Dr. Who Double Bill – 1965 & ’66 09/15/20

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Who’s on first and What’s on second… actually Who’s on second too. Charlie Largent reviews a Blu-ray double bill featuring everyone’s favorite Timelord, Dr. Who. The beloved British sci-fi TV series spawned two theatrical spin-offs in 1965 and 1966; Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.. Even with Peter Cushing at the controls, translating the charms of a small screen favorite to the big screen is fraught with perils more daunting than any Dalek. Beware the robotic salt shakers! On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
09/15/20

Five Graves to Cairo 09/15/20

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

It’s smart, it’s funny, it has a touch of romance… it’s Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett’s entertaining espionage thriller set between the battle lines of the North Africa campaign. Franchot Tone must impersonate a double agent, when the command staff of General Rommel (Erich von Stroheim!) takes over a half-bombed hotel run by the forlorn Akim Tamiroff. Anne Baxter is the French maid desperate to make a deal, with whichever side will help her get what she wants. Even the title of this winner has a clever special meaning. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
09/15/20

I’ll Get You + Fingerprints Don’t Lie 09/15/20

Viavision [Imprint]
DVD

Witness one Robert Lippert, an American independent producer who flourished in multiple eras of Hollywood. We discuss his adaptation to changes in the movie biz in conjunction with a double bill DVD of two typical Lippert shows from the very early fifties, one produced in Hollywood and another in England. Robert Lippert is the proof that ‘Life Finds a Way’ in the movies as well, a sentiment reinterpreted as ‘staying in the game.’ From ‘Forgotten Noir Volume 6,’ on DVD from VCI.
09/15/20

The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection 4K 09/12/20

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Universal’s top-of-the-line Hitchcock winners make the jump to Ultra HD in a worthy update. We’ve seen these before but they’re always different in a theatrical setting… and the quality is so amazing here, a big home theater setup can duplicate a theatrical experience. It might as well be a Robert Burks / John L. Russell cinematographer’s film festival too, or an ‘Editor George Tomasini Festival’ — that unheralded ace cut all four of these masterpieces: Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds. Fans of Psycho have an extra treat: a slightly longer original cut. On 4K Ultra HD + Blu-rayfrom Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
09/12/20

When Worlds Collide 09/12/20

Viavision [Imprint]
Blu-ray

George Pal’s sophomore sci-fi classic has conceptual imagination and visual wonder to spare, along with a million oddly dated awkward details. Rogue planets threaten to obliterate the Earth, prompting the building of a super-Ark spaceship to spirit forty ‘chosen ones’ to safety. The Ark passengers have the right stuff, but you may be enraged by the rigged process to select who gets to go. Gee-whiz spectacle is the order of the day — how many End Of The World movies actually show terra firma expunged from the Solar System?  Barbara Rush and John Hoyt are the acting standouts, but top honors go to Pal’s visual effect artists and designers. On Region A  Blu-ray from Viavision / Imprint.
09/12/20

Flash Gordon 09/08/20

Arrow Video
4K UltraHD

Arrow jumps into the 4K Ultra HD bracket with a knockout 40th anniversary presentation of this campy, music-filled and incredibly colorful Dino De Laurentiis spectacle. The impressive package has an endless catalog of extras, plus a second Blu-ray disc with a full-length feature about the film’s one-hit-wonder star Sam J. Jones. Buyers beware — no backup Blu-ray disc of the feature is included. In every other respect, “Go! Flash! GO!”   Co-starring Max von Sydow, Melody Anderson, Topol, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, Peter Wyngarde and Mariangela Melato. On 4K Ultra HD + HDR from Arrow Video.
09/08/20

The Naked City 09/08/20

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

Jules Dassin’s most popular pre-exile crime thriller is many things: a cracking good police tale, a drama of human struggle and weakness, and an amazing cinematic time machine of New York’s distinctive hustle and bustle circa 1948. Mark Hellinger’s final production bristles with ‘these are the facts’ narration, a voiceover personifying the city ‘with eight million stories.’ The filmed-on-location classic always looked okay, but this new restoration sources better elements for picture and sound, improving the show substantially. Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor and Ted de Corsia. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
09/08/20

Flying Leathernecks 09/08/20

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

John Wayne, Robert Ryan and some thrilling color combat footage grace this Howard Hughes WW2 aviation epic, that’ famous for being the odd-title-out in the filmography of Nicholas Ray. Just how did the politically diverging Ray and Hughes get along so well?  The WAC’s sensational Technicolor restoration does the real combat footage a big favor: minus scratches and dirt, it looks better than ever. Co-starring Don Taylor, Janis Carter, Jay C. Flippen, and Adam Williams. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
09/08/20

Attack of the Crab Monsters 09/05/20

Scream Factory
Blu-ray

Roger Corman began his boom year of 1957 with a marvelous bit of ‘way-out’ sci-fi — a ‘Tidal Wave of Terror’ no less. They don’t just attack with their claws, they beckon you from your bed with telepathic voices they’ve stolen from your colleagues: by EATING them, consuming their BRAINS, and acquiring their memories… it’s like life in Academia!  Pamela Duncan fills out a swimsuit, Richard Garland wears a nifty bandanna, and dependable Russell Johnson wishes he was inventing stuff for Gilligan instead of battling Crabbus Plexiglassus mutant giants. It’s prime monster movie history in a beautiful HD transfer — Shout!’s welcome Blu-ray will charm fans seeking prime ‘fifties monster nirvana. With a commentary hosted by Tom Weaver. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
09/5/20

Black Gravel 09/05/20

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

When they dig it up, what will they find?  Fans will want to see this forgotten Deutsch-noir masterpiece. Helmut Käutner’s tale of trouble on an American air base in West Germany is a swirl of romantic, political and criminal complications — all down & dirty. A tiny burg that serves as a brothel for U.S. airmen attracts displaced women and dispirited men willing to do what’s necessary to survive. We’ve seem nothing quite like this riveting drama — its sixty-year absence carries a taint of political ‘inconvenience.’ If you like challenging fare like Ace in the Hole and Try and Get Me! you’re going to love it. Both censored and uncensored versions have been restored in excellent quality. On Blu-rayfrom KL Studio Classics.
09/5/20

The Paleface 09/05/20

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Bob Hope is the fearless frontier dentist Painless Potter; and Jane Russell is Calamity Jane, a secret agent for the Federal government. In between gags with dynamite and an Indian torture to draw and quarter Painless (well, draw and halv him maybe), we’ve got smirking comedy, the attractive Ms. Russell in Technicolor and the Oscar-winning song “Buttons and Bows.” Howard Hughes had Jane on a painfully short leash that effectively stalled her career progress, but this lucky loan-out became a hit. What did she have to do to get permission from Howie? — I’ll bet there’s a story in that. Hey, the movie was co-written by Frank Tashlin, so have fun pointing out the gags that would work in a comic strip. Reviewed by Charlie Largent. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
09/5/20

The Balcony 09/01/20

Reviewer Charlie Largent takes on Joseph Strick’s exotic drama from 1963: Jean Genet’s tale of crazy times in a brothel during a revolution, with nary a PC attitude in sight. The stars are Shelley Winters, Peter Falk, Lee Grant, Ruby Dee and Leonard Nimoy … a wild and strange cast if there ever was one — it’s hard to picture them playing together. The supporting cast as well: Peter Brocco, Jeff Corey, Joyce Jameson…and Kent Smith?  Sometimes there are good reasons for a movie being rare: is this one of the exceptions, a winner that slipped off the radar screens? On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
09/01/20

Mister Vampire 09/01/20

Eureka Entertainment
Region B Blu-ray

UK reviewer Lee Broughton examines Ricky Lau’s Hong Kong comedy-horro-mystical martial arts mash, a kooky and colorful hybrid that introduces elements of vampire lore that we never knew we needed — like scary-looking vampires that get around by hopping on two legs. Expect expertly choreographed martial arts battles, some decently creepy bloodsucking action, and hit-and-miss broad comedy. As even Roman Polanski admitted when it comes to horror comedy, “two out of three ain’t bad.” On Region B Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment.
09/01/20

Airplane! 09/01/20

Paramount Presents
Blu-ray

Most people smile at the mention mere of this show … there’s nothing healthier than an old fashioned laugh. Zucker, Zucker & Abrahams’ non-stop joke fest finds good non-malicious fun in movie spoofery. It’s populated by the same old pros that had to make the originals fly right, no matter how clunky they were. All hail Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack and Peter Graves, the veterans of countless ‘keep a straight face and pretend it’s serious’ groaners. It’s a 40th Anniversary new restoration. Now somebody tell me: do I park in the red zone or the white zone? On Blu-ray from Paramount Presents.
09/01/20