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DVD Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Animation Marvels—In Print And On DVD

    A spectacular new book about Ray Harryhausen is cause for celebration—but more about that later. The estimable Mr. H was inspired to pursue his art, and craft, by the films he saw as a boy, especially The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933). But the man who created the stunning animation in those films, Willis O’Brien, wasn’t the only person experimenting with the wonders of stop-motion. Steve Stanchfield, Stewart McKissick and Ken Priebe at Thunderbean Animation have compiled a dizzying DVD collection of rare short subjects appropriately titled Stop-Motion Marvels! and it’s a must for anyone interested in this f...

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    dvd review: Discovery: The Night of the Hunter - 2002

    It’s become commonplace to see “making-of” documentaries and promotional videos, even for crummy movies that don’t merit such attention. Unfortunately, behind-the-scenes footage for movies of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s is scarce, and when it exists it’s generally brief.

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    Chaplin—First, Last, And Always

    For me, comedy begins with Charlie Chaplin. I know there were screen comedies before he came along, and I appreciate the work of everyone from Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew to Max Linder. But none of them created a persona as unique or indelible as the Little Tramp, and no one could match his worldwide i...

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    Destino: Walt’s Dream, Then Roy's

    dvd reviewIt took sixty years for Salvador Dali’s unfinished Walt Disney project, Destino, to reach fruition. In comparison, the seven years it’s taken for a home video release doesn’t seem so bad, but the process has been frustrating. And even now, the opportunity to own the Oscar-nominated film co...

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    dvd review: Fantasia Revisited—And Revealed

    I have good news and bad news about the new DVD/Blu-Ray release of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. First, the good news. As someone who’s still lingering on the sidelines of the Blu-Ray revolution, I must tell you that the high-definition restoration of Walt Disney’s Fantasia looks breathtaking—even on stan...

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    dvd reviews: DISNEY DOCS FINALLY ON DVD

    Two significant Disney-related documentaries, Walt & El Grupo, the story of Walt Disney’s sojourn to South America in 1941, and The Boys, the life story of the songwriting Sherman Brothers, are being released on DVD tomorrow, along with the story of the animation department’s fall and rise and fall,...

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    dvd review: John Ford: Hiding In Plain Sight

    Many people believed that John Ford was the finest American director of the 20th Century. In a perfect world, all of his films would be readily available for viewing but that is simply not the case.

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    Music Worth Hearing—And Seeing

    I love music almost as much as I love movies. That’s why I start every morning with a visit to Tin Pan Alley at www.youtube.com/user/petermintunmusic, where the gifted pianist, singer and musicologist Peter Mintun offers “A Different Tune Each Day.” I’ve also had some wonderful experiences in recent months watching DVDs that celebrate a wide variety of music I happen to like. These documentaries and performance videos don’t have marketing muscle behind them, so they depend on loyal followers and word-of-mouth. That’s why I’m happy to recommend them here, in the hope that I can expand that audience ...

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    Boris Karloff's Assurance

    dvd review: THRILLER: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Image Entertainment)

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    Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist And Rebel

    There are few people who can be credited with affecting real or lasting change in our culture. One of them is Hugh Hefner, an aspiring cartoonist who borrowed money to put out the first issue of a magazine called Playboy that became an overnight sensation back in the uptight 1950s. Hef became a cele...

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