Hey folks, Harry here with the rather short DVD Picks & Peeks from this week. Not a lot coming out today that caught my interest. But there’s some awesome titles here. As usual, the pictures and links take you to Amazon where you can learn more on the titles in question, or purchase them, which gives a small percentage of the price to help support this column. For that, I thank you. It really does mean a lot. Because this week was so light, I did a preview of one of my fave titles from next week. Enjoy!
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Here on Aint It Cool News, we’ve been advocates for the Miike Cult from pretty much day one of AICN. Then something monumental occurred last year. Takashi Miike released 13 ASSASSINS – and all of us Miike lovers were suddenly slapped squarely across the face by Miike and told… “I have only just begun to make cinema!” And our collective jaws dropped – notions of Semen titles dripped down the drain of our memory, because Takashi Miike left that aside – and decided to make something several levels classier and more cinematically powerful than anything he’d done before. His greatest film prior to this was ICHI THE KILLER. Looking at that now, I love the pedigree. Love it. Some may argue that AUDITION was king. And then there are those that the HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS reigns supreme. NOW – collectively we agree that 13 ASSASSINS isn’t only the best Samurai film of the post-Akira Kurosawa age, though I would suggest you check out TWILIGHT SAMURAI before delivering that verdict… but I’ve also heard serious cinephiles suggesting it rivals the best of Akira Kurosawa.
All that said. Whatever the case may be, Miike made 13 ASSASSINS and now we live in a world where there’s a working filmmaker who has the potential to make a film like 13 ASSASSINS – and that my friends is a fucking awesome world to live in. Oh I’m sure we have disappointments ahead, but what if it gets better. What if one day Fox goes absolute batnuts insane and gives Miike WOLVERINE – and we collectively explode with geekgasmic joy. There’s a point in this film where you realize exactly what genre the last act is going to be. At that moment, 13 ASSASSINS is the best film ever. It just does amazing things that nobody should ever spoil for another. Just know, it is simply brilliant. That the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & sciences did not recognize this film is a crime. Perhaps it’ll be up for this year’s. Not sure how it’s release date domestically works. Also, JAPAN would have to officially nominate it – and they’ll totally nominate SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO instead. (pssst… the world should be my play thing).
The Blu-ray is gorgeous. This is a film to set alongside those Kurosawa Criterions you have.
Lest you think that 13 ASSASSINS is the best film of this week’s column, think again. That belongs to DAS BOOT – which is getting it’s 208 minute cut and 149 minute cut put onto two separate discs in this release. I’ve always preferred the 208-minute cut… though, truth be told – I love the Mini-series cut of this film too. In fact, DAS BOOT is simply never enough. I love this film. I drink up the claustrophobia, the men’s fear, the humidity this film gives you.
How great is DAS BOOT?
You will root for Nazis. You’ll cheer for them, fear for them and you will cry a bit too. DAS BOOT is the film that’ll keep you out of SUBMARINES – not that they’re anything like this anymore. U.S. Military subs have ICE CREAM machines in them. No such delights here. Discover why every film Wolfgang Petersen has made since this… runs at least 2nd to this.
DAS BOOT is brilliant acting, scripting, scoring, cinematography, editing and the fucking sound design. Jesus Christ, when the bulkhead is freaking spazzing out. It’s crazy. This is DAS BOOT. I know there are many younger readers of AICN. There was a point in time, when Film Geeks clutched this film, Woo’s films, Besson’s films, a Ringo Lam flick or two – and we prayed to see them on dupey illegal vhs copies. Luckily DAS BOOT lived on the college theater circuit at least twice a year – and we never missed it. This is as good as these things get. A truly brilliant film. Lots of extras.
This is a triumph for all of you geeks out there that dream of being a filmmaker. The story of Jason Eisener and HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is an epic one. Watching this film, that this film exists. That there’s an iPad app 8-bit game? That Jason Eisener got to direct the Roy from BLADE RUNNER? Verhoeven’s greatest collaborator? Fucking RUTGER HAUER is… HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN!
The resulting film is an acetylene torch on meth & acid. It is gratuitous, over the top, ridiculously sweet, constantly charming – and it will push the limits of the color in your Television.
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN takes place in an aggressive Universe… not quite in the Post-Apocalyptic world, but the Nearly-Apocalyptic World. NAW for short. Imagine if Paul Bartel, Jack Hill, Corman-era Demme and vintage classic TROMA all combined to make an insane film called HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN starring Rutger Hauer. The gore is on like the fountains at the BELLAGIO, constant and throughout… sometimes changing colors, but usually just consistently smile inducing.
Of all the films that I’m thanked in their end credits – HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN might be my fave. Just because it is so unrelentingly what it ought to be. Nobody made Jason compromise an ounce on this bitch. This is Jason’s Grindhouse CITIZEN KANE. He throws everything at us – and it makes me so happy. Watch the film, SHOTGUN mode. The behind the scenes will make you want to get your friends and shoot something, anything fun.
This movie made my wife and I promise – that no matter how heart broken we might be, if, GOD FORBID, our future child (none on way right now!) happened to die – that we, would absolutely not attempt to use dark magic – or join a crazy fucking cult in order to bring our child back from the dead. These things never end up the way you hope. It’s guaranteed to make things worse. This film is another from the new found HAMMER Horror. For me, it’s their best original work of this new age. A couple loses their child. Moves to a creepy fucking community. The community “helps them”. There are consequences. It is a horror film. It is fucked. It rules. That’s pretty much all you need to know. For many adults, children are creepy enough. Undead Children. THE. FUCKING. WORST.
I saw OVERBOARD like 20 times on HBO my senior year of High School. I’m not sure if it was worthy of that, but… I love Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. I love the idea of them. I love their personalities, I like imagining them in just about every movie. I’ve only ever met Goldie. It was back before AICN, she came into my booth to buy some vintage Movie Posters. Her barely teenage daughter was with her. And frankly, she was just magical to talk film with as she went through the stacks of posters. But when I rewatched this film for the column, I was delighted to see that it’s Screwball Comedy held up – and that Kurt & Goldie’s absolutely magical chemistry is just something to behold. I wish they had made about 30 of these. Just fun crazy romantic comedies. But then, that’s how I feel about Kurt Russell. There’s not nearly enough movies starring him.
Think if KILL BILL were a Western Revenge flick instead of Kung Fu. Raquel Welch as the impossibly sexy badass gal. Working with Wild-eyed Jack Elam, Christopher ‘fucking’ Lee, Robert Culp, Ernest Borgnine, goddamn Messala, Strother Martin – and Diana Dors as a Madame! While nowhere near as epic as Burt Kennedy’s most awesome flick, THE WAR WAGON with Wayne & Douglas! I could watch Raquel in suede stitched in pants… all fucking day, every day… and did I mention them britches is in 1080p? Cuz it totally is. And it is appreciated. But oogling aside, HANNIE CAULDER is a good Revenge Western headlined by one of the hottest gals of all time. Nothing but good here!
Remember that time you watched THE CORE – and you actually had fun with it? Cuz, if you did. That one time, when nobody was looking. You’re gonna really love this. CRACK IN THE WORLD may not have stunning modern day visual effects… but, ya know… it’s a helluva thing to see an apocalyptic end of the world disaster film, that doesn’t concentrate on the visuals – but rather has a great script, great characters and some pretty damn fine acting. A film that genuinely builds the dread of the impending doom of man. Kinda can’t believe I saw this on Blu-Ray. Never seen it in a theater. This was just so many steps up from when I saw my VHS recorded on 6 hr speed version. Heh. Wow.
Ya know. I love TRAILERS FROM HELL. It’s simply a great site, a great idea for a site, and Dante has just done a brilliant job of it. BUT – I don’t really care for this DVD. The visual quality I get from sending the TRAILERS FROM HELL from my Computer to my screen is higher than the resolution coming from this DVD. Yes, you get a copy of the original, brilliant, great LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS – but again – you can get a better copy of that film – and frankly if you’re buying TRAILERS FROM HELL, you already have LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS – and if you don’t. FUCKING BUY THIS NOW! I want a Blu-Ray – with every TRAILER FROM HELL ever in 1080p, and P.I.P. of the Director talking the entire time.
Like I said, slim pickens this week. But next week we’ll be looking at THE LINCOLN LAWYER, RANGO, INSIDIOUS, ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS III, ARTHUR remake, BRAZIL Blu, DAMNATION ALLEY Blu, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS Blu, BUSTER KEATON Short Film Collection Blu, Women In Prison Triple Pack, NAKED Criterion Blu, MIRAL, DEADTIME STORIES, DINOCROC VS SUPERGATOR, THINGS and perhaps more. Due to the lack of titles this week, I thought I'd throw you one of my faves from next week as a bonus. This is so cool...
Decided to give you a preview review of DAMNATION ALLEY, as I watched this disc last night, in a double Red Sky feature with NIGHT OF THE CREEPS – like the Twitter follower that suggested Criterion’s Blu of ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS for a triple bill, but I have to say – watching DAMNATION ALLEY on Blu Ray was a great way to kick off the 4th of July. Here in Austin, due to the heat and lack of consistent rain, we had a total ban on Fireworks, so cinema again to the rescue. DAMNATION ALLEY features the most badass Post-Apocalyptic Comfort Vehicle of all time. I love that thing. I love the trippy sky. The flesh eating cockroaches, the giant scorpions and fucking bastards they must deal with. It’s a film busting at the seams technologically speaking. Wanting to be so much bigger. Hearing that Steve McQueen was once in consideration for the George Peppard role… my god. I love Hannibal in the flick, but I would’ve loved to see a more A-production of this title. Which is basically what the special features will be pitching you the viewer. Going back to Roger’s novel would be fantastic. But nothing will ever be as cool as that vehicle in this movie. It’s just so cool. Apparently some guy in San Francisco bought it. Lucky bastard. Can you imagine camping in Yosemite in the Damnation Alley vehicle? Driving through Utah? That guy is cooler than all of us.