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13 items from 2016


Review: “Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb” (1964; Directed by Stanley Kubrick) Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

30 June 2016 3:43 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“Purity Of Essence”

By Raymond Benson

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is such an iconic motion picture that most readers of Cinema Retro, I would bet, already own a copy of this brilliant keepsake of the 1960s on DVD or Blu-ray. The film has been released several times before, but now it gets the Criterion treatment. Believe me—fans of the movie and of director Stanley Kubrick will still want to get this edition. It is definitely an upgrade in quality and the disk also comes with a plethora of fascinating supplements and some terrific goodies in the packaging.

Unless you’ve haven’t been paying attention to the lists of Great Movies You Should See Before You Die, you know that Dr. Strangelove is the story of how an air force general (Sterling Hayden) goes “a little funny in the head. »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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99 River Street

28 June 2016 8:27 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Do you like your noir heroes bitter and bruised, and your noir dames daring and resourceful? Phil Karlson's gem of a thriller pits two-fisted John Payne against murderous hood Brad Dexter, with Peggie Castle the unfaithful, unlucky wife who decides to run off with the wrong guy. And star Evelyn Keys is a pulp noir adventuress to admire, with a roving eye of her own. 99 River Street Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1953 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 83 min. / Street Date June 21, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Peggie Castle, Jay Adler, Jack Lambert, Glenn Langan. Cinematography Franz Planer Film Editor Buddy Small Original Music Arthur Lange, Emil Newman Written by Robert Smith, George Zuckerman Produced by Edward Small Directed by Phil Karlson

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

99 River Street is a top noir title in all respects -- a great cast, a literally hard-hitting »

- Glenn Erickson

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‘Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick’ Exhibit Features Art By Daft Punk, Carl Craig & More

17 June 2016 3:06 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick” is a new exhibition that features art inspired by the filmmaker and his work. Somerset House in London will host the event from July 6 through August 24 and will include pieces from artists like Daft Punk member Thomas Bangalter, Carl Craig, Doug Aitken, Gavin Turk, Haroon Mirza, Anish Kapoor and many more.

Each one was invited to “respond to a film, scene, character or theme from the Kubrick archives, shining new perspectives onto the cinematic master’s lifework.”

Read More: Stanley Kubrick Was Preparing To Remake ‘Pinocchio’ Before His Death

Kubrick’s wife of 41 years, Christiane Kubrick will also support the exhibition and contribute a portrait entitled, “Remembering Stanley.” Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s executive producer for 28 years is also a supporter of the project, with Warner Bros. endorsing it.

Read More: Cary Fukunaga In Talks To Direct Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon Project For HBO, Spielberg To Produce »

- Liz Calvario

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Dr. Strangelove

10 June 2016 7:26 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Criterion's special edition of Stanley Kubrick's doomsday comedy is more powerful than ever in a 4K remaster; and it even comes with a top-secret mission profile package and a partial-contents survival kit. A Kubrick fan can have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 821 1964 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 28, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones, Tracy Reed Cinematography Gilbert Taylor Production Designer Ken Adam Art Direction Peter Murton Film Editor Anthony Harvey Original Music Laurie Johnson Written by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George from his book Red Alert Produced by Stanley Kubrick, Leon Minoff Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When I heard that Criterion was putting out a Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb I thought that there already was a disc out there from The Collection. Nope, Sony released a Blu-ray in 2009, and back around 2000, a DVD. I was thinking of a deluxe laserdisc from Criterion sometime in the early 1990s. I remember being impressed by its extras, which included documentary materials about the Bomb in the Cold War years. Potential new fans of Kubrick's wickedly funny movie are being born every year, which leaves those of us for whom Strangelove was an important part of growing up having to remind ourselves just how good it still is. I remember recording the soundtrack off TV in high school and memorizing all of the dialogue; this has to be the most quotable movie of its decade. I also can remember my father's reaction when we watched it together on network TV, ABC, I think. An Air Force lifer who wouldn't discuss politics (or much of anything), the Old Sarge had little use for 'defeatist' movies like On the Beach. But he thought the premise of Seven Days in May wasn't really farfetched, having worked with Hap Arnold and Curtis LeMay. He shook his head after seeing Dr. Strangelove but I could tell that he found it very funny. It's too bad the two of us couldn't have gotten our senses of humor more in sync -- as soon as I wore my hair long, I think he stopped trusting me. I believe that Dr. Strangelove is one of few movies that 'made a difference' in that it redirected American public opinion about a major life issue. From that point forward only the ignorant and Shoot First fanatics talked about nuclear war as win-able, at least not until the neo-con Millennium. 1963 audiences had little use for suspect 'pacifist' movies that ended in masochistic doom, like On the Beach. The nuclear crisis was such a hot topic that that the low-key English science fiction film The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a surprise hit. Strangelove is more realistic than the straight atom nightmare movies. We're told that when Ronald Reagan was briefed at the start of his first term in office, he asked where the White House elevator to the War Room was. He figured it was there because he saw it in the movie. The decision to opt for broad comedy was Kubrick's inspired stroke. Dr. Strangelove may be the first hit film that was a bona-fide black comedy; I don't recall anybody even using the expression before it came out. It's not a crazy comedy where anything funny is okay. The backbone of the story remains 100% serious, while the jokes relentlessly demolish the death-cult logic of our Nuclear Deterrent. Kubrick and Terry Southern populate Peter George's credible cold-sweat crisis with insane caricatures given ridiculous names. The scary part is that, no matter how stupid they behave, none are really that exaggerated. Peter Sellers serves triple duty in a trio of characterizations, effectively outdoing previous champion film chameleon Alec Guinness. George C. Scott steals the show as an infantile Air Force General who acts like a Looney Tunes cartoon character. And the rest of the inspired cast nails their highly original quasi-comic characters. Every joke is a gallows joke; we're never allowed to forget that we all have an atomic noose around our necks. I almost envy the dead viewers still unfamiliar with Dr. Strangelove, as seeing it for the first time was a mind-opening experience. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base, orders a flight of B-52s to attack Russia. He then seals off Burpelson to prevent a recall of the planes. Exchange officer Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) tries to talk him into divulging the recall code. Holding court in the War Room, President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) is horrified to discover that such a Snafu is even possible. He orders General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) to take Burpelson Air Base by force and recall the planes, and gets on the hotline with the Soviet Premier. Up in the lead B-52, Major 'King' Kong (Slim Pickens) receives Ripper's orders, coded 'Wing Attack Plan R.' He urges his crew to avoid Russian defenses and reach their primary target, while Turgidson tries to talk Muffley into launching an all-out attack. Advising in the War Room is ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove, a grinning theoretician already fantasizing about the sexual recreation for the ruling elite in the VIP bomb shelters, where America's chosen high officials will be living for the next 93 years. Dr. Strangelove divides its time between three main locations, each with its own deadly serious function and each overlaid with a different comedic tone. In his locked executive office in the Alaskan Air Force Base, the sexually obsessed American General Ripper faces off with a veddy proper English officer in a farcical one-act. Beady-eyed and intense in his anti-Communist convictions, Sterling Hayden contrasts beautifully with Seller's genial Group Captain, who can't fathom the depth of his commanding officer's madness. The action in the B-52 is a throwback to those gung-ho WW2 action films in which a racially and ethnically diverse attack team uses brains and guts to barrel through their suicide mission. Even though their pilot is a cowboy clown (Slim Pickens doing his only characterization, Slim Pickens) they're an admirable bunch, seemingly the only humans capable of doing anything without red tape or Coca-Cola machines getting in their way. The horror is that our heroes' mission is totally against every moral precept ever imagined. The docu feeling in the B-52 is further amplified by the gritty newsreel-like footage of the taking of Burpelson Afb, with American troops fighting American troops. In 1964 these were traumatic, subversive scenes. U.S. troops on film are supposed to fight for freedom and righteousness, not kill each other. Kubrick has the audacity to place in the middle of it all a big sign that reads, 'Peace is our Profession.' The grainy authenticity of these scenes would come back to haunt us when similar footage started being seen nightly on television, fresh from Vietnam. The center of activities is the War Room, a Camelot-like round table of Death located in the basement of the White House. The rational President Merkin Muffley trips over an ideological roadblock in the form of Buck Turgidson, a gum-chewing military nutcase itching to go to war and overjoyed that Jack Ripper has 'exceeded his authority.' The President is hardly in charge of foreign policy, and none of fifty advisors come to his aid with any original thinking. An amateur among experts, Muffley must be shepherded through protocol by an assistant. Here's where Southern and Kubrick make their biggest points, basically asserting that a showdown with the Russkies is inevitable because the American stance is a military one -- Sac just wants the peacenik in the Oval Office to get out of their way. The comedy is all over the place, and it's a miracle that it works. The stand-up humor on the hot line to Moscow is very much like a Bob Newhart routine. At Burpelson, it's the Goon Show all over again. Sellers' Mandrake cannot sway General Ripper, and the moronic Major Bat Guano (Keenan Wynn) suspects the Raf officer of being a 'deviated prevert.' Up in the bomber, Mad Magazine craziness is grafted onto combat realism. Previous looks at the Air Force's flying deterrent were enlistment booster films like Strategic Air Command. Kubrick drove his English craftsmen to fake the entire bomber interior right down to the switches and gauges. The aerial combat is more realistic than that in escapist films, even with inadequate models used for exteriors of the jet bomber in flight. Dr. Strangelove maintains a nervous tension between absurd comedy and morbid unease. Kubrick's main career themes -- sexual madness, treacherous technology and the folly of human planning -- come into strong relief. We're motivated to root for the fliers that are going to destroy the world. Then we fret over the President's pitiful lack of control. Dour, glowering Russian Ambassador De Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs the War Room about his country's solution to the costly Arms Race, the dreaded Doomsday Machine. Security advisor Dr. Strangelove enters the film in the last act to serve as sort of an angel of Death. Based loosely on Rand-corporation experts that calculated eventualities in nuclear war scenarios, Sellers' vision of Strangelove is a throwback to German Expressionism. A Mabuse in a wheelchair, he's black-gloved like the brilliant but mad Rotwang of Metropolis. Strangelove enters like the specter of Death itself; his grin looks like a skull. Contemplating 'megadeaths' gives him sexual pleasure. The detonation of the first bomb seems to liberate Strangelove, and he finds he can walk again. The character is straight from the Siegfried Kracauer playbook. The evil of nuclear war has restored the representative of apocalyptic Nazi vengeance to full power. Twenty years after his death, we all get to join Hitler in his suicide bunker. First-time viewers are usually floored by the audacious Dr. Strangelove. Only the truly uninformed will not recognize baritone James Earl Jones as one of Major Kong's flight crew. Those going back for a repeated peek will derive added enjoyment from Kubrick's deft juggling of his several visual styles and his avoidance of anything that might deflate tension: we hear about the recall code being issued but are spared any view of the responsible military personnel that must have sent it. Some of the best fun is finding details in designer Ken Adam's impressive War Room, such as the pies already laid out in preparation for the aborted pie-fight finale. Even better is watching the War room extras as they strain to maintain straight faces no matter how funny Sellers and Scott get; that contrast is what makes the comedy so brilliant. Watch Peter Bull carefully. In one extended take he starts to smile at Sellers, more than once. He catches himself and then is clearly on the verge of cracking up, forcing Kubrick to cut away. The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is the expected sterling transfer of this Kubrick classic, a 4K digital transfer. I put it up against Sony's old Blu-ray and the difference is not so great as to recommend that a trade-up is necessary. However, it looks extremely good. The Kubrick faithful out there will be thinking, 'I must not allow a disc shelf gap.' The HD picture makes quite a bit of difference in understanding Kubrick's photographic strategy. Not only do the hand-held Burpelson combat sequences approximate the look of documentary footage, a more contrasty and grainy film stock has been used. Switching "film looks" later became a fad for directors looking to be viewed as artists. The idea perhaps reached its zenith in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. Back in 1964 the effect of imitating a news film look was quite stunning -- audiences reacted to the combat scenes as if they were real. I'm glad that we're finally beyond the frustrating early DVD years, when someone (at Warner Home Video?) claimed that Stanley Kubrick insisted that his films be shown at the old 1:33 aspect ratio for TV and disc. Even if they wangled a note from Kubrick to that effect, I still believe that the aspect ratio games were played because Kubrick was too busy to oversee new masters of his films, and Whv wanted to market them in a hurry at a minimum of cost. That's all old news now, but there was also the interesting aspect ratio question concerning Strangelove. At least one disc iteration -- Criterion's laserdisc, I'm fairly sure -- was released in a completely un-original dual-ratio scan. Kubrick apparently said that he preferred to see the War Room scenes at a full-frame 1:37, and so this one transfer of the film popped back and forth between ratios. I've never heard of anything like this before or after. Criterion's British 1:66 framing for this disc is correct, even though the film was probably screened at 1:85 for many of its American play dates. Criterion's new extras begin with interview featurettes with well-chosen spokespeople, like scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill. Kubrick archivist Richard Daniels' piece is quite good, as is an examination of the film's visuals by two of the original camera crew. The son of author Peter George gives an excellent account of his father's life and the adaptation of his novel Red Alert. George reportedly liked the notion of turning his story into a black comedy, especially when his original narrative was changed very little. The stroke of genius was deciding that the entire subject could best be approached as a sick joke. Other extras are repeated from Sony's DVD disc of 2004. A making-of docu interviews several surviving technicians and actors, and a primer on the Cold War atom standoff goes deep into detail. The featurettes have input from Robert McNamara, Spike Lee and Bob Woodward. Critics Roger Ebert and Alexander Walker are also represented. Docu pieces on Peter Sellers and Kubrick appear to suffer from legal restraints disallowing the use of clips from non-Columbia sources. The Peter Sellers show features several choice film clips from the 'fifties, including Sellers' almost perfect take on a William Conrad-like hired killer. We're shown some stills from the legendary The Goon Show, which is not mentioned by name. A Stanley Kubrick career piece that uses UA, MGM and Universal trailers covers a lot of territory a bit too quickly. It does have some nice interview input from Kubrick's partner James B. Harris. Harris has since given terrific interviews on Criterion discs for Kubrick's The Killing and Paths of Glory. Criterion's Curtis Tsui produced those discs as well as this one. An entertaining extra is a pair of vintage 'split screen' fake interviews with Sellers and Scott intended for publicity use. Each actor projects his chosen PR image. They're charming, especially when Sellers takes us on a lightning tour of regional English accents. I wonder if those distinctions have faded, 52 years later? As a pleasant surprise, Curtis Tsui has overseen the creation of a collectable, highly amusing substitute for a standard disc insert booklet. Inside an authentic-looking 'Wing Attack Plan R' envelope, David Bromwich's insert essay is printed in the form of classified orders on two sheets of loose-leaf paper. Terry Southern's hilariously profane 1994 essay on the movie comes in the form of a Playboy parody, illustrated with photos of Tracy Reed as 'Miss Foreign Affairs.' Finally, the disc credits and details are printed in a genuine miniature Russian Phrase Book and Holy Bible, a little bigger than one-inch square. It indeed offers some phrases that I'll have to try on my multi-lingual daughter, like "Where is the toilet?" But the cover Lies, as there's no Bible in there that I could find. Also, no nine packs of chewing gum and no issue of prophylactics. On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Dr. Strangelove Blu-ray rates: Movie: Excellent Video: Excellent Sound: Excellent uncompressed monaural + alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-hd Master Audio Supplements: (from Criterion stats): New interviews with Stanley Kubrick scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill; archivist Richard Daniels; cinematographer and camera innovator Joe Dunton; camera operator Kelvin Pike; and David George, son of Peter George, on whose novel Red Alert the film is based. Excerpts from a 1966 audio interview with Kubrick, conducted by physicist and author Jeremy Bernstein; Four short documentaries about the making of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick. Promotional interviews from 1963 with Sellers and actor George C. Scott; excerpt from a 1980 interview with Sellers from NBC's Today show; Trailers; insert essay by scholar David Bromwich and a 1994 article by screenwriter Terry Southern on the making of the film. Deaf and Hearing-impaired Friendly? Yes; Subtitles: English Packaging: Keep case Reviewed: June 7, 2016 (5136love)

Visit DVD Savant's Main Column Page Glenn Erickson answers most reader mail: dvdsavant@mindspring.com

Text © Copyright 2016 Glenn Erickson

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- Glenn Erickson

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The Outfit

5 June 2016 9:24 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

John Flynn's The Outfit (1974), a brutally efficient bit of business based glancingly on Richard Stark’s procedurally inquisitive and poetic crime novel of the same name, is a movie that feels like it’s never heard of a rounded corner; it’s blunt like a 1970 Dodge Monaco pinning a couple of killers against a Dumpster and a brick wall. I say “glancingly” because the movie,  as Glenn Kenny observed upon The Outfit’s DVD release from the Warner Archives, is based less on the chronologically unconcerned novel than an idea taken from it. On the page Stark's protagonist, the unflappable Parker, his face altered by plastic surgery to the degree that past associates often take a fatal beat too long to realize to whom it is they are speaking, assumes the detached perspective of a bruised deity, undertaking the orchestration of a series of robberies administered to Mob-run businesses »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Watching the detectives by Anne-Katrin Titze

14 May 2016 5:39 AM, PDT | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe - The Nice Guys Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Lethal Weapon and Lethal Weapon 2 writer and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 director, Shane Black, sees Farewell, My Lovely, directed by Dick Richards, starring Robert Mitchum and Charlotte Rampling, Arthur Penn's Night Moves with Gene Hackman and Alan J. Pakula's Klute, starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, as inspiration for his Nice Guys, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe dressed by Kym Barrett. Crowe finds Stanley Kubrick's The Killing "still works today" and remarks how Quentin Tarantino uses its "fractured timeline" so well. Gosling grew up with Arthur Lubin's Hold That Ghost and Charles Barton's Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein and deems Fred Dekker's The Monster Squad, co-written by Black, worth quoting.

Ryan Gosling: "I grew up on Abbott and Costello movies." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Producer Joel Silver, »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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Don’T Bother To Knock (1952)

11 April 2016 9:20 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

The icon-establishing performances Marilyn Monroe gave in Howard HawksGentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959) are ones for the ages, touchstone works that endure because of the undeniable comic energy and desperation that sparked them from within even as the ravenous public became ever more enraptured by the surface of Monroe’s seductive image of beauty and glamour. Several generations now probably know her only from these films, or perhaps 1955’s The Seven-Year Itch, a more famous probably for the skirt-swirling pose it generated than anything in the movie itself, one of director Wilder’s sourest pictures, or her final completed film, The Misfits (1961), directed by John Huston, written by Arthur Miller and costarring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

But in Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) she delivers a powerful dramatic performance as Nell, a psychologically devastated, delusional, perhaps psychotic young woman apparently on »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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'Dr. Strangelove,' Antonioni's 'Le amiche,' 'Clouds Of Sils Maria' & More Headed To Criterion In June

16 March 2016 4:02 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Summer still feels distant, but today, The Criterion Collection is hastening its arrival by unleashing their massive June slate. So get ready to spend your summer job money on these releases. The biggie of the bunch is Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." It's the director's fourth entry in the collection following "Spartacus," "The Killing," and "Paths Of Glory," and it's coming in a new 4K restoration, with extras including documentaries, new and archival interviews, and more. Kubrick heads will want to jump on this one. Another titan of cinema adds a title Criterion as well, with Michelangelo Antonioni's "Le Amiche" getting the wacky C stamp. It's mostly a bare bones release, save for a couple of interviews and conversations, but just having the newly restored movie will soften the blow. Oh, sorry, there's yet another big name on the June slate: Jean Renoir. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Grief soaks deep': is Murder the most original TV series of the year?

3 March 2016 9:12 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Playing on the success of true-crime shows like Making a Murderer and The Jinx, the BBC’s new drama has taken a huge gamble – and made its characters tell their gripping stories in straight-to-camera interviews

This isn’t a whodunnit. It’s a whydunnit. A cross between The Killing, Criminal Justice and Making a Murderer, the BBC’s three-part drama Murder could well be the most devastating series of the year. It certainly promises to be the most original.

Playing on the phenomenal success of true-crime documentaries like The Jinx, co-creators Robert Jones and Kath Mattock have taken a huge gamble – and chosen to tell three standalone crime stories through a succession of straight-to-camera interviews. None of the characters ever interact but, as we listen to their contradictory accounts, the truth slowly emerges.

Continue reading »

- Sarah Hughes

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Round-Up: The Lost Boys Leather Jacket Auction, Exclusive Refuge Q&A, MST3K, Venom Blu-ray / DVD, The Hours Till Daylight

18 February 2016 8:38 AM, PST | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Great news for fans of Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys—an auction of Dwayne's leather jacket and costume is going on right now and will continue until February 26th. Also: a Q&A with Refuge director Andrew Robertson and release details for MST3K: Vol. Xxxv, Venom, and The Hours Till Daylight.

The Lost Boys & Other Entertainment Memorabilia Auction: Press Release: "Prop Store is pleased to bring vampire Dwayne’s (Billy Wirth) Death Scene Leather Jacket and Costume from the 80’s classic The Lost Boys to their online auction site. Joel Schumacher’s 1987 vampire classic pitted a deadly group of vampires against a pair of brothers in a battle to save their family. The Dwayne vampire jacket on offer comes from the character’s death scene in which Sam (Corey Haim) shoots the vampire with an arrow, sending him back into a stereo which electrocutes him. Resembling a heavily worn biker outfit, »

- Tamika Jones

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‘Room’ and ‘Frank’ Director Lenny Abrahamson’s 10 Favorite Films

3 February 2016 12:49 PM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

The best-known films of director Lenny Abrahamson, Frank and the quadruple Oscar-nominee Room, follow sad, and in some cases, broken souls as they search and fight for even the tiniest glimpse of happiness. Frank follows a band with an intentionally unpronounceable name, whose lead singer (Michael Fassbender) always wears a fake plastic head, concealing his scarred face from the world. In Room, a mother (Brie Larson) and her young son (Jacob Tremblay) survive a tragic fate, held prisoner in a single room for years on end.

The two films share an acute sensitivity to the lives of characters who struggle to make the best of the often brutal fates with which they’ve been burdened. Abrahamson listed the following ten films as his favorite in 2012’s Sight and Sound poll, a brilliant mixture of stories which as he laments in his quote, could have contained far more than a mere ten selections. »

- Tony Hinds

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Kansas City Confidential | Blu-ray Review

2 February 2016 9:15 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

After falling into the public domain, Phil Karlson’s 1952 film noir Kansas City Confidential became unfairly lumped into B-grade bracket, a disservice considering the title’s odd narrative and eventual influence on contemporary filmmakers. Karlson, who would eventually turn to mainstream efforts starring the likes of Dean Martin and Elvis Presley in the 1960s and 1970s, contributed several enjoyable minor noir efforts in the 1950s. These would include 1952’s Scandal Sheet with Donna Reed and Broderick Crawford, Kim Novak casino heist effort 5 Against the House, and that same year’s Tight Spot with a peculiar role for Ginger Rogers. But none have enjoyed the staying power of this particular heist drama, now restored with its most accomplished transfer yet.

Kansas City delivery man Joe Rolfe (John Payne) is at the wrong place at the wrong time when he’s nabbed by the cops as the driver of a heist involving »

- Nicholas Bell

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Watch: Check Out The Extras From The Criterion Collection Laserdisc Of Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'

26 January 2016 3:05 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Most of Stanley Kubrick’s more revered and well-known flicks haven't received The Criterion Collection treatment. Only a handful of his early efforts have received the brand’s refurbishing and restoration (among them “Paths of Glory,” “Spartacus,” and “The Killing”). However, fans of Kubrick’s — as well as committed savants of outdated A/V analog technology — may remember that his magnum opus, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” did once upon a time get the Criterion treatment… on Laserdisc. Well, Kubrick nerds, your day has come. What we have here is a juicy bit of behind the scenes goodness that will appease any die-hard fan of the director, one that’s ripped straight from the Extras section of the film’s Laserdisc release. Read More: Watch: 75-Minute Video Essay Breaks Down The Making Of Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' The video begins with the ever-magisterial Arthur C. Clarke, author of the source material, »

- Nicholas Laskin

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13 items from 2016


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