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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It’s Tuesday, and that means sites and stores will be full of new goodness to tickle your eyeballs with. So sit-back, relax, and take a look at what’s good enough to stick in the movie playing machine.

There are two releases this week that we have our eyes on, both from Criterion. First up, Brian De Palma's BLOW OUT (1981) on Blu-ray. This film plays like simultaneous homage to both Hitchcock and all of De Palma's other influences. It contains stunning camera work and Travolta's best performance of all-time. Hands down my favorite De Palma film, pick this one up ASAP.

Here's what you get-

New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director Brian De Palma, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

New hour-long interview with De Palma, conducted by filmmaker Noah Baumbach

New interview with star Nancy Allen

Cameraman Garrett Brown on the Steadicam shots featured in the film within the film

Select on-set photos from photographer Louis Goldman

Original theatrical trailer

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow and Pauline Kael’s original New Yorker review

You can pick the disc up from TLA Video here:

The second release of the week is Terry Gilliam's FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998). Criterion finally gets this visually stunning film to Blu-ray. I can't think of a better director to bring this novel to the screen than Terry Gilliam. He has such a wonderfully altered way of using the camera and telling a story. Thompson and Gilliam seem like a perfect match. This film had trouble finding an audience in the theaters, but my guess is that we still be talking about this one twenty years from now.

Here's what you get-

Digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and an optional 5.1 mix

Three audio commentaries: one with Gilliam, one with stars Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro and producer Laila Nabulsi, and one with author Hunter S. Thompson

Deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Gilliam

Selection of Thompson correspondence, read on camera by Depp

Hunter Goes to Hollywood, a short documentary by filmmaker Wayne Ewing

A look at the controversy over the screenwriting credit

Profile of Oscar Zeta Acosta, the inspiration for Dr. Gonzo

Collection of artwork by illustrator Ralph Steadman

Audio excerpt from the 1996 spoken-word CD Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, featuring filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and actor Maury Chaykin

Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood, a 1978 BBC documentary with Thompson and Steadman

Storyboards, production designs, stills gallery, theatrical trailer, and TV spots

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman and two pieces by Thompson

You can pick up the disc from TLA Video here:

Here's what else we are tossing into the cart or adding to the Netflix queue-

Roger Corman's THE TERROR (1963) finally makes its way to Blu-ray. With everyone from Corman himself, to Coppola, Jack Hill, Jack Nicholson, and Monte Hellman taking turns behind the camera, the film lacks a single consistent tone and is a bit of a mess. In the end, it still works on some weird level and remains a Corman classic.

You can find this one at Amazon here:

Taking a cue from GRINDHOUSE, this chick also as a fully automatic weapon for a limb. Crazy, over-the-top bliss.

You can find this one at Amazon here:

Next up, two films from Alejandro Jodorowsky, HOLY MOUNTAIN and EL TOPO:

HOLY MOUNTAIN is my favorite of the two films. It expands on the themes and ideas from EL TOPO and just feels like a more complete film. Having said that, EL TOPO is still amazing and worth a watch.

You can find HOLY MOUNTAIN from TLA Video here:

You can find EL TOPO from TLA Video here:

Produced by Roger Corman, this is Francis Ford Coppola's directorial debut and it is unlike anything he would ever do again which is a shame. This is some really well done gothic horror. This has been available previously on some really cheap transfers so I am curious to see how this one looks. Like THE TERROR, this has been available previously on a sub-par transfer, anxious to see this one in Blu though.

You can find this at Amazon here:

A crafty slasher film filled with bloody goodness. Horror Empire had this before Amazon so I have had a chance to take a look at this disc and it is well worth the grab. Nothing better than a horror film set at Christmas time!

You can pick this one up from Horror Movie Empire here:

Finally, Best Buy's exclusive on SIN CITY Blu-ray has expired so its now available on Amazon to pick up. Make sure to grab this one, the transfer is great though I wish they put out a Blu-ray edition of the DVD release that included one of the Frank Miller graphic Novels.

You can pick this up on Amazon here:

That's it for this week kids. Next week is kind of quiet but includes THE GREEN HORNET, a shitty, shitty transfer of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, HALLOWEEN: H20 and a double feature of STUDENT BODIES and JEKYLL & HYDE TOGETHER AGAIN.

Here's to happy watching this week, salute!

See you on forty deuce,