Archive for the ‘director james cameron’ Tag

September Is Shaping Up To Be A Pretty Epic Month For Blu-Ray Releases Starting With Today…   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

The longer any video format in around the obvious lack of great releases begins to set in years after inception. Blu-Ray being in its 6th year already you would think there’s very little to get excited about at this point.  Being a big fan of the format, September 2012 offers one of the best release months for 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and new releases movie in years. Some great old classics, action, comedy films, and there’s also a few discs you might want to buy just to BURN so there is one less copy in the world. I know I will be with one title in particular, but you may absolutely do what suits you.  A few details and box art below, please enjoy.

SEPTEMBER 4th:

Sixteen Candles (1984) director John Hughes-The first movie of only 8 that Hughes directed out of so many he wrote in the 80’s and early 90’s. It still surprises me how many moments I remember so perfectly from this film. I’m not really sure how many times I saw this on either cable or VHS video in the 80’s, but it must have been quite a lot because I still have dialog mesmerized even though I’ve only watched it 3 times in the last 15 years. A true comedy classic,  you see how good Anthony Michael Hall was for the 80’s geek character. Ringwald always had her best work in the Hughes films she did. A really fun film that gets better with time.

Fringe 4th Season(2011-12)- I actually very much enjoyed the 4th season of Fringe. If you’ve been waiting for things to start paying off and being explained, if you make it to the end of this season you most likely will have most of what you want explained straight out for you. After the scare of possibility of  being canceled after season 4 , the creators really got to laying things out in the last 10 episodes here. I am glad that Fringe does get one more full season to wrap things up but it really feels as if they decided to give the fans of the show the things that they were craving to know and see at the end of this season. I hope the 5th season has something in store to end it all with a bang.

Re-Animator (1985) director Stuart Gordon- A great straight out gore fest very loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s work. Any fan or student of practical FX work or gore films with find something to love here. A great classic 80’s horror flick all the way round.

SEPTEMBER 10th:

Titanic 3D/ 2D (1997) director James Cameron- Straight in the fire place she goes. The only Cameron film I have zero love for. Saw it twice in the theater and it was two times too many.

SEPTEMBER 11th:

Snow White And The Huntsmen (2012) director Rupert Sanders- I haven’t seen it yet but my Grip friend Shae Vera had seen it on a date and said it he was amazed how shitty it was, so I’ll most likely never bother with a viewing but it you’re into to shit. this might be right up your alley.

Ghosts Of The Abbyss (2003) director James Cameron- This is the one where  James Cameron and Bill Paxton after filming Titanic, travel to the final undersea resting place of the fated ship of dreams. I’d rather watch this shit a hundred times in a row than have to sit though Titanic one more time. Not a bad watch if you haven’t seen it before.

SEPTEMBER 18th:

Indiana Jones Blu Ray Collection (1981-2009) director Steven Spielberg- I think this has a best chance at the best Blu-Ray set of the year. Indy fans can finally rejoice that they can actually see the 3 good Indy films in HD come September 18. I know the wife and I will be picking up a set and watching all 3 back to back immediately. Can’t wait.

Cabin In The Woods (2012) director Drew Godard- Loved this and am glad it got a theater release after sitting on the shelf at MGM for a few years. It’s extremely inventive, fun and gory as hell. This is the direction I love to see Hollywood go with horror films again. Enough PG-13 remakes and shit storms, please take note,  Cabin In The Woods is a fucking awesome film that every horror fan should be rushing out to pick up in September. Come on humans, start supporting Hard R horror again.

The Great Mouse Detective (1986) directors Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener and John Musker- Loving these classic Disney animation releases on Blu-Ray. The format was made for Animation, the way the picture just pops off the screen is beautiful. We picked up The Rescuers two pack a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised by the picture quality again. I’m sure The Great Mouse Detective will look just as good as it did in the theater in ’86.

Supernatural Season 7 (2011-2012)- Really digging this show and the 7th season keeps things rolling strong. Funny, great lore through out all seasons and all the actors walk the line of seriousness and comedy perfectly, a great show to be discovered. I’ll be sad to see it come to an end next year but at least we will have 8 rad seasons total for this cool as hell horror mythos series. The best thing McG will ever be involved in, still can’t believe he is EP. Regardless though, a kick ass series for all horror fans worldwide.

SEPTEMBER 25th:

Avengers (2012) director Joss Whedon- I love me some Avengers, My original review here: https://celluloidpopculturejunkie.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/after-the-avengers-movie-in-imax-3d-i-wanted-to-walk-back-into-the-theater-and-see-it-again-and-again-and-again/.

The Blu-Ray I’m sure will not disappoint being that Disney usually pack there big earners with a ton of bells and whistles. I’m looking forward to watching this a few more times and rewinding the greatest Hulk moments ever put on film. HULK going to SMASH the shit out of records again come September 25. I know they’ve got my loot.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Set (2008-2012)- 6 film set- If you haven’t for some reason bought any of the “Phase One” Marvel Studios movies on Blu-Ray and are suddenly in the mood to splurge,  here’s your chance to own The Incredible Hulk,Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor, Captain America: First Avenger and Avengers all in one fancy collectors pack made to resemble the suit case Nick Fury uses to carry the Tesseract cube in the Avengers film, pretty slick fokes.

Dark Knight Returns Animated Part 1 (2012)- 76 minutes- This looks very interesting and the other few DC animations I’ve seen over the last 3 years have been pretty good. I’m expecting very special treatment to be given to this material and hope DC has made a great film here. I will be checking this one out as soon as I get the chance. I hope one of the greatest Batman comics ever has been translated well, otherwise it could be war on DC. Fingers crossed.

Bond Collection “50 years” Blu Ray Set (1962-2008)- 22 movies, 130 hours of special features, 50 years of Bond and this set has them all. There were a few film unavailable on HD till now. I’m glad I waited on the full deal, I like the way they’ve designed the set, looks very cool.  A definite needed up grade to a great series, good or bad all Bonds are a must own classic.

The Game Criterion Collection (1997) director David Fincher- The news of Criterion putting out Fincher’s “The Game” on video have been rumored since the release of the film in the theater. Being my favorite film of the director, I am over joyed to finally have them giving me a Blu-Ray presentation that will be how I remember that first viewing in the theater in the late 90’s. So Happy to finally be getting me some David Fincher’s The Game in stunning Criterion HD. Paint me stoked.

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (1942-1976)-  Saboteur / Shadow of a Doubt/ Rope / Rear Window / The Trouble with Harry /  The Man Who Knew Too Much /  Vertigo / North by Northwest / Psycho / The Birds / Marnie / Torn Curtain / Topaz / Frenzy / Family Plot- 15 films- director Alfred Hitchcock- What more is there to say, 15 Hitchcock films in HD in one set. I pity anyone who doesn’t see the pure awesomeness in this release, so many great classic in one set is unlikely to happen ever again. This would be the perfect set for that young film enthusiast in your life, this is film school in a box if I’ve ever seen it. Pure Ultra Cinema Gold.

So many superb releases to get your hands on this month. I know I’m already lock in for a bunch in this group, some great watching ahead.

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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