Culture » Film

The Monster Squad, The Loretta Young Show, A Liar's Autobiography

Cinefiles

comment
The Monster Squad

The Monster Squad (PG-13) (Blu-ray)

Olive Films

For a couple of decades, fans of this buried gem of a Goonies knockoff had to revisit its band of school-aged, misfit monster-fighters on VHS. A 20th anniversary DVD arrived in 2007, but reactions were subdued. Like so many childhood faves, this adventure-horror flick in which the "Universal Monsters" (the Mummy, cuddly Frankenstein's monster, "nard"-possessing Wolf Man and Dracula) invade an affluent suburban town didn't age well. The kids and their investigative Scoobiness played entertainingly, but the bloody, guns-blazing finale was jarring, and signs of its less-evolved era pervaded. (The word "faggot" litters the proceedings.) While those problems don't look much better today, this new Blu-ray treatment may just capitalize on the upcoming Iron Man 3. (That superhero epic's writer-director, Shane Black, was a co-writer on The Monster Squad.) — Justin Strout

The Loretta Young Show: 100th Birthday Edition

The Loretta Young Show: 100th Birthday Edition (NR)

Timeless Media

Even though she's now considered a minor character when measured against other actresses of her day, Loretta Young was once a real hot tamale, starring in hit films like 1947's politically themed The Farmer's Daughter and 1949's nunnery-themed Come to the Stable. She was also behind one of the first huge television hits, with The Loretta Young Show. Running for eight years on NBC, the anthology show was mix of melodramatic romance and light comedy, with Loretta originally answering fan mail through performances that would often promote good family values or romantic Christian love. Timeless Media's 100th Birthday Edition box set spans 17 discs, collecting the very best episodes of the show that, while dated and often boring, do have a certain hokey charm. — Louis Fowler

A Liar's Autobiography

A Liar's Autobiography (R)

Virgil Films

Graham Chapman has been widely regarded as the driving force behind some of British comedy troupe Monty Python's most memorable bits. When he died in 1989, it effectively put an end to one of the most iconically endearing pop-culture phenomena of all time. A Liar's Autobiography is an all-animated, rambling, non-sequential adaptation of Chapman's autobiography, and it reunites most of the Pythons, as well as, for some reason, Cameron Diaz as Sigmund Freud. The results are wildly fluctuating, with the most hilarious bits being recreations of old Python sketches. The dour final act focuses on Chapman's alcoholism and promiscuity. I expected more, and why not? Monty Python taught us to expect more from comedic storytelling, whether it's fact or fiction. This should have been no exception, which forces me to recommend it for Python completists only. — Louis Fowler

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast