Hey folks, Harry here… sorry this is a tad late, the past 48 have been a bit hectic, but there’s some legitimate great works of cinema in this week’s column so I stayed up late tonight – and have a very early day – in about 6 hours. But the good news is, the Blu Ray of BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS is unfrickenbelievably great looking & sounding! Happy times ahead. That isn’t in this week’s column, but for all of you that ordered it, it is amazing. And coming soon. Now- like usual all the pics and linked titles go to their respective Amazon pages where you can learn more or purchase the item in question resulting in a small portion of the price going to support the best efforts of this column. So again, thank you! Here ya go…
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 – Sister Satan’s 30th Birthday (holy shit!)
I watched this with Ernie Cline a couple weeks back, who came over in this: ECTO88.COM ! Yeah, he’s a mega-geek. And watching A CLOCKWORK ORANGE with him was just a great evening. Noticing new things neither of us had noticed watching the film. Like cars out a window that we’d never noticed before. My favorite realization was that we both agreed that for us, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is Kubrick’s most iconic film. For each of us, the imagery of this film is burnt, permanently into our consciousness. It’s why we smile everytime Malcolm appears in every other film. It is still oddly perfectly in our future. It still effects culture and it still has the legend of being a self-banned work in the UK until Kubrick died. Which is an amazing thing. I can’t imagine this film being banned, much less by Kubrick himself. The whole story is on here with a lot more. Finally all on a single disc! This book edition is really nicely put together. Here’s the Special Features on the BLU –
Malcolm McDowell Looks Back: Malcolm McDowell reflects on his experience working with legendary director Stanley Kubrick on one of the seminal films of the 1970s.
Turning like Clockwork: Considers the Film's Ultra-violence and its Cultural Impact
Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and historian Nick Redman
Documentary Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange
Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork Orange
Jan Harlan's Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (Harlan is a world renown film producer and the brother of Christiane Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick's widow). Kubrick's career comes into sharp focus in this compelling documentary narrated by Tom Cruise. Fascinating footage glimpses Kubrick in his early years, at work on film sets and at home, augmented by candid commentary from collaborators, colleagues and family.
O Lucky Malcolm! Featuring Malcolm McDowell
I once saw this film with Tim League, my father, nephew & Alex Cox in Monument Valley on one of the awesome Rolling Roadshow adventures. Nothing will ever come close to that for me. First off, the print was gorgeous, two – I’ll never forget the lightning storm in the distance that would occassionaly backlight the Monuments. Wow. This Blu is just about as beautiful as that, but with out the majesty of eons of erosion and massive static discharges… but that’s fine, that event lives in my memory forever, and I’ll never be able to watch the film and not love that memory. Here – staring into Bronson’s sweaty eyes, hearing that piercing Harmonica, staring in wonder at a Henry Fonda role that just made every sweet, noble & pitch-perfect hero he play all the more amazing, for just knowing he had this in him! Brilliant casting against type. I feel that Schwarzeneggar should play an amazing villain next. The audience wants to hate him a little, and if he went as dark as Fonda went here… in a great fucking movie? I’d love that. – anyway, don’t know where that came from. But watching Jason Robards… falling in love with Claudia Cardinale, who was built to sweat in 1080p! This may very well be Leone’s masterpiece, except I feel that way about all his films, so there ya have it. The image and sound are amazing. Here’s the Special Features:
Commentary with Contributions from Directors John Carpenter, John Milius & Alex Cox, Film Historians Sir Christopher Frayling & Dr. Sheldon Hall and Cast & Crew
An Opera of Violence The Wages of Sin
Something to do with Death
Railroad: Revolutionising The West Locations
Then & Now Production Gallery
Theatrical Trailer HD
Easter Egg – New Trailer
This is my favorite season of TRUE BLOOD thus far. I love the King of Mississippi! Love plot turns, love the continued awesome sex & violence, that makes it seem like a weird southern cousin of the more raunchy supernatural Hammer titles. And I love that stuff, but dammit – this show is hot. All of it is hot, because it gives you the idea that any and every character could either Fuck or Kill any other character… and you’d love either. They’re pretty much all the sexiest people on the planet, but the show really does have a lot of wit and teeth. My trashy delicious fave show on TV. I love John Dahl's direction on his episodes, and I have to say I want him back directing films, as soon as he finishes working on TRUE BLOOD, but not till after the series is canceled. Rewatching this third season has me and Yoko just dying for the coming of witches, which she seems to feel will bring the best season yet. I’m still making my way through the season, at mid-point presently, so I haven’t checked out the special features – but reality is – this show was made for high definition.
Kubrick created the above image. Look at that. There’s a whole wonderful brilliant sensual delightful & fun movie built around it. Based on the brilliant novel, I love this film. It is an Amazon Exclusive (but oddly enough I don’t get these), but I have ordered it. Cuz, ya know. It’s Kubrick. It is what one does, who loves film. And when you invite a friend over and put it on… The air in the room simply is crisper, everything your eyes and ears perceive will be effortlessly iconic and memorable. It will inform your life, make you seek out all the James Mason movies. And he did this type of story many times in his career, and while others showed more, Kubrick’s is best. Perfect film.
There is a significant young modern director movement that wants to declare BARRY LYNDON as the best film of all time. I will not name names, but I delight in their fetishizing of BARRY LYNDON. Again, KUBRICK – YOU MUST OWN – WATCH – LOVE & APPRECIATE to even have a sane verbal context with which to even discuss film. In every genre the man touched, he made the best film of the genre in terms of pure iconography, intelligence and cinematic style. The guy fucking used lenses on super secret government spy satellites in order to film scenes by single candle light. The film is simply one of the most stunning looking films in cinematic history. That some people hate Ryan O’Neal only reveals that some people are idiots. BARRY LYNDON is a staggeringly brilliant film to watch, it is about 9 down in my personal Kubrick ranking. But that’s sort of like comparing flawless 1000 ct diamonds of different perfect color and saying, I prefer the yellow. It’s a matter of personal taste. But folks. BARRY LYNDON on Blu Ray – it must be sick! Again, it’s an AMAZON EXCLUSIVE, so I’m waiting on this shit too.
Folks, the glitter looks amazing on Blu! I just saw Quint’s beautiful print of LEGEND earlier this year, last pre-surgery theatrical experience, actually. So I relished having a very fresh memory of the film. This Blu is stuffed with features. 2 versions of the film. Isolated score track which is fucking heaven! I can watch this film as a Tangerine Dream Ballet and love it all the more. Tons of behind the scenes and hard core geek happy extras! & a pretty awesome Commentary by Ridley Scott. I don’t usually listen to these, but I just had to know what he was thinking. I’ve wondered for a long time. The film itself is one of the most amazing misses ever. I deep love a great deal of this ultimately very silly senseless film… but damn if I don’t keep staring into it like the most amazing visual puzzlebox ever carved from light. I’ve never solved it, but damn I enjoy giving it a try.
This is an attitude movie. A film about driving angry. Not just a little angry, but this is too tough for Hell angry. This is way better than Cage’s first GHOST RIDER, but this is actually kind of closer. Great trash fun kind of flick. This and the new PIRANHA would be a fun night.
A brutal film, from the man who knows how to make brutal emotional assaults like BABEL & 21 GRAMS. Of course we’re talking about Alejandro González Iñárritu. Javier Bardem is again brilliant, emotional, raw… Not a guy you’d like to necessarily meet. But Alejandro has an amazing captivating ability to create the most uncomfortable nightmare images and moments of characters’ lives and make them wonderful to watch. So heartwrenchingly real. This one hurts fantastically.
In many ways the best film that George Lucas has yet to make. This is a film I love to watch with THE GRADUATE. Totally different, but relatable universes. One of the coolest movies of all time, simply because Han Solo is a hick Cowboy street racing cock. Simply because Wolf Man Jack – the Legend of the Stratisphere. Because every single everyone is fucking perfect. Because the music is so perfect. I love this film. Not like I love STAR WARS. But like how I love AMERICAN GRAFFITI – it’s a perfect film. One of those just pitch perfect nailed it movies that lives in my home forever.
My favorite of the old man Wayne movies. I can’t wait for my dad and Giovanni to sit down and watch the best fucking grandpa action movie ever. DO NOT EVER STEAL JOHN WAYNE’S KID! It will not end well for you. I also love that SMAUG is fighting John Wayne. And let’s just put it frankly, John Wayne is the only man that could shoot a big ol dragon out the sky with but an arrow. Listen up, lil pilgrim, there’ll be no flying dragon that’ll burn my town, not if I have something to say about it! I’m sorry. I’ve been saying this since I was a little kid. I saw this and the Rankin Bass HOBBIT around the same time, and when my dad told me Richard Boone, the guy in the RED PONCHO was SMAUG… My brain took all the logical kid fantasy play turns. Soon, John Wayne must kill Smaug became my personal geek ain’t ever gonna happen Mantras. The film looks fantastic on Blu. This is the STAR TREK 4 of badass John Wayne westerns. There’s a bit of silly, a bunch of bravado, warm familiar faces and just a damn fun film. Pretty tough.
I was real sure I’d seen this when I went on my Howard Hawks obsession in the early 90s. I think probably at that time, I thought I’d seen it, because I always assume that I’ve seen every John Wayne film – and there’s always something ya forgot. When I put on RIO LOBO and it started up in the Civil War I raised an eyebrow! Then when the film shifts genres from being a full fledged Howard Hawks Civil War flick, to no holsters Western Revenge flick… I just squealed with delight. That’s a FROM DUSK TIL DAWN kind of thing to pull and yet that was the reality of the time. A lot of Civil War stories turned into Wild West affairs. See a young hot Sherri Lansing (ex-president of PARAMOUNT) in the raw. But most of all, you get a very odd film that I like quite a bit. It isn’t solely on target, it takes its time and wanders a bit, but hell, that just sounds like a story you’d hear from a Texan.
Another of Argento’s giallos – my favorite genre of Dario’s. These bloody, sexy, oh so fashionable thrillers that he mastered. Karl Malden is awesomely ridiculous as this blind puzzle solver. It is amazing. The performance is like a smile, an incredibly sweet performance and outlook on life. Oddly enough it kind of deals with wear science was headed, but in a completely wrong way. I love it. They give you some passable extras, but nothing amazingly great. The best feature is “TALES OF THE CAT” (really the only one that wasn’t original PR for the film). But the film looks beautiful on Blu in it’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio!
I believed for most of my live that Richard Harris really had his man chest pierced with Eagle talons and hoisted up into the air for the making of this movie. I intellectually know otherwise, but I’ve killed that brain long ago – and prefer to be that kid that saw Richard Harris as a GOD! I just couldn’t imagine anything more painful that having your pecs pierced with talons and hoisted. I mean, ouch right? This is a great film by the way. Sort of like the badass version of DANCES WITH WOLVES with better shit going on.
Well that finishes up May, this first week of June will bring us the Coens’ TRUE GRIT, GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS, THE COMPANY MEN, SUPERMAN: THE MOTION PICTURE ANTHOLOGY on Blu, SANCTUM Blu, OUTLAW JOSEY WALES Blu, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING Blu, VERA CRUZ Blu, THE STUNT MAN Blu, THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT Blu, Eastwood’s CLYDE movies on Blu, FIREFOX / HEARTBREAK RIDGE Blu, HAIR blu, HAPPY GILMORE Blu, NEW YORK, NEW YORK Blu, LONG RIDERS Blu, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI Blu, BLUE CRUSH Blu, AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY Blu, BLUE CRUSH 2, APT PUPIL Blu, MARLOWE, ORIGINAL SIN Blu, NIGHT FLIGHT, WHEELER DEALERS, FRANKENSTEIN JR & IMPOSSIBLES, THE HOUSEMAID, BURIAL GROUND Blu, Marx Brothers, THE PHANTOM EMPIRE, MOTHER’S DAY,