Home Video Picks & Passes 07.18.21
1960s flicks and a cartoon from 2014 make the latest list.
From our July 18-31 issue
Dr. Strangelove (1964) — PICK
El Dorado (1967) — PICK
Ernest & Celestine (2014) — PICK
“It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but sifting the leaves remains a provocative challenge even today.”
So noted the USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting capsule review for Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed Cold War black comedy Dr. Strangelove, accompanied by an ambiguous “L” rating (“limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling”).
With that caveat, the film fully deserves its towering reputation as a scathing antiwar satire — and the new 4K/BR/digital set is a good opportunity to sift the bitter leaves of its indictment of humanity, bringing about its doom through stubbornness, obsessiveness and stupidity.
There’s plenty of stubbornness and stupidity in Howard Hawks’ classic Western El Dorado, new on Blu-ray — but given the territory, you know John Wayne and Robert Mitchum will pull through.
Wayne plays an injured gunslinger who teams up with Mitchum, a sheriff compromised by heavy drinking. The plot — outnumbered heroes defending the sheriff’s office against a siege of outlaws — is familiar, but Hawks keeps it fresh (and funny).
The adorably anarchic animated charmer Ernest & Celestine, new on Blu-ray, is also about heroes triumphing over stubbornness and stupidity — in this case, a bold, artistic young mouse who forms an unlikely friendship with a crusty, ingenuous bohemian bear, challenging the cold war between bears and mice in their world.
CAVEAT SPECTATOR: Dr. Strangelove: Battlefield imagery; absurdist treatment of nuclear war; sexual themes and innuendo; mild cursing. Teens and up. El Dorado: Gunplay and frontier violence; an off-screen suicide; drunkenness; mild cursing. Teens and up. Ernest & Celestine: Frightening situations. Fine family viewing.