Anna Pavlova stars in the 1916 silent movie epic directed by Lois Weber

Silents Please: Lois Weber restored and ‘The Covered Wagon’ on Blu-ray

Shoes (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD) The Dumb Girl of Portici (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD) The Covered Wagon (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD) Lois Weber holds a place in film history as the first major woman film director in Hollywood. What’s often forgotten in that honor is the talent that gave her a successful 25 year making films for […]

Animation on Blu-ray: ‘Your Name,’ ‘Napping Princess,’ ‘In This Corner of the World’ from Japan

Your Name. (Funimation, Blu-ray, DVD) Napping Princess (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray, DVD) In This Corner of the World (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray, DVD) Japanese animator and filmmaker Makoto Shinkai turns his own young adult novel into Your Name. (Japan, 2016), an animated feature that brings a fresh approach to the classic comic situation of body swapping. In […]

Carlos Gomez and Silke star in the film by Julio Medem

Blu-ray: ‘Tierra,’ ‘Vacas,’ ‘Red Squirrel’ – Three by Julio Medem on Olive

Vacas (Olive Films, Blu-ray, DVD) Red Squirrel (Olive Films, Blu-ray, DVD) Tierra (Olive Films, Blu-ray, DVD) The vivid and lush films of Spain’s Julio Medem are as much about his country’s distinctive landscapes and natural wonders as they are about the restless and obsessive characters that wander through his world. Lovers of the Arctic Circle […]

1931 drama by G.W. Pabst from Germany

Blu-ray: G.W. Pabst’s ‘Westfront 1918’ and ‘Kameradschaft’ on Criterion

Westfront 1918 (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) Kameradschaft (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) Georg Wilhelm Pabst was not only one of the great German directors of the silent film era, he (along with Fritz Lang) explored the expressive possibilities of sound in the early days of sound cinema. Criterion presents two of his earliest sound features, a pair that […]

Odette Joyeux and Jacques Tati in the romantic ghost story by Claude Autant-Lara

DVD: ‘Claude Autant-Lara: Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France’ on Eclipse

Claude Autant-Lara: Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France (Eclipse, DVD) Confession time: I had never seen a film by French director Claude Autant-Lara before this set and frankly had no concept of his reputation beyond the distaste that the critics-turned-filmmakers of the La Nouvelle Vague held for his work. He was the tradition of quality […]

Blu-ray: ‘DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection’ on Warner

DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Blu-ray) Warner Bros. is struggling to create its own live-action superhero universe on the big screen to compete with the huge, interconnected Marvel Comics Universe, and mostly falling short. But for the past decade, Warner Home Video has been producing a steady series of direct-to-disc animated […]

Silents Please: ‘Fritz Lang: The Silent Films’ on Kino Classics Blu-ray

Fritz Lang: The Silent Films (Kino Classics, Blu-ray) Fritz Lang was a towering giant of silent cinema, legendary for his ambitious, epic scope and the imagination and grandeur of his visual storytelling. Kino has been releasing glorious new editions of his silent films as restored by The Murnau Institute in Germany for years: eleven silent […]

Alain Demon in Jean-Pierre Melville's French crime classic

Criterion Blu-ray: Alexander Payne’s savagely funny ‘Election,’ plus ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,’ ‘Le Samouraï,’ and ‘Jabberwocky’

Election (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) A wicked satire of power and (social) politics set in the overheated incubator of a high school student body election, Election (1999) is as sharp and perceptive now as it was in 1999. The confident second feature from director Alexander Payne and his screenwriting partner, Jim Taylor (coming off the critical […]

James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood in HBO's 'Westworld'

TVD: ‘Westworld’ reborn, ‘American Gods’ debuts, the beginning of the end of ‘Game of Thrones’

Westworld: Season One – The Maze (HBO, Blu-ray, DVD) Michael Crichton’s 1973 film Westworld was a clever science fiction thriller about a theme park that provided interactive adventures with robotic hosts. The 2016 series developed and produced for HBO by Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) and his creative partner and wife Lisa Joy uses the […]