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Blu-ray Review: BLUE SUNSHINE Rises on Blu-ray from Filmcentrix

Jeff Lieberman's Blue Sunshine is a fascinating bit of drug paranoia horror from the end of the era of free love. The film has recently been recovered and restored from the original 35mm negatives discovered in 2014. It's been on...

Blu-ray Review: THE IMMORTAL STORY Explores the Nature and Necessity of Storytelling

The Immortal Story, one of Orson Welles's final films as a director, is a fascinating look into not only the necessity of storytelling, but also his own obsessions with truth and illusion. From the very beginning of his career as...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Sounds Orson Welles' CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT

Orson Welles knew Falstaff. That is to say, as well as any twentieth century man could know a six-centuries-earlier construct character of William Shakespeare. Both men, by this time in their lives, had heard the deathly sounds of the chimes...

Now on Blu-ray: THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN & LADY COCOA, a Blaxploitation Double from Matt Cimber

One of the unsung heroes of '70s exploitation cinema is director Matt Cimber. The one-time husband of bombshell blonde Jayne Mansfield, Cimber made a career out of exploring the edges of popular cinema in a way that few others could...

Review: HAPPY HOUR, An Absorbing Long-Form Masterwork

When I first settled down to view Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour earlier this year at its New Directors/New Films festival press screening, its great reputation preceded it, a reputation that included some uniquely anomalous features, unusual even in the context...

Review: HANDS OF STONE, Fleet of Foot, Light on Insight

For more than three decades after Raging Bull was released in 1980, Robert De Niro wisely stayed away from the boxing world on screen. After all, once you've appeared in one of the most spellbinding and spiritually troubling cinematic experiences...

Review: DON'T BREATHE Speeds Through Tight Turns With Wild Abandon

A muscular thriller, Don't Breathe manhandles a vaguely familiar premise into a fresh, frenzied experience. Directed by Fede Alvarez (2013's Evil Dead), the setup is brisk. Three Detroit teenagers (Jane Levy, Dylan Minette, Daniel Zovatto) have made an art out...

Review: I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER Morphs From Teen Fiction to Murder Mystery to Cagey Thriller

"There is a savage beast in every man," wrote George R.R. Martin in A Storm of Swords, and American teenager John Wayne Cleaver has taken those words to heart. John (Max Records) lives in a small, cold town in the...

Review: IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE, An Exceptional Scandinavian Thriller

I think it's pretty hard not to completely adore Stellan Skarsgård. From his achingly perfect performances working with Lars Von Trier to comic book blockbusters like Thor to the original Insomnia, he's one of the great actors of this or any...

Review: MIA MADRE, Saying Goodbye to Mother

Nanni Moretti's latest film, Mia Madre, is elegant, understated, and discreetly moving. A personal, if not autobiographical film, Mia Madre chronicles the slow death of a filmmaker's mother as the director struggles to complete her movie. Moretti experienced the hospitalization...

Now on Blu-ray: ASH VS. EVIL DEAD Scratches the Evil Dead Itch

When it was first announced that Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series was rising from the dead as a TV series last year, I jumped for joy. The Evil Dead films, and especially Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, were...

Review: KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE, A Fascinating, RASHOMON-Style Meta Investigation

Christine Chubbuck, a news reporter in Sarasota, Florida, killed herself in an apparent suicide on live television in 1974. Because it took It place way before the internet age, and the only existing original videotape of the actual incident is...

Now on Blu-ray: DUKHTAR, Another Side of South Asian Cinema

Afia Nathaniel's drama Dukhtar was Pakistan's official entry to the Academy Awards back in 2015. While the film didn't receive the nomination, it was clear that this is a feature that resonated with audiences far beyond Pakistan's traditional film audiences....

Review: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Makes Thrilling Music

In ancient Japan, strange things are afoot. Magic, both good and bad, is coming to a head as a particularly animated supernatural dysfunctional family prepares for their grand showdown. Of course, “good” and “bad” are in the eye of the...

Now On Blu-ray: OBSERVANCE Didn't Work For Me

Parker, a down on his luck private investigator is contracted to watch the goings-on at a young lady's apartment. In order to do so his employer, whose identity is a mystery and who communicates with Parker through an intermediary, finds...

Review: EINSTEIN'S GOD MODEL Burns with Science

Einstein's God Model is a small movie made of big ideas with an unfortunate title. Its preoccupation with science is its driving force, played out as an old school science fiction yarn, about men tampering in God's domain. Life beyond...

Review: MORRIS FROM AMERICA, Black Bodies in White Hands

Let me set a scene for you. A few years back at a party for filmmakers, one white filmmaker who has written and directed a critically acclaimed film with black leads says to another who has done the same: "I...

Review: Werner Herzog's LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD, A Wry, Meditative Masterpiece About the Internet

A weak internet signal at my job caused massive delays in our daily operation the last couple of days, making us bang our heads against the table in sheer panic mode. This is where the internet got us: We are...

Now on Blu-ray: In LOVE & PEACE, Sono Sion Gives Us The Warmest Feelings

Japanese filmmaker Sono Sion made a lot of movies in 2015. Before the year was up, Sono had no less than six films on cinema screens around the world at festivals and back home in Japan. So far the only...

Blu-ray Review: On Criterion, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE Hits Too Close To Home

Earlier this year, the Criterion Collection released an edition of John Frankenheimer's classic political suspense thriller, The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Of course I'd seen the film many times prior to this. So many times, in fact, that when I got...