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Rashomon

DVD Review: ‘Gate of Hell’ Gets Extra-Free Criterion Release

Gate of Hell DVD

CHICAGO – Beneath every honorable warrior is a cold-hearted opportunist hell-bent on dominating his victimized prey at all costs. That’s a theory indelibly illustrated by Teinosuke Kinugasa’s revered 1953 classic, “Gate of Hell,” a melodrama populated by such frustrating characters that it nearly loses the viewer’s interest before its admittedly splendid finale, when the tale takes on grand dimensions of Greek tragedy.

Blu-ray Review: ‘At the Gate of the Ghost’ Offers Fresh Take on ‘Rashômon’

At the Gate of the Ghost Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Two short stories conceived by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa were brilliantly fused in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece, “Rashômon,” a picture destined to eternally rank alongside the all-time greatest films. Like “12 Angry Men,” it’s the sort of universally relevant morality play that can be adapted countless times and still retain its power in full.

DVD Review: Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’ Redefined Cinema

Rashomon

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection has had a long relationship with Akira Kurosawa fans, releasing several of his films in the past, including “The Seven Samurai,” “Yojimbo,” and “Ran.” They have chosen “Rashomon” as the latest in their line of films to upgrade for Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD. We got the latter and it’s another beauty.

Blu-Ray Review: Iranian Classic ‘Close-Up’ Dissects Cinema From the Inside

Close-Up Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Abbas Kiarostami’s 1990 masterpiece, “Close-Up,” is the type of cinematic landmark guaranteed to infuriate audiences and exhilarate film scholars. Yet adventurous viewers willing to look beneath the film’s perplexing and rather stilted surface will discover a multi-layered mind-game of endless fascination that’s more provocative and relevant than ever.

Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ a Must-See on the Big Screen

Akira Kurosawa of "Ran"

CHICAGO – Of all the cinematic variations on Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran” is one of the few that, dare I say, improves on the Bard’s original blueprint.

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Edition of Akira Kurosawa’s Legendary ‘Kagemusha’

Kagemusha

CHICAGO – Now that he is widely recognized as one of the best filmmakers of all time, it’s almost hard to believe that there was a period in the career of Akira Kurosawa when he couldn’t get financing to make a film. Kurosawa went through a very dark time in the ’70s, punctuated by his disastrous experience with “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” and needed the weight of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas to help with his comeback, “Kagemusha,” now available in a beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release.

DVD Review: Akira Kurosawa Returns to Criterion Collection With ‘Dodes’da Ken’

Dodes'da Ken
HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I’m not sure, but I think there are more Akira Kurosawa titles available in the Criterion Collection than any other filmmaker. His classic films like “Ran,” “Rashomon,” “Seven Samurai,” and “Yojimbo” have been critically acclaimed releases for the influential series of DVDs. His 24th title in the Criterion Collection is last week’s “Dodes’da Ken,” one of the greatest directors of all time’s first film in color.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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