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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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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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