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Harry's DVD PICKS & PEEKS - 1st week of July 2012: BARBARELLA, best Cruise acting ever, Bobcat's latest, THE ENTITY on Blu, TREASURE PLANET blu and much much more!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with this week’s DVD Picks & Peeks. BARBARELLA is obviously a must, but be sure to pick up THE ENTITY – if you like scary fucking ghost movies – do not NOT get it. SO good! Sorry, very happy to finally get a really great print of that film. Anyway – as usual the pics and links take you to Amazon where you can learn more about the release and if motivated you can buy it – if you do, it helps to support the efforts of this column, for which I’m eternally grateful. Now – without further pomp, here we go…

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012





BARBARELLA Blu-Ray

Roger Vadim directed this rather perfect oddity of cinema. I’ve always seen it as my mother saw the film. She thought that Jane Fonda’s Barbarella was a strong woman that used her sensuality and her sexuality along with her mind and abilities to bring peace to the Universe by outing evil weapons manufacturers. She also thought the film was hot. And looking at it in 2012 in the pristine presentation of a 1080p Blu Ray of BARBARELLA… I have to say, not only is it hot… not only is it one of the most particularly designed and stylized films ever… but I continue as I always have… I love the film. The film plays like an adult sci-fi saucy fable. An HBO BARBARELLA show would be the greatest thing ever. EVER. Well, not quite, because nothing is better than BARBARELLA (1968). This is fairly bare bones, but that’s whatcha get for under $15.




BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY Blu Ray

Two anti-war movies in a row. Just in time for the 4th of July. Cruise’s performance as Ron Kovic is without a doubt the greatest thing he’s ever done. That it IS Tom Cruise playing Kovic… it’s exactly correct. Cruise handed himself over to Oliver Stone, and the performance that came out. Wow. For people that do a lot of talking about supporting the troops – well, this movie is all about the troops. Directed by a soldier. I don’t quite feel this is Oliver Stone’s best… Currently I have about 5 films of his that after any given viewing it makes me feel it is the best. Most commonly, I keep coming back to JFK… but PLATOON and NATURAL BORN KILLERS and WALL STREET and hell, even some days I can be madly in love with either ALEXANDER or THE DOORS. NOW for the bad news. I am not entirely in love with this transfer. It’s mostly fine, but there’s quite a few spots where it just got way too much sharpening and the grain looks like it’s coming apart. That only happened a few times at the beginning, but as the film went on it would appear in blown out skies. Great film though.




GOD BLESS AMERICA Blu Ray

I saw this at it’s world premiere at Toronto’s Midnight Madness series during the International Toronto Film Festival. I knew nothing about the film, except that Bobcat Goldthwait directed it and that Richard Kelly produced it. Moriarty sat right behind me making the funniest loud noises ever. If this film had that screening’s audience laugh track… This would be one of the greatest Blu Ray releases of all time. Sadly, you can’t hear Moriarty offended & laughing with maniacal abandon. And at least a few chuckles from me too. The film needs to be seen with a large group of friends – and you can’t take the film seriously. If you do, it plays like something you’ll need a warm shower after. I love that the film can be seen in two radically different levels. It has the potential of offend one’s delicate sensibilities. But if you have those sensibilities than you need an intervention anyways and if that intervention lines Bobcat Goldthwait’s pockets – than BRAVO! By the way, Tara Lynne Barr is one to watch – and I want many more movies with Joel Murray. He’s great in this!




TREASURE PLANET: 10th Anniversary Blu-Ray

I have a love hate relationship with TREASURE PLANET. I can put this on and visually watch it – and it’s just a delight. If you’re half paying attention, it’s pretty great. I just kind of hate that it’s a Treasure Island riff. I didn’t want that for TREASURE ISLAND. But I love the Disney run at a Steampunk Space Faring Future. I love that Crescent Moon station. I seriously love it. I want that ornament for the tree HALLMARK! The animation is awesome. It’s just, the story… it never feels like its own. I really like the Visual Commentary feature on here and you can mute the end song! But that’s just something the remote control can do. It’s a nice feature. I think.




MOST DANGEROUS GAME / GOW THE HEADHUNTER Blu Ray

This was the jewel of the week for me. I placed an order for it. I hope to get it, rather desperately. If you go over to Amazon, you can read some comments from the Disc producer and if they did that sort of work on THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME… It’d be one of my fave discs of the year. And GOW the Headhunter? Cooper & Shoedsack footage of real Cannibals & lost cultures that can never be studied, because they’re just gone. Amazon has this as a limbo listing – where they don’t know if they’ll ever get it or if it’ll ever be available. I’m hoping!




THE HUNTER Blu Ray

I love this film about a hunter hired to hunt something of a legend. The last known Tasmanian Tiger. The notion of killing this thing is mildly offensive to every known impulse in my body. The possible benefits to humanity? Before watching THE HUNTER… watch PORKY IN WACKYLAND. In it Porky Pig is hunting the last of the Do-Do’s. It’s the perfect thing to watch before this. Trust me. I love how Dafoe plays this constantly guarded man. His survival instincts and skill sets are pretty damn amazing. I’d love to see another film about this character hunting something else. Such a great and unique perspective. He also had a good soul, of sorts. Great film though!




THE ENTITY Blu Ray

This is a fucking scary movie. Don’t let the cheesedick cover art turn you completely off… and if you are, then to Hell with you. THE ENTITY is one of those genre films that has been languishing waiting to be released. I had it on Region 2 DVD, but domestically – until this Blu-Ray release – we didn’t get the small shiny disc-gasm that we’ve been waiting for. Barbara Hershey gives one of her greatest performances in this very scary ghost movie. HIGH RECOMMENDATION. This is the good stuff.




HOME ON THE RANGE Blu Ray

Ok – if you’re a Disney completist then this is where you bleed. HOME ON THE RANGE is a soppy mess. I loathe this crap. I rewatched it on Blu, just to be sure if the hate could burn with the intensity that the scar tissue in my brain had reminded me… and I have fresh scars. This is unacceptable bullshit terrible fucking awful filmmaking. AND YET- the physical quality of the animation and the drawn character work and the backgrounds are often quite excellent. But that’s nothing that just looking at the cover of this thing tells you. THIS FILM IS THE TAINT OF THE WEST.




THE HORSE WHISPERER Blu Ray

Wow, I haven’t seen this film in what felt like forever. The last time I saw this film, she was that girl from HOME ALONE 3. In rehab, there’s a couple of teenage girls that are the bravest people I know. The last year and a half, being fairly constantly working with “healing people” folks that work in healing their patients. It’s an entirely new movie for me. I know positively that I didn’t love this movie, the way I did when I revisited it for this column. And since Redford directed and he hired Robert Richardson to shoot this beautiful film…. Yeah, this is a damn sweet film for HD.




SIX PACK

Now here’s a kickass kids flick! I have this very odd love for Kenny Rogers. I think it started with THE GAMBLER. Then there’s that just crazy look in my eye I get when he’s singing ISLANDS IN THE STREAM… Yeah, I like Kenny – and when I was set on Tomboying my Sister so she would be cool… SIX PACK was great stuff for that. And this got played A LOT on Cable in the 80s. A lot. Where the hell is the Blu Ray?




STEP UP Blu Ray

My friends, for your home entertainment needs.




DJANGO KILL… IF YOU LIVE, SHOOT!

OK – so first off – you need to know, this has jack & shit to do with DJANGO. And even less to do with anything you’ll see on screen in DJANGO UNCHAINED. That said… I really had a blast with this thoroughly unDjango plotted Spaghetti Western. The option of watching it dubbed or in the original Italian with Subs… well, they make for very different experiences. I prefer the Italian track. Better film. Blue Underground has done another great job of bringing us a very cool flick!




Chesty Morgan’s BOSOM BUDDIES Blu Ray of DEADLY WEAPONS / DOUBLE AGENT 73 / THE IMMORAL THREE

I am honored beyond words to say that I have not only seen this double feature, but got to talk and chat with Doris Wishman when they played DEADLY WEAPONS and BAD GIRLS GOTO HELL. And they’ve played DOUBLE AGENT 73 at a separate time. Doris was a fireball. What a woman. The story of a huge chested super spy has never quite been done finer than Doris did. Chesty Morgan was supernaturally endowed with boobs so perfect in their shape, size and heft to literally become DEADLY WEAPONS! I love that films like this exist. They show how playful and silly society was. And can be again, just by watching it with a grin above your chin. I have yet to see THE IMMORAL THREE, but I think that’s changing soon.




Kino Classics Presents: THE DEVIL’S NEEDLE & Other Tales Of Vice & Redemption BLU-RAY

First you get Norma Talmadge as a morphine addict, that’s right, she’s in the grip of the white hop. And man, after 3 months of that stuff after spinal surgery… I could feel ol Uncle Morphy’s grip. But I find if you don’t have something, you can’t be addicted to it, and my prescription ran out. Different story in THE DEVIL’S NEEDLE. Kino has done the best with what exists on this 1916 feature. Then there’s THE INSIDE OF THE WHITE SLAVE TRAFFIC, which was shot in 1913 as a Docudrama. All known copies of the original 4-reeler have ceased to exist. All that remains is this two-reel.




CRIME DOES NOT PAY: The Complete Shorts Collection

I love these things. These quick morality tales, kind of perfectly echo the old Golden Age comic of the same name and the old radio series. Any manner of crime. It takes you all the way from the conception, the crime & the punishment. TCM plays these before some of their films, from time to time – and now we can have the complete collection. You never can tell who is going to show up in these. Not only that, but every one of these shorts had a poster made. No kidding, I’ve had a few of em, they always sold. Good art. Wish there was a way to load all my shorts into something that would pair them to features I was going to play, seamlessly.




TOUGH ENOUGH Blu Ray

I find it a point to own as many films as possible starring Warren Oates. It’s just a good overall policy to have. And this was his last – and he’s awesome as one helluva unique promoter of Dennis Quaid’s fight dreams. I also love that this adds yet another Richard Fleischer film to my collection – and this one is certainly better than his Conan flick. Ouch. Good fight flick.

Next week, I’ll be writing about ADVENTURE TIME’s 1st Season, AMERICAN REUNION, MARGARET, OUTLAND Blu, BLADE II Blu, ALTERED STATES Blu, SENNA Blu, TWINS OF EVIL blu, BRAINSTORM Blu, DARK SHADOWS The Complete Series, BEING FLYNN, CHARIOTS OF FIRE Blu, COMA Blu, SPAWN Blu, FREQUENCY Blu, THE SAPHEAD Blu, THE ASTRONAUT’S WIFE Blu, A SOUTHERN YANKEE, TRUE STORY OF A WOMAN IN JAIL: CONTINUES, ZOOM IN: SEX APARTMENTS, THE YELLOW CAB MAN and SOPHIE’S REVENGE. Till then, happy viewing!

 

Oh yeah, and then there's this:

 





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