The Best of the Marx Brothers in one Blu-ray Box

The Marx Brothers used comedy to deflate the pompous and tear down the establishment. They turned respectable, upper-class society into anarchy and surrealism. They also made us laugh. The brothers honed their comedy in vaudeville, jumped to Broadway, and made the leap to Hollywood at the height of the talkie revolution. They made their first … Continue reading The Best of the Marx Brothers in one Blu-ray Box

Along time in the making: Boyhood on Blu-ray

Richard Linklater's Boyhood is such a unique and important experience that I had to make an exception. I usually limit my Blu-ray reviews to classic films. But when I discovered that Criterion was releasing a two-disc, supplement-filled Blu-ray release of Richard Linklater's epic story of everyday life, I had to give it a good, long … Continue reading Along time in the making: Boyhood on Blu-ray

High Noon Blu-ray Review

Small, compact, and brimming with suspense, High Noon feels nothing like the other A westerns of the post-war period--epic movies like Red River, My Darling Clementine, and The Searchers. With its 85-minute runtime and looks-like-every-other-western sets, it feels more like the forgettable B oaters Hollywood was cranking out weekly in those days. But unlike those … Continue reading High Noon Blu-ray Review

Chimes at Midnight Blu-ray Review

Orson Welles boiled down five related Shakespeare plays, found the comic tragedy at their core, and created a masterpiece. Chimes at Midnight, also known as Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight, has been unavailable in anything like a complete version for decades. With the recent theatrical restoration, and Criterion's new Blu-ray based on that restoration, it's finally … Continue reading Chimes at Midnight Blu-ray Review

A+ List: The world ends with a bang, a whimper, and a lot of laughs in Criterion’s Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove

Stanley Kubrick's only out-and-out comedy, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, manages to terrify the audience, hold them in suspense, and trick them into rooting for people about to cause Armageddon, all the while generating side-splitting laughter. As the darkest of dark comedies, Dr. Strangelove earns its place … Continue reading A+ List: The world ends with a bang, a whimper, and a lot of laughs in Criterion’s Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove

The New Buster Keaton Shorts Collection on Blu-ray

How can anyone describe the beauty, grace, and breathtaking hilarity of Buster Keaton in his silent film prime? An actor, an acrobat, and a brilliant filmmaker, he spent the 1920s making some of the funniest and technically sophisticated comedies ever preserved on film. Since I can't describe him, here's a highlight reel of some of … Continue reading The New Buster Keaton Shorts Collection on Blu-ray

Bicycle Thieves as great as ever on Blu-ray

If the point of cinema is to create empathy, both for the characters on the screen and for real people, Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves is the greatest film ever made. It's about desperate poverty, and how the desperately poor feed on the desperately poor because they have no other options. I wrote about this … Continue reading Bicycle Thieves as great as ever on Blu-ray