Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is too scattershot and content to be the satire some claim it is, but I nonetheless find its 40-jokes-per-minute mania pleasing, and liked it as much a second time as I did the first. Kids movies tend to come with loaded Blu-Rays, albeit dully so with features that even a child has no use for. So I was happy to see, then, that Warner's put together a great package, starting with a hilarious group commentary and filled with interesting production featurettes that delve into how the movie was made. Read my full review at Slant.

Blu-Ray Review: The Man from Laramie

The Man from Laramie is the last Anthony Mann-James Stewart collaboration, and if it's not the best of their work (I'd narrowly give the edge to The Naked Spur, and possibly Bend of the River), it is nonetheless their most impressively ambitious, an acid-western take on King Lear that may be one of the most violent films to obscure most of its violence from explicit display. Twilight Time releases are always fairly modest, but the 4K restoration given the film results in their best looking release to date, and I'm pleased that this dirty B-movie now looks as good as its A-list counterparts. Read my full review at Slant.

Blu-Ray Review: L'Eclisse

The more I watch and return to Michelangelo Antonioni, the less concerned I am with "solving" his elliptical form and the more I'm content simply to bask in it. L'Eclisse rates with Red Desert and The Passenger as one of the directors most beautiful, enrapturing works, along with one of the most unsettling. Criterion give their old DVD a solid upgrade to Blu-Ray, though I do hope they append a few more of the directors early and late shorts to some future release, maybe their inevitable upgrade of L'Avventura. Regardless, this is a fine release, and you can read my full thoughts on the film and its Blu-Ray at Slant.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Like Someone in Love

Abbas Kiarostami's Like Someone in Love was one of my favorite films of 2013, and Criterion's Blu-Ray is predictably superlative, presenting its intricate sound design and Red camera cinematography without error and tossing in a few solid features. Check out my full review at Slant.

Blu-Ray Review: A Hard Day's Night

I watched A Hard Day's Night for the first time back in 2009 when the Beatles remasters came out and loved it so much I was instantly ready to call it maybe the greatest of rock films. Watching it for the third time with Criterion's outstanding new Blu-Ray release, I'm only more committed to that notion, but now I'm struck by what I never saw in the movie before: underneath (and often, directly parallel) with its many irreverent jokes is a glimpse at why adults were so afraid of these mop-topped goofballs, how their unkempt images and rakish lack of tact made them revolutionary well before they turned to drugs and started writing counterculture anthems. Criterion honors the film's 50th anniversary with one of their most impressive single-film releases: there's a commentary track, the short film that inspired the Beatles to use Richard Lester, many in-depth features and one of the thickest booklets the label has put with a release that was not an actual, honest-to-God book. It's currently sitting at the top of my list of Blu-Ray releases for the year.

Read my full review at Slant.

Louie Season 4 Recaps

Rather than do individual posts, here are links to all of my Louie coverage

Episodes 1 & 2: "Back" and "Model"
Episodes 3 & 4: "So Did the Fat Lady" and "Elevator Part 1"
Episodes 5 & 6: "Elevator Part 2" and "Elevator Part 3"
Episodes 7 & 8: "Elevator Part 4" and "Elevator Part 5"
Episodes 9 & 10: "Elevator Part 6" and "Pamela Part 1"
Episodes 11 & 12: "In the Woods"
Episodes 13 & 14: "Pamela Part 2" and "Pamela Part 3"

Two Rode Together (John Ford, 1961)

Here's my review of John Ford's excellent late-period Two Rode Together and its fine Blu-Ray release from Twilight Time. Read my full review at Slant.