CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.
CHICAGO – Every film buff remembers the first time they laid eyes on director Stanley Kubrick’s memorable horror classic, “The Shining.” In the film, Scatman Crothers’ character warns young Danny, “There ain’t nothing in Room 237…so stay out.” Filmmaker Rodney Ascher has ignored that warning in his documentary, “Room 237,” and takes us inside one of the most analyzed films in cinema history.
CHICAGO – The mystery of Stanley Kubrick is one of his great attributes. He directed a scant 12 major films in a forty year career, each with its own genre-busting stamp. His work has inspired an overall passion for films, numerous analytical studies and a new documentary about the theories behind his 1980 masterpiece, “The Shining.” Rodney Ascher directs this strange and compelling film, “Room 237.”
CHICAGO – Few directors were made for Blu-ray like Stanley Kubrick and recent editions of some of his classics, including the Criterion releases for “The Killing” and “Paths of Glory” and the stunning anniversary edition of “A Clockwork Orange” are among the best in my collection. His penultimate film, “Full Metal Jacket,” was just released in a Digibook HD edition from Warner Bros. and while it may not be one of my favorite flicks, it’s another visual masterpiece from Kubrick, which makes it a perfect fit for Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – About 15 years ago, a controversy erupted over a new film version of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel, “Lolita.” The version was to be closer in spirit to the original novel, and therefore more open about a older man’s obsession with an underage teenage girl. Taking on the young girl role of Dolores Haze, AKA “Lolita,” was the actress Dominque Swain.
CHICAGO – Director Ti West has formulated a career re-imagining some of the scare tactics used in the classic horror films of the late 1970s and early ‘80s. His deliberately paced style created a frightening “House of the Devil” in 2009, and now he’s back with up-and-coming Sara Paxton for “The Innkeepers.”
CHICAGO – Vincent D’Onofrio has had a career that is rich and diverse. He has worked with directors as distinct as Stanley Kubrick (”Full Metal Jacket”) and Tim Burton (”Ed Wood”), and has starred in the legendary TV franchise “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” He presents his directorial debut, “Don’t Go in the Woods,” on November 12th in Chicago at the “Tribeca Film Festival on the Road.”
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 – Stanley Kubrick put it perfectly when he said that the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski found a way to dramatize what other people merely talk about. There’s a reason “The Three Colors Trilogy” had already become a part of a college philosophy class by the time I graduated college in the mid-’90s. With “The Decalogue,” “Three Colors,” and “The Double Life of Veronique,” recently released by Criterion on Blu-ray, the man became a legend. And, as this wonderful edition proves, deservedly so.