DVD Review: The Tiger

★★★☆☆ Following historical drama The Showdown and gangster picture New World, Hoon-jung Park’s third feature is a suitably epic drama set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1925. The Tiger is an often moving fable about fatherhood, nature and respect, yet in never fully committing to its ambitions, doesn’t quite the impact that it might have. Chun Man-duk (Min-Sik…

DVD Review: Buster Keaton: 3 Films

★★★★★ Unfairly overshadowed by the works of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton was arguably the greatest of the silent clowns. Now, Eureka Video’s Masters of Cinema series brings together three of his best pictures – Sherlock Jr., The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr. – all lovingly remastered with 4K restorations. At only 45 minutes, the collection’s first…

DVD Review: The Party

★★★☆☆ Hrundi (Peter Sellers) is an Indian actor freshly fired due to his bumbling clumsiness. But a mix up means that instead of being blacklisted, he is invited to an exclusive Hollywood party. Cue plenty of pratfalls, mishaps and other comic shenanigans.Blake Edwards’ The Party, a 1968 vehicle for Peter Sellers, is fondly remembered, and…

DVD Review: Getting Any?

★★☆☆☆ Driven by bedroom walls covered in pornography and his childish erotic fantasies, Asao (Duncan) is a young man determined to get laid. Through a series of schemes to attract women, he finds himself in increasingly bizarre and surreal scenarios.No one could ever accuse the Japanese auteur ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano of being a conventional filmmaker….

DVD Review: George A. Romero Between Night and Dawn

★★★☆☆ Following the success of Night of the Living Dead, the late George A. Romero became something of a one-man movie studio in his adopted city of Pittsburgh. Romero didn’t opt for the obvious and took a much more unconventional, challenging route.Given that reluctance to adhere to expectations, it’s a pity that his sophomoric effort…

Criterion Review: The Lure

★★★★☆ As far as synopses go, a Polish-vampire-mermaid-1980s-musical certainly captures attention. But debut director Agnieszka Smoczynska’s violent, sexy fairytale The Lure is more than the sum of its parts; a luscious, strangely enchanting watch.Sirens Silver and Golden (Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska respectively) loiter on the shores of Warsaw in 1980s Poland, hoping to catch…

DVD Review: Belle de Jour

★★★★★ Among Spanish-born Mexican director Luis Buñuel’s most successful works, Belle de Jour’s re-release comes just in time for the film’s fiftieth anniversary. A satire on repressed bourgeois sexuality, the 1967 film is both darkly erotic and rich in social commentary.Séverine (Catherine Deneuve), is rich, beautiful and bored. A devoted wife to Pierre (Jean Sorel),…

Criterion Review: Certain Women

★★★★★ Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women tells three stories of female malcontent in Montana, one of the least populous states in the United States. Connected by only the thinnest of narrative threads, each story offers delicate, quietly moving insight into the lives of its subjects.Lawyer Laura Wells (Laura Dern) has a client who has been stiffed…

DVD Review: Suntan

★★★★☆ Billed as a “coming of middle-age story”, the first 20 minutes of Suntan is easily mistaken for a charming melodrama about rediscovering one’s youth. But this tale of obsession, emotional immaturity and entitlement is much more interesting, and darker, than that.Kostis (Efthymis Papadimitriou) arrives as the new doctor an small, unnamed Greek island. Arriving…

Criterion Review: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

★★★☆☆ A critical success on release, the enormous budget of Stanley Kramer’s 1963 epic comedy It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World meant that it only just scraped a profit. The premise: a group of strangers race across America to try to get to a rumoured buried treasure.It’s worth noting that the extended version included…

DVD Review: Song to Song

★★☆☆☆ People in glass houses shouldn’t be in Terrence Malick films, but invariably they are and the temptation to throw bricks is becoming almost overpowering. Song to Song is the latest of a triptych of contemporary relationship melodramas from the once-reclusive auteur.As ever, famous beautiful people wander while Emmanuel Lubezki’s camera butterflies around them before…

DVD Review: David Lynch: The Art Life

★★★★★ David Lynch hasn’t embarked on a major film project since the release of Inland Empire back in 2006. Eleven years is a long time to wait for inspiration, but as is made clear in the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life, he’s a patient man.After first enrolling at the School of the Museum of…