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by Michael Barrett

20 Mar 2017


While most of the titles in Kino Lorber’s Studio Classics line of Blu-rays are reasonably well-known titles that have been on DVD before, the company here performs a service in exhuming a pre-Code spectacle lost for decades. It’s of special interest to fans of old-school physical effects and early science fiction talkies.

Deluge  is an early example of what we now call the disaster film, though at the time it was advertised as a spectacle whose closest model was the same year’s King Kong. Based on a popular English novel by S. Fowler Wright, it posits an apocalypse convulsing the world with earthquakes and tsunamis, leaving survivors to rebuild.

by Michael Barrett

17 Mar 2017


Angela Lansbury and Michael York

Belying its ironic title, Harold Prince’s 1970 film, Something for Everyone, is hardly well-known, never mind a mainstream hit. It is, however, a cult specialty in that intersects several important careers more famous for Tony-winning Broadway work. With its VHS incarnations out of print for decades, it finally hits the digital era.

Riding a bicycle through Austria in his lederhosen, Konrad (Michael York) sets his sights on a castle currently owned by the poverty-stricken Countess von Ornstein (Angela Lansbury). It’s the same castle featured in his much-thumbed children’s picture book, and he will calmly go about inveigling himself into that fairy-tale ruin by any means necessary. This will involve romancing an heiress (Heidelinde Weis) and getting a job as a footman under the suspicious eye of a butler (Wolfried Lier), who represents the Nazi past.

by Michael Barrett

16 Mar 2017


Written, produced and directed by Ken Russell, The Boy Friend  isn’t merely one of his most exuberant films, which is already saying plenty, but it’s his happiest and most joyful.

Russell began with a solid structure provided by Sandy Wilson’s hit stage musical of the ‘50s, itself a self-conscious pastiche of ‘20s musicals. The original West End production became one of England’s longest-running shows, while the Broadway version introduced Julie Andrews to America. The year before this film was made, a Broadway revival starred Judy Carne and Sandy Duncan. It was part of a schizophrenic wave of ‘20s nostalgia that was hitting the culture with such items as the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie (with Andrews) and the 1971 Broadway revival of No No Nanette at the same time that taboo-breaking projects explored contemporary themes.

by Imran Khan

15 Mar 2017


Charles Miller as Kofi

A neatly constructed, though somewhat ineffectual, drama of conflicting love lives, Somewhere in the Middle (2015) marks the second outing of filmmaker and screenwriter Lanre Olabisi. Purely a product of New York filmmaking, Olabisi’s effort feels like a contentious New York minute stretched out and emotionally dissected systematically over its 90-minute running time.

Somewhere in the Middle is a romantic narrative told in ellipses. One storyline circles over another and is played back again to reveal how each character’s story is intertwined with another’s.

by Michael Barrett

8 Mar 2017


Sometimes a serious, impressive, well-made movie slips quietly from the memory while a trivial piece of silliness sticks in the mind. Only time provides the proof, which is offered here on a Blu-ray with eye-popping Deluxe color and shiny glorious Cinemascope of a quintessential ‘60s trifle.

Like the similarly fluffy 1967 item Woman Times Seven, What a Way to Go! exists only as a vehicle to surround Shirley MacLaine with several big-name leading men. As poor little rich heiress Louisa May Foster, she spends the whole movie alternately hugging and sobbing over her co-stars while changing outfits. Her most common expression here is the gasping, eye-welling pout accompanied by a moan of comic grief.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Smudge and Jury: The Punk-Noir Pulp of 'I, The Jury'

// Short Ends and Leader

"With all the roughneck charm of a '40s-era pulp novel and much style to spare, I, The Jury is a good, popcorn-filling yarn.

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