Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Latest Acquisitions - November

November has been a rather depressing month, but it did see a few additions to the collection.

Blu-ray Update

Starring: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn
Director: Stanley Donen
Special Features: Commentary with Stanley Donen & Peter Stone, Theatrical Trailer

The Criterion Collection has been rather hit or miss with their special features. This one sadly falls into the latter category with only the same features recycled from the DVD.

Starring Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown
Directed by: Russel Mulcahy
Special Features: Commentary with Russel Mulcahy, Deleted Scenes

Lionsgate has finally released Highlander on blu-ray in the United States, although the special features are sorely lacking.

The Deleted Scenes are going to catch the interest of Highlander fans. It should be noted that calling them "Deleted Scenes" is rather misleading.  When viewing them, you will be shown this message:  "Whilst creating the HD Master, it was noticed that there were five scenes that were either longer or edited differently to the scenes in the final HIGHLANDER version. As we didn't have the audio for these scenes, we could not include them in the film. We therefore laid music under these scenes and made them available as Deleted Scenes on the Blu-ray."

What you actually get are four scenes with a total running time of 6:14.  You get an alternate cut of the wrestling match at the beginning of the film, an extended scene of Connor and Rachael talking just prior/after the WWII flashback, an extended section of the rooftop fight between Connor and Kurgan and finally an extended version of Connor and Brenda talking on the hilltop at the end of the film.  As mentioned above, music is laid under these scenes, but it's not from Highlander.  The music used here, and on the menu, is actually from John Debney's score for Cutthroat Island.

DVD Update

Starring: Jon Voight
Directed by: Ronald Neame
Special Features: Theatrical Trailer

I had always wanted to watch this movie and I found the out of print widescreen version at a local used record store.  Not a bad Cold War era thriller.  If you missed this one the first time around, it looks like a full screen version will be released on December 7th.

Starring: Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Special Features: The Making of the Musical, The Making of the Movie, Additional Scene, Theatrical Trailer

Not being a fan of most musicals or Joel Schumacher, I had reservations about this one. Being a fan of the original novel and the Lon Chaney, Claude Rains and Hammer versions, I had to give it a chance.  I'm glad I did because this movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is quite good.

Starring: Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich
Directed by: E. Elias Merhige
Special Features: Behind the Scenes, Commentary, Interviews, Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer

I haven't watched this one yet, but the story is intriguing.  It's basically a fictional account of the making of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu where he hired an actual vampire to star in his film.

Starring: Stephen Collins
Directed by: Various
Special Features: Making of Documentary, Commentaries on 5 Episodes

This Raiders of the Lost Ark inspired TV show from the early 80's is finally on DVD.  Thank you Shout Factory!

VHS Update

Starring: Ted Raimi, Deborah Foreman
Directed by: Josh Becker

I picked up the Japanese version of Lunatics off eBay.  Someone needs to release this on DVD.  I keep hearing rumors of a rare Laserdisc version floating around, but to this day, I still haven't come across one.

I don't know if I should mention these last two DVDs as they won't be added to my collection. I did purchase them back in October, so why not? These were going to be gifts for someone very special to me, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not So Random Movie Quotes

"Come back to me."

"Me and Jena are like peas and carrots."

"She's got gaps, I've got gaps.  Together, we fill gaps."

"I no longer want these emotions!"

"You can't fail if you don't give up."

"Life is pain."

"Don't say we aren't right for each other.  The way I see it, we aren't right for anyone else."

"You know that pain and regret can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand.  They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are.  I need my pain!"

"As you wish."

"Love is for poets."

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gout is Gold

Roman Polanski, director of such films as Chinatown, Macbeth, Frantic and Rosemary's Baby (to name just a few), released a little gem of a motion picture that has quietly slipped into obscurity.

After the success of Chinatown in 1974, Polanski began writing a swashbuckling adventure that would star Jack Nicholson as Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red, a down on his luck pirate captain.  The story progressed and production was delayed for many years as Polanski was forced to leave the United States in 1977.  Paramount Pictures pulled out of the production, but Pirates was finally completed with Walter Matthau in 1986.  Unfortunately, audiences weren't ready for a pirate movie.  This oddity would repeat itself in 1995 with Cutthroat Island, but that's another story...   Pirates is quite the entertaining picture that Pirates of the Caribbean owes at least a little of its success to.

I don't remember Roman Polanski's Pirates ever making it to the cinema near my town growing up and saw it for the first time when my father purchased it on Betamax.  In fact, the only time the movie was released in the U.S. (aside from its theatrical run) was on VHS and Betamax by the U.S.A. Home Video label.  Where's the blu-ray release???  In France.  The French market did get a blu-ray of Pirates, uncut, in the correct aspect ratio and a steelbook!  Who owns the distribution rights in the U.S. and why haven't you released it yet?  

For those that are wondering, the French blu-ray is Region B locked so you will need a region free player to watch the movie.  While the disc does offer an English audio track, forced French subtitles are displayed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Criterion Collection Sale

Stop the presses, this just in! Barnes & Noble is having a 50% off sale on all Criterion Collection DVDs and Blu-rays. The sale runs until November 21st and is valid online and in-store.

Reports indicate that coupon code A9N8U4H will grant an extra 15% off the highest priced item in your shopping cart. Please keep in mind, this coupon code has not yet been confirmed. Barnes & Noble is also offering free shipping on all orders of $25 or more.