Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Ken_McAlinden, Dec 8, 2014.
Old Ironsides (1926) Blu-Ray
Revenge Of The Pink Panther Blu-ray.
Avengers - Age of Ultron 4K
To Rome With Love. Fluff and fun with a shaker of magic realism.
I watched Blaze on DVD....the Blaze with Paul Newman.
Thor the Dark World BR
Night and the City (Criterion BR)
Super 8 BR
The Stepford Wives. This gets better each time I watch it. Gilead in the 1970s
saw this at the movies...freaked me out!
"The Kid" -With Charlie Chaplin
& Jackie Coogan. Brilliant & very
The Stuff (1985)
SHAOLIN MANTIS (1978)
Dir. Lau Kar-leung
Starring: David Chaing, Cecilia Wang, Lau Kar-wing and Lily Li
Another Lau Kar-leung directed film with some tremendous action sequences.
David Chaing has never looked better as a kung-fu fighter as he does here, thanks to Lau Kar-leung.
The real surprise is Cecilia Wang who turns in a terrific performance as ZhiZhi.
Wei Fung (David Chiang), a young scholar and kung fu expert, is reluctantly recruited as a spy by the Ching Emperor to infiltrate the influential Tien family,
which is suspected of collaborating with Ming rebels bent on overthrowing the Government.
Wei is hired as Tien ZhiZhi's (Cecilia Wang) new private tutor but conceals his martial abilities.
Annoying, arrogant and abusive ZhiZhi eventually softens and the two fall in love.
Grandfather Tien (Lau Kar-wing) suspects Wei is a Ching traitor who must be executed.
ZhiZhi professes her love for Wei and pleads for his life. The grandfather agrees to spare him on the condition that he marry her and never leave the family compound.
But concerned about the safety of his family, Wei eventually asks if he can take ZhiZhi home to meet his parents.
The grandfather’s answer: Yes, but only if the couple can run a gauntlet of highly skilled relative-fighters.
The pair fight their way through a string of fierce family members.
Wei manages to successfully flee but while aiding his escape, ZhiZhi and her sympathetic mother (Lily Li) meet their unfortunate ends at the hands of the grandfather.
While hiding in the wilderness, Wei studies a ferocious praying mantis to perfect his kung fu skills before returning to the Tien estate to exact revenge for the death of his beloved ZhiZhi and her mother — and to retrieve a secret list of Ming spies. Ultimately, he uses his mastery of weaponry and newfound Praying Mantis Style to lay waste to both uncles before overcoming the grandfather’s formidable Shadow Technique.
The Maze Runner (2014). On DVD.
Topaz. A year or two ago I got the Hitchcock bluray set on slick deals for $30; what a deal. Put off watching Topaz due to bad reviews. Turns out that it is a terrific film that looks great too.
Topaz is massively underrated.
The version on the bluray is 16 minutes longer than the theatrical version, and has a different ending. The other endings, and a split screen showing where the extra scenes appeared, come with the extras. The theatrical ending is silly, and the extra scenes were important to the story. The bluray version is the one to watch.
I think it's too talky.
I've been watching episodes sporadically. Image is so great you can see all of the imperfections that broadcast TV of the 1960's hid.
I watched Charlie Says about the Manson Family. I liked it a lot.... …..on BD.
I watched The World's End with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the first time last night.....on BD. It started out a bit slow but got hilarious by the second half.
Watched the Blu-ray of Vertigo with my son last night.
An MCU double feature last night:
Thor Ragnarok and Avengers Infinity War, both in 4k.
"Freaks" (1932, Browning) (Warner DVD):
Films may come and go, but "Freaks" stands alone in film history, warts and all. At heart, it's a clumsy, stumbling affair, a film that is compromised by its content, its director, censorship...and if there is a short list of films not to be remade, "Freaks" is proudly at the top of that list.
No need to re-hash the story. Carnival performers (freaks) get screwed over by the "normal people" with revenge to follow...a tale as old as time itself.
In essence, "Freaks" was Tod Browning's "Heaven's Gate". Browning, off the success of "Dracula", had been given carte blanche to do something even scarier...and out came "Freaks", based on a short story.
That it got filmed at all was a miracle in itself.
As a film, it lacks a lot. The story is hampered by the non-actors, but more so by Browning's erratic directing and cuts that seem to have been made in the middle of moving-camera scenes. The film is a collision of horror elements, bad melodrama, forced humor and unexpected tenderness, all coming together in a heavily censored 63 minutes that have the off-kilter qualities of a nightmare.
By giving a giant middle finger to everything safe and conventional, "Freaks" was both ahead of its time, and a document of the past, fueled by Tod Browning's peculiar film making and his insight into the circus world he once inhabited.
In violating or parodying every norm of conventional drama and forcing the audience to look at itself in dealing with the freaks of the world, the film guaranteed its own failure.
Mutilated by the studio, from about 90 mins down to the present, "Freaks" lives on like "Greed"; we wonder what the complete film was like...
The 2004 (?) OOP DVD from Warner Brothers is still the latest and only disc release of this film. It looks surprisingly good, given what the source material has been through; excellent tonal range with good grain, and as serviceable sound as can be expected from the original recording. If you want it, make sure it's the official WB disc you are getting; many dealers (including B and N) are selling boots of it that look awful. The WB has the full poster on the cover, no other graphics below.
I watched Freaks on Turner Classics about 20 years ago. I have no desired to get freaked out again.
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