In Pazuzu We Trust

In the last few years I’ve become accustomed to a flood of horror movies surging forth for Halloween, but this year’s selection seems surprisingly skimpy — a sign of the downturn in the DVD marketplace, or have the studios finally run out of exploitable back product? We do have a superb new Blu-ray edition [...]

Sirk Without Tears

Available only through the TCM website, the four-disc “Douglas Sirk: Filmmaker Collection” makes available a handful of Sirk titles that haven’t been previously released to DVD. No big Technicolor melodramas here: instead, there’s a thriller with a religious theme (“Thunder on the Hill,” 1951), a western (“Taza, Son of Cochise,” 1954), a swashbuckler (“Captain [...]

Bogie and Bogart

Strange but true: many of the stars most frequently accused of “just playing themselves” — John Wayne, Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart among them — were those who took years developing and polishing their screen personas. Bogart is a particularly fascinating example of a late bloomer — a performer who found that the style [...]

Grinding Away

One of the most compulsive conceptual projects of the last several years, the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez “Grindhouse” has at last been released on Blu-ray in its original theatrical format, scrupulously recreating the experience of sticky-floor film-going in a nearly deserted downtown movie palace in the late 1970s. As clever as these simulacra may be [...]