The very best Blu Ray of the week in my estimation. Transfer, extras and content all make this my pick of the week. Those of you that read my reviews know how much I loved this film, and on Blu Ray… nothing has lost its luster. For one, an amazingly creepy, disturbing and awesome short called HIGGLETY PIGGLETY POP! OR THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE, based upon Maurice Sendak’s book. It is nightmare inducing in aesthetic, but beautiful in all the best of ways that Sendak’s work implies. Watching the behind the scenes magic making this movie is captivating – as are the crazy shorts that also fill this wonderful disc. Much applause for this affair!
How to explain the wonders of PONYO to those that are uninitiated by the wonders of Miyazaki? Well, first off – what’s different about PONYO in comparison to all other films by Miyazaki? There is no other Miyazaki film that I have seen that is more whimsical, so full of cheer and so full of pure unadulterated glee. Essentially, this is Miyazaki’s version of THE LITTLE MERMAID, but the story is nearly unrecognizable from the perspective of the Disney version. You have the option of the star studded English dubbed version or the original Japanese. Personally I love both versions. Also there’s some great extras giving us a peak at the World of Ghibli and the creation of PONYO. The Storyboard Presentation is my fave of the extras though.
I really dislike this film. Not quite Emmerich’s worst, that’d have to be GODZILLA, but 2012 is scraping that same sewer. THAT SAID. The FX are extraordinary. The maddening vision of the end of the world via Emmerich has never been so impressive. This film’s brightest spot is with Woody Harrelson, otherwise… it is pretty dead. The extras are legion here and feature such modest extras like: Roland Emmerich: The Master Of The Modern Epic! C’mon, you know you’ve got enough booze to make that extra hysterical. This film is pretty dreadful, but absolutely hypnotic while it is doing that. Apparently there were deleted scenes, because while watching I thought I saw about 20 scenes worthy of deletion. But that was probably just me. If you happened to like this film, it’s a must get… the features and quality of presentation are simply superb. They fully explain themselves… That said… there are better films to pick up this week, right?
Ok. Nevermind the annoying fact that we’re not getting a Blu Ray of the 1950’s Disney animated ALICE IN WONDERLAND…. Which has got to be the marketing tie-in dropped ball of the year thus far. But then, they release PONYON on Blu Ray – brilliantly so, I might add… but then release a trio of Special Edition 2-dvd sets of three great Miyazaki films in boxes that curiously look EXACTLY like the PONYO Blu Ray packaging… you will note these are NOT Blu Rays. If you don’t have these titles. By all means pick them up. They’re well worth it. I just wish they’d release them in High Def. Now – if you have kids that are TOY STORY nuts – there is a TOTORO toy in the new TOY STORY 3 – so if you want your kids to be the cool kids that scream out TOTORO when this character hits the screen in TOY STORY 3… you know what to do. BRAIN WASH PROPERLY!!!
Mark Hamill provides a voice. REQUIRED PURCHASE. Wish it were Blu Ray, but it is a brilliant film despite the format. Great title!
After PORCO ROSSO, my favorite Miyazaki film. I have a male friend that so loved this movie in his college days, that he had fantasies of dressing up like KiKi and going cowtipping. I KID YOU NOT. Possibly the weirdest fantasy ever admitted to me personally. That creepy story aside, there is nothing creepy about this film. Again, wish it were Blu in more than packaging colors.
Really makes you wish they had a different stock to have shot this movie on. That said, it is a pretty perfect transfer. I’m extremely fond of this Harryhausen, but you can feel all the work that isn’t his here. His work is filled with subtle character nuances that are all Harryhausen. That said, the live action side of this film never really was up to par with films like GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD or JASON & THE ARGONAUTS. CLASH is a fun film at the very least. The score causes the whole thing to soar. That said, for a whole group of folks, this is their very favorite HARRYHAUSEN film. I’ll respect their choice, but I disagree. But then, for most of those, CLASH was their first Harryhausen. However, for me – it was my last Harryhausen, as my parents had shown me all of the Harryhausen films on high rotation throughout my youngest years. Before you can get to the menu, there is a 5 minute behind the scenes look at the new CLASH OF THE TITANS. And I kinda love it a lot. The bummer? The extras have been around for ages and are nothing new for Harryhausen nuts. No Commentary, no newly shot documentary. I imagine we’ll see an even spiffier treatment down the road. At least I hope so.
Fucking Awesome. I had never seen this, until the disc came. I was offered a chance to see it full screen once, but I just can’t imagine watching anything by John Carpenter in full screen. God, I’m so glad I didn’t see that version. There’s a sense of Carpenter’s eye throughout. The composition is completely counter to FULL SCREEN. Kurt Russell’s ELVIS is a thing to behold. Next to his role as Jack Burton and Snake Plissken, I think Kurt’s ELVIS beats the others. A really great effort by John Carpenter, finally in widescreen!!! SO GOOD!
And the winner for Version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND least friendly to drug use… it is this one. The film is a brilliant nightmare. Everybit as surreal as Tim Burton’s latest incarnation, but far more subversive and in the manner that they achieved their effects… fucking scary. The stuff of nightmares. Shit scared me as a kid, when I saw this on MATINEE AT THE BIJOU, which is where my dad recorded it from. Gave me nightmares. That said, it is a piece of magic from the year of KING KONG. Kinda must be seen just so you can attempt to try to describe it to others.
I watched this right before heading out the door to go see Burton’s Alice tonight. The transfer is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. The sound though gives you cold shivers it sounds so good. This new 5.1 mix is hot! Really great sound mix. Love it. The film is still wonderful. Some day, I hope we all live to see a special edition of this film. I’ve heard there’s a great longer cut by Wolfgang, that is astonishingly great. Like Robert Altman’s much longer POPEYE… another pipe dream of mine. Sigh.
I found this to be a complete and total bore. NINJA is such a loaded word of awe from childhood. But too many ninja movies just don’t work. This is another of them. But, I know that there are NINJA fetishists out there – and you should know of this. There’s some moderately interesting action here and there, but nothing I’d spend time really writing about. Rental at best.
Dark & Odd – a perfect Paul Giamatti role… playing himself. He’s fantastic as himself. The film is fun science/fantasy/fiction. Worth picking up, as most of us never had a chance to have this play a theater nearby. Check it out.
One of the great Shaw Bros. martial arts classics starring Gordon Liu. And I believe this is the first Dragon Dynasty Blu Ray. The first of HUNDREDS hopefully. One of the great martial arts films, this was the second bill of my past Movie Night. A revenge film that is 90% training and 5% revenge crazed vengeance. BUT IT WORKS! The training is obscenely genius. Watch how many steps Gordon does before each edit. He knew his shit and there seems to have been no wires. Gorgeous transfer, original language and subtitles. A very happy experience!
I hatd NAPOLEON DYNAMITE and loved NACHO LIBRE – but I have yet to actually see GENTLEMEN BRONCOS – I’ve heard either extreme on this film. I’ll be picking this up tomorrow to see for myself. I was introducing something opposite its FANTASTIC FEST premiere. Alas. Evil scheduling conflicts! Sigh.
The sequel didn’t get the Blu Ray treatment, sad face cry cry. This is actually the more fun film. Though the original is the better movie. Well, depends what you’re looking for. However, I’d buy the Blu and wait on this one. If the numbers are good on the original, we’ll probably see this on Blu shortly.
For my money, the best live action adaptation of ALICE IN WONDERLAND to date is this Hallmark telling, which is literate, bizarre and well acted by an all-star cast. Watched this tonight. Ben Kingsley’s Catepillar and Martin Short’s Madd Hatter must be seen to be believed. The FX are pretty TV, as you’d figure… but stylistically, it all works. Whoopi Goldberg as the Chesire Cat is CREEPY! Very Scary!That’s it for this week, next we’ll be looking at UP IN THE AIR, PRECIOUS, BOONDOCK SAINTS II, OLD DOGS, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, PARIS, THE STONING OF SORAYA M, TENSPEED & BROWN SHOE, THE BROTHERS WARNER, SERVICE, TAPEHEADS and that’s about it. Next week is pretty week, so I might bang out two weeks worth at once, so I don’t get behind due to SXSW. Ambitious I know, but easily doable. Till then, see ya later…
March 2, 2010, 4:06 a.m. CST
How did THAT one slip my radar? Let's hope for a region 2 release.
March 2, 2010, 4:08 a.m. CST
I'm sure a lot of people here haven't seen those and think the only Miyazaki's only movies are Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away...well, they're not!! Actually, I never liked Spirited Away, which is odd. I just felt like the story was too linear and predictible.
March 2, 2010, 4:32 a.m. CST
I had heard that both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 were coming out on blu ray today, has that release been delayed? If so, son of a... oh well, I'll still be picking up WTWTA, one of the best of 2009.
March 2, 2010, 4:35 a.m. CST
10,000b.c anyone? Almost made me physically sick!
March 2, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST
Yeah the effects were great but they were too clean, I didn't believe for a second that anything happening on screen was actually happening, it felt like I was watching someone else play a videogame. I actually became bored after the hour mark or so and me being bored at the movies hardly ever happens so kudos to you Mr. Emmerich.
March 2, 2010, 4:49 a.m. CST
Who gives a shit you never liked Spirited Away you tool? It's an amazing movie, no matter how many Miyazakis you have seen!
March 2, 2010, 4:55 a.m. CST
It's almost as good as you hope for from the combination of Scott Adkins, Isaac Florentine and ninjas. Adkins' fights are as great as always (although it's a little weird to see him playing an American ninja), the villain is very charismatic and surprisingly sympathetic, the female lead also gets some great fights, there is a much fuller range of traditional ninja weapons than in NINJA ASSASSIN, and there's also a group of bad guys who are an oil conglomerate AND satanic cult.<p> I also appreciate the fast-paced storyline that knows to just give you enough explanation to keep it moving and not waste too much time sitting in one place. And that the hero is willing to kill and defy authority not because of any threat to humanity or loved ones, but for a box of old weapons that are important to his clan. Now that's ninja.<p>
March 2, 2010, 5:13 a.m. CST
H, you mention the '99 ALICE TV movie as being the best version 'to date' and you also mention you saw Tim Burton's ALICE tonight. Just to clarify, you prefer the TV movie to Burton's?
The cover quote on that Paul Giamatti film says "You'll laugh till it hurts."<p> I'm not sure if that's a plus or a minus.
Vern, I like the sound of NINJA. Bad guys are an oil conglomerate... not quite evil enough.. fuck it, let's make 'em satanists too.
March 2, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST
by Spifftacular Squirrel Girl
I would LOVE to see that. <p> Too bad Kiki isn't on Blu. I was pretty much raised watching that movie when I was a little kid.
March 2, 2010, 5:22 a.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 5:27 a.m. CST
dub, right? I totally grok wanting to hear an English voice cast and being able to concentrate on the visuals, but the whole celebrity cast thing doesn't always work. They exchange the fact that they're often just not right for the role for their celeb cache. Sometimes it works OK, sometimes it doesn't.<p> Oh and, "And the winner for Version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND least friendly to drug use… it is this one." I've seen that version and it is indeed very surreal and brilliant, but surely Jan Svankmajer's Alice movie would be the most likely to make you bug out on that brown acid? It's also waaaaaaaaaaay better than that '99 version which you called the best live-action version.<p> One last thing: I think you might quite dig Napoleon Dynamite now it's no longer a hipster touchstone. It's a genuinely sweet movie and effortlessly watchable in that docu-comedy kind of way (think Flight of the Conchords, A Mighty Wind etc.).
March 2, 2010, 6:10 a.m. CST
It would be great to see that longer cut, which would explain the homeless guy who pops in and out of various frames as getting some more of that great, witty screenplay.
It's strange to think back now the amount of US television released in the movies overseas in the 70/80s.Elvis was one of these and deserved to be seen on the big screen.As a kid saw Buck Rogers,Battlestar(3 films)Spiderman and Airwolf at the movies.
March 2, 2010, 6:17 a.m. CST
Also out on DVD. Shame wasn't part of the Wild Things BLu Ray Extras though.
March 2, 2010, 6:49 a.m. CST
...is the fact that everything in Wonderland had to be orchestrated to teach Alice valuable lessons about having confidence and believing in herself, etc., etc. Excuse me? I suppose the Alice of Carroll's books does become more self-confident as she goes ... but Carroll was very deliberately lampooning the didactic form of the children's lit of his era. The 1999 adaptation crossed the line. For me, it was a fatal flaw. Disney, by contrast, took huge liberties with the letter of the books, but did far better with the spirit. I've never seen the 1930s version, but now I'll have to check it out...
March 2, 2010, 7:08 a.m. CST
To write a review without using the words 'that said'. And... go.
March 2, 2010, 7:11 a.m. CST
Harry, wasn't that was the one whose premiere AND movie had you squirting all over the place? And didn't you cry or something? What's this revisionist history bullshit? Whateverz dude.
March 2, 2010, 7:12 a.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 7:15 a.m. CST
"...I’ve heard there’s a great longer cut by Wolfgang, that is astonishingly great." That's some great use of the English language!
March 2, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST
Harry, we give you a ton of shit when you don't get these columns done on time. It's only fair that we thank you when we do get them. So THANKS!!!
March 2, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
and I also completely understand why people 10 years younger than me think it's the best Harryhausen film. I had already seen "7th Voyage of Sinbad, "Golden Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts" in theatrical re-releases, as well as "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" in its original theatrical release. "Clash of the Titans", at the time (and still today), felt exactly like what it was; the last gasp for air of a type of fantasy film whose time had run out. The cast seemed too modern for the trappings, and now Harryhausen films were being forced to follow "Star Wars" (the film that, for me, ended the classic fantasy genre), and even draw from "Star Wars". Don't get me wrong, I still love "Clash of the Titans", but the feeling is still bittersweet. It's like saying goodbye to an old friend who you know you'll never see again. "Clash of the Titans" represents the end of an era, and we can never go home again. And it was the first film in Harryhausen's career that had more stop-motion work in it than he could handle personally and meet any kind of release deadline. I know that kids who saw it in the theaters (and had never seen a Harryhausen film before) love it, as they should, but for me it will always seem like a circle trying to fit into a square.
March 2, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST
by judge dredds fresh undies
As white vader said, WTF. I cant understand peoples opinions changing over time but that's a massive turnaround, how can we take any of Harry's reviews seriously? Ok I know no one does these days but still..
March 2, 2010, 7:55 a.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 7:58 a.m. CST
...nomifuckingasswhipenated movies for Best Picture...ten!...TEN...<P>It upsets me.
March 2, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST
Not sure if you were talking about that or watching it in a window versus full screen on a computer. Hmmmm....
March 2, 2010, 8:11 a.m. CST
...is quite good, and it lets me concentrate on the visuals.
March 2, 2010, 8:14 a.m. CST
That Clash of the Titans cover looks like a high school student's first Photoshop try-out. I'd rather cover it in brown paper and a crayon drawing. Ugh.
March 2, 2010, 8:15 a.m. CST
...STORY.<P>I still prefer my existential dread wrapped up in a fantasy package.<P>Not that it matters.
March 2, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST
by Toe Jam
The theatrical poster -- the one with Giamatti's head stacking like a matryoshka doll -- was voted the best movie poster of the year by several groups. Much more appealing than that unremarkable DVD art.
March 2, 2010, 9:04 a.m. CST
Is it worth picking up? Your "review" didn't tell me anything about it other than it has a pretty picture and sound. That's an incomplete review and unacceptable. You won't get an "F", but you don't get a passing grade either.
March 2, 2010, 9:06 a.m. CST
Hottest Alice ever.
March 2, 2010, 9:09 a.m. CST
Has been told many times here. Come on! get with it! He pretty muched said it wasn't all that the second viewing he had. He (like many of us would I expect) got caught up in the hype and the event he went to. He liked it. saw it again and didn't. simple. We have all done that. Time to shut the fuck up about it now.
March 2, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST
napoleon, juno, year of the dog, savages, the squid and the whale, sideways, happiness.
March 2, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST
Classic art. I must praise them for not giving us a shitty Photoshop collage.
March 2, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST
Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 are coming out 5/4/2010.
March 2, 2010, 9:11 a.m. CST
by Kaiser Soze
and Godzilla was a piece of sun-dried shit. But Emmerich's worst HAS to be 10,000 BC. That movie was absolutely soulless and completely fucking retarded, so much so that a retard would look at it and say, "Dyerrh...THAT'S RUH-TARR-DEDD! YAAAY!"
March 2, 2010, 9:11 a.m. CST
What I find funny is that Gentlemen Broncos looks like it practically traced over Napolean Dynamites cover.
March 2, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST
In case you haven't noticed, (and judging by the attendance you haven't), Harry just sent out a big F.U. to everyone who commented on 'That said'. Harry, I salute you-look forward to meeting you at Wonderfest!
March 2, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST
by Kaiser Soze
the only one I own (though I got it as part of a 10 free blu rays by mail offer) is the Patriot. Mel going all Last of the Mohicans was fun to watch, and Jason Issacs is brilliant as the baddie.
March 2, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST
There are no extras on the Neverending story blu-ray. thats why he worded it that way. "Well the picture looks great. and it sounds good".<BR><BR> and for $20, at wal-mart even, its not worth it unless you MUST own the blu-ray.
March 2, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST
is I have friends that LIKED 10,000 BC and own the POS
March 2, 2010, 9:42 a.m. CST
Thanks for the heads up Ponyo Blu-ray. Totally forgot about it and my 4.5-year-old daughter has been discovering how awesome Miyazaki is. She keeps asking to see "Kid of the Wind" for a third time (Nausicaa), but I gave her Porco Russo (2x) and Castle In The Sky first. She is getting that they are made by the same person/people now. She's seen Ponyo in the theater and loved it, so it's going to be fun to surprise her with the Ponyo blu-ray!<p> As far as dubs go, the Nausicaa english dub has a cast that I'd pretty much go with for a live action version. Great dub. Porco Russo is a little odd, at first, but has some great dub work in it, as well. Castle in the Sky is passable, and as much as I like Mark Hamill's work in it, it plays a little close to the Joker a couple times. All the newer movies have great dubs, too, in my estimation (Mononoke, Spirited Away, Ponyo).<p> Many of them are so good you almost forget how you simply CAN'T replace the experience of seeing it in the original language. Still, I don't watch them subbed more than once or twice. Especially since I'm sharing them with someone who can't read very well yet!<P> One last note on Miyazaki and Ghibli. We are going to Disney World this year and I can't help but desire these films to be much more popular so we could see rides featuring these worlds. Maybe just a small section in the corner of Fantasyland? Maybe just one ride? I know, I know. *sigh*
March 2, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST
by Little Beavis
You're slippin, man!
March 2, 2010, 9:47 a.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST
Where'd you pick this phrase from? You should return it right away. And just to toss this out- Kiki's delivery service is PERFECTION.
March 2, 2010, 10:04 a.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 10:07 a.m. CST
I also saw the Sinbad films in the theater (but not "Jason"), and agree that "Clash" hasn't aged as well. I'm buying it today, though, to show to my 7 year-old daughter, who is very into the mythology after seeing "Percy Jackson".
March 2, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST
that and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
March 2, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST
Love that movie. I was sure these were gonna be in blu. It seems odd that they didn't do that.
March 2, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST
... that said.
March 2, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST
What an wholly original and beautiful piece of work. Also, a tremendous action-adventure.
March 2, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST
by Amadeo Zeller
if Roland Emmerich would've shaved a half an hour off of its' running time.
March 2, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST
If only for the Jabberwocky suit.
March 2, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST
I don't give a shit if the SFx are well made and "spectacular", the movie is still terrible and dumb beyond belief. SFx counts for nothing if the movie is crap. 2012 is the worst movie of emmerich's career, which in itself is a big statement, since he only makes terible movies. It's awfulness is an achievement of some kind in itself. When somebody out-bads Michael Bay, you are a special case!
March 2, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST
2012's problems has nothing to do with it's running time. It has to do with how it was writen, how it was conceived, and the extreme retardness stupidity that come up with it in the first place. no editing can turn that turd into anything but a turd. It's beyond saving. And popcorn is no excuse for extreme retard stupidity of the likes of 2012.
March 2, 2010, 11 a.m. CST
IMDB lists the filmed aspect ratio of Carpenter's ELVIS as 1:33 fullscreen, so the dvd image is almost definitely not 2:35 letterbox. It's more than likely a "fake" 1:85 widescreen image from an open matte source.
March 2, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST
But let's face it, it has almost nothing to do with him and everything to do with Mel Gibson, Jason Issacs, Tom Wilkinson, John Williams music, Caleb Deschanels photography and a thoughtful script from the guy who wrote "Saving Private Ryan."
March 2, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST
Castle in the Sky is my favorite Miyazaki movie. There is just something about it that really excites me when I watch it. Such great animation. Kiki is probably my second favorite. I liked Ponyo more than a lot of other people seem to. Loved the whimsy of it like you said! Also I am one of those "Ninja Fetishists" and have Ninja coming through Netflix already! Though I always side with Pirates.
March 2, 2010, 11:24 a.m. CST
You mean Harry sent out a 'big F.U.' just by saying 'that said' even more in his article? I merely mentioned him constantly repeating that phrase because I was pointing out his sloppy writing style. I enjoy his articles for the most part, but they're ruined by him always saying 'that said'. How hard would it be to stop saying it?
March 2, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST
Disney should start making it right now! Really wish I could go to the Ghibli Museum in Japan.
March 2, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST
a longer cut of "The Neverending Story." I don't know if there is any truth in it though.
March 2, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST
by Judge Briggs
The first half was decent ... the second turned into a B-movie.
March 2, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST
...uh...hum....hrmmmm....nope, I can't really do it. The guy's a total hack. However, I love "Independence Day" and "The Patriot." I have a bit of a soft spot for "The Day After Tomorrow" which I though was pretty fun. I thought parts of "Stargate" nearly worked. There's a reason that I can always watch the trailers for "Godzilla" but have a hard time sitting through the movie. "10,000 B.C." was nigh on unbearable. And "2012," (sigh) I guess...that earthquake scene was kinda cool.
March 2, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST
than Ninja Asassin, I'll be fine with it. I really didn't get the love for NA. Aside from a few cool scenes, I thought it was a prettly worthless, boring movie. I think there needs to be another Ninja supernatural type movie again like "Ninja III: The Domination."
March 2, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST
With the go-motion techniques used in Dragonslayer already onscreen, the Master's techniques were looking a little dated by the time Clash hit the screen. I'm with you Harry. I prefer the '50s and '60s stuff sp with the masterful scores by Bernard Herrmann.
March 2, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST
Since Emmerich's movie is basically a remake of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Unlike 2012 I thought Godzilla provided the mindless popcorn fun. I just hated the raptor babies in Madison Square Garden. Oh, and Broderick sucked in the movie. I wish they had let Hank Azaria play the lead, since he was a much more fun character. Also, I loved the creature FX for Godzilla (minus the babies). For me it's a fun movie that I put right in with my other Godzilla movies. So suck it.
March 2, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST
by far was 10,000 BC. Spending all that time, all that money, on making a movie set 12,000 years ago and the plot is some dude's girlfriend gets kidnapped so he has to go rescue her? Yeah, I saw that movie, it was called Legend, and it was head and shoulders (and horns) above 10,000 BC.
March 2, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST
was a good renter. Low expectations, ended up skipping it in theaters. So turns out it was silly fun on VHS. Also it would have been awesome had he connected it back to Stargate. I bet he can't even touch that property now though.
March 2, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST
I see this now.
March 2, 2010, 11:55 a.m. CST
Whats not to love about that movie? It big dumb lousy acting and silly monster, just like the original Godzilla movies. One of the better redos. <P> But yeah the mini raptors were stupid.
March 2, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST
as a huge godzilla fan, i LOATHE emmerich's version. but much like harry, when i first saw it, i loved it. i dont know what it was, but it had me wide-eyed and smiling the entire movie. THAT SAID, i always had a problem with goji getting "offed" by missiles. that's so stupid it's not even funny! but that was 12 years ago, and i'll always have my classic toho dvds...i wish they would make godzilla movies like in the '60's and '70's. those, despite being extremely cheesy at times, have the most heart out of any of the newer ones made in the '90's and '00's!
March 2, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST
In which the Duchess throws pots and pans at the baby? I know there's at least one where the baby turns into a pig.
March 2, 2010, 12:21 p.m. CST
Uncharted 2 had better visuals and way better acting. Wait, Harry said Godzilla was Emmerich's worst film? Would that be concidered your third review? I've heard Harry had a great longer review of Godzilla that great in it's greatness. psi
March 2, 2010, 12:22 p.m. CST
I really enjoyed the trailers and the posters leading up to the release of the movie, and for the most part, when I first saw it the movie was able to hold up its promise of big, dumb, fun. But every time Maria Pitillo was onscreen, i cringed. Or Kevin Dunn's general. Actually, I cringed freely just about every time any character was onscreen that wasn't Reno, Azaria, or Godzilla. The whole nesting thing, and nobody being able to find Godzilla 'cause he was hiding in the subway was just too much. Still, a few really fun sequences of effects-laden destruction. Still a hell of a lot better than "10,000 B.C."
March 2, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST
Harry, there are legions of kids beginning to hate you because I make them go through and correct your grammatical errors. Your Christmas card list is shrinking.
March 2, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST
by Mr. Nice Gaius
...fucking hated it. Every single one, down the line, thought it was terrible. Granted, I have yet to see it myself but I thought it was an interesting reaction considering the praise heaped upon by the likes of AICN, CHUD, and HitFix.
March 2, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST
I really dug the film. Its my fav Jarod Hess movie. I also happen to like Sasquatch Gang for its potryal of young teens. -insert Lord of the rings music-
March 2, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST
It's soulless, artless product of the highest order. Can't believe how sterile the whole thing came off. But it's not Emmerich's worst at all. I could never get through Moon 44 or 10,000 BC at all. 10,000 BC I literally oculdn't make it to the half-hour point, I found it so boring and inane.
March 2, 2010, 1:04 p.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
. . . stuck in my head. From the sword fight w/ the skeletons. Somebod make it STOP!!! THAT SAID . . .
March 2, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST
I forgot about that one. Ok, "10,000 B.C." gets a reprieve from worst of Emmerich list.
March 2, 2010, 1:08 p.m. CST
head to the nearest Redbox and rent Peter Hyams' kids' Universal Soldier sequel. Like father - like son.<p>BTW, if memory serves me right, I believe ABC scheduled Carpenter's Elvis versus the TV airing of Gone With The Wind on CBS, and One Flew Over The Cukkoo's Nest on NBC..and Elvis beat them easily.
March 2, 2010, 1:15 p.m. CST
not John Carpenter's Elvis, was made for television...in the late seventies. What aspect ratio was there for made for tv movies but 3 x 4, unless they filmed it for overseas release also?
March 2, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST
Thanks for the Fantasia release date, I've been looking forward to owning it on blu ray for some time now, it's such a great, classic movie. And Kravmaguffan, I agree with your Uncharted 2 statement (great game too!), the visuals and action contained within that game were far more exciting than most recent blockbuster movies.
March 2, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST
It's "the Jabberwock." No "y." "Jabberwocky" is the title of the POEM, not the creature. This has always been a huge pet peeve of mine.
March 2, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST
Miyazaki film that I love, the first being Totoro. Honestly, these movies will be shown to my kids when I have 'em!
March 2, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST
The damn blue strip at the top is misleading.
March 2, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST
Was it filmed fullscreen, then cropped for this widescreen release, or filmed widescreen? (I didn't know until recently that some films, like William Friedkin's 'Sorcerer', were filmed (framed?) in 4:3 ratio. I kept searching for a widescreen copy until someone pointed it out to me. Was 'Sorcerer' shown in theatres in 4:3 ratio?)
March 2, 2010, 2 p.m. CST
...or just a version with real subtitles, not Engrish.
March 2, 2010, 2:04 p.m. CST
by Borstal Boy
...coming from a happy Canadian ;)
March 2, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST
nobody has mentioned that little slice of fried gold that was "Princess Mononoke." Freaking love that movie.
March 2, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST
I meant that a little tongue-in-cheek because on some talkback yesterday a couple of other folks got on Harry because he used that phrase too much--so, voila--on practically every review today he uses the phrase, even bolding it in the first one, if memory serves.
March 2, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST
by Harry Weinstein
Quite inferior to the DVD, it's a sped up format conversion from European 1080i@25fps (UNLIKE the 24fps 1080p French Blu-ray), with wretched audio quality. The DVD is better.
March 2, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST
Would give Roland Emmerich one penny to make a movie? Christ, the man is the worst major film-maker in history. One colossal fuck-up after another. WHY DOES HE GET TO KEEP MAKING BAD MOVIES??????????
March 2, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST
March 2, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST
STILL no mention of this exceptional film??? Come...on!!!
March 2, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST
I read that Roland made around $80-$100 mill due to some percentage shit.
March 2, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST
A review of the Alice 1933 DVD on Amazon says it is a crappy release, and, at 76 minutes, 14 minutes shorter than the release version. I agree with whoever said that 10,000 B.C. was the worst Emerich film. The best was clearly "The Patriot", which was classic Mel ultraviolence.
March 2, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST
Ahhhh! So glad I'm not the only person to have noticed him saying it. If he's doing it on purpose, then fair enough, it's not like I have to come here for my movie news...
March 2, 2010, 3:04 p.m. CST
You know, if you buy a cheap external DVD drive for your computer, you can assign it any Region you want, and stream it through to your tv (I have an HDMI out). I bought the entire Russ Meyer collection for $50.00 bucks (region 2) and that's how I watch it.
March 2, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST
Driving down Main Street, U.S.A. I'd plotz.
March 2, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST
Beautiful cinematography, excellent war scenes, and good characters. It's hard to believe Emmerich had anything to do with it.
March 2, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST
by Man in Suit
The faux Charlie Kaufman genre is the worst copycat genre of films since the Tarantino-cloning '90's. Thankfully there have only been a few of them so far (Stranger Than Fiction). Cold Souls is the worst of the bunch.
March 2, 2010, 4:32 p.m. CST
I love Gene Wilder.
March 2, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST
Elvis was released in theatres over in Britain, so maybe Carpenter filmed it widescreen.
March 2, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST
who the fuck goes to see one of Roland Emmerich's films for the story? Seriously, if you are you'll only be disappointed, if you are going to see a remarkable SFX show -you are in for a real treat...You know kinda like going to see AVATAR-looks pretty, needs a more rounded script.....
March 2, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST
and felt a little bad for Harryhausen, because it was obvious his time had passed. Loved all his movies growing up, Valley of Gwangi being my fave.
March 2, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST
I only see one there.
March 2, 2010, 5:50 p.m. CST
..SSSSnnnaake Plissken.That's the movie/character that really put the "Disney Kid" on the map and made moviegoers take him more seriously.Not really taking anything from Elvis, but Kurt hit it big iwth EFNY.
March 2, 2010, 6:45 p.m. CST
by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR
Harry, I thought you said this was coming out?
March 2, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST
I can't even find it on the wayback machine on archive.org. Maybe it was just a dream?
March 2, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST
Ponyo. The rest are DVD (though the blue strip on the top fooled me at first as well).
March 2, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST
He was producer on the film, as well as the main effects supervisor. Jim Danforth isn't credited on Gwangi in any capacity. I think you may be thinking of "When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth".
March 2, 2010, 9:47 p.m. CST
You didn't read what Harry actually wrote, did you? He was cranky about the fact that although as Mattman says the blue strip is there, it's a bit of a con. But hey, THAT SAID, can't blame you for not wanting to read Harry's "writing"! Cheers.
March 3, 2010, 1:47 a.m. CST
are the new Totoro/Castle/Kiki the same as the previous disney releases? as far as Mononoke, I love that movie but I wonder if we'll ever get a re-dub of it. The celeb cast on that one is way more grating than any of the Disney ones.
March 3, 2010, 2:42 a.m. CST
Carpenter made it for TV, but shot it in the very rare 1:66:1 anamorphic aspect ratio reserved for Europe to compromise a film feel and a Television presentation for the states in 1979. Jim Cameron has done something similar with regards to his aspect ratios and film stock in the past. The film was shown in European theaters in 1980 with a widescreen 1:66:1 anamorphic presentation. That very frame is now brought to DVD for the very first time with this new release. It's the only way you want to see this masterpiece - WIDESCREEN. ELVIS! is a brilliant film and the first collaboration between Carpenter and Russell. It was Carpenter's first major work, filmed after the success of Halloween. Russell's real life father plays Vernon Presley and his then wife to be Season Hubely plays Pricilla. Sorry for any mispelling of names.
March 3, 2010, 2:53 a.m. CST
For those who wonder what 1:66:1 anamorphic looks like on a 16x9 widescreen plasma or LED/LCD... it looks just like 1:85:1 anamorphic, filling the entire 16x9 frame but with a very slight black line down the left and right side - but barley visible. The French film Betty Blue is exactly the same aspect ratio. This is the European frame translation of 1:66:1 to a widescreen TV/NTSC.
March 3, 2010, 3:33 a.m. CST
I was with him the other day and That said " Y'know, I fuckin hate Micheal Bay." <p> "Oh?" I queried.<p> "That said, He films a mean car chase." That said. <p> "Oh yeah?" I replied, "Who said?" <p> "That said" That said.....
March 3, 2010, 5:27 a.m. CST
Best version of Alice is by far the 80's made for t.v. two part mini-series. I remember me and my sister wore the vhs copy out. The Jabberwockey is scary as hell.
March 3, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST
That familiar family melodrama is so overdone in these disaster movies. That poor new husband of Peet's never had a chance!
March 3, 2010, 6:57 a.m. CST
Great story. That said, it could have been longer.
March 3, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST
by Evil E
blu-ronin.com Their reviews are a little behind the times, but I like their grading system. And there's some cool top 10 lists.
March 3, 2010, 9:47 a.m. CST
by Bouncy X
i remembered liking it a lot back then and recently rented it and damn, its cute and all but yeah not very good. and i had completely forgotten that it was a musical. i fast forwarded through the musical numbers and saved myself around 45mins of my life.
March 3, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST
...is an absolute abomination. One has to wonder if he had even seen Honda's original. I had never been so disappointed with a film after watching that thoughtless waste of celluloid. It became very clear when the movie featured a scene of 'It Came From Beneath the Sea,' instead of one of the myriad Toho tokusatsu films, that Emmerich had no understanding or respect for the source material. His ignorance was on full display and continued throughout the film's brutal running time. If one were to call Emmerich a "hack", it would be an understatement.
March 3, 2010, 1 p.m. CST
that I saw (even more that I recognized) a young Dean Devlin as one of the geek science students. Val Kilmer could've saved us all if he took him out right then and there.
March 3, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST
Fucks sake man you're amateur.
March 3, 2010, 6:02 p.m. CST
Emmerichs Zilla caused Harry to jizz all over the place, now it's shit. And yeah Will, the 80's Alice was the best. IIRC it was done by the same people who did the Secret Garden, but then again I was only 10 at the time. Lets face it, the 80's had the best mini-series. And Clash of the Titans rules. A perfect swan song for the end of an era for those kind of films.
March 3, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST
is an atrocious film. Read Massawyrm's review. He's pretty spot on with his review. Jermaine Clement and Sam Rockwell bring a little bit of fun to an otherwise ugly and miserable film.
March 3, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST
Harry, is that including the 2010 Tim Burton version?<br>..your AiW review isn't up yet so is this an early critique of the new "Underland" movie starring Jonny Depp?
March 3, 2010, 11:23 p.m. CST
same question, much earlier in this talkback.<br><Br>so, Harry? no response? Answers please?
March 4, 2010, 4:38 a.m. CST
Every time I see the cover of that movie, I see a weird pair of eyes looking out from under a condom, floating around in water. I couldn't watch anything like that.
March 4, 2010, 5:22 p.m. CST
You just blew my mind.
March 4, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST
by Dr. Strangelove
And that means you, Harry. The best film version of Alice in Wonderland was made by Jonathan Miller in 1966. Don't believe me? I got four words for you: Peter Sellers, Peter Cook. Plus, Ravi Shankar did the music and everyone looks like they're tripping on opium. You're welcome.
March 5, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST
People not giving a shit about sense and wanting mindless thrills. I have not seen 2012 so I cannot speak of it, but having seen Emmerich's other films I can say that he makes (for the most part) entertaining popcorn flicks. They make no sense most of the time, and are weak on story and acting ranges from good to bad, but fuck, I don't care.<P>I know there are many on these TB's who have the belief that popcorn movies can be fun AND smart. Fine, I do agree. But does anyone ever stop and think that sometimes people just want to go into a movie and just be fucking entertained? Not have to think about shit? Now I am not saying ALL popcorn flicks should be brainless, not at all, but there is room for the brainless fare. If it's not your cup of tea, fine, don't see those kinds of movies and shut up and stop bitching and moaning about it and watch your intellectual fare. I cannot speak for the general public who usually are a bunch of idiots, but I like brainless fun once in a while. It makes me think of the episode of Star Trek (Shore Leave) when Kirk says "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play". Meaning even those of us who do posses intelligence sometimes like to sit back and just have some mindless fun, be it movies, games, whatever. Those who strive to have intellect in every facet of their leisure time are probably trying to compensate for an overall lack of personal intellect.
March 5, 2010, 10:26 p.m. CST
What a horrendous piece of shit! I loved every minute of it!
March 6, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST
I didn't know this was being released! Thanks, Harry, for bringing me some cool news! Haven't seen this one in *years*!
March 6, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST
That's awesome! Gibliland can't be too far away from it's debut at the Magic Kingdom... here's hoping... <p> Sucks the Miyazaki re-releases aren't on blu-ray. <p> Ponyo isn't his best, but I found it riviting, and an absolute joy in parts. It's main crime is that it peaks too soon. The narrative climax at the film's end isn't as strong an event as the storm and Ponyo's return mid-movie. <p> After discovering Mononoke a few years back I sought out all his other films and haven't been disappoitned by a single one -- impressive for such a diverse group of films. I'd say my favorites are Sprited Away, Mononoke, Porco Rosso, and Whisper of the Heart. That last wasn't directed by Miyazaki, but was written and art-directed by him. If you haven't seen Whisper - rent it immediately.
March 7, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST
Are they gonna HD-DVD it and go the way of the dodo?
March 8, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST
are going down because the format is 3+ years old now. If it stayed at the $25+ price per title, the format WOULD go the way of HD-DVD.
March 8, 2010, 5:26 p.m. CST
Knowles attends events offered to the press, paid for by the movie studios, including visits to movie sets and premieres. Questions have sometimes emerged about the resulting impartiality of his articles and reviews. For example, he was flown to the premiere of Godzilla, and gave the movie a wildly positive review, while a vast majority of critics disliked the film. Knowles later reversed himself and panned the film after the ensuing outcry. Knowles and his defenders, however, have noted that he has given mixed reviews to movies for which he has been sent to junkets and premieres, and in any case is often out of step with mainstream critics. Knowles' defenders also point out that he gave a negative review to the film Monkeybone in which he made a cameo appearance. In another controversy in 1999, he wrote an article praising a script by Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan. He failed to mention, however, that McWeeny was a contributor to the site, writing under the pseudonym "Moriarty." This and other alleged lapses were reported in a series of articles in Film Threat magazine. Arguably his most notable error occurred in early 2000 when Knowles posted materials stolen from an ABC staffer's home computer, which Knowles took at face value to be the Oscar nominees for the Academy Awards—a day before the official announcement. When the actual nominees were announced the following day, it was discovered that his finalists in almost every category were incorrect. Knowles acknowledged his error when it became clear he was wrong, but then disclosed the IP address of the person whose computer had been hacked, compounding the error. The Academy considered suing Knowles for trademark and copyright infringement, but ultimately decided against it
March 8, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST
I still think hes the man and king of us film geeks. I mean I really loved Green Street first time I seen it maybe because that was during the time I was doing a lot of ecstacy but now I look back on it with disgust and just rewatch I.D.
March 8, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST
Blu-Ray is becoming more mainstream, therefore getting cheaper.
March 9, 2010, 6:19 a.m. CST
fuck you Disney
March 10, 2010, 3:32 a.m. CST
holy crap I forgot how awesome that movie is and the score is magnificent
March 10, 2010, 5:51 a.m. CST
No way will I ever sit through another Emmerich film. The Patriot was alright, and I like the performances in it...but all his other stuff is shit. The Day After Tomorrow was a dumbass political screed.
March 19, 2010, 12:50 a.m. CST
by Xanthos Samurai
There already IS a Miyazaki theme park, guys. It's called the Ghibli Museum and it's in Japan. Granted, it's not a theme park like most of us think of it (no rides or characters walking around in giant suits) but the building itself FEELS like something straight out of a Miyazaki movie and there are all sorts of fun things to do there. I highly recommend checking it out if you're in Japan.
April 17, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST
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April 17, 2010, 2:48 a.m. CST
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