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

MONSIEUR VERDOUX: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 124 minutes

Charlie Chaplin’s “Monsieur Verdoux” may seem tame today, but in 1947 it was considered controversial because of its political commentary and the way in which it dismantled its star’s legacy as The Little Tramp. This Blu-ray release from Crtierion contains a smattering of bonus features that discuss the history of the film. The print was digitally restored, but it is marred in one spot…


Posted on April 16, 2013 by

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXVI (DVD)

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

My favorite “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ sets are the ones whose bonus features put some context around the riffed-on movies or around the series itself (or, hopefully, both). Volume 26 in Shout! Factory’s long-running series serves up a whopping portion of the former, proving once again that bad movies don’t just pop into existence, even if it seems that way…


Posted on March 26, 2013 by

DIRK GENTLY (DVD)

3 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 240 minutes

This BBC adaptation of Douglas Adams’ two books featuring eccentric detective Dirk Gently suffers a bit from an accessibility problem — he’s someone we’d rather encounter through another character, rather than having the point-of-view on him — as well as an adaptation issue in which the more over-the-top bits were left out. We’re left with four episodes that all center around murders and veer away from the books’ fanciful tone…


Posted on March 17, 2013 by

THE POWER OF MYTH: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 344 minutes

This three-disc 25th anniversary edition of “The Power of Myth” adds some new features to the previous two-disc offering, including new introductions by Bill Moyers and 105 minutes of extended conversations with Joseph Campbell from “Bill Moyers Journal.” This remains a seminal series that’s worth viewing…


Posted on February 13, 2013 by

BRAZIL: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 142 minutes

This two-disc Blu-ray release of “Brazil” ports over pretty much everything from the old three-DVD set (except, puzzlingly enough, some text materials and images) and offers a nice video upgrade to boot. Another classic film given first-class treatment by Criterion…


Posted on December 26, 2012 by

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXV (DVD)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 480 minutes

“MST3K” Volume 25 serves up four more episodes in this classic series, including “Revenge of the Creature,” the first one that aired after the switch to Sci-Fi Channel (it also featured Pearl Forrester’s introduction as the new mad scientist). The bonus features are on the lean side, but, as always, the episodes are still worth the price of admission…


Posted on December 4, 2012 by

COLOR ME OBSESSED: A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS (DVD)

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 123 minutes

Never heard of The Replacements? Then this documentary probably isn’t the best place to start, since it assumes you have some knowledge of the band. Before experiencing this excellent film, along with the copious amounts of bonus materials in this two-disc set, check out some of their albums first. You won’t be disappointed…


Posted on December 3, 2012 by

RASHOMON: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88 minutes

Criterion has been giving Kurosawa’s films more lavish treatments, and now it’s time for “Rashomon” to get its due. The bonus features from the previous release have been ported over and are joined by some nice new ones, including an hour-long collection of interviews…


Posted on November 20, 2012 by

THE GAME: CRITERION COLLECTION (BLU-RAY)

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 128 minutes

David Fincher’s underrated deconstruction of the thriller genre is finally available in a more elaborate edition. Unfortunately, it merely ports over most of the extras from Criterion’s laserdisc release of “The Game” in the late 90s, but it’s better than nothing. The video and audio have been upgraded significantly from that version, though, so this is a worthy upgrade from a previous DVD release…


Posted on October 24, 2012 by

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