The Sugarland Express: Steven Spielberg’s First Theatrical Film

While Duel later got edited for a theatrical release, The Sugarland Express marked the first theatrical film for Steven Spielberg. In celebration of The Fabelmans entering wide release, I did a rewatch of the earliest Steven Spielberg films. One thing to note about this film in particular is that it marks the beginning of Spielberg’s relationship with John Williams. Williams composes such a memorable theme for the film that recurs throughout its almost two-hour runtime.…

"The Sugarland Express: Steven Spielberg’s First Theatrical Film"

Duel: The First Steven Spielberg Feature Film

Duel is the made-for-TV Hitchcock-esque thriller on the road that started it all for Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg. I meant to watch the film ahead of The Fabelmans premiering in Toronto. Instead, my rewatch comes just before the film expands into a wide release. It’s funny to think that we owe a Playboy magazine for his first foray as a feature filmmaker. And yet, it is a Richard Matheson short story that would lead to…

"Duel: The First Steven Spielberg Feature Film"

Strange World: A New Disney Adventure

Don Hall is back with the newest Disney adventure taking us into strange new worlds–sorry, no Star Trek here–in Strange World. I’m sorry but I couldn’t resist a Strange New Worlds comment. After all, this is the year of the strange on both the big screen and small. To anybody expecting to see Pike’s Peak aka Anson Mount, I’m sorry to disappoint you but this has nothing to do with that franchise. It’s nice to…

"Strange World: A New Disney Adventure"

Disenchanted: Enchanted Sequel Falls Short

Disenchanted, the long-overdue sequel to Disney’s 2007 hit film Enchanted, is finally making its arrival for audiences to watch on Disney+. I love Enchanted but I’m not quite sure that I’m at the same level for Disenchanted. Where the first film sees Disney go meta by doing a hybrid animated/live-action Disney Princess movie, the sequel does the same for villains. The fact that this film sees Amy Adams’ Giselle becoming the wicked stepmother is something…

"Disenchanted: Enchanted Sequel Falls Short"

The Conspiracy: An Animated Film About Antisemitism – DOC NYC 2022

The world premiere of The Conspiracy at DOC NYC could not be more timely with antisemitism at its highest levels in several years. To say that this film is not enjoyable or entertaining would not be an understatement. However, it is essential that as many people watch this film–now more than ever. I’m not sure how many other DOC NYC films I’m getting to because of my schedule this month but I made sure that…

"The Conspiracy: An Animated Film About Antisemitism – DOC NYC 2022"

The People We Hate at the Wedding Is Hysterical

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the dysfunctional family comedy that brings the laughs ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux’s script is based on Grant Ginder’s bestselling novel of the same name. Every family has their flaws–whether we choose to admit it in front of our friends or not–but this film takes flaws to the next level. In this comedy, you have siblings who do not have the best…

"The People We Hate at the Wedding Is Hysterical"

Only In Theaters: The Laemmle Family and the American Dream

Only In Theaters isn’t just a love letter to cinema but a story about the Laemmle family and living the American Dream. Over the course of two and a half years, filmmaker Raphael Sbarge traces the family’s history all the way back to the 1930s. He was given complete access and full creative control in telling their story. While the final run time is about an hour and a half, the initial cut ran around…

"Only In Theaters: The Laemmle Family and the American Dream"

Reservoir Dogs Gets 4K Ultra HD Upgrade

Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature, Reservoir Dogs, gets the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment over a month after its 30th anniversary. A few filmmakers changed the game for independent filmmaking when their films played Sundance: Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Steven Soderbergh. Soderbegh started first with Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989. Tarantino was next with Reservoir Dogs in 1992. Finally, you had Kevin Smith premiere Clerks in 1992. While this film didn’t do much at…

"Reservoir Dogs Gets 4K Ultra HD Upgrade"

Blue Hawaii Arrives on 4K Ultra HD

Blue Hawaii is the first of three Elvis films shot in Hawaii and it makes its arrival on 4K Ultra HD by way of the Paramount Presents line. A quick note about the Blue Hawaii restoration: they scanned the original 35mm negative in 4k/16BIT. Unfortunately, the opening sequence was grainy because it originally used duped film. As a result, they have rebuilt the sequence completely using the original film elements in the Paramount library. Because…

"Blue Hawaii Arrives on 4K Ultra HD"

Touch of Evil: The Reconstructed Cut in 4K Ultra HD

All three cuts of Touch of Evil, a film noir directed by Orson Welles, are available on 4K Ultra HD by way of Kino Lorber Studio Classics. The new Kino Lorber 4K UHD release presents every cut of the film with a new Dolby Vision HDR master. I watched the reconstructed cut on Sunday since it is considered to be the definitive cut in the film. Walter Murch edits the film according to Welles’s original…

"Touch of Evil: The Reconstructed Cut in 4K Ultra HD"