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Martin Balsam

Blu-ray Review: New HD Edition of Epic ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’

Tora! Tora! Tora!

CHICAGO – When I was younger, I considered the blockbuster flop “Tora! Tora! Tora!” pretty boring. Critics over the years and friends have remembered the film more fondly than when it was released and therefore made me feel like perhaps a re-appreciation was in order. Nope. It’s still boring. And now it’s boring in stunning HD!

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Edition of Timeless ‘12 Angry Men’

12 Angry Men

CHICAGO – Few films from the ’50s have held up quite as remarkably as “12 Angry Men.” It’s a human drama that’s constantly being remade, re-told, and even re-imagined into other stories. What is it about this one-room story that has such timeless power? Why has it survived generations, working as much today as it did 54 years ago? Does anyone think it won’t have the same power 54 years from now?

Blu-Ray Review: 50th Anniversary Edition of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’

CHICAGO – Are we going to have to wait for a major anniversary of every Alfred Hitchcock film for them to be released on Blu-ray? Only two of the films directed by the best filmmaker of all time are available in HD, last year’s 50th anniversary release of “North by Northwest” and the amazing new 50th anniversary edition of “Psycho.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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