• Panique

    Director Julien Duvivier’s Panique, a French-language adaptation of a Georges Simenon novel just after the end of World War II, features Michel Simon playing an anti-social man of mystery residing in a Paris suburb and rendered a target of mob-rule suspicions after a woman’s body is discovered following her outdoor murder. Dialogue and performances are top-rung, … Continue reading “Panique”

  • The Last Command

    The Last Command, filmed and distributed by Republic in close to its final high-profile shot at industry survival, is a low-key affair by Alamo-movie standards that sets its table by delving more into the preliminary relationship between the Texans and Mexicans than most in its specific genre do, while J. Carrol Naish as Santa Ana … Continue reading “The Last Command”

  • First Man

    Director Damien Chazelle’s visually impressive biopic about the first man to walk on the surface of the moon challenges viewers’ expectations about what a film about the space program is supposed to be by focusing on the man instead of the mission, presenting an intimate and not always flattering portrait of an American hero that … Continue reading “First Man”

  • Bad Times at the El Royale

    While Drew Goddard’s latest directorial effort isn’t as memorable as his horror deconstruction The Cabin in the Woods, the neo-noir thriller Bad Times at the El Royale still offers a solid showcase for its talented cast, a soundtrack fueled by a dynamite selection of period-appropriate songs, and a quirky setting that serves the story well. … Continue reading “Bad Times at the El Royale”

  • Starman: Collector’s Edition

    As discussed in depth in the bonus materials of the new Scream Factory Blu-ray of 1984’s Starman, director John Carpenter was eager to use the film to veer away from the scary fare he was known for and into the gentler realms of sci-fi and romance. Jeff Bridges anchors the film with a quirky, subtle … Continue reading “Starman: Collector’s Edition”

  • A Simple Favor

    While a movie based on a dark mystery thriller novel might seem like an odd choice for a director known primarily for comedy, Paul Feig is able to deliver an entertaining adaptation of Darcey Bell’s A Simple Favor filled with plenty of twists and turns, driven by a pair of winning performances from his leading … Continue reading “A Simple Favor”

  • The Shield: The Complete Series

    Fans of “The Shield” won’t want to miss this new Blu-ray edition of the gritty cop drama, featuring all 88 episodes remastered into a nice-looking high-definition presentation that maintains the raw, textured look that helped give the series its unique flavor. Michael Chiklis shines as corrupt cop Vic Mackey, who set the stage for the … Continue reading “The Shield: The Complete Series”

  • The Atomic Cafe

    An artful assemblage of Cold War propaganda films about dealing with the atomic age and potential nuclear war, The Atomic Cafe’s near-singular mix of solemnity and gonzo remains as relevant as ever. The new Blu-ray restoration makes the film look and sound as good as it ever did, accompanied by a trove of bonus materials. … Continue reading “The Atomic Cafe”

  • The Glenn Miller Story

    Director Anthony Mann’s The Glenn Miller Story stars James Stewart as famed bandleader whose plane disappeared over the English Channel during World War II. The biopic really gets going in the second half thanks Mann’s staging of the musical numbers and Stewart’s cooly commanding performance. BLU-RAY REVIEW: Shout! Factory; Drama; $22.99 Blu-ray; Rated ‘G.’ Stars … Continue reading “The Glenn Miller Story”