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The Playlist

DVD Review: Neil Barsky's Documentary On New York City Mayor Ed 'Koch'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 28, 2013 7:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
New York City in the mid-to-late 1970s was both a cultural happening and crumbling metropolis. While hip-hop, punk and new wave burbled from the creative corners of the city, elsewhere it was falling apart. The Bronx burned, crime soared, the Son Of Sam was on the loose, everything was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and an election for mayor loomed. Anyone who wanted the job would be faced with the largely thankless task of rebuilding the city. It would be a ruthless gig, it probably wouldn't make you popular and there would be opposition every step of the way. Still, there were more than a half dozen candidates putting their hat in the ring to be the next face for one of the greatest cities in America, and perhaps it's fitting that in the narrative of New York that it was an underdog who eventually took the job: Ed Koch. A combination of personality, savvy and bullheadedness helped him win the election and usher him into office 1978, but it was staying true to who he was that kept him there for three straight terms.

DVD Is The New Vinyl: Famous Pimps, Infamous Early Fassbinder & 'Q: The Winged Serpent'

  • By Aaron Hillis
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  • August 28, 2013 5:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Dvd is the new vinyl, fassbinder, body double, more
“Truthfully, DVD is not the new vinyl," a reader recently confronted me, arguing that the beloved analog qualities of records (the richer, warmer recording; that nostalgic hiss and crackle) are fetishized in ways that most movies on digital discs are not. Sure, the latter may be closer in spirit to CDs and don't get any better with age like ye olde phonographs, but tell that to Twilight Time, the below-the-radar, two-man boutique label that has been making cineaste tongues wag over their limited-edition, lovingly remastered Blu-rays of film classics like "The Big Heat," "Bonjour Tristesse" and "Enemy Mine."

DVD Is The New Vinyl: Rock Hudson Has 'Seconds,' Nazi Escapes & 'Ishtar'

  • By Aaron Hillis
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  • August 6, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Before digging into early-to-mid August's disc highlights, I'd like to set the Way Back Machine to two weeks ago and point out some eclectic late-July gems we missed, such as Twilight Time's exquisite Blu-ray edition of Walter Hill's 1978 neo-noir "The Driver," Olive Films' unexpected release of Anthony Mann's 1958 brazen, quasi-hicksploitation melodrama "God's Little Acre," and the Warner Archive re-release of 1998's eccentrically funny "Zero Effect," starring Ben Stiller and Bill Pullman as a socially stunted private investigator. From Europe, Raro Video lived up to their name with a rare trilogy of gritty moralist thrillers in "Fernando di Leo: The Italian Crime Collection (Volume 2)," Music Box Films stressed us out with the terrifically icy German thriller "The Silence," and sci-fi didn't get more provocative than the erotic Lithuanian curiosity "Vanishing Waves" (which Artsploitation lovingly packaged as a two-DVD set that includes director Kristina Buozyte's feature debut "The Collectress"). Are you caught up? Super, let's push on...

"DVD Is The New Vinyl": Girls Gone Wild Edition

  • By Aaron Hillis
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  • July 24, 2013 9:59 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Video Free Brooklyn. DVD Column, july
As if filmgoers stopped watching DVDs and Blu-rays altogether around the Fourth of July, distributors tend to be a little lighter in early-to-mid July with their number and caliber of releases—though quality documentaries certainly prevail. However, if there's one trend vamping through the first three weeks of notable discs this month, it's wild women! From Rick Springfield's rabid fanbase of shrieking cougars to neo-Nazi teen girls, nymphomaniac trannies, nefarious lesbian prank callers, and Harmony Korine's bad bevy of bikini babes, let these ladies have their way with you...

Batman Returns: 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy Gets Another Boxset With New Featurettes, Toys & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 2, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Is this a double dip or a triple dip? Maybe somewhere in between? You already own all the films in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy. Or maybe you waited and sprung for the "The Dark Knight" Trilogy Limited Edition (lol) Giftset last year. Well, Warner Bros. wants to pry a few more Bat-dollars out of superfans, so they are taking one more crack at the apple...

Video Free Brooklyn Presents: "DVD Is The New Vinyl" Best of June Edition

  • By Aaron Hillis
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  • June 28, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 6 Comments
June DVDs
My appetite for finding and devouring new music is so voracious that I have to empty my hard drive annually just to make room for more MP3s, yet it wasn't until my wife bought me a turntable that I became one of those obsessive, fetishistic record collectors right out of "High Fidelity."

'Badlands' Arrives On Criterion: 10 Things We Learned About The Terrence Malick Classic

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • March 20, 2013 4:22 PM
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  • 8 Comments
When you think of lovers and killers on the lam, you think of roadtrip movies like “True Romance,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Bonnie & Clyde” or "The Getaway." But when philosopher, journalist and renaissance man turned filmmaker Terrence Malick tackled the genre for his debut picture, he created a film more interested in innocence (and its loss) and love than the crimes and acts of violence occurring within the story based on Charles Starkweather’s late ‘50s killing spree. A lyrical and impressionistic take on a troubled young killer and the girl that falls for him -- perhaps all the more chilling for its beautiful imagery and sublime/naive view of life that some of us still argue is his finest work to date -- “Badlands” would launch the career of one of cinema’s most enigmatic and inscrutable filmmakers who would soon stop talking to the press or allowing his photo to be taken.

Discover The Cause: Digging Into The Details Of 'The Master' DVD Extras Including Deleted Scenes, 'Unguided Message' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 4, 2013 11:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Few movies from last year generated discussion as extensively as "The Master," Paul Thomas Anderson's enigmatic epic about a man named Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), who returns from World War II as a hooch-making jangle of nerves and falls under the spell of a charismatic cult leader called The Master (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). The film was so enigmatic, in fact, that many wanted more – and in a couple of weeks, you'll be able to get more, thanks to a features-loaded new DVD/Blu-ray release. We got an advance copy and decided to run down all the extra features; it certainly illuminates some of the movie's dark corners while still maintaining its aura of saturated mystery. Read on for details.

5 Things We Learned from Criterion’s Stunning Blu-Ray of René Clément's 'Purple Noon' Starring Alain Delon

  • By Peter Labuza
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  • December 23, 2012 10:45 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Purple Noon" is the smarter, exsistential counterpoint to Anthony Minghella’s adaptation with Matt Damon, forgoing the melodramatic angle for something more profound, while combining elements later seen in films by the Coens, Polanski, Scorsese, and Coppola. In honor of Criterion’s new Blu-Ray, here are five things we learned about the making of this classic:

Blu-ray Review: Frank Sinatra Charms & Smarms In 1950s B-Movie Thriller 'Suddenly'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 4, 2012 3:57 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Not much happens in the small town of Suddenly. Once named after its hustle and bustle atmosphere, it has since settled into your typical, sleepy, average American burg. It's the kind of place where beat cop Tod Shaw (Sterling Hayden) knows everyone, and any strange face passing through stands out. But in the space of a few hours, over a single afternoon, the lives of a handful of people will change dramatically thanks to one determined, deranged man. While it might not be the flashiest B-movie of the era, Lewis Allen's "Suddenly" is a tight, extraordinarly lean little thriller that succeeds far beyond what you would expect of its modest production.

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