CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
A Clockwork Orange
CHICAGO – Does it say something about the current market of Blu-rays that nine of our top ten releases of the year (and, honestly, most of the runner-ups considered) are for catalog releases and special editions instead of films produced in the current era? More and more often, modern releases seem kind of lackluster. Throw on a featurette, maybe a deleted scene or two, and put it on the shelf.
CHICAGO – When film lovers hear the name of one of the great masters of the form — Stanley Kubrick — their mind usually races to one of his most famous flicks, whether it be “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Shining,” or even “Full Metal Jacket.” But where did one of our most beloved directors hone his craft? In a series of smaller films, two of which are now available in a single Criterion Blu-ray or DVD release — “The Killing” and “Killer’s Kiss.”
CHICAGO – Malcolm McDowell will probably be best remembered for his rebellious breakout as a young star, with his one-of-a-kind performances in “If…,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “O Lucky Man!,” but the distinct character actor has been working ever since.
CHICAGO – To coincide with the Blu-ray box set of Stanley Kubrick films (including “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Shining,” and eight more films), Warner Bros. has released a very special edition of “A Clockwork Orange,” timed to the four-decade anniversary of one of the most influential movies ever made. With stellar new special features, a great transfer, and a timeless film, this is one of the best Blu-ray releases of the year to date.
CHICAGO – “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” No film has as succinctly captured the truth of this brilliant Samuel Johnson quote as Stanley Kubrick’s masterful “Paths of Glory,” one of the best anti-war films ever made. It’s a work that often gets overlooked by the flashier projects like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” or “The Shining” that Kubrick would make later in his career, but it’s easily one the best works from one of history’s best directors and the Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of the film is another stunning beauty.