Hey folks, Harry here with today’s releases on DVD and Blu. Tragedy befell my geek estate as a traumatic bulb explosion accidently damaged my project so I’m waiting for a new projector, that I’m supposed to get this Wednesday… praying for no delays, I must have my glowy wall back! Any way, as a result there’s a few more titles I list here that I have not gotten to check out yet, but once I get my projector this week I plan on visiting and sharing my thoughts on those titles. As usual the pics and links take you to Amazon, where you can learn more on a title and even purchase it, which would go to continue to bring my best efforts on this column. Now, here we go with one of the great Film Noirs…
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
Last year, for BUTT-NUMB-A-THON, I required every entrant to have viewed KISS ME DEADLY – or at least fake it real well, to gain admittance. Why? Because Robert Aldrich’s adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s KISS ME DEADLY is one of the most blisteringly awesome, searing Film Noirs with a kicker that takes teeth! That image on the cover just does not even touch the awesome Aldrich has in store for the viewer. This was a film that Robert Rodriguez introduced me to – and I’ve loved it ever since. I’m dying to watch this disc. I’m clawing at the box wanting to see it, but my projector had a cataclysmic bulb explosion that wound up damaging something, so I’m upgrading to a new projector and want desperately to open my copy of this and watch just how beautiful this transfer is. The typical Criterion job on films like this is just spectacular and this is one of the great Noirs. Just electrifying! Scene after terrific scene.
Plus Criterion gives us these extras:
New high-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary by film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
New video tribute from director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Walker)
Excerpts from The Long Haul of A. I. Bezzerides, a 2005 documentary on the Kiss Me Deadly screenwriter
Excerpts from Mike Hammer’s, Mickey Spillane, a 1998 documentary on the author whose book inspired the film
A look at the film’s locations
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman and a 1955 reprint by director Robert Aldrich
January Jones is pretty good in this. And Liam Neeson has hit his action stride. UNKNOWN is one of those desperate personal self-discovery films… in the same genre of something like D.O.A. (both versions) or THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, my fave being Gregory Peck in Alfred Hitchcock’s SPELLBOUND. But UNKNOWN is a great actiony who-am-i-oh-fuck types of films. There’s a terrific style, pacing and sense of paranoia about UNKNOWN. The situation is uniquely fucked up. Terribly so. I hope Liam does a dozen different taut action thrillers. It is a great genre fit for him. I love it.
I love this film. Just personally, while I was spending the first 2 and a half months of 2011 in a hospital recovering from surgery, this was the very first exit visa experience I had outside of the hospital. Going to the Alamo Drafthouse VILLAGE and watching THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU and, both Yoko and I love this movie. That several didn’t, made it even more aggressively an “our film” kind of movie. The less you know about it the better, just know it’s based on Philip K Dick – and helps continue to make me fall in movie screen love with Emily Blunt. And, I just love determined Matt Damon movies. I really really do.
I absolutely didn’t feel pleased in the least watching this movie. Channing Tatum stares dazed throughout this lumberous adventure. I absolutely don’t like anything about it. And it’s all really intangible. I vastly prefer CENTURION which is just a more pulpy thrilling 9th Legion tale – but this… it just feels so incredibly inconsequential to me. That Tatum’s best is Duke in G.I.JOE leaves me in fear of each and every role awarded him. Jamie Bell gives off being annoyed throughout the film. Big yawn. I do begrudge the time spent watching this.
I really wanted to love this Michael Bay film, but just didn’t. It felt like material that was constantly holding back. It wanted to be sexier and more violent & thrilling, but it just couldn’t be that and be PG13. So it oddly feels very blah. It all looks fucking amazing, because Bay is one of the most amazing shooters in the business, but this was not one of his best days out.
Dying to see this. Disc came after the projector go boom, and came out in my theater sabbatical. I love Ed Helms and am really curious to see it because I’ve heard a lot of great word on the film. Wednesday is taunting me, I really do miss my glowy wall!
I love TAKE A HARD RIDE. I’ve wanted to see this movie ever since I first saw the trailer as a kid on my Dad’s Weird Western Trailer reel. The dynamic between Jim Brown and Fred Williamson is fucking terrific. I wish there were dozens of adventure Westerns with those two and Jim Kelly. It is a crazy awesome violent dynamic that just kicks a lot of ass in the old west. When I began to realize that Jim Kelly was a man, who had his tongue cut from his mouth, raised a tracker and fighter – and who RUNS EVERYWHERE in that manner Jim Kelly does when he glide jogs in place. The most graceful cross country jogging you’ll ever see – but the great part is how alert and alive Jim Kelly is to the scene. Checking shit out, smelling things, tasting shit in the dirt. All in the same shot. Nothing compares to watching Fred Williamson and Jim Brown fighting as Jim Kelly smiled from a mountaintop watching. Somewhere there was an earthquake. These two guys fighting each other. It’s literally like a clash of the titans. I love how all thee super egos are balanced without ever sacrificing each other’s maximum level of cool. But then… there’s other people in this thing, like fucking Lee Van Cleef!!! Dana Andrews! Barry Sullivan! Harry Carey Jr. That friend of Cleavon Little’s from BLAZING SADDLES! I mean the film is loaded. And I love it. I love that it is a literal bag of money movie – and it is epic. LOVE IT COMPLETELY! RIO CONCHOS, I like, but I can’t watch it around TAKE A HARD RIDE, which is just a totally different scale of awesome.
Upfront warning, while this is an excellent DVD, on August 23rd of this year, these three will be coming out on Blu Ray – and personally – if you’re in an HD world, I’d hold off for that. But if not, and you’re committed to DVD – well pick it up. These are 3 of the very best caged women flicks. They’re crazy sexy, all kinds of depraved and fun! Roger Corman understood the genre and Jack Hill did it best. Unless we’re talking Women In Prison, in which case I say that Jonathan Demme wins best women behind bars flick. Right?
Oh man wow. I highly recommend this absolutely awful film, because folks… you simply must watch Tiffany and Debbie Gibson on this awesome crazy exploitation crap effects fest that just hits a level of camp and kitsch that I fell in love. Tiffany may very well be either the most brilliant or terrible actress I’ve ever scene. It is astonishing. There are things in this film that made me gasp at how impossibly bad it was, but in a what the fuck entertaining manner. Most video games have superior visual effects in actual game play modes. Even some for the Wii. But it’s the face off of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany that just blew me away. Watching these two teen queens doing the funky straight to Blu Ray type fun… well, morbid pleasure.
If you love films like Joe Dante’s MATINEE or Tim Burton’s ED WOOD – give this documentary a try and then check out the William Castle films. There’s just a tremendous debt we film geeks have to pay to dear old William Castle. The one time P.T. Barnum of Film Exhibition. I love it. Without William Castle – Tim League would not be the same. Castle is the guy that hooked up buzzers to seats, Rigged theaters for special in theater effects. All while operating in the horror genre. I love William Castle and have played the part of the theater victim a few times at screenings of THE TINGLER, where I had to tear a lobster apart as though it was the Tingler itself! Acquaint yourself with one of the great showmen of all time!
So, Carla Gugino plays titular porn star, ELEKTRA LUXX… Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hilarious online video plogger who specializes upon talking about porn stars with a rather dedicated affection for Miss Luxx. I like ELEKTRA LUXX, but I do prefer the original WOMEN IN TROUBLE. Of which this is a sequel of sorts. I love Marley Shelton in this, but really this is Carla and Levitt’s flick, they’re both great at what they’re asked to do here. Lots of beautiful women like Emmanuelle Chriqui and Malin Ackerman also feature. I really enjoyed it.
Dying to see this. Another victim of the projector, Written by Tom Stoppard, starring a pair of 2-time Academy Award winners in Glenda Jackson and Michael Caine. All I know is that I love just about everything I’ve seen Michael Caine in from the Seventies – and I can’t wait to see this – and figure out what the film is exactly. It’ll probably be one of the first things I put in to check out.
Absolute complete and utter insanity. I almost can’t believe it. More laughs than CHUCK NORRIS: KARATE KOMMANDOS, but the same kind of wow at times. Our world was so beautiful once!
Sir Ian McKellen plays D.H. Lawrence, Ava Gardner, Sir John Gielgud – and I can’t wait to see it. I’ve heard about this film for a while, back when Ian McKellen blew me away with RICHARD III, I found out about this flick but just have never been at the right place and time to see it. Can’t wait to finally watch it. I’ll report back here when I do.
Wow, this rules. Will Rogers doing his adaptation of THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW and it just rules. Seriously. It sometimes feels like magic. It really is simply unlike anything we really have today. They also put the 22 minute Harold Lloyd short, HAUNTED SPOOKS… I love them both absolutely. Something I’ll watch again this October.
Next week we get THE LORD OF THE RINGS Expanded Editions on Blu, SUCKER PUNCH, SEASON OF THE WITCH, ANCIENT ALIENS: SEASON TWO, BEASTLY, COWBOY BEBOP THE MOVIE, THE WARRIOR’S WAY, THE NESTING on Blu, SERENITY Blu, ZATHURA Blu, THE LAST STARFIGHTER Blu, ZAZIE DANS LE METRO Criterion Blu, NIGHTMARES, BLACK MOON Criterion Blu, PEOPLE ON SUNDAY Criterion Blu, ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST Blu, CHALLENGE OF THE GOBOTS, THE BABY, BLOODY BIRTHDAY and more.