15 items from 2014
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 25, 2014
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Michelangelo Antonioni (La notte) unleashed a new kind of cinematic grammar–one that was more concerned with pace and space than it was with dialogue–with his 1960 masterwork L’avventura.
An iconic and undeniably challenging slice of 1960s cinema and a gripping narrative in its own right, the classic L’avventura concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Once Upon a Time in the West’s Gabriele Ferzetti) and best friend (L’eclisse’s Monica Vitti, in her breakout role).
Antonioni’s controversial international sensation—it was the cocktail party conversation piece of the year—is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation.
Criterion’s new DVD and Blu-ray »
Another print icon bites the dust.
Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide will be the final edition of this film lovers’ guide, which started in 1969 under the title TV Movies. But in recent years, the annual guide, which now numbers 1,611 pages and features nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, has become a victim of the changing times and the way information is consumed by a new generation. The new edition, which comes out Sept. 2, is the last, bad news for many industry-ites and film lovers who used it religiously.
“An entire generation has been raised to acquire all their information online from their mobile devices or computers,” Maltin told me this morning. “These are not the likely customers for a physical paperback reference book. Our sales have sharply declined in recent years.”
The virtual death of bookstores likely didn’t help the cause either. “We still have a loyal readership,” Maltin said. “It »
- Pete Hammond
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 14, 2014
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
John Ford (Stagecoach) takes on the legend of the O.K. Corral shoot-out in 1946’s My Darling Clementine, a multi-layered, exceptionally well-constructed western and one of the director’s very best films.
Henry Fonda (Once Upon a Time in the West) cuts an iconic figure as Wyatt Earp, the sturdy lawman who sets about the task of shaping up the disorderly Arizona town of Tombstone, and Victor Mature (Violent Saturday) gives the performance of his career as the boozy, tubercular gambler and gunman Doc Holliday. Though initially at cross-purposes, the pair ultimately team up to confront the violent Clanton gang.
Affecting and stunningly photographed, My Darling Clementine is a story of the triumph of civilization over the Wild West from American cinema’s consummate mythmaker.
Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions »
15. Stranger by the Lake
Directed by Alain Guiraudie
Written by Alain Guiraudie
Though Stranger by the Lake premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival (and appeared on Sound On Sight’s best of 2013 list), it finally reached North American audiences in January of this year. Alain Guiraudie’s stunning noir-tinged thriller is set entirely against the backdrop of a secluded lake–known to locals as a popular gay cruising spot. A tale of murder complicated by intense sexual obsession (garnering equal parts praise and criticism for its frank depiction of unsimulated gay sex) it accomplishes the rare feat of subtly guiding the way we pay attention to details as we watch. The film’s deceptively simple geography is mapped out as much aurally (and orally) as visually. By the time of the pulse-pounding climax, Guiraudie has masterfully taken hold of all of our senses in an ever-tightening claustrophobic grip. »
Directed by: David Michod
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Release Date: June 23, 2014 (Chicago)
Plot: Ten years after a global economic collapse, a loner (Pearce) looks for his stolen car with the help of an abandoned American (Pattinson).
Who’S It For? Viewers who like their thriller spaced out, with ebbs of intensity. On a smaller scale, this movie is also for anyone who has not yet confirmed Pattinson’s acting abilities.
There is a profound interest in impulse within the work of Australian filmmaker David Michod, whose number of features finally reaches two with his anticipated followup to Animal Kingdom, The Rover. Even his co-writing work for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s life-crasher movie Hesher is indicative of a storytelling force jazzed by that which is abrupt and unexplainable, and without worry of how polarizing these weirdo choices may be. With »
- Nick Allen
“My mom is a storekeeper and my stepdad is a barman,” states French filmmaker Yann Danh who was 10 years old when he first became aware of the cinema. “Watching movies became almost compulsive; I used to watch three or four a day such as Once Upon a Time in America , Terminator , Evil Dead , 2001 , Serpico , Touch of Evil , Once Upon a Time in the West , Taxi Driver , and Bruce Lee movies.” The plan was to pursue a career in the video game industry changed at the age of 16. “After making my first short film [in high school], I knew cinema was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” Every film project has been educational. “I learned how to make a shot list, »
- Trevor Hogg
I have a curious habit, maybe you have it too, if you are a real movie geek, film fan, cinema addict, what have you.
A certain number of movies that I have seen and loved with all my heart were losers at the box office or were mercilessly slammed by critics, usually both. This doesn’t happen all the time, mind you. I know a bad movie when I see one. But several times I have seen a movie on opening day and loved it so much I was sure it would be a big hit and be loved by critics and film goers, nope, not all the time.
Here then is my own personal and highly eccentric top ten list, with some honorable mentions, of movies that lost out, yet I love them still, many of them desperately, hysterically, madly do I love these films, well anyway… let me tell you about it. »
- Sam Moffitt
Six years after their last attempt, Empire Magazine has conducted a poll of over 250,000 film fans to come up with a list of the 301 greatest movies ever made. It's the 1980 classic "The Empire Strikes Back" which took the top spot, beating out the 2008 winner "The Godfather" which slipped down to second place. The Top 50 of the list are:
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
2001: A Space Odyssey
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
- Garth Franklin
Raro Video continues remastering rare and obscure Italian titles with the long unavailable 1970 curio from Duccio Tessari, Death Occurred Last Night. A rare hybrid of police thriller and giallo, this fascinating title is a definite highlight in the little known Tessari’s varied filmography. Most noted for his work in spaghetti westerns, those unfamiliar with his work will surely be interested in seeking out other available titles. As seedy and ridiculous as it is intriguing and unfailingly amusing, its attention to character and narrative development sets it apart from similar titles of the time period, preceding comparable American fare such as Paul Schrader’s 1979 Hardcore.
A self-controlled yet increasingly desperate father (Raf Vallone) informs Detective Duca Lamberti (Frank Wolff) at the police station in Milan that his girl is missing. As he answers a round of questions, we discover his girl is actually a mentally handicapped twenty five year old »
- Nicholas Bell
Entertainment One Films Us (eOne) has been quite busy as of late, having acquired the North American rights to romantic drama "The Silent Mountain" and the U.S. rights to action thriller "The Night Crew." Both films are set to be released via all home entertainment platforms including DVD, Blu-ray, VOD and electronic sell through. "The Silent Mountain," starring William Moseley ("The Chronicles of Narnia") and Claudia Cardinale ("Once Upon a Time in the West"), follows a young Austrian soldier as he sets out through the battlefields of Wwi as an impending explosion threatens to destroy the Alps he must traverse in order to save his Italian girlfriend. "'The Silent Mountain' is a film that was created with a local heart but has a worldwide appeal, and we are thrilled to now partner with such a great Us distributor,” said producers Heinz Stussak and Ernst Gossner. "The Night Crew, »
- Ziyad Saadi
Stepping onto the sun-scorched plains of the wild, wild west — or, more accurately, the PlayStation Store — this week is Image & Form’s 2D platformer, SteamWorld Dig. Much like its unassuming protagonist, the company’s side-scrolling adventure has clambered up the gaming hierarchy over the last six months. Once a 3Ds eShop exclusive, the digital mining expedition is currently available through PC platforms and, more recently, on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita as part of Sony’s annual Spring Fever promotion.
Upon first glance, it’d be easy to dismiss SteamWorld Dig as a smorgasbord of different genres. From Spelunky’s loot-mongering to the resource management found in Terraria, the game undoubtedly draws from other titles in the side-scrolling genre. However, after several wondrous playthroughs, I soon discovered Image & Form’s title to be much, much more than the sum of its assimilated parts — the wild west, »
- Michael Briers
By Paul Talbot
The poster screamed: “Most criminals answer to the law. The world’s most savage executioner must answer to Bronson.” Since the late 1960s, Charles Bronson’s name on a marquee was a guarantee of unchained action. When The Evil That Men Do opened in 1984, fans were hit with the expected violence─but this time they were also assaulted with thick layers of sadism, sleaze and depravity. And they loved it.
Born in 1921, Charles Bronson (originally Bunchinsky) was a dirt-poor Pennsylvania coal miner before he was drafted and later used the GI Bill to study acting. After dozens of small roles, he became a popular supporting player in hit films like The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Great Escape (1963)─then went overseas to star in European pictures like Farewell, Friend (1967), Once Upon a Time in the West (1967) and Rider on the Rain (1970). Although ignored in the States─where they »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
By Darren Allison
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Vocalion’s latest release from their continuing series of popular Geoff Love re-releases from the 70s is this pairing of a couple of glorious albums originally released by Mfp Records, La musique de Michel Legrand (Mfp 2M046-95030) and La musique d’ Ennio Morricone (Mfp 2M046-94653) (both 1973). What made these two albums unusual was the fact that they were specifically produced for the European market. Later in 1975, both were issued in the UK as a 2-lp set - The Music of Michel Legrand and Ennio Morricone (Emi Duos 1181). Legrand’s heartfelt melodies work perfectly for Geoff Love’s style of Orchestration. The Windmills of your Mind and The Summer of ’42 will of course always be considered among Legrand’s finest signature pieces. However, Love brings a genuine sense of warmth to these covers, satisfying the ear of the easy-listening »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Super-8 Cowboy Movie Madness was originally scheduled for January 7th but because of the weather we’re having in St. Louis, it’s been pushed back one week. The new date is January 14th
Saddle up pardners and mosey on down to The Way Out Club on January 14th for Super-8 Cowboy Movie Madness! Even if you don’t think you like westerns, stop on by cause we’re screening some dynamic and offbeat ones that will make you a fan of the genre. Leave your six-shooter at home! We’re showing, on Super-8 Sound film projected on a large screen (in condensed format – average length: 15 minutes): Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales, Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda in Once Upon A Time In The West, John Wayne in True Grit, Jimmy Stewart and Gregory Peck in How The West Was Won, Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven, »
- Tom Stockman
Saddle up pardners and mosey on down to The Way Out Club on January 7th for Super-8 Cowboy Movie Madness! Even if you don’t think you like westerns, stop on by cause we’re screening some dynamic and offbeat ones that will make you a fan of the genre. Leave your six-shooter at home! We’re showing, on Super-8 Sound film projected on a large screen (in condensed format – average length: 15 minutes): Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales, Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda in Once Upon A Time In The West, John Wayne in True Grit, Jimmy Stewart and Gregory Peck in How The West Was Won, Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven, Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, and Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles.
- Tom Stockman
15 items from 2014
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