03rd Aug2017

‘The Music Room (Jalsaghar)’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Chhabi Biswas, Gangapada Bose, Kali Sarkar, Padma Devi | Written and Directed by Satyajit Ray After the commercial failure of the second part of his Apu Trilogy, Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray opted for more commercially viable material for his next project. He turned to writer Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, and a short story about a landlord […]

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25th Jul2017

‘Stalker’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko, Alisa Freindlich | Written by Boris Strugatsky, Arkadi Strugatsky | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky Based on Boris and Arkadi Strugatsky’s novel Roadside Picnic (not to mention the inspiration behind a famous video game series), this 1979 epic is a typically challenging work from Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky, but […]

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18th May2017

’12 Angry Men’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, Jack Warden | Written by Reginald Rose | Directed by Sidney Lumet It’s the hottest day of the year and a dozen men – not universally perturbed at this point – are put in a room and asked to consider the guilt […]

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01st May2017

‘Tampopo’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Ken Watanabe, Rikiya Yasuoka | Written and Directed by Juzo Itami The life and death of actor and director Juzo Itami is an incredible story in itself (he was allegedly killed by the Yakuza following his gangster movie Minbo), but he was no slouch in putting bizarre stories on the […]

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24th Apr2017

‘The Life of Oharu’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshiaki Onoe, Benkei Shiganoya, Tsukie Matsuura | Written by Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoshikata Yoda | Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi The overarching Buddhist message of Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1952 epic should provide a clue as to the sheer depth of misery our eponymous heroine must endure in her lifetime. Death, and another chance in the […]

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18th Apr2017

‘Solaris [1972]‘ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Jüri Järvet | Written by Andrei Tarkovsky; Fridrikh Gorenshtein | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky It’s Will Self’s favourite movie, it spawned a good remake which barely nudged the box office, and it has been described as the Soviet answer to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It combines the laid-back, character-based […]

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29th Mar2017

‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Yunosuke Ito, Go Kato | Written by Kazuo Koike, Tsutomu Nakamura | Directed by Kenji Misumi, Buichi Saito, Yoshiyuki Kuroda Producing six films across two years (1972-1974) is no mean feat, especially when you consider that they mostly retain their quality throughout. Based on the 28-volume manga series by Kazuo […]

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06th Mar2017

‘Multiple Maniacs’ Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole | Written and Directed by John Waters It may not be immediately apparent how this – his second feature, a meandering, 16mm extravaganza of micro-budget bad taste made in 1969 – could be John Waters’ highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes.  But in a way it makes sense: […]

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24th Feb2017

‘Cul-De-Sac’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lionel Stander, Françoise Dorléac, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier | Written by Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach | Directed by Roman Polanski Roman Polanski’s taste for dark absurdist comedy is in full swing in 1966 comedy-thriller Cul-De-Sac. It’s his second English-language film, sandwiched between Repulsion and Fearless Vampire Killers. Compared with his towering classics […]

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10th Feb2017

‘Mildred Pierce’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett, Butterfly McQueen | Written by Ranald MacDougall, Catherine Turney | Directed by Michael Curtiz The shadow of Casablanca will always loom over Michael Curtiz’s bumper filmography, but time has been nearly as kind to Mildred Pierce, an adaptation of James M. Cain’s 1941 novel. A Joan […]

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31st Jan2017

‘Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams’ Review (Criterion Collection)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Akira Terao, Martin Scorsese, Mieko Harada, Mitsuko Baisho | Written by Akira Kurosawa | Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Ishiro Honda Made in 1990, in the twilight of his career, this is the kind of out-there movie that only an auteur of Akira Kurosawa’s status could have brought (or had financed) to fruition. He had […]

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24th Jan2017

‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Luke Wilson | Written and Directed by Wes Anderson The final part of Wes Anderson’s “Owen Wilson trilogy” (the last Wilson co-wrote) is a typically oddball family opera. From the opening scene we see the Anderson tropes: A muzaked cover of a […]

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23rd Jan2017

‘The Squid and the Whale’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, David Benger, Anna Paquin | Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach As they bicker over the tennis net and over the dinner table, there’s tension in the Berkman family from the start. The year is 1986, and a pair of middle class Brooklyn parents […]

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19th Jan2017

‘Punch-Drunk Love’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzman, Mary Lynn Rajskub | Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson If you’re Paul Thomas Anderson, how do you follow up a succession of sprawling epics like Boogie Nights and Magnolia? Why, you make a small-scale rom-com, of course. Except this is PTA, so it’s not […]

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17th Jan2017

‘His Girl Friday’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart | Written by Charles Lederer | Directed by Howard Hawks Walter (Cary Grant) and Hildy (Rosalind Russell) used to be married. Hildy is a journalist looking for a way out of the biz, but Walter – who also happens to be her ex-boss – wants to […]

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16th Jan2017

‘Black Orpheus’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Lea Garcia | Written by Marcel Camus, Vinicius de Moraes, Jacques Viot | Directed by Marcel Camus Made in 1959 by the French filmmaker Marcel Camus, Black Orpheus is a Portuguese-language adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Here it is relocated to Rio de […]

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11th May2016

‘It Happened One Night’ Blu-Ray Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Jameson Thomas, Alan Hale, Arthur Hoyt, Blanche Friderici | Screenplay by Robert Riskin | Directed by Frank Capra Spoiled but spirited socialite Ellie (Claudette Colbert) flees her privileged life commandeered by her overbearing father and ends up sharing a bus ride across America with cynical, hard-drinking newspaperman Peter (Clark Gable). If […]

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03rd May2016

‘Only Angels Have Wings’ Blu-ray Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Jean Arthur, Cary Grant, Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell, Allyn Joslyn, Sig Ruman, Victor Kilian | Screenplay by Jules Furthman | Directed by Howard Hawks When thinking about the great flying pictures of Hollywood’s Golden Age, many would immediately turn to war films containing dogfights, high political drama and the sense that all the death we […]

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25th Apr2016

‘Speedy’ Blu-ray Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff, Brooks Benedict, Babe Ruth | Written by John Grey, Lex Neal & Howard Emmett Rogers | Directed by Ted Wilde One of the three giants of silent cinema in Hollywood (the others were Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton), Harold Lloyd is well-known for his impressive stunt work (albeit overshadowed somewhat by Keaton’s own […]

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23rd Nov2013

‘Frances Ha’ Criterion Collection Review

by Dan Clark

Stars: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Esper | Written by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig | Directed by Noah Baumbach Age is certainly not a determining factor on maturity. As generations have gone on the line between adolescents and adulthood has become more and more blurry. If you were to look at the responsibility of […]

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