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Entries in DVD (94)

Wednesday
Mar152017

Fences & Elle now on DVD and Blu-Ray

By the end of April nearly all the Oscar's favorite 2016 films will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD (La La Land is the caboose on April 25th) in case you accidentally missed any. And if you purchase them from Amazon, by clicking over from TFE we get a teensy tiny cut as an Amazon affiliate (hint hint). 

Last Week's Fresh Batch
The Eyes of My Mother - Daniel recently paid tribute to this indie horror film's award winning production design film's
Jackie - We've sung its praises plenty and interviewed Pablo Larraín, too
Moana - a favorite among the podcast team

Brand New This Week
Elle - Verhoeven and Huppert's provocative collaboration had long legs at the arthouse and we called that Oscar nomination super early. Yay
Fences - Denzel & Viola reprising their Tony winning roles in this American classic of a black family in the 1950s from August Wilson's Pittsburgh cycle. The other nine will supposedly be filmed, too, albeit for TV rather than as theatrical features. Which is a pity since Fences proved the audience is there
Collateral Beauty - I swear Chris is obsessed with this film's badness. Will it one day be a camp classic?
Passengers -Daniel looked at its Oscar nominated production design. It did look like a million dollars despite its narrative problems.

How do you think these films will age? Will you be adding any to your collection?

Tuesday
Dec202016

New on DVD: Goat

By Sean Donovan

Goat has an important discrepancy between its advertising and the final film we end up watching. The poster, released just before the film’s 2016 Sundance in-competition premiere, specifies a clear focal point and it is male nipples. A man’s tight nipples exposed as other clothed men gather around him pouring liquor down his chest. Any hunch as to what sizable market population Goat is trying to advertise to? If you need more clues, how about the fact that this film was produced by queer cinema legend Christine Vachon, features the star of Pride Ben Schnetzer, and the straight male pop star Nick Jonas (confusingly labeled a gay icon by Out Magazine), and the man who wants to be gay icon so much it hurts, James Franco, in a dual role as producer/supporting actor? No more clues needed: Goat is hunting for THE GAYS. 

The opening credits more or less bear out the promise of this advertising, set as they are to a slow-motion montage of bouncing shirtless men. Yet the resulting film is a very dark, gritty experience, lacking even the typical scenes of sexualized rowdy excess that one usually finds in films about fraternity bros...

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Tuesday
Oct182016

DVD Review: "Cafe Society"

by Chris Feil

While never reaching the heights of his other showbiz-adjacent comedies, Woody Allen's Cafe Society has charm and gloss to spare. Allen is marking the same thematic territory and era fascinations as he has frequently visited in the past, here with more hidden snideness than much of his recent works. Under its sparkling surface, Society is a subtly mean-spirited film.

Much of that tone comes from Jesse Eisenberg's central performance as Bobby Dorfman, a transplant to 1930s Hollywood under the not so watchful eye of his talent agent uncle (Steve Carell). Bobby is quick to chase girls, ultimately arriving to (or creepily wearing down) secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), who also is secretly having an affair with his uncle. Vonnie becomes Bobby's girl on an eternal pedestal, always more an idea of a person than the woman before him...

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Saturday
Oct082016

Swiss Army Man Washes Ashore To Blu-ray & DVD

by Daniel Crooke

I suppose this is the part where I’m to mention that Swiss Army Man prompted walkouts at its Sundance premiere, features Paul Dano propelling across the ocean on the back of Daniel Radcliffe’s farting corpse, and that its sophomoric scatology dominates the runtime of the film. All of these things are true. But if you’ve been avoiding Swiss Army Man out of fear of offending your eyeballs, I implore you to clutch your pearls and give it a shot anyway now that the film has arrived on Blu-ray and DVD...

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Tuesday
Sep132016

New to DVD: The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum

By Daniel Walber.

What makes a film theatrical? It’s a word that gets bandied about a lot. Often it just means that the script is like that of a play, with a limited number of locations and lots of dialogue. Or it can be used to describe a style of acting, playing to the rafters rather than the more intimate audience of the camera lens. Rarely, however, do we use the word “theatrical” to describe elements of direction, cinematography and editing.

Yet this underserved implication of the term is the key to understanding The Story of The Last Chrysanthemum, an early triumph of iconic Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi that has just been released by the Criterion Collection. This epic family drama was a proving ground of sorts for the filmmaker’s signature use of long takes, which would elevate such later masterpieces as Ugetsu and The Life of Oharu. But first he took a much narrower approach, crafting the style of The Story of The Last Chrysanthemum from the conventions of kabuki theater.

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Wednesday
Sep072016

DVD Review: The Meddler

By Chris Feil

Earlier this year, Lorene Scafaria's The Meddler sadly came and went quietly before summer kicked (and punched and brooded) into high gear. Unlike Susan Surandon's needling mother at its center, the film is laidback and unimposing, the kind of lovely simple comedy we beg for more of and too often ignore once it arrives. Now on DVD, the film is a gem that you'll need to catch up with...

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