to make sure we all remember their movies.
So in honor of that effort, we’ll be taking a look - in chronological order – at fifteen of the films that best utilized the visual aspect of themselves. We’ll be beginning all the way back in 1916 with…
15. Intolerance (1916)
- J.D. Westfall
Everybody's favorite movie decade: Which ones are the best movies released in the 20th century's second decade? Best Film (Pictured above) Broken Blossoms: Barthelmess and Gish star as ill-fated lovers in D.W. Griffith’s romantic melodrama featuring interethnic love. Check These Out (Pictured below) Cabiria: is considered one of the major landmarks in motion picture history, having inspired the scope and visual grandeur of D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance. Also of note, Pastrone's epic of ancient Rome introduced Maciste, a bulky hero who would be featured in countless movies in the ensuing decades. Best Actor (Pictured below) In the tragic The Italian, George Beban plays an Italian immigrant recently arrived in the United States (Click below for film review). Unfortunately, his American dream quickly becomes a horrendous nightmare of poverty and despair. Best Actress (Pictured below) The movies' super-vamp Theda Bara in A Fool There Was: A little »
- Andre Soares
Like Night of the Hunter, Tod Browning’s Freaks or Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers, The Road to Yesterday can be ranked among the UFOs of cinema. It’s place in the heart of Cecil B. DeMille’s work proves to be in itself very distinctive. We know that, during his entire life, DeMille had virtually only one producer—Paramount (the former Famous Players Lasky)—just like Minnelli was MGM’s man and Corman American International’s. Sixty-three of his films (out of seventy) were produced at Paramount. And, oddly enough, it is among the seven outsiders, situated within a brief period from 1925 to 1931, that his best activity is to be found (I’m thinking of Madam Satan, The Godless Girl, and The Road to Yesterday)–his most audacious undertakings. To top it off, for this uncontested king of the box office, his best films were his biggest commercial failures. »
- Luc Moullet
Review by Sam Moffitt
I love silent films! I have to say that from the beginning I have been fascinated with the silent years of film making. When I was growing up in the St. Louis area in the sixties there was a syndicated show called Who’s The Funnyman? Hosted by Cliff Norton this was a kid’s show which presented silent slapstick comedies, Hal Roach, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Harold Lloyd, The Keystone Cops. These were short versions, cut to fit a Saturday morning time slot and with voice over by Mr. Norton. He would always introduce the films as a record of his family members, cousins, uncles, brothers, sisters, and describe the predicaments we could see being acted out on camera.
How I loved that show! It made me want to see the complete films, I could tell they had been edited just as Channel »
- Tom Stockman
Everybody loves a good controversy! If you don’t, you’re a boring fart. Controversial movies have caused disgust, moral outrage and titillation since the very invention of cinema, all those years ago. One only has to look at the stink D W Griffiths made with his epic films Intolerance and Birth of a Nation.
It pays to have a little controversy in your film, a little rant or whine in the Daily Mail can have salacious film fans rushing to buy the condemned films in droves. It can elevate a crappy or mediocre film into culthood or it can uncover some marvellous little gems that may have gone uncovered were it not for someone kicking up a moral fuss.
The movies in my list have been praised and condemned in equal measures. Some of them on their release were so controversial they were nearly kicked into hell. However, over time, »
- Clare Simpson
12 items from 2013
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