Category Archives: DVD

DVD: Busby Berkeley 9-Film Collection

by Lewis Manalo

I admit it. I like musicals. I like the singing and the dancing. The sugary feel-good-or-die attitude.

I especially like the chorus girls, and no one does chorus girls better than Busby Berkeley. Adopting the formulas of Broadway for the silver screen, Berkeley’s editing techniques were also innovative for his time. This collection, which includes classics like Gold Diggers of 1933 and 42nd Street, has more kicking legs than you can handle.

And yes, dressing in nothing but money will get my attention.

A Documentary That Kicks Ass

by Lewis Manalo

Ruel Antipuesto’s documentary Eskrimadors screens this weekend in Queens, NY at the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center. Featuring interviews with some of most eminent grandmasters of Filipino Martial Arts, Eskrimadors will make you think twice about messin’ with a flip (aka, Funny Little Island Person).

Already available on DVD, this is more than just a History Channel special. Many of Cebu’s greatest teachers are featured here, in interviews and swinging sticks. Action fans will not want to miss it.

DVD: Vincere

by Lewis Manalo

Who knew that Mussolini was a bad guy? Okay, we knew Fascists are generally unpleasant, but, geez, a secret first wife?

A visually-arresting and operatic biopic, Vincere depicts the life of Ida Dalser, Benito Mussolini’s baby momma who he done wrong. A contender for the Palme d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festial, Vincere makes Justin Rego on the The Bachelorette look like the ideal boyfriend.

DVD: Creation

by Lewis Manalo

I’m really more of a neo-Lamarckist, but Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin looks really cool in a nerdy kind of way. And it proves that evolutionary theory is sexier than Creationism.

Milestone Films at 20

by Tony Nigro

In honor of their 20th anniversary, tomorrow our friends at Milestone Films will have a series of screenings on Turner Classic Movies. Milestone has survived thick and thin and thinner in the independent distribution arena, never sacrificing taste for success. They also managed to put out one of my personal favorites, The Exiles, in a fantastic DVD set. Props from TCM is well deserved.

Films included in the eclectic series are Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives, Killer of Sheep, Legong: Dance of the Virgins, The Bat Whispers, and of course The Exiles. Schedule information is available at TCM’s site.

DVD: Mystery Train

by Tony Nigro

Make your decision: Elvis Presley or Carl Perkins?

Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train makes a Criterion Collection debut today. Over at the label’s site, Dennis Lim has a nice piece on what I’ve always felt to be one of Jarmusch’s most nuanced films.

DVD: Squatterpunk

by Lewis Manalo

Yet another “Not a Film” by Filipino indie auteur Khavn hits American shores. A feature that made the rounds through a ton of international film festivals last year, Splatterpunk follows an eight-year-old wannabe gangster through the slums of Manila. There’s no dialog, just some titlecards and some relentless punk rock.

Poetic social realism? Fun? Exploitation? Annoying? This is one you’ll either love or hate, so you’ll have to see if for yourself.