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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Leave it to Kino to lovingly handle one of the greatest cult films of all time. Prepare Hot Cocoa or Spiced Cider… Get cozy with the ones you share the holidays with and enjoy the one true Holiday we can all celebrate with… SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS…. Starring the adorable childform of Pia Zadora… but really, this movie belongs to Santa and the Martians… Don’t kick DIE HARD out of the player completely… just at Christmas, I find the spirit of the season makes think of those that are without. Like the poor Martians that are completely without a Santa of their own. I’m genuinely shocked that a big studio hasn’t set about remaking this classic. But perhaps it is exactly how classic this yuleturd is that keeps them away. I mean, they did foolishly attempt to remake MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET… a film that stars the very real Santa. Proved in a greater piece of cinematic courtroom shenanigans than even Inherit the Wind. BUT EVEN THAT FILM WAS REMADE. But not SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS. I mean, it’s kind of obviously the greatest Tim Burton film ever made. Just imagine Tim mounting his holiday themed sequel to MARS ATTACKS!!! Ack Ack AAAAACK Ack Ack AAAAAAACK. Ack Ack AAAACK Ack AAAAACK!!! Yes… to dream the highest dreams, I dare. Love the classic Fleischer Color Classics that are his Holiday greats, so much better than the feature.
Frank Sinatra was a helluva Actor! SUDDENLY he plays a small man, a thug… a killer… at best an assassin. His target is the President of the United States on a train stop through town. He’s holed up in the Sheriff’s house with his loved ones. Sterling Hayden is the sheriff… Galahad from PRINCE VALIENT, but more likely for you, the Irish Cop that Michael Corleone blows the fuck away in GODFATHER… or a man obsessed with his Precious Bodily Fluids in DR STRANGELOVE… Well he’s great here. But it is Sinatra’s movie. He dares to use the gun and its power to topple the President. Made before JFK’s assassination…. And when Kennedy fell, this film was hidden from the eyes of men for quite sometime. It’s been in bargain bins forever… but this Blu Ray is THE BLU RAY to score. The print is outstanding. As if ages of bad dupes have been erased and finally the film is pristine. Remarkable work here on this one of my favorite Sinatra turns.
Josef Von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich. Such a pair. They burned images into Nitrate that blister my mind. The film that made Marlene Dietrich MARLENE DIETRICH. Just watching the film… quietly, respectfully… you can smell the countless buckets of popcorn served as she sings. It’s a movie and a performance that can not be taken lightly. This is the greater glory of Dietrich! Like Brando in STREETCAR. Or Dean WITHOUT A CAUSE. Dietrich will always be THE BLUE ANGEL. In a thousand years I believe the image of her in those stockings will still be known… somewhere. IT IS AN IMAGE THAT IS MADE TO LAST.
I really don’t love this movie. I love the craft of the film. The work that went into it. The engineering of that mid-air hijacking? Insane, mad props on that. Batman quitting because a bad guy killed his girlfriend…. PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF. I hate it. It runs counter to everything I believe regarding the character. This is the RETURN OF THE JEDI of the series – and I know for some of you that’s a great fucking thing. I’m happy for you. When I saw BATMAN BEGINS, the end of the film made me hope that this was the jumping off point to a grander style of BATMAN than I’d seen before. THE DARK KNIGHT hits and it was & continues to be… AN AWESOME WORK OF WOW! I love it. I’ve seen it a good dozen times at the least on Blu Ray and when I was in the Hospital after the Spinal Surgery, I saw it about 12 times on AMC I think it was. But THE DARK KNIGHT RISES takes the moment that should have been the true birth of BATMAN’s career & says… that shit crushed this man, set up a totalitarian city-state police force and essentially ended crime in Happy Go Lucky GOTHAM. I hate it. HATE IT. Then it was like, FUCK IT, This shit is New York! This was just not the BATMAN film I wanted to see. And if Warners has JGL play BATMAN in JUSTICE LEAGUE out of this Universe – and not as a new Bruce Wayne… I’ll really be annoyed something fierce. Anyway – what I really enjoyed on the BLU RAY wasn’t the film, but the making of. Watching how Nolan shoots and works is just wonderful. I love his passion for filmmaking, even if this one didn’t do it for me. Had the BANE fights been soul crushingly intense and brutal… maybe. But I thought the action choreography was outright laughable. For me, I wanted the third film to soar – instead I found it sadly predictable. Hell, Batman is hardly a factor in the film.
I saw this at the Dolby Theater in Austin in 1988 – and I’ve sworn by every documentary that Ron Mann has made since. Folks, this was before Tim Burton’s BATMAN. The year before. Hollywood had its head so far up its ass in terms of knowing what the hell to do with Superhero movies that it wasn’t funny. In fact, Hollywood was so ineffectual in making these films after the release of SUPERMAN 2 – that reading comics wasn’t considered cool… because… well, it just wasn’t. COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL was one of the first signs of greater intelligence out there. Someone understood… COMICS MATTER! Watching this doc today… 24 years after its release… Well, it is sad. Jack Kirby is gone, Harvey Pekar is gone. Will Eisner is gone. William Gaines & Harvey Kurtzman too. But here, they live and their words and work is stronger now than ever. I have a one sheet for this that I’ve been collecting Autographs on for a long time. My personal favorite theatrical Comic Book documentary. Great work!
This looks so stunning on Blu Ray. I think in many ways this is Pixar’s most beautiful film. Or maybe it is that I love going to Aquariums and staring into those giant tanks and imagine an intelligence to the swarm of life that clusters in the water so uniformly. FINDING NEMO has real emotional weight to its story, which truly feels hopeless. And I love that it is literally a whale of a fish tale. Funny story, the screeners for this came on the day that I had my wisdom teeth removed. When Yoko asked me to put it on, I’d completely forgotten the subplot at the Dentist… WARNING – If you are in active Dental Pain – this movie may be slightly traumatic. This Blu is completely full. I’m planning on getting a full 3D setup shortly and this is probably going to be my initial test disc… I really can’t imagine how beautiful it’ll be.
100% YES!!! Criterion’s outstanding DVD, but optically wowified by the abilities of Blu Ray. It has that same great commentary from 1996, bought that DVD the year I started AICN – and I am only too happy to double dip. The film is the true jewel… but upon the second disc you get the extras which are truly eyepopping at 1080p. As for the movie itself, this is the film my father saw the day he discovered my mother was leaving him and taking us kids with her. The movie gave Dad the strength to continue…. If Sam Lowry could soar, could he not as well. The Insanity of the world in BRAZIL is one of my favorites. It is one of the most brilliant films I’ve seen in my life and I never tire of sharing the film with someone. And the soundtrack is one that I work to all the time. Here’s what Criterion has for ya:
Restored high-definition digital transfer of Terry Gilliam’s 142-minute director’s cut, supervised by Gilliam, with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround soundtrack
Audio commentary by Terry Gilliam
What Is “Brazil”?, a thirty-minute on-set documentary by Rob Hedden
The Battle of “Brazil”: A Video History, a sixty-minute documentary by author and film writer Jack Mathews about the controversy surrounding the film’s release
The “Love Conquers All” version of Brazil, a ninety-four-minute cut of the film produced by the studio in an attempt to make it more commercial, with commentary by Brazil expert David Morgan
The Production Notebook, a collection of supplements featuring a trove of Brazil-iana from Gilliam’s personal collection: a short documentary on the screenplay, featuring interviews with screenwriters Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard; Gilliam’s storyboards for unfilmed dream sequences, animated and narrated by Morgan; visual essays on the film’s production design and special effects; a visual essay on Brazil’s costumes, narrated by costume designer James Acheson; and interviews with Gilliam and composer Michael Kamen on the score
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt
I’m stunned by the restoration and the work that has gone into these STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION blu rays. Like on Season One, they’ve returned to the original elements and digitally scanned them. The result gives a texture and a richness to the show that it frankly never ever had in Standard Definition. In addition – the great classic episode THE MEASURE OF A MAN, the film that puts Data’s sentient rights to the test of a courtroom, where Riker must argue brutally the case that Data is property, something to be possessed and Picard argues for Data’s rights to have self-governance over his “life”. Well, originally, the first cut of the episode was well over 10 minutes longer than a standard episode. It has been fully finished and the result is spectacular. One of the best STAR TREK: Next Gen episodes ever. Over 2 hours of docs and all new special features, plus Deleted scenes and the 25th Anniversary Cast Reunion. If you Trek, you’ll dig the hell out of it!
MAN IN SUIT! MAN IN SUIT! MAN IN SUIT!!! Not only that, but seriously and all chuckles to the side… This is one of the greatest Godzilla movies ever made. I love this film. I love that mankind creates its own monster using cells from Godzilla. When Godzilla gets released… some of my favorite visuals in all GODZILLA history! This is one of the truly DEEP Godzilla flicks – that also has great action and monster fun! A delight on Blu Ray!
René Clément and Alain Delon working off of a Patricia Highsmith’s THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY? Shhhh, noone tell my wife. She’ll literally squeal with joy. Alain Delon is her favorite actor to fawn over these days. We even watched that terrible ZORRO he made – all the way through. But this. This is the good stuff. Like with LE SAMORAI or a film like JOY HOUSE. Delon is amazing. Anthony Minghella’s film is outstanding, but so is this. If you’re a fan of Minghella’s… do not fail to give this a look. Cineaste required viewing! There are not a vast amount of Extras on this release. It does have Archive interviews with Delon and Patricia Highsmith, along with a new interview with a René Clément scholar. But this one you buy for the movie!
The film that continually has my wife’s number. She weeps like a baby everytime. And I have to admit, me too. But UP is one of the really great PIXAR films in my book. This is the first time the film has been released on BluRay 3D… and even for that extra Dimension, the disc is actually 2 dollars cheaper than the 4 Disc Blu. Not bad, if you held off and have 3D, that’s the reason to upgrade!
Horror fans rejoice! Being a fan of this series can be an expensive thing, till now. $10 grabs you both of these Stalking Stuffers. You get them unmolested. You get them and you’ll laugh and get freaked out as you learn why a boy would grow up to be a Santa dressed murderer. It’s pretty fucking classic. I have to say. Be a Sicko this Holiday season and gather your fellow sickos and have a blast with this rather awesome work of blasphemy. Santa wouldn’t hurt anybody!
Ok – I was fully prepared to hate this. But I’ll be damned I enjoyed it. Malcolm McDowell can phone films in like few can, and here… he gave a shit and the whole film improves as a result. Add to that Jaime King’s charisma and you have a couple of characters to give a shit about as the man in the red suits lights up Christmas Night… it’s fun. I was quite happily surprised. Still prefer the original though. It’s just more evil. And if you’re going to make a killer santa… go all the way. My favorite version of this icon warping was in the original EC Tales from the Crypt comics. But this is alright!
This is Ugly Horror. The horror these characters finds on vhs video tapes is the sort of fucked up shit that is shot to shock and disturb and to leave a mark in your head. This stuff is dark. But if you like your horror to come disturbing and in little vignettes, then you might like this quite a bit. However, if you go to horror for happy endings, look elsewhere. This is inky black. I dug it, but it isn’t for all.
After watching LES MISERABLES with Hugh Jackman as Jean ValJean… which is one of those performances that completely rewrites everything you knew about this actor. It’s strange from the opening shots of this film, I could tell that Jackman was giving more of himself into this performance than in anything since THE FOUNTAIN. Brilliant musical acting. Just stunning iconic work. I must see his OKLAHOMA! It isn’t the same, it isn’t a fully filmed production, just a capturing of the great play. But yeah, I have to order this one!
Nothing new, just a new package. Everything is something you may have bought – and if you have these blu rays separately – Well done. I applaud your taste in cinema. But if you haven’t… you can pick all this up for under $30. That’s a very good deal. HARRY HERE - Ok - ONE FROM THE HEART has never been released anywhere on Blu yet, it is a wonderful film, but I'm not sure if it is the big carrot for so many of you, that it is for some.
Next Tuesday… My 41st Birthday – we’ll be talking about TED – the unrated version is so fucking great! We’ll look at THE BOURNE LEGACY, ICE AGE CONTINENTAL DRIFT, FOLLOWING Criterion Blu, KAMASUTRA 3D, GIRLS Season one, The QATSI Trilogy Criterion Blu, DICK TRACY Blu, THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY, BABES IN TOYLAND Blu, LES MISERABLES Blu, MIAMI CONNECTION, THE WILD GEESE, DEATH VALLEY, THE ISLAND, DJANGO KILLS SILENTLY/DJANGO’S CUT PRICE CORPSES, JOY LUCK CLUB Blu, A MAN CALLED DJANGO! / DJANGO AND SARTANA’S SHOWDOWN IN THE WEST, THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, ASHANTI, OSOMBIE, BARON BLOOD, KILL EM ALL, AGE OF THE HOBBITS, DOOMSDAY BOOK, CHILLER Tv series and more!