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Tuesday August 15, 2017

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Savant's new reviews today are:

Night Moves
The Warner Archive Collection

 Arthur Penn's detective movie is one of the best ever in the genre, one that rewards repeat viewings particularly well. Gumshoe Harry Moseby compartmentalizes his marriage, his job, his past and the greedy Hollywood has-beens he meets, not realizing that everything is interconnected, and more than capable of assembling a world-class conspiracy. Gene Hackman tops a sterling cast in the film that introduced most of us to Melanie Griffith, here playing a disturbingly convincing bit of teen jailbait. With Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, Edward Binns, John Crawford and James Woods. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.

Arrow Video

 Robert De Niro picks up a gun once again as a highly paid spy-mercenary-thief hired for a bit of international larceny, robbing a courier of some undisclosed secrets of one kind or another. Juicing up a Melville- like stoic crime fantasy with superb car stunt work puts director John Frankenheimer back in the game, with a worthy project. With Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Sean Bean, Stellan Skarsgard, Michael Lonsdale and Jonathan Pryce. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Bob Hope on Blu-ray
KL Studio Classics

 Trailers From Hell’s Charlie Largent reviews the new releases of Bob Hope’s mid-career comedies on blu ray. The films only occasionally hint at his prodigious skills but, like the great comedian’s career, the results are a mixed but ultimately rewarding experience. The Road to Rio, My Favorite Brunette, The Road To Bali, The Lemon Drop Kid, Son of Paleface. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.


Duel in the Sun
KL Studio Classics

 David O. Selznick's absurdly over-cooked western epic is a great picture, even if much of it induces a kind of hypnotic, mouth-hanging-open disbelief. Is this monument to the sex appeal of Jennifer Jones, Kitsch in terrible taste, or have Selznick and his army of Hollywood talents found a new level of hyped melodramatic harmony? It certainly has the star-power, beginning with Gregory Peck as a cowboy rapist who learned his bedside manners from Popeye's Bluto. It's all hugely enjoyable. Also starring Joseph Cotten, Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston, Butterfly McQueen, Charles Bickford and Tilly Losch; directed by King Vidor, William Dieterle and several others. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.


The Cohen Collection's new Blu-ray of the long-missed The Old Dark House now has a street date, October 24. Gary Teetzel found the blurb on a Barnes and Noble page. I'm already thinking about a nice po-ta-to. They dropped the video promo from YouTube, the one that made the famous James Whale horror show look better than new.

And just in: Kino has announced that its new Avanti! disc will have new interviews with actors Juliet Mills and Clive Revill!

Here's one for the 'it isn't always me' department. Craig Reardon pointed out that in the review of Duel in the Sun, I had written 'Joseph Cotton' numerous times instead of 'Joseph Cotten.' It's one of the various spell-check programs that changes what I write as I write it, 'correcting' me. So just remember when you read my error-ridden texts, I'm not (quite) as incompetent as I seem. Or, now that I've established plausible deniability, I can behave as if I never make mistakes. Win-win.

Civic wisdom and political sanity are in short supply these days, so here's a genuine boost for your morale. Joe Dante is circulating this link to the short subject Don't Be a Sucker!, which Joe reports was at one time edited into his epochal comedy marathon The Movie Orgy. Done in the earnest style of an educational picture, it's an anti-fascist film, a scary, patriotic 17 minutes with excellent work from Paul Lukas, Felix Bressart, Kurt Kreuger, Richard Lane, George E. Stone, Ivan Triesault and everyone's favorite Nazi swine impersonator, Martin Kosleck (right). As a news report on the nature of Fascist slime, it's highly pertinent today, and who better to teach us basic American values than our favorite character actors from the 1940s?

Produced by the Army, the short subject is dated 1947, but some of its content indicates that it is a slight revision of the 1943 original listed in the IMDB.

Thanks for reading! --- Glenn Erickson

Saturday August 12, 2017

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Savant's new reviews today are:

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
KL Studio Classics

 Will Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes be forever facing off on the giant threshing wheel? Sergio Leone's Civil War gunslinger epic is everybody's favorite western, and most everybody has a bone to pick regarding problems with the previous DVDs and Blu-rays. The good news is that Kino's 50th Anniversary Special Edition takes giant leaps in correcting older audio issues . . . but the bad news . . .. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.

The Criterion Collection

 Nobody stands up for Britons in the lower class trenches like the fierce, opinionated and outright brilliant Mike Leigh; his unusual writing and directing method yields terrific results in his first feature made for TV. And the early performances of Tim Roth, Phil Daniels and Gary Oldman should be the stuff of acting legend, '80s style. With Marion Bailey, Pam Ferris, Tilly Vosburgh, Alfred Molina and Jeff Robert. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.


The Crimson Kimono
Twilight Time

 Another great Samuel Fuller film on Blu-ray -- this one is a crime tale set in downtown Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, that forms an interracial romantic triangle. It's risky for its year because of the sexual dynamics -- a Japanese-American man falls in love with a Caucasian woman. Fuller's approach is years ahead of its time, even if Columbia's sales job was a little weird. Victoria Shaw and Glenn Corbett get top billing, but newcomer James Shigeta steals the show. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.


It's upcoming disc round-up time. Newcomers Classic Flix have favored Savant with the Abbott and Costello comedy The Noose Hangs High (August 14), while the UK label Powerhouse Indicator may start sending review material in September. Kino has enough desirable product out to warrant a review every few days; a review of last month's Bob Hope movies My Favorite Brunette, The Road to Rio, The Road to Bali, The Lemon Drop Kid and Son of Paleface is almost finished, with Duel in the Sun, Barton Fink, Prizzi's Honor, Custer of the West, Visit to a Small Planet, They Shoot Horses Don't They, The Birthday Party and Tobor the Great just arrived.

Twilight Time promises 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, The Long Hot Summer, The Emperor in August and Suddenly, Last Summer up next, with Hour of the Gun, Beneath the 12-Mile Reef and Gun Fury 3-D due in September.

Arrow USA is hot as well, with Ronin and The Love of a Woman in hand and Don't Torture a Duckling, Erik the Conqueror and The Big Knife on the way. The loss for this summer are some Shout no shows -- they've put out two-score desirable horror pix and we've only reviewed two because a writer bought them for himself. How are Savant readers going to live without the full skinny on the irreplaceable The Manster? Hey, Tim Lucas loves it!

Thanks for reading! --- Glenn Erickson


 Trailers from Hell's Charlie Largent resurrects a real favorite, Stuart Gordon's epic gross-out about the grisly adventures of H.P. Lovecraft's Dr. Herbert West. Filmdom's maddest mad scientist brings dead flesh back to life and proves conclusively that the grave is no barrier to one man's libidinous lust. This 2-disc limited edition contains two versions of the film and a long list of extras -- full cast and director commentaries, the works. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Beggars of Life

 A happy discovery! This is a major late- silent-era gem on the order of Von Sternberg's Docks of New York -- a special treat that will please fans of director William Wellman -- he revisited parts of it in a later talkie. It's also a key movie in our education/adoration of the maverick actress Louise Brooks, the timeless erotic sensation too hot and too independent for Hollywood. Also starring Wallace Beery and Richard Arlen. On Blu-ray from Kino Classics.

Freebie and the Bean

 Here's how one pushed the limits of good taste in 1975. James Caan and Alan Arkin run the gamut of racist, raunchy, sexist & homophobic jokes as bad boy cops breaking the rules, and director Richard Rush delivers some impressive, expensive action stunts on location in San Francisco. Does it get a pass because it's 'outrageous?' The public surely thought so. If the star chemistry works the excess won't matter. With Valerie Harper, Loretta Swit and Jack Kruschen. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.

The Dinner

 How far will the new American aristocracy go to protect its privileges? Oren Moverman's intense four-way war of wills is sourced from a novel but shapes up as an intense stage piece in a chi-chi restaurant interrupted by flashbacks and other stylistic flourishes. The acting foursome is excellent, with Steve Coogan a standout as a truly disturbed character. Four adults debate their sons' high crimes and misdemeanors over designer cuisine. Also starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall. On Blu-ray + Digital HD from Lionsgate.


 A generic spy story becomes an inspired light comedy with the application of great talent led by the star-power of Walter Matthau. Matthau's CIA spook hooks up with old flame Glenda Jackson to retaliate against his insufferable CIA boss (Ned Beatty) with a humiliating tell-all book about the agency's dirty tricks history. Matthau's sloppy, slouchy master agent is a comic delight; Ronald Neame's stylishly assured direction makes a deadly spy chase into a wholly pleasant romp. With Sam Waterston and Herbert Lom. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.


 It's a quality true-life mystery-exposé that doesn't come off as tabloid trash or Oliver Stone hysteria -- the true story of Karen Silkwood is told without cooking the books. The all-superstar cast is something too -- Meryl Streep, Cher and Kurt Russell. Only a fine director like Mike Nichols could steer this one into good entertainment & memorable cinema territory. With Craig T. Nelson, Diana Scarwid, Fred Ward, Ron Silver and Charles Hallahan, on Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.

Night People

 Nunnally Johnson hands us a well-written, politically astute spy & hostage drama in Cold War Berlin, with plenty of intrigue and good humor to boot. Gregory Peck is the troubled negotiator and Broderick Crawford a Yankee galoot sticking his nose where it isn't wanted. This one has been out of reach for quite a while -- and it works up some fun suspense. With Broderick Crawford, Anita Björk, Rita Gam, Walter Abel, Buddy Ebsen, Peter van Eyck and Marianne Koch. An early extra-wide CinemaScope picture, on Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.

You Only Live Once

 Fritz Lang continues his take-no-prisoners indictment of America's curious relationship with crime; this time he presents the thesis that an innocent man can be a pawn in cosmic game of injustice. Three-time loser Henry Fonda, the glummest actor in '30s films, doesn't mean to rob or kill, but gosh darn it, They Made Him a Criminal. Those considerations aside, it's a wonderful cinematic achievement, made all the better by a decent digital restoration. Starring Sylvia Sidney, with Barton MacLane, Jean Dixon, William Gargan, Jerome Cowan and Margaret Hamilton. On Blu-ray from Classic Flix.

July 2017
 Terror in a Texas Town  Blu-ray  Where the Boys Are (1960)  Blu-ray  Lost in America by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  The Breaking Point  Blu-ray  Kong: Skull Island  3-D Blu-ray  The Battle of the River Plate  Region B Blu-ray  The Sea Chase  Blu-ray  Shalako  Blu-ray  The Quiet American  Blu-ray  Straw Dogs  Blu-ray  The Valachi Papers  Blu-ray  Obsessions 1969  Blu-ray  The Angry Red Planet  Blu-ray  The Lost City of Z  Blu-ray  Blood Alley  Blu-ray  Ikarie XB 1  Blu-ray  Varieté  Blu-ray  Free Fire  Blu-ray  The Bridge at Remagen  Blu-ray  Ugetsu Monogatari by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  L'argent  Blu-ray
June 2017
 The Savage Innocents  Blu-ray  Hell and High Water  Blu-ray  Hell in the Pacific  Blu-ray  They Live by Night  Blu-ray  Running on Empty  Blu-ray  Comfort and Joy  Region B Blu-ray  Brother Can You Spare a Dime  DVD  The Bird with the Crystal Plumage  Blu-ray  Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy: Rome Open City, Paisan, Germany Year Zero  Blu-ray  The Man from Planet X  Blu-ray  Marcel Pagnol: The Marseille Trilogy: Marius, Fanny, César  Blu-ray  8 Million Ways to Die  Blu-ray  Death Line  Blu-ray  The Lodger (1927)  Blu-ray  Good Morning (ohayo)  Blu-ray  The Man in the Moon  Blu-ray  Blast-Off  Blu-ray  Joe Versus the Volcano  Blu-ray  Le désordre et la nuit  All-Region Blu-ray  The Paradine Case  Blu-ray  Spotlight on a Murderer  Blu-ray + DVD  The Picasso Summer  DVD  The Gumball Rally  Blu-ray
May 2017
 Dracula Complete Legacy Collection by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  The Ballad of Cable Hogue  Blu-ray  Trespass  Blu-ray  Inferno  3-D Blu-ray  One, Two, Three  Blu-ray  Ghost World  Blu-ray  Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project 2: Insiang, Mysterious Object at Noon, Revenge, Limite, Law of the Border, Taipei Story  Blu-ray + DVD  Things to Come (2016) Blu-ray  Who'll Stop the Rain  Blu-ray  Rescuing the Runes: The Almost-Lost Original Long Cut of Night of the Demon Guest Article by Wayne Schmidt  Those Redheads from Seattle  3-D Blu-ray  Night of the Demon (Rendez-vous avec la peur)  Region A+B Blu-ray + DVD  Decoy (TV Show)  DVD  The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers  Blu-ray  Pelle the Conqueror  Blu-ray  Kiss Me Deadly Restoration Savant Article  Blu-ray  The Walerian Borowczyk Short Film Collection  Blu-ray  Marjorie Morningstar  Blu-ray  The Assassin  Blu-ray + DVD  The Loved One  Blu-ray  Broken Arrow  Blu-ray  The Mephisto Waltz  Blu-ray  100 Girls by Bunny Yeager  Blu-ray  Seven Days in May  Blu-ray  How to Steal a Million  Blu-ray  The Indian Fighter  Blu-ray  The Young Girls of Rochefort  Blu-ray  I Am Not Your Negro  Blu-ray  The Accidental Tourist  Blu-ray
April 2017
 The Day of the Jackal  Blu-ray  I Bury the Living + The Screaming Skull by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  You'll Never Get Rich  Blu-ray  A Farewell to Arms  Blu-ray  The Salesman  Blu-ray  Rumblefish  Blu-ray and  Edgar Wallace Collection Edition 1: The Face of the Frog, The Mysterious Magician, The Hound of Blackwood Castle  Blu-ray by Charlie Largent  Donnie Darko  Blu-ray  Ophélia  Blu-ray  Caltiki, The Immortal Monster  Blu-ray + DVD  The Scar (Hollow Triumph)  Blu-ray  The Rounders  Blu-ray  Buena Vista Social Club  Blu-ray  Chamber of Horrors &  A Game of Death by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  The Delinquents  Blu-ray  Fahrenheit 451  Blu-ray  The Umbrellas of Cherbourg  Blu-ray  Sunset in the West  Blu-ray  From Hell it Came  Blu-ray  36 Hours  Blu-ray   (The Saga of) Anatahan  Blu-ray  Eyes without a Face UK import  Blu-ray + PAL DVD  Electric Boogaloo  Blu-ray  Property Is No Longer a Theft  Blu-ray + DVD  Lifeboat  Blu-ray  Story of Sin  Blu-ray + DVD  Being There & After the Fox by Charlie Largent Blu-ray  Ride The High Country  Blu-ray  The Russians are Coming and  Career  DVD  The Vampire Bat  Blu-ray  The Skull  Blu-ray  'How to Succeed' -- Take 2  Savant Article
March 2017
 Invisible Ghost  Blu-ray  Blow-Up  Blu-ray &  Elle  Blu-ray by Charlie Largent  Julieta  Blu-ray  Peyton Place  Blu-ray  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying  Blu-ray  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  3-D Blu-ray  23 Paces to Baker Street  Blu-ray  Tower  Blu-ray  Multiple Maniacs by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  Fences  Blu-ray  Phaedra  Blu-ray  Our Man in Havana  Blu-ray  Film / Notfilm separate releases  Blu-ray  Summer Storm  DVD  World Without End  Blu-ray  September Storm  3-D Blu-ray  Cinema Paradiso  Blu-ray  Compulsion  Blu-ray  We Are the Flesh & Lovers on the Bridge by Charlie Largent  Blu-ray  RoboCop 2 Collector's Edition Blu-ray  45 Years  Blu-ray  The Valley of Gwangi  Blu-ray  The Man Who Could Cheat Death  Blu-ray  Finian's Rainbow  Blu-ray  Chilly Scenes of Winter  Blu-ray  A*P*E  3-D Blu-ray
February 2017
 The Before Trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight  Blu-ray  Framed  Blu-ray  Kiss of Death  Blu-ray  Edge of Eternity  Blu-ray  The Tree of Wooden Clogs  Blu-ray  Panther Girl of the Kongo  Blu-ray  Deluge  Blu-ray  3 Classic Films by Claude Chabrol  Blu-ray  By Sidney Lumet  DVD  The Boy Friend  Blu-ray  The Gate  Blu-ray  Breakout / Der Mann Ohne Nerven  Blu-ray  Arrival  Blu-ray + DVD  A Walk in the Sun  DVD  Loving  Blu-ray + DVD  The Edge of Seventeen  Blu-ray + DVD  Manchester by the Sea  Blu-ray + DVD  Hacksaw Ridge  Blu-ray + DVD  Valkoinen Peura The White Reindeer  Region B Blu-ray  One Million Years B.C.  Blu-ray  When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth  Blu-ray  Inferno  3-D Blu-ray  Gabriel Over the White House (revisited)  DVD
January 2017
 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown  Blu-ray  Love in the Afternoon  Blu-ray  What a Way to Go!  Blu-ray  Mildred Pierce  Blu-ray  The Lair of the White Worm  Blu-ray  Dr. Orloff's Monster  Blu-ray  The Yakuza  Blu-ray  Wagon Tracks  Blu-ray  The Sicilian Clan  Blu-ray  No Highway in the Sky  Blu-ray  Seddok, l'erede di Satana  Region 2 PAL DVD  Stanley and Iris  Blu-ray  Who?  Blu-ray  Two for the Road  Blu-ray  Gas-s-s-s –Or– It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It  Blu-ray  The Mad Magician  3-D Blu-ray  Revenge of the Blood Beast  Blu-ray  David and Bathsheba  Blu-ray  Something Wild  Blu-ray  The Accountant  Blu-ray + DVD  The Keys of the Kingdom  Blu-ray  The Barefoot Contessa  Blu-ray  The Internecine Project  Blu-ray  Battleground  Blu-ray  The People vs. Fritz Bauer  Blu-ray  His Girl Friday &  The Front Page  Blu-ray  The Driller Killer  Blu-ray
December 2016
 Wait Until Dark  Blu-ray  'Pimpernel' Smith  Blu-ray  Loophole (1981)  Blu-ray  Deepwater Horizon  Blu-ray + DVD  50 Years with Peter Paul and Mary  DVD  Bad Day at Black Rock  Blu-ray  Sully  Blu-ray  The 3 Worlds of Gulliver  Blu-ray  Dreamscape  Blu-ray  Savant Picks the Most Impressive Discs of 2016  Fellini's Roma  Blu-ray  I Want to Live!  Blu-ray  100 Rifles  Blu-ray  Brazil  Blu-ray  The House on 92nd Street  Blu-ray  Short Cuts  Blu-ray  The Exterminating Angel  Blu-ray  Bad Girl  Blu-ray  Pretty Poison  Blu-ray  Sudden Fear  Blu-ray  Cry of the City  Blu-ray  Pete's Dragon  Blu-ray + DVD

  Reaching further back in time?  Chronological 2015 and 2016 can't be uploaded yet, but you can search back in the archives, immediately below. Available now is
A Chronological List of DVD Savant's Reviews for 2014
... and for 2013 ... 2012 ... and 2011
Use the search function at the top of the page for individual titles -- it's new and improved and works well.

Hundreds more Savant reviews at the Other End of this Link!


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