Hey folks, Harry here with this week’s Picks and Peeks. Some wonderful titles this week and a few I’m not so fond of. As usual the images and links take you to Amazon where you can purchase the item in question which actually does give back directly to this column and it’s best efforts. So thank you and here we go…
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Just hands down – GREAT FILM. DELIVERANCE is the nightmare lurking in the minds of anyone contemplating a canoe trip through parts sorta civilized. The casting on this movie is just amazing. The beauty of the film is truly stunning. And the violence of the film – well it’s the kind you try and forget and never mention. There’s even the most amazing spontaneous musical number – which might fool you for a half second into believing this could be A COUNTRY BEAR JAMBOREE, but no. No. Most certainly no, this isn’t SPLASH MOUNTAIN… Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox are all just perfect. Note perfect. These 4 actors were all at such an absolute beginning in terms of what this film did for them. There’s a beautiful special feature shot at Burt Reynolds’ museum with the four of them remembering making this film. It’s spectacular. This Blu-Book is absolutely the way to go with DELIVERANCE. One of the great films, Boorman unleashed with a mighty film this outing. Also, the audio on this edition is just flat out DTS-HD 5.1 surround this time out, and that’s what we like.
This film – mad love for this film. Bought this on 16mm, because I love this movie so much. Wanna see where NORTH BY NORTHWEST comes from? Wanna see where pretty much all those kinds of films came from? The romantic foreign intrigue genre? Hitchcock practically invented the genre. This and THE LADY VANISHES just sort of cemented that fact. But this film. For me, this is the one that got me geeking out on Hitchcock. Donat’s banter with Madeline Carroll… It reminds me of the dialogue between Han & Leia throughout Empire Strikes Back. The same sort of energy that Cary Grant uses so perfectly later on in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. This is my favorite of Hitchcock’s British films. My fave B&W for the record is SHADOW OF A DOUBT. Fave color is kind of REAR WINDOW. But then, I love pretty much every Hitchcock film ever made, though MR & MRS SMITH – while fine, just doesn’t feel enough like Hitch for my tastes. In THE 39 STEPS – you wouldn’t mistake any other filmmaker as making it. That gallow’s humor is rich and deep. The growing stature of the conspiracy is just awesome.
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural
Audio commentary by Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane
Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a British documentary
Original footage from broadcaster Mike Scott's 1966 TV interview with Hitchcock
Complete broadcast of the 1937 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation
Visual essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff
Excerpts from Francois Truffaut?s 1962 audio interview with Hitchcock
Original production design drawings
English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Cairns
I loved this film, as you probably saw in last week’s AINT IT COOL show, but I do not exaggerate, this is the beariest bear flick you ever did claw for. The Grizzly in question doesn’t seem to be a very ferocious animal, but goddamn the wake of cadavers of every sort of critter both big and small. This bear knows how to kill, but it doesn’t know the first thing about dying. People shoot it repeatedly. Just pisses the bear off. And yes, this bear, like Moby Dick and Jaws… it carries a fucking grudge. Like Ming the Merciless it likes to toy with its prey before annihilation. Nobody and nothing is safe in this movie. The guys in DELIVERANCE take solace in the fact they didn’t have to deal with this fucking bear, because this bear would’ve won. Burt’s bow would be toothpick material for this bear! I love man against nature movies, especially when nature has a stacked deck like this super Grizzly has going for it. And in my monkey mind, I totally accept it. Cartridges were undependable back in them days. A bad ammo dealer would sell light cartridges to spread his profit – and folks would be essentially hurling lead balls quickly at a bear – making the bear go, WHAT THE FUCK STOP THROWING SHIT AT ME – and then killing everything you own. I mean, bears can do this sort of thing. Look at that Yogi Bear movie, that was a really smart bear. This one though… this bear would eat Yogi and all the picnic baskets. This bear plays for keeps.
Do you love the beauty of the world and spontaneous musical explosions? Want to see a film where you question how you go about performing a gig? SOUND OF NOISE is a musical terrorist film, where a group of percussionist decide to bring metaphysical perfection to the universe through their musical anarchy. And yeah, that sounds pretentious and shit, but really brothers & sisters it isn’t. The film is just plum beautiful. It really is. One of those beautiful perfect oddities that I bless Karrie League, one of my fellow FANTASTIC FEST programmers for finding. The movie is just perfect blissful wow. Discover it, shake off that saccharine husk of mainstream and embrace the weird awesome of this work from Sweden!
Knowing the films this mined made me immune to it’s charms. I just saw it as a pale glimmer of the genuine magic of the eras it was attempting to conjure – and for many, it genuinely did that. Maybe if I get loaded and I have watched something to get in a completely open mood. It is amazing that it won Best Picture – and I love that Jean Dujardin and Michel Hazanavicius have finally been given their Stateside due, but personally I prefer both OSS117 flicks they did, which you can check out on Netflix Instant. If you do love this movie and it has genuinely woke you up to Silent cinema, then folks – be prepared for a glorious journey of discovery. There are silent films that will blow your mind. Hilarious, Unbelievable stunts, truly astonishing sets and physical feats. The melodramas are especially potent. I always try to keep you aware of the best Silent releases on this column. So many great films just waiting to be watched. If y’all want I’ll constuct a basic Silent Film cheat sheet to get you kick started in the right directions. If y’all want.
Ok – so ya say ya love Samurai movies, eh? Then you know of the SAMURAI TRILOGY – that one starring Toshiro Mifune and directed by the great Inagaki, right? This is a wondrous trilogy of films that follows Mifune from being a bit of a troublemaker and over the course of the series you see him mature into – well – a samurai god. If like me, you’ve never seen 35 mm prints on a big screen of this – then you know the films from Criterion’s revelatory original DVD release. So why upgrade? The contrast folks. The BluRay on this film is just night and day quality difference. Everything has a better texture and depth and quality. Vast improvement. That’s probably got to do with their digital restoration of all 3 films which is absolute aces folks! Sit back an evening and devour this Mifune performance. You’ll never be sorry you did.
Yeah, I absolutely did not like this film. Not that I was ever particularly super hot on the original series when it hit. But I had way too many people tell me this was the funniest fucking thing ever – and yeah, no. Nope, didn’t do it for me. I never care about these guys. I don’t like either of these characters. They’re both dicks. I actually prefer all the High Schoolers. I just didn’t buy these two working together. Ever. It just didn’t feel right to me. I’ll give it another shot at some point, but yeah, this just didn’t make me happy at all.
So I hated the first one. But was instantly intrigued when I realized they were doing something completely new with Perseus. I like Perseus as a widowed father trying to raise a son outside the realm of the magically fucked up nightmares that share this Earth with man. I agree with that. He’s trying to stay out of the shit, but when you’re the son of Zeus Almighty, you’re gonna get called on to do some pretty gnarly brave as fuck shit. While I don’t feel anything other than the big baddie at the end has even the slightest iconic weight, I enjoy the spectacle of this film. I find it hard to even recall the remake of CLASH OF THE TITANS – I remember a terrible Medusa – and the worst 3D conversion ever. But mainly I remember thinking that it came up short on every conceivable level. This one exceeded all expectations that I had for it. So bravo. I’m actually anxious to see what this director does with NINJA TURTLES. Could be huge.
Holy Shit Awful. Lily Collins is absolutely lovely. But everything else – WOW BAD. Like I can’t believe what I’m seeing bad. Dialogue from hell. When the Bollywood song at the end kicks in, you realize that had this been a musical, it would have just been another flavor of shit. Like shit if you only ate chocolate for a week kind of shit. But it’d still be shit. This is just terrible.
It doesn’t have the PRESTIGE, but it has the others. MEMENTO, INSOMNIA, INCEPTION, BATMAN BEGINS & THE DARK KNIGHT. That said, I doubt if anyone that reads this column doesn’t already have those titles, if they were ever interested. I mean, seriously. Raise your hand if you don’t have these? This set is basically just a repackabe with a book. But at $29.99 – it’s an excellent gift set for a friend that doesn’t have them. Right? I mean, that’s one helluva deal.
This is basically a South Korean SyFy movie about Oil riggers that end up unleashing something foul in a fake-bad CG creature that just does not look good, but it also looks gross. So that helps. But they’re totally trying to be a James Cameron movie – like ABYSS meets ALIENS. And it’s kind of hokey fun at that level – but know that you’re in for a lot of cheese! Funky genre fun.
Nominated for BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – thus getting DRAFTHOUSE FILMS into the Awards world in its first year of existence. Engarde mutherfuckers! Can’t wait to see what’s next. This is a crime film involving the meat world. That guy on the cover of the BluRay? He’s Matthias Schoenaerts – and he’s unbelievably great in BULLHEAD, imagine if Travis Bickle had been born into the Meat world. He’s turned himself into a bit of a crazy brutal ticking time bomb, and just like with DeNiro’s Bickle, you’re held in rapt attention waiting for the explosion. And genuinely fearing it. Corruption feeds upon everything, this is a film that affirms that. Great movie.
If you buy this and watch it right before you watch WRATH OF THE TITANS – or after. Either way, it’ll have a similar effect. You see, these aren’t the heights of their respective genre… the fantasy film, but it’s outlandish in its own particular way. Miles O’Keefe… he’s kind of special as ATOR. Ator is a special level of agonizing awesome all its own. And Ator’s baby bear! So awesome. Yeah, you know ya gotta know? You’ve got to know, does an eagle fight? And how cool is it?
That’s it for this week, but July brings us BARBARELLA Blu, MOST DANGEROUS GAME Blu, GOW THE HEADHUNTER Blu, TREASURE PLANET Blu, THE HUNTER, GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE ENTITY Blu, SIX PACK, THE PIRATE MOVIE, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY Blu, DJANGO KILL Blu, STEP UP Blu, CRIME DOES NOT PAY shorts collection, GREAT KILLING, THE DEVIL’S NEEDLE, TOUGH ENOUGH, BILLY THE KID and that’s it.