A Star is Born (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Director/Star Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born” will likely go down in history as one of the greatest remakes of all time. Cooper doesn’t try so much to remake a story that’s been already remade, but rethink it for a modern culture. In the end “A Star is Born” excels because it doesn’t lose sight of what it wants to convey as an epic romance, and a tale about identity, and stardom. It’s a beautiful and often soul shattering drama that Cooper directs with immense humility and is able to derive wonderful performances all around.

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Winsor McCay: The Artist as a Young Man

Winsor McCay was one of the most important pioneers in the development of animated films, and his creations Gertie the Dinosaur and Little Nemo are still celebrated for their wit and artistry. In this episode, we learn about McCay’s formative years and the influences that helped to shape his creative genius. Our guest on this episode of “The Online Movie Show” is Kevin Scott Collier, author of “Winsor McCay: Boyhood Dreams: Growing Up In Spring Lake, Michigan 1867-1885.”

The episode can be heard here.

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019)

“Black History is Black Horror.”

“Horror Noire” is the film you have to see right now. If you fancy yourself a horror aficionado, a film buff, or just a lover of history, “Horror Noire” is essential viewing that is long overdue. For a long time we’ve garnered some amazing documentaries that have covered a lot of overlooked chapters in horror cinema, and “Horror Noire” touches upon the most important era, exploring the history of African Americans in horror cinema, and how they evolved from being demonized, to becoming props, right up to becoming genuine heroes.

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The Mole People (1956) [Blu-Ray]

I’ve never seen a movie so apparently short on a script that it purposely pads the run time to compensate. I’ve seen movies waste time on screen, but director Virgil W. Vogel’s science fiction adventure obviously had a script comprised of maybe forty pages of actual narrative and writing. The rest of the seventy seven minutes is obvious empty filler, and padding that tries to run out the clock for the sake of the feature length credibility. Set in the general vicinity of Asia, we meet (two of the most grating heroes ever put to film) archaeologists Dr. Roger Bentley and Dr. Jud Bellamin, both of whom are dedicated to finding a mythical race of Sumerian Albinos living deep in the Earth.

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Lunch Ladies (2017) [Women in Horror Month 2019]

Two lunch ladies lose it a bit and feed their high school students something a touch different while day-dreaming of cooking for their beloved Johnny Depp.

Written by Clarissa Jacobson and directed by J.M. Logan, Lunch Ladies is a horror-comedy short that packs a punch. It’s one of those that is easily watched and for which is humor works and so does the gross-out factor. Together, these two create a fun short that more than worth its runtime and that allows the viewer a bit of a break from the usual when they fully give in to what Seretta and LouAnne have to offer. The film is kept tight and moving with just the right amount of everything, creating the perfect balance between everything going on in the film.

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The Bootleg Files: Who’s Out There?

BOOTLEG FILES 672: “Who’s Out There?” (1975 documentary short hosted by Orson Welles).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a public domain label.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Produced for the federal government, hence the absence of a copyright.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: One public domain label carries it, but a full-throttle digital restoration is unlikely.

During the 1970s, a great deal of attention was being paid to outer space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) kept people focused on the sky with its various lunar missions and probes into the deepest corners of the galaxy. But many people insisted that space traffic was a two-way endeavor, and sightings of UFOs along with various claims of personal encounters with intergalactic visitors became headline news throughout the decade.
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Starman (1984): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

You have to give it to John Carpenter. Even when he stumbles, he’s still one of the finest directors around who manages to set himself apart from his contemporaries stylistically. While “Star Man” is an obvious attempt to cash in on the good Spielberg “ET” dough, “Star Man” manages to be a pretty okay movie, either way. Carpenter sets aside his usual nihilism in favor of a more measured alien love story where it retains much of its appeal thanks to the wonderful turns by Karen Allen and Jeff Bridges. This is especially a movie where Allen shines, as she delivers a performance filled with layers and emotion to the very end.

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Blood Runs Down (2017) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Flesh and Blood” Shorts Block

Director Zandashé Brown’s Southern Gothic horror short is a beautifully directed narrative that explores the complex and sometimes darker relationships of mothers and daughters and the stresses of raising a child on one’s own. “Blood Runs Down” has some wonderful imagery and genuinely unsettling moments of terror it’s just mired by ambiguity that makes the overall film somewhat confusing.

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