Log in


New on Disc: 'Tabloid' and more …

28 Nov, 2011 By: Mike Clark


MPI/IFC, Documentary, B.O. $0.7 million, $24.98 DVD, ‘R’ for sexual content and nudity.
The entirety of Tabloid is in the great tradition of my favorite twisted moments from nonfiction filmmaker Errol Morris. This is because Tabloid heroine Joyce McKinney, who’s on screen most of the time, is so batty that the movie never gets out of the Twilight Zone (not that we’d want it to). At 88 minutes, Tabloid is roughly divided into half-hour thirds, and in each of the second two, there is a revelation that knocked me for a loop: one about McKinney’s “resumé” and one involving her choice of pets. The basics are that the onetime beauty queen got an obsession for not just a Mormon male — but one who was then sent to England to perform a devout mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After McKinney hired a pilot to fly her there so she could abduct her former lover, he either was or wasn’t a willing participant when she tied him to a bed, and here the documentary naturally gets into a discussion of whether one can fake an erection.
Read the Full Review

12 Angry Men (Blu-ray)

Criterion, Drama, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, Jack Warden.
Director Sidney Lumet’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Reginald Rose’s famed teleplay 12 Angry Men is especially durable. Over 95 minutes, there isn’t a single lull — and, as is pointed out on one of the accompanying featurettes here, a sizable number of its edits occur in the final sections when the filmmaking goes into an accelerated frenzy with increased close-ups.
Extras: As Vance Kepley from the Wisconsin Historical Society points out in one of this release’s typically succulent Criterion bonus extras, the casting smoothly traded in on Henry Fonda’s past movie history with (as it turned out) predominantly John Ford. Rounding out the stops-pulling collection of extras are a 38-minute treatise about cinematographer Boris Kaufman, edited-together passages from various Lumet interviews about his career; an essay by writer/law professor Thane Rosenbaum (who seems to know his film scholarship); a new interview with screenwriter Walter Bernstein about old pal Lumet; and the Feb 19, 1956, “Alcoa Hour” Rose-Lumet teleplay Tragedy in a Temporary Town, in which Lloyd Bridges got so worked up in a scene about racial prejudice that he cursed on live TV.
Read the Full Review

The Left Hand of God

Available at www.screenarchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $19.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Gene Tierney, Lee J. Cobb, Agnes Moorehead.
Being one of the last movies filmed by Humphrey Bogart before his death is one reason director Edward Dmytryk’s movie of a novel by William E. Barrett (also of Lilies of the Field) is more interesting outside the frame than in it. Another is co-star Gene Tierney, who had been one of Twentieth Century Fox’s biggest attractions until a well earned mental breakdown that extended beyond this picture slowed her career. The year is 1947, China is in civil war, and Bogie is a pilot who crashed and ends up working for a warlord. After a while, he has enough and elects to take over the identity and garb of a dead priest. At just 87 minutes, it’s short enough to be a serviceable time-killer.
Extras: Twilight Time has given this its usual pro rendering, and the print looks good, with California and some first-class production design standing in for more exotic locales. In TT fashion, the musical score is isolated on a separate track; this time, it’s by the great Victor Young.
Read the Full Review

Add Comment