Hey folks, Harry here… A combination of Rehab and my Austin film life delayed my DVD column, but today – I’ve been working on it through a great deal of shoulder pain. I’ve been working in-between the spikes of pain and the cloud of prescription meds. I pulled a muscle yesterday morning that basically killed me. It seems to be loosening up, but that may just be my optimistic side screaming at me. As usual, here’s the big releases of the week that show up on my radar. The pics and links take you to Amazon where you can learn more on the film in question, or you can purchase it, which goes to help keep this column going. So thanks and I really do wish you a painless existence, this sucks. Tuesday,
April 5th, 2011
First off… that disc glows beautifully! This is totally the geek edition to pick up! Now what you’re getting here is a 3D BLU-RAY, a BLU RAY of both TRON LEGACY & TRON, a DVD of TRON LEGACY and a digital copy for putting in all your shit.
First – the Blu Ray transfer on the original TRON is just jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It really is just like the greatest thing ever. And that’s coming from a geek that dropped a few hundred for an IB TECH print of TRON in 16mm film during the 3rd year of this site. This BLU-RAY is just fucking gorgeous. This also has additional and new extras from the old out of print version of the DVD. My fave is the one of Lisberger taking his son to the Disney Archives to dig through all their TRON stuff – and folks. This is gold. LOVE this extra! Seriously though – for a TRON Geek, this is what all this new TRON hoopla was all about, getting new TRON shit that was made better than ever before. This BluRay is a godsend. Just beautiful.
Then there’s TRON: LEGACY, a film that I love. For me, it works completely. I’ve seen the film about 12 times now. I love just about everything about it. It is a middle film – having to explain why Disney didn’t do a TRON sequel instantly after the last film. Which is, of course, the same thing we have all been wondering. That’s why Flynn had to disappear. Why we had to wait for his son to be grown. And why this story has to come before any futuristic TRON universe can get underway. At least – that’s how I feel. I’ve had hours and hours of conversations with geek friends of mine about this film – and the only real lasting complaint is that we all wanted more TRON in our TRON movie. But god damn we’re all damn happy to be having TRON discussions. The SECOND SCREEN feature which makes use of your iPad or computer screen during the film is amazing! In particular – as a geek that was in HALL H during Comic Con this year… to suddenly realize that my voice was one of the 10,000 that were recording their voices in unison being directed by Joe Kosinski from the stage… and that yes indeed those recordings were used for the TRON LEGACY Disc fight sequence… well that was awesome! So technically – I’m in the film! Fuck yeah!
I have to say – I really do feel the Narnia series has progressively gotten better, from film to film. This is my fave of the series, but far from my favorite book from the series. I mean, let’s face it DAWN TREADER is an insane read. But in Michael Apted’s hands and that truly beautiful 3D Conversion that was done so wonderfully upon this film. Then just the more realistic tones that Apted played with – and the darker shadows and grit to the filmed universe. I really enjoyed this thoroughly. I think the best part though – is Simon Pegg’s Reepicheep… that lil fucker will make you cry! He’s that awesome. The film is crazy. The disc is loaded with special features. Very curious to see what they do with THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW. If they continue in this like, it could be quite exciting as that’s one of the best books of the series. To me, I was quite happy with this installment. I still haven’t had a completely euphoric experience with one of these yet. Overall a very strong Blu.
Ok – it’s fucking TAXI DRIVER – you love movies, this is a movie to love! In my personal opinion, this is the film where Scorsese, Schrader & De Niro have all bottled the finest lightning of their whole careers. This film is spectacular. A movie of immense power & iconic resonance. Most hardcore cinephiles know every frame. Well, this is as pretty as those frames get. That you get the ol Criterion commentary between Scorsese and Schrader is great. But look at all the special features that are included…
Original 1986 Commentary with Director Martin Scorsese and Writer Paul Schrader recorded by The Criterion Collection
Interactive Script to Screen
Feature Length Commentary by Writer Paul Schrader
Feature Length Commentary by Professor Robert Kolker
Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver
God's Lonely Man
Producing Taxi Driver
Influence and Appreciation: A Martin Scorsese Tribute
Taxi Driver Stories
Making Taxi Driver
Travis' New York
Travis' New York Locations
Storyboard to Film Comparisons with Martin Scorsese
Animated Photo Galleries
This is one of the great films of all time. A towering performance. And a brilliantly written tale. This is great cinema. Still feeling thrilling and dangerous. The above 3 hours of Special features will enthrall you. Awesome disc!
This is what De Niro is doing today. Support the Bobby you support, if you support this… to hell with ya!
Spielberg attempts Kubrick – and who knows exactly what the differences may be? I for one, love A.I. I think Spielberg is just naturally warmer with this story than Kubrick, but I love the beautiful melancholy of this dystopian future. Gigolo Joe, Teddy… so much of this is just so damn good. The production design and the world that is created is just amazing. I just wish that it had a special feature documenting every twist and turn of the original A.I. web promotion – which in many ways I feel was even better than the film itself. It’d be nice to have that on here too. But this is what you get:
The Robots of A.I.
Special Visual Effects and Animation: ILM
The Sound and Music of A.I.
Steven Spielberg: Our Responsibility to Artificial Intelligence
Trailers: 2 Theatrical Trailers HD A.I. Archives
You know… I seriously would’ve loved this film if Ewan McGregor’s character had been played by Matthew Broderick. That way I could imagine this as some strange alternate universe take on THE CABLE GUY. Carrey’s Steven Russell is just an amazing fucking asshole of a human being. I mean that. He’s just a fucking rotten turn of a human DNA strand, but I guess even rotten strands find someone that loves them – and Ewan is that man. The story is all kinds of heartbreaking. But I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not quite a have to own for me, but a good film still. You get an audio commentary from Andrew Lazar and the writing/directing team of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra.
I can not conceive of liking new one, and for the price of you and a date to have probably lessor time, you can have a double feature of the original which is guaranteed fucking great. The first film is just simply fantastic. The heart and the soul of it. The genuine sad and foolish title character… his trusty man servant… fuck even Liza is just amazing in the film. The first ARTHUR is a great film to snuggle up with. Arthur 2 is a bit too giggly for cuddling.
Everything that box art says this film delivers in the best way possible. Wanted to see a sexy James Bondesque adventure, but starring Gregory Peck with Sophia Loren as the Bond girl? If you said, “No!” then just die now. I mean seriously – this is a great flick! One that doesn’t get seen enough. Oh – and if you haven’t learned this film lesson, learn it now. Watch all of Stanley Donen’s work. It is totally worth the ride.
I love this PG-13 cut of BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER. It was a film that almost didn’t get seen. I first showed it at BUTT-NUMB-A-THON 2, I think… but it’s surprisingly adult take on the material delivers a roundhouse kick to the head. It’s just a tremendous animated feature. One of the best of the modern Warner Animated Era. Great film.
Not the batnuts insane BABE: PIG IN THE CITY, but the sweet, unforgettably beautifully photographed original BABE. A film that makes one wish there were a constant flow of G-rated entertainment that was as smartly written and perfectly directed. It also gave birth to making everyone take a look at Andrew Lesnie as a brilliant cinematographer. Genre geeks knew his work from the gorgeous DARK AGE, but his stunning work here directly led to him getting LORD OF THE RINGS – and now taking us three-dimensionally into the shire and beyond. I was stunned at the look of this film, beyond all the talking animal things, which pretty much drives us all crazy now, because of how many times it hasn’t been this good. BABE is pretty much perfect. Though the sequel kicks its ass!
A great Pacino flick by Norman Jewison. Totally worth it, for no other reason than to see Pacino with Lee Strasberg as his grandfather – but real life acting mentor… Amazing stuff. Really great. This is big Pacino acting at …well, not quite the best, but it is way up there! And the sort of bravado performance that I love from him. Looks quite good on Blu.
Larry Flynt signed my first check as a paid writer, his signature was stamped from a RAINBOW STAMP Pad! And that was the same year as this movie, so I was all about Larry Flynt in 1996, one of the 15th Anniversary films that marks AICN’s own 15th Anniversary. Kind of weird remembering which films were those films. Milos Forman did a great job on this film, getting great performances out of not only Woody Harrelson, but Courtney Love as well. In addition, Ed Norton kicked ass in this, along with Cromwell. You get a Cast Commentary and a Writers’ Commentary – along with some deleted scenes. Great flick.
Here’s another director for all good film geeks to take note of. Edward Dmytryk. Checking out every film he touched, as writer or as director – you’ll be blown away by an awful lot of it. Here he creates an amnesiac noir-esque thriller with Gregory Peck, Walter Matthou and the gorgeous Diane Baker. I really dig the hell out of MIRAGE. This is just one of those movies that you thank the movie gods for finding. Just a very nice watch.
I really liked this rather playful work from Kenneth Branagh, the cast is all kinds of crazy, but all good in their roles. But much like the play itself it can’t really compare to Branagh’s HAMLET and HENRY V. Nor should it. This very lovely film is lovely on Blu. It’s hard to imagine this Branagh on THOR. But I am hoping for HENRY V Branagh.
Looking at the poster – you would think that possibly this was a comedy, the smirking Peck, Tony Curtis… Angie Dickinson – but beneath that box exterior and the original promotional campaign of this movie was actually one of Gregory Peck’s greatest roles. Peck runs a Army Mental Ward during WWII… Robert Duvall will get you. Tony Curtis does interject humor, but really… this is an amazing showcase role for Peck. The sort of look at heroes behind wars that we don’t commonly see. Great film.
While I have a very dear spot for Walt Disney’s PETER PAN – and its songs alone hold me eternally in their grasps… P.J. Hogan’s PETER PAN is just simply beautiful filmmaking, story-telling and a fascinating play on the PETER PAN story. Pan has such an amazing way about him in this film – and the whole movie glows as only the DP of MOULIN ROUGE could make it. If you want to reaffirm your addiction to Blu Ray – the look of this should do it. Just wow. It’d be nice if somebody would discover and enjoy this rather wonderful film. It certainly never got the recognition that it deserved. Hogan knocked it out of the park.
I love BENNY & JOON. I can watch it if I’m down or if I’m happy. And it always makes me wistfully smile and remind me why I love being a silly fool for love. I’m a goofy lover, always have been. SO yeah, I totally think I’m Johnny Depp as Sam. Kind of funny for a guy in a wheelchair like me, but it is true. I love that Sam is a movie geek. Watching Johnny do Chaplin & Keaton is kind of perfect! Love this movie!
Here’s another Edward Dmytryk movie and this is just fucking amazing. Stars Old man Spencer Tracy with his younger brother, whom he raised… played by Robert Wagner. Wagner is a fucking piece of shit. He wants his brother to help him climb a very hard mountain to climb, in the wrong time of the year, all under the pretense of robbing the plane crash victims that are atop the mountain. But Spencer Tracy is a great man. The film that is made is beautiful. It’s the type of story about the kind of man that you can’t help but be a better man for having witnessed upon the screen. Give this to your dad and he’ll know you’re a good man. Seriously. It’s that kind of awesome movie. Watched it twice this year.
From the director of the best HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME – comes a stunning fucking film noir that isn’t at all what you expect. First off – hands down – this is an incredible movie. Burt Lancaster plays this tough bastard that had been tortured by this evil Paul Henreid son of a bitch! Can’t believe Ingrid Bergman chose this bastard over Bogie, but he’s just a rotten son of a bitch in this movie. But then – you also have Claude Rains, in one of my favorite Claude Rains roles! Then there’s Peter Lorre, Sam Jaffe and fucking Mike Mazurki! Those 3 alone are worth the purchase. But the real gold is this gal, Corinne Calvet, she’s a girl with a history. As in, she fucks to get what she wants – and she’ll play the victim to get the upper hand and she’s just fucking amazing in this film. One of those instant cinema crushes that makes you break out THE FAR COUNTRY, WHAT PRICE GLORY and then cheer to realize that she was in Albert Pyun’s THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER which I saw ass whipping the 2nd screen of the ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE SOUTH just the other day. Yeah. That gal is a helluva gal. Got to say it, she’s got the pep, the slut and the class to just about be cozy to cozy up to. If ya get my meaning. Wow she’s hot in this. And Lancaster vs Henreid in the desert – fighting over these epic diamonds… just legendary shit! And wait till you see the scene with Claude Rains and Corinne when he gets her back to his hotel room, 7 kinds of mega-awesome! Fell head over heels for this one!
A few years back there was a truly tremendous box set of the Johnny Weissmuller TARZAN movies – and that had tons of extras and was a pretty hefty price tag. Here, Turner Classic movie puts together the first four Johnny Weissmuller TARZAN movies – and seriously, it’s a steal for $19. The first three of these… TARZAN THE APE MAN, TARZAN AND HIS MATE and TARZAN ESCAPES are one of the classic film trilogies of all time. TARZAN ESCAPES is one of the great film tragedies – as censors and studio interference stepped in and really kept it from being the best of the 3. One of the hottest PG – “I’m Going To Fuck The Hell Out of You” shots of all time is in TARZAN ESCAPES… When you see the shot, you’ll know it. It is fucking crazy hot. Tarzan love! This is bare bones, but if you’re just looking for a way to see em and have them cheap, this is very definitely a deal. And the 2nd four are next!
I still dream of the one perfect Tarzan movie with Daniel Day Lewis as TARZAN and it is absolutely awesome in my mind’s eye. But I absolutely love the Weissmuller classic TARZANs – they’re like Rathbone’s SHERLOCK HOLMES flicks. They’re just a part of my pop cultural identity. My favorite of these three is TARZAN’S NEW YORK ADVENTURE – if only that it blows my mind away. I love that it’s like a 1940’s SPIDER-MAN story. Like Tarzan in some early MARVEL universe. I imagine little Ben Grimm on Yancy Street watching TARZAN swing upon power lines above. At the very least I imagine a young Stan Lee peeking over a seat of a theater as Weissmuller’s TARZAN swung above New York – and maybe had a vision of SPIDER-MAN. Or maybe KRAVEN. Or maybe both.
LOL. This is an awesome paranoid thriller documentary that proves beyond any doubt that Stanley Kubrick directed the APOLLO moon landings! LOL. Oh – you’ve kinda gotta see this. It’s hysterical, until it is scary. I mean. If anyone could fake it, it’d be Kubrick right?
Love this last film of Roger Avary’s. Watching it on Blu-Ray was exactly what I wanted the day I watched this. I felt a little “fuck society” that day – and watching Van Der Beek do his thing. Loving Eric Stolz’s crazy older professor character. Just everyone is great in this, except that one slouching smoking extra played by Christopher Cargill… What the hell dude, you’re so posing.
That’s it for this week, next I’ll be looking into HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1, THE INCREDIBLES Blu, COUNTRY STRONG, CARS Blu, DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY, RACE WITH THE DEVIL, TRACY & HEPBURN DEFINITIVE COLLECTION, LE CERCLE ROUGE Criterion Blu, H.R. PUFNSTUF: Complete Series, WHITE MATERIAL Criterion, THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS, BOB HOPE COLLECTION V.2, HEARTLESS, BEHIND ThE BURLY Q, DEVOTION, CONFIDENTIAL AGENT, THE FACULTY, RICKY and DAYS OF GLORY.