Harry's DVD Picks & Peeks - The First of 2013 - LOOPER, Betty Grable, Robert Pattinson, Preston Sturges, Nazi Zombies & more!
Hey folks, Harry here… Decided to hold off last week doing the LOOPER + bests of 2012 together – instead, I want to just do a big BEST of 2012 Blu Column on its own, so LOOPER is here. Hope your hangover has retreated and you’ve stayed warm. As usual all the images and pics take you to Amazon where you can learn more about the projects here – along with being able to purchase it, which helps keep this column going. Also – if you love the column, by all means pick up the App for PicksAndPeeks.com which is about to have a new update that brings some new things into the fold. Can’t wait to share, been playing with the test version and it’s pretty addicting. There’s not a lot coming out this week, but next is pretty loaded. Here ya go…
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
LOOPER Blu Ray
Technically this was the last Blu Ray release of 2012 happens to be one of the coolest & smartest releases of 2012. Rian Johnson has long been a focal point I’ve been watching. His BRICK and BROTHERS BLOOM were both well beloved features for the film geeks that I know and love – so we’ve been waiting patiently for his new film and when it finally was unveiled… HOLY SHIT! AWESOME! Bruce Willis called this the best film he’s made – and while I’m awfully in love with PULP FICTION, DIE HARD, 12 MONKEYS, SIN CITY, UNBREAKABLE, THE SIXTH SENSE, DEATH BECOMES HER, THE LAST BOY SCOUT and FIFTH ELEMENT – LOOPER for me is yet another truly great film featuring the talented Bruno. At the same time, I am reticent to say this is the best film of Rian Johnson’s career – because I love all 3 films – and I love how crazy different they are from one another. Rian is the kind of director that can do anything – and he’s doing it whilst being incredibly ORIGINAL. Wonderful. Now the LOOPER blu ray is loaded with features like The Science of Time Travel. The commentary features Rian along with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Emily Blunt. If you get the DVD you get 5 Deleted scenes with Commentary, but if you get this Blu Ray you get 17 ADDITIONAL DELETED SCENES with commentary. WOW. There’s a making of, a Scoring featurette and the awesome LOOPER ANIMATED TRAILER!!! If you’re cool – you will have this in your collection. And everyone you show it to, will think… you’re cool. Because LOOPER is fucking cool.
COSMOPOLIS Blu Ray
This is that rare David Cronenberg flick that I disconnect from. It isn’t that I don’t like Robert Pattinson, it’s just I don’t like the character that he’s playing in this. It just didn’t grab me. And I hate that. I’ll probably give it a couple more chances because I don’t like disliking a Cronenberg film. And it is possible that my head wasn’t in the right space when I watched it. But I was giddy to be watching a new Cronenberg flick, but since I’ve seen ANTIVIRAL by David Cronenberg’s son… well, I think I was hoping for something quite a bit more different. I do feel that multiple viewings may help.
BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND DVD
Want to discover a wealth of awesome cinema? Movies that will just teach you that OLD MOVIES are in fact THE BEST MOVIES? Discover Preston Sturges. He’s one of the greatest Writer-Directors ever in the history of the medium – and he never made a stinker. He is admired greatly by Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers – along with just about anyone that really knows their shit about movies. This isn’t near being his best work, but it is rarely seen. It stars the 20th Century Fox musical/comedy babe, BETTY GRABLE – who struck very possibly one of the greatest ASS poses in PinUp history. Betty Grable is not just gorgeous, but crazy talented & funny. Here she plays a gal that accidently shot a Judge and flees to hide as a school teacher. It also stars the original Joker, no, not Jack Nicholson, but Cesar Romero!!! It also features the Wicked Witch of the West… Margaret Hamilton!!! And the always awesome Rudy Valee and Sterling Holloway. Sturges considered this film one of his misfires – but age has been nothing but awesome to the BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND – I do wish this and the rest of Sturges’ films were on Blu Ray though!
I make it a hard and fast rule to see every film that Alec Guinness made – that I can. Here, OB1 is playing Disraeli to Irene Dunne’s Queen Victoria. He’s trying to convince her to come out of hiding – and when the titular Mudlark aka Wheeler sets about to meet and see the Queen with his own eyes after finding an image of the Queen… well, it’s great stuff. This is being released to DVD for the first time and it is absolutely not to be missed. It’s just a great little British film – like so many of those features that Alec Guinness was a part of. You won’t easily forget this movie.
WAR OF THE DEAD Blu Ray
Nazi Zombies. To rancid tastes that thus far have not been better with one another in film. The Nazi Demon things from the nightmare in AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON are so much better than this. Sadly, this is just halfassed, pretty disappointing – but if you’re like me – you’ll watch this crap, cuss about it for about 30 minutes and never watch it again.
ALI BABA GOES TO TOWN
This is latter Eddie Cantor stuff. Sure it’s still the 1930s, but by 1937, Eddie Cantor was no longer the cat’s pajamas like he was in his classic run. BUT – once you’ve seen ROMAN SCANDALS and KID FROM SPAIN and those other great early titles – you’ll find yourself wanting to see more Eddie Cantor – and this is not a slap in the face. Eddie does don Blackface in this film where he plays a Hobo that ends up traveling back in time and being mistook for Ali Baba. He’s bringing the New Deal to ancient Bagdad! And That’s fun. There’s just a spark missing, but I still find myself amused by the movie.
Here you have Otto Preminger bringing us a film adapted from Oscar Wilde’s LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN. I loved this movie. This is the first time it has been made available – and as someone that has liked just about everything I’ve seen from Otto Preminger – this was a delight. I’m also a fan of Wilde’s works that have been turned into features like PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY. Now most people probably won’t get this, but my real reason for loving this film is that it is the last feature film of Madeleine Carroll’s career! Who? She was the girl in Hitchcock’s THE 39 STEPS. Now that’s one of my all time faves. Now I’d seen her in THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN and THE PRISONER OF ZENDA and LLOYD’S OF LONDON, but this was a brand new experience for me. Still have a few more of her films to watch, but I can cross this one off the list.
God I love DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – and Keira Knightley as Lara is… WHAT? No, for real – this exists. A miniseries of Boris Pasternak’s great DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. Now I love David Lean’s version. In fact it is my favorite David Lean film. And as long as the film is… it still misses quite a bit of the book – which is here. This adaptation is not bad – and some folks that love the book over all else actually prefer this adaptation. Check it out. It is actually quite surprising. This was done way back in 2003… 10 years ago now. Back when the sexiest tomboy beanpole was exactly that. C’mon, you know you’re curious – or infuriated. They actually did good on this!
Next week we’ll be looking at DREDD 3D, FRANKENWEENIE in 3D, SAMSARA Blu, STOLEN, HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, ASSASSINS, FRENCH KISS Blu, DRIVING MISS DAISY Blu, TWO-LANE BLACKTOP Criterion Blu, CAPE FEAR original Blu, GRAND HOTEL Blu, FEAR Blu, MRS MINIVER Blu, STALINGRAD Blu, THE BONE COLLECTOR Blu, ONE FINE DAY Blu, JAZZ SINGER Blu, BROTHERS GRIMM Blu, TOUCHBACK Blu, JACK & DIANE Blu, WHORE’S GLORY, LAST SAMURAI Blu and that’s about it! Hey folks – it’s a happy new year!
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