A collection of random thoughts about recent viewing and reading, including an ambivalent excursion into Netflix streaming.
Juzo Itami’s international hit Tampopo (1985), a prodigiously inventive comedy about our relationship with food, gets an excellent release on Blu-ray from Criterion.
Criterion adds another landmark of Japanese popular cinema to their collection with an impressive Blu-ray release of the complete Lone Wolf and Cub series, a dark, poetic, bloodily violent adaptation of Kazuo Koike’s epic manga.
His Girl Friday (1940) and Only Angels Have Wings (1939), two of Howard Hawks’ most critically acclaimed movies, have received excellent treatment from Criterion on Blu-ray, along with a restored transfer of Lewis Milestone’s pre-code adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s play The Front Page (1931), the source of Hawks’ cynical 1940 romantic comedy.
Another random sample of recent viewing, from Ken Russell’s debut feature French Dressing through Andrew Bujalski’s retro-video experiment Computer Chess to David Mackenzie’s Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water.
Criterion’s new Blu-ray release showcases Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years (2015), a subtle character study with career-best performances from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a married couple whose settled lives are disrupted by an event which predates their relationship.
A round-up of recent Blu-ray viewing, with some classics, an occasional dud, and a few old favourites.
An evening of pizza and movies plunged me and my friend Steve into the depths of no-budget horror with a double dose of Ed Wood (Bride of the Monster, 1955) and Andy Milligan (The Man With Two Heads, 1972).
Hammer Films are, of course, best known for launching the modern era of horror with their late ’50s colour reworkings of the Universal classics from the ’30s, beginning with Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). These movies, colourful, somewhat perverse for the time, and more graphic than earlier films in the genre, inspired Roger […] Read More
Three more black-and-white movies in excellent Blu-ray editions – Fritz Lang’s Hangmen Also Die!, Robert Wise’s Odds Against Tomorrow and John Baxter’s Love on the Dole – offer yet another reminder of the richness of monochrome film art.