I suppose I’ll need to give this a try starting back with Season One, because try as I might, I couldn’t make my way through much of the season without making a baldspot scratching my noggin to figure out exactly what they had done to Superman. As you can tell, I haven’t followed SMALLVILLE and I don’t seem to much like what of it, I have seen – but like so much serialized television, you owe it to yourself to give it a look from the beginning. So at some point I’ll do that, but for now – I can say the Blu-Ray is gorgeous, of course, and is brimming with extras, so if you are a fan of the series – you’re obviously set to pick this sucker up.
You get two discs brimming with BIG LEBOWSKI celebrating fun packed into a special Lebowski Bowling Ball! For lovers of this film, you can’t do much better than this! On the disc you’ll get all manners oddball features like the look at LEBOWSKIFEST – and ya know what? They’re fun. Personally, I’m waiting for the Blu-Ray of this gorgeous film – but sadly, I feel that won’t cum in a Bowling ball…. Sniffle.
Talk about a fucking surprise! This is a fantastic film. Probably the single most fun Western helmed Martial Arts film starring either Jet Li or Jackie Chan. I’m 100% serious. Rob Minkoff did a dazzling job – and the marketing for the film never really made me feel one iota of the actual joy this movie has. First off, I always wondered what the fuck Michael Angarano was doing in this movie. However, the reality is, this is very much a Brooklyn Geek In Monkey King Court. Through a fun device he time travels to ancient mythical China where people have the powers of legendary wire-fu badassery. But before I get any further, he’s a martial arts movie geek. And his room is filled with posters for the old Shaw Brothers films and Bruce Lee movies – all of which animate in the glorious opening credits. Not only are Jet Li and Jackie Chan in the film… but Jet Li is playing a questing Monk trying to restore life to the fabled Monkey King… and Jackie Chan is playing one of the alleged 5 immortals – each of which allegedly must drink a specialized elixir to keep them immortal… Jackie’s is simple RICE WINE, which essentially means that for the whole film he’s a super-powered DRUNKEN BOXER!!! I shit you not! Watching the epic fight scene between Drunken Boxing Jackie Chan and the exquisite martial arts of Jet Li… it’s heaven. Rob Minkoff gets how to shoot martial arts action, he gets that it is dance, showing extended full body exchanges and lengthy and intricate fighting. The movie is gorgeous and enchanting. I can not recommend it highly enough. So much better than I thought and a great film to have Jet and Jackie go at it. Definitely something to check out!
Remember when you saw ads for THE CELL by Tarsem, you went into the theater mesmerized by those images hoping to find a visionary filmmaker of immense visual power – and you came out blown away by some of the images, but left hollow and perhaps angry by the resulting piece of shit you witnessed? WELL FORGET THAT EXPERIENCE because THE FALL is the dream. It is tragic, heart-breaking, beautiful and unlike so much of cinema – it is without reservation a breath-taking work of art. It’s simple, yet complicated to explain if you haven’t seen it. It is a story about a stunt man that was left paralyzed after a silent film stunt went horribly wrong. He is quite young, quite handsome and now incredibly depressed. At the hospital/recovery center he’s at a little girl befriends him, and he begins to tell her a story, the brilliance of the film is that we don’t see the story through his narration, but through the little girl’s imagination of what he’s describing. The story is a device the man is using to get something he wants from the little girl. What that is, what the end results are… should be discovered watching this brilliant work. Absolutely stunning.
I can not praise this one enough. Watching the Smileyvision 2nd Disc – that emulates the entire CINERAMA image with it’s gorgeous curves – it is literally unlike any other film in my library of films. The Transfer is jaw-dropping. Imagine the most epic and beautiful visuals from IMAX – but in an insane aspect ratio that is so stunningly visceral that – man, wait till you see the rapids or the buffalo stampede or the train sequence or the musical numbers or the Indian / Stagecoach sequence. This thing is breathtaking and stars – basically all of great actors you can imagine from the period, directed by great directors like Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and JOHN FORD! And staring the great American West on full display! GREAT BLU-RAY – especially for those with large home projection set ups. Just wow.
RODAN is such a wonderful TOHO film. I always loved watching him soar over buildings and the apparent winds from his wake tearing buildings to pieces. I love it so. Then WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS is really a sequel to FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD – the giant Frankenstein movie from TOHO – and here – there’s of course a good peaceful Frankenstein and an evil corrupt Frankenstein – and you better believe they’re gonna throw down. Fun stuff!
Like Fox’s first boxset of so called HORROR CLASSICS – this has some films, that you’d really have to struggle to quantify as HORROR at the very least. Like CHANDU THE MAGICIAN. It isn’t horror – at most it’s a serial with thriller/mystery elements. And DRAGONWYCK is certainly not a horror film, but an excellent pre-Film Noir Mystery Romance starring cousin Gene Tierney, Walter Huston and Vincent Price (not in a horror role, he actually did a lot of “regular” genres too) – and the film was directed by the great Joseph Mankiewicz (director of the brilliant ALL ABOUT EVE, 5 FINGERS and so many others). So both of those films are completely worth buying the set for, but they’re not Horror and this is terribly mislabeled. However, I’ll give Fox DR. RENAULT’S SECRET – it’s old school Science Fiction Horror – starring awesome Genre performers like George Zucco and J. Carrol Naish. I love the killer evil ape thing – and this is EXTREMELY GOOD – but you should be forewarned, it is only a 58 minute feature, though completely satisfying at that length. These 3 films are presented at their best, with extras and gorgeous restoration jobs – just don’t look for the films to be particularly drenched in the confines of the horror genre, two absolutely have none of that genre. And the other is brief.
The film that ruined Cuba Gooding Jr. Oh yeah, I know – he won an Oscar – but by rewarding his brilliant over the top performance, he’s been screaming and regurgitating that role ever since. More importantly, this is the film that truly birthed Renee Zellweger as a star. I love the film, but in many ways it’s the Cameron Crowe film that I have the biggest disconnect with. I think it’s the whole greed aspect – I know there’s the more personal side to the story, and I love that. Everything with Tom, Renee and that adorable mutant munchkin… is Gold. But everything about SPORTS AGENTS – to me, they’ve made atheletes commodities instead of heroes. That kids wish to become athletes not for the game, but the filthy lucre it gives them… saddens me. That’s why I love college sports – because generally, for a short period of time… it feels pure.
Worth buying instantly to see Conrad Hall’s photography in 1080p. My god the colors – the lighting… it’s stunning. Movies just do not look like this anymore. The amount of glistening sweat on overworked brows is crazy. The egg gorged belly of Paul Newman is crazy in HD. Nevermind the fact that we’re dealing with one of the greatest films of Paul Newman’s career. And is required frequent viewing by men and women alike. Outstanding disc, lots of extras, but most importantly – the presentation is exquisite.
Still the best Chucky HORROR film. I’d say the last two have been primarily comedies – but this first Chucky was downright scary and a nightmare for kids all over the place. Now, I know – you’re saying – Didn’t this just recently come out? Well yeah, but not in widescreen. Not with commentary. Not with tons of extras. Here we have the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. You have 3 commentaries by the writer/creator and the producer… and another with the visual fx folks behind Chucky and that kid all grown up – and lastly there’s a third (and most awesomest track) with Don Mancini and CHUCKY in character!!! There’s a making of documentary that is outstanding. This is what the previous releases should have been. And this should have been BLU-RAY!
Sean Astin is a God for many reasons. GOONIES, LORD OF THE RINGS and RUDY. Dammit, I’m no Notre Dame lover… I love the Longhorns, but dammit… RUDY gets me teary eyed every single time. Also you can check out crazy Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn in their earliest days on camera. This is a classic sports story, legendary at Notre Dame – and the second best film for inspiring you to buy a Gold Football Helmet – behind EASY RIDER, that is. The film looks great on Blu Ray.
I like WANTED a lot, but I fucking love Timur Bekmambetov’s NIGHT WATCH and it’s sequel. The films are astonishingly detailed – and those details pop in BluRay. This is actually the release I’m most looking forward to picking up today.
As much as I love NIGHT WATCH, DAY WATCH makes me not only it more, but also NIGHT WATCH more. It forces you to look and examine that first film from a completely different angle. The scale of disaster is larger, the arcane mythology becomes more complicated, but simplifies as the story continues. The wrap up, I feel is exquisite. The story is a classic. And I know it is supposed to be a trilogy, but I can’t imagine where it would possibly go from here – I’m completely satisfied.
My favorite American Clint Eastwood Western. I love THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES. I love everything about the film. I love his costume. I LOVE THOSE GUNS – the coolest he’s ever fired. I love Chief Dan George. I hate hate hate the bad guys. This is my favorite performance by Sondra Locke in an Eastwood film. I love the legend of Josey Wales. There’s a part of me that feels UNFORGIVEN is a sequel to this… long after the events of this film. But his character in his prime. A truly Great Film! And needs desperately to be released on BluRay!
I didn’t get sent this – and I won’t be buying it till it hits on Blu Ray. But there is a rumor that it is a widescreen release – which would be the first time we’ve had the film like that, but I haven’t seen a confirmation of that rumor anywhere yet. There is a commentary track by Winston team folks Tom Woodruff Jr and Alec Gillis, one of the screenwriters Gary Gerani and Scott Spiegel. It has lots of behind the scenes stuff – and if they did all that, I can’t imagine they didn’t do the widescreen thing that’s been needing to be done for the longest time!
I like this series. Maybe it’s because I have a complete run of ADVENTURE and love those Legion of Superheroes issues – and yes, while different from the comics, it very much has that spirit. The rejects episode is pretty awesome, but the final 3 episodes are truly outstanding. I just want a Bouncing BOUNCING LAD toy. PLEASE!
Man – I forgot how beautiful this film looks. My favorite aspect of seeing this on Blu Ray is in the HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES sequence – you can clearly see all the blood-spurting in the background and the various gags in the background of that sequence are just a joy to go through. Then there’s the sound – and pumping the volume up and listening to this film… just bliss. Then there’s just that… well I was on set for a bunch of this film – specifically Volume 1 – and the quality lives up to my memories from the set. Gorgeous.
Now while Volume One definitely has the edge in terms of awesome fucking chop chop – Volume 2 is a significant dial up in pain. Emotional and physical pain. Again, the film is just beautiful – Now I know – you want to wait for the complete version – but I literally have no indication of when that miraculous day will arrive – and as someone that loves the theatrical editions… I’m glad I have them.
Now these are not the full on Criterion releases of these individual titles, but they are really beautiful transfers – priced way more affordable than the typical Criterion releases. Basically, this set is just $90, which for high quality editions of these titles… well, it’s the way to go! Until the eventual Blu-Ray releases, which I’m waiting in awe for. To see Cocteau’s BELLE ET LA BETE at HD resolution. Man, I can not wait. Not that these other titles are slouches, they absolutely are not. But Cocteau’s film is one of my absolute favorite films ever. Get this if you haven’t seen the films listed and don’t plan to change over to a Blu Ray Player soon.
HOLY FUCK! Really? Well, after I ordered mine from Amazon they put up a Temporarily out of stock notice, but folks – this is for real and it is an all region release, so getting Alan Marshall’s infamous and brilliant BUGSY MALONE starring Jodie Faster and Scott Baio in this all kid gangster film… in BLU RAY… that’s unbelievably cool! The Paul Williams songs… Just awesome, one of my fave kid flicks ever!
What is a Roughie? Well during the 1970’s Porn Film explosion – they experimented with all sorts of fetishry. One of those sub-genres was called the Roughie. And yes, it’s an ugly genre with rape and forced sex (simulated) – but still intense. These tended to involve the underbelly of crime and revenge films… but with sex in them. Of note – the 1971 film THE HEIST on here was basically ZACK & MIRI MAKE A PORNO’s plot – of people needing to make money desperately and deciding the easiest way to make a few grand was to make a fuck flick. Now – I guarantee it isn’t nearly as funny as Kevin’s. But why not see the Porn version before the real movie hits? Hehehe…That’s all for this week, but I’ll be back next week with a look at the 5th Volume of CHARLIE CHAN films, SPEED RACER, THE MIST (Blu Ray), The new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN TRILOGY set with double discs on each film, THE HULK (Blu Ray), THE BREAKFAST CLUB, 2nd Busby Berkeley Collection, STAR TREK: ALTERNATE REALITIES set, DEATH NOTE, SIXTEEN CANDLES, 1408 (Blu Ray), EARRINGS OF MADAME DE…, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN THE FABULOUS STAINS, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, GIGI, LOVE GURU, LA RONDE, BLOOD SIMPLE, LE PLAISIR, RISKY BUSINESS (Blu Ray), SNOW ANGELS, BEETLEJUICE, WEIRD SCIENCE, British Cinema Classic B Film Collection, THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER, SURRENDER – HELL!, BEYOND THE DOOR, THE BABYSITTERS, CEMETERY GIRLS/VAMPIRE HOOKERS, Elmo Lincoln’s silent ADVENTURES OF TARZAN, THE LOST SERIAL COLLECTION and much much more!