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Harry's DVD PICKS AND PEEKS for 2nd Week of November: Pinku Cinema, Fassbinder, Shrek, Close Encounters, Jane Austen & more!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with another week of DVD PICKS AND PEEKS! There’s some damn fine stuff this time out. As usual the box art and title link to Amazon – where if you purchase – this column will get a bit of sponsorship – or you can just find out more about the titles you’re curious about. Or just add them to your line-up of rentals – or holiday wish stacks! Well, let’s not mince words – there’s a lot this week! Tuesday, November 13th, 2007



SHREK THE THIRD (HD DVD)
While definitely not the best SHREK yet – it is a Shrek – which means for a lot of you with kids – you’ll probably be picking this up in standard def or HD. It obviously looks vastly superior in HD to Standard Def, either of which come loaded with tons of special features. This isn’t a biggie for me, this sequel just felt as though everyone working on it was automatic pilot – the humor was sub-elementary school age and it really was just nowhere near as solid as it should have been. Oh well… maybe the PUSS IN BOOTS spin-off will be far far better, if they keep it far far away from Far Far Away. I wish they’d just make the PUSS IN BOOTS a solid action adventure tale. But that’s probably an empty dream.




GILMORE GIRLS – Seventh Season
My wife is obsessive-compulsive about GILMORE GIRLS as is AICN’s own Hercules The Strong. I’ve watched quite a few episodes of the series and find myself usually checking out Alexis Bledel and missing most of the dialogue, which I’m told is very sharply written. This was the final season, where you see Rory Gilmore go from quick witted college girl to a sweet innocent black & white streetwalker cashing in on men’s desires for a sweet and innocent underage-ish looking piece of ass walking the dark alley just behind the main drag of sin city… No… Wait… That has nothing whatsoever to do with GILMORE GIRLS Season 7… but one can dream.




PRIDE & PREJUDICE (HD DVD)
I never caught this in theaters when it came out in 2005, though I heard nothing, but great word of mouth on it. Massa “whacking his” Wyrm loved this film – and his Keira Knightley fetish was generally the excuse for blowing off checking this out. However, when the HD DVD came late last week, I put it in almost immediately and Yoko came running out to go googily over Mr. Darcy, not so much because of Matthew Macfadyen, but because she fell in love with the character from Jane Austen’s novel. Some people consider this novel the single greatest love story of all time, but I hold it all depends about your perspective. Me, I’m a Dr Zhivago lover. Here, I felt that Elizabeth Bennet was painfully retarded to not marry Mr Darcy instantly… It was obvious to me that she was just being goofy – which I love when Keira realizes she’s been an idiot for most of the movie and realizes just how fucking awesome Mr Darcy is. And I got a bit goofy happy in love with this movie. It’s outstanding. In HD – the movie is so lush and beautiful. Definitely worth getting. This new edition – in Standard Def and HD has a ton of extras like a conversation with the cast, a feature on Jane Austen and the novel, a portrait of the Bennet family, the politics of dating and a look at the actual homes used in the making of the film.




AMAZING GRACE
It’s a shame that Fox isn’t giving this film the BLU RAY treatment – it’s the best thing that we’ve seen out of Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards or for the point of this title, abolitionist William Wilberforce) – It’s a beautiful and inspiring film from Michael Apted and it’d e nice to a high def copy out there. It isn’t in my top ten of this year, but it’s one of the damned fine films of the year.




OCEAN’S THIRTEEN
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this most recent edition of the Danny Ocean story. In fact – the only one of the OCEAN films I wasn’t fond of was the original start of this franchise, which was the remake of OCEAN’S ELEVEN. Here you have the most fabulous male actors of our day working it for all that it’s worth – and it’s a light headed affair to be sure. Add to the fun – Al Pacino and Eddie Izzard and the best performance of the film… David Paymer – that poor poor man… well, that incredibly rich poor poor man. Warners has this available in a number of manners… there’s the HD link above, standard def and Blu-Ray. Then you can pick up The Whole OCEAN’S TRILOGY in HD DVD as well as in Blu-Ray. Imagine that much genetic perfection in visual perfection at home in completely wonderfully vacuous fun activities. Too much? Never enough!




LA VIE EN ROSE (Extended Version)
If you haven’t seen LA VIE EN ROSE, then you’ve already missed the best female performance I’ve seen in 2007. Marion Cotillard’s performance is one of those that as you watch, you forget there is an actress playing a role, as it feels as though Edith Piaf is on screen telling her tale – filling in all the missing gaps in her life that we can not look away from, no matter how exhausting and involving it is. That said – like most of you, I missed it in theaters, but caught it here. And boy am I ever glad that I did. Great work!!!




CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition)
Witness the Crown Jewel of BLU RAY discs and most likely my very first purchase in the format (though I actually do have a few BLU RAY titles already – awaiting my eventual dive into the format). This is the Spielberg title that I feel – honestly – when I search my heart, I love most. I own it in 16mm – gorgeous I B TECH – Mylar stock. Different people love different Spielberg films most. Quint is obviously a JAWS fan, Dad’s is RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK… me, I love CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Why? Because ever since I’ve saw it all those years ago – 30 years ago when I was five… it changed how I looked at the night sky… that same year, STAR WARS changed how I looked at sunsets… but CLOSE ENCOUNTERS made me hope for aliens. I wanted so much to fly in one of those ice cream cones – and 3 years ago when my father, my nephew and I all went to Devil’s Tower to see the film there… I think that’s what put the nail to hang this film highest in my heart. Sitting there beneath the sky – watching this film wishing for some special guest to drop in out of that uncanny crystal clear night sky… and when my nephew asked me afterwards, why the aliens didn’t come… I had to admit something very sad to him. Apparently Aliens don’t read AINT IT COOL NEWS. Sniffle. It’s a pricey disc, but completely worth it. Don’t get the Standard Def – wait till you can play Blu Ray – the standard def isn’t worth the nearly 30 bucks it costs. However, the Blu Ray totally would be.




PARIS, JE T’AIME
Problem with films made up of little films by various directors is… sometimes your favorite director – or a young promising director – totally does a belly flop – and here – the belly flop is Alfonso Cuaron’s… who could possibly have seen that one coming? But ya know… it’s a Cuaron belly flop, which is still better than most folks’ work. But here – he’s surrounded by The Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Alexander Payne, Gurinder Chadha, Oliver Schmitz, Sylvain Chomet, Wes Craven, Gerard Depardieu, Walter Salles, Tom Tykwer, Olivier Assayas and a bunch of others. And including acting talent from the 4 corners of the world. Definitely a fetish film for those of us that love Paris, film and the directors involved. The extra disc has 2 and a half hours of behind the scenes.




WITH A SONG IN MY HEART – The Jane Froman Story
Not terribly different from LA VIE EN ROSE – a story about an immensely talented female artist that has severe tragedy throughout her life. Only this was made in 1952 and is decidedly upbeat. Susan Hayward delivers my favorite performance of hers here. This is a very rare film to have seen, up until this point due to the fact that until now – it has never before seen the light of home video in any of its permutations. A very very entertaining film.




GILMORE GIRLS – THE COMPLETE SERIES COLLECTION
If you can’t get enough of those Gilmore Girls… this is all there is to get.




BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ – Criterion Collection
Over 15 and a half hours long – this isn’t for those of you with short attention spans – however – the film is brilliant… and this is the first time it has hit this country in DVD. This is an incredible epic and perhaps the greatest work by one of our greatest all-time filmmakers… Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This is, perhaps the greatest mini-series that ever played on TV, but then – it played PBS and was brilliant. Based on Alfred Doblin’s novel of the same name, which wove an amazing tale of a man named Franz – who left prison in Germany between the first and second World Wars… You follow him through the impoverished, dirty and desperate Germany – right into its rise (or fall) into the Nazi rule. One of the greatest works of cinema ever made. It will utterly blow you away. Criterion deserves some sort of special award for bringing this one out. Can not possibly recommend enough!




NORTHERN EXPOSURE – THE COMPLETE SERIES
Nearly 85 hours of satiric, absurdist fun. I enjoyed NORTHERN EXPOSURE quite a bit – and was quite happy to receive this set in its rather nice package – and I can’t wait to introduce Yoko to Nome, Alaska – where the Vampires rarely eat everyone. The sad thing is… this doesn’t have the original music which was in fact pretty friggin great, but despite that – it’s still a great series. I really just wish they’d straighten out whatever the problem is with the original music and give us back what we love so much.




IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (2 Disc Collector’s Set)
Welcome to the yearly re-release of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. This time – with Color!!! Woo hoo. Ahem. Ya know… there’s a twisted part of me that would actually be morbidly curious how the film would play if you started in fake color, then when the Clarence gives George a look at the world without him, you went black and white, then when he returned to the real world it became color again. NOT because the movie needs it. Because this is a BLACK & WHITE film. It was made in an era that could have certainly been COLOR – but it’s a nightmare film and a dream – and those belong in Black & White… and it’s fantastic black and white. That said… if for some ungodly reason you don’t own this film. Own it.




THE ADDAMS FAMILY – THE COMPLETE SERIES
If you’re creepy and you’re kooky – and altogether spooky – you definitely need to own… THE ADDAMS FAMILY… the complete television series! You get all 64 episodes on 9 double sided discs – with essentially the special features that came on the individual box sets. That said – for under $50 you can immerse yourself in one of the great television shows of all time. One a day for life would keep you from ever being NORMAL – and that’s well worth it!




THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
Nope – not the one with Elisha Cuthbert! No – not that series with Hugh Hefner! This is that fantastic musical from Fox in 1953 starring the crooner Dan Dailey and the dizzy dame June Haver – who doesn’t play a porn star, nor a Playmate… No in the fifties the equivalent was the rather chaste existence of being a Broadway Musical Star. And the guy next door isn’t an over active masturbating teenager, nor is it Hugh Hefner, but a Newspaper comic strip widower and his son. The musical is funny and delightful and the kid, Billy Gray – is pretty friggin great!




THE LORELEY’S GRASP
Directed by Amando de Ossorio in the early seventies – this is a monster flick with a deadly monster stalking and killing (by plucking the beating heart out of the heaving chests of its victims) - SIGN ME UP! Heh. Here we have the original gory – nudity enriched work back as it should be! And it all looks great, thanks to the remastering job! Sadly the DVD does not come with one of the original Barf bags, but now that you know it originally had one – you can keep a bag nearby at home, just in case the film is too much for you to take! It happens.




JEROME BIXBY’S THE MAN FROM EARTH
Based on a really wonderful final work by Jerome Bixby – easily one of the significant science-fiction authors – Essentially what we have here is a feature length sci-fi tale that plays very much like a high quality episode of TWILIGHT ZONE – I enjoyed it, but never quite LOVED it. I think that mainly came from wanting to see this done with a few levels up talent across the board. However, this group did a very very nice job. If you’re a fan of Bixby’s – it’s a must own. If you love Serling work – you’ll enjoy it.




LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS #1: FEMALE DEMON OHYAKU
I love Pinky Violence films…. And here we have from Synapse – 3 great entries into that genre. This is the first of those. Essentially – if you love KILL BILL – you’re into the Pinky Violence genre. Revenge hungry pissed off women wanting to get back what they took in gallons of blood. This has all the requisite sex, violence and out and out sadism that the genre embraced. Star – Junko Miyazono is beautiful and convincing throughout. The film will scar you. In all the best ways!




LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS #2: QUICK DRAW OKATSU
In this one, Junko Miyazo plays a woman seeking revenge for rape and the murder of her father – and she has a side-slash in cute and deadly Reiko Oshida. It has been said, by better folks than I, that this film inspired the Lady Snowblood and Female Convict Scorpion series. Add to all that, Tomisaburo Wakayama and you have another film in your collection to pull out and kick the stuffing out of your guests with. Wonderful work!




LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS #3: OKATSU THE FUGITIVE
This is the final film in the series – again featuring the lovely and deadly Junko Miyazono – and teaming her up with the star of THE YAKUZA PAPERS series (fucking great series, that one) Tatsuo Umemiya. The latter two films in this series were directed with the requisite flair of Nobuo Nakagawa – who in the past I’ve recommended SNAKE WOMAN’S CURSE and JIGOKU – two of the great classic Japanese Horror films long before RINGU and GRUDGE rewrote the history of that genre. Absolutely a revelation this series. Love love love love these films!




BLACK EMANUELLE’S BOX, VOL. 2 (1976-1978) ( BLACK EMANUELLE/WHITE EMANUELLE - BLACK EMANUELLE 2 - EMANUELLE AND THE WHITE SLAVE TRADE )
Yeah – I love the Emanuelle series – and the BLACK EMANUELLE series is awesome. This box set is great – as you not only get the films, but the bonus Soundtrack CD with the work of Nico Fidenco. This is totally – 100% about what gets you hard or wet – and the way these films were shot are all about turning you on, not jacking you off. Sensual and erotic, not pornographic. This is a great box set of late seventies scintillating cinema.




INNOCENCE
The star of LA VIE EN ROSE – Marion Cotillard is in this – and it is shot by the cinematographer behind IRREVERSIVBLE and CALVAIRE… and here’s a powerful work involving a Boarding School and very young girls. No – it’s not about that – but it is a mystery and is incredibly beautiful. Boarding school films freak me out – generally – I think it is the notion of being sent off to school at a very young age – away from home, away from family – Even those Harry Potter films freak me. I can’t imagine my parents not being a part of my education. That said – this is a film that flirts with the mysteries of girlhood to womanhood. You definitely should check it out.




A CHINESE TORTURE CHAMBER STORY
This film – and the scene you see on that amazing cover… is perhaps the single greatest whacked out insane sex scene ever committed to film EVER. It’s crazy – and it just doesn’t stop there. An incredibly insane film that makes you wonder seriously about the Chinese. It is absolutely batshit insane – and a riot to watch with company that will not believe what they are seeing. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION for those of you that covet the most insane cult cinema has to offer. This is the shit!




CREATURE FROM THE HILLBILLY LAGOON
The second this film arrived, I put it on my big ol projection screen and I was hoping for something of TROMA quality. Possibly I dared to hope for brilliance… the sort of brilliance that only a no budget film with a poster and a name like the CREATURE FROM THE HILLBILLY LAGOON could offer. What a silly optimistic fool I was. You can not take away the sound of the dull thud your head makes as this film bores you to unconsciousness. Terrible. No redeeming features… other than the cool box art. And how often has cool box art lured you to the murky depths of shit? Usually – I’d ignore it – but this time, I felt I had to warn you folks – DO NOT CLICK AND BUY THIS FILM. DO NOT ADD IT TO YOUR LISTS. LET IT GO INDIANA! LET IT GO!!!




MIDNIGHT MOVIES
This is a solid and very cool beginner’s documentary to the history of THE midnight movies of all time. The interviews with Jodorowsky, Lynch, Romero, etc are totally worth your attention. The flaw of the documentary? That it isn’t 3 hours long and included a slue of titles that none of us have heard of… but I live in Austin… home of the Drafthouse and the eternal midnight movies. We really should do our own documentary on the form – because it sure does seem we discover new old films all the time.




THE SEXPLOITERS
Why the hell not? I’ve never heard of it!




JOHNNY LEGEND PRESENTS: TEEN MANIA BOX SET: ( TEENAGE DEVIL DOLLS / NAKED YOUTH / TEENAGE CONFIDENTIAL / TEEN MANIA / HIGH SCHOOL CAESAR ) )
As usual – Johnny Legend puts an excellent set together. If you’re a fan of classic Juvenile Delinquent cinema – this’ll get you to where you need to get. HIGH SCHOOL CAESAR and NAKED YOUTH are my faves from this set. And this is one helluva set to end this great Tuesday of titles out on!
See you next week with the remake of HAIRSPRAY, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (unrated), HEARTS OF DARKNESS, RESCUE DAWN, The Original 1st Season of STAR TREK in HD!!!, NOSFERATU, SAWDUST AND TINSEL, TREMORS, WALKING TALL, ANGEL-A, a GODZILLA collection, A New FILM NOIR set!, more TALES OF TOMORROW!, STIR OF ECHOES 2 with Rob Lowe and much much more!!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 12, 2007, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Gilmore Girls..

    by TiPPiDa

    WAS a much maligned source of quality entertainment... honestly, some guys just never give chick stuff a fair deal, simply because its chick stuff... ITS LAUREN GRAHAM, AND THAT SWEET STREETWALKER FROM SIN CITY!!! NEED I SAY MORE!!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 5:23 a.m. CST

    And AICN Staff

    by TiPPiDa

    Just out of curiosity, where has Latauro gone?

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 5:51 a.m. CST

    It's A Wonderfully Colorful Life

    by Jerri Blank

    Colorization is a bad thing. Agreed? And having said that, the color version of Wonderful life is kind of fun. Like the color version of Merian Cooper's "She". You can all kill me now...

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Does anyone know....

    by greigy just wanted to say

    ....the way to the toilet.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Damn.

    by TattooedBillionaire

    Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon sounds like it could be as bad as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Shrek Sucks...

    by Redfive!

    The first was pretty good,everything afterwards is nothing but a cheap product.Cheack out Ratatouille instead.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Latauro

    by tuan69

    is still producing and starring in that TV show he has, called The Bazura Project. www.bazuraproject.com

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 6:34 a.m. CST

    OMG

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    you mean we finally get Harry's LFODH review. Shit better be worth it.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 6:39 a.m. CST

    other than that, I'm with Harry

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Close Encounters is my fave of the Bergs' as well. Just a perfect movie.

  • Until you realize they're tiny red Eiffel towers...

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 7:11 a.m. CST

    PARIS, JE T’AIME, great surprise

    by hegele

    I actually liked just about every short, I don't know if I can call Cuaron's short a belly flop. It was kind of a one take punchline that I though was relatively enjoyable for what it was, can someone really make a belly flop with only five minutes to work with? I suppose they could. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Great choices as ever, Harry

    by seppukudkurosawa

    But I've got to ask the question, have you ever seen a movie called The Butterfly Collector (http://tinyurl.com/kfs97)? It's about Terence Stamp, as he "catches" a real-life human girl, who, despite the best of intentions, he neglects and leaves to die.<p> </p>Now here's why I ask whether you've seen this movie: with all these "I've got to show this to Yoko" comments I've been reading on these DVD Columns, I'm starting to worry about her health. You haven't got her locked in a room with nothing but a TV and a DVD player for company, do you? I know you only want to school her, but human girls have other needs too, man... Maybe give her five minutes a day with the telephone so she can have a conversation with the Good Samaritans or something. Some kind of human interaction where the other person talks back...<p> </p>Just looking out for you two, man. Keep up the good work.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Skip the LFoDH useless review and instead

    by SpencerTrilby

    review the Hollow Man director's cut Harry. For Christ's sake Harry! Think about the children!!!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Close Encounters is appallingly overrated!

    by Powers Boothe

    Anyone else agree?

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    I'm telling you, Berlin Alexanderplatz

    by seppukudkurosawa

    just isn't the same film when you don't view it in the cinema. Nothing can ever reproduce the experience of trundling through the bodies of those Fassbinder fans who forgot to bring a four-litre bottle of water with them to the theatre and died of dehydration.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Powers Boothe

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I feel very sorry for you.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:21 a.m. CST

    So I guess my wallet is safe this week

    by ShiftyEyedDog2

    Not a one in the whole bunch that I'm tempted in buying (Of course, IF I had Blu-Ray I'd be all over CE3K). <br><br>Just as well, I guess, as late November and early December are packed with stuff I need to get. Time to warm up those credit cards!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Close Encounters is many things, PB

    by Pound Sand

    Overrated is not one of them. You can troll as much as you'd like on these boards. Apparently, you can even wank it in some other TB'ers face and laugh and fucking laugh. But labelling Close Encounters "overrated," is ludicrous.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Is that the Onibaba demon mask

    by seppukudkurosawa

    tattoed onto the girl's (very tasty) back on the Female Demon Ohyaku cover? They look pretty similar.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Man from Earth - #6 on IMDB?!?

    by timberwolf4545

    I just heard this from a friend of man. Holy crap. Saw this movie a while back and really enjoyed it. Just love the Holy shit moments in it. I'd advise you to get a group of open-minded, smart people together a couple of Pizzas and a few bottles of wine and Newcastle Brown and watch it. Then make sure you have 3 hours to talk about it afterwards. Cast is awesome. A who's who of sci-fi dom. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756683/

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Moving on past PB's comments...

    by Abin Sur

    I can't think of a movie whose special effects have held up better than CLOSE ENCOUNTERS have...cannot wait to get this disc AND the BR player this Christmas.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:07 a.m. CST

    I hate when TV show DVDs skimp on the music

    by Bobo_Vision

    I'm was a huge 21 Jumpstreet fan and own all the DVDs, (including the God awful Richard Grieco episodes), but they replaced all the great 80's music of the time with cheesy unrecognizable 80's crap because the producers of the DVDs didn't want to pay for the music rights. It taints the whoe thing and shows a lack of care for the product.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    finally a film that lives up to the misleading "torture porn" la

    by PROF IKAMONO

    ... I mean I keep seeing all these Hostel and Saw movies and never got a boner, what kind of responsible journalists are these film critics who keep using the word "porn" for movies you can't actually masturbate to? <p> ... although porn CAN be different things to different people, so it could be those critics who keep using that phrase are the types who spank their monkeys while watching dismemberment... <p> ... that's kinda scary... (but not as scary as if they found Hoot or How to Eat Fried Worms to be some kind of porn...)

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:11 a.m. CST

    the missing word in my subject line was "label"

    by PROF IKAMONO

    ... just so you didn't think it was "labia" or anything...

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Just to clarify...

    by PROF IKAMONO

    ... the movie from Harry's DVD picks I was referring to in my previous posts WAS A Chinese Torture Chamber Story and not the Gilmore Girls...

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Powers Booth...

    by Datascream

    you sir are a fucking tool. And your post alone shows you don't belong on this website. the door out of here is to your right, make sure you tip your waitress. good day.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    A Chinese Torture Chamber story?

    by Bobo_Vision

    Is that the one with the flying kung fu sex scene? Haven't seen the movie, but that scene has been circulating on the net for sometime now...if its the same movie.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Harry... I'm surprised you left out Frog Song...

    by PROF IKAMONO

    ... it's about a hot Asian chick who is a comic book artist and a hooker! <p> ...with girl on girl action and cosplay!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Paris/Fassbinder

    by wilsonfisk89

    Coens' piece in Paris, starring Steve Buscemi was fantastic. Also, just viewed fassbinder's Ali: Fear eats soul for the first time and was blown away. One of the greatest, truest, saddest love stories ever put to film.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Close Encounters = Highly Overrated

    by jimmy_009

    I love Spielburg, but I can't even watch it all the way through.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Close Encounters is a mixed Bag

    by Pipple

    ET is Spielberg's Best alien movie. That said it's waaaaaay better than that piece of shit War of the Worlds...

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:25 a.m. CST

    close encounters

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    the first hour and a half is a nice character story, the last 45 minutes is when the movie really gets good and i hit the bong.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    shrek the third was better than the first two...

    by jig98

    of course, i'm just speaking in certain terms of animation and imagination. the first one is an instant classic and one of the funniest animated and overall films ever and the second one got off to a good start but then started to go down the small downward spiral of beating a dead horse with cliched subplots involving meeting the parents played by two comic and dramatic acting veterans and the crime boss fairy godmother. although the animation was better and puss in boots was the best part, the jokes were a bit forced and the songs weren't very memorable. ok, that said both those movies deserved the huge box office numbers, the cult following and the insanely positive reviews. that being said, the 3rd one had a lot more to it and actually had more heart and energy than the others. even though it is mainly for kids, older audiences love it too. i'm looking forward to the shrek the halls special on ABC on the 28th. that should be just as good as that shrek 4-D thing they did at universal. THE HOLIDAYS OF 2007 KICKOFF FOR REAL IN 9 DAYS!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:42 a.m. CST

    I saw CLOSE ENCOUNTERS..

    by WickedMonster

    the first time about 6 years ago. Quite frankly, maybe I was jaded by all the special effects that was the staple at that time, (i.e INDEPENDENCE DAY, ALIENS, THE MATRIX etc, etc ), but I didn't find CE3K to be all that. <p>But I can understand that it must have inspired awe at the time when it came out, something like STAR WARS did at its time. </p> <p>The story though was thrilling, because of the mystery element prevailing the first 2/3rds of the movie. But when the aliens appeared, it was like, "Is that all?", and "Who is that tall guy?" <p>Oh well, more power to Mr. Spielberg.</p>

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST

    it was like, "Is that all?"...

    by Alonzo Mosely

    And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why we get the movies we get today rather than the movies we used to get in the 70s...

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Shrek is terrible. Can we all agree on that?

    by Mattyboy122

    Sure, the films have tiny moments that are funny, but they're so few and far between, buried in tired pop-culture references that date the movie before it's even out in theatres. The first film opens to fucking All Star by Smash Mouth for fuck's sake. They're all cynical grabs for cash without a shred of originality or heart. Whoever said to ditch this and check out Ratatouille is completely right. That film is a work of art. Shrek is just a product.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Shrek is terrible. Can we all agree on that?

    by Mattyboy122

    Sure, the films have tiny moments that are funny, but they're so few and far between, buried in tired pop-culture references that date the movie before it's even out in theatres. The first film opens to fucking All Star by Smash Mouth for fuck's sake. They're all cynical grabs for cash without a shred of originality or heart. Whoever said to ditch this and check out Ratatouille is completely right. That film is a work of art. Shrek is just a product.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST

    And CE3K

    by Mattyboy122

    Is amazing. One of Spielberg's best and most personal. Can't wait for this set on Blu-Ray.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST

    To be fair, John Cale's version of Hallelujah

    by seppukudkurosawa

    would have balanced out the use of Smash Mouth...if they hadn't have used the song TWICE!<p> </p>Oh, and Jig98, "the first one is an instant classic and one of the funniest animated and overall films ever"... THIS is another reason why we get the movies we get today.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Not to mention using Smash Mouth's cover of I'm a Believer

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Enough to make an atheist out of Billy Graham.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 12:49 p.m. CST

    It's "The Collector", not The Butterfly Collector...

    by fathergeek

    ... at least as it was released in the USA. Ol' Fathergeek here had this GREAT Wiliiiam Wyler masterwork in the Knowles 16mm film library for years, showing it to lil' Harry at least a dozen times before he was 6 years old. Unfortunately an old Bell & Howell Autoload Projector ate it at a film party back around 1977. We still have a 1-sheet hanging in Harry's old bedroom though. It's an absolutely must have film... increadible film making!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Nice to see you back, fathergeek.

    by seppukudkurosawa

    And especially nice to see you touting one of my favourite movies. I think it was released as "The Butterfly Collector" here in Limeyland. Or maybe I just renamed it in my head. Either way, it's a damn classic. For the uninitiated, here's my Player-style pitch: imagine Sleuth (with just two lead actors onscreen for 95% of the time) crossed with Silence of the Lambs and you'll be in the right ballpark.<p> </p>So Harry watched this that many times before he even hit SIX?! I wish I had a dad like you when I was growing up, instead of being pushed in front of things like The Care Bears movie.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Thank you Alonzo Mosley...

    by WickedMonster

    ...for insulting my intelligence. I know my English is not good as yours, but I can you explain to me what's the big hubbub about people flaming each other just because one person didn't find the movie all that interesting. Its about flying spaceships with tall grays in 'em, so what?. <p>Not to mention, floating disembodied lights...</p> <p>"And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why we get the movies we get today rather than the movies we used to get in the 70s..."</p> <p>So I take it you hate LORD OF THE RINGS, BATMAN BEGINS and all other geekasm movies that have been out since the 70's?</p>

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Attention Seppu....

    by fathergeek

    Thanks for your comments... Yes indeed, that is a variation of the famous "Onibaba" demon (devil) head. That face actually predates the movie by many, many years, decades even. Its a tradional Japanese folk art piece commonly appearing on tatoos, carvings, and old woodblock prints. My deceased dad, Hair's "Gramps" had a pool cue with that demon carved in ivory on its hilt that I used to shoot 9 ball with as a college student back in the sixties. He picked it up in Japan when he was in the Navy in the 1930's. I was in love with that piece, but it disappeared sometime in the early 70's.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    It's Cicely Alaksa not Nome

    by holidill

    Hey Harry it's Cicely Alaska not Nome Alaska for Northern Exposure.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 2:33 p.m. CST

    The only season of Wrestling Society X comes out this week

    by BigDogg

    It was like B-movie wrestling on MTV, ridiculously over the top and silly as hell. Plus it had Jack Evans, Jimmy Jacobs, Matt Sydal, and Colt Cabana (under a mask as Matt Classic)

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Blu-ray buy 1 get 1 free week...

    by lynxpro

    Just thought I'd add the tidbit that Amazon, Fry's, and BestBuy are all doing a Blu-ray "buy 1 get 1 free" (BOGO) offer this week on some Sony and Disney/Buena Vista releases. Seems Sony and Disney want to spoil the HD DVD exclusive *Shrek the Third* release just as they last did for the HD DVD exclusive release of *Transformers*. The last time I bought pretty heavy but I might just limit myself this time to the remastered release of *The Fifth Element* and get my Monica Bellucci fix with a free copy of *Tears of the Sun*. But Harry is right about the high price on DVD for *Close Encounters*. Just buy the Blu-ray release instead...especially if you are getting a PS3 for the Holidays.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST

    *Rescue Me* S3 on Blu-ray $54...

    by lynxpro

    Just thought I'd add that Amazon has Season 3 of *Rescue Me* on Blu-ray for $54. Although I wish someone would light a fire under Fox to release *Angel* on Blu-ray. That would be a great candidate for release since the first 4 seasons were shot on 16mm and the 5th using HD cameras.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 3:18 p.m. CST

    ALEXANDERPLATZ = DVD RELEASE OF THE DECADE

    by Prague23

    IF NOT TWO. FRAKIN AMAZING. IF ANYONE CAN NAME A SINGLE TITLE THAT IF RELEASED ON DVD COULD BE MORE EXCITING I'D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Another Good Reason to See CE3K

    by Aquatarkusman

    Francois Truffaut! The only negative thing I can say about it is that it started Spielberg's 30-year "child in trouble" motif which has ruined some of his lesser movies.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    How many DVDs does Harry have?

    by Greenleaf1

    Geez, must be like 10,000...I'd be curious to see his entire list. And did he just say he didn't like Ocean's Eleven, but DID like Ocean's Twelve? I don't think I've ever heard that opinion before, and I certainly don't agree with it.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Blu-Ray?

    by kevinwillis.net

    Got a Blu-Ray DVD player yet? Started the fund raising drive to buy Harry and Blu-Ray DVD player yet?

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 4:42 p.m. CST

    ocean's 12

    by darwinwins

    i loved 12 better than 11 or 13. there was the one stupid scene (well pretty much all the scenes with julia roberts) but those can be forgiven cos the rest of the movie just rocks like a 60's movie. plus it had the embodiment of Arsene Lupin.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Sound Advice: HD DVD leaves Blu-ray in the dust

    by RepairmanJack

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07314/832733-96.stm?cmpid=business.xml

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Arsene Lupin

    by thelordofhell

    I am always amazed that ANY Lupin movie (French or Japanese) has never been remade here. Clooney would be pretty decent as Lupin III.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I Share Your Love for Close Encounters

    by grungies

    I'm also anxious to watch La Vie En Rose. I'm pretty sure who I would award personal Oscars so far this year, save best actress.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Repairmanjack

    by lynxpro

    That article is shite. It is an opinion piece. Furthermore, it claims that HD DVD has the same sound quality as Blu-ray. That ain't true... Blu-ray is the format with uncompressed sound. The tool that wrote that has no idea about codecs or the quality of a particular film transfer. He also claims that Blu-ray lost Paramount. Well, that is half true. Microsoft/Toshiba paid Paramount/Dreamworks Animation $150 mil to go exclusive. The "author" also states that HD DVD has not "lost" a single studio that supported it. Not true. Warner and Paramount started out as being HD DVD exclusive; then both studios went format neutral as Playstation3 sales went up after its launch date. Again, Paramount "quit" Blu-ray after receiving their payola. So don't post a link to a biased and completely flawed article and claim some moral victory from posting it.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:10 p.m. CST

    "wishing for some special guest to drop in out of that uncanny c

    by Orionsangels

    The only thing that dropped out that night was the deuce harry laid in the toilet. Pwnd! woot woot! raise the roof! here come da hammer!

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 9:30 p.m. CST

    I'm a relatively new Fassbinder fan

    by CherryValance

    I'll definitely have to check that out. The only reason I got into his work is that Netflix recommended 'Querelle' to me. I'd never heard of him before. My favorite that I've seen so far is 'The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant', but I also really love 'In a Year of 13 Moons'.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:07 p.m. CST

    thelordofhell on lupin

    by darwinwins

    i was referring to Vincent Cassel's Toulour. freaking awesome character.

  • Nov. 12, 2007, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Repairman Jack

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    I'm going to add that one to my collection of articles to reprint when HD-DVD goes under. <p> Although, if the guy at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says HDD is the way to go, perhaps I've been wrong. As were the Home Theatre Specialists of America. They went with Blu-Ray. What the fuck do THEY know, huh?

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 2:19 a.m. CST

    verhoeven to direct crown affair 2 yes

    by skiff

    How come we have tons of startrek news and we have known for days about verhoeven making a new film and not a word on the site. Hmmmmm

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Verhoeven to direct Thomas Crown Affair 2?

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    Please tell me that Rene Russo is keeping her knickers on.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 4:45 a.m. CST

    You mean Creature from Hillbilly Lagoon...

    by Midnightxpress

    ...is crap you don't say... I hope you didn't part with too many greens for that POS

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Where is the entertainment value in the Ocean's movies?

    by Spandau Belly

    There's not enough funny parts for them to be comedies, there's not really any action per se, the characters don't really interact or develope or have story arcs, there's no tension because nothing ever really goes wrong in these guys' schemes. It feels like watching the red carpet at the Oscars. You get a bunch of celebrities dressed up and standing around doing nothing and seeming confident.<br><br>I don't know, I only saw parts one and three. Maybe part two is entertaining. I'm guessing Julia Roberts dies in that one because she isn't even mentioned in the third one and her two formerly vying suitors are now actually working together.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 7 a.m. CST

    And as always, thanks for this column Harry.

    by Spandau Belly

    It's my favorite on this site!

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Beware a Holy Whore

    by wilsonfisk89

    Also an amazing Fassbinder film, brutally hypnotic. Glad to see the master getting his due here on AICN.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Oceans Movies

    by MRJONZ72

    I have only seen Oceans 11, I enjoyed it, but after I watched it I never wanted to see it again. I guess my main gripe that thier entire scheme went as planned without like no type of hiccup. So I was never in a rush to see 12 or 13. Especially 12, seem like to me that people that liked these movies thought the 2nd one is a weak my spot. At least that is the vibe I got from folks.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Must... resist.... cover... art...

    by DocPazuzu

    Nope, sorry, can't do it. Creature from Hillbilly Lagoon must be mine.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    HIAB...

    by Bone-In Foray

    I concur regarding your sentiment on the Close Encounter cover. Children aside, what if you've simply never SEEN the film? Why should we, as consumers, be subject to spoilers right on the fucking COVER?? Ridiculous. Further to that, why must we be constantly subjected to a film's content via animated title menus, or pre-menu trailers? For example, we rented '300' last week and I had to watch like 3 battle sequences and listen to whatshisface rattle off like 5 one-liners (or in this case, one-screamers) before I even got to the title menu. Eventually I found the remote and skipped through this bullshit, but it's a pain in the ass. I'd really like to go back to the days of non-descript title screens and actual BOOKLETS included with my DVDs. At least Criterion still gets it.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Keira Knightly is so beautiful

    by qweruiop

    I mean there's beautiful, and then there's young Audrey Hephburn beautiful, which is what Keira falls under.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST

    darwinwins on Vincent Cassel

    by thelordofhell

    Yeah, he was rather Lupin-like. But that lucky bastard is boinkin' Monica Belucci, so really, he shouldn't have much time to do movies anymore. ;-)

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 4:38 p.m. CST

    That Post-Gazette article read like an 8th grade essay

    by George Newman

    that was really pathetic and it certainly did not lay the argument to rest. <p>One could expect to find quotes from things like that article on the sides of a HD-DVD box. <p>"ALL THE CRITICS AGREE!! HD-DVD is a KNOCK-OUT!!!"

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 5:23 p.m. CST

    He says the sun came out last night.

    by kwisatzhaderach

    He says it sang to him.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    A CHINESE TORTURE CHAMBER STORY

    by Engelhast

    This is just a guess but I bet Walmart won't be selling it.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    by ufoclub1977

    Is my favorite movie of all time. It was more powerful to me as a 3rd grader than any film since. I liked it more than real life. Sort of the way some people like stories of religion and god(s) more than real life... It cannot have the same impact on new viewers for the simple fact that the setting is no longer authentically current and lifelike. It was 1977, and it seemed REAL. All the details, the suburban details... Such a wonderous experience as a child! I could only hope to make shadows of art so rich, relevant, and powerful to someone new in the future.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    by dmcarter

    yeah, that's good stuff. especially when you're a kid. I think part of it is the title. it just sounds like weird shit. like something they tell you about when you're a scientologist or in some weird suicide alien cult.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 8:21 p.m. CST

    You sure like your dodgy sex tapes!?

    by FILMFUNK

    And - your writing... - is getting way more... - harder, - ... to read, as - well! - ... - !?! :o(

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 11:21 p.m. CST

    GOKU HAS BEEN CAST

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

    GAY! http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=6523 TAKE OUT THE SPACES AND GO GOOGLE HIM! GAY

  • Nov. 14, 2007, 4:53 a.m. CST

    This is a response to the user "ISTILLWETMYBEDAT39"

    by Orionsangels

    WTF is your problem dude! You hate everything! Is there any movie you ever liked? Fuckin bitch! respond! I fuckin dare ya. I'm sick of you stinkin up this place!

  • Nov. 14, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Meh...the only things worth buying there are...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...The Addams Family and Berlin Alexanderplatz, at least for my money anyway. Okay, Close Encounters is classic, and ths worth the money, definitely, but I already own that and I'm not much for double dipping, though it looks to be a hell of a package they've put together. <p>Of the other stuff, that Midnight Movies doco is pretty slight, worth a look (especially if you don't have much knowledge of the genre I guess) but not worth buying or rewatching, and I personally thought that Shrek 3 was utterly wretched. Ocean's 13 pretty forgettable, sure it was better than Ocean's 12, but then so is herpes, and at least that sticks with you a bit longer. And Amazing Grace was disappointingly hackneyed and paint-by-numbers in it's execution, and ultimately paper thin. La Vie En Rose has a truly great lead performance stuck in what really is, unfortunately, a pretty dull and mediocre bio-pic. Paris Je T’aime was, like most filmic anthologies, hugely inconsistent and largely pointless, and though I've seen it only a few months back I can barely remember a single storyline in any sort of clarity. <p>Must admit, of the things there I haven't seen The Loreley's Grasp piques my curiosity, never even heard of that one...any opinions? Should I be checking that one out, or is it best to just skip it?

  • Nov. 15, 2007, 5:51 p.m. CST

    The Jane Froman Story...

    by BillyPilgrim

    Any relation to Abe Froman? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Nov. 16, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Hey Sledge Hammer...

    by juggygales1000

    You should be checking out "The Man From Earth". Currently the 6th most popular title 95th most popular movie) and rising. It has an overall rating of 8.4 as well.