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DVD Releases for August 19, 2003

 
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 1:32 am    Post subject: DVD Releases for August 19, 2003 Reply with quote

DVD Releases for August 19, 2003



Browse through more new and upcoming DVDs in our DVD Release Dates section.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I have the money (a long while from now, I suppose) I'll be picking up the new Day of the Dead DVD from Anchor Bay and The Ingmar Bergman Trilogy from Criterion (I haven't seen Winter Light or The Silence, but Through a Glass Darkly is probably my favorite Bergman so far). I've already seen Bowling for Columbine (liked, but don't think I'll buy) and Chicago (hated; Rob Vaux shares some of feelings about it).

I haven't seen but will be renting via Netflix: All That Jazz, All the Real Girls, The Decalogue, The Good Thief (I love Bob le Flambeur), The Kid Stays in the Picture (which Eric Beltmann reviewed last year), and Versus (which looks amazingly fun). Anyone have anything they'd recommend? What'll you all be checking out?
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanna see The Good Thief, All the Real Girls, and Kid Stays in the Picture.

I really don't see why you guys don't like Chicago, heh.

I thought Bowling for Columbine was okay, but the fact that I don't like Moore makes me biased. I will rent Roger and Me, which was just released on DVD, too, and see what he's got to say (or just blatantly blurt out).
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matt header
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought that the documentary "Home Movie" looked really interesting, and I loved Chris Smith's "American Movie." That's cool that it's finally coming out on DVD this week, I didn't know that - I'm suddenly very excited to go out and get it right now...
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, hey, I didn't know what either. Cool!
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, yeah. Forgot about Home Movie -- I've been eager to see it as well!
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Bride of Re-Animator" is being re-released on DVD? It looks exactly the same as the one I have (as opposed to a "Millenium Edition" that "Re-Animator" got).

I'm looking forward to picking up "Day of the Dead" even though I think this is the weakest out of the trilogy. Oddly, a lot of people love "Day" better than the others. I personally think it's thematically repetative -- "Night" and "Dawn" say the same things and better -- and the characters, particularly the soldiers, are unconvincing. I think the only reason anyone would prefer "Day" over the first two is for its special effects and slicker style.

"Fright Night Part 2" is surprisingly good as far as needless sequels go. "Lair of the White Worm" is great camp. I'm glad it's finally hitting DVD. "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" is probably one of Carpenter's worst.

I look forward to checking out "The Good Thief" and will probably pick up the Bergman collection, as I am shamefully unversed in his work. Embarassed And my ultra-conservative town seems to have actually gotten a copy of "Bowling for Columbine." How daring. I'll finally get to see what all the fuss is about, provided the local chapter of the Birch Society doesn't ritually burn it first.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
"Bride of Re-Animator" is being re-released on DVD? It looks exactly the same as the one I have (as opposed to a "Millenium Edition" that "Re-Animator" got).


Ah, it's probably just a price drop on the existing DVD. Amazon.com lists retail price-drops among the new DVD releases and I try to weed them out and include only bona fide new releases or editions -- but, occasionally, I'll miss a few. That's probably the case here.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see. I thought they might be doing something special to cash in on "Beyond Re-Animator."
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm most interested in All the Real Girls, The Good Thief, I'm Going Home, and The Trials of Henry Kissinger. All have already been sent by Netflix.

I'm not a big fan of Bride of Re-Animator, but I really like the first film; that's one of the great gore comedies.

I'm with Danny regarding Chicago. Here's what I wrote elsewhere on this site: " Two murderesses spin crime into fame, but Rob Marshall's 'attack' on the cult of celebrity is merely a playful spank, pretext for a sparkly, brassy piece of vaudeville held together by the loosest of fishnet stockings. Many killjoys failed to recognize the distinction between random MTV edits and how Marshall's brisk, cinema-as-showbiz cutting both punctuates and extends the choreography. Some also questioned whether Zellweger and Zeta-Jones could duplicate their showstoppers on the stage -- as if that matters -- but it's the picture's other legs I doubt: Will anyone remember this shimmery, insincere good time in ten years?"

Chicago might be fluff, but it's pretty good fluff. Comparisons to Moulin Rouge don't work for me--certainly the differences in tone, ambition, and stylistics are obvious?--and I can't fathom why anyone would take this cupcake seriously as a significant satire on the media. To complain about how it revels in the amoral while hypocritically teaching a lesson is a lot like complaining that Freddy vs. Jason doesn't treat its violence sincerely. To me, it's just not a point relevant to what the filmmakers are trying to do. I suppose Singin' in the Rain ought to be chided for not being serious about the history of silent film careers?

This is the second release of The Decalogue on DVD, and hopefully the transfer will be clearer than on the previous edition. I love the entire series, and would probably rank it as Kieslowski's best work, or at least alongside the Three Colors trilogy.

I have the Universal DVD of The Dinner Game, so it's odd that Lion's Gate has now released their own version. Regardless, it's a fairly solid farce; if you enjoy things like La Cage aux Folles, it's certainly worth a look.

Home Movie is also worth a look. Smith interviews five eccentric homeowners, and rather than giving us detailed tours of the residences, Smith instead focuses on the off-the-wall personalities inhabiting the homes. The idea is that our surroundings reveal multitudes about us, in a strange symbiosis of design and function. The movie is grandly entertaining and frequently hilarious--but, as with American Movie, I left feeling a little queasy, as if I just spent an hour mocking unsuspecting, undeserving human beings. These people may embrace their eccentricities, but are they so deluded they deserve giggles? Besides, shouldn't we applaud those willing to defy social norms in order to pursue their own individual passions?

As Michael pointed out, I enjoyed The Kid Stays in the Picture quite a bit, despite my reservations about its historical accuracy.

I adore Laurel & Hardy, and have seen virtually all of their work, including the five films on the new DVD. All five are from their sound era--they were two of the few comedians that made a relatively seamless transition from silence--and four are short films. One of those shorts is their masterpiece: The Music Box, which won an Academy Award in 1932 and remains one of the great proofs that impeccable timing is everything to film comedy. The DVD also contains Another Fine Mess, another of my personal favorites, as well as Busy Bodies, County Hospital, and Sons of the Desert, which is their strongest feature film. Not a bad disc, if the picture elements are quality. It's certainly a wonderful introduction to one of the great comedy teams in film history.

I'm also a Zatoichi aficionado, and this month's three releases are among the best in the series (currently at 27 titles), which chronicles the medieval adventures of a blind masseur who also happens to be a deadly swordsman. (When I saw Daredevil, I couldn't help but feel that the ideas had all been pilfered from Zatoichi.) Most of the entries have a scene where Masseur Ichi sits down with gamblers and uses his blindness as a tool, to take advantage of the cheating gamblers. 9: Adventures of a Blind Man has a hilarious, wonderful example. (His blade swipes through a cheater's die, his hair, and the hidden dice, all before the thrown cup hits the table.) In 10: The Blind Swordsman's Revenge, Ichi returns to a community only to find that an old friend has been murdered and his daughter forced into a brothel. Most striking about that entry is the new level of grim despair. The best concept in 11: Zatoichi and the Doomed Man is that Ichi meets a conman who decides to steal the master's identity, which allows a comic actor to perform a very funny Shintaro Katsu impression.

Finally, this month sees the release of one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures. National Lampoon's Vacation is a truly awful movie, but I love it.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
I haven't seen Winter Light or The Silence, but Through a Glass Darkly is probably my favorite Bergman so far.


Really? I probably should revisit Through a Glass Darkly. I remember liking it, but not as much as most every other Bergman I've seen. Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind for one of Bergman's violent meditations on introspection.

I think Winter Light is marvelous. Gunnar Bjornstrand plays a Lutheran pastor whose wife is dead, who has no true friends. He no longer believes in God, and has completely shut himself off from emotion. (He always reminds me of Heyst in Conrad's "Victory.") A member of his congregation loves the pastor, and is willing to marry him, but he coldly rejects her. Later, he has no reaction to death and violence other than closed recognition of the fact. As his faith deteriorates, his congregation's faith crumbles in correlation. He is simply going through the motions of worship. What is worse, a paster who quit the ministry out of spite, or a pastor who blindly leads his congregation into a faith he no longer accepts himself? Near the end of the film, the pastor is confronted by an afflicted man, who makes the observation that Christ's mental pain was far greater than his physical pain. Staring death in the eyes, Christ didn't leave the cross. His belief remained intact, despite feelings of isolation, loneliness, and betrayal. To me, that concept--our human capacity for enduring both mental and physical suffering, as modeled by Christ--is what Winter Light is concerned with.

It's probably worth mentioning that at the time Bergman, the son of a Lutheran pastor, was himself enduring a period of religious uncertainty. His sincere, personal explorations border on profound, in my opinion--much more so than in Scorsese's Last Temptation (although there's a great deal to admire in that film as well).

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 08.21.2003 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


I'm not a big fan of Bride of Re-Animator, but I really like the first film; that's one of the great gore comedies.



"Bride" suffered from too many characters and an unfocused plot. The humor doesn't really hit the mark very well either, but it's still worth watching from time to time if only to see Master Thespian Jeffery Combs in the role he was born to play.
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 09.11.2003 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to buy the Bergman Trilogy Criterion DVD. Perhaps I'll get it for my birthday, yes that would be a very good idea indeed.

The only films of his that I've seen are The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. I loved both of them, of course. Bergman's a genius.
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