Each week finds my introduction skills slipping into a land not unlike the underside of your bed. Granted, it’s not covered in amputee porn, but it’s still cluttered with many thoughts and most of them are horrific. Some haven’t even been exercised since the eighties. So, with that, we’re off.
Walken in L.A.
The Internet’s sexiest tomboy beanpole is an emaciated bounty hunter in Tony Scott’s frenetic Domino (await CHUD’s DVD review!). Written by Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko), Scott’s extremely unconventional flick has enough testosterone to power a sperm bank for an entire fortnight. Kelly most adroitly said Scott’s film was like it was on acid, so let that set the correct tone for what transpires. Events splinter forth requiring Domino to quit her day job (as a Ford model) and take on more pressing matters – like joining Mickey Rouke’s band of beefy bondsmen as they snatch and grab quite a few crafty criminals. But it doesn’t stop there, as Scott and Kelly throw in some former 90210 thespians and the immortal Christopher “I don’t do punctuation in my scripts” Walken, whose TV Executive has giant plans for the misadventures of the cadre of lunatics. Rounded all out, Domino is a jagged little piece of Tony Scott-designed signature metal, which should be enticing enough to wash out the anorexic cuddling session Knightley shared with Adrian Brody in their passable Jacket.
What’s it like to have the body of a ten-year-old boy? – with: audio commentary with Tony Scott and Richard Kelly, some script notes and story development with commentary with Tony Scott, Zack Schiff-Abrams, Ricahrd Kelly and Tom Waits, 9 deleted scenes, the featurette “I am a Bounty Hunter” – Domino Harvey’s Life with optional commentary, and finally the feature – Bounty Hunting on Acid: Evolution of a Visual Style.
The future is graying now. Still, that shouldn’t stop anyone from delving into the cult pop-punk classic Class of 1984, whose message about school violence and its causes should have been heeded. There’re brushstrokes of greatness throughout, if only because its plot has a Teacher wishing to impart the gift of music onto his students and that plan quickly backfires when musical prodigy Timothy Van Patten and his punk rock attitude dismisses all. The stage is immediately set for the showdown to end all showdowns, as Prof. Perry King takes on Van Patten and his futuristic gang members in one of the most sadistic school hide-and-seek scenes ever put to celluloid. Stalking the corridors with effortless ease, King not only shoots to win, but bloodied students are destroyed in the crosshairs – even Michael J. Fox isn’t safe from being wounded. As a comment on where our society’s Educational system was headed, Class of 1984 achieves its imparted wisdom with a stern trigger pull. See this if you can, for its amazing offensive qualities are worth fighting for.
I am the Future – with: audio commentary with Director Mark Lester, the all-new featurette Blood and Blackboards, 2 TV spots, a Mark Lester Biography, some poster and stills galleries, a DVD-ROM screenplay, and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Character pieces are fairly rare these days with the multiplexes of Kansas overcrowded with piss-poor films. Leave it to Gore Verbinski (whose MO is bringing you good movies – except The Mexican) to charter more inward territory with The Weather Man (read Devin’s review here). Nicolas Cage turns to the roles that got him noticed in the first place – characters who get you excited, especially since he’s raped that goodwill into a jail cell with soulless high-octane adventure exploits. Cage’s David Spritz is a Chicago weatherman whose personal life is also gutted at the expense of his professional one. His wife and family couldn’t give a damn, his father (Michael Caine) chides him at every possible instance, and people on the street are prone to perpetually throw half-devoured food at him. Now I know the parallels between your life and his are startling (although I heard you catch and eat the last caveat), but Cage’s character doesn’t necessarily do Lee’s right thing. For that his portrayal might be something of unsentimental heroism and that’s sorely lacking from today’s eye-gouging film experiences.
Fuck you right now – with: 5 features (Extended Outlook: The Script, Forecast: Becoming a Weatherman, Atmospheric Pressure: The Style and Pallette, Relative Humidity: The Characters, and Trade Winds: The Collaboration), along with the film’s theatrical trailer. I wish Verbinski had done commentary.
Your geek contingent with most likely assemble with eager anticipation for the solely animated Ultimate Avengers: The Movie. Let’s face it: it’s been a long time coming, and you’ve been filleting your mignon for decades. All of the throbbing aside, Captain America finds the world in a different state these 60 years later. For starters, hentai is more readily available and it’s not as cold as being stuck in a fucking huge block of ice. But as the world is slowly slipping into catastrophic circumstances, Nick Fury of SHIELD amasses such titans as Iron Man, Bruce Banner, Hank Pym, Hank’s BFF Jan, the valiant Thor and even the sultry cartoon lines of The Black Widow to become Captain’s Ultimate Avengers. A new group of superheroes for the new threats even our Military can’t comprehend. Proponents of the group’s former exploits should find themselves curiously interested in the liberalities taken in deviation from the original 12 issues of their favorite comics, while others will definitely be exploding in joy that Marvel might have done something correctly in bringing such beloved characters in a strictly controllable environment. Maybe they haven’t screwed it up!
A man with an umbrella is a man praying for rain – with: The Ultimate Voice Talent Search, the featurette for Assembling the Avengers, the DVD-ROM Game of What Avenger are You?, and a first-look for Ultimate Avengers II, arriving in 06.06.
North Country (read Devin’s review) was yet another one of those films that completely eluded me in theatres, mostly because I was too complacent in my own laziness. And when you’re stuck in any type of a situation like that, contempt breeds. Injustices happen everyday in our country and as a whole we’re all too damn complacent. Let’s take some action. Nikki Caro’s previous film, Whale Rider was a spectacular example of the type of strong female characters we don’t normally see from feature films. Being that as it may, Caro has teamed up with the even moreso socially ambitious Charlize Theron in the telling of one of the first landmark legal cases against the injustices of sexual harassment in the workplace. In Minnesota, Theron’s young mother struggles to make ends meet in a local mine, just like the other hordes of inadequate Men around her. What happens is not only startling, but it’s par for the course in our society when it needn’t be. By shining a necessary spotlight on such evils, North Country shines one right back at you, evildoer.
Who’s the unlucky? – with: some additional scenes, a making-of documentary “Stories from the North Country”, and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Even when Lord Joel Silver produces Television he breaks progress on its tiny back. In Action – The Complete Series (read Dave’s DVD review!), Silver has passable comedian Jay Mohr as lying, stealing, and cheating producer Peter Dragon, whose gigantic film Slow Torture is now a $150 Million bomb. His last hope is to snatch and covet Beverly Hills Gun Club, which could bring his fortunes twisting around towards the light. Only problem being is that it’s being lusted after by a hooker (the chameleon-like Illeana Douglas). Action was definitely ahead of its time in some respects, and naturally like all good shows it was doomed into cancellation. Its insistence upon bringing you some far out, homophobic, sexist, politically incorrect jokes is bar none compared to some of the other Dancing with the No Talents crap you’ve been subjected to. So sit back and watch the parade of the HUGE-ies like Keanu, Hayek, Bullock, Hasselhoff, and R. Lee Emery float in and out and sting Hollywood right in the kisser.
I don’t tell you how go to a bus stop and turn a 15 year old girl into a prostitute, do I? – with: episodic filmmaker’s audio commentaries, a making-of featurette, and and Interactive "Hollywood Insider" Dictionary, but please, please, please don’t use that last part thinking its Gospel when you venture out to H-Wood.
Chris Columbus focuses his competent directorial eye on the famed Broadway adaptation of Rent (read Devin’s review here) after laying siege to Harry Potter. Granted, he’s no slouch having taken on a myriad of very important projects (and introducing “you’re what the French call les incompetents" into our cultural lexicon) but Rent once again proves that audiences aren’t really that interested in all-singing all-dancing renditions (although I was never able to truly explain the success of Chicago – Richard Gere? Harvey Weinstein?). Additionally, it’s also very tough to take a serious movie like Rent resolute when Team America lambasted its very concept right out into the stratosphere. So Columbus manages to film the lives of a group of young twentysomethings struggling to make it in the East Village as an exercise in how to make a film, but presents no more flavor than the journeymen filmmakers before him. While that’s not necessarily a trite thing, many of those crazies who have seen the play an inordinate amount of times might find the experience quite adequate. Was it enough for today? Quiet riot if it’s not.
Merry Christmas bitches! – with: audio commentary with Chris Columbus and selected cast members, the feature-length documentary “No Day But Today” (with these features – Days of Inspiration – Jonathan Larson’s formative years. His childhood through college, Leap of Faith – Jonathan’s move to NY and the subsequent experiences and projects that led up to writing Rent, Another Day – The creation process of the musical Rent. From conception to the final dress rehearsal, Without You – The death of Jonathan Larson, we then follow the show’s amazing success story from off-Broadway to worldwide phenomenon, and Over the Moon – this last portion covers the making of the actual movie with a final tribute to Jonathan Larson), some deleted scenes and musical performances, 2 PSAs (Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation; National Marfan Foundation), and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation) blasted out of the psychological horror gate with Cure and its unnerving situations. It was certainly scary as all fuck, and my expletives can’t decry the amount of times I nearly wet myself (consider me a sucker for being manipulated). Now he comes with Pulse/Kairo (be scared for Ian’s DVD review), in which Kurosawa uses those mundane everyday items we take for granted in a new way for darkness to reign o’er our lives. Now if you’ve seen the effectively creepy Americanized remake trailers (with Veronica Mars’ Kristen Bell) you’ll know that the dead aren’t really going to the afterlife as much as they are like the rest of our base population: surfing the web for porn passwords. Considering they have more time to spare than the rest of us, the dearly departed also have some scores to settle, especially with Snood. Still, I think allmovieguide.com summed this movie up nicely by confidently stating: “[it’s] as if Andrei Tarkovsky directed The Omega Man.” Put that in your slowly deteriorating pipe and smoke it. If you still can.
Would you like to meet ghosts? – with: the making-of Pulse featurette and the film’s theatrical trailer, along with the nights of sleep you’ll undoubtedly lose.
I was first introduced to All the President’s Men during a Junior-year English course in High School, and the experience has been enough to sear its way into my brain. Alan J. Pakula’s film, naturally, is of the utmost importance today as it was an indictment into the failed policies and national scandals of one of the worst Presidents in our country. Curmudgeonly scribe William Goldman’s glory days are on full display – I mean who else would present such factual information as a paranoid 70’s thriller? That’s part of the film’s achievements to enthrall, to excite, to be retro in its clothes choices (look at Hoffman’s huge tie!). Another is the serendipity of the Hoffman/Redford mash-up (all the rage even back then) who feed off of one another like you and your plate when it’s pizza time. The event starts off slow, as you might know, but doing illegal things like wiretapping is within a President’s power, right? The Washington Post didn’t think so (they might now) and chewed on the story until it ran rampant throughout the annals of journalistic history. All the President’s Men is still one of the best films to emerge from the political upheavals of the 70’s and if you don’t like it, I think Mr. T and I agree to pity you, fool.
Follow the money – with: audio commentary with Robert Redford, 3 features (Telling the Truth About Lies: The Making of All the President’s Men, Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire, and the very timely Out of the Shadows: The Man Who Was Deep Throat), as well as vintage featurettes on Pressure and the Press: The Making of All the President’s Men and a vintage interview with Jason Robards on Dinah!, hosted by Dinah Shore, as well as an Alan J. Pakula thrillers trailer gallery.
Special Note should be paid to the following weeks, when this, Dog Day Afternoon’s SE and Network’s SE (the latter two arrive on 2.28) will be all released in 1 excellent boxed set.
Midnight Cowboy received an X when it was first released (equivalent to today’s NC-17), although now it’s relatively tame considering the subject matter and the boundaries we as a culture have smashed into tiny sexual bits. John Schlesinger’s first American film (after the sublime Darling and Billy Liar) still manages its fortean punch, decimating its rivals courtesy of underrated screenwriter Waldo Salt’s way with words (and he is truly a giant among mere hacks). For those not in the know, Jon Voight is a naïve Texan who travels to New York City in search of fame and fortune, only to take a detour into working the streets for sexual favors. Bumping into Dustin Hoffman’s crippled thief Ratzo Rizzo, the pair forge a friendship that is often times unbelievable as much as it was groundbreaking. Years later, Midnight Cowboy has deteriorated from its original intent (suggesting even the more sordid details of sexuality has now been paved with the road to Spice and its kind), but its power amongst its performances and snappy filmmaking is still entirely worthwhile. Plus it’ll take Mom back to when she was a dirty, dirty whore pawing those streets.
I’m walking here! I’m walking here! – with: audio commentary with Producer Jerome Hellman, 2 documentaries (After Midnight – Reflections on the Classic and Controversy and Acclaim), a Celebrating Schlesinger featurette, and a photo gallery.
Tuesday also showers us all golden-like with these unsanitary titles. You might wish to check some of these out; others you’ll need some extra soapy lather to wash away the experience.
Criterion’s Lion-Lamb Hybrid
Those praise-worthy greats over at the CC have decided March is basically Louis Malle month (besides finally releasing De Sica’s The Children are Watching Us – originally from January). Malle is responsible for more than a few sparkling gems throughout his career, and he continually turned down offers from more prestigious countries (and sunny locales) in order to focus more on his budding love affair with societies underlings. As such, Malle’s films have always been more personal affairs (which ones like My Dinner with Andre have exemplified) and Criterion is making sure you’ve got three great films to connect with on 3.21.06.
I don’t think I could be anymore blunt than that. Enjoy combing through it all, jerk.
Brady Bunch: The Complete Final Season
Buster Keaton – 65th Anniversary Collection
The Cosby Show: Season Two
Den of Lions
Flintstones: The Complete Fifth Season
Free Enterprise: Extended "Five Year Mission" Edition
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Third Season
House on Telegraph Hill
Howl’s Moving Castle
I Walk the Line
Jarhead (also with a Two Disc Collector’s Edition)
Kids in America
My Neighbor Totoro
No Way Out
Paper Clips: Special Edition
Police Woman – The Complete First Season
Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour: The Complete Series
Shaggy D.A.: The Canine Candidate Edition
Shaggy Dog: Wild and Woolly Edition
Spike Lee Joint Collection
Stagecoach (NOT the Ford version)
The Thing Called Love: Director’s Cut
Three’s Company: Season Six
Walking Tall – The Entire Series
Whisper of the Heart
A History of Violence
Agatha Christie Miss Marple Movie Collection
All Dogs Go To Heaven: Dogs Undercover
All Dogs Go to Heaven: Friends to the Rescue
Anastasia: Family Fun Edition
Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers
Basic Instinct: Ultimate Edition – Unrated Director’s Cut
Columbo: The Complete Fourth Season
David and Bathsheba
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo – The Little Black Book Edition
Fish Called Wanda – Deluxe Edition
Five Weeks in a Balloon
Good Night, And Good Luck
Gross Pointe – The Complete Series
How to Lose Your Lover
Ice Age: Super-Cool Edition
I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete First Season
Love’s Long Journey
MacGyver: The Complete Fifth Season
Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Third Season
Pooh’s Grand Adventure – The Search For Christopher Robin
Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
Remember the Titans: Director’s Cut
Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus
She Spies – The Complete First Season
Simple Life 3: Interns
Sleeper Cell: The Complete First Season
Speed Racer, Volume 4
Spring Break Shark Attack
Story of Ruth
Ten Little Indians
Three films by Louis Malle
V.I.P.: The Complete First Season
Year of the Yao
21 Jump Street: The Complete Fifth Season
Adventures of Brer Rabbit
Batman Beyond: Season 1
Bewitched – The Complete Third Season
Billy Wilder Collection
Busby Berkeley Collection (42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935, and a Bonus Disc)
Derailed (also comes in Unrated Edition)
Ed, Edd ‘n Eddy 2: Fools Par-Ed-Ise
Everything is Illuminated
Flying Nun – The Complete First Season
Gidget – The Complete Series
House of the Dead II
Huff – The Complete First Season
In the Mix
Justice League: The Animated Series Season One
League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Over There: Season One
Ring Around the Rosie
Roseanne: The Complete Third Season
Shirley Temple Collection Vol. 3
South Park: The Complete Seventh Season
The Squid and the Whale
Stalag 17: Collector’s Edition
Tales from the Crypt: The Complete Third Season
Ten Commandments: 50th Anniversary Collection
White Shadow: The Complete Second Season
Young Riders – The Complete First Season
Astro Boy: Ultra Collector’s Edition Set 1
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Boy Named Charlie Brown
Conquest of Planet of the Apes
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King: Special Edition
Da Vinci Code Decoded: Totally Decoded
Doctor Who: The Beginning Collection
Escape From the Planet of the Apes
Get Rich or Die Tryin’
Godzilla: Monster Edition
Godzilla – The Series – Monster Mayhem
Godzilla – The Series – Mutant Madness
H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man: The Original Series – Season One
Highway to Heaven: Season Three
I Love Your Work
Karol: A Man Who Became Pope
King Kong: 2-Disc Special Edition
King Kong (Single Disc)
Knots Landing: The Complete First Season
Love on the Side
Masters of Horror Set
Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns
Masters of Horror: Dreams in the Witch House
Memoirs of a Geisha
Northern Exposure: The Complete Fourth Season
Planet of the Apes: Ultimate DVD Collection
Quantum Leap: The Complete Fourth Season
Robot Chicken Vol. 1
Six Feet Under: The Complete Fifth Season
Sliver – Unrated Edition
A Sound of Thunder
Star Trek: Fan Collective – Time Travel
Super Mario Bros. Super Show
Triumph of the Will
Wind in the Willows: Tale of Two Toads
World’s Smallest Secret Agent: Danger Mouse – The Complete Seasons 5 & 6
Have a sexual thing for Gillian Anderson
If you haven’t seen Tristram Shandy yet, fret not, considering it’s just been announced to bequeath its womb-like status on DVD 5.16.06 here in the states. Michael Winterbottom’s film, unlike the dreary misfire of 9 Songs, is complete Meta, or as Steve Coogan matter-of-factly states “it’s about being post modern before there was any modern to be post about.” Tristram Shandy’s story is so incredibly complicated that it’s wrapped up in asides and tangents (not unlike, say your favorite DVD column – and I don’t mean Moriarity’s!) that he doesn’t even get to his birth before telling you about this and that and how a gentleman of his Uncle’s stature was wounded in a very particular spot. Circumcising it all down is the general anarchy of the situation, one which has Coogan playing the titular hero, his father, and a child-like fetus in a rather large womb, against the regular Coogan who also happens to be an Actor grappling with his family, his career, and the heels on his bloody shoes. Tristram Shandy (read Devin’s positive review) is entertaining as all hell, a raucous time that’s charming in its very British way.
Tuscan Sunset – with: undetermined audio commentary (hopefully it’s from Coogan, Brydon, and Winterbottom), some deleted and extended scenes (you were even warned in the film!), some interviews, and of course, the film’s theatrical trailer. SEE THIS!