Hey folks, Harry here… This month is always one of the toughest one me, simply due to the addition of BUTT-NUMB-A-THON duties that tend to take up my typing time. That said, as BNAT solidifies I found myself with the time to bang through this. SO – here’s the rest of NOVEMBER… As usual the pictures and titles link over to Amazon, where your purchases really are appreciated, because part of the purchase price goes to help keep this column going. Which I intend to continue to always do, no matter what. Sorry to get behind. I’ll endeavor to do better. Here ya go…
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
In 1984 – METROPOLIS was known to readers of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and the serious cinephiles of the world… but for the great masses, METROPOLIS didn’t exist. Certainly not as it does today. KINO’s Complete METROPOLIS is one of the miracles of my film going life. When I saw Moroder’s presentation of METROPOLIS in 1984… I’d never seen anything like it before. I’d seen silent films, but they were always accompanied by a quant organist that usually played a very heavily repetitive score that made me zone out and get sleepy. Nobody got sleepy during Moroder’s METROPOLIS. At the time, he was saving the film. When it came out, it was the most complete version of the film that all but the oldest of film lovers had seen. The bombastic score and songs made METROPOLIS rock! Not mildly either. METROPOLIS was transformed into a pop-rock opera and as Freddie Mercury, Adam Ant, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Squier and Pat Benatar belted out the tunes that seemed to fit the story perfectly… I became a life long lover of this film. Suddenly – Everyone knew METROPOLIS – and it caused film restoration geeks to continue searching with the dream of having a complete METROPOLIS one day. BUT – would we be there today without what Moroder did here? Who knows? Nobody can say, but for me… This became my favorite silent film at this point – and a favorite odd experimental piece of cinema. That’s why I played it a couple years back at BUTT-NUMB-A-THON – and the collector whose 35mm print we played… well this print is the exact print that played BNAT. When Moroder heard it screened – well, KINO got involved, got the print and now here we are. SO YIPPEE! The film is now in 5.1 DTS HD – which means those songs and that score that I fell gaga in love with… HOLY SHIT – wow. I’ve been doing a lot of BNAT and work here at the house with this movie playing on a loop when I just need to work. I LOVE THE FILM. You can party with it – and 1 day I will throw a METROPOLIS themed party here at the house and it will be a happy night of class separation. This film is about exactly what the OCCUPY movement is about today. The separation of the Rich and everybody else. Who will be our Freder though? The second happiest release of 2011 for me, right behind Criterion’s release of Cocteau’s BELLE ET LA BETE! Geek must own!
This is one of the most beautifully cinematic films that Robert Wise made in his life. The lighting and transition effects make the film feel like one of the most beautiful impressionistic films ever…. Literally looking painted at times… I really do feel that nobody should be allowed to have a gang, unless that gang has a signature dance that they move in as a group while massing down a street… And all gangs should dress like these guys. No matter what, they’ll still be stupid violent dumb fucks, but at least they could do it with style like the Jets and the Sharks… the best film ever to doublebill with THE WARRIORS… play WARRIORS 2nd on that bill. The Blu-Ray is beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen as this played. Stephen Sondheim does a song specific commentary, there is an In-Movie Viewing Mode that’s fun, but the best special features are on the 2nd Blu-Ray in this set which has a fantastic making of, but in particular I love the Storyboard to Film comparison montage. I just geek out on that kind of thing. This is the way to own this film!
One of the great tragedies of death, was when it took Krzysztof Kieslowski from us at the height of his film prowess. These 3 films are so passionate, so uniquely from the voice of Kieslowski. The use of color and music to evoke a response from the viewer is incredibly powerful. I watched BLUE and RED tonight - Didn't want to start WHITE, as I knew I'd be finishing up the column before I could finish it and really wanted to just go to bed. Secret BNAT stuff in the morning - which isn't long from now. I wish Kieslowski was still making movies - if only so Robogeek would be constantly drooling in anticipation. Besides, I would have loved to have seen his superhero flick. Kidding. Criterion did not come up short on these blus. The picture quaility is everything that you would hope for these stunners. And as for the extras? Here ya go:
New high-definition digital restorations, with DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray editions
Three cinema lessons with director Krzysztof Kieślowski
New interviews with composer Zbigniew Preisner; writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz; and actors Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Irène Jacob
Selected-scene commentary for Blue with actress Juliette Binoche
Three new video essays, by film writers Annette Insdorf, Tony Rayns, and Dennis Lim
Kieślowski’s student short The Tram (1966) and his fellow student’s short from the same year The Face, which features Kieślowski in a solo performance
Two short documentaries by Kieślowski: Seven Women of Different Ages (1978) and Talking Heads (1980)
Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So . . . (1995), a feature-length documentary in which the filmmaker discusses his life and work
Two multi-interview programs, Reflections on “Blue” and Kieślowski: The Early Years, with film critic Geoff Andrew, Binoche, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, cinematographer Sławomir Idziak, Insdorf, Jacob, and editor Jacques Witta
Interviews with producer Marin Karmitz and Witta
Behind-the-scenes programs for White and Red, and Kieślowski Cannes 1994, a short documentary on Red’s world premiere
Original theatrical trailers
New and improved English subtitle translations
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Colin MacCabe, Nick James, Stuart Klawans, and Georgina Evans, an excerpt from Kieślowski on Kieślowski, and reprinted interviews with cinematographers Sławomir Idziak, Edward Klosinski, and Piotr Sobocinski
I would put Dominic Cooper’s dual role performance in THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE against every other performance in film this year and say… definitively that he deserves a nomination for BEST ACTOR – and by the time it comes for me to create my list of the best films of 2011 – if the film doesn’t make that list – I will definitely be singling Dominic Cooper out as my favorite male performance of 2011. Lee Tamahori knocked the story of Saddam’s son Uday and as Uday’s double known as Latif. I love this film like I love SCARFACE. The big moments are amazing, the small moment simmer and as it plays out you really begin to realize just what a monster Uday was – and just how horrible it would be to be his double. Also, Ludivine Sagnier is smoking in this film. Sexy, gorey and awesome from beginning to end. Really wonderful movie – do not under any circumstances let it pass you by.
This film feels so friggin weird. It is a film about taking command over your life, even as you’re headed straight into the gutter. That you make the hard decisions, you go back to school and you get the resources to rebuild your life. That it isn’t impossible – and by doing that, you may discover an entirely new world to live. That’s what happens to Larry Crowne. He loses everything and with hard work and sacrifice… that ethic that so many of my generation’s Grandfathers told us was the secret to surviving the Great Depression. However, there’s something that feels artificial about Tom Hanks playing the Henry Fonda kind of character. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but I don’t believe in Larry Crowne, even as I love the message… it just feels a bit easy. The film seems to be marching directly at turning Larry’s life around and that’s a great happy story, but I wonder how it works in reality. Now, I’m not an automatic Julia Roberts hater… but Hanks’ Crowne could do way better. I get the idea that the sheerest way for him to end back in the gutter is to get in a relationship with her. Just saying. It’s a sweet film, I just didn’t quite buy it all.
Ok – I know, we’ve all bought countless editions of EVIL DEAD 2 on DVD… but ya know what – I feel no remorse out of being leeched by this film. This film gave me some of the best nights of friendship ever. EVIL DEAD 2 is one of those films that when you hear someone hasn’t seen it, you play it that night. Well, for the foreseeable future, the version you should show them is this 25th Anniversary Edition on Blu Ray. The film has seriously never looked better. The previous print on Blu, while I felt was a vast improvement over DVD, here… they’ve gone back to the negative and really have given us a far higher degree of richness and detail to the image. Really beautiful transfer. There’s a new 100 min long documentary that’s very fun. This is just one of the great genre geek movies. Movie geeks found it. Movie geeks propelled it into the mainstream – and it is a real success that geek films that don’t explode upon initial release should take heart from. Film geeks don’t let go of the great films, even if the masses take 5-10-20 years to find and financially embrace. EVIL DEAD 2 is one of the tenets of geek movie love!
I love this film. I love Rex Harrison, but I feel dedicated to Audrey Hepburn. She’s one of those ladies that hit the screen and whom I was introduced cinematically as what a great lady was. Audrey Hepburn is just a dream. Watching her transformation in this movie is one of the great performances in film history. Sure, I know she didn’t sing the songs, that was the amazing lungs of Marni Nixon – who is a stunning singer… But then, it was everything else about Audrey that I fell in love with. Watch her as Rex Harrison pontificate, fix your gaze on her. Watch as she struggles to understand him, watch as she catches his meaning and understands and is hurt by his actions. Watch the frustration as she works through the very difficult work of learning to speak proper – and she’s dancing circles around THE KING’S SPEECH. MY FAIR LADY is more than a musical, it’s pure iconography upon the screen. The great George Cukor knocked this one out of the park. I watched this with Yoko on the eve to her first trip to London. Such a sweet film to share with one you love. The extras are awesome, but my fave stuff is actually getting to see some of the scenes and songs as Audrey actually performed them. Just amazing stuff! Great Blu!
So Ewan McGregor plays a depressed self-loathing artist, whose father (Christopher Plummer) upon the death of his life-long wife… declares he’s gay only to discover he has life threatening cancer. The film takes place after Ewan’s father is dead and Ewan has a great emptiness in his life. That’s where Melanie Laurent steps in. Their introductory scene at a Halloween party is perhaps my favorite character meeting moment in film this year. I do love throwing my own Halloween party – and I love that cupid has struck for friends of ours while they were not themselves. The flashbacks to Ewan’s life with his dad come naturally as his mind takes him to thoughts of his father, returning us to him… depressed at having missed his father. I have to admit it. I can’t stand this film even as I love everything about it. Why? I just don’t like thinking about my Dad dying. I’ll be honest – it scares the shit out of me. I lost Mom basically right out of High School, but she had become someone I could no longer be friends with. My father and I have been best friends for life. Even now, he’s my favorite person on the planet to talk film and film geek stuff with. Oh – and you see that dog? That dog on the cover? That dog rules!
You can save 52% on this by buying from Amazon. That saves you $104 – which is nothing to sneeze at. I’ve never really dove into FARSCAPE. I have friends that threaten all the time to educate my ignorant ass – and I suppose some day we’ll do that. But at 4086 minutes – I don’t know when I’ll be able to digest it. And that’s why I haven’t dove in. The Blu Ray is packed with extras, like 31 audio commentaries, 3 documentaries, tons of deleted and alternate and extra goodies.
We talk about MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, MAN FROM UNCLE, I SPY and the other great spy series of the sixties, but one you haven’t heard much about. One starring Robert Wagner, could very well be the best of them all. Essentially, imagine if Hitchcock’s great TO CATCH A THIEF were an on-going series, where Cary Grant had to STEAL things for the U.S. government. I watched a few episodes and I have to say – this is fascinating. This is a show worth discovering. Can’t wait to get to the episodes with Fred Astaire playing his father!
For $20, yeah it’s worth it. But someone has got to do a better job on this set. Michael Mann’s CRIME STORY is amazing. Starring Dennis Farina, David Caruso, Stephen Lang, Bill Campbell and others… the show was kind of amazing. Set in the sixties Chicago – guest stars like Julia Roberts, Stanley Tucci, Pam Grier, Andrew Dice Clay, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Madsen… this played brilliantly when I originally watched it. Now – rewatching it – it amazes me how many of today’s best and brightest were throughout this series. If you’ve never seen it – you must discover it. GREAT STUFF! Includes the 2 hour pilot!!!
Sheer Fucking Ecstacy! I can’t hug the screen enough. I love this. Love this. Love this. Except that much of the 3rd disc is in Standard Def, which kinda pisses me off, but overall I love love love it. Having a pristine 1080p version of THE GREAT PIGGY BANK ROBBERY would have had me purchasing this set all on its own. It’s amongst my favorite things ever. It just is. Brilliant. Some of the best cartoons in Warner’s history is on this set – a complete list is available on Amazon by clicking on the above link. It really is a delight. Tons of extras – and hours of loving happiness! The Looney Tunes rock more than any gallery of animated characters in history. These toons make me about as happy as I can be. That’s why I bought my copy.
A pretty fantastic film that I wished was a slight bit more fanciful. The film is about a pair of fairly dysfunctional best friends that as their hobby – have been preparing for the post-apocalypse. They’ve made their own vehicles, their own weapons – including a pretty fucking badass flame-thrower that if you had the juice would make you rule in the P.A. The film shows what happens when one of the friends ends up in a relationship… how that impacts their friendship. I won’t discuss my one single wish for the movie, because it goes far too far into spoiler territory for a mere Blu ray review… but if you’re ever curious and you meet me, feel free to bring this up. Sure it’s a cheesy conversation, but I just can’t help myself. It’s what I wish the film had become. Definitely discover this film either on Blu or some other method. It has more champions than haters and should grow in estimation over time. I think.
In the farcical game of crowning a film as the greatest film of all time – many feel that Jean Renoir’s THE RULES OF THE GAME is the very greatest of films ever made. You have to understand that the notion of proclaiming any film as definitively the greatest – well… Ok, but when you’re drunk with friends at 2am – wouldn’t you rather watch EVIL DEAD 2? Probably, but if you were to put on THE RULES OF THE GAME and let it work its magic on you… you could find the way you look at life different. It can change what film is for you. It’s the kind of film that has elegant magic at play. You’ll feel caught in its spell and the evening will turn into something beautiful. I’ve only previewed the image quality on this, which is fantastic btw, as I can’t wait to hatch this film on Yoko. She’s never seen it and has no idea what she’s in for. But it’ll absolutely become one of her favorites. That will be a sweet night. Here’s the package that Criterion has in store for you…
High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir
Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
Comparison of the film’s two endings
Olivier Curchod Presents “The Rules of the Game,” a 2005 documentary comparing today’s 106-minute edit with Renoir’s original script
Scene analysis by Renoir historian Chris Faulkner
Excerpts from Jean Renoir, le patron: La règle et l’exception (1966), a French television program by filmmaker Jacques Rivette
Part one of Jean Renoir, a two-part 1993 BBC documentary by film critic David Thompson
Video essay about the film’s production, release, and 1959 reconstruction
1965 interview from the French television series Les écrans de la ville in which Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and rerelease of the film
Interviews with set designer Max Douy; Renoir’s son, Alain; and actress Mila Parély
PLUS: A booklet featuring writings by Jean Renoir, François Truffaut, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Bertrand Tavernier; an essay by Sesonske; and tributes to the film and Renoir by J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders, Robert Altman, and others
INFERNAL AFFAIRS is such a great movie. I am really quite fond of Scorsese’s remake… but the original cel phone trace scene in this film. I don’t know why exactly, but it makes me geek out. Andy Lau and Tony Leung are so great here. The action is absolutely fantastic. Watching this and THE DEPARTED back to back is a real treat. Not only do you get the masterful original, but you see how a master director could adapt a film so wonderfully crafted and different as to perfectly co-exist. That is too rare of a treat these days. Great Hong Kong flick!
This isn’t a great film, but it is a satisfactory and frankly endearing one. Griff is a superhero, in a manner of speaking – and it is in discovering that manner of speaking that you really do kind of fall for the film. It’s goofy and the cinema of it is not entirely satisfying, but I liked it. Ryan Kwanten is just a kind of lovable persona. If you watch every superhero everything like me, give it a shot. It surprised me.
Ok – so this Blu Ray showed up at my house and I looked at the cover and realized… I think this is a film where Malcolm McDowell has an escort business out of some idyllic college campus. That could very well be a perfectly satisfying romp of a fun sexy flick, McDowell’s persona alone made me put it in. I watched the whole thing. Couldn’t really take it out. I was convinced that there would be some scene of Malcolm, 4 or 5 naked escort/co-eds and possibly naked foul demon spawn. I mean. POUND OF FLESH, right? Alas – this is an extraordinarily plain and mediocre film with zero titillation, zero wit and only the constant class of Malcolm McDowell to hold your interest. It really isn’t quite enough. This was a boring wretch of a flick. STEER CLEAR.
The Terrence Fisher HAMMER production of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA with Herbert Lom as the masked madman is actually my third favorite version. Chaney first followed up with Claude in second. After Lom is Robert Englund’s rather sleazy awesome telling. I love Christine’s voice in this and having the great Michael Gough running around certainly didn’t hurt… although he won’t remind you much of Alfred in this movie! The music is to be heralded, but the iconography of Lon Chaney can not be denied. He’s something from a nightmare. If you haven’t given this telling a chance, do so – it’ll surprise you!
I’ve never seen this. I’ve had the one-sheet for the better part of my life – and while flipping through lobby cards, I was convinced that the movie had to be a hoot. And I do mean HOOT! I love Donald O’Connor and the thought of him doing “Me and My Shadow” literally gets me excited. I am that much of a musical geek. Especially musical comedy! It is hard to beat Donald O’Connor in the genre. This has been ordered!
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Here’s another of those films that stars Henry Fonda that literally feels like it could just be one of the best movies ever as you’re watching it. Fonda had a habit of making those kinds of movies. Films that felt like you were being given simple hard truths about things that needed to be said. Henry Fonda is sort of the national conscience in cinema. In 12 ANGRY MEN, he’s one of 12 fantastic performances. Looking at the cover, if you’ve ever seen the film – you have an opinion on each of those faces. A moment where one of them pissed you off or made you laugh, that made you shake your head in shame or that made you proud to be in the room just watching them. 12 ANGRY MEN is a great film and Criterion has given it the attention it deserves. From that beautiful cover to the following extras:
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the blu-ray edition
Frank Schaffner’s 1955 television version, with an introduction by Ron Simon, director of the Paley Center for Media Studies
“12 Angry Men”: From Television to the Big Screen, a video essay by film scholar Vance Kapley comparing the Sidney Lumet and Schaffner versions
Archival interviews with Lumet
New interview about the director with writer Walter Bernstein
New interview with Simon about television writer Reginald Rose
New interview with cinematographer John Bailey in which he discusses cinematographer Boris Kaufman
Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956), a teleplay directed by Lumet and written by Rose
Original theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum
I just fucking love it. Ok. There, I said it. I want full feature films put on by the persona of Max Fischer – put on in a theatrical old school Hollywood soundstage as everything kind of film. In a way, I try to fool myself into thinking that perhaps TROPIC THUNDER is an adult Max Fischer flick… only it wasn’t quite as brilliant as Max would’ve made it. I also love Olivia Williams, I love her because she entertains the romance of Max in her fashion, but I love that she fucks Bill Murray. I respect that. That’s the actions of a really awesome gal. My favorite character in the whole affair is Seymour Cassel as Max’s father. He’s just… perfect. Absolutely perfect. Just like all of Wes Anderson’s work so far for me. They are films that produce constant shit-eating grins from start to finish.
As much as I love the movie, the making of SUPER 8 is an amazing story. When you discover just how incredibly personal this film is… How the movie itself was created by a group of boys that all literally started out making Super 8 Movies together as teenagers… How Spielberg came into their lives at an early age, seemingly by chance… well, watching the Making of just got me smiling from start to finish. I love life long dreams come to fruition. Everytime I hear the story I always realize that someone else’s dream will come true too and that thought is delicious. Realizing childhood dreams with a group of childhood friends is something very few can dream of. Which is why I love working with my childhood best friend on AICN and see it as the miracle it is. THEN – you have the wish-fantasy of SUPER 8. This is one helluva yarn to of had as a child and I can appreciate the dream. What kid didn’t want to encounter an alien and survive? Does it help that it takes place at the exact point in time that I was a kid? Absolutely. It makes the fantasy exquisitely easy for me to indulge. Now, let’s see STAR TREK 2!
A truly wonderful silly fun movie. The internal logic of this movie is fucking nuts – and that is exactly as it should be. I never saw THREE AMIGOS in theaters. At the time, I thought it looked entirely too silly. Now, I find it exquisitely silly. Definitely the silliest adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI… sillier even than A BUG’S LIFE. The film gave a generation a salute of silly that instantly binds those that do it as brothers or sisters of this classic. It feels like a live action Mickey, Donald & Goofy cartoon. That’s kind of splendid! On Blu, the old fashioned look of the film just glows and is radiant. Guaranteed to put you in a better mood.
It really isn’t that good of a film. I like Ron Perlman. I think Jason Momoa with a better director could possibly take on the role, but not with this writing and not with Marcus Nispel. Much of the film looks spectacularly EMPTY. The nudity feels artificial, whereas in the original it felt natural. CONAN as a character is… frankly not Conan. He’s missing about 7 different character traits. Alas. Buy this only if you have that CONAN animated series, cuz that was way better…. And it sucked too. This isn’t KULL THE CONQUEROR bad, this is watchable, but I turned it off before it was over on 2nd viewing. Can’t imagine I’ll be watching it again.
BIRTH OF A NATION can not be praised enough as the historical work of cinema that forever changed film and helped transform the medium from being a carnival trick, to creating the world of Cinema that we recognize today. That BIRTH OF A NATION is still as controversial today as it was in its day… well that’s possibly the truest sign of it’s right to be considered ART and HISTORY. The Ku Klux Klan stuff is pretty fucking intolerable, but the rest of the film. The work of Lillian Gish… she’s amazing. Even more so in WAY DOWN EAST below. Kino has put together a 3 disc set – with BIRTH OF A NATION on Blu-Ray… the spoken introductions by D.W. Griffith and Walter Huston were amazing to me. Then you get 2 DVDs that have quite a bit of D.W. Griffith’s work, all of which is detailed on the above AMAZON site. If you take film seriously, you owe it to yourself to discover BIRTH OF A NATION – and realize – it’s the first real feature film that really resembles film of today.
Your enjoyment of this film will vary dependent largely upon how you come to love Lillian Gish. She has an ethereal quality to her… an actress that really does come from a different era. The way she looks – the costumes… but what I love is here we have a melodrama from 1920 about a gal that got totally trashed by life. Knocked up, baby dies… the sort of thing that destroys some people, but Gish’s lady reforges her life, dares to attempt love again – and it is a powerful story – especially for the era. KINO has done a fantastic job with this release. KINO is really doing wonderful work with bringing silent’s and classic films to Blu Ray. We need far more releases though. So much yet to come.
Yup, that’s Conan’s dad, William Smith on the box – and he’s the HOLLYWOOD MAN – and yeah, that’s Mary Woronov and she’s totally going to score with the HOLLYWOOD MAN… and after this film, you’re going to always SING the words HOLLYWOOD MAN – because in HOLLYWOOD MAN – there is an absolutely ridiculously terrible, yet catchy theme song called HOLLYWOOD MAN! You have to see this film, it’s one that Quentin Tarantino introduced at one of his classic QT fests!
If your family enjoys the original SPY KIDS trilogy, then they should be adequately entertained by the 4th installment. Though I don’t love these kids nearly as much as the original Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara SPY KIDS. But I really love the robotic dog. I’m easy sometimes and C.H.O.M.P.S. still reigns supreme until I get my BLUE FALCON & DYNOMUTT movie with George Clooney as BLUE FALCON and Owen Wilson as Dynomutt. Right? No, not Owen. Who’d be a good DYNOMUTT?
This is just fucking fantastic. If you don’t agree, I weep for you.
Oh fucking hell yeah! A tale of Hillbilly hate and redneck revenge from 1973? If you look this film up on IMDB and read the review – that review has me laughing and I feel like I must experience the pain. Why? Because I feel like I should witness this kind of shit, because who else will? Right?
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
I didn’t really love this. It is fascinating to watch, but awfully repetitive, but frankly… I can watch anything that I get to hear Werner Herzog’s voice doing the narration. Never got to see this in 3D at a theater dammit! If Werner Herzog obsessing on a single cluster of Cave Paintings for a long good time sounds right for you, check it out. If it sounds like you’re gonna be staring at a painting on a wall for a long time and that scares you. You should probably skip it.
Ok – you see the cover? If that scares you. If you think, “This looks like shit!” That’s what I thought. Then I put it in. I really dig the living shit out of TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL. This film is pretty fucking funny and is a great 1-joke film that absolutely gets how to milk it for everything and not feel cheap. If you love Alan Tudyk, it’s a must check out!
Perhaps it was that their ONE DAY, the day that brings them back together throughout the film happens to be Yoko and mine’s Wedding day… and just that bit all on its own kinda makes the film intolerable to watch for me. I just didn’t like either character enough to ever really root for either of them. In fact more than anything, I found myself hoping they never saw each other again. Because everytime they get together, it’s pretty terribly miserable. By the time they get their shit together, I’ve disliked them more than not. This romance just fell flat to me.
This film is a whole lot of fun. What makes it work is that Jesse Eisenberg is playing it like a man that has not yet lived that has a bomb strapped to his chest and simply must do whatever it takes to survive. The film is violently funny. Terribly mean and hilarious. Aziz and Jesse rule… But Danny McBride owns this film with his brilliant plans – This would be an interesting double feature with BELLFLOWER, from earlier in the list. Play this second. Because Danny and Nick will remind you of the BELLFLOWER duo to a degree.
Everything you need to know about this movie is on that cover. The dream of a movie that that artwork evokes… the film delivers. The names upon the case… Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas… each, living up to the utmost that their names mean to you. Lee & Cushing are a pair of 19th/20th century anthropologists – there’s a prehistoric thawed creature that turns victims into bleeding eyed zombies… Telly is an absolutely fucking bugnuts Cossack officer … and the film…. The film is all set aboard a racing Trans-Siberian Express of that era – and the film is stunning. This film print is beautiful. So fucking gorgeous. I find Blu-Rays like this one to be a genuine miracle. So happy to have this!
A Jewish Frankenstein creation of Hitlers? A Burlesque Strip dancing Statue of Liberty shaking its tits at a giant Godzilla sized fanged sperm…. Zombies… all manner of ridiculous absurdities. Not entirely satisfying, but something fun to have on in the background. The film is fun though. If you have friends over – you’re getting a bit drunk and want to laugh and talk over a film – this is that kind of party film. Unless you’re in a rotten mood in which case you’ll be miserable.
HOLY SHIT! The long fabled STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN – the musical version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring BASIL RATHBONE as Scrooge. I ordered this just now – because I’m so excited at the notion of seeing Rathbone as a Singing Scrooge. The notion is a bit mind-boggling really. Can not wait to see this!
I really kind of dug Renny Harlin’s 5 DAYS OF WAR between Russia and Georgia that took place during the Chinese Olympic games! The movie has Andy Garcia as the President of Georgia, Val Kilmer as a bit of a hippie war / Hot Zone correspondent, Dean Cain plays an advisor to Andy Garcia. Roller Girl is great in her bit in the film. This is a bit of a hard film. Really showing the brutality that happened in just 5 days. Not great, but completely watchable. Surprisingly good.
Amazon is out of stock of this, but I will eventually possess this movie – and it is only because my grandfather used to race those kinds of racing cars back in the day – and I need to watch this… one just to see cars of that era being amazing. But two… I want to see how close to the dream that poster evokes, the film actually is. So dynamic. Can’t wait. Amazon, get more copies!
Alright, that’s it for November and I’m all caught up. In less than 8 hours I must be awake and alertly elsewhere, so let’s get to the preview for our first week of December: We’ll be checking out HANGOVER Part 2, COWBOYS & ALIENS, THE HELP, THE DEBT, more MST3K, DRAGON TATTOO TRILOGY Extended Edition, TORA! TORA! TORA! Blu-Book, LADY VANISHES Criterion Blu, REACH FOR THE SKY, DESIGN FOR LIVING Criterion Blu, MEDEA Blu, POINT BLANK Blu, RAPT and that’s about it! See ya next week…