Sisters (1972): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

What we see in “Sisters” is the template for what would become the basic mold for most Brian De Palma films. So enamored is he with Hitchcock that he essentially pays tribute to the man’s filmmaking techniques and films consciously and sometimes sub-consciously. “Sisters” is rough around the edges, but an otherwise fascinating thriller about the perversion of voyeurism, and the suppression of sexuality and female independence in an often matriarchal society. De Palma unfolds an interesting murder mystery filled with psycho sexual overtones that almost feel like nods to the Giallos of the decade.

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Sleepwalkers (1992): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

“Cop Kabob!”

Stephen King is a pop culture entity that is guaranteed to stay in the public consciousness for a very long time. Every few years he fades in to the background for a while, and then re-emerges to take pop culture by storm. The last few years have been yet another Stephen King renaissance with the new popularity of classic novels, the smashing popularity of “It” and the re-release of a lot of his famous and infamous cinematic entries. Everything from “Christine” to “Maximum Overdrive” has been given a physical release, and it’s a lot of to see how much King has carved his way in to pop culture, with various hits and stumbles. “Sleepwalkers” is a stumble.

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The Meg (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

John Turtletaub’s adaptation of “The Meg” may not have been everyone’s cup of tea in 2018, but for me it was a damn good time with an eye on being about as novel as possible. While it does pander to the ever important Asian movie going audience, “The Meg” is a weird and wild action movie that feels like an eccentric amalgam of Peter Benchley, Renny Harlin, and Paul WS Anderson. It’s a comedy, a science fiction film, an action movie, a romance, a man vs. nature picture, and a tale of redemption all rolled in to one. It even squeezes in a bang up cast of character actors like Cliff Curtis, Li Bingbing, and Rainn Wilson as an eccentric billionaire thrust in to the extraordinary confrontation with a giant megalodon.

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Shorts Round Up for the Week (11/16/18)

Most of the time we get such a backlog of short films and feature length indie films that we work hard to take them all on and review them before the year is up. In what we hope will become a new feature, “Shorts Round Up of the Week” is a column where we’ll be reviewing a round up of short films of varying quality.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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The Bootleg Files: It’s the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown

BOOTLEG FILES 662: “It’s the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown” (1988 TV special).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS video.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It is out of circulation for many years.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely at this time.

Following the dismal reception of his 1988 made-for-television special “It’s the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown,” Charles M. Schulz lamented that “I wanted this to be my ‘Citizen Kane,’ but it’s not.” From an Orson Welles analogy perspective, the production might have been closer to those infamous drunken outtakes for the Paul Masson champagne – a weird, embarrassing blip in the late stages of a brilliant career.
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The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows (2018)

Opens at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on December 14th, and at the Quad Cinema in New York City on December 28th. Learn More Here.

Since 1998, “The Animation Show of Shows” has been a small program line up that selects the best in animated short films from all around the world. It’s presented new and innovative short films to animation aficionados at animation studios and schools, as well as theaters in the US and around the world since 2015. 38 shorts since, went on to become Oscar contenders with 11 winning the Oscar. This year, “The Animation Show of Shows” is not bereft of diversity and bold new voices, and it’s all in all a riveting experience, with eyes on personal statements and meaningful ideas.

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