Swing Time (1936): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was an absolutely peerless pair of brilliant dancers that didn’t just inject chemistry on the dance floor, but also as a romantic pairing. Whether they were swooning over one another, or tap dancing in sync, it’s impossible not to be caught up in “Swing Time.” George Stevens’ classic romance comedy and musical takes the pairing as mismatched strangers that fall in love over the art of dance and their performances that look effortless but actually act as their own characters.

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The Bootleg Files: Peter Lemongello – Love 76

BOOTLEG FILES 691: “Peter Lemongello – Love 76” (1976 TV commercial for a double-album release).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There is no reissue channel for old TV advertisements.


Back in the 1970s, the only way aspiring singers could achieve stardom was to go through major record labels that produced music that received constant playing on popular radio stations. But one unlikely singer made a bold attempt to buck the system and circumvent his way to stardom. His efforts ultimately failed to work, but it laid the groundwork for a bold new approach to popular music marketing.
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Shorts Round Up of the Week – 3/28/19

For this week’s edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” we have a look at pitch for toys involving Italian Turtles, a horror tale about a pale lady, and a comedic spoof of an eighties Christmas horror classic.

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

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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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Fyre (2019)

In 2017, Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule promoted what was promising to be an expensive but highly attended music festival called Fyre. After promising patrons would be given luxury suites and hob knob with models and music stars, news broke when festival goers met with less than accommodating conditions. Chaos would soon ensue as lives were put at risk and public safety became a major concern spawning one of the biggest scandals of the year. The Fyre festival debacle was an event that was begging to be turned in to a film and director Chris Smith chronicles the creation of what promised to be one of the most elite and luxurious music festivals.

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Jailhouse Rock (1957)

In a way “Jailhouse Rock” also works as something of a pseudo-biography that would prophesize a lot of Presley’s endeavors. Whether or not intentional, “Jailhouse Rock” serves as a fascinating and often entertaining peek in to what the man would become, except with some slightly sweeter end results. Richard Thorpe’s “Jailhouse Rock” is a solid Elvis Presley vehicle that presents the definitive Presley on film. If you’ve never seen a single Elvis film, this is the great place to begin tracking his film career.

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Empire Records (1995)

Even for a nineties kid like me, I can fully acknowledge that “Empire Records” is a clumsy, tonally uneven, and terrible coming of age dramedy. It works hard to be as relevant and generation defining as “Dazed and Confused” or “Clerks,” but it comes up short as artificial and hollow, despite its great soundtrack. “Empire Records” even for 1995 is a pretty insufferable film that never quite finds humanity in its archetypes and cast of nineties youngsters. It’s hard to enjoy a film that features a fun sing along to AC/DC one moment, and a tear soaked nervous breakdown by one of the characters who pops pills forty five minutes later.

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Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

You can almost look at “Hearts Beat Loud” as something of an urban “Once,” in where music is something of the soul behind a very human story of two lost individuals in a somewhat turbulent world. This time around we meet father and daughter Sam and Frank, both of whom never really healed from a horrendous loss that they experienced many years before the narrative starts. In one instance, Frank literally sits at the scene of his wife’s death, which is still a memorial standing in the middle of a busy street, and tries to figure out where to go next.

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