Harry's 16th Picks & Peeks of 2013: REPO MAN - A MONSTER IN PARIS - DJANGO UNCHAINED - Donnie Yen - Jackie Chan & Cult Gold!!!
Hey folks, Harry here with a light week, not a ton of releases, but there’s some jewels. As usual, the links and pics take you to Amazon where you can learn more on the title or purchase it. If you’ve got our iPhone App - you not only have access to the over 5,500 titles I’ve reviewed, but you can add them to your Netflix queues, check em out on iTunes, and purchase from Amazon. People really seem to be enjoying it! Now, here’s this week’s column…
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
REPO MAN Criterion Blu Ray
I still remember this movie melting my brain at a mall theater in Wichita Falls upon release. It was just a strip mall theater, it felt like the most amazing place on the planet. Alex Cox’s fever dream of a film is beautifully preserved by Criterion with this Blu Release. Mondo’s artists designed the exterior and interior and they’re beautiful. Everything about the Blu is exactly as it should be. The way the Deleted Scenes are presented… it’s just crazed performance art, I love it. This is one of my favorite deep fry brain movies. Want to have a really great double feature? Watch KISS ME DEADLY, then watch REPO MAN. Such the right way to watch these. In all likelihood you’ve never seen REPO MAN look this good! Play it loud and invite friends. REPO MAN is also great on a playlist with JOHN DIES AT THE END, I’d play that third personally. Here’s all the goodies that Criterion has for ya:
• New high-definition digital restoration, approved by director Alex Cox
• Audio commentary featuring Cox and other cast
• Interviews with Cox, Richardson, and Zamora and more cast
• Deleted scenes
• The complete "cleaned-up" television version of the film, prepared by Cox
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Sam McPheeters and more
A MONSTER IN PARIS 3D Blu Ray
I absolutely love it. This is a strange bizarre pulpy musical love story about Vanessa Paradis falling in love with an enormous musically brilliant flea. The film is perfectly enchanting. Beautifully designed world – a touch steam punk pulp. BUT – it all works beautifully. It’s a rare thing when a CG animated film comes off feeling a bit timeless – and this does. I love the 3D too. SHOUT! Is doing a wonderful thing releasing this in the U.S. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. Did I mention the monkey? Yeah! Bibo Bergeron follows up SHARK TALE with an animated film that is far superior. But then, I’ve always had a thing for 1910 Paris. Whom I kidding, I love Paris of all times and forever. If you’ve got a 3D set up, be sure to get this. It’s beautiful!
DJANGO UNCHAINED Blu Ray
Just about the most satisfying cinematic experience of 2012. The actors are in the finest of form, with Christoph Waltz eating it up with relish! His Dr. King Schultz is not a character you’re likely to ever forget, once exposed to him. Evil Leonardo DiCaprio is a very very very very fucking cool thing! Film looks stunning on Blu. You might want to buy this from Best Buy or WalMart though, I hear they’ve got more extensive extras. I’m sure we’ll see a more extensive release of DJANGO UNCHAINED, but it probably won’t come out till Quentin’s next film, and who knows how long that’ll take. I knew this was going to be a great one from the script. Jamie Foxx brought so much to the character beyond what was on the page though. Really elevating the character to an incredibly iconic level. Love that this is now his most successful film!
IRON MAN: RISE OF TECHNOVORE Blu Ray
Absolutely not worth it. This just isn’t very good at all. Terrible animation, voice casting and just general storytelling. Marvel could and should do much better than this! I regret taking a look.
HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA Blu
Set in Georgia… I’m not real sure why in the hell this is called HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2, why not call it SOUTHERN GOTHIC… or THE ROTTED PEACH. But I guess with that title you’ll know that you’re in for a pretty badly told story. There’s some neat looking scares, but really – this is just a whole lot of hokum. The problem I had laid mainly at the fact I didn’t love the characters at all, couldn’t care what happened to a soul. I suppose if you’re wasted out of your skull and teetering on the brink of consciousness… then maybe you could get through it and think it was awesome. But I just found the whole thing lame.
DRAGON Blu Ray
I love this weird fucking Donnie Yen choreographed martial arts CSI flick. Takeshi Kaneshiro goes to investigate how a simple paper maker could utterly destroy a known badass bandit that had ravaged many an amazing warrior. What he discovers through his Holmesian investigation is perhaps more than he could have imagined. I don’t want to spoil a thing, but I will say this isn’t non-stop action, it’s better than that. It has more on its mind than just the action, but when Yen gets going, you’re going to get real happy. Thoroughly involving and satisfying film. Gorier than expected.
JACKIE CHAN: POLICE STORY / POLICE STORY II Blu Ray
If you know the great Jackie Chan films, then you know you have to own these two. Days spent watching great Jackie Chan movies are great days. Chan’s Chan is just one of those brilliant film characters, no matter what, you’re with him. His two POLICE STORY movies are best watched together and with friends that get excited by HOLY SHIT HOW’D HE DO THAT moments, because there’s plenty of both here. The prints look alright, but I really want all the great Jackie Chan films given the super deluxe treatment here in the U.S. He’s a modern Keaton and Chaplin – the great worldwide comedian / filmmaker. I think it’s easy to be blinded by his American career, but the movies Jackie made before that, they’re legendary – discover them and be very happy!
MESSAGE FROM SPACE DVD
While accused of ripping off STAR WARS, MESSAGE FROM SPACE did seemingly inspire at least one sequence in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. At least Merrick and I are absolutely convinced of this. And its influence on TREASURE PLANET are undeniable! This absolute marvel stars Vic Morrow AND Sonny Chiba!!! If you’ve never seen this insanity, do so. Get hopped up on cereal in your PJs and be a kid with this film. It’s bizarre – really fun model work – and it’s just perfect. Directed by the director of BATTLE ROYALE and GREEN SLIME!!! I truly wish this would be released perfectly on Blu Ray!!!
Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder Pictures Triple Feature DVD (MIGHTY PEKING MAN, DETROIT 9000, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS )
3 Awesome Good Times for $10! I got to review THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN with Roger Ebert when Tarantino got the film rereleased into our theaters – and it was a sheer joy. Watching this again the other day here at the house was so much fun, Yoko asking, “Is her nipple out?” was followed by much laughter by me. Yeah, her nipple is out a lot! Then on one recent Movie Night I played SWITCHBLADE SISTERS and blew my friend Diana’s mind. This is the ultimate badass women film. These are absolutely not outstanding sweet ladies, they’re the hot ladies you pray you never meet. By the time the militant black feminist army that has occupied an abandoned Police Precinct – well when they show up the movie just hits a vibe that will have you smiling to the very end. The dialogue bustles and pops beyond it’s B-movie subject matter – and for me, this movie is something absolutely special. Then there’s DETROIT 9000 – and let’s just call that your bonus feature. Each of these titles should be on Blu Ray – but for $10 they’re a helluva fun night of film!
Next week, I’ll have JURASSIC PARK 3D Blu Ray, GANGSTER SQUAD, THE IMPOSSIBLE, MARVEL KNIGHTS: INHUMANS, PROMISED LAND, A HAUNTED HOUSE, GREYSTOKE: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN Blu, Oliver’s RICHARD III Criterion Blu, GREAT GATSBY Blu, THALE, THE FIGHTING SEABEES Blu Ray, CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS Blu Ray, CHEECH & CHONG’S ANIMATED MOVIE, MISTRESS OF THE APES, WAKE OF THE RED WITCH Blu, THE RED PONY Blu, CHAMPION Blu, NIGHT OF THE HUNTED Blu, GRAPES OF DEATH Blu, MAGIC TOWN Blu and COPACABANA Blu!
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