Posts Tagged ‘Criterion’


[Reviewed by: Alex Miller]

1977 was a year in which many cinematic classics were released – Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Annie Hall, The Goodbye Girl, & The Spy Who Loved Me just to name a few. Yet when Roger Ebert made his list of the 10 best films from 1977 his top pick was a film most haven’t even heard of, much less seen – 3 Women. I recently saw the Criterion edition DVD sitting in my local library and knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed. (more…)


[Posted by: Alex Miller]

If you’ve been reading this site for a while you know we are big fans of the Criterion Collection. We even do a special “Criterion Review” series here. Not only do they have great taste in selecting their films, but they also give them the treatment they deserve. Which is why it is so cool that they are now offering many great films/documentaries for free via Hulu! They are even offering 18 “Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman” films up. Quentin Tarantino makes tons of references to them in his films, so now you can actually watch them and know what the hell he is talking about. Documentaries that are offered include: “For All Mankind”, “Burden of Dreams”, “Grey Gardens”, and “The Beales of Grey Gardens”

Just go ahead and take my word for it those are some damn good films, and the price couldn’t be better. Click here and start watching!


[Reviewed by: Eric Raymer]

Carl Theodor Dreyer / 1928 / "You say that you are sent by God?"

If you’ve ever shyed away from silent films or doubted that they can carry the emotion or depth of a modern feature, The Passion of Joan of Arc will gladly shatter your preconceptions. This is undoubtedly one of the most emotionally powerful performances ever put to film, and is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The film’s director, Carl Dreyer, was given a relatively large budget and could have likely produced a grand historical epic if he chose. Instead, he focused on solely the trial and execution of Joan, and based his script on the historical transcripts from the trial. The focus here isn’t the plot – little to nothing is told of Joan’s time with the French army or her capture. The spiritual and emotional journey of Joan are what drive this film. You can ponder whether she was truly divinely inspired or somewhat delusional, but more than anything you’ll find yourself drawn in by the humanity of her plight as she struggles with maintaining her faith, even to her death. (more…)


Reviewed by: Alex Miller

Kon Ichikawa, 1959 / "Kill yourself only if you have to."

Although this is technically the 2nd Criterion Collection film we have reviewed (after Videodrome), this is the first in our “Criterion Review” series. If you don’t know what the Criterion Collection is, it’s basically a company the strives to release important classic and contemporary films while giving them the highest possible treatment. Crtierion DVDs/Blurays are known for their high quality video transfers, outstanding cover art, and exclusive bonus features. Here is a complete List of the Collection. Now without further adue let’s take a look at today’s film “Fires on the Plain”!

Some people go to the movies for pure entertainment. Others go because they view film as a form of artwork that can be both deep and moving. I think film can be either one or both. This film, while entertaining to me, is dark and depressing. It is definitly art, however. This is a WWII movie from the Japanese perspective, released in 1959. It follows starving Japanese soldiers in the closing days of WWII when the only thing more scarce than food is hope. While it doesn’t try to make any political statements regarding that particular war, it is definitly an anti-war in general film. In the included interview, Director Kon Ichikawa states that he wanted to show the horrors of war at every possible opportunity. He himself was from Hiroshima, but he was away when the atomic bomb hit. He came back to see the utter destruction which he says, “no words can describe”, believing his family had been completely wiped out. Luckily he later found out that at least some of his family had managed to survive, but I think he channels this moment of total despair into the movie. (more…)


[Author: Alex Miller]

"Television is reality, and reality is less than television."

Here is the beginning of a series where we’ll review cult classic films worth a look. This is a modernized fan-made trailer but I actually think it’s more representative of the film than the real trailer from the time. Click the jump for our review! (more…)