Author Archive: Jef Burnham

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).

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Rocky: Heavyweight Collection

Rocky: Heavyweight Collection

| February 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

For so many U.S. audiences, the (first couple) Rocky movies tap into a primal urge: the desire to rise from the gutter, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make something of yourself. It’s about the American Dream, achieving your goals against all odds, making a name for yourself and a fortune through sheer willpower […]

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Escape Plan

Escape Plan

| February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Action film icons Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger join forces to break out of the world’s most high-tech prison in 2013’s Escape Plan, now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. It’s an action-packed, if somewhat mindless, thriller that casts Stallone as Ray Breslin, a professional prison escape artist who tests the effectiveness […]

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Deluxe Edition

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Deluxe Edition

| February 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, originally published in 1886, is as potent an allegory today as it ever was, asking us to consider the ever-present base, immoral, and animalistic urges that within all of us. We all have the capacity to perform horrible, unspeakable deeds. Whether we do these things […]

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Nostalghia

Nostalghia

| January 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

No one makes films like Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris, Andrei Rublev) did. Tarkovsky films don’t merely tell stories. Indeed, narrative coherence is the least of the later Russian filmmaker’s achievements. His films are languid, contemplative, and crafted so as to turn the viewer’s thoughts inward. More than perhaps any other filmmaker, he challenges us to consider our place […]

The Prey (La proie)

The Prey (La proie)

| January 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Let me put this out there right off the bat: the 2011 French action-thriller The Prey (La proie) from Eric Valette (One Missed Call (2008)) bears a striking resemblance to The Fugitive (1993). You can tell as much from the trailer. But this is by no means a bad thing. In fact, if nothing else, […]

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Enough Said

Enough Said

| January 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

Writer/director Nicole Holofcener perfected the sort of quirky and hilarious ensemble pieces centered on characters plagued by “liberal guilt” (to quote on of her producers) she had specialized in for a decade when she made 2006’s Friends With Money. It’s a film I’ve seen countless times, took a number of pals to see in the […]

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In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night

| January 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

Norman Jewison’s Academy Award-Winning, AFI Top 100-placing In the Heat of the Night (1967) made its Blu-ray debut earlier this week courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, demanding with its vastly improved transfer that we rush out and upgrade that 2008 DVD version of the film sitting on our shelves. But then maybe you […]

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Sunrise

Sunrise

| January 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Following his artistic successes with pictures like Nosferatu (1922) and The Last Laugh (Der letzte Mann, 1924), German director F. W. Murnau came to the United States to direct a film for Fox incorporating German Expressionist techniques at the behest of William Fox. The result is 1927’s Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which would […]

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

| January 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Earlier this week, the Cohen Film Collection simultaneously debuted two of French New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard’s films on Blu-ray as part of their Classics of French Cinema line of home video releases: Hail Mary (Je vous salue, Marie, 1985) and For Ever Mozart (1996). Although beautiful and complex, the highly academic For Ever Mozart […]

Riddick

Riddick

| January 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Spurred in no small part by the enormous support of his fans on Facebook, Vin Diesel reprised his role as Richard B. Riddick—the role that marked his debut as a leading man—in 2013’s Riddick. The character first appeared in 2000’s Pitch Black and his adventures continued in 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick. Both films garnered […]