After the Silence (1995) – DVD Review

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Vivienne Radkoff
Directed by: Fred Gerber
Starring: JoBeth Williams, Kellie Martin, S. Epatha Merkenson

Released by: MPI Video
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1.

My Advice: Run from it like someone is chasing you with a hot iron.

Laura (Martin) has a truly horrible life. Not only does she have an abusive father, she is deaf. Even worse, she has no knowledge of sign language or reading and writing. Even her escape from her father is wretched since she went through a third story window and onto the street instead of the door as most of us would do. While in the hospital, she meets Pam Willis (Williams), a social worker with a heart of gold and loads of gumption. She bonds with the sad little deaf girl and valiantly fights through her communications ignorance, a heartless bureaucracy, and the aforementioned asshole father.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:23:03+00:00 December 28th, 2007|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

Drunken Angel: Criterion Collection (1948) – DVD Review

Drunken Angel Criterion Collection DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Japanese Title: Yoidore tenshi

Written by: Akira Kurosawa & Keinosuke Uegusa
Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Reisaburo Yamamoto, Michiyo Kogure, Chieko Nakakita

Features:

  • Running audio commentary with Japanese film scholar Donald Richie
  • Making-of docu
  • “Kurosawa and the Censors” featurette
  • Essay by cultural historian Ian Buruma
  • Two chapters from Kurosawa’s 1983 book Something Like an Autobiography

Released by: Criterion Collection
Region: 1
Rating: The IMDB lists this as PG-13, which makes no sense as the film was released in 1959 in the U.S. and PG-13 wasn’t established as a rating by the MPAA until 1984. I’m thinking this is actually not rated at all, but regardless, be aware of some violence and language.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

My Advice: Buy it for Kurosawa and for Criterion.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:24:09+00:00 December 10th, 2007|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

Blackwater Valley Exorcism (2006) – DVD Review

Blackwater Valley Exorcism DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by Ellary Eddy
Directed by Ethan Wiley
Starring Cameron Daddo, Kristin Erickson, Randy Colton, and Jeffrey Combs (briefly)

Features:

  • Running audio commentary by director Wiley and actor Daddo
  • Featuerette: “Making of Blackwater Valley Exorcism

Released by: Lionsgate.
Rating: R
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Get Behind Me, Satan.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. Young virginal girl gets possessed by a demon and gets all violent and slutty. Medical science failed so the family turns to a priest with lots of self doubt. Lots of Latin is spoken and God is invoked a lot while the girl says nasty things to everybody. I could fill in the details, but…really, why bother?

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By | 2017-09-24T23:24:56+00:00 November 24th, 2007|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

Under the Volcano (1984) – Criterion Collection DVD Review

Under the Volcano: Criterion Collection: DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Guy Gallo, based on the novel by Malcolm Lowry
Directed by: John Huston
Starring: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews, Ignacio López Tarso, Katy Jurado

Features:

  • Running audio commentary with executive producer Michael Fitzgerald and producers Wieland Schulz-Keil and Moritz Borman
  • Select scene commentary with scribe Gallo
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Video interview with Bisset
  • 1984 audio interview with director Huston conducted by French film critic Michel Ciment
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry
  • Essay by film critic Christian Viviani

Released by: Criterion Collection
Region: 1
Rating: R.
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Buy it for Finney and for Criterion.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:24:57+00:00 November 23rd, 2007|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

Ultraman!: Still Airwolf After All These Years

Ultraman Series One Volume Two box art

There comes a time in the life of every daikaiju and/or tokusatsu fan when we must draw the line. Will we love the American Godzilla release merely because it stars our favorite giant lizard (and Ferris Bueller)? Will we love Mothra, but not Gamera, because a giant flying tortoise is just silly? Luckily for daikaiju fans everywhere, no matter where you draw it, that line always includes Ultraman, and the second (and final) volume of the original 1960s series is awaiting you on DVD.

Sure, the monsters are obviously just people wearing rubber suits, and sure, a giant alien superhero with a package is kinda scary, and sure, the actor was hired more for how he looks in skin-tight silver and red spandex than for his acting skills, but who cares? It has futuristic space guns! Something they actually called “The Science Patrol”! And the odd spaceship here and there! And giant robots! And giant other stuff! Giant! Other! Stuff! If you don’t know the story already from Saturday mornings when you were ten, it is as follows: Hayata is a typical henshin character–that is, he can transform into something. In his case, he can channel the power of a giant space superhero (I mean, seriously–how can you not love it already? Just ask Ernest Cline about how awesome this show is.) from a far-off planet in Nebula M78. In this form, he commences to the kicking of evil arse, all the while looking quite fly and posing dramatically at appropriate points. Every episode, he encounters and then defeats one of a host of nasty villains, and now you can see it all in digitally restored, stereo (try that on your old 1974 TV!), with the original fascinating Japanese audio fully intact.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:25:02+00:00 November 15th, 2007|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

Top Amazon Sales Through Needcoffee for the First Half of 2007

JK Rowling

So I was curious about what you fine folks are ordering from Amazon through the site. Because we have a really wacky demographic, hitting all kinds of ages and locations and whatnot. When I try to describe you, our readers, to various studios and such when they’re deciding what stuff to send us to cover, they’re a bit confused. But aren’t we all?

Anyway, so looking back over the last six months, here’s the top five things you guys have ordered, listed here for your dancing and dining pleasure.

#5. Heroes Season 1. As I’ve said before, you guys are mad for Heroes. And these are just pre-orders! Maybe when it hits on DVD (next month) I’ll be able to actually watch the thing on my own time, but it’s fairly obvious that the comic geeks among you crave the stuff.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:30:24+00:00 July 1st, 2007|Books, DVD, Headsup|0 Comments

Adverse Video Review: The Wraith: He’s Not From Around Here

DVD cover art of The Wraith

Oh no, not another 1980s-teen-drama-action- space-invader-that-drives-a-racecar-but-is-the-real-hero-movie!

The trick to watching this cult classic wannabe is not to. But if you like having that good old friendly upchuck feeling at the back of your throat on occasion and you don’t do porn, then The Wraith is upchucktastic!

The Cover says it all friends. Staring Charlie Sheen, Randy Quaid, Sherilyn Fenn (hot), and Nick Cassavetes. With Music Performed by Ozzy Osborne, Billy Idol, and Robert Palmer. Are you pumped yet?

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By | 2017-09-24T23:30:31+00:00 June 24th, 2007|DVD, Reviews|12 Comments

Contest: Win The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series on DVD!

The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series

Okay, I had Doc tie a rope around my waist so I could be yanked out if I went too far into the swag closet and got lost. Well, I came back out again clutching the following: yes, it’s a copy of The Greatest American Hero on DVD. The whole shebang, in a limited edition collectible tin. $100 value. Nice.

Okay, this has the whole series in it, as well as a replica-thing of the instruction manual (it doesn’t have a lot of pages, but it does light up, so it’s a tradeoff), a cape, and a decal. William Katt, Robert Culp, Connie Sellecca…show created by Stephen J. Cannell, who by law had to create 75% of the series during the 80s. So if you’re a fan, you want this.

How to win? Enter. You can even enter once a day. We’re easy. Proceed.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:30:31+00:00 June 24th, 2007|Contests, DVD, TV|1 Comment

Dave McKean on DVD Soon? Yes, Have Some.

Dave McKean is amazing. I’ve mentioned getting a chance to see his videos before. And what did I say? I wanted a McKean films DVD.

The Neil reports that I’m going to get my wish, apparently. A DVD of his stuff should be ready by San Diego. Rock. On. And looking on Amazon…what do I see? I think this is it, available now to pre-order! Badass!

Mr. Gaiman was also nice enough to point out this Squidoo lens where a bunch of YouTubes of McKean films are posted (that’s where I got the one above, the lovely “The Week Before”).

His very cool interp of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138 comes after the break.

Direct link for “The Week Before” for the feedreaders.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:31:10+00:00 June 6th, 2007|DVD|0 Comments