MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXIX (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 480 minutes

The latest set in this long-running series from Shout! Factory features four episodes from the classic TV series, divided equally between the Joel and Mike years, with one from the first season with J. Elvis Weinstein. The bonus features offer a nice selection of historical pieces and interviews, including a Q&A with Walter G. Alton, Jr., the very serious star of “The Pumaman” who does not seem pleased that Mike and the bots dared to soil his fine work…


Posted on March 27, 2014 by

THE HIDDEN FORTRESS: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY + DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 126 minutes

This new Blu-ray + DVD release of “The Hidden Fortress” from Criterion serves up remastered video, an alternate soundtrack on the Bu-ray disc, a rehash of the George Lucas interview from the original DVD, a making-of documentary from 2003, and a new commentary by film historian Stephen Prince. All the bonus content is found on both discs, which is nice.


Posted on March 20, 2014 by

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY + DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 84 minutes

This Criterion release of Errol Morris’ classic documentary “A Brief History of Time” features a remastered film transfer as well as new interviews with the director and his DP, John Bailey. A booklet rounds out the set…


Posted on March 19, 2014 by

FANTASTIC MR. FOX: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 87 minutes

This DVD+Blu-ray release of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is part of Criterion’s effort to have all of Wes Anderson’s movies in its catalog. In addition to an Anderson-approved copy of the film, this set offers copious amounts of bonus features, including an Anderson commentary, plenty of making-of materials, and an excellent hour-long documentary about Roald Dahl’s life…


Posted on March 1, 2014 by

MULTI-COUNTRY ODYSSEY OF “BAREFOOT”: INTERVIEW WITH SCREENWRITER STEVE ZOTNOWSKI

When Steve Zotnowski sold his screenplay “Barefoot” nearly a decade ago, little did he know that it would begin a multi-country odyssey that would see the script turned into a movie twice, with some unprecedented litigation along the way…



Posted on February 24, 2014 by

DARKMAN: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (BLU-RAY)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 96 minutes

This isn’t the first time “Darkman” has arrived on Blu-ray, but it is the first time it has shown up with plenty of bonus features. Shout! Factory will make fans of this film happy because they not only ported over all the old stuff but they also shot new interviews with stars Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand, among others. If you’ve never seen this movie, it’s worth a view just to see how you make a superhero film when you don’t have the rights to any existing superheroes.


Posted on February 18, 2014 by

THRONE OF BLOOD: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 109 minutes

Criterion’s Blu-ray + DVD combo release of Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Macbeth” adaptation “Throne of Blood” is a worthwhile upgrade for those moving to Blu, since it carries over all the bonus features from the 2003 DVD, but it also only offers one new documentary piece, so if you’re being selective, you might want to hold off for a while on this one…


Posted on January 8, 2014 by

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (DVD)

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 480 minutes

This new 25th Anniversary Edition “MST3K” set is a must-have for fans, with a new retrospective documentary, other bonus materials, and a special fifth disc featuring Joel’s last episode, “Mitchell,” and Mike’s first one, “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”…


Posted on November 26, 2013 by

CITY LIGHTS: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 86 minutes

Criterion’s Blu-ray + DVD combo pack release of “City Lights” continues its “film class in a box” attitude toward classic films, complete with a scholarly commentary track, plenty of documentary and behind-the-scenes materials, and a handsome booklet that features a 1967 interview with Charlie Chaplin…


Posted on November 23, 2013 by

AKIRA: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (BLU-RAY)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 124 minutes

Funimation’s 25th anniversary Blu-ray + DVD release of “Akira” ports over most of the bonus features from Pioneer’s excellent 2001 DVD Special Edition and offers a spectacular visual and audio experience (with three audio tracks, two English and one Japanese, to choose from), but it’s a shame nothing new was created for this seminal anime film…


Posted on November 12, 2013 by

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 THE MOVIE (BLU-RAY)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 75 minutes

The movie has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and the bigger budget allowed the characters to explore more of the Satellite of Love, but as Kevin Murphy also says during the same bonus feature, it’s basically an above-average episode of the TV series…


Posted on September 3, 2013 by

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXVII (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 480 minutes

While the extra stuff isn’t as copious as some of the other entries in this series, the set is still worthwhile for fans of the TV show…


Posted on July 23, 2013 by

WILD STRAWBERRIES: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 92 minutes

This Blu-ray disc from Criterion features a restored 2K print as well as a nice set of bonus features, including the 91-minute “Ingmar Bergman on Life and Work,” a scholarly commentary, and some intriguing silent behind-the-scenes footage shot by the director…


Posted on July 3, 2013 by

THINGS TO COME: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 97 minutes

Criterion’s new Blu-ray edition of “Things to Come” offers a remastered image and a smattering of bonus features, which makes it a worthwhile purchase for fans of the film, which is more of a 1936 treatise warning humanity against war than a conventional story. While I have no problem with unconventional movies, I found this one tedious, saved only by its production design.


Posted on June 24, 2013 by

INSIDE JAWS

4 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 149 minutes

“Inside Jaws” is Jamie Benning’s latest “filmumentary” that uses audio clips, bits of text, behind-the-scenes footage and photos, storyboards, concept art, deleted scenes, and other materials to deliver an experience that even a die-hard fan can appreciate…


Posted on June 21, 2013 by

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