Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finally available On DVD... elsewhere

These movie show favorites have finally made it to DVD... Well, at least in another country. Since I have a multi-region DVD Player, I've been able to pick these up and enjoy:

Here's a sampling from The UK:

Full Screen/Pan 'n Scan in the US...Widescreen in The UK!

Special Editions in the UK not available in the US!


From Australia:

The Ambulance (Larry Cohen)
The Brink's Job (William Friedkin)
Deadly Blessing (Wes Craven)

Still Of The Night (Robert Benton)

Valentino (Ken Russell)

Avenging Force (1986)
Spellbinder (1988)
Prince Of Darkness - With Commentary.
The Dark Half - Widescreen.

From France:

Brian De Palma Annes 60

From Italy:

To Be Twenty
(Fernando Di Leo)
Savage Nights (Cyril Collard)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Meep Pic Of The Week: Redbelt (2008)

A Sony Pictures Classics release
Original Theatrical Release Date: May 2nd, 2008
DVD Release: Yes

Part sports movie and large part character drama, David Mamet's Redbelt is a breath of fresh air.

The trademark David Mamet dialogue is there, as are the complicated twists and turns. But there's also a solid and moving central performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor, an excellent supporting cast (even Tim Allen keeps his ham in check) real thrills and a surprising climax when the hero finally gets to face off against his opponent in the ring.

This is a movie really about integrity, honor and dignity and not one pretending to be about them while playing into cliches. Oh, and chiwetel can really kicks some ass.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Movie Show Review: Up In The Air (2009)

I believe Up In The Air means well, but I think perhaps that was it's greatest problem. The movie tried a bit too hard to be relevant to our current economy and times, and everything here just felt way too on the nose.

For example: The leading character, a man who fires people for a living and spends 300+ days traveling the country without a real care in the world, has a sister who at her wedding has a map of all the places she can't afford to go see (he can and does) But she's happy simply because everyone is contributing to her map of the United States by filling it up with mock pictures of the couple in those places. Oh but wait... Mr. Clooney, the ice man of relationships, is the only person who can salvage the wedding when the groom gets cold feet. And just maybe, just maybe he'll melt in the process too.

It's fine for a movie to be so proud of it's themes that it lays them right out on the table, but sometimes it can get a little too thick... Crash, anyone?

George Clooney did this.

Thankfully Up In The Air doesn't go down that treacherous road as much, but I couldn't help but be disappointed when the movie retracts some of what it was trying to emphasize by having it's lead characters continue to be financially sound in a movie full of people losing their jobs. And then on top of that have interstituals of those getting fired in the last reel finding hope within their darkest hour. That felt a bit forced as when we get fired we generally don't enunciate such things during those times.

If anything this is a picture about people and relationships and how we interact with one another. The film really excels when it simply lets the actors do their jobs. The acting by all is terrific here, and the 3 leads' chemistry works beautifully with each other. Most importantly Vera Farmiga produces a HELLO! moment announcing a possible sex scene when her exposed rear-end enters the frame. I believe there was side boobage as well.

I understand this film's intention is to unite it's audience by identifying with such timely circumstances, but other than the superior and charismatic performances, a potential Oscar winner (especially for Best Screenplay) I just really don't get. Mr. Clooney just needs to get himself on a plane and go to Paris or Tahiti instead of Omaha. And maybe that's what he does at the end. I hope.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"I like listening to music. And I like doing gymnastics... and I LOVE to dance"

Those are the immortal words uttered by Sarah Jessica Parker in the opening scene to the 1985 teen dance classic "Girls Just Want To Have fun". Ah, the dance films of the 80's... I love how so many of them combined the Aerobics craze of the era into their storylines. Heck, if any film was made in the 80's it seemed required to have at least one scene of Aerobics. Some more than others (Perfect, anyone?) I can't forget to mention American Anthem. A whole movie about Gymnastics. Oh... the Breakdancing. Oh how I miss all the Breakdancing battles in movies! The late 70's mega successes of Saturday Night Fever & Grease (along with the blink and you missed it Roller Disco craze found in the totally awesome movie shows Roller Boogie and Skatetown USA--both 1979) provided the foundation of what was to come in the next decade. And they came... to wildly varying degrees of success.

I wonder if Jennifer Beals' dance double still has that wig.

After a long dry spell known as the 1990's and first half of the 2000's, there has been a resurgence of the dance film in the last few years. A few of which were bonafide hits (TV has picked up on this crazy with some fairly successful TV dance Shows as well) I know I'll be there with those pesky teenagers watching Step Up 3D later this year. The promise of freestyling and glitter being thrown at you in 3D is just too much to resist. As a companion piece to the blog "A Celebration Of 80's Movie Musicals" found here that I posted last summer, I ask you to once again put on your leg warmers & french cut leotards, get your best beat box going, put your dusty Thriller album on and enjoy this quick visual history. 











And better late than nevah.. March 1990's

And if you've gotten this far, you're my kind of brave and daring film fan. Now don't you have the urge to burn up the dance floor? Or the very least some barn, warehouse or living room in your underwear?

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