DVD News

Top Selling DVD or Blu Ray Titles for April 2010... John Woo is on top! What else did you get or miss?

Published at: May 7, 2010, 3:04 a.m. CST by headgeek

Hey folks, Harry here with the April Top Ten Selling Titles via AICN. I liked how this turned out and I’ve decided to add a slightly new wrinkle. You see – I realized the other day that this is the 6th year that I’ve been doing the monthly DVD columns. Jesus, I’ve been doing this forever. Heh. Still love it too. The new wrinkle is this – Because AMAZON really does have a great log history – I’m going to list the prior 4 year’s top seller for this month as well. When I curiously looked it up – I was kinda ecstatic to see what those titles were. Figured you might as well…



10. YOJIMBO & SANJURO ( Criterion Blu-ray )

Classy folks! Nice to see y’all appreciating the Master! The funny thing is – I didn’t review this two BluRay set, but the individual Blu-Rays – but it seems most of y’all vied for the set. Smart shopping! I’ve been contacted by quite a few of you that loved this set. I’m in total agreement with ya!

WOW. Just WOW. So crisp. So exactly as I’ve never seen it before. Absolutely perfect. This and SANJURO just really make me hungry to get all the other Kurosawa on Blu as soon as possible. There’s just such an incredible level of detail. Criterion has it’s usual perfect work of transfer and sound – along with Stephen Prince’s very scholarly commentary – making of Docs, essays, trailers, etc. Love FISTFUL OF DOLLARS – see where Leone got his inspiration. But then… really. You didn’t need me to tell you that. You’re a film geek. Right? While I prefer YOJIMBO, SANJURO is simply more fun. Mifune is back as an unnamed samurai in a much lighter tale than Yojimbo. This isn’t an outright comedy, but it does make me laugh. The quality of this disc is beyond reproach. And it has the exact same sort of extras as YOJIMBO. But you kinda have to get both of these films. Right?




9. ICONS OF SUSPENSE: HAMMER FILMS ( STOP ME BEFORE I KILL!, CASH ON DEMAND, THE SNORKEL, MANIAC, NEVER TAKE CANDY FROM A STRANGER, THESE ARE THE DAMNED )

Again – I’m really proud of you folks! Of everything on this year’s list this is probably the best “WOW” release, simply because the accessibility of these titles have been next to nil domestically. And they don’t have any manner of high rotation on any cable channels either. And they’re all really rock solid films!

Now here’s a fucking treat! Now I know – these aren’t “THE HAMMER TITLES YOU KNOW!” Exactly my point! Take for example, STOP ME BEFORE I KILL! Directed by the awesome Val Guest in 1960. It is all about a vacationing couple – where the husband begins wanting to strangle his wife. Knowing this is a wrong thought he sees a local psychiatrist who decides he should follow the couple back – then one day, the Hubby’s wife goes missing. And he thinks he might have killed her. WONDERFUL film! But the next, CASH ON DEMAND is an even better suspense flick, starring Grand Moff Tarkin himself, circa 1961! Then you see a title like THE SNORKEL and you may believe it’s a filler. But what you get is a great little film from a story by Antonio Margheriti – featuring one of those amazing fucking jewels of a villain performance by Peter Van Eyck – who died way too early. You won’t know his name, but he’s one of those faces that you see in a ton of weird import titles from the 60s and a few big things like THE LONGEST DAY – but he really and truly shines here. You’ll be similarly happy with the remaining 3 titles. This is a fantastic set of great HAMMER suspense titles. Not the flashy Horror titles, but great nevertheless. A real treat for this week’s column!




8. PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE ( Ultimate Edition ) Blu Ray

Very likely it made it on this list for it’s second month in a row due to the list last month. Or perhaps it is because you good folks have finally discovered the greatest DePalma film ever. Just ask Guillermo Del Toro!

A left over from February - that continues to move. That this cracked the top 5, a month after release makes me happy. That this is an import... well, it shows me that a lot of you don't care where something is released - so long as it is quality cool. And it doesn't get much better than this masterpiece from DePalma. Here's my original write up... One of my very favoritest movies ever made. Two lobby cards adorn my living room wall, one of which signed by Paul Williams. This is my very favorite telling of the Faust tale. My absolute favorite work of Brian DePalma – and most likely the reason we all really hate Tom Rothman. At least we know that you can’t directly kill Tom Rothman, you’d have to like burn his contract and get Murdock as well. Cuz that’s how these Faustian bargains work. Always some trick to dying with loopholes and fine print on it all. This is one of those films that you have to love for me to like ya. One night Guillermo Del Toro and I agreed that nobody that didn’t like PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE could be cool. And then we spent many hours as he told me why he wanted to remake it as I spent hours convincing him that it would never be as brilliant as the original. Then Guillermo cried in my arms and suckled upon my thumb. At least. That’s how I remember the conversation. I’ll never forget BNAT 1. Guillermo screened his 35mm print of this as we sat together, annoyingly singing out loud every lyric from memory. Paul Williams is a god and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE is his Bible by way of St. Brian. This is an expensive import. But it is the kind of film that you get the expensive import for. Because it’s the sort of film that is accessible in France because… they really do appreciate the best of America.




7. THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS (Blu Ray)

It did my heart well to see the support for Gilliam’s latest extraordinary work! Sadly it also contains the very last work of Heath’s. He truly is amazing in it too.

There are films for mass audiences, and there are films that I wish represented the Mass Audience that I wish existed. This is one of those films. I wish that Terry Gilliam’s DOCTOR PARNASSUS had grabbed the same audience that flocked to Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND – and I get it… People don’t know what an Imaginarium is. Perhaps the name PARNASSUS sounded alien, but for sheer imagination on display – PARNASSUS exceeded my wildest expectations. But the film got buried by AVATAR. Once again steering us further from surreality, which ruled Gilliam’s film – and more towards realism, that was exemplified in the effects of AVATAR. That said – I hope most of you give it a shot on Blu-Ray and home video. This is a tremendously imaginative and dramatically sound film – one of the great Gilliam movies. The Blu Ray is a great way to experience the film – it has an introduction by Gilliam, along with a feature commentary, along with commentary on the Deleted Scenes. There’s an interview about the film with Heath Ledger, his Wardrobe test (also with Gilliam commentary optional) – and just a lot more. Discover a truly brilliant visualist playing in top form!




6. FANTASTIC MR. FOX ( Three-Disc Blu Ray)

A whole bunch of you picked this up, and I find myself wondering how many of you don’t have kids – because this is a release that I find is all about us grown ups. I love watching it, but when I have played it for my nephew – he seems to love it just as much – so I guess it is for kids too – I just feel it is more for me.

Sigh. My happy spot. I love FANTASTIC MR FOX. I love how different the stop-motion is from the Selick / Burton films. I love the way the hair ruffles with the touch of the animator’s hands. But most of all – I just love how Wes Anderson adapted Dahl. The look is metaphysically perfect. The disc has making of stuff that is just never long enough to sate my love of this form. However, it is quite nice. Wonderful film and Blu Ray!




5. AVATAR ( Blu Ray)

Well – I wondered how many would hold off for the more robust Blu Ray we’re being promised later in the year, but according to world sales – it seems… ALL OF YOU have this blu ray. And isn’t it just beautiful? Too bad it doesn’t have a single extra.

Ya know. The film is still playing, I hear it will be returning to IMAX screens, there’s always persistent rumors of a longer cut being issued into theaters – and there’s definitely strong rumors of a robust badass edition coming out later this holiday season. SO. The question is put to you. Do you wish to have a 1080p print of AVATAR for home use? That is essentially what you’ll get. It is gorgeous, and I think the film actually works better in 2D. So, do you need it now?




4. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (Commemorative Blu-Ray)

Yup, it is on the list again! And higher than last time! But still not high enough. Ya know, the other day when Danny Trejo was hanging on my couch (seriously ridiculous life moment) – he looked up at my KEY LARGO half sheet that Lauren Bacall signed to me… he started singing a song about Bogie & Bacall. And it turns out – Machete loves Humphrey Bogart – and now I find myself wanting to see Danny Trejo on a small steam ship going up the Amazon with a pair of scientists hunting the Creature From The Black Lagoon. I know none of that has a thing to do with THE AFRICAN QUEEN… but dammit – just thinking about AFRICAN QUEEN gets my brain going off on about 75 different tangents that spring from Huston, Hepburn, Bogie and Bacall (even if she never appears on screen). But that’s what a great classic movie can do. Stir up remembrances of countless performances, anecdotes and stories regarding the classics. This is one of my favorite classic release treatments on Blu Ray. The green screen correction is pretty remarkable. Would love to see a theatrical re-release of this print.

When people say, “They don’t make em like they used to,” films like THE AFRICAN QUEEN are what they’re talking about. Now – why get the big set above. In addition to the stuff you get on the standard Blu Ray – you get a repro of Katharine Hepburn’s out of print memoir, “THE MAKING OF THE AFRICAN QUEEN or HOW I WENT TO AFRICA WITH BOGART, BACALL AND HUSTON AND ALMOST LOST MY MIND” – and brothers and sisters… YOU MUST READ THAT! You also get some other fun stuff, but really – you’ll want to read that memoir. The disc extras are fantastic – as is the radio version of AFRICAN QUEEN which featured the voices of Bogart, but instead of Hepburn – Greer Garson played the role… very differently – but in a fascinating way. I love that as well. But the real reason to buy this version is the restoration that went into this. In addition to just the standard cleaning up of the negative and digital color work – they fixed some of the matte line problems that the film has ALWAYS suffered when you see. Now those annoying halos around Bogie and Kate are gone – and it looks absolutely without flaw. The making of is outstanding. And Lauren Bacall comes off looking like the best girl friend/wife one could ever have. What a lady!




3. TALES FROM THE SCRIPT

Seems we have a whole bunch of aspiring screenwriters out there. Or maybe it is all you directors just trying to get a sense of who these great screenwriters are and how they seem. I’ve actually heard from both types of purchasers. It really is a wonderful doc on screenwriting for the film biz.

If you want to be a screenwriter, if you want to know about the life, the frustration, the horror, the elation, the marginalization, the anger and the happiness of getting it perfect… TALES FROM THE SCRIPT is absolutely for you. This is a doc about Screenwriters… folks like Paul Schrader and William Goldman, John Carpenter & Shane Black with a dash of Frank Darabont. This is for everyone that ever wanted to pursue the life, understand the life or just plain avoid the life… Best doc on screenwriting ever made.




2. John Carpenter’s ELVIS

I’ve gotten a lot of mail from you folks glowing about this release. And the question of, Blu-Ray? And frankly, I have no answer for you folks. I believe the sales on this title may only be upon this lunatic of a site. But for geeks like us, this was a helluva release!

And this is why you people rule! Absolutely reigning supreme on my clickthroughs and purchases for the month of March is JOHN CARPENTER'S ELVIS starring Kurt Russell in a stunning stunning role! Helping this is the fact that it is the first time that I know of that you can see this in Carpenter's signature widescreen. If you still haven't seen or picked this up - do not hesitate for a second. Those of you that bought this - speak out and share what you thought of this. You did love it right? 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!




1. John Woo’s RED CLIFF – International Version – Part 1 & Part 2 (Blu Ray)

I can tell you this – on last month’s list, I mentioned that I thought this could make a run at possibly making this list two times in a row, but I really didn’t expect just how many of you went after this. But then, I suppose this version isn’t commonly available or in deep supply via Netflix. But I haven’t really been hearing what you folks thought of this full release? Didja love it?

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES buy the U.S. Theatrical version of this film. It is a nearly unwatchable. Whereas this is masterful. I love the 2 film version of this movie. The nuance and the elegance to the story-telling is wonderful. The best John Woo film in ages. Be sure if you purchase RED CLIFF that you get this version. In my opinion the other version is unreleasable. I put it on out of curiousity and watched it all. And I’m telling you. STEER CLEAR – get this one!




#1 from April 2009: TIMECRIMES

This was bought in extremely high numbers back in 2009’s April. And as a result we all kinda discovered Nacho Vigalondo – and now we await his next masterpiece, and the inevitable remake of this brilliant Time Travel tale.

A truly great Time Travel film. A brilliantly written tale of just how complicated Time Travel can get – and why you should never ever sit in your backyard with binoculars and then obsess over a pretty lady. If you didn’t learn enough from your nights watching BODY DOUBLE – this film will also cut down on the peeping! This is an amazing independent film. With minimal budget, tiny resources and a perfect understanding of how to use what he had, Nacho Vigalondo created a TIME TRAVEL story without any time lapse photography, no computer effects and fancy smancy gadgetry. This is a film that is all about understanding the physics of Time Travel and the danger inherent to it. A beloved FANTASTIC FEST film!




#1 from April 2008: THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Another outstanding title choice. Of course it has since been released on Blu-Ray – a gorgeous Blu Ray I will add. But again, it shows me how cool you folks are. Checking out the coolest stuff.

Hands down the best film of at least 2007 – I’ve watched my DVD of this film 5 times now and everytime – I get enraptured by the story, the acting, the choice of how to film certain scenes, the musical choices…. This isn’t a paint by numbers film. This is high cinema – about grand themes – put together in a mesmerizing masterpiece by Paul Thomas Anderson. The behind the scenes extras are well worth it – and a glimpse at how PTA does what he does. An absolute necessity – and is it me – or does this DVD cover look like it was Criterion Inspired?




#1 from April 2007: 42ND STREET FOREVER: XXX-TREME SPECIAL EDITION

You’re all fucking pervs like me too. This happens to be my all-time highest selling release for the month of April. But where else are you going to get sexually explicit vintage trailer? These things are crazy, sick and hilariously hot. And there’s probably just a few of you that would ever admit to having gotten this one. That’s ok, that’s what’s awesome about online purchasing… anonymity!

The Grindhouse doesn’t get dirtier, raunchier or as lurid as this DVD filled with over 2 hours of the most exploitive in your face sex charged trailers that you’ll ever see… unless you go to the Alamo Drafthouse on special occasions. I’ve seen things there that rival and surpass some of this…. But not all of it. This is definitely not for you babies out there. This is very hardcore. So buy at your own risk, your fragile little mind might blush or gag.




#1 from April 2006: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – Season One (2004)

Back in April of 2006, I had my head up my ass. I still hadn’t seen BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season one, I’d judged the whole thing as being shit based on an advance fx-less copy of the pilot that Syfy (hate that) sent me. As a result, in 2006 this didn’t even get written about by me. Herc had that covered. But a shit ton of you folks picked it up after clicking over to AMAZON and it is the first title I’ve noticed that y’all got that wasn’t in my list. Just an example of where y’all were right and I was wrong. Rare though that may be. Giggle.





#1 from April 2005 - Hanzo The Razor Box Set (SWORD OF JUSTICE, THE SNARE, WHO’S GOT THE GOLD)

Perhaps the single best title that I have ever discovered in the history of doing this DVD column. This was sent to me and blew my mind. I then, in turn, blew a shit ton of minds with the unbelievably fucking awesome awesome that is HANZO THE RAZOR! If you’ve never seen this – it is never ever to be missed. Exploitation Japanese Samurai Detective with an astonishing cock. One of the craziest fucking series ever created – and amazing to watch!

Ok – from the wonderfully sick & twisted genius of Kazuo Koike (creator of LONE WOLF & CUB) and starring the amazing Shintaro Katsu (the original ZATOICHI) comes the greatest exploitation cult anything I’ve ever seen. I really had no earthly idea what I was getting ready to watch as I put SWORD OF JUSTICE in. OHMYGOD! On back of the box – the tagline, “HE’S DIRTIER THAN HARRY AND SHAFTIER THAN SHAFT,” is boldly proclaimed. My thought was bullshit. Then I watched. It’s astonishing. Try to imagine this. This is, essentially a 70’s Exploitation tougher than railroad spikes Cop film. Think Popeye Doyle or Dirty Harry or McQ or Bullitt or Shaft. Think of that Lalo Schifrin jazzy 70’s funk sound. Imagine that open empowered sexuality. Think about how those characters handled their chiefs. NOW – it isn’t set in the 70s and in New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco. It’s set hundreds of years ago – and Hanzo is a badass samurai ‘cop’ in feudal era Japan. He’s every bit as deadly as Ogami Ito, but this time there ain’t no babycart. Instead. Instead. Goddamn. How to put this. Ok – I have to tell you this. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! Don’t do further research, don’t ask around. Just get it. Just put it in. Afterwards, you’ll call up everyone you know and you’ll laugh your asses off as your jaws hit the fucking floor. Now, I love exploitation film. I love the work of Miike. This is just so damn pervasive. It’s perverse, sick, twisted and so far from anything you’ve ever seen. There is serious nudity and things you’ll see that may forever change the fetishistic wet dreams you’ll have after having witness Hanzo the Razor. It is that amazing. Now excuse me, I must go buy a cargo net and a block and tackle. Heh. -- Oh hell, I forgot to mention THE SNARE and WHO’S GOT THE GOLD? These are also fantastic, but not quite at the stunning production level as SWORD OF JUSTICE. Brilliant film!

Readers Talkback

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  • May 7, 2010, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Bah Yojimbo/Sanjuro shoulda been number one!

    by white_vader

    Instead of first.

  • May 7, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST

    Super 8 Trailer.

    by OzzyManDiaz

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRTQOxrsmKQ

  • May 7, 2010, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Super 8

    by PedroM

    Didnt know Spielberg produced that.

  • May 7, 2010, 3:37 a.m. CST

    avatar blue ray sales-Why?

    by j2talk

    why were Avatars Blue Ray sales so good? Simple the Blue Ray/DVD 2 pack for $15, even if you don't own a Blue Ray player, Why wouldn't you pick it up in case you decide to buy one later?

  • May 7, 2010, 3:37 a.m. CST

    THERE WILL BE MILKSHAKES

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP

  • May 7, 2010, 4:13 a.m. CST

    RedCliff does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    I've been championing this film too, RED CLIFF is just a majestic achievement.<p> Who thought John Woo had it in him (in his advancing years) to make an Epic that brings to mind BEN HUR, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, EL CID, BRAVEHEART, or LOTR.<p> The cinematogrpahy in RED CLIFF is simply a thing of beauty. The sheer number of shots that went into this 4+ hour movie is staggering and every single one of them is aesthetic and well composed. And it's not like HERO or CROUCHING TIGER either. This isn't bloodless beauty - the battles are visceral and gory with a body count that has to be amongst the highest ever filmed. should be pointed.<p> The film's not just about the three grandstanding battle scenes (which start out at 'big' go on to 'BIG' and end up at 'MAHOOSIVE!'). It also has humour, romance, and a soaring soundtrack with a central motif that you'll be whistling for weeks.<p> We've had so many films 'championed' by AICN recently that didn't deserve it. RED CLIFF does. This is proper cinema.

  • May 7, 2010, 5:36 a.m. CST

    DOCTOR PARNASSUS and Lily Cole.

    by thefooky

    loved it. and you bone heads...check out Lily Cole. Wow! It's different and different is good.

  • May 7, 2010, 5:52 a.m. CST

    Red Cliff

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    was weak I turned it off

  • May 7, 2010, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Nice to see Red Cliff getting some love

    by Bruce of all Trades

    The International version, of course. Haven't seen the US Theatrical, but at only 2 and a half hours run time I can only imagine how hollow it most feel.

  • May 7, 2010, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Doctor Parnusus was okay

    by Spandau Belly

    The second half with the actual plot is a lot better than the first half where the characters just bicker and whine.

  • May 7, 2010, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Egad Harry. Hanzo is soooo lame.

    by holer

    The 'dick conditioning' scene is funny but the rest is just endless softcore porn and not very well made at that. If you love watching a grimacing fat guy simulate humping a bunch of writhing Geishas then I guess this movie is for you. There are far better/crazier movies than this out there though. I can understand maybe watching this once and having a laugh, but the way you praise this to the heavens, I just don't see it. It must touch some fetishistic big dick samurai nerve for you or something.

  • May 7, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Phantom of the Paradise really could use a remake

    by ricarleite2

    As long as it was direct to video, and shipped with the original version as well. But it is a bit dated.

  • May 7, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Who the fuck buys Avatar on blu-ray at this point?

    by Autodidact

    I'm a huge Cameron fan, and enjoyed Avatar greatly. But I really don't understand people who just had to run out and own a copy of the movie immediately. I don't know if I'll ever feel the need to watch Avatar again, having seen it twice in Dolby 3D.

  • May 7, 2010, 8:01 a.m. CST

    You've been doing this SIX years? I don't believe it

    by D.Vader

    I really and truly don't believe it. Maybe you did your first one six years ago, but when did you really start doing it every week before it dropped off your radar for awhile? Weird.

  • Spend your time on something more worthwhile, Harry.

  • May 7, 2010, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Doctor Parnasus was boring

    by ominus

    i am sorry but Gilliam has lost it for good.Ledger ofc was excellent but the movie was just flast.meh.

  • May 7, 2010, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Don't listen to them Harry....

    by ctbrandon

    This is an awesome column to do, and I love the 4 year flashback too. For someone like me who hasn't been a long time reader...I just got 3 more movies to check out!

  • May 7, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    I like the idea

    by Bass Ackwards

    But am I the only one that finds the slight tone of condescending, or is it pandering, a little grating? All the "I'm proud of you guys" and "this is what makes you readers so cool" just hits me the wrong way, even though I'm guessing the sentiment is generally genuine.

  • May 7, 2010, 8:34 a.m. CST

    I've never heard of RED CLIFF

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Harry. I shall order it for myself. Have been a bit wary of John Woo over the last few years, so it's good to know he's good again.

  • May 7, 2010, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Permit me a rant on Blu Ray Players

    by Magnus Greel

    Why are they all so cheaply made? My Samsung player will only play standard dvds and no longer reads blu rays. This is with firmware updates. It's only a year and a half old! I have dvd players that are almost 10 years old that still work! end of rant

  • May 7, 2010, 8:49 a.m. CST

    WTF Magnus

    by white_vader

    Because YOURS crapped out they're ALL so cheaply made? Slight fault in your logic there dude. I've had mine going for 3 years every day and not a single problem. So rant denied.

  • May 7, 2010, 9:47 a.m. CST

    i have hanzo, not watched it yet tho

    by Waka_Flocka

  • May 7, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    No way to track Netflix rental impact tho

    by BrandLoyalist

    How about Netflix forks over some cash for you to post links straight into their directory? Err... probably wouldn't please Amazon so much, eh heh. But this site does indeed have an impact on whether I keep my Netflix membership, or whether I keep it at the 2 movie level at least... I queue up movies from your DVD column all the time. They're getting a kind of free advertising. Wish I could support the site by buying movies via your links, but I have a hangup about, well, buying things. I'll never have a large DVD collection... you see there's this patch out in the Pacific Ocean at least twice the size of Texas where there's more plastic than plankton, and, well, anyway... I do click the links to read customer reviews sometimes.

  • May 7, 2010, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Fun to watch Red Cliff back to back with Last Hurrah

    by JasonPratt

    Good times--John Woo never made many swordfighting flicks, and his last one up till now was Last Hurrah For Chivalry. A much purer form of the genre, but with the typical Woo flourishes and themes. Vastly much better (hard as this may sound to believe) than his first effort with Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. (Yes a Jackie Chan/John Woo movie exists; and no, it isn't very good. Early efforts by everyone.)

  • May 7, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Lily Cole

    by LarryTate

    is a great reason to watch Parnassus. Overall, I enjoyed it. Any chance to get into Gilliam is awesome... although it is a bit of a mess story-wise. As are most Gilliam movies.

  • May 7, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Re:BluRay...I've also heard of a lot of players

    by skimn

    not able to play Avatar because of lack of firmware updates, but my 1 1/2 year old Sony has not had a single update (no internet), and it plays it beautifully.

  • May 7, 2010, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Gilliam on BluRay...I know Criterion did a

    by skimn

    bang up job on Brazil years ago, but its still not anamorphic. A BluRay Brazil (still my all time favorite Gilliam) would be glorious.

  • May 7, 2010, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Firmware updates. For a disc player.

    by Knuckleduster

    There is something seriously wrong with the world we live in. Will I have to connect my toaster to the internet too one of these days? <p> Fuck, I just gave those assholes a new idea...

  • May 7, 2010, 10:56 a.m. CST

    TimeCrimes fuckin' blew...

    by LaneMyersClassic

    What a piece of shit! Buy "Primer" instead.

  • May 7, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Blu Ray puts all of Avatars flaws in focus

    by JackSlater4

    The Navi look good, and the planet looks good, but the spaceships look like SyFy channel, the creatures look like bad 90s CGI and the mech suits look like toys

  • May 7, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Toaster internet is probably gonna happen

    by JackSlater4

    They have refrigerators that connect to the internet, monitor Milk levels and order more when you are low

  • May 7, 2010, 12:05 p.m. CST

    ultratron ROFL

    by ominus

    well said mate

  • May 7, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    UltraTron, I'm going to go with Cameron failure

    by JackSlater4

    And there you go pimping ultra-vivid again, whose website makes no recommendation for use on BD. Is that shit removing the scratch resistant coating on your blu rays? Not interested.

  • May 7, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I have to agree with Ultratron

    by skimn

    If you believe the N'avi and planets look good, I don't see how the other elements look cheap, but hey, that's your opinion.<p>BTW, I still think the most believable CGI character is Davey Jones in the Pirates series.

  • May 7, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    And PS3 works as a BD only if you have slim

    by JackSlater4

    If not, you need either a new blu ray player or a ps3 slim if you want to hear DTS MA and True HD

  • May 7, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    and there's no "e" at the end of blu

    by JackSlater4

  • May 7, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Jackslater4, you must be watching a different movie than the res

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Avatar is flawless in blu-ray. The master (JC) does not fail. YOU fail!! Go back to your beloved Transformer movies. And get a quality HDTV - and laser surgery

  • May 7, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST

    skimn

    by JackSlater4

    it might have something to do with the fact that multiple effects houses worked on the picture.<P> Might have to agree on Pirates

  • May 7, 2010, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Actually, since you brought it up

    by JackSlater4

    Both Transformers movies, as opposed to Avatar, look flawless on blu-ray

  • May 7, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST

    And my TV is just fine.

    by JackSlater4

  • May 7, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Phantom.....Amazon.com Sales Rank: #16,890?

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    Harry where did you get this list? How could Phantom of Paradise be a top seller when it's sales rank is 16,890 on Amazon? Plus there is a message telling people to sign up and be notified when this is released. It's not even been released in America on Bluray.

  • May 7, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    The story goes WETA was in over their heads

    by JackSlater4

    So ILM had to come in to save the day.

  • May 7, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Doesn't matter what the story supposedly was....

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    The film's out. The effects are there for all to see. They (whether ILM/WETA, whoever) pulled it off. Nearly everyone agrees that Avatar is visually stunning and photo-real in all respects and that the blu-ray transfer is the absolute best ever seen. The Transformers blu-rays are shit in comparison...and the effects in Transformers 2 were worse than in the first film.<p>BTW - WETA did the most groundbreaking work on the film , including cracking the 'dead eye' syndrome of CGI characters. ILM begged the WETA animators for the secrets of the code they developed and WETA wouldn't give them it.

  • May 7, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Slater, good point, I did see what seemed about

    by skimn

    8 effects houses besides Weta that did work on Avatar...

  • May 7, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    WETA did the lion's share of the work

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    ILM a fair portion, also Stan Winston (Legacy) Studios; the rest, minor work. Farming out to multiple effects houses is standard practice for big films, especially ones as ambitious as Avatar. The difference is that those other films are usually rushed uncoordinated efforts with uneven effects work. Not so with Avatar, which was carefully and exactingly monitored by Commander Cameron. If you think there is any noticeable difference between the elements in Avatar you are an idiot. Quality contol was high, and WETA excelled themselves. They truly pulled off 'eye-fuckery'.

  • May 7, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Dude, no matter what you say

    by JackSlater4

    That fucking Hammerhead looked like shit. The Jurassic Park dinosaurs still look better than that. Not the worst thing I've ever seen, but not photo real by any means.

  • May 7, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Harry...We need an IRON MAN 2 Talkback :)

    by james4543

  • May 7, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    And as far as your claims about "dead eyes"

    by JackSlater4

    That was fixed 3 years ago in Beowulf

  • May 7, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    It looks great

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    The thing about JP is that, while good work that still holds up, there is very little CG in that movie - people think there's more than there actually is. Most of it was Stan Winston's puppets and animatronics. The actual CG was very good for it's time and is stil some of the best; but not as good as the Hammerhead. Check out the gallimimus stampede; it's nowhere near as good. WETA must have had a talking to from Commander Jim, because their Avatar work is much better than the King Kong dinos.

  • May 7, 2010, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Beowulf is full of 'dead eyes'

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Are you seriously claiming that those characteres were as emotionally engaging as the Na'vi?<p>The last words on the subject are these: Those with eyes to see, let them see.

  • May 7, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    by wes

    I see you.

  • May 7, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    The dead eye effect was soved in King Kong

    by TheJudger

    And there is no mystery code involved. The cornea deforms the shape of the eyelids when they come in contact with each other, also the sphericity of the sclera area of the are not perfectly round. Why the looked fake before is because the animator would allow them to hid under the eyelids skin vs a system that told them to act as an opposing force against the geometry of those eyelids

  • May 7, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    solved

    by TheJudger

  • May 7, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    frick

    by TheJudger

    And there is no mystery code involved. The cornea deforms the shape of the eyelids when they come in contact with each other, also the sphericity of the sclera area of the eyes are not perfectly round. Why they looked fake before in other films is because the animators would hide the shapes under the eyelids skin vs a system that told the eyes to act as an opposing force against the geometry of those eyelids. The ir cameras sorta solved that outright for avatar since it was 1:1 real time 3d preformance capture.

  • May 7, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    Beowulf also had dead ears

    by TheJudger

    Damn mouths didn tmove the ears at all. Animators moved the ears in avatar, but not the faces. The ir cameras did that all on thier own for the most part. Ir cameras also solved sticky lips. You lips grab onto each other when you talk depending on how wet or dry they are. I'm still pissed about the lack of circulatory skin changes in cgi characters. Two simple examples hold one arm up over you head like you are raising your hand and the other down towards the ground. Do this for 20 seconds or so. Now look at the palms of your hands. press your index finger with varying degrees of pressure into your thumb look at either nail. Blood flow affect the color of your skin. We still do not see it as it really is in cgi. Eventually we will. you need code that under stand how much the area is moved if it is stressed or elevated or squeezed. You have to make the skin color changes as textures with some sort of slider control that is affected by the program that controls the changes when they are needed.

  • May 7, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Avatar looks terrible on Blu Ray

    by slappy jones

    It looks EXACTLY like a video game. Normally I hate it when I see people say that about effects movies because for the most part they don't but nothing looks real in this film. Not even the real actors. Everything looks fake as fuck and is only highlighted by the crystal clear hi def. Such a horrible film I am ashamed to be a film lover when I see this absolute piece of shits popularity. Shit acting, shit story, shit direction and yes shit goofy effects. fuck this film. god I hate it. and I am not trying to be a cool guy and go against the grain I seriously hate this piece of shit.

  • May 7, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Agreed on the Beowulf dead eyes

    by AlfordHitchcoke

    Lotta walking/talking corpses in that flick.

  • May 7, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Tales from the script sucks

    by Long_Duk_Dong

    Just a bunch of fucking screenwriters bitching and moaning. There is absolutely nothing that will help an aspiring screenwriter.

  • May 7, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST

    slappy jones, are there still fucksticks like you around?

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    You lost, buddy. Avatar won. Keep on spitting impotent rage and inhabiting la la land, blind to reality.<p>Roll on Avatar 2 - I miss the epic flame wars of last year.

  • May 7, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    so how many people actually bought these dvds?

    by hey...jonboy

    just curious at the actual number of dvds being bought. is the #1 spot like 50 buys or what?

  • May 7, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Danny Trejo's singing

    by Superturd

    Was the tune possibly KEY LARGO by Bertie Higgins? With the chorus, "We have it all...just like Bogie and Bacall!" Catch up on your 80's one hit wonders, Harry, unleash your inner Judah Friedlander I know it's in there

  • May 7, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Judger, you sound like you know what you're talking about..

    by LaneMyersClassic

    Are you in the biz? Good points.

  • May 7, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Criterion rereleased Brazil in anamorphic.

    by lutz

    Just buy the one with their newer packaging. Which shouldn't be hard as I believe the non anamorphic ones are out of print.

  • May 7, 2010, 7:13 p.m. CST

    No Ace of Wands

    by JackSlater4

    Just capable of forming my own opinion. Feel free to form one on your own that may contradict mine. Or if you'd like you can skip it and go with whatever the popular/unpopular opinion is at the moment, which is so often the case on this site.

  • May 7, 2010, 8:33 p.m. CST

    http://twitter.com/aintitfatnews

    by HairyKnollsTwitter

    http://twitter.com/aintitfatnews

  • May 7, 2010, 9:10 p.m. CST

    red cliff

    by SQUIDDLY

    was great all 5 or 6 hours of it, beautiful film. Also my local cinema had parnasuss on for a week and when i had arranged with my brother to go they had already taken it off....bastards...anyway bought the blu-ray on release and loved it. great article im off to buy some of those titles.

  • May 7, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    please continue to pander to my ego

    by frank cotton

    i take it where i can get it. BRAZIL - the greatest film OF ALL TIME - argue if you will, but your words will be in vain

  • May 7, 2010, 9:27 p.m. CST

    12 monkeys

    by SQUIDDLY

    best gilliam film followed by the fisher king.

  • May 7, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    If a TimeCrime is happening you'll need a TimeCop

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    Your timecopfu is weak old man.

  • May 8, 2010, 3:41 a.m. CST

    HD

    by donkey_lasher

    I'm still not taken in by the HD hype. Maybe my eyesight is failing or something, but the idea of replacing all my DVD's with films that will simply make me go "Ooh that's pretty" doesnt interest me. I might buy a HD TV, but it's hardly the revolution that people rave on about. If you listen to Harry, you'd think the upscaling is akin to Black and White vs Colour, or analogue vs Digital Tv.

  • May 8, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Red Cliff is magnificent!!

    by laguna_loire

    The full version of Red Cliff is superb stuff, and I applaud all those for buying it, as they obviously have impeccable taste!!

  • May 8, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Red Cliff is magnificent!!

    by laguna_loire

    The full version of Red Cliff is superb stuff, and I applaud all those for buying it, as they obviously have impeccable taste!!

  • May 8, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Beyond 42nd street "discontinued by

    by rben

    manufacturer" according to amazon so if any of you guys want it, looks like your outta luck. fact check this stuff next time, harry. i need order both the dvd and book of tales of the scriptwriters as they both looked interesting. and i hear that sunday amazon is running a gold box special on brisco county. guess it's time for me to add to my debt....sigh....

  • May 8, 2010, 1:34 p.m. CST

    "i did order both the dvd and book..."

    by rben

    damn library keyboards!

  • May 8, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Avatar in 3D..

    by CeejayNightwing

    was entertaining, but the Blu Ray is way more crystal clear a presentation without having to wear those nerdy glasses. The image is full 16:9 ratio open-matte unlike the cinema version that was cropped to 2:35.1 so you see more for your money for a change too. Keep the 3D version, not that interested in wearing glasses every time I want to watch a film. 2D is more than enough, always has been and always will be until they create genuine 3D holographic projecting TV.

  • May 8, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Kurt Russell as Elvis?!?!!??!!!

    by moviemenace

    Directed by John Carpenter?!?! Why haven't I ever heard of this. That's crazy!

  • May 8, 2010, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Kurt Russell is Elvis in that movie!

    by Orionsangels

    You think you're watching Elvis, you have to snap out of it and remember it's Kurt Russell. Everyone should see this film!

  • May 8, 2010, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Moviemenace it was a made for TV movie.

    by Orionsangels

    It aired in 1979. It's just a forgotten film. I was fortunate to catch it on cable in the early 90's.

  • May 9, 2010, 4:44 a.m. CST

    What dose he say in Avatar....

    by connor187

    "They will kill you and eat your eyes for ju ju bees? What the hell was he saying. Someone help? It makes my girlfriend laugh but for all the wrong reasons!

  • May 9, 2010, 4:45 a.m. CST

    Ju Ju Bees or Beans?

    by connor187

    and what the hell is Ju Ju?

  • May 9, 2010, 9:28 a.m. CST

    There will be blood was shite

    by tazzzer

    sorry but it really was! That year the greatest film out was No Country for Old Men altho yes its ending was seriously disappointing

  • May 9, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I agree Tazzer - on both counts

    by LaneMyersClassic

    TWBB had great promise but really lost it's way about half way in and totally sucked out at the end. As for NCFOM, no need for the car wreck at the end, just show Javier going in to the house or coming out, fade to black, roll credits.

  • May 9, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST

    JuJuBees

    by MandrakeRoot

    It's a candy. <p> I must point out two things. First of all, anyone who says There Will Be Blood was terrible has lost all credibility and clearly knows jackshit about quality cinema. Secondly, the CGI in Jurassic Park is FAR from flawless, as everyone seems convinced it is. Sure T-Rex at night in the rain looks good, but during the stampede? Painfully obvious CGI.

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  • May 10, 2010, 7:47 a.m. CST

    I know this is an old story, but I've only just seen

    by FamousEccles

    it. Sigorney Weaver mouthing off about James Cameron being the victim of sexual discrimination?? No tits, no Oscar?? Was she taking the piss?

  • May 10, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Back in the pre-vcr/dvr days

    by skimn

    I seem to remember Carpenter's Elvis airing on ABC, CBS countered with Gone With The Wind and NBC aired One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest. And guess what hunk of burning love won the ratings battle..??

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