Age of Consent 11/27/18

Powerhouse Indicator
Blu-ray

A dreamy tropic idyll … or a dirty old man’s movie? Our verdict chooses the first option for Michael Powell’s retelling of the old tale of the artist’s innocent yet sensual creative adventure with his young model. Producer James Mason eases nicely into the part, but then- newcomer Helen Mirren takes the prize as the most fearless and liberated woman in filmdom circa 1969. With Jack MacGowran, the Great Barrier Reef when it was still Great, and a very talented dog, Lonsdale. On Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.
11/27/18

A Man Alone 11/27/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Ray Milland directs a fine western drama, strong on character and tension; it garnered enough praise to set him on a second, minor career behind the camera. Milland also stars as a gunman in the wrong place at the wrong time — framed for a mass murder in an unforgiving frontier town. Who ya gonna blame? That nasty sidewinder villain Raymond Burr, of course. Also starring Mary Murphy, Ward Bond, Raymond Burr and Lee Van Cleef. Now, of those actors, which do you think doesn’t live to see the ‘The End’ card?  On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
11/27/1

Clouzot The Early Works 11/24/18

Kino Classics
Blu-ray

A master of suspense admired even by Hitchcock, Henri-Georges Clouzot is famous for acid-tinged thrillers about cold-blooded murder and ugly politics, whether in a French town or a Latin American oil field. But his early writing career was quite different: he provided the scenarios and dialogue for ten years’ worth of clever farces and affecting melodramas, often with musical numbers. The set’s titles are My Cousin from Warsaw, Dragnet Night, The Unknown Singer, I’ll Be Alone After Midnight, The Terror of Batignolles, Tell Me Tonight and Dream Castle. On Blu-ray from Kino Classics.
11/24/18

Brewster McCloud 11/24/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

Robert Altman’s first opportunity to cut loose with an entirely personal film is this scattershot comedy that satirizes the American scene, taking pokes at patriotism, greed, and silly police movies. To his favorite eccentrics from M*AS*SH Bud Cort and Sally Kellerman he adds the new discovery Shelley Duvall; the movie’s like a bag of absurdist jokes that spilled onto a Houston Highway. Also starring Michael Murphy, William Windom, Rene Auberjonois, Stacy Keach, John Schuck, Margaret Hamilton and Jennifer Salt. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
11/24/18

The Best of the Three Stooges 11/24/18

Time-Life
DVD

Duck while you can still see: this collection rounds up enough short subjects for a 13-disc set, including all 87 of the Columbia Pictures Shorts produced between 1934 and 1945; also television, stage shows, cartoons and four Three Stooges Feature Films. Are you getting the message — it’a LOT of stuff! Plus those awful pokes in the eyes. Reviewer Charlie Largent has tried them for real, and reports from the state reformatory that the sound effects are different, but people do end up blinded. On DVD from Time-Life.
11/24/18

Crazy Rich Asians 11/20/18

Warner Home Video
Blu-ray + DVD

A surprise hit? This ultra-glamorous rom-com about life among the Singapore 1% would be a fantasy, if everything we see weren’t real. Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh head an all-Asian cast in a celebration of ostentatious excess — yep, some folks aren’t hurting at all. As an expression of Asian ascendency and female power, the show may have opened a door to a whole new empire of crossover ethnic fantasies. With Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu and Awkwafina. On Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.
11/20/18

Georgy Girl 11/20/18

Powerhouse Indicator
Blu-ray

Lynn Redgrave burst to stardom with this fine study of romance vs. reality in swinging London circa 1966. Georgy thinks of herself as a plain Jane next to her popular roommate, played by Charlotte Rampling. Alan Bates is the flighty boyfriend and James Mason the old millionaire making Georgy indecent proposals. How can a good girl get somewhere in life? As sometimes happens, the song has retained more fame than the movie. On Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.
11/20/18

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood 11/20/18

Kino Lorber
DVD

Matt Tynauer’s frank, unrated documentary about the wild times of gay and straight hustler-procurer Scotty Bowers is built around his 2012 tell-all book about the Hollywood sex underground of the late ’40s and ’50s. Scotty tells his own story in a way that compels belief. It’s a fine docu, sort of an exposé item but more credible than Hollywood Babylon. But it’s also not for all audiences, as some hardcore content is included. On DVD from Kino Lorber/Greenwich Entertainment.
11/20/18

Nothing Sacred 11/17/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Whaddaya know, this new disc of the Carole Lombard / Fredric March comedy hit looks great, besting by far all previous videos and prints I’ve seen of the early (1937) Technicolor production. Hazel Flagg’s Madcap Manhattan Weekend now pops with brilliant hues. And a little digging tells us that Ben Hecht’s morbid premise is based on a real-life scandalous workplace tragedy called ‘The Living Dead Women.’ Also starring Charles Winninger, Walter Connolly, Sig Ruman, Margaret Hamilton, Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom and Troy Brown as a non-PC Eastern potentate. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
11/17/18

The Princess Bride 11/17/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

William Goldman and Rob Reiner’s unchallenged modern classic captures the magic of fairy tales about noble lovers, loyal warriors and low-down villains. Everybody’s terrific, all the characters are hilariously magical and Goldman’s writing glows with love for happy storytelling leavened further by sly wit. Criterion presents the Blu-ray in a lush storybook package with a treasure chest of extras. Starring Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Peter Falk, Mandy Patinkin, André the Giant and Wallace Shawn. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
11/17/18

Gas, Food Lodging 11/13/18

Arrow Academy
Blu-ray

Welcome to the West, long after the frontier has closed. Allison Anders’ marvelous drama of a three-girl family is a big step for indie cinema, a highly entertaining examination of women’s aspirations and frustrations out on the non-glamorous working class fringe. Writer-director Anders wastes no time with a terrific cast — Brooke Adams, Ione Skye and Fairuza Balk’s family lacks a father, and ‘men who walk’ becomes the central issue in their lives. Filmed in a gloriously believable New Mexico desert. On Blu-ray from Arrow Academy.
11/13/18

Sword of Sherwood Forest 11/13/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

Hammer takes time off from horror to ‘Speak Treason — Fluently!’  TV’s Robin Hood Richard Greene goes Eastmancolor and MegaScope to oppose the Sheriff of Nottingham on the big screen. The cast is certainly attractive: Peter Cushing, Niall MacGinnis, Richard Pasco, Jack Gwillim, Sarah Branch, Nigel Green, Vanda Godsell, Desmond Llewelyn and Oliver Reed. Reviewer Charlie Largent sorts things out — and adds a fascinating mini-history of the ‘lefty’ TV show we all watched as kids. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
11/13/18

Blondie The Complete 1957 Television Series 11/13/18

ClassicFlix
DVD

‘Hey Blondie!’ Dagwood, Blondie, Mr. Dithers and a victimized postman return for a stab at a TV revival of the 1940s series from Chic Young’s never-ending comic strip. It’s not bad, with Arthur Lake clowning up a storm and Pamela Britton a charming new embodiment of a character who began as ‘Blondie Boopadoop.’ It’s the entire one-season series. Guest stars include Barbara Nichols and Pamela Duncan. On Blu-ray from ClassicFlix.
11/13/18

The Last Movie 11/10/18

Arbelos
Blu-ray

Dennis Hopper’s legendary follow-up to Easy Rider ended his Hollywood directing career for at least fifteen years. Barely seen again after brief premiere bookings, it hasn’t built up a reputation as a suppressed masterpiece. So what is it exactly? A new spotless restoration gives a dazzling rebirth to Hopper’s Perú- filmed deconstruction of Hollywood. The astonishing number of notables in the cast list may in itself demand a viewing: Julie Adams, Tomas Milian, Don Gordon, Donna Baccala, Sylvia Miles, Rod Cameron, Severn Darden, Sam Fuller, Peter Fonda, Henry Jaglom, Michelle Phillips, Kris Kristofferson, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, John Phillip Law, Richard Rust, Toni Basil, Michael Anderson Jr.. On Blu-ray from Arbelos.
11/10/18

Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure 11/10/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

Tarzan got a new lease on life when a film company finally went to Africa to pit Gordon Scott’s excellent ‘Lord of the Jungle’ against a formidable phalanx of villains. Anthony Quayle, Sean Connery and Niall MacGinnis are perfect Dastards of the Darkest Continent. Also top-flight are the women in this jungle combat, wicked Scilla Gabel and naughty Sara Shane. Fun for adult kids of all ages! Poor Al Mulock gets no respect, but he’s in there slugging as well. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
11/10/18

Mr. Capra Goes to War: Frank Capra’s World War II Documentaries 11/06/18

Olive Films
Blu-ray

These wartime docu-propaganda films are fascinating, but critic Joseph McBride’s critical accompaniment is even better, nailing the meaning of five groundbreaking works of ‘indoctrination’ and giving us a refreshing revisionist take on one of America’s more revered film directors. The films are Prelude to War, The Battle of Russia (1&2), The Negro Soldier, Tunisian Victory and Your Job in Germany; get ready to hear plenty of ‘why we fight’ rhetoric and see all those dramatic animated maps, with swastika daggers making entire countries bleed. On Blu-ray from Olive Films.
11/06/18

Andrei Rublev 11/06/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

Want to get serious about Russian cinema? Andrei Tarkovsky’s 15th-century epic portrays the travails of an artist at odds with his world — a medieval nightmare far more cruel than the Cold War indifference and suspicion that Tarkovsky experienced in his own industry. It’s perhaps his masterpiece, a ‘safe’ historical story that nevertheless was too personal and religious to escape Soviet censorship. Both versions are here, the 3-hour director’s cut and the longer The Passion According to Andre. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
11/06/18

Lisbon 11/03/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Ray Milland produces, directs and stars in this odd, forgotten travelogue / adventure / romance /crime tale filmed in Portugal’s beautiful capital. Claude Rains is magnificent, Maureen O’Hara is okay and relative newcomer Yvonne Furneaux is a knockout. Most remembered is Nelson Riddle’s adaptation of the film’s title theme, one of the most admired pop instrumentals of the 1950s. Filmed in Republic’s ‘Naturama’ and ‘Trucolor,’ both of which prompt plenty of fuzzy man Savant-‘splaining. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
11/03/18

Black Widow 11/03/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

(1954) Fox touted Black Widow as the first murder mystery in CinemaScope. Ace writer / tyro director Nunnally Johnson tries an ‘All About Eve’ dissection of Broadway swells but in a mystery context, with beaucoup flashbacks. The result is something akin to Rope, with scenes all taking place in apartments with views of Central Park. Nobody complained about the big marquee names Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin, Gene Tierney and George Raft, but I re-watch to marvel over the dreamy, interesting Virginia Leith. Raymond Durgnat encouraged us to indulge our screen fantasies! On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
11/03/18