¡Alambrista! (1977) – A film by Robert M. Young

Spine #609
United States
96 minutes
Colour

Overall Rating: 6/10
Worth checking out, but maybe pick it up on a sale, or if the subject interests you.

The Film: 7/10
This film follows a man’s journey from Mexico to California to make money to send to his family back home. It is shot with such realism that at times looks and feels like a documentary.

The Supplements: 6/10
Not much for features in this one. There is an interview with Edward James Olmos that is decent. The “Children of the Fields” documentary is also pretty good.

The Presentation: 6/10
Case: Criterion’s clear plastic format
Artwork: Cover is artwork of a man standing in a field surrounded by people working (seen above)
Inside: A list of chapters
Spine: yellow and red with brown title
Booklet: very thin, contains an essay

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El Norte (1983) – A film by Gregory Nava

Spine #458
United States and Guatemala
140 minutes
Colour

Overall Rating: 7/10
This is worth adding to your collection. A fictional film based on true heartbreaking stories with beautiful imagery.

The Film: 8/10
This film better than I was expecting it to be. It is an honest and heartbreaking story of two siblings traveling north through Mexico into the United States. The film had some beautiful images, and showed how hard it is for the characters trying to escape persecution and make it in America.

The Supplements: 6/10
A little lacking in special features, but the making of feature is definitely worth checking out. It is full of crazy stories, encounters, and problems they had making the film.

The Presentation: 8/10
Case: Soft case format
Artwork: Cover is artwork of the two siblings in front of Los Angeles (seen above)
Inside: Artwork silhouettes of butterflies in front of sunset colours.
Menu: Beautiful images from the film
Spine: Blue and white with black title
Booklet: Contains stills from the film

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All That Heaven Allows (1955) – A film by Douglas Sirk

Spine #95
United States
89 minutes
Colour

Overall Rating: 8.6/10
This release was rated one of the highest in quality on bluray.com and you will notice it right away. The restoration is to perfection. I would recommend adding this to your wishlist, and the film goes good with a bottle of wine on a rainy evening.

The Film: 9/10
This film actually surprised me. I went into it thinking “ok, here’s a romantic melodrama”, but Douglas Sirk delivers a heartbreaking story about love and family. Rock Hudson delivers a stellar performance and Jane Wyman will break your heart.

The Supplements: 8/10
I recommend watching the film a second time with commentary. It is very good and gives a lot of interesting points about the film. There is a bunch of other features that are worth checking out, but not all that interesting.

The Presentation: 9/10
Case: Criterion’s clear plastic dual format
Artwork: Cover is a beautiful still of Hudson and Wyman(seen above)
Spine: blue with white title
Booklet: Contains some beautiful stills from the film

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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970) – A film by Elio Petri

Spine #682
Italy
115 minutes
Colour

Overall Rating: 9/10
Check this on out! This film with leave you in suspense as the police get closer and closer to solving the case, while the murderer controls the entire investigation.

The Film: 9/10
This film is about a police inspector who believes he could commit murder, leave behind clues, and not ever be suspected of the crime. Watching the inspector investigate his own crime is great. He gives clues almost like daring the police to suspect him, and is baffled as each piece of evidence pointing towards him is dismissed.

The Supplements: 9/10
Again Criterion packed this film with interviews and two full length documentaries. I recommend watching “Elio Petri: Notes about a filmmaker” a 90 minute documentary on the director’s entire career.

The Presentation: 10/10
Case: Criterion’s soft case dual format
Artwork: Cover is a close up of the Police inspector with fingerprints over his face. (seen above)
Inside: The same image as the cover, but with a hand print instead of fingerprints.
Spine: Black, purple, and brown, with orange title
Booklet: Contains stills from the film

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Il Sorpasso (1962) – A film by Dino Risi

Spine #707
Italy
105 minutes
Black and White

Overall Rating: 9/10
Definitely pick this one up!

The Film: 9/10
Il Sorpasso takes you on a ride throughout Italy with a nervous law student and a self-confident bachelor. This film shows the differences of living your life focused and strict, vs a carefree existence. The dialogue between the two characters is pretty great, and watching the men develop and have an impact on each others lives over the two days is worth checking this film out.

The Supplements: 8/10
This release is packed with special features. Tons of interviews, and excerpts from documentaries, plus “A Beautiful Vacation” a documentary from 2006 on Risi.

The Presentation: 9/10
Case: Criterion’s duel format soft case.
Artwork: Cover is the two men speeding down the highway (seen above)
Inside: A still of Bruno doing a handstand at the beach
Menu: rear view of the men in the car speeding down the highway.
Spine: White and black, with Green title
Booklet: Contains stills from the film

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Persona (1966) – A film by Ingmar Bergman

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Spine #701
Sweden
83 minutes
Black and White

Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Go and get this one, not the typical Bergman film and the documentary is great too. I want to re-watch this one again soon

The Film: 9/10
This film is really something. If you go into this expecting the typical Bergman drama, you will quickly realize its not after the first five minutes. There is a very experimental prologue of images, cartoons, and visuals. During the film these experimental interludes jump in usually at the exact moment you start feeling like Persona is a typical Bergman film. This is one of those movies that stick with you for days after watching it.

The Supplements: 10/10
This is packed with special features. It contains and entire documentary “Liv & Ingmar“, and a ton of interviews.

The Presentation: 10/10
Case: Criterion’s soft duel format case
Artwork: Cover is a beautiful still from the film (seen above)
Inside: contains more stills from the film
Spine: Black and grey with white title
Booklet: Contains more beautiful stills from the film

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Throne of Blood (1957) – A film by Akira Kurosawa

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Spine #190
Japan
109 minutes
Black and White

Overall Rating: 8.5/10
You can’t ever go wrong with Kurosawa. This film is great, not my favourite Kurosawa but still great. I just wish the presentation was a little better. Compared to other Kurosawa releases this one is a little below the bar (but still good).

The Film: 9/10
Throne of blood is Kurosawa’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. BIG SURPRISE! Kurosawa’s version takes place in feudal Japan, and follows a warrior’s bloody rise to power.

The Supplements: 8/10
This one comes with a documentary on the making of the film, and I would also recommend watching the film a second time with audio commentary.

The Presentation: 9/10
Case: Criterion’s clear plastic format
Artwork: Cover is artwork of Toshiro Mifunec (seen above)
Inside: List of chapters and a still from the film
Spine: Red and black with white title
Booklet: Contains stills from the film and artwork.

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