Twilight Time has recently released a strong selection of crime-related Blu-rays, ranging from Marilyn Monroe’s debut as a lead in Roy Ward Baker’s Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) to Sam Fuller’s powerful revenge noir Underworld USA (1961), from Larry Peerce’s urban nightmare The Incident (1967) to a pair of ’70s exercises in police realism, Richard Fleischer’s The New Centurions (1972) and Philip D’Antoni’s The Seven-Ups (1973).
20 years after the BBC commissioned and then suppressed The War Game, Peter Watkins’ devastating depiction of a nuclear attack on England, the Corporation produced Mick Jackson’s Threads, an even more powerful film on the theme. Synapse has released Threads on an impressive new Blu-ray.
Like many filmmakers of his generation, Walter Hill began his career with strong, individualistic work, but somehow eventually drifted into aimlessness. His directorial debut, Hard Times (1975), still holds up, but his most recent film, The Assignment (2016), is transgressive but unfocused.
More eclectic recent viewing, from 1970s detective noir to an Italian anthology from the ’60s to Japanese horror and classic ’50s sci-fi.
A round-up of recent reviewing across multiple genres – western, black comedy, musical, animation, road movie.
A new digital restoration of King Hu’s epic period ghost story Legend of the Mountain (1979) from Masters of Cinema reveals this languid masterpiece in all its pictorial glory; a stunning dream of a movie.
Recent viewing includes a range of genre movies, from bloated big-budget international productions to scrappy low-budget independents, from large-scale fantasies to lo-fi science fiction, from horror remakes and sequels … all available on Blu-ray.
The ambitious and very expensive early sound-era musical King of Jazz, featuring Paul Whiteman and his band, gets a spectacular restoration which makes the most of the original two-strip Technicolor process on Criterion’s extras-packed Blu-ray.
A critical, but long-suppressed film from the New German Cinema, Volker Schlöndorff’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s first play Baal (1970) gets an impressive release on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection. This aggressively unsettling film is packaged with an excellent selection of contextual supplements.
Recent viewing has included three pairs of movies – two Anime features from 2016 (In This Corner of the World and Your Name), two thrillers from 1967 and 1972 by English directors (Point Blank and Pulp), and a pair of gritty horror-tinged thrillers from 1979 and 1981 which transcend their exploitation roots (The Driller Killer and Ms. 45).