Hey folks, Harry here… thankfully this was a short column this week. I’m hopped up on pain meds, due to getting some Wisdom teeth removed from my skull today. Most of the day, the side of my face has been throbbing. So – if there’s any inexplicable coherence in the following articles, it’s probably the meds talking. ☺ As usual, the images and links take you to Amazon, where you can learn more on a title or if you’re so motivated – you can purchase it, which gives a smidge back to help keep the column going. OH – and you’ll be happy to hear that right now, Apple is reviewing the AICN DVD & Blu app. We’ll be posting a story about it once it gets through the process. It essentially makes all these columns that I’ve been writing for a very long time – and makes them searchable and easy to access in a fashion that my website does not allow. More on that later this week hopefully, now – here ya go…
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
There are people that don’t love this movie. I weep for them. As a weird kid growing up. As a boy who will still swear to this day regarding my own Ghost stories. As a lover of Stop-Motion animation – and as a huge fan of the substitution animation that George Pal’s Puppetoons pioneered… Watching this film, which has some great technical leaps in how they accomplish all this. As great as the film was… Watching this Blu-Ray and watching every last extra compulsively and in awe… This BLU Ray – for animation lovers, monster geeks and anyone that can remember being weird – this movie kicks ass – and the Blu Ray showing the family of weirdos at LAIKA that just knock not just the movie out of the park, but these extras are fascinating. I love the mad insanity that they tackle this movie with. Sure, they could have just used CG animation to animate mud splatters, or the final confrontation with the “witch” where they used Stop Motion, microwaved CDs, traditional 2D animation and a computer to get an end result that is just riveting. I can love on this film for hours. Love ever character in the film. Love the surprises and all the very non-Disney touches that make this such a particularly beautiful animated film. Stunning animation and innovation. My pick for Best Animated Film of the Year.
I’m a sucker for figures – and I love this character from MEN IN BLACK – But I do have a warning on this set. The stand-alone MEN IN BLACK 3 has an extra disc that isn’t included in this giftset, but then, it doesn’t have this awesome figure… and if you already have MIB 1&2&3 on blu – gift them to someone you know , Keep the figure for yourself – and get the 2-Disc MIB 3 Blu. At least that’s my plan. I know a certain family member that would love the Blu Rays. AS for MEN IN Black 3, I was very surprised by how much I loved this third chapter – in many ways it is my favorite by far – if only because Josh Brolin’s Agent K is a revelation. Supporting Actor nod? The Academy has done crazier things. Also, I love Michael Stuhlbarg (the film historian from HUGO) as Griffin, the alien that lives with the knowledge of all possible permutations of reality, but is never sure which one he is in at a given time. If this is the end of the series, it’s a damn fine ending.
John Hillcoat returns with another exceptional film. Again working with Nick Cave, Hillcoat has made one helluva Prohibition gangster tale. A true story, written by a living relative of the 3 Bondurant Brothers. Shia plays the runt of the litter, in awe of his big brother played by Tom Hardy – who gives his best performance of 2012 in LAWLESS. Through body language, occasional grunts and to the point lines… Hardy’s Bondurant is one of those Tall Tale characters of the bootlegging hall of fame. This is very possibly the best film of the genre. Gary Oldman is amazing in the too few scenes that he’s in. Jessica Chastain is wonderful. Mia Wasikowska as the Preacher’s Daughter that Shia has his eyes on… GREAT. In particular the foot bathing scene is just crazy fun. And is it just me, or did you get the idea that Shia blew a load in his pants in that scene? In many ways, this film reminded me of THE LONG RIDERS – another film of criminal family – and what a great double bill. Do not miss LAWLESS!
I’m a sucker for these kinds of films. It feels very much like a PARANORMAL ACTIVITY knock off – only… this sure as hell was a lot better than the last one of those. Which I actively hated. Ok – so Draco Malfoy, being the total fucking choad that he is, graduates from Hogwarts and goes to a University where his knowledge of the Dark Arts mixes with science. They do a séance, with these gadgets on the heads of the hand holders. These thingamagigs do something that you most certainly would never fucking want to have happen at a Séance. You see, it amplifies the “energy” so this it is like there’s over 400 people holding hands and concentrating to give their energy to an entity to manifest with. SURPRISE – it goes real fucking badly – and the film picks up with one of the survivors of this experience, going with his girl friend to move into a house in a brand new subdivision (again bad idea) – and shit begins going on. What I loved about this thing – was just discovering their particular rules. I also like to place myself in the situation – which is why this is a HOME VIEWING experience, because I’m shouting out advice throughout the film – and if you have friends that love to have fun with a kinda cheap horror flick. Well, I definitely had a good time with it. NOW – don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a classic, it isn’t great… but as a genre hound, this did catch my attention and I had fun with it.
Now, this week was definitely lacking for a number of titles I could recommend… But next week is a doozy. I’ll be giving DARK KNIGHT RISES a second look on Blu Ray, FINDING NEMO hits Blu & Blu 3D, HOPE SPRINGS, THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, STAR TREK: TNG Season Two Blu, UP Blu 3D, PURPLE NOON Criterion Blu, GODZILLA VS BIOLLANTED Blu, MST3K: XXV, BRAZIL Criterion Blu, SILENT NIGHT: DEADLY NIGHT 1&2, SILENT NIGHT, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, BUTTER, V/H/S Blu, Francis Ford Coppola 5-Film Collection, SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS Blu, Kino’s THE BLUE ANGEL Blu!!!! The Complete SPACE:1999 MegaSet, SUDDENLY Blu, COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL 20th Anniversary BLU, GAMERA THE BRAVE Blu and more!