Hey folks, Harry here… I’ve been a helluva busy bastard recently. All manners of extra responsibilities, plus just the BNAT preps, Halloween Party preps… Screenings, etc. I really do want a vacation. I need one really bad right now. Not getting near enough rest. BUT – here’s the past two weeks of columns, catching us up! There’s just some frigging amazing titles on this edition. Enjoy!!! As usual the images and links take you to Amazon where you can purchase or learn more. If you do order through a link, a small portion of your price goes to help keep this column’s best efforts going. Been doing this for a decade now. Still my favorite column I’ve written. Here ya go…
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
Ok – it is fucking OCTOBER… the month of HORROR – and frankly… I kind of feel the pickings for horror should be stepped up a bit. That said… Criterion brings us a doozy! Many a good geek knows the name of Kaneto Shindo, the director of the legendary ONIBABA – which William Friedkin famously lays some of his inspiration for THE EXORCIST upon. The second I opened this up, I was ecstatic. This is Shindo’s Samurai vs Demon/Ghost flick – and it is atmospheric, scary and all kinds of evil. I love this movie… I love how the box – the figure in the middle will go negative image when you tilt it in the light. I love just how scary this movie is. I mean… riding on a dark road back in these Samurai days had to be curiously creepy affair… but when you’re going down a dark road to some ancient ruins… and there are demon ghosts that will rip the throats out of wandering samurai… well, it is scary. The film is creepy & genuinely spooky. So beautiful in black & white. Here’s what Criterion has for ya:
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Video interview with director Kaneto Shindo from the Directors Guild of Japan
New video interview with critic Tadao Sato
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Maitland McDonagh and more!
Ok… ya say you love RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD… well, until you own this… that love is incomplete. You get Dan O’Bannon’s final interview, you hear from EVERYBODY! And really in many ways – this is what every film that anybody loves should have made about the film and the filmmakers. I know most of the folks that made this film, I’ve met most at conventions over the years and if nothing else – it’s nice to be able to put this one and remember conversations and good times. Suffice to say, it is absolutely terrific. Excellent October release!
This is one of those movies that I followed pathologically the making of. I had been reading James O’Barr’s CROW upon its release, was reading WIZARD, reading every issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY… back in the earliest days of the internet for me. There was no information online that I could see in those days. But I remember clearly driving with my father away from a gas station in the Hyde Park area having just read an article on the stand in Entertainment Weekly that was asking if THE CROW set was CURSED. I was telling Dad how I thought Brandon Lee would be the perfect Peter Parker for James Cameron and the news came over the radio that actor Brandon Lee was killed in a freak accident on the set of THE CROW. And I was devastated. I really did feel that BRANDON LEE was going to completely eclipse the film legacy of his father. I was so excited about that. The impossible tragedy hitting both father and son was devastating. BUT – I LOVE THE CROW. I find there’s days when I hit a funk that I can’t seem to shrug… I put THE CROW on to remind me, “It can’t rain all the time.” This Blu-Ray is gorgeous. Beautiful sight and sound. There’s a commentary with Alex Proyas, behind the scenes, a James O’Barr profile, deleted scenes, original poster concepts… all kinds of stuff. A really nice Blu!
Fellini’s CLOWNS is a purely fetish film for Fellini, who traces his fascination with clowns to its root, introducing us to many great Italian clowns. All of this is incredibly delightful, but what makes it truly magic is the score from Nino Rota! I’ve had the music for years, and it was only on the old DVD release that I finally saw the film. This was shot for Italian TV by Fellini – and it was done with so much love that it defies the box it was made for with today’s Blu Ray release. Truly wonderful film.
Here’s a film that I saw at Fantastic Fest 2010, when Alex De La Iglesia came for its U.S. Premiere! I fell madly in love with the film. What you have here is fine mad art at its most purely cinematic way. There’s so many of Iglesia’s established passions upon the screen that it can be a bit much for those unfamiliar with Iglesia’s influences – which range from Stan Lee’s days of writing SPIDER-MAN, to German Expressionism and how it led to Universal Horror’s style… There’s a love of Circus, a love for a particularly dark era in SPAIN’s history – in which this film is set. It is constructed exactly like a MARVEL comic from the 1960’s… Only it is set mainly in the early 70’s near the end of Franco’s rule. Instead of being focused on the history, he decides to reflect upon the horrors of the era – while being focused on a twisted story of a Sad clown and a Happy Clown. The Sad Clown is kind of our hero. If you know your SPIDER-MAN – you’ll relish in how Iglesia has redressed a rather powerful storyline from Spidey’s life. I love it. The film is a historical satire horror hero flick. Brilliantly done in a style that plays like DePalma doing Hitchcock – but at Iglesia’s peak! The movie is stunning on Blu Ray. If you love this – check out 800 BULLETS and DAY OF THE BEAST as soon as possible!
Absolutely love this DC universe direct to BluRay animated adaptation of the brilliant Frank Miller YEAR ONE comic. BATMAN: YEAR ONE is why I’ve never quite been completely head over heels for Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS. It takes a lot from it, but isn’t nearly as great a tale as this one. Watching this film, I longed to see Gary Oldman playing this Gordon. Like NEW FRONTIERS – I’m finding these direct adaptations of classic DC works to be the most satisfying work they’ve done. I mean, if I got to Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS – done in that style – as hard and as brutal as that book… Or Brian Bolland’s KILLING JOKE adapted in that visual style animated. You’re talking about possibly my favorite media products I’ve yet to buy. I’d just go nuts. I’ve watched BATMAN: YEAR ONE with multiple groups of friends. Watching it and spending a couple hours talking about how the animated BATMAN is still our favorite version of him. This is a very hard PG-13… you would have to be careful showing this to young children. This is more adult BATMAN. I’m grateful for that. The Paul Dini scripted CATWOMAN is such a light awesome little bit of titillation. I still long to see a Dini scripted live-action BATMAN and Manbat or Clayface or JOKER story. His BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY is currently blowing minds in the gaming world and it is absolutely in no small part due to Dini’s gift with the character. One day, someone in power at Warner will realize this. I hope.
Not as spectacular as the three previous versions. Coming up especially short next to the second film which visually is an epic with very few parallels in summer ILM whizbang. This version seemed almost cheap by comparison. I like it, like I like the least favorite Hope & Crosby ROAD TO movies. I still like the characters, but this isn’t a very well thought out film. It is a jumbled mess in many respects… but Jack Sparrow thrills me. And always will, I feel. I just hope before they do any future PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN adventures – that they nail a great script – with a great visual director. I like Rob Marshall musicals. This, not nearly as much.
If you have somehow not acquired the Gore Verbinski trilogy – here’s a chance to pick all 3 of those exquisite Blu Rays and this new one – all in a really truly exceptionally geeky pirate looking edition. 15 discs. Warning though – the image of the box is deceptive, the disc holder – that coin is actually paper and not a great Aztec Cursed Blu-Ray Holder, but a paper version. But the chest is pretty cool. Little cheesy, not sure if it’s worth the $169 price tag.
This CLONE WARS animated series has really blossomed into something special. Really defining Star Wars for a young generation of kids that were raised in a post-Prequel society. More than that, in some ways – this CLONE WARS series is informing and giving addition nuance to a story that seemed to be missing the dream of THE CLONE WARS in its grander sense. This show is in someways what some of us dreamt of. I highly suggest picking these 3 seasons on Blu Ray up. Well this is just Season 3, but you should check out Season 1 and 2.
I really enjoyed BAD TEACHER… I do have a thing for Cameron Diaz – there’s no denying that I’ve been entranced since THE MASK – then her magical swirling ass… but here I got to imagine a Bad Teacher version of her. Just imagining being a kid in her class… epic. The stories we would’ve had. The crushes. But really, it’s the ensemble of this movie that wins me over. So many funny… off… teachers. Plus, I like Jason Segel. He effortlessly makes me laugh, while liking him. Can’t wait to see THE MUPPETS.
Love this movie. Gregory Peck’s Mallory combines with his Atticus to be my two favorite roles from this great actor. But here… Having to work side by side with a man that has sworn a blood oath to kill you, played by a brilliant Anthony Quinn… who is only your best possible ally, because he wants to kill Nazis more than anything… Their relationship is BRILLIANTLY conceived and executed. But then you have David Niven – whom I just worship in this movie. He is one of the greatest whiney bitch characters in film history. His self-righteous indignation at Mallory captivates me. This is the definitive MAN ON A MISSION film. It has never been and never will be better. At least in the way this film hits me. The Dmitri Tiomkin score is one of my favorite scores ever. I find myself humming it often. This was STAR WARS for an entire generation of kids. I loved the GUNS OF NAVARONE playset… and often had my STAR WARS figures scaling it to Jedi those Nazi guns! This disc is one that feels like required ownership. The transfer is genius. The extras… well look:
The Greek Resistance
The Old School Wizardry of The Guns of Navarone
World War II and the Greek Islands
The Real World of Guns of Navarone
The Navarone Effect
Military Fact or Fiction
Commentary with Film Historian Stephen J. Rubin
Commentary with Director J. Lee Thompson
Forging the Guns of Navarone: Notes from the Set
Ironic Epic of Heroism
Epic Restoration Featurette
A Heroic Score
Memories of Navarone Retrospective Documentary
Message from Carl Foreman
Great Guns Original Featurette
No Visitors Featurette
Honeymoon on Rhodes
Two Girls On The Town Original Featurette
Contrary to most of the online critics that attended Sundance, that hated this film with a burning hate that I frankly can’t understand. Kevin Smith’s RED STATE won the top prize at the prestigious Sitges film festival, the finest Genre film festival in the world. That isn’t something to take lightly. They don’t traditionally suck up to the unworthy. I was constantly surprised by the directions the film took. I had purposefully not read any advance reviews, wanting to make up my own mind. I first saw the film on PPV on Time Warner Cable, but checked out by Blu Ray about a week ago. It’s a completely different direction for Kevin… and I like it a lot. Michael Parks is incredible. John Goodman kills me in this. The 3 boys… Awesome. The Church? Over the top, crazier than crazy? Yup, but that’s the sort of exploitation film this is. The name alone tells you that. This is a dangerous satiric Kevin Smith. I’m happy his gamble paid off – and I hope this success has reinvigorated the gloriously cantankerous one – because I for one will always give him a fair shot. He’s yet to shit in my face.
For the longest time, this was the Scorsese film that the most serious Scorsese geeks would get into drunken brawls over. I have always sided with Marty on this one. I love how this isn’t really a remake of CAPE FEAR, but a combination of CAPE FEAR and NIGHT OF THE HUNTER… at least as goes the character of Max Cady – who is one of the great DeNiro characters for me. I just get such a kick out this performance. When he’s the sexual predator in this movie… whether it is with Juliette Lewis or Jessica Lange or Illeana Douglas… he scares the bat shit out of the Congress Avenue bridge. He makes you not want to have children, for fear that they could meet someone like Cady. On the otherhand, how the Simpson’s parodied Deniro with Sideshow Bob in that classic Simpson’s episode… Well, it made me love Scorsese all the more. I love Mitchum and Peck’s roles, I love the reorchestration of the brilliant masters’ score by Elmer Bernstein… I feel Scorsese made an incredibly powerful and cinematically delicious retelling of the great J. Lee Thompson original. It celebrates the theatrical side of movies. Rather than today’s obsession with some level of mediocre reality, rather than the grandeur of theatricality – which can only exist in films this drunk in love with cinema. Damn. Now I find myself wanting to rewatch the HUGO trailer!
This is a fascinating look inside The New York Times during the amazingly difficult modern times that face Newspapers and Old Media. Loved this documentary. If you’re curious how the chronicler of the modern world will survive – this gives you a good idea. I believe in the institution of the New York Times. It is still a daily read for me.
Ya know. Sometimes nostalgia isn’t enough. I kind of hate Reb Brown fiercely in the role. He’s just… he reminds me of Will Ferrell’s Dubya. He has that sort of fierce intellect and powers of articulation. These are only really watchable as a fascinating document about how far we’ve come. Why did I lose my mind for Joe Johnston’s… it’s because I grew up having seen these.
For a little over $61 bucks – you get the robot series which represented why I never fully loved TRANSFORMERS the cartoon. ROBOTECH was just so much better. Here you get the whole shebang. All of it. All 85 episodes. LOTS OF EXTRAS… all new. Now – I would really love zero responsibilities for like 4 solid days so I could just redevour it all – consecutively. If you’ve never discovered it. It’s a lot to digest, but well worth it. This is the epic live action series I’d love to see translated in a badass way to our screens. Sigh. One day. Hopefully, the memory will not be raped.
Want to see a 5 star brilliant fucking crime film? Something better than this year’s DRIVE – and I love that film. THE ROBBER is a German film by Benjamin Heisenberg with an absolutely riveting performance by Andreas Lust – who plays a paroled criminal that dedicated himself to running in Prison. Is released to take up a dual career as brilliant marathon runner and a brilliant bank robber – that pulls off robberies that you won’t believe the balls of. This director and this movie represent my favorite kind of discovery in this column. A movie with an interesting cover. One that I had heard praise of, but when I saw it. I stopped everything, turned off the computer, turned the ringer off my phone and just became wholly absorbed by the cinema of this movie. DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE! Seriously. It is just amazing.
This was Jonathan Liebesman’s first film. Since then he’s done the second modern take on THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING and BATTLE LOS ANGELES. I never saw his THE KILLING ROOM, but he’s hard at work on CLASH OF THE TITANS sequel, WRATH OF THE TITANS. I’ve no idea what to think of that. I’m hoping for the best. BATTLE: LA was a lot of fun to watch, but I found myself wanting a better drawn out group of characters and story… but enjoyed it for what it was. That’s sort of how I feel about Jonathan’s first film, DARKNESS FALLS. I don’t find it offensively awful. In fact, there is fun to be had on it. Also, I know Liebesman had some tumultuous studio involvement on this film… Also, it was one of those ill-advised over dependent on CG movies from 2003… when bad CG was – unwatchable. Oddly now, looking at it, I found myself ignoring the lack of quality of the vfx, instead concentrating on the intention of the scenes – and I had fun with the film. By no means is it great. It is absurdly silly and constantly redefines its own rules. The ending will probably piss you off. But funky films serve to get me passionate when I’m watching them with a friend. So that’s why I enjoy having this otherwise forgettable film. It’s a C-grade film that I know how to have fun with. Perhaps you’ll be the same.
The former head of MGM’s advertising… who was lampooned in INDEPENDENCE DAY by Emmerich and Devlin… well, he directed this excretable waste of time. FUCKING UNWATCHABLE. Except, I did. It hurt. It has not one saving grace. Total crap. Somewhere Dean is smiling.
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
I’ve watched it 4 times now. Once with commentary. You know the scene immediately after Cap’s transformation? That chase? Hearing how it was shot is kind of crazy awesome – especially when you realize how well it all came together. But more than anything, this is a total COMFORT FILM for me. I watch it and the boy that grew up on 16mm projected movie serials – that my father and his group of friends collected… well this is the dream of those. The 21st Century version. This is an introductory film, that gives the highlights over the course of a war. Any single mission would have made a great film, if fully expanded and realized. The recent announcement that the upcoming Cap sequel will take place wholly in the modern world has sort of depressed me a bit. I’m anxious to see how that plays out, I’m sure we’re gonna love Evans in AVENGERS. But honestly, I’d love nothing more than fully realized single missions during WWII. We’ll see. If Disney/Marvel is smart – Cap will become their James Bond. Doing long series with each actor to play the part. Each time, finding a new tone and manner to tell his tales. That’s my hope. Oh – and the Marvel One Shot: “A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THOR’S HAMMER” is awesome. And get ready to achieve geekwood over the AVENGERS tease on here.
This is a set to splurge on. I love these three films. 2 & 3 are not as great as the original, but then as much as I love these films – I’ve always wanted to see James Cameron’s take, as the reins to this series were originally up for grabs between these two. Cameron would’ve gone digital on this, he was headed there full steam ahead. Ultimately, what makes me love Spielberg’s take is his ability to make me in awe of the dinosaurs. Seriously. I’m a dinosaur freak. I even love dinosaur movies when they glue fins to iguanas, so this shit? Yeah, I’m there. Favorite Dinosaur movie is still the 1933 KING KONG. But there’s no denying the beauty of these Dinos. I saw a beautiful 35mm print of JURASSIC PARK at the recent Mondo Mystery Movie event that had Phil Tippett there to play with us. And ya know. This Blu-ray has what sure seems to be a sharper, more crisp image. Beautiful transfers. Great extras. That just never stop. And here you get a great statue ta boot! Those extras? Here – swim:
Bonus Features Digital Copy of all three films (offer expires 12/31/12)
Return to Jurassic Park: Six-part documentary featuring all-new interviews with directors Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston plus cast and crew
The Making of All 3 Jurassic Park Films
Original Featurettes on the Making of the Films
Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
Hurricane in Kauai Featurette
The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton
The Compie Dance Number: Thank You Steven Spielberg From ILM
The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III
The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III
The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel
The Sounds of Jurassic Park III
The Art of Jurassic Park III
Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs
Behind the Scenes
Early Pre-Production Meetings
Before and After the Visual Effects
Tour of Stan Winston Studio
A Visit to ILM
Spinosaurus Attacks the Plane
Raptors Attack Udesky
Production Archives: Production Photographs, Design Sketches, Illustrations, Conceptual Paintings, Models, The World of Jurassic Park, The Magic of ILM, Posters and Toys
Jurassic Park: Making the Game
Jurassic Park III Feature Commentary with Special Effects Team
BD-Live: Access the BD-Live Center through your Internet-connected player to watch the latest trailers and more
My Scenes: Bookmark your favorite scenes
Pocket BLU App: Experience an exciting new way with the app for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and now enhanced for iPad
Disney’s latest 2D animated wonder was sacrificed beneath the great stone that was the release of the final HARRY POTTER, which blinded an audience that really is starved for great family entertainment theatrically speaking… This is a FALL or SPRING film. Not in the summer, not as counterprogramming for the cultural event for a generation of folks. WINNIE THE POOH is sublime. Beautiful and hypnotic – making you smile and be wistful. Bliss. GORGEOUS on BLU!
I can not wait to watch this. I don’t have this disc yet. But I can’t watch to work while watching it on repeat some night soon. ATTACK THE BLOCK is an R-rated modern day tribute to the great 80’s style horror adventures. The film is incredibly smart. Having the intensity of something like ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 – mixed with the insanity of the best child endangerment films. Moses is one of the great heroes of cinema this year. Watch the film and discover his heroism. One of the great anti-hero character arcs in modern movie history. So great. The disc comes with 3 commentaries and a lot of fun extras it looks like. A definite high priority pick up for the day!
One of the shining jewels of classic horror! Paramount made a very disturbing & perverse telling of H.G. Wells’ classic literary work. Charles Laughton is amazing. Richard Arlen is put to the test and comes up amazing in the movie. But by far, my favorite aspect of this film is the monster make-up. There’s some stunningly surreal and powerful old school make up creations throughout this film. It takes almost all the right lessons that horror on film had given us to that point. Bela Lugosi’s makeup is one of my very favorite make-ups in cinema history. I actually bought my father a beautiful painting of Lugosi in this makeup – we’ve quoted this movie at one another my entire life. Knowing that DEVO does the same, made me immensely proud of how awesome my Dad was to have this be one of those incredibly early films in my life. Plus. You must form an obsession for the Panther Lady! She’s… AMAZING! Criterion has great new video interviews on here. Like the conversation between John Landis, Rick Baker and Bob Burns. Or the interviews with DEVO’s Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, who believe without this film – we would have no DEVO! Then there’s Richard Stanley’s interview which tells an amazing tale of his own journey to this island. Criterion goes above and beyond on this great horror classic! DISCOVER THIS FILM.
Want to see a great film? A movie of such fine craftsmanship as to instantly make you a bit depressed by the offerings we have in the days we live today? That’s Francis Ford Coppola’s CONVERSATIO. A masterful film. Just exquisite. THE CONVERSATION was, for the longest time, an impossible to get movie. Coppola owned the film, so it hardly ever showed up in TV packages… So frustrated did I get back in the early 90s – that I bought a beautiful 16mm film print, that I’ve used to introduce the film to many of my local friends. No longer. This Blu Ray is beautiful – and the sound design? WOW. An auditory delight. This is a great great BluRay – these extras are wonderful:
Interview with director Francis Ford Coppola and composer David Shire - NEVER- BEFORE-SEEN
Discussion with Francis For Coppola about his early film exercise, "No Cigar" - NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN
“Harry Caul's San Francisco” featurette - NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN
Archival screen tests with Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams – NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN
Archival footage of Francis Ford Coppola dictating the original script – NEVER-BEFORE-HEARD
Archival on-set interview with Gene Hackman
“Close-up on THE CONVERSATION” featurette
Audio commentary with director Francis Ford Coppola
Audio commentary with editor Walter Murch
If you’re getting ATTACK THE BLOCK… then I must insist that you pick up RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE – a film of incredible ambition. Tonally it feels like a really scary Johnny Quest episode involving wild feral Santas. This is one of those Great genre films that popped up at Fantastic Fest 2010. In fact it was Father Geek’s favorite film from that year’s fest. He saw it twice. Both times, I had to be introducing conflicting screenings with Q&As. So I didn’t discover it until the distributor sent me a screener earlier this year and yeah. I totally get it. Father Geek is absolutely right. There’s aspects of THE THING, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, and a ton of shit that I just don’t have a reference for. As for why to own this on BluRay? It is a stunningly beautifully shot and presented film. Action, Horror, Christmas… for the Weird out there – this will become a classic in your household… This is the new CULT CHRISTMAS CLASSIC!
Ok animation aficionados, here ya go… the first 37 theatrical TOM & JERRY cartoons… uncensored and mastered in the pristine beauty of 1080p! Your support of a set like this will eventually get all the truly great cartoons out, no matter what they had in them. If you’ve only ever known the bullshit Tom & Jerry of TV afternoons… Be prepared to be stunned. First the animation is amongst the most beautiful cartoon work of this variety. Tom is bloodthirsty. They get close to ITCHY & SCRATCHY in their ferocity. I love this era of TOM & JERRY – especially the Pac-Man eyes with the Green version of TOM. So manic and scary. Love him! Buy this for everyone! Great Christmas present that promises to warp in the positive ways!
Here’s 4,440 minutes of Barney Miller – the great show starring Hal Linden! The coolest cop ever. Seriously. The show ran from 1974-1982 and was constantly a fixture of conversations in my youth. My parents dug the Greenwich Village Police Captain, and they weren’t usually fond of the Fuzz. As they were radicalized by well, THE MAN. Barney Miller was most definitely not THE MAN, but simply a cool as hell cat! This is pretty much the way to have this show! In addition to all of BARNEY MILLER – you get the spin-off 1st season of FISH, plus the original unaired Pilot! SHOUT! Does great work again!
If you listened to me, you didn’t buy the bad Blu Ray – and you held off for the Criterion like I advised you to do. If so, your happy day is today! Richard Linklater knocked it out of the park with this… I’m still waiting for Linklater’s long gestating College film that is supposed to be a thematic sequel of sorts to this. Alas, I’ll believe it when I see it. Knowing Richard as we do, he could be shooting it right now. He’s a sneaky one that guy is. If you need convincing of this edition’s superiority, here’s what Criterion is giving you:
High-definition digital transfer of the director's cut
Audio commentary by Linklater
Making Dazed, a fifty-minute documentary by Kahane Corn
Rare on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
Footage from the ten-year anniversary celebration
Audition footage and deleted scenes
Original theatrical trailer
Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Kent Jones and more!
This is one of those flicks that reminded me why I love martial arts movies so much. This was my favorite genre as a kid. I found the best Martial Arts films showed the folly of a violent life and the value of being righteous. That the bastards that took only the violent lessons of Martial Arts were corrupted by the power it gave them. While those of the true faith… they could weather starvation, torment and torture – with great calm. The application of the Shaolin lessons are applicable to all things in life. Inner peace is something that allows you to be invincible to many of life’s barbs. This is something reinforced in this fantastic martial arts epic. This film has a GREAT Jackie Chan character… who uses COOKING FU! OUTSTANDING! Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse are essentially Sith Lords to the Shaolin Jedi – the their character arc is – well – awesome! HIGHLY RECOMMEND to lovers of the genre!
A Masterpiece. Unrated. For extreme cult cinema lovers only. It’s likely to burn rage into everyone else. Watch IRREVERSIBLE first – if you can’t take that, you should probably stay away from this. This is where the line is drawn for many film goers of more delicate natures. Personally – the offending scenes – just don’t appear realistic to me. The knowledge that every penis is rubber – and all sex is simulated. Well, that just doesn’t cut it for some. Be wary. This is more intense than most can take. Highly Recommended to those that get it.
The original BBC miniseries based upon John Le Carre’s great Spy story. Spy geeks love this! Alec Guinness’ George Smiley is something I’m looking forward to discovering soon. My best friend, RoRo, highly recommended this to me, when we were talking about wanting to see the new version, which has Gary Oldman in the Alec Guinness role. This has a 20 minute interview with the great spy author! Can’t wait for this to arrive!
I’ve ordered this on the word of my Best Friend. If in the future you hear me refer to him as a Dear Friend, you’ll know why. Just kidding. Alan Rickman is in this – as is Michael Gough and Ian Richardson. It is a sequel mini-series based upon Le Carre’s follow-up book. This is the first time either of these series have been offered on DVD in the U.S. I imagine to the delight of its many fans. Look forward to joining them in admiration soon.
Beware – this film is very rapey. I know some of you can’t stand that – but this is a brutal film about the infamous “Rape of Nanking”. I’ve always heard that phrase and thought it was metaphorically used. I never read up on it. After watching this film. Wow. When the Japanese army conquered Nanking, they really did drop all humanity it seems. This is a real life horrors of war story unlike any I’ve seen before. This Chinese production is a very angry and powerful film. Wasn’t really expecting it to be the film it was. Truly a masterpiece.
Here’s a film that I’ve heard about for a long time, but have never had the opportunity to view until now. I’m wildly fascinated by the Lady Bathory stories – that have given so much awesome inspiration to the Lesbian Vampire films over cinema history. That Julie Delphy wrote, directs and stars in her own adaptation of this tale… I’m fascinated. William Hurt co-stars!
Well, that wraps up October… Next week we start in on November with Pixar’s CARS 2, CRAZY STUPID LOVE, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, TOY STORY 3D Blu-Ray Trilogy!, SCROOGED Blu, THE BIG COUNTRY Blu, THE LAST MOUNTAIN, HOOK Blu, Lon Chaney’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Blu, COP LAND Blu, MAGIC TRIP, BUNRAKU, Alastair Sim version of CHRISTMAS CAROL Blu, TABLOID, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND Blu, AN INVISIBLE SIGN, NO BLADE OF GRASS, MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED, GOING PLACES Blu, Complete TWILIGHT ZONE bundle, JUAREZ, SURVIVE! And much much more!!!