Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Natalie Portman's Doomed Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Gets Shot Down by Critics Natalie Portman's Doomed Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Gets Shot Down by Critics Kristen Wiig's 'AbracaDeborah' Is the Non-Existent Sundance Movie Everyone's Talking About Kristen Wiig's 'AbracaDeborah' Is the Non-Existent Sundance Movie Everyone's Talking About First Reviews: 'Hail, Caesar!' Is the Coens at Their Best First Reviews: 'Hail, Caesar!' Is the Coens at Their Best A.O. Scott and Why It's a Critic's Duty to Be Wrong A.O. Scott and Why It's a Critic's Duty to Be Wrong Is There More to Louis C.K.'s 'Horace and Pete' Than Its Surprise Release? Is There More to Louis C.K.'s 'Horace and Pete' Than Its Surprise Release? Film Writers Narrowly Escape Tragedy in Sundance Accident Film Writers Narrowly Escape Tragedy in Sundance Accident New Classics: Greg Mottola's 'Adventureland' New Classics: Greg Mottola's 'Adventureland' 'Manchester by the Sea,' Indiewire's Sundance Critics Poll Winner, Is Part Tragedy, Part Farce 'Manchester by the Sea,' Indiewire's Sundance Critics Poll Winner, Is Part Tragedy, Part Farce The Totally Insane Ending to 'Little Boy' Has Critics Fuming The Totally Insane Ending to 'Little Boy' Has Critics Fuming Daily Reads: Why the Disney Vault Needs to Go Away, How the Republican Primaries Have Broken 'SNL,' and More Daily Reads: Why the Disney Vault Needs to Go Away, How the Republican Primaries Have Broken 'SNL,' and More Daily Reads: The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy, When TV Drama Cover The Iowa Caucus, and More Daily Reads: The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy, When TV Drama Cover The Iowa Caucus, and More Daily Reads: The 'Hollywood Blackout' Controversy at the 1996 Academy Awards, Everybody's a Critic and That's How it Should Be, and More Daily Reads: The 'Hollywood Blackout' Controversy at the 1996 Academy Awards, Everybody's a Critic and That's How it Should Be, and More Could 'The Hateful Eight' Kill Film Instead of Saving It? Could 'The Hateful Eight' Kill Film Instead of Saving It? Adam Sandler's 'The Ridiculous 6' Is Getting Some of the Year's Most Hilariously Scathing Reviews Adam Sandler's 'The Ridiculous 6' Is Getting Some of the Year's Most Hilariously Scathing Reviews One of the Best Movies of 2015 Is Now Available On Demand. (Also It's 16 Minutes Long.) One of the Best Movies of 2015 Is Now Available On Demand. (Also It's 16 Minutes Long.) Tributes to French New Wave Master Jacques Rivette, Dead at 87 Tributes to French New Wave Master Jacques Rivette, Dead at 87 Daniel Radcliffe's Farting Corpse Stars in the Movie That's Tearing Sundance Apart Daniel Radcliffe's Farting Corpse Stars in the Movie That's Tearing Sundance Apart 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending Daily Reads: What Record-Breaking Sales at Sundance Say About Indie Film, Why Modern Movie Posters Are Dreadful, and More Daily Reads: What Record-Breaking Sales at Sundance Say About Indie Film, Why Modern Movie Posters Are Dreadful, and More 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Why Rey's Hypercompetence Is a Feature, Not a Bug 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Why Rey's Hypercompetence Is a Feature, Not a Bug

This Week in Home Video: 'All That Jazz,' 'The Double,' 'The Normal Heart' and More

Criticwire By Max O'Connell | Criticwire August 26, 2014 at 4:35PM

Plus: "The Dance of Reality," "The Legend of Hell House," "Young & Beautiful."
0
Roy Scheider in 'All That Jazz'
Roy Scheider in 'All That Jazz'

This week in classic home video brings one of the greatest musicals of all time with Criterion's release of Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz." In a towering Oscar-nominated performance, Roy Scheider plays Fosse-surrogate Joe Gideon, a brilliant director and choreographer popping pills, chain-smoking and screwing his way to an early grave. One of the most self-lacerating self-portraits to ever hit the screen, the film's dreamy climax of a Gideon undergoing life-determining open-heart surgery shows Fosse dealing with his demons, his regrets, his fantasies and the very real possibility that he was on his way out (he died eight years later at 60). Patrice Chereau's "Queen Margot" also gets another chance at life after having been butchered by Miramax on its initial 1994 release. This story of romance and betrayal amidst the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre deserves to be seen in its original epic scope. 

Other classic films hitting Blu-Ray and DVD include "What's New Pussycat?," Woody Allen's first film as a writer and actor, though his personality is watered down amidst all the 60s wackiness and Peter Sellers' ego and the film is best remembered for Tom Jones's insanely catchy title song. Those looking for something a bit creepier would do well to check out "The Legend of Hell House," a terrific haunted house movie starring Roddy MacDowell and scripted by Richard Matheson from his novel. The complete "Welcome Back, Kotter" makes its way to Blu-Ray, as does Stanley Kramer's nuclear war social problem film "On the Beach," so anyone who wanted to marathon young John Travolta and company with a hearty dose of moral righteousness, you have a weird fantasy, but here you go.

Newer releases are headlined by "The Double," a film that's a bit too in debt to its influences (Terry Gilliam was cited but Kafka and Polanski are there as well) but nonetheless a striking second feature from Richard Ayoade. Last night's Emmy winner for Outstanding TV Movie (and surprisingly nothing else), "The Normal Heart," is also out on Blu-Ray. The film has divided critics between those who appreciate its rescue of a forgotten time and those who feel it marginalizes certain LGBT groups or plays as sex-negative, but it's worth seeing for debate alone. The Mads Mikkelson-starring historical drama "Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas" also hits Blu-Ray, while Francois Ozon's "Young & Beautiful" makes its way to DVD. Finally, anyone eager to see what 20+ years of absence from the big screen did for Alejandro Jodorowsky creatively can check out his autobiographical return to directing, "The Dance of Reality."

More from the Criticwire Network:

Jesse Eisenberg x 2 in 'The Double'
Jesse Eisenberg x 2 in 'The Double'

"The Double"
Criticwire Average: B+

Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects

The film is suffused with almost constant sounds – amped up ambient noise, everyday aural backgrounds made deafeningly loud (especially footsteps, clocks, telephones, typewriters, and trains), and a purposely-overwrought score that is continuously cut obviously short for maximum amusement. "The Double" is so exuberantly theatrical and oddly energetic that it’s easy to imagine that, in the hands of another director and a less game leading man, it would only read as messy, mismanaged fluff.

Read more.

"Young & Beautiful"
Criticwire Average: B

Kenneth R. Morefield, Christianity Today

François Ozon's "Young & Beautiful," by contrast, takes a familiar, almost clichéd story, and manages to make it seem new. After a listless first sexual experience, Isabelle (Marine Vacth) begins earning money by turning tricks. Meant in part as a bracing reminder of the constant inducements young women face to capitalize on their sexuality, it never glorifies sexual license. In fact, the film is a bracing reminder that whatever its surface allures, sex has deep emotional consequences that novices both underestimate and are ill equipped to deal with. 

Read more.

"Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas"
Criticwire Average: B-


Mike D'Angelo, The A.V. Club

Its distributor, Music Box Films, has since retitled it "Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas," which seems like a fairly transparent attempt to appeal to "Game of Thrones" fans. While this 16th-century quasi-revenge tale has a superficially similar medieval bleakness, it lacks the juicy, salacious elements — incest! black magic! main characters brutally slaughtered at whim! — that make that show so compulsively watchable. This is a much drier, more reserved affair, though it can be quite powerful on the rare occasions when it allows raw emotion to make its way to the surface. Read more.


"The Dance of Reality"
Criticwire Average: B+

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Some bits hold together better than others, but Jodorowsky's investment in the material imbues the drama with emotional consistency. Equal parts autobiographical nostalgia trip and flamboyant B-movie, "The Dance of Reality" overcomes occasionally weak production values with the filmmaker's clear-cut passion. More than a return to form, "The Dance of Reality" deepens its possibilities without sacrificing the macabre freakishness coursing through the director's work -- and that's the prime reason for celebrating its continuation. Read more.

This article is related to: Young and Beautiful (Jeune et jolie), DVD / Blu-Ray, The Double (2013), La Danza de la Realidad (The Dance of Reality)


E-Mail Updates