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Harry's DVD Picks & Peeks Last Week of Sept: Oz, Henson, DC, Madonna, Menopause, Orgies & The Meaning of Life. All contained!

Hey folks, Harry here with proof that I love you dear readers. I skipped a night of partying with friends, sacrificed a full night’s rest for a handful of sleep and I spent it watching Blu Rays of WIZARD OF OZ, LABYRINTH & THE DARK CRYSTAL, which after this day’s offerings – you’ll be able to too! As always, the images and titles link back to Amazon where you can help make it possible so AICN can keep this column up, but also do cool sponsor stuff like bringing in Jess Franco for a Lifetime Acheivement for Fantastic Fest! How Awesome!!! Enjoy the day’s list: Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Unbelievably stunning Blu Ray transfer. You’ll see SO MUCH MORE DETAIL than you’ve ever seen theatrically, much less at home. The astonishing part is how all that detail makes the film that much more amazing. The makeup comes even further to life, the painted backdrops… even more beautiful than ever before. With this ultimate collection, there’s a little book, a really sweet wristwatch (that I have worn at Fantastic Fest) – and the extras just never stop. This is one of those exquisite packages, presentations and is of the highest quality and value. Exceptionally well done.

I didn’t get this in advance of this day’s release – and I like an awful lot of the film. I love the look of the movie. The design of the movie. But the overall story and character work just came up lacking. Everything concerning the President felt like marking time and wasting my time. I wish they had just focused on the General and the Monsters and left the Alien more mysterious and less on screen. That said – I still recommend it for kid entertainment and indoctrination to the wonderful genre world that this film borrows so brazenly from. If your kid liks this… Start showing the kid the 1950’s atom age monster flicks. Seriously. This is a gateway film.

Besides having the ugliest image of MADONNA I’ve seen in a very long time, there is a reason why I’m dying to get this – and that’s because of the fact that it has these videos on it: 1) Burning Up 2) Lucky Star 3) Borderline 4) Like A Virgin 5) Material Girl 6) Crazy For You 7) Into The Groove 8) Live To Tell 9) Papa Don't Preach 10) True Blue 11) Open Your Heart 12) La Isla Bonita 13) Who's That Girl 14) Like A Prayer 15) Express Yourself 16) Cherish 17) Vogue 18) Justify My Love 19) Erotica 20) Deeper and Deeper 21) Rain 22) I'll Remember 23) Secret 24) Take A Bow 25) Bedtime Story 26) Human Nature 27) I Want You 28) You'll See 29) Frozen 30) Ray Of Light 31) The Power Of Good-Bye 32) Beautiful Stranger 33) American Pie 34) Music 35) Don't Tell Me 36) What It Feels Like For A Girl 37) Die Another Day 38) Hollywood 39) Love Profusion 40) Hung Up 41) Sorry 42) Get Together 43) Jump 44) 4 Minutes 45) Give It 2 Me 46) Miles Away 47) Celebration And that is a truly great collection. If and when we get a Blu Ray collection, I’ll upgrade – Madonna’s collective video work is indeed a reason for Celebration.

Of the released DC ANIMATED Features – I think this is actually my least favorite. Oh, the animation is good, but I’m just not a fan of the overall story. It’s good, but it just doesn’t quite blow my skirt up the way that the previous editions have. It is essentially a BATTLE film, with Lex Luthor as President, who then places a Billion Dollar bounty on Superman’s head. Every hero and villain in the DC Universe basically takes a shot at the two of them. And Batman is helping out his buddy. It is entertaining as hell. But it just didn’t get me as enthralled as the more character work we got with the more recent films. Absolutely worth getting, it is just more like my CARS of Pixar.

I like this movie. In fact, I really like it. One, I like my cameo in it. I like that it was shot in Austin. I like that it’s a studio produced version of the vastly superior, infinitely more traumatizing and intensive film telling. I like that it opened the door to a whole generation of new lovers of the original classic… and that’s all sorts of awesome. In addition, I love Jessica Biel in the film. She just does it for me. I like her. She’s hot, cute and a joy to watch. That’s not my brain, that’s my dick. I’m sorry, but I’m being incredibly honest about this film. First film was better shot, edited, scripted, cast and budgeted. This is just the sleek modern version. I love the classic Volkswagon bug, but I also like the latest redesign. And of all the slasher films – this is my very favorite. Over Freddy, Jason, Michael, etc. Because this one happens outside my town… and every kid in Austin will tell ya so. I love that it is the Austin Legend!

I suppose at some level one could call this film a comedy. But this film is mostly concerned with truth, discovery and life… but sometimes upon that trail, you’ll find yourself laughing. It isn’t quite REAL, but it is rather brilliantly done. You’ll love the main couple, if you’d like to fancy yourself as being a bit like them, but the actual narrative thread they are following – just isn’t one that I could ever imagine following myself.

Watched this as a double feature with my new WIZARD OF OZ Blu Ray – and I have to say… they go perfect together. The biggest difference to me is that Dorothy mentally is still a girl, and Sarah is closer to being a woman… Sarah senses sexuality, wallows in whimsy and occupies the realm of knowing innocence. Love the film. Brilliant. But this film is more advance in many ways over WIZARD OF OZ – but musically it just isn’t quite as magically happy or as colorful. They do share amazing transfers. It’s great. Really great! It lets out the kid in me everytime!

THE DARK CRYSTAL is an entirely different level of awesome from all the fantasy films listed here today. It is devoid of human beings, yet feels like nothing before or since. This film blows my mind each and everytime that I watch it. It’s the next film I have that I’m putting in. While writing this column – but if it is anything like the transfer quality of LABYRINTH or WIZARD OF OZ – well, we’ll be in for quite a treat. IT is one of my very favorite movies. A film that made me really proud of Hollywood.

They sent me this. It is my new favorite DVD to pull out to illustrate to all my friends the extent to which I mean it when I say I get all sorts of ridiculous things sent to me. I mean. Look at the cover. It actually says, “The Menopause Years.” That’s fucking astonishing to me. Somebody somewhere took a look at CAGNEY & LACEY THE MENOPAUSE YEARS and thought… AINT IT COOL NEWS. Yeah. Like bread and fucking butter. This is the single best visual punchline ever created. Friends come over and you can always say, “Wanna watch this?” “What’s that?” Then you hand it to them, “CAGNEY & LACEY THE MENAPAUSE YEARS BOX SET!” It truly exists. It came in my mail. It is astonishing.

An internet joke that became a pretty fun, though toothless, film. It is always holding back a bit much. It is great. Personally I have to have it. It’s like having a copy of Achey Brakey Heart or an AUTOMAN VHS. It indicts a place and time in one’s life. It’s a bookmark about a certain reality broken. A media and internet disconnect with the popular mainstream. Where what was felt as happening, didn’t happen at all. That said, I do enjoy watching it, though it is utterly pointless.

Something I’m curious about is whether or not Sasha Grey’s performance is allowed to be considered for an Oscar. As a high class call girl, she gives a riveting performance that is really amazing. The film is about the life of a call girl. The roles she plays, the lies she tells herself and others, the dreams crushed… And even though Sasha Grey may be a porn star, she gives a performance that I’d lay next to any other actress in film. It is beautifully told and a captivating tale. Steven Soderbergh did superb work here. One of his best films. And one that debuted, I think, on VOD. So – I think Sasha can’t be considered, and that really and truly sucks.

Disney Animation Collection 7: Mickey’s Christmas
I really love MICKEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL – not quite as much as THE MUPPET version, but I do love it. In addition to this film – you get 4 of the great Mickey Christmas shorts. A treat in their own right. Together it makes for an essential Holiday viewing entertainment.

So hey! Did you see that film FILTH AND WISDOM by Madonna. You should probably check it out. Has music by Gogol Bordello - I’m not gonna say you’re gonna love it, but I will say you’ll get an experience out of it. One you can share with others that haven’t. And you can introduce that experience to another. That’s kinda what this is. A film to tell people about – as an interesting anecdote and possible shared experience. I found it very interesting… and a bit revealing of Madonna herself.

Far racier and violent than I was expecting. It is perverted, sick and all kinds of awesome. I really enjoyed this Fulci. It was one I hadn’t seen theatrically – so it was a new experience for me, as all Fulci that I have been introduced to, was via 35mm print. So I was a bit unprepared for the film. I really like it. It is a very particular horror experience – with the eww, yuck and wow of a Lucio Fulci film.

You really should own all these collections of trailers from 42nd Street Forever’s series of releases. Truly great background party material and for the passing of awesome passivity. These are a little more special as they sometimes touch the screen of the most magical of all cinema palaces… the Alamo Drafthouse Theater! The Alamo has crafted a really truly great collection. And the REMEMBER THE ALAMO 30 minute documentary brought back a lot of great memories, a lot of great events, but I found it lacking on documenting EARLY Alamo Drafthouse events at the original location. Which is probably all being so concentrated on the events that we forgot to whip out a camera. It is a damn fine documentary, just short on the complete story. But that is for another DVD… or Z CHANNEL like documentary.

One of those Paul Naschy creepy slightly stiff period horror flicks that I just can’t resist. That said, this is a very fun film – and the extras feature three interviews and a commentary worth of bonuses! Not bad for a Troma rerelease.

The single most frighteningly disturbing film of all time ever. It is the sort of film that makes you a less friendly human being, less welcoming and fearful of every human being. Because what if they’re like Henry. Like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE – this film is tied forever and ever with Austin – as we’re the town that kept Henry Lee Lucas in Jail for so long as the world learned more and more in the story that was Henry Lee Lucas. The single best true crime story, besides ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, ever told in my opinion. And it is just as terrifying today as any film ever will be. I’m not sure if I want the Blu Ray, because… well I don’t know if I want to know any more detail on this film. It is violatingly disturbing and brilliant. Michael Rooker deserves lifetime employment for ever being this badass. Just saw the crazy surrealistic slightly musical and experimental version of this in BRONSON.

An absolutely crazy cult film of a what the fuck Violent Hippie Kung Fu Indian 60’s Western adventure. The film must be seen to understand what a weird place our planet was like for this to have been a strange slightly mainstream genuine hit. It spawned 3 movie. And made Tom Laughlin a bit of a cultural icon. But a specific Where’s Waldo kind of icon. And the transfer is quite beautiful!

One of the most amazing, beautiful and fascinating portraits of possibly the most stunning seemingly nobodies ever. Isaiah Zagar seemed like a nobody, until his son discovered and revealed to the world his life. And the way he reveals that world is one of the most amazing and astonishing stories told on film. This was filmed in high def, and the day a Blu Ray hits – I’m first in line, cuz this movie is amazing. And once Jeremiah tells you his father’s tale – it is one you’ll never forget hearing and seeing. One of the great films to come from SXSW!

Never heard of it before, but the cover art, that it was made in 1972 and stars the lovely Rosalba Neri… well, I wanna check it out. Hope it is good.

Same as LUCIFERA, but 1970 and it was directed by the great Sergio Martino who shot this as an exploitation documentary upon sin in america, how perverse, racist and violent we Americans are. That’s fascinating.

A Pinkie Violence flick with Seizaburo Kawazu, who you know from Kurosawa’s YOJIMBO, THE 47 RONIN and even some ZATOICHI action. Can’t wait to find the time after Fantastic Fest to check this one out!

I literally have no idea about this film. But that title… what if they’re connected. This could be The Meaning of Life – which could be reached through ORGIES, could you possibly take a chance at not finding out the meaning of life? How could I deprive you of the knowledge of that possibility. I mean. It’s just a DVD found on a great night of FANTASTIC FEST where Massawyrm and Uwe Boll were naked together before turning violent. That could have been a foreshadow to the very meaning of life – and now I’m doing my job as a communicator and possible messiah – as I give you ORGIES AND THE MEANING OF LIFE!

Infinitely hotter than THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE, though infinitely more shallow. But weigh that statement, then vote with your money & time. A simple equation, please answer in the space you have in your life.

A great Pinkie Violence film that was a part of an out of print PINKY VIOLENCE COLLECTION that I recommended to you readers about 3 years ago. It is an exceptionally well made bit of oh so good wrongness gone so right!
That’s it for this month. Next month we’ll kick it off by looking at SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS on Blu Ray, TRICK ‘R TREAT’s release at last into the home video market!, CONTACT (Blu), Volume 2 of the ESTHER WILLIAMS films including a fave of mine, KARLOFF & LUGOSI Classics, 4th season of GET SMART, ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (Blu), THE GATE, Miike’s AUDITION, MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (Blu), HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (Blu), WOLF (Blu), NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, MARY SHELLEY’S fucking awful FRANKENSTEIN, ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT, IT’S ALIVE remake, GHOST SHIP (Blu), 1st & 2nd season of the animated TALES FROM THE CRYPTKEEPER series, HARD DAY’S NIGHT (Blu), HORTON HEARS A WHO! (Blu), MARLENE, HOW TO BE A WOMAN, HOW TO BE A MAN, THE CHILDREN (Blu Ray), ROGUE (Blu), MIRAGEMAN starring the man-god Marko Zaror of the heart-stoppingly brilliant MANDRILL!!! And there’s more! October is kicking it off nicely! See you next week!

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