THE WEEK OF MAY 12th, 2009



TAKEN

Special Features

  • Extended Cut seamlessly branched with Audio commentary with
    Director Pierre Morel, Writer Robert Mark Kamen, and Cinematographers
    Michel Abramowicz and Michel Julienne
  • Exclusive Le “Making Of” featurette
  • Inside Action: Side by Side Comparisons of:
  • ·         Peter Dies

    ·         Bryan Escapes Construction Site

    ·         Good Luck

    ·         The Interrogation

    ·         Bryan at Saint Clair’s

    ·         Boat Fight

  • Avant Premiere


Taken

is one of those films that almost serves as a mirror to America’s fucked pop culture tastes. A rather limp tale of a young girl being kidnapped by sex slave traders should never have been this huge. But, America hates foreign interests and those that threaten our bizarre Puritan sex ethic. Watching that come together under the lead of the Irish father figure that is Liam Neeson, something beautiful happened. It might be years before someone writes a careful academic dissection of this film. But, there’s something truly fucked going on in the subtextual level. The flick arrives on Tuesday in 1 or 2 disc DVD. I’d recommend the Blu-Ray.



THE DANA CARVEY SHOW

Special Features

  • Unaired Episode
  • Rare Deleted Scenes
  • All-New Interviews with Dana Carvey and Robert Smigel

The Dana Carvey Show shows that Shout Factory is willing to take a chance on anything. This forgotten 1996 mid-season pickup quickly died after seven episodes. The un-aired eighth episode gets to see the light of day here. But, a lot of the jokes fall flat now. I might not be a fan of New Englander Skinheads, but there’s a joke here for everyone.




S. DARKO

Special Features

• Filmmaker Commentary

• Deleted Scenes

The Making of S. Darko featurette

Utah Too Much
featurette

S. Darko
sucks so bad that it makes you want to see an airplane engine fall on someone. Daveigh Chase is a solid young actress who really works her ass off, but she’s wasted her. No one should waste their time on this rather cheap DTV semi-sequel that offers nothing to Richard Kelly’s original work. If you’re the kind of douchebag that likes to get drunk or high and watch flicks, then this might be up your alley.

THE PERSONAL CRITERION COLLECTION




I had an idea for a subset column for The Special Edition. Many people
want to have Criterions in their collection. Many people pretend to
like half of the films that Criterion releases. But, what about those
people that honestly can’t be bothered to be told what to like. What
about them?

That’s why I want to test the waters and see if
this floats. I want the readers of CHUD and this dear article to head
to the Boards and nominate their Personal Criterion Collection entry. I
want to see explanations and not just mindless listing of entries,
people.

All titles eligible are previously released DVD/BR media that you believe to be essential/necessary to the collection of the Home Entertainment enthusiast.

THE FIRST ENTRIES

1. The Fountain

2. Videodrome


3. Seven Men from Now


4. Stalker


5. The Last Days of Disco
6. Paris, Texas
7. Vanishing Point
8. The Stunt Man
9. The Deer Hunter
10. The Third Man
11. Southland Tales
12. Head
13. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
14. Sorcerer
15. Henry V (1989)
16. The Great White Hope
17. Fixed Bayonets
18. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary
19. The Ballad of Cable Hogue
20. Gates of Heaven
21. The Dirty Dozen
22. Opening Night
23. Birdman of Alcatraz
24. Elmer Gantry
25. The Band Wagon
26. Five Guns West
27. Detour
28. Jubal
29. Affair in Trinidad
30) Experiment in Terror
31) Seconds
32) Coffy
33) 1984
34) Special
35) Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense
36) The Fortune Cookie
37) Executive Suite
38) Two People
39) The Sand Pebbles
40) The Iron Horse
41) Watermelon Man
42) The Girl Can’t Help It
43) Diner
44) Rumble Fish
45) Pale Rider
46) High Plains Drifter
47) Lady Snowblood
48) Help
49) The Bank Job
50) The Hudsucker Proxy
51) Tommy
52) The Pawnbroker
53) Imitation of Life (1959)
54) Desperate Living
55) In Harm’s Way
56) The Dam Busters
57) The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant
58) Blood and Lace
59) Two-Lane Blacktop
60) Saint Jack
61) Saaraba
62) Meet the Feebles
63) Bob Roberts
64) Love Streams
65) Barfly
66) Billy Jack
67) Shock Corridor
68) Jason and the Argonauts
69) Curse of the Demon
70) Basket Case
71) Searching for Bobby Fisher
72) Safe
73) Deep Cover

and today’s double-shot entry suggested by Straxboy .






74) Blow Out. (click on box art to try to buy this newly Out of Print DVD at Amazon)

One of the most masterful thrillers of the classics “paranoid” era and
also one of the quintessential “films about making films” (or “art
about making art”, since De Palma’s focus seems to move beyond mere
cinema, despite Travolta’s techie credentials).Without a shadow of a
doubt (Hitchcock allusion intended) De Palma’s elegantly tragic
thriller is one of my most favourite pictures (see the side bar to your
right). An exploitation heart pumps the chilled blood round its
celluloid story of John Travolta’s skilled b-movie soundman, Jack
Terry, who toils away his days, and more often his nights, creating
sounds and screams to supplant the obtuse effect of derivative visuals
and vapid starlets in a host of terrible slasher films with titles like
“Co-ed Frenzy”. During a routine sound scout, he witnesses what appears
to be a tragic car accident. But after rescuing the sole survivor of
the crash, Sally (Nancy Allen), he’s drawn into the incidents aftermath
and it appears much more is afoot than mere misfortune. His inquisitive
(and, it’s revealed, somewhat self-destructive) sensibilities pull Jack
and his new ward Sally further into the sinister and murderous affair
involving corrupt senators, sleazy snitches and a maniacal killer
played with admirable salaciousness by John Lithgow.



Aside from being a rollickingly tense thriller, Blow Out
is simply an unsung masterpiece of films about film. It’s a perfect
distillation of every film nut’s fear that eventually, as sure as day
follows night, their obsession will consume their every waking thought,
action and emotion. It’s a portrait of the filmmaker’s purgatory,
deliciously grandiose, operatically tragic and hysterically funny all
at the same time.



It’s inconceivable that De Palma wouldn’t have at least talked this
idea over with Paul Schrader at some point, given he and Schrader’s
collaboration on the similarly fraught tale, Obsession.
In a perverse way, it’s perhaps fortuitous then that Schrader didn’t
lend is scripting abilities to this project because his tautly
puritanical, Protestant leanings might have stripped the ripe
hyperactive emotion with which De Palma’s achingly Catholic guilt
imbues his own screenplay. Horror is often emotional truth disguised as
fantasy. Here, that truth, as played by Travolta, is laid bare with a
raw honesty and genuine compassion quite unexpected in an essentially
glossy skid row conspiracy thriller. The dazzlingly controlled camera
work and cutting by Vilmos Zsigmond and Paul Hirsch respectively
parries with a score by Pino Donnagio that’s laced with romantic
catastrophe the picture rolls, reels and eddies its way toward a punch
line as mesmerising, audacious and devastating as anything in Oldboy.
In the picture’s final seconds, a simple grimly ironic sound gag
encapsulates one man’s spiritual destruction and despair at a modern
world full of bastards and liars. You’ll never think of scream queens
in quite the same way again.




75) The Mission. (click on box art to try to buy this Out of Print DVD at Amazon)

The first (I think) of To’s excursions into more purely
Melvillian/Bressonian austerity (moving away from the traditional
frenetic Hong Kong pizzazz like Heroic Trio), this is the
usually orgiastic Hong Kong gangster film stripped of almost all but
the orgasmic release of a gunfight’s final flourish. Instead, it’s all
foreplay and seduction, an exquisite dance: part character study; part dick-flick;
part hard-boiled action thriller (in that order). It’s as delicate as
it is brutal and telling of To’s genuine dramatic skillz that you come
out remembering the devastating hang-dog expression on a betrayed gang
member’s face with greater clarity than you do the individual bullet
hits of the giddily choreographed shopping mall shoot out.


HERE’S THE LINK TO NOMINATE MORE TITLES.


EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S AVAILABLE ON DVD

  • Alexander Korda’s Private Lives (Eclipse Series/The Criterion Collection)
  • The Anatomist
  • B.T.K
  • The Dana Carvey Show: The Complete Series
  • Galaxy Quest (Deluxe Edition)
  • The Grudge 3
  • Holy Flame Of The Martial World
  • The King And Four Queens
  • Lovejoy: The Complete Season Five
  • North West Frontier
  • Of Time And The City
  • Passengers
  • PBS: 400 Years Of The Telescope
  • Personal Effects
  • Pie In The Sky: Series One
  • Plague Town
  • S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale
  • Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy (Uncensored)
  • Star Trek The Original Series: The Best Of
  • Star Trek The Next Generation: The Best Of
  • Star Trek: Motion Picture Trilogy
  • Taken (One-Disc Extended Cut)
  • Taken (Two-Disc Extended Cut)
  • Time Limit
  • Two And A Half Men: The Complete Fifth Season
  • Ultimate Westerns Collection
  • Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans
  • Underworld: Trilogy
  • War Hero Collection: Patton/Behind Enemy Lines/Rescue Dawn
  • Wise Blood (The Criterion Collection)
  • Young Billy Young

 
BLU-RAY: THE DISC THAT WALKS LIKE A MAN

  • Black Sheep
  • CSI Crime Scene Investigation: The First Season
  • Fargo
  • Force 10 From Navarone
  • The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
  • The Grudge
  • James Bond: Licence To Kill
  • James Bond: The Man With The Golden Gun
  • Living Landscapes: Earthscapes – Flowers And Gardens
  • Major League
  • Passengers
  • Personal Effects
  • Plague Town
  • S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale
  • Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy (Uncensored)
  • Star Trek: Motion Picture Trilogy
  • Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection
  • Taken (Two-Disc Extended Cut)
  • There’s Something About Mary
  • Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans
  • Underworld: Trilogy
  • War Hero Collection: Patton/Behind Enemy Lines/Rescue Dawn
  • Wayne’s World
  • Wayne’s World 2
  • Without A Paddle



SPEND YOUR MONEY!




NEW RELEASES



*Blu-Ray prices are in BOLD BLUE

Passengers  $16.99

Taken  $16.99 and $22.99 for the deluxe edition

Underworld Rise of the Lycans  $16.99

Star Trek Motion Picture Trilogy  $42.99

Taken  $25.99

Underworld Rise of the Lycans   $26.99

Underworld 3 Pack $60.99

Underworld 3 Pack  $31.99

Two and a Half Men Season 5 $29.99

Hatching Pete/ Dadnapped Disney Double Feature $17.99

Wubbzy’s Big Movie $12.99

BLU-RAYS: BUY 2 GET 1 FREE

Hancock

Seven Pounds

Step Brothers

Pineapple Express

Da Vinci Code

Lakeview Terrace

Underworld

Underworld: Evolution



DVD Deals for the Week



7.50

The Devil Wears Prada

Dirty Dancing

Beaches

Titanic



———————————————–







NEW RELEASES

*Blu-Ray prices are in BOLD BLUE

Underworld Rise of the Lycans with bonus Lycan figure  $33.99

Underworld Rise of the Lycans $26.99

Underworld Trilogy $59.99

Underworld Rise of the Lycans $15.99

Taken 2 Disc Extended Cut  $24.99

Taken $15.99

S. Darko $27.99

S. Darko $17.99

Two and a Half Men Season 5  $29.99



Terminator 2   $16.99

Superman Returns $16.99

Street Fighter $16.99

Predator $16.99

3:10 to Yuma $19.99

Traitor $19.99

Righteous Kill $19.99

Princess Bride $19.99



Star Trek Motion Picture Trilogy   $39.99

Star Trek Motion Picture Trilogy  $24.99

Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection $89.99

Star Trek The Original Series Season 1 $69.99





Premonition $9.99

The Da Vinci Code  $9.99