The DVD Report #797


Shout Select has released a Collector’s Edition 4K UHD – Blu Ray combo pack of Oliver Stone’s 1986 Oscar winner, Platoon.

Considered to be the best film about the Vietnam War by most and the best war movie of all-time by some, Platoon was at the time of its release the latest in a smattering of antiwar films that began with King Vidor’s The Big Parade in 1925.

Historically, no antiwar films are made during wartime. The Big Parade was not made until seven years after the end of World War I. It was so popular that that the silent film was in theatres until the release of the first Oscar-winning antiwar film, Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front, five years later. Also released in 1930 were two other major antiwar films, James Whale’s Journey’s End and Howard Hawks’ The Dawn Patrol. G.W. Pabst’s Westfront 1918, made that same year, was not released in the U.S. until late 1931.

Significant antiwar films made from the late 1930s through the World War II years were few and far between but did include Jean Renoir’s 1937 classic, Grand Illusion, and Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 comic masterpiece, The Great Dictator.

The late 1940s and early 1950s tread softly on the subject, carefully not attacking anything about World War II, which unlike World War I was seen as a righteous war. Antiwar movies of the era carefully avoided criticizing the war but attacking war in general in such diverse films as John Ford’s Fort Apache and Joseph Losey’s The Boy with Green Hair, both released in 1948, and Robert Wise’s sci-fi masterpiece, The Day the Earth Stood Still, released in 1951.

The late 1950s gave us David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai and Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, both in 1957, and Stanley Kramer’s end-of-the-world 1959 classic, On the Beach. The subject was explored again in three 1964 films, Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, Sidney Lumet’s Fail-Safe, and the first significant antiwar film about World War II, Arthur Hiller’s The Americanization of Emily.

1969 gave us Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War, a steeped-in-irony musical take on World War I, while 1970 gave us Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, the first antiwar film about the Korean War almost twenty years after it occurred.

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Resurfaced: Memento (2001)

In this series of articles, I’ll be posting reviews that have recently resurfaced. A number of the reviews I wrote in the past I thought had been lost to time, but after coming to a realization that they might still exist on the Wayback Machine, I was able to relocate many of them. I believe there are still some that are lost and they may be lost in perpetuity, but I will periodically search for that data or re-write those reviews that I have never found or which I never wrote to begin with.

For now, this series will be extensive with over 300 regular (400+ words), short (400- words), and quickie (1 to 2 paragraphs) reviews. I will attempt to combine them as best as I can. Reviews written in early 1998 or earlier, no date of creation exists. I will post the original writing date where known, otherwise the date will be listed as “unknown.” These reviews were written between the date of my site’s founding in 1996 through much of 2002. It was only after this period that I settled on the standard format and length of reviews as well as posting each one to its own individual page, which is why the old data was ultimately lost.

All but the review content has been replaced to match my current formatting guidelines, which are a bit more thorough than they might have been in those early days. Please note that I am attempting to retain as much of the original editing integrity as possible, so spelling and/or grammar errors may still be present. This may also mean that some factual data is not there as IMDb was not as ubiquitous as it is now. So, let’s get on to today’s review.

Memento

Memento

Rating

Director

Christopher Nolan

Screenplay

Christopher Nolan (Short Story: Jonathan Nolan)

Length

1h 53m

Starring

Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox, Stephen Tobolowsky, Thomas Lennon, Callum Keith Rennie, Kimberly Campbell, Marianne Muellerleile, Larry Holden

MPAA Rating

R
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This Day in Oscar History: October 4 (2022)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Bros”

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Polls

Now That You’ve Seen Bros…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Bros," which Nicholas Stoller film is best?

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Trailer Watch: Halloween Ends (2022) Updated

Halloween Ends posterNew Trailer (#2) — New Posters (#2-#3)

Halloween Ends, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Sep. 30-Oct. 2, 2022

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Morning After: Oct. 3, 2022

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

The Adam Project


When you watch a Ryan Reynolds movie, you come to expect a high level of snark. That’s his brand. Is it necessary to every storyline? No. Yet, The Adam Project turned his wisecracking into a compelling narrative device, but the surrounding film seems built on the idea that a film can get by solely on Reynolds’ persona.

The Adam Project is about a man who tries to time travel back to 2018 in order to save the wife (Zoe Saldaña) who is presumed died in a crash to that time period. He inadvertently ends up in 2022 with his younger self (Walker Scobell) trying to adapt to the trauma of his father’s (Mark Ruffalo) passing. The film then makes several comments on time travel, the dangerousness of it, and the end result of such messiness. Things are compounded by a future billionaire (Catherine Keener) who chases him back in time to stop him from finding out the truth.

Reynolds does what he does best even if he brings little else to the role. His moments of pathos aren’t particularly compelling, but that’s a fault of a weak script. This is one of the hazards of screenwriting by committee. It works for animated films, but for live-action features, it’s often a warning sign of things to come. Scobell does well emulating Reynolds’ attitude as a youngster and it plays quite well into the narrative, but this isn’t a coming-of-age film, it’s a film about dealing with trauma and is largely superficial.

It’s fun, though, and that’s probably all we could expect from a film like this. The depth is superficial, the performances are largely familiar, and the actors don’t seem to be working terribly hard to overcome the script’s issues. Director Shawn Levy doesn’t add much to the affair as the style is limited and the substance is minimal. If all you’re looking for is a good waste of a couple of hours, this would suffice, but if you’re wanting something a bit deeper about familial dynamics, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Resurfaced: Princess Mononoke (1999)

In this series of articles, I’ll be posting reviews that have recently resurfaced. A number of the reviews I wrote in the past I thought had been lost to time, but after coming to a realization that they might still exist on the Wayback Machine, I was able to relocate many of them. I believe there are still some that are lost and they may be lost in perpetuity, but I will periodically search for that data or re-write those reviews that I have never found or which I never wrote to begin with.

For now, this series will be extensive with over 300 regular (400+ words), short (400- words), and quickie (1 to 2 paragraphs) reviews. I will attempt to combine them as best as I can. Reviews written in early 1998 or earlier, no date of creation exists. I will post the original writing date where known, otherwise the date will be listed as “unknown.” These reviews were written between the date of my site’s founding in 1996 through much of 2002. It was only after this period that I settled on the standard format and length of reviews as well as posting each one to its own individual page, which is why the old data was ultimately lost.

All but the review content has been replaced to match my current formatting guidelines, which are a bit more thorough than they might have been in those early days. Please note that I am attempting to retain as much of the original editing integrity as possible, so spelling and/or grammar errors may still be present. This may also mean that some factual data is not there as IMDb was not as ubiquitous as it is now. So, let’s get on to today’s review.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke

Rating

Director

Hayao Miyazaki

Screenplay

Hayao Miyazaki

Length

2h 14m

Starring

Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver, John DiMaggio, Claire Danes, John DeMita, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gillian Anderson, Keith David, Corey Burton, Tara Charandoff, Julia DeMita

MPAA Rating

PG-13
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This Day in Oscar History: October 3 (2022)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: Best of Oct. 2021, Wide

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Polls

What’s the Best of Oct. 2021, Wide?

Cinema Sight Asks: Which October 2021 wide release film is best?

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Film Preview: Detective Knight: Rogue (2022)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(September 25, 2022) Original

Release Date:

October 21, 2022

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Bruce Willis stars as veteran Detective James Knight, dedicated to navigating the demanding streets of Los Angeles, in this thrilling first of a trilogy of films. As the city prepares for Halloween, mask-wearing armed robbers critically wound Knight’s partner in a shootout following a heist. With Knight in hot pursuit, the bandits flee L.A. for New York, where the detective’s dark past collides with his present case and threatens to tear his world apart… unless redemption can claim Knight first.”

Poster Rating: –

SEE ALL POSTERS BELOW
Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: It’s been a long while since Bruce Willis announced his retirement from acting. Just how many of these dollar-store thriller knock-offs did he film before making that announcement. Nothing in this trailer looks the remotest bit interesting.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Old Man (2022)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(September 25, 2022) Original

Release Date:

October 14, 2022

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When a lost hiker stumbles upon an erratic old man living in the woods, he could never have imagined the nightmare that awaits.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: What the intent here is isn’t entirely evident. While the figure is torn between no-smile and subtle-smile, it doesn’t quite make sense.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: Stephen Lang has, for some reason, become a hot property in horror premises and this trailer does nothing to explain why that is. The storyline is poorly conveyed and the content is choppy, making it almost impossible to find something good to cling onto.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Oct. 7-9, 2022

Below are eight previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Amsterdam (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Piggy (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Possession (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Pretty Problems (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

TAR (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Triangle of Sadness (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2022)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 2, 2022) Original

Release Date:

October 7, 2022

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A.J. Fikry’s wife has died, his bookstore is in trouble, and now his prized rare edition of Poe poems has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears, its arrival gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew. A NYT Bestseller.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: A competent, but unimpressive effort that looks overly familiar and which can’t break out of the box it’s confined in.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: A conventional romantic drama that feels like it was cribbed from countless others without generating anything remotely compelling. The characters just don’t feel interesting enough to spend time with.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Pretty Problems (2022)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 2, 2022) Original

Release Date:

October 7, 2022

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Jack and Lindsay are invited on a getaway trip with affluent strangers: down the rabbit hole, and into the most unhinged weekend of their lives. Can their relationship survive?”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: Cheap is a good description for how these figures have been pushed together and imposed on an obviously cheap backdrop. Still, there are a lot of details here and that might be worth something to some.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: There are some sly comic moments here, but the trailer drags on incessantly never finding a rhythm that makes it both compelling and entertaining in such a way that it can draw audiences.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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