Hey folks, Harry here with this week’s DVD Picks & Peeks columns featuring a lot of BluRays and a couple of actual DVDs. There’s so fun titles on the list today, but definitely check a few of these out. As usual the pics and links take you to Amazon where you can learn more on a title or if you’re feeling so motivated you can purchase it, which would give a little bit back to help keep this column going good. So thank you folks so much. Now, here we go…
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
THE FP is a film that seems at first to be an impossible joke. You look at the trailer and I found myself a bit flabbergasted by the BEAT BEAT REVELATION game. Were they really going to build a feature length movie around the game… not only that, but an entire future lifestyle centered around a DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION knock off that seems to have possibly dire outcomes for some of its players. Could this sustain a feature? FUCK YES! THE FP is actually a complete vision of its particular universe. The language of the film is the first hurdle a viewer must leap over. But as the film goes on, like watching CLOCKWORK ORANGE, the language becomes clear by way of context and manner. But the strange language and way these characters speak… it feels like a completely authentic future dystopian language. In some ways, this could be the rural existence in the middle of Buttfuck, Nowhere in the BLADE RUNNER or MAD MAX universe. Things are not SO bad, but they’re certainly bizarre and not as they are now. I think. Essentially you have a ROCKY / KARATE KID- style story… just around a different sport. The making of the film is even more spectacular – showing how a group of folks all with the same dream came together to create their own cinematic universe. It is brave to dedicate this much energy into creating a completely sustained uniquely voiced world for a film. From the clothing to the makeup to the outlandish characters it all just sells the vision of this particular place. This is a very different science fiction sports film. If you love independent visions, this may entrance ya.
I know folks that shakingly hate this film. Me, I know every song. I’ve never seen the Broadway show, so I know this musical only from the film. I love it. I watch this film and sing along at home loudly. But then, I remember when Madonna felt revolutionary on MTV, I remember being in school when LIKE A VIRGIN belted out – and every kid I knew sung along. In 1996, I was kind of obsessed with her. It was the first year of AICN and it was a musical that I loved completely. I did not get an advance disc on this – so I can’t tell you how wonderful it is. I do know that apparently it’s scantily clad in terms of extras, which is uncool. There’s chatter online about the quality of the video – some complaining of DNR issues – and others saying they don’t see the problems. Whatever, I’ll be finding out soon enough.
Ok – as of today – there are 3 different PROJECT X films on Blu-Ray. The Matthew Broderick & Monkeys flick. The teenage party from hell flick (next) and this William Castle flick, that I’d only ever seen movie paper on. It is produced by Hanna Barbera – and Alex Toth – the brilliant comic artist, animation designer and all around sweetheart of a man… Alex Toth designed this flick – and if you remember those JOHNNY QUEST frogmen badguys, you’ll have a treat for yourself here. This movie is crazy awesome SCI FI – that actually in a bizarre way, holds up to today. In 2118 – it’s essentially a NATO vs ASIA MAJOR universe. BARBARELLA is coming out soon on Blu Ray, I’d recommend watching this along with that. It’s a different kind of movie, but they’re both wonderful Sixties designed futures that are just kind of wild. I’ve a feeling this will get remade… possibly with a different title.
Ok – so I like this flick. It’s about 3 almost cool kids, that live on the fringe, that conspire to throw a huge party. It becomes the greatest underage nightmare from hell party. Remember when Tom Cruise was dancing in his underwear? Remember Guido The Killer Pimp? RISKY BUSINESS? This is a film shot in a less classical manner, trying to do the Camera as character thing. It mainly works. But honestly, I would’ve preferred a film that was just shot. Without that pretense. Whatever the case though… THIS IS A CRAZY PARTY. This is a legendary party. Try to imagine being a teenager at this party and how you’d tell tale about the GREATEST PARTY YOU WERE EVER AT. In many ways – it’s the perfect way to show the movie, to some friends and say, What’s the craziest out of control partying that you’ve ever done. You’ll love or hate of the 3 main kids – they’ve got that likable loser thing going on, but you can tell – this is that moment where they suddenly understood, they could step out from the crowd and be awesome too.
This one kind of didn’t quite gel for me. There’s a tongue in cheek nature to the story that just sat a bit wrong for me. I’ve known folks of varying cultural backgrounds. I just didn’t believe the characters… other than Alan Alda… who is just pure bliss. In many ways, this is the first Paul Rudd flick that I’ve been this wishy washy over. It’s got some fun stuff, but it just didn’t feel like a good movie at the end. Ya know? Nothing to write home about.
Yoko assures me that we’ll be owning this – and that I am going to become a huge fan of it, even if it takes 70 showings strapped in my chair as she drip drops Visine for my held open eyes. People seem to hold it in the same esteem as ANNIE or POPEYE – which I hold as dear classics. I’ve seen the film, but when it came out – and I remember it hazily. I haven’t seen it on the otherside of Bale’s superstardom. So I’m anxious to recheck this movie out.
The Duplass Brothers keep doing fantastic work. Here you have Jason Segel as a man trying to find how he fits in the universe. He’s someone that begins to see the signs in life. Who lives in his mother’s garage. Mom happens to be Susan Sarandon, she’s a working older widower, who pretty much finds herself off the market, so to speak. Ed Helms plays Segel’s responsible asshole brother. And the way the film plays out… it keeps ya guessing. If you like small sweet films, you could dig the hell out of this.
If you love the classic VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED or CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED… Classic SciFi director Jack Arnold tackled the scary powerful children genre by doing it first… and with a GIANT SPACE BRAIN! EXCELLENT. I remember when Dad & I scored this one sheet, then went all over Austin looking to find a copy of it to watch. Excellent work. I kinda love just about any film with an exposed brain. There’s just something right and true about it. Brains look too cool to be covered. Don’t ya think? Kids find a giant brain that controls them… evil like! Wonderful flick to show your kids. Ya know, in case they see a giant brain, they’ll know not to trust it. Important life lessons here!
When Spalding Gray died, Steven Soderbergh decided to spend a great deal of time digging into his life… his interviews, his performances, just everything he could find – and stitched it together to create this film. It’s kind of spectacular. Criterion – you guys continue to rule! There’s a Making of and Spalding Gray’s 1st monologue. Both you must check out!
Here’s an unexpected delight of epic proportions. In 1960 on the Bell Telephone Hour, Groucho Marx got to fulfill a life long ambition to play Ko-Ko in THE MIKADO. Whether you love TOPSY TURVY or the classic MIKADO – do not miss this opportunity to behold the master in a rarely seen performance! There’s a ton of extras on this disc, including interviews with cast members and the amazing Dick Cavett! Great DVD!
I’ve always felt that this had to be a major inspiration to Tim Burton for EDWARD SCISSORHANDS – as they definitely share some themes. There’s seriously no other scifi flick quite like this. I love the transporting of the brain into a robot. I love that the robot retains the soul. This film is just kind of awesome. Wouldn’t you love to have your brain transplanted into a gigantic robot upon death? It’d just be the best thing ever, right?
Amazon only has 20 of these left before they have to restock for more. I haven’t seen this – but damned if I’m not excited to give it a go. This looks like my kind of fun exploitation. Heard fun things about it.
Giancarlo Giannini is planning to kill Mussolini at the start of the Fascist seized power in Italy. But then he meets a prostitute. And well, the story becomes something different. It is a great film for Giannini, he even won Best Actor at Cannes for his work here. Kino’s done great work with this Blu!
Next week I’ll be looking at WRATH OF THE TITANS, 21 JUMP STREET, THE ARTIST, MIRROR MIRROR, THE 39 STEPS Criterion Blu, THE SAMURAI TRILOGY Criterion Blu, Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection Blu, SECTOR 7 Blu, THE NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLY, BULLHEAD, TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS Blu, DELIVERANCE Blu, THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, SOUND OF NOISE, CASABLANCA THE COMPLETE SERIES, LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY, LOVE 3D, BLACK COBRA WOMAN, PERMISSIVE / THAT KIND OF GIRL, and that's about it.