Its that time of year again. The days get shorter, the nights darker and the prospect of fun, a little bleaker! As we go into the long winter months, those cold and unforgiving months where you spend more time indoors than out, Front Row Reviews have decided to feature 12 great films from the cream of the crop of Blu Ray, Criterion collection for any mood. We have even added an extra reason to buy and a link to shop for it!

So to begin When you are in the mood…

12 – For a laugh!


What is better than a good hearty laugh? Nothing! Harold Lloyd is today, returning back to his rightful place as a silent comedy great. His films have been freshly restored and the laughs are as quick and funny as they ever were. This, his best in most peoples opinions (and luckily also most well known, which might add to the rationale of best), sees him as the modern guy striving for success. He wants to make it big and make it happen, now! So when a wild publicity stunt to draw attention to the store, results in him climbing up the side of the building, it will be heart stopping hilarity!

Best Feature?

New 2K digital film restoration is just a thing of beauty for the fan and the film lover!

11 – For an uplift!


A film for the ages and possibly, your next fave thing! John Cameron Mitchell is the voice, mind and visionary behind Hedwig, a transgender rocker who swapped East Germany for the USA. She found love in the arms of a rocker called Tommy Gnosis (Michael Pitt). Tommy is the love of her life but Tommy is not so sure. He ends up stealing a batch of her songs, using them to make it big in the world of rock. Hedwig reacts and sets out to make a singing masterwork.

Best Feature?

New conversation between members of the cast and crew, including Mitchell. It’s a fun time had by all and a sense of the creative genius behind this masterpiece!

10 – For a feeling of hope

ROMA (2018)

ALFONSO CUARÓN directs a film that is both life affirming and unforgettable. Covering his childhood in Mexico City in the mid 1970s, it details his family home and the place of his live in helper, Cleo, in his life. She is the indigenous domestic worker, keeping his family running and his life filled with smiles and happiness. All this after their father abandons them because of political and social upheavals leaving him and the country in a state of shock.

Best Feature?

The essay by novelist Valeria Luiselli and historian Enrique Krauze. Thoughtful and revealing.


9 – For a lost love


American independent cinema rose to new heights politically in the 1980s. Donna Deitch film, set in Nevada in 1959 is a stand out masterpiece. Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) is an English professor from New York. She is lodging in a ranch owned by Frances Parker (Audra Lindley) for use by women going through divorces, Vivian finds herself unexpectedly drawn to fellow resident Cay Rivvers (Patricia Charbonneau). A bold, beautiful and haunting film for a night or day of contemplation.

Best Feature?

The film is so astounding, start there.


8 – For a taste of justice


Laurence Fishbourne is an undercover cop, trying to get to the heart of a drug king pin and his world of petty deaths and petty revenges. But DEEP COVER brilliance is in the work of director Bill Duke, a familiar face to anyone with a passing love of 80s cinema. He is also a great director of mood and visual memory. This film delivers on so many levels!

Best Feature? 

Well I loved the interview with Duke. This shows how he is a soft and lovable man, with a force of intelligence.


7 – For a dose of reality without bitterness..


I think SMITHEREENS is Criterions best single release. After escaping the dullest New Jersey, Wren (Susan Berman) moves to the city with the mission of becoming a face that is famous. Hanging at the Peppermint Lounge, she get Eric (Richard Hell), an aloof rocker and glum face. She also meets Paul (Brad Rijn), the nicest guy to ever live in a van next to the highway. Sounds odd, Plays excellently. It is a clever, well drawn story of a woman on the edge of fame in punk New York.

Best Feature?

The film is a marvel, start there!



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