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5 items from 2011

Blu-ray Review: 'The Great Dictator' (Criterion Collection)

20 June 2011 2:03 PM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

If you're already excited for Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator, do yourself a favor and check out a film it's sure to be compared to, and one that was made at the same time the dictator that inspired it was still very much in power, Charlie Chaplin's classic The Great Dictator.

The Great Dictator was Chaplin's first talky following the small bit of gibberish that was included at the end of Modern Times, which was coincidentally the first Chaplin feature Criterion issued on Blu-ray as they have only recently started adding the comedy master's films to the collection. And just like Modern Times, Criterion presents The Great Dictator with a flawless transfer and superb audio track and a bevy of features worth digging into.

If you're unfamiliar, The Great Dictator features Chaplin in dual roles, one as a Jewish barber and the other as a Hitler-esque dictator. »

- Brad Brevet

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The Great Dictator Blu Ray Review

2 June 2011 11:36 PM, PDT | FilmJunk | See recent FilmJunk news »

The Great Dictator Directed by: Charles Chaplin Written by: Charles Chaplin Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard and Jack Oakie While The Great Dictator may not be as iconic as Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times or The Gold Rush, it's certainly still a classic piece of filmmaking that demonstrates how a master of silent movies makes the transition into sync sound cinema. While not technically a part of the 'Tramp' series of films, Chaplin still manages to update and reuse his classic character, dropping him into a dark setting -- the Jewish ghetto circa 1939 -- not realizing just how dark the real life counterpart to this story was going to get in the coming years. The film opens in battle during World War I as Charlie Chaplin (playing an unnamed Jewish barber turned soldier) bumbles his way through various tasks on the battlefield. It's classic Chaplin that at first seems slightly »

- Jay C.

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Blu-Ray Review: Amazing Edition For Charlie Chaplin Classic ‘The Great Dictator’

30 May 2011 9:46 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – Every time I’ve seen “The Great Dictator,” I’m amazed that it even exists. It is not only one of the great Charlie Chaplin’s most consistently funny films but it is a satirical masterpiece that is So daring that it’s amazing it even got made. It is a piece of slapstick comedy about World War II and Adolf Hitler. Think about that for one minute. Now, it was made in 1940 (a year before our entry into the war), but it was still a risky move to make a piece this politically and socially conscious and try and sell it to an audience who had grown accustomed to watching Charlie Chaplin fall down.

Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

Now, of course, we can look back at Chaplin’s career now and realize that he was Always socially and politically conscious. “City Lights,” “Modern Times,” the very character of the Tramp »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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DVD Playhouse--May 2011

9 May 2011 12:13 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse: May 2011


Allen Gardner

Blow Out (Criterion) Brian De Palma’s greatest Hitchcock homage, with a dash of Antonioni thrown in for good measure. John Travolta gives one of his best turns as a sound-effects engineer who unwittingly records a political assassination, then finds himself hunted by a ruthless hitman (John Lithgow, a memorably creepy psycho) after saving the life of the kindly, albeit dim-witted call girl (Nancy Allen, excellent) who was with the deceased. Terrific blend of suspense and very black humor, perhaps De Palma’s finest hour as an auteur. Beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Interviews with De Palma, Allen, cameraman Garrett Brown; Photo gallery; De Palma’s 1967 feature Murder a la Mod; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 2.0 surround.

Kes (Criterion) Ken Loach’s landmark 1970 film is both a heart-rending portrait of adolescence, and a pointed socio-political commentary on life in the North of England. »

- The Hollywood

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Criterion's May Slate Includes Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator,' Demme's 'Something Wild' & More

14 February 2011 10:04 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

'Diabolique' Gets Re-Release; 'Smiles Of A Summer Night,' 'Fat Girl' & 'Solaris' Go Blu Criterion is looking to catch those still caught up in the warmth of Valentine's Day as they have unveiled their May lineup and as usual, it's set to hurt your wallet. Kicking things off, Charlie Chaplin gets the Criterion treatment for the second time with "The Great Dictator" and as you might expect, the release is arriving loaded with extras. Among the highlights will be "The Tramp and the Dictator" a documentary about the film narrated by Kenneth Branagh and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury,… »

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