Frankenstein's Army, The Captains Close Up, The Wizard of Oz 


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Frankenstein's Army (R) (Blu-ray)

Dark Sky Films

Frankenstein's Army is another horror flick with a strong premise wasted by a shoddy, unimaginative framing device. In this case, it's the return of the hand-held camera. And with this movie, its use doesn't even make sense, capturing a group of Russian soldiers traversing the countryside in the final days of World War II looking for Nazis to smash. When they hear a distress message, they head to an abandoned village that is controlled by Dr. Frankenstein and his bizarre undead creations. This is a fun, original idea, and the monsters look like very intricate pieces of art, from what you can see of them. The problem is that this movie is told from the point of view of a documentarian, on anachronistic sound and color film, no less. And every time a monster attacks, the constantly moving camera makes things impossible to view, ruining what could have been a fantastic flick. — Louis Fowler

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The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition (G)

Warner Home Video

Film adaptations of any beloved book can be easy to pick apart. But one only has to look at MGM's 1939 The Wizard of Oz for proof that sometimes creative freedom goes a long way. In the original L. Frank Baum story, no mention is made of rainbows or ruby slippers. And the Wicked Witch's famous "What a world!" farewell? In the book, it's considerably less succinct. With all due respect to Baum, some of the most iconic fragments of Oz are thanks to director Victor Fleming and the innovative team behind the Judy Garland musical, fêted here a mere five years after the last anniversary edition with a new 3D disc and a smattering of new extras. After Sam Raimi's big-budget prequel and in advance of a handful of planned TV spin-offs, the original has never seemed fresher. — Justin Strout

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The Captains Close Up (NR)

Entertainment One

Shameless movie cash-ins. Returns to the financial frontier. These are the hallmarks of William Shatner and his goals to keep his paychecks rolling in, to keep himself relevant, and to unabashedly ride a wave of former glories like no actor has done before. His The Captains Close Up features the original Captain James T. Kirk interviewing the captains from every other Star Trek incarnation in an attempt to ... well, I'm not really sure. Maybe to commiserate? Snark aside, Captains is for Trek completists only; most people will learn nothing new about the series or the actors. But it's also watchably fun to see the chemistry and bonds between these actors who have played these very powerful and iconic roles. The film is more of a celebration of the series, and to its credit, it's far cheaper than going to some convention for the weekend. — Louis Fowler


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