Hey folks, Harry here with this week’s Picks & Peeks. Work continues to go into the PicksAndPeeks App which is settled in at the 99 cent price. As usual the images and links take you to AMAZON where you can learn more about the item in question and if you like, pick it up. A small portion of the price goes to help keep the best efforts of this column going. I didn’t include Silent Hill Revelation in this edition, because the superior 3D release is coming out later this month. So hold off on that one if I were you. Now, here’s the column…
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
The second that Sam Mendes was announced as director, I knew that SKYFALL would be something truly special. Mendes is one helluva filmmaker – and SKYFALL has him playing on the biggest landscape he’s had to play with – and he made a Bond film that gets my pulse racing. Repeatedly. I get in knots watching SKYFALL and I love it. Everyone is simply top notch here. By the end, like Bond, I’m ready for another. I’d love to see Mendes doing a few more, the flair he brought to the film, the majesty. I love those long shots of the Aston Martin in Scotland driving. A combination of Lean and Kubrick mixing to create a foreboding sense of confrontation. Wonderful. I also love that this was the James Bond film where the Bad Guy invades his Secret Fortress – and what a home. I mean… Wouldn’t you just die to see the Sam Mendes directed James Bond childhood tragedy film in Scotland? Me neither – it is one of those best left in the imaginations of friends bullshitting late at night. SKYFALL is magnificent. The idea that a Bond movie has grossed over a Billion world wide – is justice. I think for every Bond fan that stayed with the series when the audience seemed to have vanished. When the films became self-parody. I’ve greatly enjoyed Daniel Craig’s turn, but right now… with Fiennes in position and a Moneypenny… I wonder, where will they take our Bond next? Wherever it is, we’ll be there. The transfer is gorgeous. It really is a stunningly beautiful movie. Every location, every actor… it really is just a classy badass James Bond movie done perfect. I need to see it another 20 times before I can knock ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE off the top of my Bond list… but this could do it… Or maybe GOLDFINGER will take both of them. The battle continues!
BOND 50: THE COMPLETE 22 FILM COLLECTION Blu Ray
I missed covering this monumentally awesome collection. But make no mistake, as far as Blu Ray Box Sets of 2012, this really was the very best in my estimation. My favorite packaging detail was the empty spot for the 23rd James Bond Film, SKYFALL – and yes, I have already put SKY FALL in my now Complete 23 FILM COLLECTION. Right now, you can pick up this amazing set for just $129.99, which is a savings of $170 off of some crazy original price. But make no mistake about it – this set is worthy of the James Bond franchise. It really is spectacular to now have this complete collection looking this stunning. Watching YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE made me fall madly in love with the film all over again. Barbara Bach in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME or just all of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Everything just looks beautiful. I really enjoyed having the underrated Timothy Dalton Bonds given a deluxe treatment. I wish UNIVERSAL would do this with their complete extended Universal Monster films. A huge super completist set like this. So if you passed on this initially, pick it up with SKYFALL this week and just bask in the greater glory of BOND flicks! Then dive into the endless extras. This is how to treat a super franchise like this. Since its release I’ve seen every film, but not all the extras – I’m saving some of those for subsequent viewings. But you’d have to be insane to find a problem with this set. Love that Bond is on top of the world again!
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Blu Ray
A really great High School story about what it is like to be discovered for the first time. To have people include you, to begin to fall in love and just experience the highs and lows of life and the relationships we make. Emma Watson is just amazing in this film, as is Ezra Miller as her brother. They’re both perfectly cool. Logan Lerman just makes me ache though. He’s so awkward and needy. I get it, we’ve all had those times in our lives where we just needed to be a part of something more. I had very modest expectations for this film, but found it to be an incredibly honest and refreshing movie.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS Unrated Blu Ray
You know, I was disappointed with the theatrical release of THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS. It just felt like it was holding back. I know there’s a man getting his eye knocked out, but the problem was – those Red Band trailer moments felt like they’d all been seen. Here on the unrated cut – it just all started to work for me. THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS unrated is the way to go on this film. It still isn’t as bugnuts insane like RIKI-OH, but I have found the version I prefer. If you felt the same about the theatrical version as I did, then give the unrated a try, you might be happily surprised. I was.
THE SESSIONS Blu Ray
An incredibly touching film about a paralyzed man getting laid. Shocking, yet true. The disabled can fornicate. I’ve always considered myself very lucky that with all my spinal issues, I could enjoy the greater joys of life, but as I watched this film, I saw John Hawkes doing a spectacular job of playing someone completely naïve to the ways of the flesh… William Macy plays the coolest priest ever and Helen Hunt is amazing as the muse to Mark O’Brien. It is a true story and a powerful one.
ROBOT AND FRANK
Frank Langella as a retired cat burglar / old man and his friendship and partnership with his Robot caregiver. That’s pretty much all I needed to know, but add to it a great supporting cast of Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler and James Marsden… well, you get a really solid film. I could watch a whole series of movies of Frank Langella opposite all manners of cinematic robots. Playing a domestic scene with C3PO, Robby the Robot. The film works on multiple levels, but really – it is a movie about Frank Langella and a Robot. Sold.
THIEVES Blu Ray
Here you have Korean director Dong-Hoon Choi doing his version of a OCEAN’S 11 kind of story and love the hell out of it. Like some of SKYFALL, this film takes us to Macau – and man is it gorgeous. You get to see a lot more of it here. They’re after the fabulous TEAR OF THE SUN diamond worth $20 million. This is a very sharp looking movie! THIEVES has just about everything going for it. Well Go USA has found another great title!
You know, I may not like this film a terrible lot, but I am going to hold on to it. It very much captures a period and a time in regards to Star Wars fandom. There’s a bit of a melancholy air to the whole thing. There’s a fan that collected for years, but has fallen out of it and looks back on it all as being silly. There’s psychobabble being bandied about. Convention interviews and yes… a good deal of Slave Leias. It’ll be fascinating and perhaps hilarious to look back on this doc in a decade’s time. We’re on the verge of a whole new wave of STAR WARS. It is so very nice after the reign of Fantasy, to have STAR WARS grabbing at the hearts and souls of fandom. I know we’re all a far more cynical lot than we were before the Prequels. But I’m hearing some interesting unconfirmed things right now that have me quite excited again. Hell, when am I ever not excited. The editing and music is the real killer here. It just isn’t as polished as you’d like it to be.
That’s it for this week, next week we have the brilliant 2nd Season of GAME OF THRONES, the probable Best Picture winner ARGO on Blu, the amazing TOP GUN 3D – truly amazing. ANNA KARENINA with Keira Knightlye, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME, MONSTERS INC 3D, SINISTER Blu, TERRORVISION / THE VIDEO DEAD Blu, Criterion’s ON THE WATERFRONT Blu, another TERMINATOR Blu, EASTER PARADE Blu, INSIDER, Renny Harlin’s PRISON, UNDEFEATED, Fairbanks’ THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, BEST IN SHOW, THE NEST Blu, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2, THE MONSTER SQUAD, THE RUNNING MAN Blu, HIPSTERS, THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK, LES MISERABLES Blu, JULIUS CAESAR Blu, INNOCENT BYSTANDERS Blu, IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES Blu, BATH SALT ZOMBIES, HOLLOW and that’s just about it. See you next Tuesday!