I accidentally posted an unready article called Movies I’ve recently seen. The real article will go up Wednesday morning.
I usually only review Blu-rays of films that I already know and like. I want to explore how a film I know is good is getting a worthwhile presentation. I consider the quality of the image, the sound, and the extras. But with Ernst Lubitsch's 1924 silent melodrama, Three Women, I was buying a pig … Continue reading Three Women Blu-ray
The California Theatre, Berkeley's only true movie palace, is in danger of disappearing. I suspect that the California will be gone within months. Built in 1913, this is one of the last Art Deco movie theaters in the Bay Area. Inside and out, the California felt like you were entering a glorious adventure. Like other … Continue reading Losing Berkeley’s California Theatre
I was never a fan of The Matrix franchise. The very concept of these films bothered me since I saw the first one (I'll go into this below). I saw the first two movies when they were relatively new, with no desire to see more. I skipped the third movie when it came out. But … Continue reading Matrixes: Kung Fu, digital effects, and ridiculous stories
Robert Altman spent much of the 1970s blowing up and taking down Hollywood's favorite genres. He added the horrors of war to the military comedy with M*A*S*H. He then took down the western with McCabe and Mrs. Miller (my favorite Altman movie). He dissected the musical with Nashville. So, you shouldn't be surprised that Altman … Continue reading The Long Goodbye on Blu-ray
A lot of very good films will disappear from The Criterion Channel on December 1. If you want to see any of the movies listed below, stream them before December. And if you don't subscribe, you can start a 14-day free trial. Full recommendations A+ The Crowd (1927) If you can only stream one of … Continue reading What’s leaving Criterion at the end of November
Here is my last set of Mill Valley Film Festival previews. No bad ones this time. I won't be posting any MVFF reviews until after opening night. A The Rescue, USA/UK, documentary, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin Now here's a documentary as suspenseful as anything from Alfred Hitchcock. But then, nothing's more … Continue reading Mill Valley Film Fest: Preview 2
Come September, Charlie Chaplin's best shorts and Georges Méliès' colorful fairy tales will disappear from the Criterion Channel. And along with them, are a lot of very good feature-length films. I don't want to discuss all of these shorts (although, among the Chaplins, the best are The Immigrant, Easy Street, and best of all, The … Continue reading What’s leaving Criterion at the end of August
There's a theme going through this list of theoretically random movies - they're all listed at the bottom of my last Criterion article. A- The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) This is much more than an attack on 1950's conformity. Gregory Peck stars as a father, husband, and breadwinner, and doing all that … Continue reading Movies I’ve Recently Seen: The Gray Flannel Suit | Charming Bourgeoise | The Blue Dahlia | Crossfire
Like almost everyone else, I haven't seen a movie in the theater in more than a year. But come Friday, that will change. Berkeley's Shattuck Cinema opens tomorrow with eleven films from this year and last. I've seen seven of these films, but only at home. And yes, I know that other theaters have been … Continue reading Movies on the big screen – in Berkeley!