Archive for February 2011

Preacher Feature Gets A Director. Coincidentally, My Dreams Of An Epic Preacher Movie With Great Direction Gets Flushed Down The Toilet With A Huge Dump On Top Of It.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Preacher is one of my favorite comic book series created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, published by Vertigo Comics an imprint of DC Comics with painted covers by Glenn Fabry. The series consists of 75 issues in total — 66 regular monthly issues, five one-shot specials and a four-issue Preacher: Saint of Killers limited series. The entire run has been collected in nine trade paperback editions. The final monthly issue, number 66, was published in July 2000.

For those who are unfamiliar with the comic I’ll take you through the basic plot line. Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a down-and-out preacher in the small Texas town of Annville. Custer was accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named Genesis in an incident which killed his entire congregation and flattened his church.

Genesis, the product of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon, is an infant with no sense of individual will. However, as it is composed of both pure goodness and pure evil, it might have enough power to rival that of God Himself. In other words, Jesse Custer, bonded to Genesis, may have become the most powerful being in the whole of living existence.

Custer, driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, goes on a journey across the United States attempting to (literally) find God, who abandoned Heaven the moment Genesis was born. He also begins to discover the truth about his new powers. They allow him, when he wills it, to command the obedience of those who hear and comprehend his words. He is joined by his old girlfriend Tulip O’Hare, as well as a hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy.

During the course of their journeys, the three encounter enemies and obstacles both sacred and profane, including: the Saint of Killers, an invincible, quick-drawing, perfect-aiming, come-lately Angel of Death answering only to “He who sits on the throne”; a serial-killer called the ‘Reaver-Cleaver’; The Grail, a secret organization controlling the governments of the world and protecting the bloodline of Jesus; Herr Starr, ostensible Allfather of the Grail, a megalomaniac with a penchant for prostitutes, who wishes to use Custer for his own ends; several fallen angels; and Jesse’s own redneck ‘family’ — particularly his nasty Cajun grandmother, her mighty bodyguard Jody, and the ‘animal-loving’ T.C.

For awhile director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road To Perdition) was linked to the feature film, which made me very excited that the movie might be pretty good. Seems like Mendes got involved with James Bond 23 and his name fell off the plate to direct.

So a couple days ago it was announced via Twiter that D.J. Caruso, the sometimes-decent/sometimes-crapola director behind THE SALTON SEA, DISTURBIA, TAKING LIVES, TWO FOR THE MONEY, EAGLE EYE and I AM NUMBER FOUR will direct the Neal Moritz-produced neutering of Garth Ennis’s deliriously sacrilegious graphic novel PREACHER.

And with that announcement, I no longer have any hope for a good Preacher film.Which realistically anyone would have trouble delivering a great film of the comic series without a NC-17 rating attached, but you might be able to suggest some of the real crazy shit from the comics and make it work. I really don’t think Caruso has the chops to pull it off properly, but who knows maybe he’ll surprise me. Small ass chance on that one, but I’m open to be surprised.

Let me recommend to you if you enjoy twisted, kick ass story telling you should go to your local comic shop and pick up the first trade paperback of the Preacher series and see how awesome adult comic stories can be. Too bad the movie will be a pure shit sandwich.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Newest Thor Trailer Filled With All Kinds Of Awsome Wickeness..   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

This is one movie I think looks better and better the more I see of It. This might be one of the harder sells this year for people who don’t know anything about the Thor comic universe, but I think getting an early start on the summer blockbuster season with a May 11 release ,3D and trailers like the one below that just got released will help draw in the crowds. For fellow comic geeks like me, we are all to excited for some of our favorite Marvel characters  to finally see the treatment they deserve on on the big screen. Take a look at all the super awesomeness unleashed below:

Looks pretty rad. The big CG creature at the end still needs a little texturing and rendering work, but  all the rest has me getting more and more excited for May 11. Hope it catches on with the mainstream audiences and makes its cash at the box office. Only a few months away till we get to see if the 3D hammer of Thor will kick some ass or not. I’m betting on an ass kicking, how about you?

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Kubrick Fans Rejoice! Barry Lyndon and Lolita Finally Announced For Blu-Ray Release. Oh, Wait There’s A Catch? Of Course There Is. Buggers.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Warner Home Video has finally announced its Stanley Kubrick 2011 video plans. Due on May 31 the 9-film Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection Blu-ray box set (SRP $148.95), a 9-film Stanley Kubrick: The Essential Collection DVD box set (SRP $74.92) and a new A Clockwork Orange: 40th Anniversary Edition (SRP $34.99). The new Blu-ray of A Clockwork Orange will be a 2-disc release including the new 25-minute Turning Like Clockwork documentary about the film’s “Ultra-violence” and its cultural impact and the Malcolm McDowell Looks Back featurette in which Malcolm McDowell reminiscences on closely working with legendary director Stanley Kubrick. It’ll also include the Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures and O Lucky Malcolm! documentaries  and will come packaged in a Blu-ray Book with rare photos, production notes and more.

The Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection Blu-ray box set will include the A Clockwork Orange: 40th Anniversary Edition, along with new Blu-rays of Lolita and Barry Lyndon. And here’s the catch,  these will initially ONLY be available in the Limited Edition Collection and the previous Blu-ray editions of Spartacus (via Universal), Dr. Strangelove (via Sony), 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. It will come in a 40-page, hardcover book-style package. The same 9 films will also be available on DVD, with a slipcase and a 40-page softcover version of the book . So the good news is that you get 2 new Kubrick films on Blu-ray, a new special edition of A Clockwork Orange (which includes Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures) and the book…

The bad news for people like me, who’s first buys in the Blu-Ray realm a few years ago were all the Kubrick films, is that the two Blu-Rays you’ve been waiting for are only available in the box set. What? Really?

I’m sure Barry Lyndon And Lolita will be available soon after in individual discs. Warner has to be aware of the tiring of collectors over the “double and triple dip” of DVD releases for years, but because we are such chumps and keep buying them, here they go again,  “double dipping” on the HD Kubrick films already. All I know is Barry Lyndon and Lolita will be looking so good on Blu-Ray I can hardly wait to take a look.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

The 10 Most Super Terrific Best Blu-Rays of 2010. If You’re Thinking Of Diving Into The Format, Now Might Be The Time.   1 comment

Hey Everyone,

Getting caught up on the releases at the end of 2010 made it hard to write this column until now. Almost everything I watched in January was stunning and well worth getting into the format for (if you haven’t already).

As Blu-Ray selection grows, the choices of great movies to transfer get thinner each year. That being said, 2010 was a great year for classic film in stunning HD , the format showing great range in presentation possibilities. Some amazing titles being transferred to Blu-Ray that are a must own for all HD and film enthusiasts alike. Here are my best Blu-Rays of 2010:

  • #10- AVATAR (2009): 3 disc Extended Collector’s Edition- director James Cameron.  This is the set to get if you’ve been waiting for all the “making of” documentaries and different versions of the film in one package. The only thing really missing in this set to really make it the real “ultimate set” is The 3D Blu Ray version of the film, but since I don’t have a home 3D set up I’d never use it anyway. The real jem of this Blu-Ray  it the close to 3 hour version of the film(16 extra mins), the earth stuff at the start is great and dark story telling at it’s best, it sets up the Jake Sully character way better and all the extra stuff on Pandora is great as well giving a lot more back ground on the world and characters that flow into all the arcs of the story. The Blu-Ray video quality is nothing short of stunning,  I think the film plays best in 2D in the 3 hour version anyway and the docs on the discs are very informative on the process of pre production, filming, 3D and post of Cameron’s latest masterpiece.
  • #9- The Red Shoes (1948) The Criterion Collection- directors Michael Powell and Emeric PressBurger- The best use of the tri-color Technicolor process as stated by the creators of Technicolor. Really this is one of the most stunning film every made. The visuals and logistics of some of the scenes are mind blowing when really thought about. From a technical stand point the film is nothing short of miraculous, the dancing paper scene is breath taking and perfectly executed, better than any CG attempt and in 1948. A must see for every film geek who thinks they know it all about film. Criterion’s Blu-Rays are second to none, brilliant job on the transfer and extras. AAA+
  • #8- The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1947) director John Huston- One of the best told stories about greed and what it drives men to, a must see movie for all viewers. Humphrey Bogart in one of his top 3 performances on his career (the best one in my opinion), Tim Holt as his strait shooter honest partner, Walter Huston in his Oscar winning  role as the old prospector, a character most likely recognized most through his satirizing in Looney Toons and Warner Bros cartoons, and  directed by John Huston is always an indicator of a great viewing experience ahead. I’ve seen Madre more that 25 times on DVD and the Blu-Ray brings new clarity to a brilliant classic, a true pleasure for a Bogart/Huston geek like me.
  • #7- The Night Of The Hunter (1955) The Criterion Collection- director Charles Laughton  –  Robert Mitchum is scary as hell as preacher Harry Powell, for 1955 this is as dark as you get story and performance wise. All the actors give stunning performances including the two main child actors as well. This is what movies are all about, a classic film that took at least 20 years plus to really be appreciated for how ahead of it’s time it was. A high mark in American cinema, fucking aces! Criterion blows away any company today working in the home video market, I love them and hope they keep cranking out new and classic Blu-Ray of this quality for many years to come. Thanks very much for this treat.
  • #6- Paths Of Glory (1957) The Criterion Collection- director Stanley Kubrick- With the words Criterion and Kubrick in the same sentence I feel my balls tingle a bit ,and so should you (even if there just metaphorical, ladies). Stanley Kubrick is my favorite all time filmmaker and if you know me you are most likely sick to death of me talking about him,  but shit, IT’S KUBRICK DUDES! KUBRICK! The Criterion Blu-Ray of Paths Of Glory is pure eye candy for the black and white film enthusiast, Kubrick’s cinematography is beyond comparison, celluloid sorcery at its height. I’m hoping Criterion  follows this release later this year with The Killing And Killer’s Kiss. That would be perfection.
  • #5- Yojimbo/ Sanjuro (1961-62) The Criterion Collection- director Akira Kurosawa- Toshiro Mifune is one of the all time greatest actors and after watching his portrayal as a wondering Ronin in Kurosawa’s Yojimbo you will most likely think the same. His body language, speed and attitude show Mifune’s power of the screen. I love these two samurai tales, both have been ripped off  more time that one can imagine, the list of film makers influenced by Kurosawa  is endless and will remain so as long as film is an art form favored enough to continue. The Blu-Ray presentation is flawless, a lot to learn from these films , another knock out of the park for Criterion.
  • #4- Seven Samurai (1954) The Criterion Collection- director Akira Kurosawa- The classic of all classic action films, just brilliant. There isn’t even a filmmakers today who can get 8 plus actors in one shot and make it beautiful and seem like the most natural situation. Not to mention the camera work in general in all the action sequences, stunning, and all the acting is stellar along with the story and sets. If you haven’t ever seen this one now would be the time to give it a look see, another true epic  jem of the cinema world. In 1080p the pictures come alive as if you were the first one to see the first printing from the master negative on the best screen you can find, nothing short of celluloid fanboy crack. Strong work Criterion, I love me some Kurosawa in HD.
  • #3- M (1931) The Criterion Collection- director Fritz Lang- What really blows me away about Criterion is their capacity to improve in leaps and bounds with each re-release of titles, and the Blu-Ray of Fritz Lang’s M is no different. I owned each of the first two releases that Criterion did on DVD and both were stunning for there time. Now after the remastering of the DVD around 5 years ago,  I was skeptical that the Blu-Ray could really offer much more detail to the film without taking away too much grain or atmosphere from the original 1931 film negative. First off, I love this movie since the first viewing on a crappy VHS copy late in my teenage years, very dark story even by today’s standards, darker  even.  I’ve watched the film around 30 times since then and I was taken aback by how perfectly balanced the Blu-Ray transfer is, It’s as perfect as perfect can get for a movie from 1931. Simply beautiful black and white cinematography and a must see on Blu-Ray, this is what HD is all about and I can’t wait to see Criterion bring us more of their classic library to Blu-Ray. If you haven’t seen it now it the time, absolute cinema gold.
  • #2-Apocalypse Now (1979, 2001) 3 disc Full Disclosure Edition- director Francis Ford Coppola- “I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn’t even know it yet.” The greatest spectacle of a film even shot with out any use of CG, monitors, playback and any kind of studio restriction of any kind. It worked in the end for Coppola, but considering he had already made Godfather 1 and 2, won Oscars for both, no studio in Hollywood wanted to back a film based on the Vietnam war. So Coppola decided to put up his multi-million dollar home and property,  his company would use the money to fund the production himself  which ended up almost bankrupting him and driving him crazy in the process. In the end the product is there captured on celluloid for all time to see, it kicks some serious ass and looks great doing it in 1080p.  With this set on the first two discs you get the 1979 original cut, the 2001 Redux,  a number of  commentaries, extras, a little book,  all the bells and whistles; but that third discs is the real jewel for all film fans, the truest look at the production of a film even caught on camera,  the documentary “Heart Of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse” all shot by Coppola’s wife on location. A great film in it’s own right, the first time available with any release of Apocalypse Now and a welcome addition to the set. This is a must own for all Blu-Ray enthusiasts, serious visual candy here.
  • #1- Alien Anthology (1979,1987,1992, 1997)-directors Scott, Cameron, Fincher, Jeunet  – Hand down this set deserves the best Blu-Ray award of 2010 just based on the first two film transfers alone. Add in the extras, some not seen since the Laser disc release, the other 2 Alien movies and this set is a must own for any film lover getting into HD.

ALIEN(1979)- director Ridley Scott- This is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time, conservatively I’d say I’ve seen it well over 100 times and after seeing this Blu-Ray I re-watched it twice in the next day. This transfer is total perfection. I think Fox did something very special with the first two movies, with help from the director’s without question. It’s like seeing this film again for the first time, the art direction is sublime and is never quite equaled in the series. Scott’s attention to detail and art direction is stellar, and in 1080p I was taken to a transcendent level upon viewing the moody atmosphere of this science fiction monster masterpiece.

ALIENS(1986)- director James Cameron-  Cameron last year took the original negative from 1986 and re colored and fixed the grain level for the Blu-Ray release. At first that sounds bad to fix any grain levels in older films, there is grain in film, that’s one of the great qualities of film; but the original negative stock used for Aliens had problems with it and Kodak ended production of that particular stock after that run, so that’s why  it looks really overly grainy and noisy in the original release. After the re-coloring and tweaking to the special edition of the film the Blu-Ray turned out better than I thought the film could ever look . This shit is bad ass! The people who are very familiar with the film will be shocked at the level of detail to the picture. You will find your self constantly questioning whether you’ve seen this part before and what the hell is going on with all this new shit. That’s how good this transfer is, unbelievable. Nothing like Cameron,Biehn and Sci-Fi, great stuff.

As for the last two films Alien3 (1992) and Alien:Resurrection (1997) didn’t fair so well in the HD transfers. David Fincher was screwed from the second he took the reins of the runaway project at Fox and the Blu-Ray transfer of Alien3 is no different, it shows little care compared to the first two films obviously no impute from the director was taken or given there. As far as Resurrection is concerned the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has already voiced his troubles with the shoty treatment his film got in the HD transfer, the colors are dull,  the blacks are sort of washed out a bit and the over all picture is flat looking compared to other films he’s made. The set really is still worth the purchase because the reality is Alien And Aliens are the only two films you will re-watch anyway, and they are defiantly worth more than a few watchings in HD.

More great classics on the way to Blu-Ray in 2011, The Walking Dead: First Season, Excalibur (1981), Teen Wolf, Taxi Driver (original laser disc commentary is one of the new extras), Tron (1982), Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Criterion, De Palma’s Blow Out (1981) Criterion, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Criterion, Diabolique (1955) Criterion, (the big one this year) the Star Wars Saga and lots more coming .

Is it time to dive in yet? The water is pretty nice once you’re in.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Posted February 16, 2011 by JMC in On The Couch

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The Spider-Man Reboot Gets Obvious Title To Any Fan Of The Comics.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Along with a closer look at the suit, Sony announces the official title of the reboot will be “The Amazing Spider-Man”. A pretty obvious choice for any one who is a fan of the comics. I’m assuming the 2nd will follow with a Spectacular Spider-Man and possibly Peter Parker Spider-Man for a third title? Who knows, but I’m willing to bet Sony has already had Marc Webb pitch a  story arc for a trilogy of movies to start.

The suit looks cool. Sort of has the qualities of the Spider-Man 2099 suit. I sort of dig it. if you look close, you see “web” shooter packs. I like the science tech nerd angle of Peter Parker, him building his own web shooters was a cool part of the comic I really liked as a kid and to this day. I like what I see so far from the Spider-Man camp. I like the actors involved, I truly hope Webb has a great grasp and love for  Spidey’s world and we see something truly amazing. It’s going to be hard for some people to let the Sam Raimi’s version go,(as much as I hated 3, Spider-man 1 and 2 were great movies) but I’m willing to bet we see something pretty cool here. Hoping anyway.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

X-Men:First Class Trailer Is All Kinds Of Awsomeness   1 comment

Hey Everybody,

I’ve been antously awaiting a look at X-Men:First Class since the news broke the Mathew Vaughn was taking the directing reins on the project. What first sounded like an absolute nightmare for true x-men fans (yes, the ones that though X3 was a serious down turn in the series, a real pile of shit), but I got very interested after hearing Vaughn was getting involved with Fox again on another X-Men project; The first being X3 for 3 months or so up here in Vancouver, until Fox decided to push for the release date instead of doing what Vaughn wanted, which was take a few more months to lock down a script on a project that had no finished script. I don’t think ever really did until the last day of shooting, at least that what it seems like with the result Ratner’s directing gave us.

Vaughn’s Idea for the First class movie sounded intriguing to me, to set it in the original time period portrayed in the original run of the comics, WW2 Germany to Kennedy era America. After seeing Vaughn’s other directorial efforts Layer Cake, Stardust and Kick Ass I’m hopeful, obviously a fan of  the comics himself, he has something really special to give long time X-Men fans.

The first trailer hit the internet this afternoon with eager fan watching it over and over, I’m figuring scrutinizing every detail it shows of the film. That a look below for all the awesomeness and decide for yourself whether you”ll be in the theater June 3rd or not. Make sure you turn the player to 1080p to get the full picture quality, the detail on the CG stuff is nice for a trailer especially. Enjoy.

My god is that shit cool or what? I think it looks super sick! Maybe more because I was was having nightmares of an X-Babys movie directed by another hack who doesn’t know shit about comics of the marvel universe, or real film making for example. I would say Matthew Vaughn has a perfect record on his films so far, it looks to me that X-Men:First Class is going to follow in that trend, maybe even bringing back some respect to the X-Men franchise for Fox . Defiantly looking more forward to June 3rd all of a sudden. Great Fucking Trailer Boys!!!

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Captain America Superbowl AD Hits The Net.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

I’m sure seconds after airing this Superbowl ad for Captain America: The First Avenger it was online. For those who haven’t seen it yet enjoy.

All really fast in the ad  but I think this one is going to be a fun action movie for sure. Hopefully the box office is huge so we see some more proper take on past characters that were seriously screwed up by studios and/or  lacking budgets and stories.

Red Skull is looking great, I really love the Captain American WW II story line and am crossing my fingers that director Joe Johnson really hits this one out of the park.  Lots of competition this summer we’ll see how Cap fairs on July 22nd 2011.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.