Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

Archive for the ‘DVD/Blu-ray Reviews’ Category

DVD review: F For Fake

Posted by Jonathan On August - 16 - 2012
Truth be damned! Emerging from a fug of frozen-peas ads, crappy health and burst projects, Orson Welles’ final film as a director was one last rabbit out of the hat: a definition-defying examination of trickery itself. Derailing a BBC documentary about legendary art forger Elmyr de Hory, Welles shreds it into a subversive, self-indulgent cine-essay on “two world leaders in fakery”: Hory and his biographer/fellow-faker Clifford Irving. Gatecrashing into the edit come Howard Hughes, Pablo Picasso and a fascinating dissection of reality, falsehood, bluff and narrative in a ludic comedy of secrets and lies. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Drive

Posted by Jonathan On December - 27 - 2011

He has no friends, no past and no name. “I drive,” he says. He does. Opening with its coolest set-piece – an intense, tightly constructed stop/start getaway – Drive immediately shows us how.

Having spun the story of Brit criminal Charles Bronson into a 21st-century Clockwork Orange, hotshot Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn joins forces with Ryan Gosling to take a classic American genre-engine– a girl, a hero, a dark lord, cars, guns, dirty money – and give it a gleaming new Euro-cool chassis. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Zodiac Director’s Cut

Posted by Jonathan On February - 28 - 2011

Life-eating obsession. Dizzying detail. Surgical precision. This two-disc Director’s Cut DVD slams home the point: this gripping true-life procedural is as much as about David Fincher’s hunt for the Zodiac killer as it is about the story of the men who burned up two decades of their lives looking for him. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Rear Window

Posted by Jonathan On January - 7 - 2011

Look closer… Vertigo’s sick little brother sees snoop reporter Jimmy Stewart stuck in a wheelchair with nothing to do but waggle his long lens at the neighbours. Has he discovered a murder? Should he get involved? Should we? Too late, already. With the camera locked inside Stewart’s room for the entire film, Hitchcock’s chilling essay on voyeurism (read: movie-going) stares right back at you. Meaning? Rear Window is the definitive guilty-pleasure movie. Watch it in a double-bill with Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, then go for counseling. Read the rest of this entry »

Blu-ray review: The Magnificent Seven

Posted by Jonathan On September - 23 - 2010

And then there was one… Fifty years later, Robert Vaughn is the only member of The Magnificent Seven left alive. But as icons on the Western landscape, they’re as immortal as Monument Valley.

Well, apart from Brad Dexter, who lives on as a pub-quiz answer. And Horst Buchholz. Who? Exactly. Amazingly, the film’s best role – made famous by Toshiro Mifune’s feral, ferocious performance in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai – went to a German actor making his American debut as a Mexican gunfighter called Chico. Go figure. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Jennifer’s Body

Posted by Jonathan On September - 22 - 2010

It sounded like one salty morsel: hottest girl on the planet stars as flesh-eating cheerleader in hipster horror-comedy written by Oscar-winning tattooed ex-stripper who can turn an indie comedy into a blockbuster. It sounded satirical, sexy, scary. So why did Jennifer’s Body end being none of those things? Why did audiences end up seeing 2012 and New Moon instead? Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Psycho

Posted by Jonathan On September - 2 - 2010

Mummy! Masterful screen terror as bad-girl-on-the-lam Janet Leigh picks the wrong place to spend the night. Scalpel-sharp edits, leering camerawork and Bernard Herrmann’s killer score max out the fear-factor in Hitchcock’s seminal black-and-white shocker. Three-mile queues were reported at some drive-in theatres when it debuted in 1960. It’s still not safe to go back in the water.

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DVD review: Notorious

Posted by Jonathan On August - 26 - 2010

Megamind critic David Thomson called Hitchcock “an inventor of thumbscrews”. In this twisted, diabolical love story, they’re firmly on Ingrid Bergman. She plays a booze-sozzled floozy forced to marry nice-Nazi Claude Rains to help the man she really loves – shadowy American agent Cary Grant. A creamy-smooth suspenser with an inky heart of darkness, it’s Hitchcock’s most stylish dose of poisonous eroticism and arch misogyny. Nazis, alcoholism, sexual favours, blackmail… What’s not to like? Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: North By Northwest

Posted by Jonathan On August - 19 - 2010

Yes, you saw the train go into that tunnel… Cheeky. Hitch sexes up the thriller genre with this knockout whisk of suspense, wit and style, sending Mad-man Cary Grant (the original Don Draper) pegging it cross-country with spies (who think he’s a double agent) and the police (who think he’s an assassin) hot on his arse. Classic scenes a-go-go – the crop-dusting plane and Mount Rushmore face-chase are rightly iconic – and brilliantly scripted by the late, great Ernest Lehman, who delivers a strolling commentary on this disc. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Vertigo

Posted by Jonathan On August - 12 - 2010

Or: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hitchcock, But Were Afraid To Ask. And you should be afraid. Hitchcock’s greatest film, his most autobiographical film, is his blackest. Talk about falling in love: retired copper Jimmy Stewart can’t let go of the woman (Kim Novak) he’s been hired to tail and ends up taking a slo-mo tumble through the cracks in his own mind – taking her with him. A mesmerising view of human obsession, desire, guilt and exploitation – in which, most terrifyingly, love is the true MacGuffin. Wordless for most of its length, it gets deeper and darker with every viewing. Read the rest of this entry »

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About Me

Following a decade’s experience as a journalist, Jonathan currently specialises in editorial and brand storytelling as Editorial Director of London-based creative agency Human After All. He continues to write about life and film on a freelance basis.

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