Blu-ray Review: Sands Of Iwo Jima

Sands of Iwo Jima
Directed by Allan Dwan
Story by Harry Brown; Screenplay by Brown and James Edward Grant
Starring John Wayne, John Agar, and Forrest Tucker
Olive Films
Release Date: November 11, 2014

When it comes to vintage war movies Sands of Iwo Jima is about as old-fashioned as they can get. It was one of the last memorable features made by the late Allan Dwan, a Canadian-born filmmaker who had began working in the motion picture industry during its pre-sound infancy, and it starred silver screen legend John Wayne in one of his most iconic leading roles. In the decades that followed Sands‘ theatrical release, war movies got meaner, bloodier, and introspective about what it means to kill for your country, so Dwan’s film can’t helped but be regarded today as an antique from a different era of cinema history.

However, that hardly means Sands of Iwo Jima doesn’t bring to the table many of its own virtues, the most important being that it’s highly entertaining and features the Duke stepping outside his movie star comfort zone to deliver an actual performance to rank with his turns in the classic westerns Red River and The Searchers. At this point in his career Wayne had been firmly established as a star of big screen westerns and war epics. During World War II he saw celluloid combat in The Fighting Seabees, Flying Tigers, Back to Bataan, and John Ford’s They Were Expendable. Wayne could always be counted on to provide a hearty stew of sensitivity and machismo and marshal the war effort with his effortless performances. Sands wasn’t his last combat film, but it was probably one of his best.

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The Digital Wire Blu-ray/DVD Release News: Doctors, Slashers, Givers, and Samurai Cops

If the title of this week’s edition of The Digital Wire is any indication, we’ve got one twisted job fair on our hands. Below you’ll find info on several future home video releases complete with technical specs, release dates, and links to pre-order at Amazon. We would greatly appreciate it if you use those links to order because a small percentage of each order helps keep this website running at max power. The cover art for certain titles has yet to be finalized.

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DVD Review: Raging Boll

Raging Boll
Directed by Dan Lee West
Starring Uwe Boll
Olive Films
Release Date: October 21, 2014

On September 23, 2006 four online film writers were selected from an extensive pool of challengers to go head-to-head with controversial German director Uwe Boll in one round of boxing at the Plaza of Nations entertainment complex located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event had all of the marks of being a public relations stunt of the lowest stunt, but it held a morbid curiosity value for longtime detractors of Boll and anyone who ever wanted to see a filmmaker actually take on some of their most vocal critics with punches rather than words.

The four critics selected were Rue Morgue writer and current Fangoria editor Chris Alexander, Ain’t It Cool News writer Jeff Sneider, amateur boxer and Internet critic Nelson Chance Minter, and Something Awful webmaster and CEO Rich Kyanka.

The event was heavily hyped and dubbed Raging Boll by promoters. That’s also the name given to this 2010 documentary directed by Dan Lee West, who worked in various capacities on a few of Boll’s earlier films prior to becoming a filmmaker, which is just now receiving its first American DVD release courtesy of Olive Films.

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