DVD Reviews 

The King and I

by Alan Rapp on February 6, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The King and I
  • IMDb: link

The King and I DVD reviewRe-released on DVD, 1956’s The King and I brought the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical to the big screen in CinemaScope starring Deborah Kerr as schoolteacher Anna Leonowens who instructs more than just her students when she takes a job teaching the children of King Mongkut (Yul Brynner). Winning five Academy Awards (including a Best Actor Oscar for Brynner), the film holds up.

As has been stated in other corners of the Internet, the DVD version of the film is much crisper and cleaner than the Blu-ray release (where lighting and color are both inconsistent). Fans who don’t own the 50th Anniversary DVD should certainly think about adding this to their collection for the music, Brynner’s performance, and an impressive amount of extras.

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Hero at Large

by Alan Rapp on February 2, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Hero at Large
  • IMDb: link

Hero at Large DVD reviewThis Throwback Thursday we take a look back at a mostly forgotten 1980 film Hero at Large starring John Ritter as a struggling actor who becomes the talk of the town when he stops a crime while dressed in the costume of the super-hero Captain Avenger on his way home from the movie’s premiere. Decades before the boom of super-hero movies, director Martin Davidson‘s (Eddie & The Cruisers) movie plays with the concept of what it means to be a hero as our protagonist struggles with the ramifications and consequences of trying to cash-in on his new celebrity.

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Hidden Gem – State and Main

by Alan Rapp on January 26, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: State and Main
  • IMDb: link

State and Main DVD reviewIt’s about purity. We’ll double-down on Throwback Thursday this week to take a quick look at David Mamet‘s underrated 2000 comedy State and Main in which a movie set is forced to relocate to the sleepy town of Waterford, Vermont when their star’s (Alec Baldwin) love of underage girls gets them thrown out of New Hampshire. Immensely entertaining and highly quotable, this one never fails to make me laugh.

Go you Huskies. Featuring an amazing cast, Mamet gives us Philip Seymour Hoffman as the playwright turned screenwriter, William H. Macy as the film’s director, Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker as the film’s stars, and Rebecca Pidgeon, Clark Gregg, and Julia Stiles as townies. All turn out to be perfect fits for Mamet’s quick dialogue that takes equal swipes at Hollywood and small town life but still finds ways to celebrate each.

Everybody needs a hobby. The conflict in the film comes from the dysfunction of the set, the uproar the movie folks have on the town (in both positive and negative ways), and their star’s latest dalliance which puts the entire project in jeopardy.

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For the Love of Spock

by Alan Rapp on January 4, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: For the Love of Spock
  • IMDb: link

For Love of Spock DVD reviewBegun before his father’s death as part of Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary, Adam Nimoy takes a look at Leonard Nimoy‘s life and career, most notably his role as Spock. Including interviews from a wide swath of new and classic Trek actors, Nimoy interviews William Shatner, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, and Zoe Saldana, along with famous fans of Star Trek including Jim Parsons, Jason Alexander, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Although it doesn’t go into much depth about Nimoy’s life or his career, there are some nice anecdotes here and some fun classic stills and footage from his early career. Fans of Star Trek should enjoy themselves.

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Denial

by Alan Rapp on December 31, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Denial
  • IMDb: link

Denial Blu-ray reviewDenial is an intriguing film that, even if it never quite becomes as compelling as it should be, is still highly watchable. Rachel Weisz stars as Holocaust historian and author Deborah Lipstadt who is harassed and sued by Holocaust denier Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) for her comments hurting his reputation. Both the subject matter (and its ramifications) and the venue (Rampton chooses to sue her in a British court where the burden of proof falls on our author rather than the denier), separate it a bit from the pack of recent legal dramas.

Concerned with protecting the truth and exposing a dangerous man whose lies, if allowed to spread, may obscure the ugly truth of history from the future, Lipstadt chooses to fight rather than settle the case realizing by doing so she gives her enemy a pulpit to preach from but also hoping to destroy the man’s credibility once and for all. Available in DVD and Blu-ray, extras include a single behind-the-scenes featurette and the film’s trailer.

[Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Blu-ray $29.98 / DVD $22.98]

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