DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Savant
HD Talk
Horror DVDs
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

Columns



savant5
Newest Features
Article Index  Review Index
Favorite Discs of 2014

[Savant Links] [Year Five Report]
Write Savant (Glenn Erickson) at
dvdsavant@mindspring.com!
(dvdsavant@mindspring.com)

Tuesday May 30, 2017 (early)

Why is this picture here? CLICK on it.


Savant's new reviews today are:


Dracula & The Mummy
Complete Legacy Collections

Universal
Blu-ray


 It's a mass review of two multi-title Blu-ray sets: Universal continues to amaze with their ongoing HD releases of classic-era monster movies. Fast on the footsteps of 2016's Frankenstein and Dracula Legacy collections are the hot-off-the-presses Dracula and The Mummy editions. Trailers from Hell's esteemed Charlie Largent takes a look-see. Separate Blu-ray purchases from Universal.
05/30/17




The Ballad of Cable Hogue
The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray


 Easily the most mellow of the films of Sam Peckinpah, this relatively gentle western fable sees Jason Robards discovering water where there ain't none, and establishing his own little way station desert paradise, complete with lover Stella Stevens and eccentric preacher David Warner. Some of the slapstick is sticky but the sexist bawdy humor is too cute to offend . . . and Peckinpah-phobes will be surprised to learn that the movie is in part, a musical. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
05/30/17




and

Trespass
Shout Selects
Blu-ray


 Crooked treasure hunters tangle with menacing black gangsters in this crime-action siege movie from 1992, with a fine filmmaker pedigree - Walter Hill, Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis. The late Bill Paxton leads a great cast -- William Sadler, Ice-T, Art Evans -- in a tense standoff that turns into a murderous ordeal when it's discovered that a million-dollar cache of gold is to be had. The Shout Selects extras include an informative interview with co-writer Bob Gale. On Blu-ray from Shout Selects.
05/30/17





Hello!

We're trying to get these Tuesday reviews off early, so as to take advantage of the Monday holiday!

I finally got a gander at all of MGM's 1933 Men Must Fight the other night, DVR'd from TCM. It's a real jaw dropper, a creaky adaptation of a creaky play with one insanely good special effects sequence. Diana Wynyard, a nurse in WW1, loses her flyer boyfriend (Robert Young) in France but bears his child. To make everything morally Kopasetic for the high-class Diana, she marries her generous admirer, Lewis Stone. The theatrics are beyond stiff.

Back in the USA and twenty years later it's now a futuristic 1940, complete with picture phones. All other progress seems stuck in 1933, however. Stone is now the Secretary of State trying to bolster a failing peace plan. Diana is a vocal pacifist, a position that gets sticky when war breaks out with an enemy unidentified only vaguely as the 'Eurasian States.' When Diana proclaims that the world's mothers must stop producing sons to die in men's wars, the savage hecklers at her speeches turn into an angry mob, screaming death threats and attempting to storm her 5th Avenue home. Diana's grown son Phillips Holmes proclaims that he subscribes to the same pacifist credo, which prompts his outraged fianceé to break off their engagement, and his stepfather to finally divulge the fact that he's a bastard rather than part of his family. The bizarre finish sees the son flip-flopping and racing to a biplane to battle the enemy (who?) in the skies over New York City. Learning that his real dad died a hero, the son becomes a dashing air pilot, seemingly in just one day. An inane final scene sees the three generations of rich women now rooting for the fight, yet also lamenting their abandonment of pacifist ideals. Grandmother May Robson says her last line, that mothers will just be ignored the same as always, as if it's supposed to be funny. Having made no coherent dramatic point, the movie just ends, in mid-war.

TCM's print has a patch with a bad buzz on the soundtrack but is otherwise okay. The shocker is in the next-to-last reel. For over sixty minutes the show has taken place in stuffy interiors, with out-the-window cutaways to silent stock footage of victory parades, etc. Just as the family is breaking up over the pacifism issue, a full-on air raid hits NYC. Massed biplanes (in 1940) drop little wing bombs. One tiny bomb is all that's required to wipe out the Brooklyn Bridge, and just two are enough to blow up the Empire State Building. The miniature effects are excellent, with blasted skyscrapers falling into the streets via traveling mattes and more miniature explosions. It looks like thousands should be killed, but the only casualty we see is Diana, whose arm is broken when her taxi is hit by one of those bombs that obliterate entire buildings. I'd never heard of Men Must Fight until a few years ago when I think Richard Harland Smith mentioned it . . . is it the first negative-subjunctive future history war movie? For the prediction of an aerial war in 1940 it beats Things to Come by three full years.

See you next Saturday -- Thanks for reading --- Glenn Erickson


Saturday May 27, 2017

Why is this picture here? CLICK on it.

Savant's new reviews today are:

Inferno 3-D
Twilight Time
Blu-ray + DVD


 Now in Region A -- One of the best releases from the early- '50s 3-D boom. Millionaire Robert Ryan is abandoned to die in the desert by his wife Rhonda Fleming and her lover; the 'useless' executive earns self-respect by focusing on the problem of survival. Ryan's terrific, and the depth effects in the attractive desert locations are great, thanks to cinematographer Lucien Ballard. On 3-D Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
05/27/17




One, Two, Three
KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray


 Some like their comedy hot and some like it cold. Billy Wilder opted to step on the joke accelerator to see what top speed looked like. One of the most finely tuned comedies ever made, this political satire crams five hours' worth of wit and sight gags into 115 minutes. The retirement-age James Cagney practically blows a fuse rattling through Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's high-pressure speeches, without slurring so much as a single syllable. With Arlene Francis, Pamela Tiffin, Horst Buchholz, Lilo Pulver and Hanns Lothar - plus a fine new commentary by Michael Schlesinger. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
05/27/17



and

Ghost World
The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray


 Daniel Clowes' comics creation receives an A-Plus film adaptation through the directorial filter of Terry Zwigoff. The show has more going for it than the bleak alienation of disaffected quasi- gen-Xers -- the script offers a depth of character revealing the insecure, hopes and fears behind all the insulting attitudes and behaviors. Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson and Steve Buscemi carve out uniquely affecting characters, with help from Illeana Douglas, Stacey Travis, Bob Balaban and Teri Garr. It's caustic, funny and also strongly affecting. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
05/27/17




Hello!

I've been impressed lately with Phil Hall's The Bootleg Files reviews over at Cinema Crazed, wherein he's tracked down information about barely-known titles not released on, uh, authorized discs. Phil was one of the first critics to welcome me at the Online Film Critics Society, going on sixteen years ago. I think he's found a good vein of reporting here, as every Bootleg entry I've read has been news, and I tend to be one of those people with the illusion that I've seen everything. This week the subject is The Bootleg Files: Afrique 50. Phil's back-story explanation of the film's suppression says a lot about colonial politics -- the filmmaker René Vautier paid the price for defying French law, when he filmed actual conditions in French West Africa. I knew that the French were really touchy about such subjects, because they even censored the old western Major Dundee, taking out dialogue that implied that French colonial Legionnaires used torture. Phil's column serves a useful purpose. Each entry begins with 'just the facts' data: 'where last seen,' 'reason for bootleg status,' 'chances of seeing a commercial DVD release.' Good show.

I'm hoping for a full report next week on the much touted new "ScreenX" format, from a special correspondent. Movie audiences (prompted by David Letterman) rejected Peter Jackson's attempt to raise the frame rate in his Hobbit movies, but maybe they'll respond favorably to what sounds like an exaggeration of Abel Gance's silent 'Polyvision' tryptich effect. Apparently, either the whole show or certain sequences will open up to cover a 270- degree field of vision. That slice of a circle goes beyond ear-to-ear coverage . . . are they looking for a virtual reality effect?  I'll be curious to learn more about the format: is it worthwhile? Does the image have seams? Do the 'sides' show matching live action, or is everything relevant concentrated in the front panel (if there are indeed panels)? Does the camera pan to follow action, or do we instead turn our heads? What happens in close-ups and fast cutting? The good part about this is that my contact knows enough to give an accurate report. Here's the Hollywood Reporter article on the film and the ScreenX format.

Thanks for reading! --- Glenn Erickson


NEWEST FEATURE ARTICLES
Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project 2

 After four years Martin Scorsese is back with another six filmic gems from all corners of the Earth: Insiang, Mysterious Object at Noon, Revenge, Limite, Law of the Border, Taipei Story. Love struggles in the slums of Thailand and the economic boom town of Taipei; underdog heroes undertake troubled missions in Turkey and Kazakhstan, a Malay storyteller plays cinematic games with basic narrative, and a vintage Brazilian art film is pure visual poetry. They've all been rescued by the World Cinema Project. A Dual-Format edition on Blu-ray and DVD from The Criterion Collection.
05/23/17

Things to Come

 Mia Hansen-Løve's portrait of the travails of a middle-aged philosophy teacher is a plum acting vehicle for Isabelle Huppert It steers clear of crazy, extraordinary events to instead offer insights into how real people live and cope. The professor must dip into her subject matter to make sense of her life, and comes up sane. Folks expecting a feel-good satire about 'goofy' women can make do with Sally Field in Hello, My Name is Doris. Mia and Isabelle do well here. On Blu-ray from MPI Media Group.
05/23/17

Who'll Stop the Rain

 A killer book (Dog Soldiers) must hide behind a Credence Clearwater tune. Karel Reisz's killer movie about the moral residue of Vietnam scores as both drama and action, with disillusioned counterculture smugglers versus corrupt narcotics cops. Just don't expect it to really have much to say about the Vietnam experience. But hey, the cast is tops -- Nick Nolte, Richard Masur, Anthony Zerbe -- and the marvelous Tuesday Weld is even better as a pill-soaked involuntary initiate into the pre- War On Drugs smuggling scene. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
05/23/17

Rescuing the Runes: The Almost-Lost Original Long Cut of Night of the Demon

  Guest Article by Wayne Schmidt  Fires, clerical errors, and lab mistakes have caused films to be lost forever, or to become unavailable in good quality; studio indifference also allows vintage films to be ignored to death, while their negatives rot in cans. So it's great to hear a 'lost film' story with a happy ending. Guest writer Wayne Schmidt recounts how the original version of one of our favorite horror pictures was accidentally rediscovered, only for its priceless, irreplaceable original film element to be almost lost forever. Wayne had a tricky problem to solve: how to get it back from a collector, without making a federal case out of it.
05/20/17

Those Redheads from Seattle 3-D

 Another 3-D breakthrough, this time for a Paramount musical rescued from oblivion and remastered by the 3-D Archive. Rhonda Fleming and Gene Barry star in a blend of songs and Alaskan adventure filmed in downtown Hollywood. The depth effects are great, but the big surprise is Teresa Brewer, the radio star turned one-shot movie musical wonder whose voice resurrects memories of pop vocals just prior to the arrival of Rock 'n' Roll. Also with the Bell Sisters, Guy Mitchell and Agnes Moorehead. The story of what was required to bring this one back from the brink of extinction, is fully covered -- and 3-D fans can't get enough of these shows! On 3-D Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
05/20/17


Night of the Demon
 This French disc release of the Jacques Tourneur classic gets everything right -- including both versions in picture perfect transfers. Devil debunker Dana Andrews locks horns with Niall MacGinnis, a necromancer "who has decoded the Old Book" and can summon a fire & brimstone monster from Hell, no election fraud necessary. Even fans that hate ghost stories love this one -- it's a truly creepy highlight of the horror genre. Co-starring Peggy Cummins and our favorite movie demon -- that's the center of arguments about how much he should be shown, or if Tourneur didn't want him shown at all. The release comes with a 144-page book. . . in French!   A good community college can help you there. A Dual-Format edition on Region A + B Blu-ray and PAL DVD from Wild Side (France).
05//17

Decoy (TV Show)

 Unsung actress Beverly Garland becomes TV's first lady cop, in what's claimed to be the first TV show filmed on the streets of New York City. This one-season wonder from 1957 has vintage locations, fairly tough-minded storylines and solid performances, from Bev and a vast gallery of stage and TV actors on the way up. It's a full season, when a season of TV shows was 39 episodes. On DVD from Film Chest Media.
05/16/17

The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers

 Les plus belles escroqueries du monde. A breezy five-episode compilation movie about swindles plays out in five film capitals, under the eye of five different directors including Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard. But Roman Polanski's Amsterdam segment couldn't be included, which is a shame. It's in B&W 'scope, and everybody gets to bring their favorite cameraman and composer along. On Blu-ray from Olive Films.
05//17

May 2017
 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!


Archives

Don't forget to write Savant at dvdsavant@mindspring.com.

Advertise With Us

Review Staff | About DVD Talk | Newsletter Subscribe | Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Savant Text © Copyright 1997-2007 Glenn Erickson - Copyright © DVDTalk.com All rights reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use


Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise