Starring Academy Award winning actress, Sandra Bullock. That will take a bit of time to get used to. That said – I’m really quite fond of this film. In a way I find it so refreshing to see a film that is a true story that was about someone with a strong Christian ethical backbone that exemplified the best of what Christianity teaches us. I get the people that hate it as some White Person helping a Black Person propaganda nightmare, but I just don’t see it that way. I see it as one human helping another and that’s a message and a story that films don’t always give us. I had no interest in this film when I saw the Trailers. But when I received an awards screener – I watched it – and it won me over. The only major problem with the film and the story is that the kid went to Ole Miss and not the University Of Texas – where he would have been TRULY awesomer! Heh.
One of the very best Television shows out there – and I love watching this sans interruptions from the first episode to the last. So excited to see WALKING DEAD from the same channel. Absolutely lovely on Blu Ray.
Brilliant character design, story telling, music, drama and adventure. Woody and Buzz are so iconic – so perfect – that rewatching this and the next chapter at home really just continued to hype me up for the joy of TOY STORY. Honestly though – there’s nothing I can really tell you on this. I mean. It is TOY STORY. It is essential. And you know it. In 100 years – people will look at this the way we look at the importance and timelessness that we look at SNOW WHITE.
As much as I love TOY STORY… TOY STORY 2 is even better. I’ll never forget the day I got the script for TOY STORY 2… I was horrified at the concept. In those days this was scheduled to go STRAIGHT TO VIDEO. I read the script thinking it was going to be that quality – and it blew my mind. As high as my expectations were from reading that early script – the film was a massive step greater. The design for Jessie is just beautiful… her voice, even better, her story – astonishingly emotional and textured. It defied everyone’s expectations and proved the magic of Pixar versus the shallowness with which so many other sequels have served us. Now we await the 3rd chapter and I believe they’re going to do it again. Can’t you feel it? Both TOY STORY blu rays have all the original DVD extras – plus new features exclusive to BLU RAY. Including previews of TOY STORY 3.
My favorite new thing I’ve picked up in ages. And something that has kept me from watching any number of other DVDs. THE T.A.M.I. SHOW was an astonishingly diverse Rock Show from 1964. The line-up is so eclectic – that just looking at that listing on the DVD cover – just doesn’t cover it. As a society – we so rarely see this type of diversity in a 2 & a half hour performance. But until you actually watch this thing – it just won’t sink in. This was such a key point in Rock history – watching Gerry & The Pacemakers on a bill with the Rolling Stones (as babies) is a major culture shock – but not nearly as much as watching a young James Brown just fucking destroy the Stones with the greatest cockblocking performance that I’ve ever seen. James Brown destroys. Now neat things to know. Somewhere in the audience is a 7th Grade JOHN LANDIS with his whole 7th Grade class – and one of the GoGo dancers is an impossibly young Teri Garr shaking it as you would dream. I wish music had this level of class and style again. Shit. I keep wanting a resurgence of Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington style music. Sigh.
Sigh. My happy spot. I love FANTASTIC MR FOX. I love how different the stop-motion is from the Selick / Burton films. I love the way the hair ruffles with the touch of the animator’s hands. But most of all – I just love how Wes Anderson adapted Dahl. The look is metaphysically perfect. The disc has making of stuff that is just never long enough to sate my love of this form. However, it is quite nice. Wonderful film and Blu Ray!
To me – the best two “current war” movies of last year were completely overlooked in favor of the lessor over-praised one. BROTHERS and THE MESSENGER… well they’re fantastic. BROTHERS had brilliant performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman. And Sam Shepard was no slouch either. This is a very emotional and powerful drama that I found more telling than THE HURT LOCKER. Tobey’s story in particular was just powerful. The best work of his entire career. Shame the Academy voters never noticed. Give it a look.
Grant Heslov’s MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS was by far my preferred George Clooney film of 2009. The idea that this is based on mostly true material – and that the craziest stuff is absolutely true makes this a film – very much like FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and THE BIG LEBOWSKI in the way it was completely marginalized upon release. However, like those two films, I firmly believe this will find its real audience in Home Video and will grow in stature. The four main performances by Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey just… wow. This also was my preferred Jeff Bridges performance of 2009. The ‘extras’ begin to illuminate the reality that the film is based upon. Amazing stuff.
When people say, “They don’t make em like they used to,” films like THE AFRICAN QUEEN are what they’re talking about. Now – why get the big set above. In addition to the stuff you get on the standard Blu Ray – you get a repro of Katharine Hepburn’s out of print memoir, “THE MAKING OF THE AFRICAN QUEEN or HOW I WENT TO AFRICA WITH BOGART, BACALL AND HUSTON AND ALMOST LOST MY MIND” – and brothers and sisters… YOU MUST READ THAT! You also get some other fun stuff, but really – you’ll want to read that memoir. The disc extras are fantastic – as is the radio version of AFRICAN QUEEN which featured the voices of Bogart, but instead of Hepburn – Greer Garson played the role… very differently – but in a fascinating way. I love that as well. But the real reason to buy this version is the restoration that went into this. In addition to just the standard cleaning up of the negative and digital color work – they fixed some of the matte line problems that the film has ALWAYS suffered when you see. Now those annoying halos around Bogie and Kate are gone – and it looks absolutely without flaw. The making of is outstanding. And Lauren Bacall comes off looking like the best girl friend/wife one could ever have. What a lady!
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES buy the U.S. Theatrical version of this film. It is a nearly unwatchable. Whereas this is masterful. I love the 2 film version of this movie. The nuance and the elegance to the story-telling is wonderful. The best John Woo film in ages. Be sure if you purchase RED CLIFF that you get this version. In my opinion the other version is unreleasable. I put it on out of curiousity and watched it all. And I’m telling you. STEER CLEAR – get this one!
WOW. Just WOW. So crisp. So exactly as I’ve never seen it before. Absolutely perfect. This and SANJURO just really make me hungry to get all the other Kurosawa on Blu as soon as possible. There’s just such an incredible level of detail. Criterion has it’s usual perfect work of transfer and sound – along with Stephen Prince’s very scholarly commentary – making of Docs, essays, trailers, etc. Love FISTFUL OF DOLLARS – see where Leone got his inspiration. But then… really. You didn’t need me to tell you that. You’re a film geek. Right?
While I prefer YOJIMBO, SANJURO is simply more fun. Mifune is back as an unnamed samurai in a much lighter tale than Yojimbo. This isn’t an outright comedy, but it does make me laugh. The quality of this disc is beyond reproach. And it has the exact same sort of extras as YOJIMBO. But you kinda have to get both of these films. Right?
You want a Blu Ray that will absolutely blow everyone the fuck away with how gorgeous it is? That’s DAYS OF HEAVEN. In the history of Cinematography there are very few films that can touch the beauty of this film. Nestor Almendros’ cinematography earned the film a Best Cinematography Academy Award that year – and you won’t have to ask why? Instead, you might wonder why they simply didn’t retire the award after watching this film. God I’d love to see this in 70mm again. This Blu Ray is great, but even Blu can’t touch 70mm. Here’s the extras: Audio commentary with Weber, Jack Fisk, Patricia Norris & Dianne Crittenden Audio interview with Richard Gere Video interviews with Bailey, Haskell Wexler & Sam Shepard A booklet featuring an essay by critic Adrian Martin
And the award for Best Criterion Blu release of the day goes to BIGGER THAN LIFE. How can I say that? I mean… YOJIMBO, SANJURO, DAYS OF HEAVEN. Well, yeah – they’re probably “greater films” in some levels – but BIGGER THAN LIFE by Nicholas Ray… I’m betting you probably haven’t seen. I’ve been on a bit of a James Mason kick after I watched this and AGE OF CONSENT in the same evening. BIGGER THAN LIFE is proof positive that everything in America wasn’t FATHER KNOWS BEST of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER perfect. We look at films like AMERICAN BEAUTY and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD or MAD MEN as ironic post-modern looks at the rise of the Suburban world of the 50s and 60s – but BIGGER THAN LIFE was shot in 1956 – and does what those 3 films attempt – but in the era… Watching James Mason’s seemingly perfect American Dad battle addiction to painkillers – is just astonishing. This film gave me a bloody nose and I loved it. Beautiful Technicolor – incredibly brilliant performances by all. DO NOT LET THIS FILM ESCAPE YOU! Absolutely amazing.
Of the 4 Horrorfest sets – this is by far the weakest. I didn’t really like any of the films – whereas in years past there was always a couple of jewels. If Horror is your genre of myopic fixation – you’ll find things you like in these films – but frankly I wouldn’t really care to own any of them, as I doubt I’d rewatch any of these titles.
Not really sure why this appeals to me.
Story of two homeless insane fucks that believe they’re Hitler and Christ. Michael Moriarty wrote this as a play – the film is kinda amazing character work. Haven’t you ever wondered what these two would talk about?
Still waiting on my copy to come, I couldn’t resist buying this when I saw that box cover, that this is a Pink film and from Tatsumi Kumashiro. Very much looking forward to checking this out!Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
I really really love the Maximum Movie Mode style special feature on the Blu. Watching Guy Ritchie go through his film, his thought process and frankly his love of London – well it was just really enlightening regarding Guy himself. I met him once, back before the release of his second film, SNATCH – and I liked him, but SHERLOCK HOLMES, the character is one of my favorites. I love a whole bunch of Sherlock Holmes movies and adaptations. This version is no different. I felt Guy’s style of visually conveying thought – was perfectly matched with Sherlock Holmes as a character. And man – I just love it. An excellent Blu Ray!
Near the tail end of my Saturday Morning Cartoon days – the Chipmunks invaded – and I absolutely did not mind. I loved Alvin, Simon & Theodore. That said – I find these “live action” version just frightening at a truly evil level. I mean. Just look at em. They’re creepy little fuckers – but you can’t deny their appeal to the kiddos. Better than BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA if that means anything. And infinitely better than the BUDDY movies. But still fairly lame.
I really do not understand the people that seemingly dismiss this ALICE IN WONDERLAND – it is – my very favorite. The character designs, music and fun that is to be had at every turn is utterly delightful. And this is far far superior entertainment to Tim Burton’s latest – which I absolutely adore. Now – I fucking hate that this is a damn DVD. I have ALICE on DVD. Why purchase this? This does have pretty great extras – and… folks, at the pace Disney is releasing their classics on Blu Ray – it could be upwards of 5 years till we see this in HD…. Then again, it could be right around the corner. The mouse house works in mysterious ways. I just hate the wait.
Perhaps the least seen of the BEST PICTURE nominees. Remedy that quickly please. Lone Scherfig directs a brilliant performance out of Carey Mulligan – and Peter Sarsgaard continues to be one of the more fascinating actors working today. I love his face, it is very emphatic. And the rest of the cast is as interesting. With Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson, Dominic Cooper and Alfred Molina all aboard. But this Older Man / young girl love story is absolutely a delight. It was one of the films that really did deserve to be in that list of 10.
Alright! One of the most handsomely shot Digital films – that really and truly made Digital Cinematography stunning and convincing as a way to shoot a movie – is finally out on a format where you can really appreciate that. I love Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in this film. And I love Clive Owen too, just cuz... for some reason I think he has a cameo in this - but he really doesn't and my mind is just sleep deprived. The best of Michael Mann’s recent films.
Most DVD and BLU-Ray review sites are trashing this release. It is 1080i – and frankly there’s no excuse for that. And the sound is also not the lossless brilliance that it should be. The extras are ugly. But ya know what. This movie came out the year I graduated High School. It blew my mind. This and HARD BOILED are two of the most tremendously influential action films of the past 20 years. That’s why we all want the finest fucking quality possible for this film. And thus far – on the Home Video market… this is it. And yes, I will upgrade eventually. But then, I’m the crazy fucker that absolutely loves the Dub version of the film. I know. Sacrilege! But that’s how I first saw it. And I know that shouldn’t be an excuse – but I fell in love with those voices in an odd way. This is a placeholder edition – and we pray that someone will finally do it justice… hopefully in Hong Kong. I’ll let you know when that happens. But my Denon receiver up-res’d this to looking pretty goddamn cool. I didn’t notice the artifacting past the credits. And damn I love this movie.
This is just plain fucking fun. Nowhere near as brilliant as CEMETARY MAN, but not much is. But if you like fun horror, you’re probably gonna develop a serious crush on this flick. For one – it has Merry, Hellboy and the scary fucking TALL MAN in it. With crazy folks like Larry Fessenden ta boot. Definitely worth checking out!
This film reminds me of a Parker novel – and if you know what that means – you know what I mean. Remember that Parker novel where someond steals the gumball ring that meant something to him? Remember all the damage Parker caused trying to get it back? Well. Some dumb fucks steal Tony Jaa’s elephant… to make… SOUP! Just wait til you see how fucking bugnuts Jaa gets on these fucks’ asses. There are sequences here shot by the amazing Prachya Pinkaew that just boggle my mind. The continuous shot going up that building. HOLY SHIT! Right? Unlike THE KILLER – this Blu Ray is how it should be.
This was the first lesbian vampire film I ever saw. In about 1977, my dad scored a Black & White television print of this film, under the title of DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS. I saw it a good 20 times as a kid. Then Blue Underground sends me this BluRay – and I look at the cover and I thought… “Hey, those girls… they’re making my boy cock go man size. Where do I know them from?” I put the BluRay in – and about 10 minutes into this gorgeous color, uncut print I realize – HOLY SHIT… THIS IS DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS UNEDITED. So much better. Wow. This shit is Really hot. Really good. If you’re a fan of the Lesbian Vampire genre – this is one of the best.
This is early British Black Comedic Horror at its best. I love the original title of “MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY AND GIRLY” - but don’t believe me – watch this trailer: See? Now you gotta see the film! Until I saw this DVD – I was completely unaware of this film. If you loved TWISTED NERVE, this is a must see.
I should be getting this in the mail today. I’ve had movie posters for these two films for years – and I’m a huge fan of SABU from his version of JUNGLE BOOK and THIEF OF BAGDAD. So I must see these two titles which have escaped me till now.
Nunsploitation is one of my favorite genres. It just makes BLUES BROTHERS funnier. Directed by the infamouse Walerian Borowzcyk, he’s greatest cinematic achievement, THE BEAST, is a must see for exploitation fans everywhere. If you love beautiful Nunsploitation – this is one of the best. Very erotic and very fun!
When HORAT is fucking this gorgeous big beautiful black woman – and the bear comes out of the closet with a strap on. I howled laughing for about 5 minutes straight. She really had no idea it was there. And the Sorority RV is kinda hot. Strike that, really hot. That girl is sexy as hell. This is obviously a BORAT rip off – and in some ways – it ends up being just as funny. Precisely because it is that less competent in its filmmaking skill, ‘writing’, etc. That said – it does go on a bit long. But I figure if I was morbidly curious enough to actually watch it all – and that I did describe scenes to friends for weeks after I saw it. I had to share with you.
Out of this set – I’ve only ever seen FLESH MERCHANT – which is an interesting film. Now, I have to see A VIRGIN IN HOLLYWOOD (1933) – because that could very well have been the last time there was a virgin in Hollywood… right? And just in case I one day produce a daughter in this world, I should watch PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTER and so should all of you. And don’t you wonder what she said YES to? Me too. I’m a fan of vintage exploitation – and find these sorts of films to generally be hilarious in a very camp way. I feel this set is a bit pricey at basically $40, but I don’t know how else to see them. So, there goes $40.We begin April next Tuesday when we take a look at: THE LORD OF THE RINGS Theatrical cuts on Blu Ray, BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS, THE NATURAL (Blu), THE UNUSUALS, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR remake (Blu), A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (Blu), Bakshi’s LORD OF THE RINGS (Blu), THE RELIC (Blu), COCOON (Blu), BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Complete Series (Blu), JADE (Blu), POSEIDON (Blu), THE ITALIAN STRAW HAT, THE LAST WALTZ (Blu), DIRT! THE MOVIE, DREAMSCAPE (Blu), BROTHERS FIVE (Blu), THE HEROIC ONES (Blu), THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST (Blu), TAXIDERMIA, USUAL SUSPECTS (Blu), EMMANUELLE (Blu), BRIDGE TOO FAR (Blu), GRADUATE (Blu), HOOSIERS (Blu), THE DAM BUSTERS, ATTACK ON LENINGRAD (Blu) and more. Till April – that’s all I gots!