17 items from 2011
I recently had the privilege of attending a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece A Clockwork Orange in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the film and to mark the release of the Blu-ray box set ‘Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection.’ What made this particular screening special was an introductory Q&A session with the film’s star Malcolm McDowell, Kubrick’s widow Christiane and her brother, longtime Kubrick collaborator Jan Harlan.
Hosted by Warner Brothers and HMV at a plush but intimate screening room (about 40 seats) in the Soho Hotel, McDowell quipped, when first handed a microphone, “Why do I need a microphone, there are only 3 people here!?” Asked if it felt like 40 years since the release of the film, he replied “Honestly, it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Now, if I had been in a prison cell, I’m sure it would have been a very slow 40 years, »
- Ian Gilchrist
Prey - is French director Antoine Blossier's debut effort and brings together some mystery, great FX work for a gritty, wilderness based horror flick. The film flew under the radar last year, but was picked up by IFC Midnight. Fans of foreign horror will definitely want to check this one out.
Drive Angry - is a film that has to be seen to believe. This gonzo exploitation throwback features enough Ott blood, action and humor to thrill some and offend most. It also features one of the best performances of the year by William Fichtner. I mentioned in my Drive Angry review that it's what Death Proof should have been and I think you already know if you're a fan of this kind of thing.
Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection - This is just a beautiful thing. I picked up that first Kubrick DVD Collection a couple years »
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Barry Lyndon and Lolita I can't tell you how happy I was to learn Amazon was exclusively selling the Barry Lyndon and Lolita Blu-ray singles. Warner Home Video wasn't sending out review copies of the two Blu-rays and I already own the rest of Stanley Kubrick's available films on Blu-ray so it made no sense for me to order the "Essential Collection" which I'll detail below. So, last night, I ordered these two from Amazon and the order ended up totaling just over $30. Worth it in my opinion even though Lolita is the only Kubrick film I have never seen... something I will be remedying very shortly. Stanley Kubrick: The Essential Collection If you don't already own Stanley Kubrick's films on Blu-ray then you should look long and hard at this collection or ask someone to »
- Brad Brevet
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
neither shall they learn war any more.
War is a nation’s ultimate commitment of blood and treasure. As such, the stories a people tells about its wars – and don’t tell – and the ways it remembers its wars – or chooses to forget them – tells us much about the kind of people they consider themselves to be at different times in their history, as well as the kind of people they really were…and are.
For most of the 20th century, the war film was a Hollywood staple. From one era to the next, war movies documented the nation’s conflicts, reflected the national consciousness on particular combats as well as on thinking going far beyond any one, particular war. They’ve been propagandistic and revisionist, »
- Bill Mesce
The story of a well-planned racetrack robbery is told via a radical-for-its-time splintered narrative peppered with sharp dialogue from the great pulp writer Jim Thompson. Plus, the film features a cast of legendary character actors, including Sterling Hayden (Dr. Strangelove), Coleen Gray (Red River), Timothy Carey (Paths of Glory) and Elisha Cook Jr. (The Maltese Falcon).
A too-cool thriller embodying all of film noir’s finest characteristics — deceit, betrayal, fate and a femme fatale — as well as its maker’s trademark tracking shots and precise mise-en-scene, The Killing is definitely a must-own for Criterion classics collectors.
The movie will feature a new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. »
It’s so strange, writing this so long after the announcement yesterday. In today’s internet world of instant information, and twenty four second news cycles, yesterday’s August 2011 Criterion Collection new releases may as well have happened last week, or last month. I’m sure that the page views for this post will be markedly smaller than the usual, as I have tried consistently to have the new release post up within minutes of the pages going live on Criterion’s website. I know this all sounds like inside baseball stuff, but it’s on my mind, and darn it, this is my website.
I had a whole, several paragraph long, write up of the August titles, but since I’m finding myself writing this at 10pm on Tuesday evening, I think it’s better if I just scrap that whole thing and start over. I was going on »
- Ryan Gallagher
Back in February, Obsessed With Film’s Stuart Cummins dedicated an entry into his Top Ten Tuesdays series with his choice of the 10 Greatest Heist Movies Ever Made. It was a fun list and I loved most of the movies he chose but one classic he left out deserved recognition.
In fact I believe it to be the greatest heist film ever made.
Stanley Kubrick’s early career thriller The Killing, a movie so refined and perfectly put together – Criterion have got the idea to give it the kind of Blu-ray treatment only that magnificent company can with his 1958 boxing drama Killer’s Kiss getting the full restoration treatment as an bonus feature! Save your pennies in August.
Press release below;
The Killing – Blu-ray & DVD
Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs. Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson, »
- Matt Holmes
Plus The Complete Jean Vigo, Lee Chang-Dong's 'Secret Sunshine,' And 'The Battle of Algiers,' 'If...' & 'Orpheus' On Blu-Ray Put the kids to bed. Turn off your cellphones. Feed the cat whiskey until it goes to sleep. Yep, it's our favorite time of the month again: Criterion announcement time! Our favorite home entertainment label has unveiled their August line-up, and once again, it's something of a doozy. The big-money number is Stanley Kubrick's early crime classic "The Killing" making its debut in the Collection. The third of the director's back catalog to make it, after "Spartacus" and "Paths of Glory,"… »
The first details are out for the 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release of "Citizen Kane" at Blu-Ray.com.
""When they say 'We don't have a script,' they don't have a completed script that they're about to go shoot. There's a great desire to see Jack Bauer on the big screen" said Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice when asked about the potential "24" movie during a conference call yesterday to discuss the network's fall primetime programming… »
- Garth Franklin
Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) plays Jesse Eisenberg's best friend in Ruben Fleischer’s "30 Minutes or Less." In the film two fledgling criminals (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) kidnap a pizza delivery driver (Jesse Eisenberg) and force him to rob a bank within 30 minutes. When Ansari's character finds out his twin sister is being held hostage he then decides to help Eisenberg and goes along for the ride.While visiting the set of "30 Minutes or Less" Ansari was kind enough to speak to us about the film.Here is what he had to sayDo you play Jesse’s best friend?Aziz Ansari: I play Jesse’s best friend, and as you know he gets a bomb strapped to him and is told that he has to rob a bank so when that happens he asks his best friend to help him do it and I play the best »
Is the IRS making you feel a poorer? As today is tax day, Disc Dish is celebrating with some great films in which characters use not-so-legal ways to fill their wallets (not that we’re advocating any, but they’re so much fun to watch.)
The question is, how well do you know your cinematic capers? Below are some of the best heist movies.
How many film titles can you match with the prize the characters are trying to steal? If you get tripped up, steal a peak at the answers.
The Movie The Loot 1. Larceny, Inc. (1942) – Ex-cons J. Chalmers Maxwell (Edward G. Robinson), Jug Martin (Broderick Crawford) and Weepy Davis (Edward Brophy) launch an elaborate scheme to get to this enticing jackpot. But there’s one problem – the fake luggage shop they set up to mask their criminal goings-on is doing a booming business and taking them away from the task at hand. »
Very few films are perfect, in my eyes at least. Coen Brothers’ 2007 classic No Country For Old Men is a movie I constantly cite as being one where every single individual scene and performance would be impossible to improve upon in progressing the filmmaker’s intention within that genre. No Country, for example, is a film I have watched at length and found no flaws, nothing that dissatisfies me or that I think could be bettered. Stanley Kubrick’s early crime classic The Killing is another. But these are few and far between.
Of course that’s just my opinion and you guys might be able to come up with a list a mile long about what annoys you about either film and you are entitled to that (I’d love to see such a list however if you do feel that way). But 99.9% of every other movie I’ve seen, »
- Matt Holmes
BrandChannel.com is a site that lists all product placement found within #1 studio feature films, going back to 2001.
Something to pay attention to next time you sit down to watch a movie, and to later discuss, when you and your pals go to Starbucks afterward and order cappuccinos, oblivious of the fact that you might be doing so because a character in the movie you just saw was drinking one
For example… Limitless, last week’s number 1 movie, featured brands that include: adidas, Apple, At&T, Bentley, BlackBerry, Bloomberg, Dell, Google, Ibm, Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Maserati, Mercedes, New York Post, Percocet, Red Bull, Smartwater, St. Regis Hotel, Trump, and Two Men and a Truck.
Several “high end” brands there. I haven’t seen the film however. But since you’re technically supposed to be able to tell who the target audience of the film is, by looking at the brands featured in the film, »
It has certainly been a busy week for Criterion, and I have a dozen or so drafts of news stories to finish up over the weekend. With Tuesday’s June 2011 new release announcement, new Three Reasons videos, additions to the Hulu Channel, and a handful of other smaller pieces, Criterion has kept me busy. Earlier today we got our March e-mail newsletter, complete with a brand new “wacky” illustration from Criterion’s own Jason Polan. This is what we got:
Now, when I first saw the film, my brain immediately jumped to White Dog, and the possibility of a Blu-ray release. I’m pretty sure that was on James’ list of Blu-ray upgrades that he wanted to see when we recorded our bonus episode earlier this year. As soon as I put that idea out online, everyone was quick to point out that the dog was obviously from Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, »
- Ryan Gallagher
Harry’s War (Original Release Date: 1 March 1981)
A number of folks on the Internet appear to believe the Big Bad Government is hiding this movie from us. If more people were aware of it, they reason, it would foment revolution. It would effect change. It would cause people -- if you’ll permit me a corruption (and translation!) of one of the go-to quotes in Kant’s Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung? -- to doff the self-imposed yoke of immaturity, don a new yoke of exaggerated self-worth, and inculcate a similarly exaggerated sense of self-worth in those too stupid or unfortunate to realize the power to shrug off the yoke of immaturity rests on their own shoulders.
Enough of that. The above paragraph is meant to illustrate that you can’t write about movies, politics, and philosophy in the same paragraph without coming across like an asshole. Name dropping makes it worse. »
- Thurston McQ
Some would say “difficult and remote”. Others would say “brilliant, bold, daring but an absolute control freak”. The late Stanley Kubrick was labelled many things in his time but no one can doubt the man had a rich talent for realising cinema as a grand, sensory spectacle. This month marks the 12th anniversary since his death and as a tribute to his talents I would like to propose 50 reasons why the filmmaker may have actually been the greatest director of all time.
In no particular order;
1. Was a Master Of Almost Every Genre
There’s little doubt that Kubrick was a cinematic connoisseur. To prove it he created a classic entry in almost every genre, whether it be a clever comedy satire (Dr Strangelove), a masterful psychological horror (The Shining), innovative sci-fi’s (2001: A Space Odyssey & A Clockwork Orange), a beautiful period drama (Barry Lyndon), controversial anti-war movies (Paths of Glory »
- Oliver Pfeiffer
With Oscar nominations less than two weeks away, one of the films that's slowly been gaining momentum is Ben Affleck's fall hit The Town. The Boston-set heist movie was a hit with audiences and critics alike  and, due to the fact that it's been on DVD for a few weeks , it's getting more buzz as a possible Best Picture nominee and for its supporting performances, most notably that of last year's Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner. Being as it's that time of year to not only give out awards, but also do top ten lists, Affleck - who not only starred in, but directed the film - put together his top eleven heist films of all time for The Daily Beast. It's a very cool list that not only has a bunch of more modern films, but a few more obscure ones as well. The Daily Beast  has trailers »
- Germain Lussier
17 items from 2011
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