Only Lovers Left Alive DVD Review

  • Director: Jim Jarmusch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2014
  • Run Time: 123 minutes



            Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive is the ultimate hipster vampire film, with pretentious exclusivity in musical preferences taking up more of the film’s running time than anything vampire related. This is perhaps the only vampire film I can think of without a single onscreen vampire bite, and the film’s only death occurring in-between scenes shown. Blood is a source of sustenance, but also becomes another area of exclusivity, with only a strong connection providing the type of choice. Taking the sustenance straight from the source is for the less refined vampires.


    High School Confidential Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Michael Landon, Russ Tamblyn, Jackie Coogan
  • Director: Jack Arnold
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 85 minutes



            This anti-drug juvenile delinquency film may not be as widely known as Reefer Madness (1936), but it may be worse in its attempt to be hip in its message. High School Confidential (1958) stars Russ Tamblyn three years before West Side Story, and is apparently based on the undercover police work done by Texas Joe Foster. Just like the main character is a cop pretending to be the school’s coolest new kid, the film quickly begins to feel like an imitator. Clearly a propaganda film meant to appeal to younger audience because of the current slang utilized in the dialogue, High School Confidential now stands as an embarrassingly hilarious reminder of the past.


    Favorites of the Moon Blu-ray Review


         Actors: Mathieu Amalric, Katja Rupe
  • Director: Otar Iosseliani
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • Release Date: August 12, 2014
  • Run Time: 105 minutes


            Favorites of the Moon was one of the films screened at this year’s City of Lights City of Angels Film Festival, a French film fest based out of Hollywood. The new print of this classic film has been digitally remastered for this Blu-ray release of Otar Iosseliani’s surreal absurdist comedy, and it looks great despite being a film best reserved for open-minded viewers. The ensemble intersecting storylines touch upon issues of class, though without ever feeling weighed down by heavy political agendas.


    Boredom DVD Review

         Director: Albert Nerenberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR 
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2014
  • Run Time: 61 minutes



            Although there are more than a few interesting facts about boredom in modern society within Albert Nerenberg’s documentary, it also means enduring a great deal of the director’s personal sense of humor. Narrated by the director, he claims that the entire idea for a film for boredom was a result of the filmmaker losing his smart phone and having nothing to do while riding the train. While these deadpan jokes can be amusing at first, they grow tiring over the course of the 61-minute run time.


    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore
  • Director: Marc Webb
  • Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, Box set, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Sony
  • Release Date: August 19, 2014


            I wasn’t overwhelmed by any of The Amazing Spider-Man, though it was a solidly entertaining reintroduction to the popular superhero. Perhaps it was the familiar origins story, the onslaught of similar comic book films, or the fact that the previous Spider-Man series had concluded less than a decade earlier. Whatever the reason, I went into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with very low expectations and found myself pleasantly surprised. While it is an uneven film in terms of storytelling, dragging in large areas of the film despite having attempted to do too much in terms of plot and quantity of characters, there are moments within the film that rival anything from the first installment in the re-franchise.


    Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Dual-Format Review

        Actors: Victoria Abril, Antonio Banderas, Loles León
  • Director: Pedro Almodóvar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NC-17
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • Release Date: August 19, 2014
  • Run Time: 101 minutes

  •         How much I enjoy Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Átame!) depends upon on how much I try and intellectualize it. If I take the characters and the screenplay too seriously, I find myself annoyed at their illogical decisions and the gaps in narrative within the story. There is a lot which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but instead conveys an almost intentional artifice in the film’s events. It would feel entirely existent within a fantasy world if it weren’t for the moments of brutal violence that drive the narrative back into reality. They become so much a part of the film’s design that the anticlimactic happy ending is another jolting reminder that we are watching a film. From the film’s opening sequences and the story behind the film’s conception, this seems to be Almodóvar’s intention.