Harry's DVD Picks & Peeks - 3rd wk of May 2011: THOR: TALES OF ASGARD! 5 DEADLY VENOMS Blu! GARGOYLES! DEEP RED! DIABOLIQUE! THE HUSTLER! COMANCHEROS! SOPHIA LOREN! & More!!!
Hey folks, Harry here with a really cool group of flicks. Between writing about TREE OF LIFE, getting enough rest for Rehab and then getting back to the house, the better part of the last 24 hours has been working on this column. I know it doesn’t show, that’s because I’ve just finished it and well… I’ll proof it online. Sorry for crazy asides of mine, I’m just a very introspective writer. Hope you enjoy this week’s conversation about the DVDs and Blu Rays coming out this week. As usual, the images and titles are linked to Amazon, where if you feel the urge to support the column or just pick up the title in question, well, a great deal of thanks! It surely does help. Here’s this week’s releases!
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Ok, so I just received this Title release for the week. This is a bit cute, but very much a welcome piece of entertainment - especially for the younger set. If you're kids are freaking out with THOR in theaters and hungry for more... I suggest going down to your local comic shop and picking up the old Jack Kirby comics in reprint form, but other than that... this is a viable alternative, especially for those kids that can't read yet. In many ways I would love for the THOR live action films to head more in this direction. Right?
There are films that we say are badass and there’s THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS. The film doesn’t have the greatest kung fu action ever. The fights are… great enough. But THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS – shit. It’s just about the coolest most badass plotted fucking martial arts film that I’ve ever seen. Right there with the best ever. That it is all about a POISON CLAN, which means you’ll get to see Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard and Toad style… It is also structured like a puzzle, not necessarily a mystery exactly, but it has elements of that. Chang Cheh kicked so much ass with this film. Now somebody put out CRIPPLED AVENGERS on Blu!
One of my favorite made for television movies ever made. First off… that creature you see… that’s Stan Winston’s first work!!! Not just that, but this is a scary damn film! I know it may seem like a silly flick, but it really isn’t. It’s actually kind of fucking terrifying. I also love that it was shot in and around Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Which is an awesome place to set a movie! Try to stay spoiler free and just enjoy Cornel Wilde, Bernie Casey and a crazy young Scott Glenn. So great.
My personal favorite Dario Argento film. I absolutely love DEEP RED. My initial experience with SUSPIRIA made me think for a few naïve years of mine that Argento was over-rated. Then I discovered DEEP RED, a towering Giallo – a word I didn’t know when I first saw this movie. But watching DEEP RED, for me, was a transformative film that began a serious and extensive exploration of the Italian film world. The film looks stunning. Absolutely beautiful transfer. Here’s the extras:
Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Bernardino Zapponi and Goblin (Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli & Agostino Marangolo)
Goblin Music Video - "Profondo Rosso"(2010)
Daemonia Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" (Directed by Sergio Stivaletti)
Clouzot’s masterpiece of suspense is DIABOLIQUE… and WAGES OF FEAR, heh. DIABOLIQUE is a film that pre-dates PSYCHO and points in the direction of the future of the genre. Meanwhile, it’s just a great film. If you’re picking up Argento’s DEEP RED, if you don’t mind me recommending a great night. I recommend watching this first, then DEEP RED. They play fantastically that way. I’ve heard this was a film that Hitchcock loved. And it is easy to see why. Criterion has a stunning print of this for us. Here’s the supplemental material for the release:
New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Selected-scene commentary by French-film scholar Kelley Conway
New video interview with Serge Bromberg, codirector of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s, Inferno
New video interview with horror film expert Kim Newman
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty
When I was in High School, Scorsese made THE COLOR OF MONEY, the “sequel” to this film, but at the time TBS & Cinemax began playing THE HUSTLER – and I recorded it off the tv and watched it countlessly. I had a pool table at my house, 22 miles from town. If you know anything about an isolated youth, that saw Tom Cruise become a pool shark, and that worshipped Paul Newman, and loved Jackie Gleason from those SMOKEY & THE BANDIT movies… well, I played a lot of pool. I watched this movie to learn shots, to try to get ideas for shots. And man, this Blu Ray would have been my wet dream back then. My Step-Father actually took me to bars to be a part of his betting game. He’d get drunk and say his idiot step son, I’d be reading a comic book in the bar, any way, This is the royal treatment on this film. Anyway, I’d fleece the guy and usually win some spending money. So yeah… I love me this film. One of the great films. Here’s the extras:
Audio Commentary with Paul Newman, Jeff Young, Richard Schickel and others.
Paul Newman at Fox
Jackie Gleason: The Big Man
The Real Hustler: Walter Tevis
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: Fast Eddie Felson and the Search For Greatness
Milestones in Cinema History: The Hustler
Swimming With Sharks: The Art of the Hustle
THE HUSTLER: THE INSIDE STORY
Paul Newman: Hollywood’s Cool Hand (Biography TV Special)
TRICK SHOT ANALYSIS By Mike Massey
HOW TO MAKE THE SHOT featuring 5 Scenes from the film.
Theatrical Trailer and a 24 page Book Packaging.
Directed by Michael Curtiz, my personal favorite director throughout film history… John Wayne made this fantastic western! I like this because this is the rare case of Wayne getting in over his head, but having the vision to wait out the situation. When Wayne explodes, he’s fantastic. One of my all time favorite Lee Marvin characters. He’s partially scalped, utterly charismatically despicable! He’s a cocky Snidely Whiplash and I love him. Brilliant little character. Watching him drinking, gambling and fighting with Wayne is a small portion of the reality of the film, but for that space of the film… you’re pretty much watching the best thing ever. This is their best interaction of film. I love THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, but Wayne and Lee didn’t have scenes like this. The print is amazingly gorgeous on Blu Ray in Cinemascope. Just wow. My old 16mm print of this was a black & white TV print – watching it this beautifully is just great. There’s a whole lot of extras and like the HUSTLER is just a great release of a vintage title. I haven’t dove into the extras as of yet though.
These TWILIGHT ZONE seasons on Blu Ray are just incredible to have. From time to time I make my way through the seasons. When I first get these, I check out my fave episodes from a season, then the others as I have time casually from time to time. But then there’s the extras – which are extensive. Here’s the list:
13 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author, Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), Twilight Zone writer Earl Hamner, writer William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run), author Bill Warren (Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (NCIS, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica), writer/producer Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething, Judging Amy, Saving Grace), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), and writer/producer Jaime Paglia (Eureka).
Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens
Audio Commentaries by Marc Scott Zicree for Death Ship and William Windom for Miniature
Vintage Audio Recollections with Herbert Hirschman, Ross Martin, Burgess Meredith, Pat Hingle, Earl Hamner, Buzz Kulik and Anne Francis
Video Interviews with Morgan Brittany, Anne Francis, Paul Comi and John Furia, Jr.
7 Radio Dramas featuring Blair Underwood, Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips, H. M. Wynant, Mike Starr, Barry Bostwick and John Ratzenberger
Isolated Scores for all 18 episodes featuring Fred Steiner, Van Cleave, Rene Garriguenc and others
Rod Serling Promos for “Next Week’s” Show
Rod Serling Blooper from He’s Alive
Saturday Night Live Clip
The Famous Writers School Promo with Rod Serling Genesee Beer Spot Twilight Zone Season 4 Billboards
I’m still a Bronson man, but damn I like Jason Statham a lot. And Ben Foster is a vast improvement on Jan Michael Vincent in my opinion. Now lets get Ben Foster flying Airwolf. Right? Seriously though, this is a very satisfying flick. Not Jason’s best by far, but a really good film that doesn’t suck by comparison to the original. Definitely worth checking out.
Think of the laziest version of Anthony Hopkins as Exorcist that becomes possessed and his understudy has to deal with him… well The film would be THE RITE. Anthony is working so hard to not be Hannibal Lecter, but the fact is… Hannibal Lecter is way scarier than demon possessed character, who you know, deep inside of that soul is a man that hates and has dedicated his life to exorcising demons… and is fighting on the inside (though that is never explored in the film) This isn’t Sir Anthony’s fault, but rather a bad script and direction. A flaccid horror film that was kind of interesting to watch and be uninspired.
The most interesting actor in this, John Leguizamo is quite good as the projectionist… and the film’s introductory sequences of the characters becoming aware of the rules of their new found universe, allegedly coming true for the rest of us this Saturday!!! Woo-Hoo, Party on Friday till we’re ripped out of our clothes for the wild orgy afterparty! Right? That’s what the RAPTURE is, right. That’s why it’s a Rapturous experience, right? Sigh, making bad jokes is what I’m reduced to on this one. This is one of those bad Hayden Christensen performances… And it also has Thandie Newton being her uninspiring best. The ending just feels like somebody thought, “This shit will KILL THEM” and they were stoned or drunk when they thought that. Had I been invested in a single character, perhaps… but not with this group. First Brad Anderson film that really felt like it ran out of ideas.
Ok, confession. I adore Natalie Portman. She’s just one hell of a cool chick. I don’t know that, haven’t met her… but just watch her on screen. Think about her choices as an actress. She’s cool. Then she makes a film that I’m not really a fan of. Her romantic lead in this… I don’t like. His ex-wife is the black hole of yawn, Lisa Kudrow – and well… Natalie doesn’t really have anyone to really play with here. She’s great, but you just hate that she’s in the world around her. She shouldn’t be talking with these people, she shouldn’t have fucked that guy, and she should throw that kid out a highrise window. As I watched the film, as I admired everything that Natalie was doing as an actress and a performer, I just wished she was doing it with better co-talents – and a better situation. The notion of THE OTHER WOMAN as a story is a strong one. I just wish she were in a better film.
I admit it. I love THE BIONIC WOMAN. I loved watching Lindsay Wagner running in slow-motion. It totally worked for me. I also love chicks that kick ass and are kind of domestic too. BIONIC WOMAN was the shit! Plus this season she got to work with Vincent Price and John Saxon and… meow… Julie Newmar!!! It also has THE RETURN OF BIGFOOT Part 1 & 2 – which was a cross-over episode with The Six Million Dollar Man! And I had my Steve Austin & Jaime Sommers and BIGFOOT toys! And Oscar. Yes, this show rules!
Remember when Eddie Murphy just fucking ruled the world? I do, and I really really miss this Eddie Murphy. The effortlessly fun Axel Foley character used comedy to diffuse tense situations – and when nobody was looking, he’d be deadly real and concerned. There was a smarts with this character that Eddie was perfect for – and Martin Brest just nailed this. He also provides a commentary and there’s about 50 minutes of featuretts and looking back at types of features. Solid release.
I love the Yakuza genre – when the Japanese New Wave hit – there was a cooler than cool vibe that the genre got that just made these films race like a mind on coke. This isn’t badass non-stop violence, this is the more contemplative brand, that has a score that’s just, well sometimes scores make the films, this is one of those times where the score definitely elevates all that transpires. Really glad to see this! Here’s the goodies that Criterion has put together:
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
New video interview with director Masahiro Shinoda
Selected-scene audio commentary by film scholar Peter Grilli, coproducer of Music for the Movies: Toru Takemitsu
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A new essay by film critic Chuck Stephens
I love this film, from the director of RETURN OF THE JEDI…. There are no Ewoks here. No – happy happy. This film captured Glenn Close at amongst her best – and Jeff Bridges… he’s just great. We all love Jeff, but throughout the 80’s – he just had a vibe that I instantly too a liking to. This was one of those courtroom films, like PRESUMED INNOCENT that made me want to be a lawyer. I know, hard to imagine, but that’s actually what I went to College to do, become a Lawyer. But once I learned I could get laid talking about films and get easy 4.0s… well, fuck the law. No extras really.
When I was in college, still very mind trippy since TREE OF LIFE… but back when I was in college, I started having movie watching orgies concerning certain directors. This was pre-Internet times, so going to real film geek places like Vulcan Video, I LUV VIDEO and THE MOVIE STORE – I would assemble whole runs of directors’ filmographies and hang out with friends devouring them. Otto Preminger was one of those. He’s a very strong director. Look at the cast listed above… this was 1967 – and this film is one of his lessor seen titles. I watched it on VHS full screen. Now I have it on widescreen DVD and yup, it makes a lot of difference. If you love VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, this is along that vein, with a very fun Hugo Montenegro score. As a general rule, this is a must see because George Kennedy is in the film – and that is one of the essential rules in life. Your eyes must pay homage to George Kennedy before flying. True story.
The people that try to label this film as a “JUNO meets DONNIE DARKO” I feel don’t have a clue about film… this is more along the lines of HEATHERS, but not quite that inky black or funny. For the pervs, it has an awesome Teacher / Student relationship with Kat Dennings & Josh Lucas… and Josh is a helluva brave loon for where he goes with this character. However, my favorite scene involves Andie MacDowell and Kat Dennings’ Dad. Awesome scene where Andie reaffirms why I had a thing for her all the way back around GREEN CARD times. This is a very fun film. Not necessarily JUNO and definitely not DONNIE DARKO… it is deeply cynical and self-aware of exactly what it is. I like that about the film, but it could be a source of annoyance for some. For me it steers clear of that and is quite enjoyable. Besides, I’m developing an addiction for Kat Dennings. She’s a cool chick.
Look closely at Woody Harrelson’s face. Judge that look. Evaluate it. Does it make you smile or flinch? If you smiled, and if you love jive ass Wesley Snipes, who still kicks ass… then you probably will love MONEY TRAIN. But then you see Jennifer Lopez. This is technically from the point in her career when she was just unbelievably hot, and most everyone I knew loved her. That time has past. But she’s all good here.
In its original 1.85:1 and with a beautiful print is Vitrorio De Sica… a man, whose Italian Neo-Realist classic, THE BICYCLE THIEF, nearly put me off Italian cinema while attending Film classes in college. I found it unbearably pretentious, later in life, I realized it was I that was prententious. And decided to revisit and discover more De Sica. So glad I did. My father directed me to checking out the De Sica / Sophia Loren trilogy of flicks you see here today. MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE was nominated for Best Foreign Language film, and Sophia picked up a nomination for Best Actress – and brother… it is all here. For those of you that love Penelope Cruz, Sophia is why I can’t quite. Sophia is woman personified in my monkey brain in this flick. I’ve always worshipped her, she wasn’t an anorexic stick of a lady, she had curves that never knew when to quit. Then there’s just the light in her that came out of her characer. The energy, the allure, the sex. I fell in love with Sophia Loren with EL CID, a friend had that on 16mm Scope back as a child. Charlton Heston was my cinematic definition of MAN for a long time. And God he wanted Sophia Loren. And he goes through hell to get Sophia. And when he has her, he becomes immortal, in a manner of speaking. So for me, Sophia was the ideal epic woman of legend. But in this… She is simply – my god. Seriously, there’s only a few flicks with Monica Bellucci where I get this kind of heat off the screen. Then there’s Marcello Mastroianni, who is all kinds of crazy charismatic. The spirit of the film itself is irrepressible. Great to see 1080p!
This one won Best Foreign Language film of 1964. It is essentially an anthology of dirty stories – and it stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in different situations and characters – all absolutely awesome. There’s a second disc here with a feature length doc on Vittorio De Sica with all kinds chiming in to herald his genius like Woody Allen & Clint Eastwood. And they’re not being ironic. Erotic cinema could be amazing like this, but Hollywood is terrified of making anything like this today. Instead we usually have to watch a great Spanish film. Just an amazing film.
A film about a married couple, separated by war, and Sophia Loren seeking to find out what became of her husband. The film is a very different film from the two previous. It is a more melodramatic exercise and less natural. But it is still a really wonderful film. Seeing Sophia and Marcello in this more mature love affair – well it is awesome. Both actors being absolutely up for the task. Again, this really does seem like a lost kind of film. There’s not much like this that you ever see of this quality today. Just a great serious older relationship, not done for laughs, but for real. This isn’t DR. ZHIVAGO, it’s actually nearly the reverse. Love it.
Simon Rumley’s RED WHITE & BLUE is the film that all people thinking to move to Austin should watch… I’m not saying Austin is like this film, but Austin is a city that LIKES this film. It paints a bleak and ugly world here in Austin. You can’t imagine happy children or normal life being possible. It’s a film like TAXI DRIVER that simply shows the side of a cool town that nobody with good luck and a great upbringing necessarily is ever exposed to, but it could be there under the right corner of any city. It’s a lonely sad life of casual intimacies & life altering turns to the ugliest in society. Great flick, just not very warm fuzzy.
Are you raising your son to be a pussy or a man? Choose wisely.
Next week we’ll look at GNOMEO & JULIET, I AM NUMBER FOUR, PLATOON Blu Ray, GETTYSBURG Blu Ray, GODS AND GENERALS Blu Ray, THE GREAT DICTATOR Criterion Blu, SOLARIS Criterion Blu, LE MANS Blu, GRAND PRIX Blu, PAPILLON Blu, TRANSCENDENT MAN, FIGHTING MAD, MOVING VIOLATION, VITAPHONE VARIETIES, EAT MY DUST! / GRAND THEFT AUTO, TIGRELAND, BOY FRIEND, ANTON CHEKHOV’S THE DUEL, NENETTE, THE KILLER SHREWS and more.
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May 17, 2011, 10:27 p.m. CST
Here's the DVD COLUMN for the week! Lots of great stuff!
May 17, 2011, 10:38 p.m. CST
Who is the Female equivalent to Chuck Norris? How will I raise my daughter if I have one?
May 17, 2011, 10:39 p.m. CST
pussy or a man.. hehe
May 17, 2011, 10:40 p.m. CST
The Comancheros is full of pieces lifted from other Wayne Westerns, like the nicknames for starters, but it's definitely a fun flick. I refuse to believe that Vanishing on 7th Street is from the same director as Transiberian or The Mechanic; I bet you that Hayden's producer brother meddled with this. But Jagged Edge is such a great noir film, Bridges playing such a smarmy yet sympathetic character and Barry's score is so fitting that I don't see it working without it.
May 17, 2011, 10:46 p.m. CST
because Tits > No tits
May 17, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST
great b-movie with great ball-busting chemistry between Woody and Wesley, hot sex scene with J-Lo, and great on-location action sequences set in New York City at Christmas. What's not to love.
May 17, 2011, 10:50 p.m. CST
should I not get it for my son?
May 17, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST
May 17, 2011, 10:54 p.m. CST
...is on netflix instant...
May 17, 2011, 10:55 p.m. CST
can't wait to see hear that theme song in high def. wow, i didn't know deep red is out.
May 17, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST
"Ah, there's that Natalie Portman movie that barely anyone knows about...I bet someone will post in the talkback commenting about that very fact.....wait, what is up with the bluray cover? Is that a temporary image? Even if it were fan-made, it is just an unusual picture of an attractive Natalie Portman. Doesn't work as a movie cover. Is that image even from the movie? No way that is the cover." *Clicks on Amazon link* "Whoa, Amazon has the same cover listed. Still, it must be a fan-made temporary image.....aaaaand there is a legit picture of the bluray's back cover. Soooo....really?"
May 17, 2011, 11:01 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
WTF? Jennifer Lopez is STILL unbelievably hot. I know geeks hate her for a decade's worth of shitty movies, but she hasn't aged in any noticable way since 1998. That Money Train cover is one of the classic examples of a DVD cover photoshopped up to accentuate the presence of an actor or actress who was a near-unknown when the movie was first released. Back in '95, J-Lo was best known (if at all) as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color, but judging from the Blu-Ray cover, she looks like the star of the film.
May 17, 2011, 11:02 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
It looks like peeking through a narrow crack into a dark cave or something. Huh?
May 17, 2011, 11:03 p.m. CST
-- you might as well have moved to L.A.
May 17, 2011, 11:06 p.m. CST
May 17, 2011, 11:07 p.m. CST
It is an amazing film and stylish as hell. I do love Suspiria as well. Argento's last few flicks haven't been anywhere near his earlier stuff. Old school horror like Deep Red, Carpenter's Halloween and other classics make me miss style and art along with my scares.
May 17, 2011, 11:07 p.m. CST
I saw Money Train in the theatre on Thanksgiving day with my parents. Jealous?
May 17, 2011, 11:13 p.m. CST
I know I was.
May 17, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST
May 17, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST
Man, I havn't seen that since I was a kid. Good reviews this week too, Harry.
May 18, 2011, 12:04 a.m. CST
She kick a bit of arse in the '80s. I remember her doing that crazy kick where she threw her leg backwards until it it curled back over her shoulder and smacked dudes on the top of the head. What happened to her?
May 18, 2011, 12:22 a.m. CST
Cuz I'd LOVE to see those puppies!
May 18, 2011, 12:37 a.m. CST
I was a kid living in El Paso when they were shooting Gargoyles. I would swear that it was shot on the outskirts of El Paso, Tx. And it did scare the shit out of me, back then, as did Boggy Creek Monster, Don't be Afraid of the Dark, and strangely, Snow Beast. They made some really cool made for TV horror movies back then. I always liked Spectre too with Robert Vaugn. Always hoped it would go to series.
May 18, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST
Just do a google picture search (safe search off) and come back here to thank me. You'll see why.
May 18, 2011, 1:58 a.m. CST
This is my favorite kung fu movie of all time and this is very important to me to know what the quality of this bluray is in terms of the picture. I am realistic that it's impossible to have a true HD print of this, but if this is just a dump and print of the DVD I will keep the DVD I have.
May 18, 2011, 2:16 a.m. CST
May 18, 2011, 2:27 a.m. CST
The power to go have a look is almost overwhelming! Good god man don't you have any sympathy!
May 18, 2011, 2:50 a.m. CST
It's a decent flick, pretty much torture porn that portrays Austin as a cesspool for losers and wannabes who live in shitty places
May 18, 2011, 2:53 a.m. CST
No fucking way! I don't say it's awful but is it satisfying? As what? An action film? Nonono! I like Statham but THE MECHANIC is mediocre with some cool moments. forgettable, I say
May 18, 2011, 3:10 a.m. CST
When I read Gargoyles in the title, I thought Disney took their heads out of their asses and finally announced Season 2 Volume 2 of Gargoyles (animated series).
May 18, 2011, 3:10 a.m. CST
....it wasn't his great love of "Diabolique" that prodded Hitchcock into "Psycho"...it actually massively pissed him off that this tiny little French film stole his thunder (and potential audience) while getting the kind of reviews he hadn't had in years (keep in mind that most movie critics of that era, almost all of them clueless imbeciles, panned "Vertigo" and shrugged over "North By Northwest") "Psycho" was his way of saying...'oh you want 'Diabolique'..how about it faster, scarier and in goddamn English')
May 18, 2011, 3:10 a.m. CST
One of my all-time favorite made-for-TVs also. I suspect it had to do with Bernie. Must watch again.
May 18, 2011, 4:51 a.m. CST
I watched it lots of times when I was a little kid and I fallen in love with Jennifer Lopez. God, I loved her...Now she's awful. Times are changing, eh?
May 18, 2011, 5:43 a.m. CST
Unless it's about the cartoon. Specifically, a release of Season 2 Vol 2.
May 18, 2011, 6:58 a.m. CST
Now we just need the folks at Warner Archive to work out their legal international distribution issues so those of us who don't live in the good ole U.S. of A can partake in the magic.
May 18, 2011, 7 a.m. CST
Just saw pics online of them last week. They are out there and they are awesome.
May 18, 2011, 7:05 a.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
The film just has nothing to say and doesn't even have its own voice with which to say it. It just rips off a bunch of other recent high profile teen movies and adds nothing new. It does mostly rip off JUNO. The main character is a confident 'witty' teenage hipster girl. She has a skinny helpless doofus boyfriend. She attracts the lust of an adult hack-artist suffering from a pre-midlife crisis. The film takes a potentially controversial subject and sidesteps it for family dramedy. The soundtrack is all that same type of cutsie hipster folk music. It really is just a knock-off. They mix in a bit of DONNIE DARKO and a bit of VIRGIN SUICIDES for good measure. I can't say watching it was painful, it was dead average. It moved along fine and the plot and characters made sense, it ended, and I just kinda shrugged, forgot about it instantly, and stayed for the movie that I came to the cinema that night to see (I Saw The Devil). But I have zero respect for Daydream Nation.
May 18, 2011, 7:36 a.m. CST
Harry, your 'reviews' this week are even more painful than usual. Please, take a fucking continuing ed. writing course, or basic English at whatever community college is closest to you. The one consistent quality to your reviews is your ability to write more about your life than the actual movie. Get help, please.
May 18, 2011, 7:55 a.m. CST
I mean...It's intimidating!
May 18, 2011, 8:04 a.m. CST
now that both of the stars are either stoned outta their gourd or in prison
May 18, 2011, 8:08 a.m. CST
Bring on Beverly Hills Cop 2. Bridgette Neilsen never looked more smokin! Damn shame what happened to her though.
May 18, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST
by Bartleby T. Scrivener
Granted, it's no Chained Heat 2.
May 18, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST
Something about playing a lot of pool...having a step father who took him to bars and called him his idiot son because he liked to read comic books....about how this blu ray is the royal treatment....and then hustling dudes for money.
May 18, 2011, 9:06 a.m. CST
May 18, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST
...is simply an incredible film. Highly recommended! And ya know, the cartoon version of Chuck Norris on that DVD cover is extremely GAY looking. Not that there's anything at wrong with that -- unless you're a right-wing Christianist poltroon like Chuck Norris.
May 18, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST
by Fixthe Fernback
Must check this out. Love that dudes face on the cover holding Sophia, perfect. Thanks for your column Harry some gems here to be sure.
May 18, 2011, 9:12 a.m. CST
That set piece made its way into a lot of tv shows in the 70s, including I believe Buck Rogers and the 25th Century. I was kind of hoping they would recreate it for an episode of Lost. But, it was a false dawn.
May 18, 2011, 9:15 a.m. CST
best. review. ever.
May 18, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST
We all know why you recorded THE HUSTLER off of Cinemax when you were in high school.
May 18, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST
I seriously thought they were finally going to release the last volume of the animated show when I saw that in the headline. Definitely one of my all-time favorite TV shows. Get with the program, Disney! You don't go 2/3 the way through something and then just stop!!
May 18, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST
He’d get drunk and say his idiot step son, I’d be reading a comic book in the bar, any way, This is the royal treatment on this film.
THIS IS A SENTENCE IN HARRYS WORLD!?!?!?!
May 18, 2011, 9:40 a.m. CST
more like a cheetoh dust covered pool TABLE! As Vader said...all too easy.
May 18, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST
WTF did you do to my little buddy???
May 18, 2011, 9:43 a.m. CST
Was when carnies could see how many balls they could cram into Harry's corner pocket. They silenced his cries for help with Atomic Fire Balls in his mouth.
May 18, 2011, 10:03 a.m. CST
Harry remember I Luv Video Pizza? I know there was one on the north side of Austin through the 90's. I remember renting The Wild Bunch, Pulp Fiction and some Sam Kinison comedy films. They had one of those old style Coke Machines that was built like a refrigerator, you would open the door, put in your change and pull out your glass bottle of coke. Nothing like being able to get your pizza and movies all in the same place! And Deep Red, WHAT A GREAT MOVIE! I bought this movie around 10 years ago on one of those cheap double feature DVD Sets. I loved it, but thought it weird that the dialogue went from English to Italian without making much sense. Anyways, about 6 or 7 years ago when those Mill Creek 50 Movie DVD packs started coming out, there was one that had Deep Red, Peter Jackson's Bad Taste, Gothic, Driller Killer and a Bucket Of Blood. I know the transfers are horrible, but getting 50 movies (with some I loved) for less than 20 bucks seemed too good a deal to pass up.
May 18, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST
I love this site and look forward to this column to find some new nugget to throw into my netflix queue. But Harry, I have to assume you are drunk when you write these. They are ridiculous.
May 18, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST
And I have the leaked pictures of her bare boobs. BEST. TITS. EVER. Gorgeous pink nipples :)
May 18, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST
Seriously, the guy rarely covers anything outside of Joss Whedon or NBC's unfunny lineup, but when he completely ignores stories like Danny Trajo being added to Sons of Anarchy, Mos Def joining Dexter, and Lisa Edelstein leaving House MD after 7 years, what the fuck is the point of even calling him the TV guy? He doesn't pay attention to most of it. Seriously, Harry, FIRE HERC and get someone who knows what the hell they're doing! we now return you to your regularly scheduled talkback...
May 18, 2011, 10:50 a.m. CST
Chop, you're being facetious right? AICN won't be the same without Ryan's one sentence posts.But never fear, like Jason, Freddy Kruger or hacks like Michael Bay, he'll be back!! Summer 2011
May 18, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST
Karate Kommandos?!? Well atleast The mechanic was a worthy effort. Not bad for a remake. (Jan M. Vincent's performance in the orignal was pretty stale compared to Foster's.)
May 18, 2011, 10:54 a.m. CST
but I do recall an ABC tv movie remake called Reflections Of Murder made by a pre-Saturday Night Fever John Badham, that was not bad at all. In fact, quite good for what it was. What a shame that the man who brought us Stakeout, Short Circuit, WarGames, Blue Thunder, the Langella Dracula, etc. is now directing episodes of Psych and The Event...
May 18, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST
Holy motherfucking fuck, that is scary.
May 18, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST
I remember that show being on for a week. WORST WEEK OF MY LIFE! Talk about a shitty cartoon to fund Chuck's coke habit. Just bad all around. The good news--M.A.S.K. is rumored to be finally come out on DVD.
May 18, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST
Of Course Martin Brest Provides A Commentary For Beverly Hills Cop. Its Not like He Has Anything Else To Do.
At least not since Gigli shit caned his career.
May 18, 2011, 11:01 a.m. CST
Starring "Splat" Dennings. Okay, I guess that fills my "dumb sex joke" quota for the hour...
May 18, 2011, 11:25 a.m. CST
May 18, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST
At least with the Psych episodes we get in jokes about all his other bad-ass directing jobs.
May 18, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST
He looks like the kind of gargoyle who's going places. He's better than you and he knows it.
May 18, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST
Bet she's freaky-deaky!
May 18, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST
I hate that overrated fucker. He's apparently graded on a raper curve or some shit because he sucks. All he does is mumble his way through crap. He was on House and he sucked there too. So he'll be sucking on Dexter as well. SKIPPING that shit.
May 18, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST
Goddamn right. And even if she's not freaky, I'll still enjoy imagining.
May 18, 2011, 11:53 a.m. CST
by Jeff Myers
AICN, the place where geekdom’s spelling and grammar died. RIP.
May 18, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST
Perfect made for tv movie in the 70s. It was cheese but damn good, goofy fun cheese. Shot almost entirely at night with wide open spaces and starry skies, empty highways and things that go bump in the night. Should check it out at least once. And if you have a kid in the 3-4th grade, watch it with him. That was when I first saw it and scared the beejeezus out of me (in a good way).
May 18, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
Marvel's direct-to-DVD animated features output has generally been well below the quality of DC's output for some reason. It's strange. The Marvel Universe would seem to be a perfect fit for the tradional animation market, but Marvel has dropped the ball both in terms of storytelling and style on almost every release. "Doctor Strange" wasn't bad and "Planet Hulk" was watchable, but compared to the DC releases they really show their flaws. I think the Disney series, ""Avengers: World's Mightiest Heroes" is the best thing they've put out. So how is "Thor"? Is it worth the purchase or should I wait for it to show up at Red Box?
May 18, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST
when I was a small child. it and sssssss....
May 18, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST
The Italian title actually means BICYCLE THIEVES, plural.
May 18, 2011, 1:12 p.m. CST
by slappy magoo
In other words, this is one of those Hayden Christensen performances.
May 18, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST
by Grandpa Bunche
Folks, let's get one thing straight: Chuck Norris was little more than a very good competition karate fighter who made a slew of mediocre-at-best movies and that WALKER: TEXAS RANGER crap, all of which led to his current state as a pop culture joke/punchline. His best onscreen work was his fight opposite Bruce Lee in RETURN OF THE DRAGON, so I'll grant him that; it's a truly blistering and exciting set-to and its impact stays strong some forty years later. So let's not look at Chuck as any kind of ass-whuppin' acme. To the mother who wants to find a female ass-whuppin' hero for her daughter's sake — a noble cause that I actively pursued for my nieces — I suggest getting the complete boxed set of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. Sure, it has a number of truly stupid and awful installments — "Married...With Fishsticks" being the standout among the true stinkers — and then hooking your kid up with the first film in Etsuko Shihomi's SISTER STREET FIGHTER series, namely SISTER STREET FIGHTER (skip the other two), but bear in mind that it earns its R-rating. A lot less "grindhouse-y" is THE HEROIC TRIO, starring Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui (R.I.P.) and Maggie Cheung. AZUMI is also a flick worth checking out. But if I had to nail down an actual female martial arts badass, I'd go with Cynthia Rothrock, but only her Hong Kong output (the China O'Brian films are atrocious and a complete waste of her considerable skills and charm). Stick with YES, MADAM and ABOVE THE LAW (aka RIGHTING WRONGS) and you're good to go. There is also the double-whammy of Pam Grier's COFFY and FOXY BROWN, but those are about as R-rated "grindhouse-y"/blaxploitation as it gets, with a ton of graphic '70's-era violence, big ol' titties and cussing, so proceed with discretion.
May 18, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST
May 18, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST
Both of their films suck, they can't really act and they practically have the same Hairstyle. LOL Props for the honerable mentions of Heroic Trio (Executioners was a decent sequel.) and Sister Street Fighter..oh, and who could forget the goddess of Blaxploitation: Pam Grier?
May 18, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST
by The Rain King
Harry really must have a complete and total disregard for the safety of children. First it was baby rape in Serbian Film, and now Natalie Portman's character should just throw her newborn out of a window. I hope you never have kids. Just sickening.
May 18, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST
by I am not a number
Love that movie; definitely my favorite Argento film. I pre-ordered that sucker as soon as I learned about it (looks like a great transfer as well, from what I've read). The wind-up doll is definitely one of the most memorable (and freaky, especially with the way it sorta glides across the floor with its legs moving) parts of the movie, though it makes no sense when you think about it. You'd have to believe (1) that Italy in the 70s had wind-up dolls -- the size of a small child -- capable of running across a room at someone (2) that the killer could set the doll up outside the door, then run around the other side of the room to get at the victim in an incredibly short time (3) that the killer would consider doing this as a good idea (though it worked, so what do I know?), and (4) that the killer was carrying this thing around in anticipation of just such a situation arising (which is kinda funny to imagine). Still, a great movie.
May 18, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST
"Anthony is working so hard to not be Hannibal Lecter, but the fact is… Hannibal Lecter is way scarier than demon possessed character, who you know, deep inside of that soul is a man that hates and has dedicated his life to exorcising demons… and is fighting on the inside (though that is never explored in the film) ". Eh, say what?
May 18, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST
I WILL BUST A NUT.
May 18, 2011, 6:14 p.m. CST
you damn kids and your non flying monsters. Get off my lawn
May 18, 2011, 7:25 p.m. CST
And any movie with Dirk Benedict in it you just know is going be high class.
May 18, 2011, 7:46 p.m. CST
They really had that film on serious loop there for a while in the early 80's...and yet the only thing I remember from it really is the Gargoyle attack on the car at night on a mountain road. It was where I first got to know the name Stan Winston though, as the Gargoyles themselves definitely made an impact on my kid mind, and were, from memory at least, quite cool (as far as tv movie stuff from back in the day goes anyhow) and so this film is largely responsible for why I first started paying attention to who did that kind of stuff in films, in this case of course that person being the late, great, and very sadly missed Stan Winston. Hmmm, don't think I've actually seen the film since it disappeared from regular screening rotation in the 80's either. Maybe I should hunt it down and give it another viewing...
May 18, 2011, 8:06 p.m. CST
by Star Hump
May 18, 2011, 10:33 p.m. CST
...when I was a kid. Specifically the scene where one of the gargoyles slowly rises up from the foot of the dude's bed while he's sleeping. Couldn't sleep soundly for weeks after that. I'm sure it won't hold up today but I remember it being real creepy in tone. Looking forward to seeing it again.
May 18, 2011, 10:47 p.m. CST
May 19, 2011, 12:26 a.m. CST
Jenifer Lopez - a clown who sings through autotune and now famous for telling real singers how to sing/perform
She correctly deserves to be out of film...a phony ass if ever there was one
May 19, 2011, 1:34 a.m. CST
May 19, 2011, 1:36 a.m. CST
Because your description fits like a glove.
May 19, 2011, 1:45 a.m. CST
Since when does "I'd Fleece the guy . . . . " mean "I went down on him . . . ." HAH . . . . . I keed, I keed?
May 19, 2011, 3:30 a.m. CST
by Henry Fool
I'm so glad I saw "Hustler" before watching "The Color of Money". Those two films play so wonderfully together. When I saw the previews for Color as a kid, I always thought that Tom Cruise was the hero and that Fast Eddie was the villain. But Eddie really does manage to be sympathetic in both films. Fast Eddie Felson has to be my all time favorite Paul Newman character.
May 19, 2011, 3:58 a.m. CST
I love my DVD Twilight Zone boxed set, but as a guy who loves to throw movies on when I go to bed, I rarely throw on my TZ discs.
May 19, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST
May 19, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST
so long as they are aware of the nuclear coverup and how they are going to die from the particles spewing all over the world at this moment. I am running out of delusions to combat the increasing madness of a world seemingly run by someone who wants everyone dead. I hereby judge this entertainment unfit to dispel reality. I require something good enough to make me forget about nuclear particle lottery. Effective immediately- Milla Kunis is to be forced into a gangbang on national television. In fact I'm calling upon porno manufacturers to get into the business of real news. They have the only hook that demand's attention. Tits, etc
May 19, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST
Repent or Perish in Hell!
May 19, 2011, 1 p.m. CST
I remember watching this with my cousin one Sunday morning when a local TV station would air the "Sunday morning funnies" which usually consisted of a Laurel and Hardy or a Marx Brothers film which was followed by a B horror movie. I was about 8 years old at the time and Gargoyles scared the LIVING SHIT out of me as a wee lad and I did not sleep soundly for months. The only other film to have this affect on me was The Swarm. (Mild Spoilers) Two scenes in particular freaked me out: The first being when one of the titular characters slowly rises up from the foot of the hero's bed... for much of my childhood my imagination would run away with me and I would be convinced a gargoyle was hiding, just out of sight, at the end of my twin bed. The other being when the boss gargoyle takes flight. This film also vexed me because I had no idea what it was called and when I'd ask other film buddies if they remembered a B horror film about goblin-like creatures terrorizing a desert town they'd look at me blankly, obviously having no idea. But as soon as I saw the pic on this DVD column, I knew that was the film and a YouTube search confirmed it. It was Gargoyles, not goblins or orcs or trolls that made such a huge impression on me years ago. Much appreciated Harry.
May 19, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST
Added a brief THOR: TALES OF ASGARD Blu ray look to the column
May 19, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST
I've been looking forever for Cracked Up - about a couple high school kids, one of whom gets hooked on crack. All I can ever find of it is the IMDB summary - that's it.
May 19, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST
Give me the Disney TV show or go the fuck home.
May 19, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST
Jesus will land on earth like Galactus. Like on one knee in a cool matrix pose. And the force will be the biggest earthquakes ever. And of course the destruction of the entire universe after 5 months of Jesus torturing everyone. Ya know? Because he loves you. Yeah. Well. He sounds pretty mean and nasty and full of death and destruction to me.
May 19, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST
Because he loves!
May 19, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST
It's true. :-)
May 19, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST
I heard there's a problem with the audio on one episode "Deadly Ringer, part 1," like on the first 10 minutes or so you can barely hear it. Nice. Make us wait 30-odd years to own the series and they screw up like this. Way to go, Universal.
May 19, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST
And keeping this Talkback alive! "By the Power of Assgard!"
May 19, 2011, 6:58 p.m. CST
Hadn't heard of this film 'til I saw it reviewed here. Thought Harry was right -- not at all like Juno or Donnie Darko (and Harry was also right that anyone who thinks that, including spandau_ballet, doesn't know film for shit). Glad you brought this film to my attention. Nice to see Kat Dennings making cool choices. A very well made, very original movie.
May 19, 2011, 11:03 p.m. CST
does that have the episode where she infiltrates a harem and belly dances? if so....I'm there!!! and the chuck Norris dvds look really really gay.
May 20, 2011, 4:25 a.m. CST
Yes! That episode is in season 2, and it's called "Jaime & The King."
May 20, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST
Most of the caves scenes were film in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. I was caving there in March and the guides rattled off Gargoyles and the Pat Boone version of Journey To The Center Of The Earth of having some or most of the exterior cave shots filmed there. Creepy ass cave formations!
May 20, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST
Harry starts off with obscure garbage that only he and three other people have seen.
May 20, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST
I really LOVED Gargoyles when I first saw it, way back when. Great TV movie!
May 30, 2011, 11:13 a.m. CST
TOA Is better than the Thor "movie" - which looks like much of it was made by film students. Dialogue is better too. But Marvel animation does suck, and the reasons are twofold. One is the overarching vision of Bruce Timm. He has both the vision thing, which is not uncommon. AND has developed his own manufacturing model for developing his product, one based around quality and retention. Marvel has had spurts of success, with shows like Wolverine and the X-Men, but allowed it to be cancelled despite being a rating success. The biggest obstacle to any success for Marvel Animation is the guy in charge - Kevin Feige.
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