A Quasi-Fictional account of the life of Jane Austen… yes, that incredibly romantic writer that makes girls swoon with the dream of true love. The film is basically based on her life, but embellished with influences from her own fictional stories… it actually works really well… probably due to the fact that Anne Hathaway is a hottie that can act… It’s a beautifully shot movie that is nowhere near as great as PRIDE & PREJUDICE, but it’s still a very nice work.
Way to go Ben Affleck! You know, I like Ben Affleck. I like him in front of the camera – and having seen GONE BABY GONE, I love him behind the camera. Ben’s debut film is an incredibly sharp procedural drama about what happened to a missing Child in South Boston. Ben knows this area well – and it shows in the details of the film, which makes this movie seem more authentic, to my eyes, than MYSTIC RIVER which was set in the same world. Directing his brother Casey Affleck – Casey does work that rivals his Robert Ford portrayal in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES. Also in the cast is the girl I’ve fallen in love with, since KISS KISS BANG BANG… you know, Michelle Monaghan. In addition you have Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman. This is one not to miss!
I love these sorts of Documentaries. The story of the moon missions – is just the sort of thing that reminds me of what we as a people can do. This documentary is particularly worthy of ownership because of the interviews with so many of the Moon Men. The Astronauts that walked, lept, played, worked and even pee’d on the moon. I love hearing about the perils of being on the moon… mainly that you couldn’t judge scale, because there was nothing to compare the scope of what you were looking at. That’s stunning to me – to think you could possibly walk into something that was essentially the Grand Canyon – but because there’s no reference to the distances involved – you have no perspective. That’s… I don’t know how to not have a frame of referece. To think a boulder is a pebble and vice versa. Stunning – and something that Moon pictures can’t give you a sense of. That’s something that only someone standing on the moon could tell you. And they tell us so much more.
I like James Gray as a director, but I always find his films lacking somehow. There’s no denying he has a great cast here… But I just never believe that Donnie Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix are brothers…. And not only that, I don’t believe that Robert Duvall is their father – and that they are his sons. I just don’t buy it. I like the story – but the casting doesn’t gel for me. However, as usual James Gray has crafted a very handsome and compelling story. The casting thing, might just be my problem… that – and I still have never like Eva Mendes in a single film. And I can still, unfortunately say that. I’m hoping Frank Miller changes that for us.
I love Charlie Chan movies. I grew up on them. Warner Oland or Sidney Toler… I’m happy. These are Sidney Toler editions – and I will buy every set of these they put out. Same with MR MOTO and SHERLOCK HOLMES. I really enjoy the three of these I’ve seen, but I’ve yet to see CHARLIE CHAN IN RENO. Fox continues to do a great job on these sets – special features – excellent restoration and it just is a first class job!
One of the most forgotten great directors of the Golden Age of Hollywood amongst today’s younger set is Ernst Lubitsh. One of the greatest directors of any era. Here we have a great collection of his musicals – 3 of the 4 films were nominated for Best Picture. They star the likes of Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert – and the musicals are those fantastic melodrama musicals. As usual – Criterion kicks ass with the presentation and mastering of these four films. These are incredibly superior films – which is as usual with Lubitsch.
I have to say – I have never seen any of these 5 films. I didn’t get a review copy of this – but I do know the films based on reputation and the work of this brilliant actress, Joan Crawford. With A WOMAN’S FACE you have George Cukor and an excellent cast of Conrad Veidt and Melvin Douglas. FLAMINGO ROAD is directed by my all time favorite director, Michael Curtiz – and has what I’ve heard is one of the great performances by Sydney Greenstreet!! With STRANGE CARGO – you’ve got Clark Gable and Peter Lorre in what sounds like a bizarre prison escape / religious allegory flick… fascinating. Over all – I can’t wait to dig in and discover these films!
This is just a fantastic collection. I love me some Stanley Kramer films and this set is strong without exception. If you’ve never seen the Dr. Seuss feature – THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T – then this is the reason to pick up the entire set. One of the most insanely bizarre nightmarishly surreal film you’ll ever see. People sometimes make the mistake of thinking of this as a kid’s film… but in reality – it’s high surrealist art. It must be seen to be believed – and it is the singularly most bizarre film of Kramer’s career. The other films are simply brilliant. Brando’s THE WILD ONE performance is legendary… so are the performances of Spencer Tracey, Katherine Hepburn and and Sidney Poitier in GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER. One of the great movies about race relations in America. The nearly completely unknown film THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING features THE HAUNTING’s Julie Harris – about 8 years earlier and smaller as a Tom Boy Beanpole that isn’t accepted by her peers – and is a haunting and sad prose upon just how hard growing up is. You owe it to yourself to discover this classic. And you should just discover SHIP OF FOOLS. It’s something else altogether – and illustrates just how varied Kramer could get.
This looks like complete crap.
Right now – Eli Roth is masturbating at the idea of having a really solid DVD release of ZAPPED! Actually so is director Jeff Mahler. And it’s hard to preach against them. Scott Baio at his best – with Willie Aames as his best friend. This is everything he couldn’t do on HAPPY DAYS – tons of nudity – as a completely realistic story about a college kid with telekinetic powers beyond imagining. The most fun offering of the week! Well, maybe – keep reading…
Now this is definitely the most fun item on the menu this week! I just wish this was in Hi-Def. As a fan of animation – it’s utterly bizarre to see MGM and Warner Brothers and Paramount/Fleischer Academy Award nominees all gathered together! So weird. Here’s what is on the discs: Disc 1: Academy Award® winning shorts featured on the DVDs: 1) The Milky Way (MGM), 2) Yankee Doodle Mouse (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 3) Mouse Trouble (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 4) Quiet Please (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 5) The Cat Concerto (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 6) Tweetie Pie (WB), 7) The Little Orphan (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 8) For Scent-Imental Reasons (WB, Pepe Le Pew), 9) So Much for so Little (a special educational Warner Brothers short), 10) Two Mouseketeers (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 11) Johann Mouse (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 12) Speedy Gonzales (WB), 13) Birds Anonymous (WB, Tweety & Sylvester), 14) Knighty-Knight Bugs (WB, Bugs Bunny) 15) The Dot and the Line (Chuck Jones classic MGM cartoon). Discs 2 & 3: Academy Award® nominated shorts featured on the DVDs include 1) Popeye The Sailor Meets Sinbad The Sailor (Paramount/Fleischer) 2) Superman (Paramount/Fleischer) 3) Walky Talky Hawky (WB, Foghorn Leghorn) 4) One Droopy Knight (MGM, Droopy) plus 12 more un-announced titles. Those close to the production of this DVD say we can expect these cartoons to be included on the Nominees discs, but they have not yet been officially announced: 5) A Wild Hare (WB, Bugs Bunny) 6) Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (WB, Bugs Bunny) new to DVD. 7) Rhapsody In Rivits (WB) new to DVD. 8) Greetings Bait (WB) new to DVD. 9) Swooner Crooner (WB, Porky Pig) new to DVD. 10) Life With Feathers (WB, Sylvester) new to DVD. 11) Mouse Wreckers (WB, Hubie & Bertie) 12) From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (WB, Ralph Philips) new to DVD. 13) Sandy Claws (WB, Tweety & Sylvester) new to DVD. 14) Tobasco Road (WB, Speedy Gonzalas) 15) Mexicali Schmoes (WB, Speedy Gonzalas) 16) Mouse And Garden (WB, The Honeymousers) 17) The High Note (WB Chuck Jones classic) new to DVD. 18) Pied Piper Of Guadalupe (WB, Speedy Gonzalas) 19) Beep Prepared (WB, Road Runner) new to DVD. 20) Nelly's Folly (WB) new to DVD. 21) Now Hear This (WB, Chuck Jones classic) new to DVD. 22) Peace On Earth (MGM, Harmon-Ising classic) new to DVD. 23) Night Before Christmas, The (MGM, Tom & Jerry) 24) Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Mouse (MGM, Tom & Jerry) 25) Hatch Up Your Troubles (MGM, Tom & Jerry) 26) Good Will To Men (MGM, Hanna Barbera Cinemascope remake of the classic Peace On Earth) new to DVD. BONUSES will include a red carpet-worthy special feature entitled "Drawn for Glory: Animation's Triumph At The Oscars®" which focuses on the history of the Academy Awards® animation short subject category. Then watch Bugs Bunny try to promote his film Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt to the Acadamy for an award.
Ok – This may be the most fun. This film is an absolutely psychotically awesome disco re-telling of the WIZARD OF OZ starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and… NIPSEY RUSSELL (who rules) – this film is crazed. Insane.
You know – Stephen Chow is hands down the most fun martial arts star I’ve seen. I love me some vintage Jackie Chan – but for the last 15 years – it’s been Stephen Chow. Here he plays a pimp that saves someone that gets him knee deep in mystical craziness. This epic was divided into two films upon it’s original release and is now getting its first release stateside – the whole thing is presented here… You’ll be amazed.
One of my favorite all time Hitchcock films is here, THE 39 STEPS. One of my fave swashbucklers, restored to its original length for the first time ever with THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO – and a whimsical film forgotten called THE GHOSTS GOES WEST. The thing these three wonderful films have in common is Robert Donat – sort of a pre-Cary Grant Cary Grant. A handsome fish out of water man that had elements of Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable. Nice to see Donat getting the respect he deserves!
This double feature is all about becoming a retarded pre-teen with a goofy grin and a bowl of sugar-laced cereal and giggling at the mayhem and antics of Tim Conway, Don Knotts and then there were the supporting casts like: Bill Bixby and Slim Pickens – as well as Harry Morgan and the brilliant Jack Elam. FUN!That wraps up this week… We got a bunch of great stuff on the horizon next week, like… AMERICAN GANGSTER, MICHAEL CLAYTON, LUST CAUTION, IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, RUN LOLA RUN (BLU RAY), PIERROT LE FOU – Criterion, WALKER – Criterion, SPIRAL, REDACTED, GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM COLLECTION, MOOLAADE and much more…