Intrigo: Death of an Author
This film tells us that the gulf between what we want to know and what we can know may never be illuminated.
10 NEW TO NETFLIX
7 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
"All About Eve" (Criterion)
"Now, Voyager" (Criterion)
I can remember discovering Bette Davis when I was young and first became the classic movie-loving cinephile you know today. I did so the same way most people do through the timeless, powerful version of Davis in "All About Eve," which is arguably her most beloved and famous performance, and now available on a Criterion blu-ray. What's fascinating about this month's Criterion one-two punch of "Eve" and "Now, Voyager" is how different these two performances are. You can see the range of her popularity and ability in just two classic films, both accompanied by numerous special features. A highlight of the pair is the stunningly brilliant Farran Smith Nehme's 30-minute history of Davis and why "Voyager" is such an essential part in her career. I think the young me who thought Bette Davis was the best actress that ever lived may have been right.
Special Features - All About Eve
4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Two audio commentaries from 2010, one featuring actor Celeste Holm, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s son Christopher Mankiewicz, and author Kenneth L. Geist; the other featuring author Sam Staggs
All About Mankiewicz, a feature-length documentary from 1983 about the director
Episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from 1969 and 1980 featuring actors Bette Davis and Gary Merrill
New interview with costume historian Larry McQueen
Hollywood Backstories: “All About Eve,” a 2001 documentary featuring interviews with Davis and others about the making of the film
Documentaries from 2010 about Mankiewicz’s life and career; “The Wisdom of Eve,” the 1946 short story on which the film is based, and its real-world inspiration; and a real-life Sarah Siddons Society based on the film’s fictional organization
Radio adaptation of the film from 1951
Promotion for the film featuring Davis
Plus: An essay by critic Terrence Rafferty and “The Wisdom of Eve”
Special Features - Now, Voyager
New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Episode of The Dick Cavett Show from 1971 featuring actor Bette Davis
Interview with actor Paul Henreid from 1980
New selected-scene commentary on the film’s score by scholar Jeff Smith
New interview with film critic Farran Smith Nehme on the making of the film
New interview with costume historian Larry McQueen
Two radio adaptations from 1943 and 1946
Plus: An essay by scholar Patricia White and a 1937 reflection on acting by Davis
Bruce Springsteen fans, unite! Few films have better captured that moment in which one goes from a casual music listener to a lifelong fan of a specific artist. Most of us have that flash of inspiration and it comes when music or any art really speaks to us in a way that we've never heard before. This moving little dramedy is about Javed, a British Pakistani kid in a working-class community in 1987, who happens to discover The Boss. One of the things I really like about this movie is that it's not an American heartland story. It's about how music as good as Springsteen's worked all the way on the other side of the world. It's a bit too inconsistent to be considered great, but that won't stop you from having a smile on your face for most of its running time.
Memoir to Movie
The Most Crazy Thing
"Cold War" (Criterion)
Arguably the biggest surprise of the 2019 Academy Award nominations was the prevalence of this gentle little black-and-white drama from the wonderful Pawel Pawlikowski, who was nominated for Best Director, alongside his cinematographer Lukasz Zal in his category. In fact, if it weren't for the presence of "Roma," this might have won not only Foreign Language Film but director and cinematography too. In nearly any other year, it would have taken at least one of those prizes. People who love "Cold War" LOVE this movie, and so it's wonderful to see it released on a Criterion edition in time for the holidays. Yes, you can watch this movie streaming already, but it feels like something you should own. Long live physical media.
New 4K digital master, supervised by director Paweł Pawlikowski and director of photography Łukasz Żal, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New conversation between Pawlikowski and filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Press conference from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival featuring Pawlikowski and Żal; actors Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, and Borys Szyc; and producer Ewa Puszczyńska
Two 2018 programs on the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Pawlikowski and others
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by film critic Stephanie Zacharek
The team that made the wonderfully quirky reboot of "The Muppets" have done something similar with the hit cartoon "Dora the Explorer," finding a way to make the character work for kids and adults. This is basically a pint-sized Indiana Jones, and it mostly works on that level, thanks in large part to the game performances by the incredibly likable ensemble. It sags in the middle when the newness of its charming approach wears off, and it may end up not having the same replay value as other kids movies, but it's refreshing to see something smart and quirky in a field of children's entertainment that's often dominated by boring sameness.
Bloopers – Take a trip to the wild side with hilarious bloopers of the cast's funniest on-set mishaps.
Deleted and Extended Scenes – Journey deeper into the jungle to find the "lost" scenes not shown in theaters.
All About Dora – Discover how Isabela Moner transformed Dora into a jungle-savvy teenage adventurer for a new generation.
Can You Say Pelicula? – Unlock the mystery of underwater stunts and surviving quicksand with Eugenio Derbez.
Dora In Flower Vision – Explore the movie's playful animated sequence, a treasure trove of nods to Dora's cartoon origins.
Dora's Jungle House – The adventure continues with this behind-the-scenes tour of Dora's jungle house, part museum, part laboratory, and always a place for family.
One of the best companies on the market turns their prodigious talents with special editions and restorations to Paul Verhoeven's 1987 action classic, a movie that was misunderstood as mainstream product when it was released but is actually a pretty subversive commentary on American culture and consumerism. Arrow has given the film the treatment this classic movie deserves, complete with multiple editions (a steelbook and box set with a book), a 4K restoration, and hours of special features. There has to be someone in your family who wants this for Christmas. But is there anyone who's been good enough to deserve it?
Buy it here
4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative by MGM, transferred in 2013 and approved by director Paul Verhoeven
Newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
Director’s Cut and Theatrical Cut of the film on two High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ discs
Original lossless stereo and four-channel mixes plus DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround sound option on both cuts
Six collector’s postcards (Limited Edition exclusive)
Double-sided, fold-out poster (Limited Edition exclusive)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
Limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Omar Ahmed, Christopher Griffiths and Henry Blyth, a 1987 Fangoria interview with Rob Bottin, and archive publicity materials (some contents exclusive to Limited Edition)
DISC ONE – DIRECTOR’S CUT
Archive commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for the Theatrical Cut and re-edited in 2014 for the Director’s Cut)
New commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon
New commentary by fans Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart and Eastwood Allen
The Future of Law Enforcement: Creating RoboCop, a newly filmed interview with co-writer Michael Miner
RoboTalk, a newly filmed conversation between co-writer Ed Neumeier and filmmakers David Birke (writer of Elle) and Nick McCarthy (director of Orion Pictures’ The Prodigy)
Truth of Character, a newly filmed interview with star Nancy Allen on her role as Lewis
Casting Old Detroit, a newly filmed interview with casting director Julie Selzer on how the film’s ensemble cast was assembled
Connecting the Shots, a newly filmed interview with second unit director and frequent Verhoeven collaborator Mark Goldblatt
Composing RoboCop, a new tribute to composer Basil Poledouris featuring film music experts Jeff Bond, Lukas Kendall, Daniel Schweiger and Robert Townson
RoboProps, a newly filmed tour of super-fan Julien Dumont’s collection of original props and memorabilia
2012 Q&A with the Filmmakers, a panel discussion featuring Verhoeven, Davison, Neumeier, Miner, Allen, star Peter Weller and animator Phil Tippett
RoboCop: Creating a Legend, Villains of Old Detroit and Special Effects: Then & Now, three archive featurettes from 2007 featuring interviews with cast and crew
Paul Verhoeven Easter Egg
Four deleted scenes
The Boardroom: Storyboard with Commentary by Phil Tippett
Director’s Cut Production Footage, raw dailies from the filming of the unrated gore scenes
Two theatrical trailers and three TV spots
Extensive image galleries
DISC TWO – THEATRICAL CUT
Archive commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for Theatrical version of the film)
Two Isolated Score tracks (Composer’s Original Mix and Final Theatrical Mix) in lossless stereo
Edited-for-television version of the film, featuring alternate dubs, takes and edits of several scenes (95 mins, SD only)
Split screen comparison of Theatrical and Director’s Cuts
RoboCop: Edited For Television, a compilation of alternate scenes from two edited-for-television versions, newly transferred in HD from recently-unearthed 35mm elements”
"Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"
What a strange little film. First, it's really NOT the movie advertised in the horrible marketing campaign. It's more about mental illness and human complexity than a missing woman. Second, it's way more of a Richard Linklater movie than you may have heard, fitting in with his career coterie of quirky characters. He also knows how to direct actors as well as anyone, drawing solid work from Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup. The problem is the film's episodic nature that relies too heavily on quirkiness for its first half. There's a fine line between eccentric and grating, and this one crosses it a few times. However, as a performance piece, you could do a lot worse.
Buy it here
Bringing Bernadette to Life - Featurette
Who Is Bernadette? - Featurette
The 2020 Oscar nominations.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
A review of Netflix's Dracula, from the creators of Sherlock.
A review of the new Netflix crime docuseries about former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez.