Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

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

DVD review: Godzilla

Posted by Jonathan On June - 10 - 2009

godzilla1Or: how Japan learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. Restored, recut and re-released with a full 40 extra minutes to celebrate a 50th birthday, Godzilla shrugs off its politically neutered US edit to stomp tall once more: a thirty-storey atomic metaphor as urgent, fraught and ambiguous as ever. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Blazing Saddles

Posted by Jonathan On June - 6 - 2009

blazingsaddles“Never Give A Saga An Even Break!” hollers the tagline to Mel Brooks’ swipe at Hollywood’s most sacred genre. After succeeding by setting out to fail with The Producers, Brooks wasn’t going to print the legend. He was going to wipe his boots on it. Summoning just about every one of the Western’s stock clichés for a merciless parodying, Blazing Saddles balances an irreverent backslap at Hollywood prejudice with a tireless, irresistible vulgarity. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Pickpocket

Posted by Jonathan On May - 30 - 2009

pickpocketThe same year Godard was cutting up cinema in A Bout De Souffle, Robert Bresson was channelling Dostoevsky for this guilty classic about a lonely narcissist (Martin Lassalle) who sidesteps society and morality for the frozen thrill of life as a compulsive pickpocket. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Green Street

Posted by Jonathan On May - 28 - 2009

elijahThrowing alpha-geezer agro and angst over a classical framework (warring families, the Judas, the old King), Lexi Alexander’s debut mixes vicious flashes of authenticity with dopey cliché but scores a heartfelt, ragged wallop that rattles through your skull. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Hard Candy

Posted by Jonathan On May - 28 - 2009

ellenpagePutting the rage into underage, paedogeddon revenge-fantasy Hard Candy pulls a blind-siding role reversal that sees a 14-year-old super-flirt (X3 starlet Ellen Page) entrap a 32-year-old fashion-snapper cum internet-perv (Patrick Wilson) in his home. Her gameplan? Ice-pack. Scalpel. Medical textbook open at the chapter on male genitalia… Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Early Hitchcock

Posted by Jonathan On May - 28 - 2009

alfredhitchcockAlfred Hitchcock should have been selling cabbages. But no. At just 27, the greengrocer’s son was already Britain’s finest director. Wedged between his breakthrough box-office smash The Lodger (1926) and the mould-setting late-’30s trio of The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, this fascinating nine-disc snapshot of his Brit period tracks a genius in genesis. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: The Machine Girl

Posted by Jonathan On May - 26 - 2009

machinegirlMega-gore schlock-comedy The Machine Girl starts from a place of such sheer awesomeness, it’s hard to know where it can run. Losing a kid brother and a limb to Yakuza sickos, schoolgirl avenger Ami (softcore pinku starlet Minase Yashiro) re-arms literally with a Gatling gun body-mod before storming through the movie in a spray of blood and severed body parts. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: The Wrestler

Posted by Jonathan On May - 4 - 2009

rourkeMickey Rourke never meets people in offices. He picked a restaurant, his turf, when he heard this “cult, independent, arty-farty kinda guy” wanted to make a film with him. “He sort of walked across the street like his balls were too big for his pants,” recalls Rourke, on The Wrestler‘s DVD interview. “Then he just started saying, ‘You’ve ruined your career for the last 15 years and I can’t raise a dime on your name. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Hunger

Posted by Jonathan On April - 28 - 2009

hungerBloody knuckles clenched in scalding water. Cigarette smoke drifting through snowflakes. Rivers of urine scraped down a stone corridor. Shit-swirls smeared on the walls. Sights, sounds and senses are what give Hunger its incredible visceral impact, as artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen’s audacious debut slams us in headfirst. Maze prison. Circa 1982. IRA prisoners attempting to force the Thatcher government to grant them status as political prisoners not terrorists… Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Pumping Iron

Posted by Jonathan On April - 27 - 2009

arnoldBefore the loin-clothed Neanderthal orphan and the Uzi-loving cybernetic organism, Arnold Schwarzenegger scored one of the most influential acting roles of his career: himself. What makes cult ‘70s bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron such an interesting bridge between Arnie’s pro Adonis years and his birth as a big-screen anti-hero is the fact that it isn’t a documentary at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.

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