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    A Letter to Three Wives (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 23rd, 2013

    “To begin with, all the incidents and characters in this story might be fictitious, and any resemblance to you or me might be purely coincidental.”

    Right off the bat, the unseen, all-knowing narrator of A Letter to Three Wives lets her audience know the characters in the film aren’t the only ones who are about to have their heads profoundly messed with. That sort of smart playfulness is one of the many reasons you should check out this terrific romantic dramedy from legendary writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz now that it’s on Blu-ray for the first time.
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    Cavalcade (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 19th, 2013

    All Best Picture winners are not created equal. Some of them achieve cinematic immortality, while others are viewed as outright travesties. Then there’s the group of Oscar winners who have arguably suffered a fate worse than the derision and mockery of movie fanatics: the forgotten Best Picture winners. Cavalcade — described in this Blu-ray’s commentary as “not a particularly well-remembered Academy Award winner” — certainly falls in that category.
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    Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 16th, 2013

    “You know, there’s been a heap of legends and tall tales about Robin Hood. All different, too. Well, we folks of the animal kingdom have our own version. It’s the story of what really happened in Sherwood Forest.”

    It didn’t even start as a Robin Hood story at all. Walt Disney had many ideas and plans for fables and fairy tales that he hoped to bring to life with a feature animation film
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    The Sword in the Stone (50th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 7th, 2013

    The time was that following the death of a good king, England was left without a clear heir to the throne. During the time without a king, England had descended into dark times. Suddenly as if through divine intervention a sword appeared in an anvil of stone. An inscription decreed that whosoever could remove the sword would become king. Think you’ve heard the story before? Well, of course you have. It is none other than the story of King Arthur
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    Bus Stop (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 31st, 2013

    For most modern moviegoers, Marilyn Monroe is probably more “famous for being famous” than she is for her cinematic body of work. (Of course, she’s also infinitely better known for an entirely different “body of work.”) That’s not totally fair because Monroe has at least one bona fide classic (Some Like It Hot) and a handful of indisputably indelible images among her movie credits. Those of you interested in exploring her filmography are in luck: Fox has just released two titles from her mid-1950s superstar peak on Blu-ray, including her turn as an ambitious showgirl in Bus Stop.
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    Niagara (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 30th, 2013

    For most modern moviegoers, Marilyn Monroe is probably more “famous for being famous” than she is for her cinematic body of work. (Of course, she’s also infinitely better known for an entirely different “body of work.”) That’s not totally fair because Monroe has at least one bona fide classic (Some Like It Hot) and a handful of indisputably indelible images among her movie credits. Those of you interested in exploring her filmography are in luck: Fox has just released two titles from her mid-1950s superstar peak on Blu-ray, including her femme fatale turn in Niagara.
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    Love Me Tender (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 29th, 2013

    Elvis Presley was easily one of the most impactful pop culture icons of the 20th century during his life, and that status has barely waned in the decades after his death. (Or “alleged death”, given the number of Elvis sightings each year.) Presley obviously made his most lasting mark in the world of rock and roll music (and fashion), but he also had a surprisingly fruitful film career. Though none of his movies turned out to be cinematic masterpieces and no one was confusing him with Marlon Brando, The King brought his charismatic presence to more than 30 movies between 1956 and 1969. He was 21 when he made his film debut in Love Me Tender.
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    The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2013

    When one thinks of The Dick Van Dyke Show it’s hard not to think of its star Dick Van Dyke. After all, it’s his name on the opening credits, and he does play the lead character in this groundbreaking television comedy. There’s little question that the show became a wonderful vehicle for his many comedic talents. But the genius behind the show wasn’t really Dick Van Dyke at all. It was Carl Reiner (yes, Meathead’s father) who is the true brains behind the show.
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    In Old Arizona (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 13th, 2013

    For a significant part of the last century, the Western was the dominant form of entertainment, ruling the Hollywood roost on both the big and small screen. Some of moviedom’s most iconic sounds — galloping horses, trusty six shooters, Ennio Morricone’s best work, “In this world, there’s two kinds of people: those with loaded guns and those who dig” — have come from the genre. And it all started In Old Arizona.
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    Peter Pan (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 6th, 2013

    “All this has happened before and will all happen again. But this time it happened in London. It happened on a quiet street in Bloomsbury. That corner house is the house of the Darling family, and Peter Pan chose this particular house because these were people who believed in him…”

    In 1953 with a little help from some Walt Disney magic, generations of children, and adults, of course, would learn to believe in the boy who never grew up
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    That Obscure Object of Desire (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 3rd, 2013

    “I’ve changed a lot. I’m not the same woman.”

    Early on in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem, a mild-mannered older gentleman named Mathieu douses a beautiful, battered woman with a bucket of water as she desperately attempts to board the train he’s riding. His fellow passengers are stunned, but also understandably intrigued. What possible sequence of events could’ve led Mathieu to this cold and cartoonish gesture? It’s an irresistible hook, and Mathieu proceeds to regale the other travelers —
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    The Jazz Singer (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 9th, 2013

    If you’re any sort of discerning cinephile — and if you’ve taken the time to visit our fine site, I’m going to assume you are — you’ve probably heard of The Jazz Singer. Of course, for the movie-going public in the late 1920s, The Jazz Singer was unlike anything they’d ever heard: the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue. Or, put more simply, the first “talkie.” Though you probably know it revolutionized the film industry, I’m betting it’s a lot less likely you’ve actually seen The Jazz Singer.
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    French Connection – Signature Series (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 10th, 2012

    “Did you pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?… Have you ever been to Poughkeepsie?… When you were in Poughkeepsie, you sat on the edge of the bed, didn’t you? You put your fingers between your toes and you picked your feet…. If I can’t bust you on this other thing, I’m going to bust you for picking your feet in Poughkeepsie.”

    There can be no argument on this point. The 1970’s was a golden age for the cinema.
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    La Grande Illusion (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 4th, 2012

    – “It’s our duty, this is war.”
    – “Agreed, but even so let’s remember our manners.”

    You know how Citizen Kane is considered by some to be the greatest film of all time? Well, I’m the kind of curious movie nerd who subsequently wonders which film was atop Kane auteur Orson Welles’ personal list. Unfortunately, I can’t ask him, but there’s evidence suggesting the answer was Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion/Grand Illusion.
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    Underdog: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 24th, 2012

    “There’s no need to fear. Underdog is here!”

    Indeed, Underdog was the champion of many a child’s fantasies in the 1960’s when it first reached the airwaves. The show would become the most famous title from the team at Total Television Productions who also brought us the likes of Tennessee Tuxedo and his many friend.
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    Manhattan (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on February 12th, 2012

    It followed Annie Hall by two years, once again reshaping the mass market’s notion of serio-comic romance. With its bittersweet plotting and cynical one-liners, Woody Allen’s Manhattan was an even bigger commercial success than its Oscar-winning predecessor. Its current incarnation on Blu-Ray offers the best chance yet to revisit its eccentric brilliance.
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    ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 13th, 2011

    “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…not even a mouse…”

    The poem is a popular one. It was originally titled A Visit From St. Nick and has been a holiday staple since the 1820’s. No one knows for sure who wrote it, and there are several schools of thought on its authorship. What is not in doubt is that the lines are about as familiar as Christmas itself. Over the years it has been lampooned and used as an inspiration for many films, plays and songs. In 1974 Rankin & Bass tackled the title, and it has since become a holiday staple.
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    It’s a Wonderful Life Giftset (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 2nd, 2011

    Every generation has had its Christmas classics, films that have become as much a part of the holiday family traditions as Christmas trees and candy canes. For me it has been the more modern A Christmas Story with ol’ Carl Kolchak himself, Darren McGavin. Kids today have taken more of a shine to even more recent films, but for more than one generation, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life. Since 1947 the film became a seasonal fixture in neighborhood movie houses across the fruited plain. In the 1970’s the film temporarily fell into the public domain and was played relentlessly on local television stations as each holiday came and went.
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    The Honeymooners : Lost Episodes 1951-1957

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 11th, 2011

    It’s hard to believe that one of the most popular comedy shows of the 1950’s was not really a show at all, at least not in the way that we think of a television series today. The show began its life in 1951 as a segment on the popular Cavalcade of Stars. At that time only Jackie Gleason and Art Carney starred in their familiar roles. Alice was played by Pert Kelton.  The series took its more recognizable look when it became part of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955. That’s also when Joyce Randolph joined the series as Trixie Norton. The series would take up a half hour of the slot.
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