Releases & Reviews
November 5, 2015
Beginning this month, I’m going to be trying something new in the Blu-ray column. I’ll continue to list upcoming new releases, as always, but will also include reviews of recent releases you can currently find at retailers. It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy the information found in the update of my monthly column.
Kwaidan *** (1965) is now available from Criterion in a stunning new transfer. Another bonus is this is the most complete print of the film yet available. The film is the Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi’s adaptation of four haunting tales based on Japanese folklore and contains many striking visual images that are certainly worth the price of the disc. Extras include commentary from film historian Stephen Prince and a new interview with the film’s assistant director.
Director David Cronenberg’s The Brood (1979) ** ½, is another Criterion release and is a must for Cronenberg completests. Samantha Eggar and Oliver Reed star in the tale of a psychiatrist, whose prized patient’s daughter is being terrorized by demonic beings.
Kit Harington and Alicia Vikander in Testament
And that’s only the beginning. It’s not as effective as other Cronenberg efforts from the 1970s but it does have its moments, nonetheless. The extras are fantastic on this release, particularly an Oliver Reed appearance on The Merv Griffin show from 1980, which also features Charro and Orson Welles as guests.
My Own Private Idaho (1991) * ½ is yet another Criterion offering that will certainly please fans of the film. Unfortunately, the tale of a narcoleptic (River Phoenix) and his best pal (Keanu Reeves) roaming the Pacific Northwest, is a film that fails to register with me on any level. It’s great to look at but its lack of a cohesive narrative is a major debit. The packaging and extras, which include several documentaries that are better than the film, will please those with a fondness for its charms.
A Lego Brickumentary (2015) is a surprisingly intriguing documentary on the history of the brand of Lego. The disc is available from Anchor Bay and includes deleted scenes.
Amy Schumer & LeBron James in Trainwreck
Jurassic World (2015) (** ½) looks great on its Blu-ray release. Unfortunately, the film is still a mixed bag from a storytelling standpoint on its second viewing but is certain to give your home theater system a nice workout. The disc includes several featurettes and some interesting deleted scenes. It’s available from Universal.
Testament of Youth (2015) (***) is a romantic tale of young love set against the backdrop of WWI. What makes the pic unique is that it’s told from a female perspective. Emily Watson stars in the beautifully mounted film from director James Kent. The film is available from Sony and includes deleted scenes.
New Releases: The following titles will make their debut in the month of November. These include Inside Out (***); End of the Tour (*** ½); Best of Enemies (not reviewed); Forbidden Zone (**1/2); Code Unknown (***); Trainwreck (**); Shadows and Fog (***); Terminator: Genisys (** ½); Bad Boys 1 and 2 (** ½); In Cold Blood (*** ½); Don’t Look Back (***); Sense and Sensibility (*** ½); Ricki and the Flash (**); Ikiru (****); Ghost Story (***); Troll/Troll 2 (* ½) and Living in Oblivion (not reviewed).
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