HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Twitter:
@digby56
@DavidOAtkins @Gaius_Publius

emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
David:
isnospoon at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Saturday, August 09, 2014

 
Saturday Night at the Movies


Summertime Blus: Best BD re-issues of 2014 (so far)


By Dennis Hartley












Since we’re more than halfway through the year (already?!), I thought I’d offer my picks for the best Blu-ray reissues (so far) for 2014. Most have a concurrent SD edition, so if you don’t have a Blu-ray player, don’t despair. Per usual, my list is in alphabetical order:

A Hard Day's Night - This 1964 masterpiece has been often copied, but never equaled. Shot in a semi-documentary style, it follows a “day in the life” of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Thanks to Richard Lester's inventive direction and Alun Owen’s clever script, the essence of what made the Beatles “the Beatles” is all right up there on the screen. Although it is in reality quite meticulously constructed, the film has a loose, improvisational vibe, and it feels just as fresh and innovative as when it first hit theatres 50 years ago. To this day I catch subtle gags and surprising little asides that previously eluded me (ever notice John snorting the Coke bottle?). Long overdue for a decent Blu-ray treatment (an underwhelming Canadian release came out a couple years ago), but Criterion has made it worth the wait, with an ace HD restoration and a plethora of extras.

Herzog: The Collection- (*sigh*) It turns out everything that I thought I knew about iconoclastic German director Werner Herzog’s oeuvre couldn’t fill a flea’s codpiece (hangs head in shame, while sheepishly offering to rip up critic’s license for the reader’s amusement). I came to this realization after perusing the list of films included in Shout! Factory’s handsomely designed new Blu-ray box set. Out of the 16 films (spanning the years 1970 to 1999), I had only seen 5. However, in my defense, this is the first time any of these films have been available on Blu-ray, and a good number of them (particularly from the 1970s) have been difficult to track down in any format since the advent of home video. As I have been plowing through this eclectic collection over the past week, I can confirm one constant that I had already gleaned about Herzog…from his earliest days as a filmmaker and continuing to this day, he goes to places where most of us fear to tread (literally and figuratively) and hones his lens in on the one thing in the room that makes us want to look away. And he keeps that goddam camera on it until we’re forced to look, before moving on (how does he always know?!) With beautifully restored prints, new audio commentaries, and many more extra features, this box set is a film lover’s dream.

Prime Cut - This offbeat 1972 "heartland noir" from director Michael Ritchie features one of my favorite Lee Marvin performances. He's a cleaner for an Irish mob out of Chicago who is sent to collect an overdue payment from a venal, sociopathic livestock rancher (Gene Hackman) with the unlikely moniker of "Mary Ann". In addition to overseeing his meat packing plant (where the odd debt collector ends up as sausage filler), Mary Ann maintains a (literal) stable of naked, heavily sedated young women for auction. He protects his spread with a small army of disturbingly uber-Aryan young men who look like they were cloned in a secret Nazi lab. It gets even weirder, yet the film has an oddly endearing quality; perhaps due to its blend of pulpy thrills, dark comedy and ironic detachment. It's fun watching Hackman and Marvin go mano a mano; and seeing Sissy Spacek in her film debut. Explosive Media skimps on extras, but boasts a sharp transfer.

Sorcerer - The time is ripe for a re-appraisal of William Friedkin’s 1977 action-adventure, which was greeted with indifference by audiences and cold-shouldered by critics at the time. Maybe it was the incongruous title, which likely led many to assume it would be in the vein of his previous film (and huge box-office hit), The Exorcist. Then again, it was tough for any other film to garner attention in the immediate wake of Star Wars. At any rate, it’s an expertly directed, terrifically acted update of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic 1953 nail-biter, The Wages Of Fear (I say “update” in deference to Friedkin, who bristles at the term “remake” in a “letter from the director” included with the new disc). Roy Scheider heads a superb international cast as a desperate American on the lam in South America, who signs up for a job transporting a truckload of nitroglycerine via decidedly under-maintained roads. Tangerine Dream provides the memorable soundtrack. No extras on Warner’s Blu-ray, but to finally see a restored, director-supervised transfer is a treat.

The Swimmer - A riveting performance from Burt Lancaster fuels this underappreciated 1968 drama from Frank Perry (and an un-credited Sydney Pollack, who took over direction after Perry dropped out of the production). In this darkly satirical John Cheever story (adapted for the screen by Eleanor Perry), Lancaster's character embarks upon a Homeric journey...working his way home via a network of backyard swimming pools. Each encounter with friends and neighbors (who apparently have not seen him in quite some time) fits another piece to the puzzle of a troubled, troubled man. It's an existential suburban nightmare that can count American Beauty and The Ice Storm amongst its descendants. Grindhouse Releasing's Blu-ray features a restored transfer that showcases David L. Quaid's superb cinematography, plus an absorbing 2 1/2 hour "making of" doc.

Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery - Who killed Laura Palmer? Who cares? The key to  binge-watching David Lynch’s short-lived early 90s cult TV series about the denizens of a sleepy Northwestern lumber town and their twisted secrets is to unlearn all that you have learned about neatly wrapped story arcs and to just embrace the wonderfully warped weirdness. The real “mystery” is how the creator of avant-garde films like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet managed to snag a prime time network TV slot in the first place…and got away with it for two seasons! Paramount’s Blu-ray box set sports vibrant transfers and crisply re-mastered audio tracks. Extras include the “international” cut of the pilot episode, and the “prequel” feature film, Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me. All the extra features from the DVD “gold box” are ported over, with additional new bonus material.

…and some upcoming Blu-ray reissues of note:



Search Digby!