Hey folks, Harry here with the latest DVD Picks & Peeks! Some really great material this week, some awesome titles! Some questionable releases to warn you on and more. As usual, the images and titles link over to Amazon where you can get more info on the release or can go ahead and purchase it, which helps in a small way to keep this column going. So thank you, this is a lot of fun to put together every week.
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
The film that guaranteed my heterosexuality. DRESSED TO KILL begins with the most awesomely gratuitous Angie Dickinson shower scene of all time. DePalma chose to have a body double sub for some particularly awesome closeups with the pinkest most luscious nipples you ever have seen. Thanks to the magnificent lens of Ralf D. Bode (R.I.P.) This BluRay is flat out gorgeous to behold. I’ve seen DRESSED TO KILL in shitty quality for a goodly portion of my life. I had this in VHS throughout my teenage years – now – you can buy the DVD for over $11 more than this Blu-Ray – which comes loaded with these extras:
Unrated Cut Blu-ray
The Making of Dressed to Kill Documentary Including Interviews with Brian De Palma, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Dennis Franz and More!
Unrated, R-Rated and TV-Rated Comparison Featurette
Slashing Dressed to Kill Featurette
An Appreciation by Keith Gordon Featurette
Animated Photo Gallery
The Unrated cut is definitely worth your eyes. Both of em. Everyone is great in this… I love that in many ways – this film is a bit of a foreshadow of HARRY POTTER – only the kid in this is way cooler – and his Hermione, played by Nancy Allen… well… watch – you tell me which you’d rather live out. My money is on DRESSED TO KILL!!!
OH – and the best special feature? When the film finishes playing, it just repeats – because that is exactly how everyone feels that watches this fantastic movie. Let’s watch it again!
I love Matthew Vaughn’s relaunch of the X-MEN franchise – and I’m pretty sure this is close to being my favorite X-MEN film to date… although X-MEN 2 keeps telling me it loves me more, and I have been caught cheating on X-MEN FIRST CLASS with X2 a couple of times since its release. But the period setting, the more X-MEN evocative costumes and well, the performances from McAvoy and Fassbender – just completely won me over. Now the Blu Ray has Deleted Scenes, an 8part Featurette, a making of and THE ISOLATED SCORE!!! For those of you like me that just loves having Isolated Scores! But then – none of you need me to tell you to pick this up, you’ve clicked already!
I saw this film on the summer break between Junior High and my freshman year of High School. Watching Humphrey Bogart’s brilliant performance as Captain Queeg, it made me sign up for THEATER ARTS for my 1st Elective of High School – and yes… I did perform the final testimony of Captain Queeg to a thundering classroom applause… Yes, I dearly love THE CAINE MUTINY for personal sentimental reasons, but behind all of that is a brilliant film produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by the great Edward Dmytryk and starring a truly fantastic cast – in particular I love Fred MacMurray’s absolute coward character, that I just love. Such a fucking douche. One of the great cinematic asstards! But Bogie is the star here. He takes a touch of the madness we loved in TREASURE OF SIERRE MADRE, but tempers it with something entirely new. Easily one of my favorite Bogart fims, mainly because it is so different from the roles we think of when we think of Bogart. Here, he isn’t playing likable or charming. Rather he plays a man you love to loathe – and it’s brilliant. I didn’t get this disc in advance of release, but being that its one of my favorite flicks, I’ll be adding it shortly!
Joe Wright’s HANNA is still one of my favorite films of the year. Watching Saoirse Ronan play pretty much the exact opposite of her role in LOVELY BONES was… invigorating. I love that this is very much a comic book superhero origin film. By the end of the movie, you’ll probably crave, like me, the further adventures of HANNA. Every character introduced in this film is compelling and electric. Joe Wright breaks out of the corset flicks and pretty convincingly shows us all that he can do, just about anything. I mean, he made Saoirse the scariest little wisp of a girl that I’ve seen on film – although I’d wager that HitGirl could totally take her. What say you? Film looks gorgeous on Blu!
I’ve enjoyed the two previous seasons, and I’m looking forward to diving into the third, I’ve heard that it is really great. I have it sitting here, I just haven’t dove in quite yet. As with the two previous seasons’ releases they have a lot of extras waiting on you. Here they are:
The Mythology of Fringe
Fringe: Analyzing the Scene Sidebars on 6 Key Episodes
In the Lab with John Noble and Prop Master Rob Smith
Commentary on 4 Episodes by Series Stars and Creative Team
Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel
Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes
Also includes The Unearthed Episode starring Kirk Acevedo as Charlie
Now I only have two complaints about this $35 release… the Collector cards are fucking ridiculous and the original Howard Hawks SCARFACE is on a Standard Def DVD included. That would have been truly spectacular – had it been a 1080p Blu Ray extra… But the reality is that the only thing any of you really care about with this release is the DePalma flick… and SCARFACE is fantastic. Absolutely gorgeous. The sound is amazing. LOVE THIS DISC! This movie is just electrifying to watch. One of those perfect iconic films. Like the greatest of gangster movies there are moments in this film of pure cinematic ejaculation – where the screen explodes into your living room and Pacino has your absolute most riveted of attention. That this film has become the fashion of a particularly bizarre sub-culture of film geeks… Well, it kind of delights me. I just wish the culture of us PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE lovers was HOT TOPIC worthy! To see DEATH RECORDS shirts and Phantom masks and Garrett Graham outfits for sale. Well it’d be amazing. However, this next thing… it’s kind of the coolest & most ludicrous SPECIAL BLU RAY SET.
Marked down from $999.99 to a mere $699.99 – is this kind of awesome SCARFACE collectible Humidor. Now – I know out there – there are those of you, for whom, SCARFACE is your absolute favorite movie ever made. I can respect that, because – it is one fucking helluva movie. This movie has more attitude than any other movie I’ve ever seen. Pacino essentially created the craziest accent ever to imitate. The mountain of coke? The fucking chainsaw? And say you’re the kind of guy that likes to smoke an illegally attained Cuban cigar…. Whilst you watch SCARFACE with your friends or that lady that makes you feel like Tony Montana by grooming your awesome mountain of coke on your desk. Well, shit. You kind of have to have this SCARFACE Humidor because you’re the fucking man! Here’s how AMAZON describes this crazy set:
"Inspired by the modern-day classic from acclaimed director Brian De Palma (Carlito's Way) and Oscar-winning writer Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July), the Limited Edition Scarface Humidor is handcrafted by the world renowned Daniel Marshall for the ultimate collector and cigar enthusiast. A decadent collector's item limited to only 1,000 pieces worldwide, it pays tribute to Academy Award winner Al Pacino's (The Godfather) stunning portrayal of Tony "Scarface" Montana, one of the most ruthless gangsters ever depicted on film.
The humidor's exterior is hand painted and polished with Marshall's trademark ""1000"" coat brilliant finish, and its interior is made of untreated Spanish cedar complete with an analog hygrometer, guaranteed to properly condition and age approximately 100 cigars at optimal humidity levels. Expertly fitted with brass hinges in exemplary Daniel Marshall style and embellished with a custom medallion inspired by the iconic film, each humidor carries a numbered plaque, a certificate of authenticity with the designer's signature, and the Limited Edition Scarface Blu-ray encased in collectible SteelBook packaging with a digital copy of the film, a DVD of the 1932 version of Scarface plus 10 original art cards. The action-packed Blu-ray features an all-new eye-popping remastered picture, explosive 7.1 audio track and never-before-seen bonus features."
One of the many reasons I absolutely love Dustin Hoffman – and absolutely would love to see him in a tough role like this again – is that he completely owns it in films like this and MARATHON MAN. It’s hard to think of Dustin Hoffman as a badass. He is just… such a small guy. But like Cagney, when you fucking push Dustin Hoffman… well, the original promotion for STRAW DOGS had it right, you will see DUSTIN HOFFMAN EXPLODE! And that’s a great thing. NOW – why do you need this on Blu Ray? Because Susan George is something to see in this movie. In this, MANDINGO and DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY, Susan just has something magical happening with her and the emulsion of film itself that just makes her crazy, hot and irresistible to love on camera. This is one of Peckinpah’s great films. And if you haven’t seen it – you really owe to yourself to see it, before you see the remake. This is a perfect film. Some pretty great sweater yams too. This film is just kind of amazing to watch. It deals with some incredibly harsh subject matter – Sam plays with the audience – and I feel he stays classy throughout. The film is intense – if you have problems with Home Invasion or movies that portray rape… this is not a film for you. For me, what makes this film so great is just watching Dustin. He’s amazing in this film. Just amazing.
Before you roll your eyes at me – thinking that I’m an old fart lost in the nostalgia of his childhood, this is a TV show that had no regular cast, but featured stars like Ed Asner, Angie Dickinson, Kurt Russell, Lloyd Bridges and Dean Stockwell. While also having folks like Sylvester Stallone, William Shatner, Jim Brown, Antonio Fargas, Chuck Connors, Patty Duke, Robert Culp, Robert Stack, John Forsythe, JERRY LEE LEWIS, Sal Mineo, Vic Morrow, John Saxon, George Hamilton, Jan Michael Vincent and so many others – dropping in on this Brilliant 70’s Cop show brought to us by Joseph Wambaugh - the ex-cop writer of THE ONION FIELD and several other crime novels, films and TV shows. If you love 70’s Crime films – you’ll love this show. ENJOY!
Yoko and I have an absolute sick addiction to laughing at the “investigations” of these three SERIOUS INVESTIGATORS of the ‘hauntings’ they commonly find and expose. We do imitations of all 3 and we cackle through the episodes – because… the leaps these guys make with their “evidence” is just hysterical. Amongst the finest comedies on Television. Otherwise, it’s the scariest shit anywhere – because these guys make Bowery Boys in SPOOK CHASERS look professional! The one thing I would really really, like total wetdream extra – that I wish this show had would be a running commentary by Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray in character as Stantz, Spengler, Zeddmore and Venkman. I really can’t imagine anything funnier.
Every indication I have about this release is that it is the same master that we got back in like 2008 when Anchor Bay first put out HELLRAISER on Blu. If so – that’s a fairly handsomely put together disc. That Blu had 5.1 lossless sound and a pretty damn fine image. Preview discs have yet to be seen on this.
Now this is the disc I’m waiting for with great anticipation. Unlike the previous disc, this is the first time HELLBOUND is coming to Blu Ray – and as a huge fan of Pinhead – this sequel is just spectacularly original and gore-gous. Grand Guignol has never quite been this grand. The film absolutely disturbs me and thrills me all at once. Again – I have not seen preview discs of this release – and I haven’t heard of anyone who has. But this is one of the great horror sequels in history – and it deserves to be done up proper with all the frills. We all find out tomorrow!
This is such a tragic film. There’s humor to it, for sure… but I just couldn’t get past just how sad Will Ferrell’s character is in this film. He’s such a clusterfuck at the beginning & majority of this movie, that I just can’t imagine how he ever had his shit together to lose what he loses at the beginning of this film. He just seems utterly broken and lost. That’s what losing your jobyou’re your wife & home all in the same day will do to you. Now, I’m in a completely loving and awesome marriage as I watched this – and just the natural empathy that I watch films with… just put me in such a funk watching this film… trying to imagine how one could so completely lose everything in their life. The notion of having to start over from complete scratch… well, this isn’t a comedy, but a HORROR film for the happily married man out there. You have been warned. It really is excellent – but man – this situation would just completely suck.
This is a pretty unrelenting and nasty little horror film from Wes Craven… A really great early work. This entire MIDNIGHT MADNESS SERIES is suspect though – there’s rumors that they’re DVD upscales instead of full on 1080p masters – so buyer beware on this and the above two HELLRAISER releases. I just really want them to be good releases – but I haven’t found any real positive or negative authoritative judgement on these releases. If this is a crappy release – shame on IMAGE.
OK - Just checked out the disc - It looks like crap. Very bad mastering. Lots of noise - Haven't seen the HELLRAISER 1 or 2 yet, but this scares me on those. This looks real bad. Like the worst of Netflix streaming.
Paul Greengrass’ UNITED 93 is an absolutely riveting film. I rewatched this the other night on Blu and couldn’t look away. The end just kills me. But everything about this film is just… handled with such a brutal sense of just… this is all happening. The film is an exercise in dread anticipation. As each thing plays out – you know there’s no happiness here – this is a tragic moment in U.S. history – the struggle for life that was UNITED 93 is a painful reminder of just how exposed we all felt that day. It is a great tragedy and Greengrass made it a great film. Very strong BluRay release.
I gave my copy of this to Ernie Cline before he began his epic READY PLAYER ONE book tour that he is doing in his ECTO88. I know of no man with half the passion for AIRWOLF as my friend Mr. Cline. From the road, he told me that the AIRWOLF movie is essentially a longer version of the original AIRWOLF pilot – which he told me “has more AIRWOLF, thus making AIRWOLF more AIRWOLF” so basically Mr. Cline says this is more Airwolf than AIRWOLF – so… that means perfection is more perfect. That cool is more cool. That AIRWOLF is more AIRWOLF – and that my friends is AIRWOLF!
There are simply not nearly enough Carole Lombard films – and while Cary Grant had a full and long lived career – I kind of feel the same about him. Grant and Lombard are a pair of the finest actors of their time – and this is just a fantastic romantic melodrama. One of the very bests. Directed by John Cromwell, a director you don’t hear nearly enough about, but who directed great films like SCANDAL SHEET, OF HUMAN BONDAGE, the wonderful Colman version of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA and so many others. Like Mitchum in THE RACKET or Bogie in the original DEAD RECKONING. This is another fantastic film from Cromwell’s filmography – give it a shot, you’ll be glad you did.
Also out via the Midnight Madness series – but only upon DVD and at a handsome ransom of under $9 – is HOUSE. I love this film, but I love the sequel even more. William Katt was a fave of mine from THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO – and seeing him and Norm together was a treat – but then Night Court’s Richard Moll really steals the show – along with the very imaginative visual effects – which Tippett took to a whole other level in THE SECOND STORY. A cheap DVD release of a movie that needs a showy remastering on Blu Ray. But it looks like we still have quite a wait for us fans of the series.
Here – the series takes a noted turn into horror fantasy in an extreme way. I’d love a Blu of this – just because I love Phil Tippett’s stop-motion work that I love from this film! If you’re a fan of Bill Maher – it is kind of awesome to watch him in this flick – along with Cliff from CHEERS. This is pure fun horror for the kids. If you want good laughing spooked kids – this is a really fun one. This was a real delight to discover in the shithole mall theater that I originally saw it in, but just like then… I’m picking this up because at age 11, my nephew is perfect for HOUSE II and HOUSE. He’ll love these movies!
This is an absolutely fantastic Serial Killer flick. It stars cult star on the rise, AJ Bowen and this is a film that goes in directions you never anticipate. This is a superior indie horror film, one that audiences at Fantastic Fest really enjoyed. AJ is putting together a host of really damn fine performances in a whole bunch of indie horror films, it’s a very frightening world. Disturbing and solid.
Honestly – this really didn’t work at all for me… A Roman / Martial Arts epic – how can it miss? Well, I didn’t have a single character to really get invested in – and the spectacle is a lot of non-spectacular action that never serves to particularly elevate any moment beyond a state of mediocrity. Shame… I could have really loved a great East meets West ancient empires clashing kind of flick… but not this one.
Definitely don’t think about John Sayles’ flick when you put this in, because it’s real different. This is a a fascinating western about Texas the Republic. Gable plays a rancher in favor of Texas joining the Union and searching for Sam Houston. Broderick Crawford is a fanatical power mad individual that dreams of a TEXAS that rules North America. I kind of love that character – mainly because I’ve always loved power mad characters that want to rule their relative worlds – and this guy wants to make TEXAS a sovereign nation that would take all of America south of the Mason-Dixon line – and well… there’s still some Texans that are ready to do exactly that. As a Texan – I find this film completely amusing. Perhaps you will too.
I’ve been hearing amazing things about this Bollywood film for quite some time. I am dying to finally see it! This is apparently a thoroughly modern version of the kind of action flicks India put out in the 70’s & 80’s – but in a new fashion that people say is very kickass. I’m looking forward to checking this out!
Next week is of course highlighted by Lucas’ controversial release of STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE revised SAGA on Blu Ray, but also GLEE SEASON 2, CITIZEN KANE Blu, O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? Blu, CAMELOT 1st season on Blu, TRAINSPOTTING Blu, HALLOWEEN II Blu, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO Blu, CONAN O’BRIEN CAN’T STOP, INCENDIES, MST3K: MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE, THE TEMPEST Blu, MEEK’S CUTOFF Blu, FIGHTENERS Blu, TRUE LEGEND Blu, HESHER Blu, MY LIFE AS A DOG Criterion Blu, EXTERMINATOR Blu, MANHUNTER Blu, 3 WOMEN Criterion Blu, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER Blu, GOLDEN SWALLOW, POLTERGEIST II Blu, THE 10TH VICTIM Blu, BAD DREAMS/VISITING HOURS Double Feature and more. OH – and of course there’s this: