Fantastic Mr. Fox is out on Criterion BLU

While I got shut out today at Bay St. Video when I went to grab a copy (something about a flux in Canadian distributors) I shall be ordering it online, as I should have in the first place. Here are my kids wanting to remind you all that this Fantastic animated film is very, very, very re-watchable. (And, yes, it is shameless that I post this video so often in these parts…)

Cinecast Episode 341 – The Pleasure Port

 
Perhaps the reboot of RoboCop (beware of SPOILERS!) isn’t quite as horrible and unnecessary as we all feared. Perhaps it’s chock full of good ideas updating its presence for the new millennium… or perhaps not. Matt Fabramble crosses international borders to join the Cinecast this week to discuss. We also Lynch the sci-fi fantasy cluster-feck that is Dune, in our ongoing 1984 project. “True Detective” keeps on trucking as well and continues to excel. Kurt and Andrew tackle the nature of time itself and the various dark dimensions swirling about humanity. The Watch List includes a whole lot of debauchery with sex masters and gigolos, hot Helen Hunt, crying on the inside and the best looking black and white film ever made. Oh, and apparently we’re not done hashing out LEGOgate. We’ve done it before and we’re destined to do it again. And again. And again. And over again.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 


 

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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Heavenly Creatures 15th Anniversary Re-Release (UK only)

 
 

Thanks to Andrew for bringing this item to my attention, even if it is a bit of a tease. To coincide with an upcoming 15th Anniversary Blu-Ray release of Heavenly Creatures, small British distributor Peccadillo Pictures is going to give it a limited theatrical re-release. Peter Jackson’s Oscar nominated departure from splatter comedies (Braindead, Bad Taste, Meet The Feebles) is likely the main reason (along with The Frighteners) why New Line Cinema gave him the massive, in budget and scope, Lord of the Rings project (after the Kiwi director campaigned for actively.) Of course, it being Kate Winslet’s film debut is also of interest to many fans and admirers of her work over the past decade and a half. The fact that she is an excellent and nuanced performer right out of the gate should come as no surprise. Here she plays one of two girls accused and convicted of patricide. Melanie Lynskey (Up in the Air, The Informant!) has the role of narrator Pauline Parker, from whose diary the film is adapted. The girls obsessive relationship around literature and popular culture in 1950s New Zealand is compelling stuff when combined with Jackson’s flair for whimsical (and gritty) visuals.

Considering the similarly themed (and titled) The Lovely Bones which ended up more or less a popular and critical failure, it is safe to call Heavenly Creatures his best written film, but despite it being more of a drama, it doesn’t eschew his penchant for high-fantasy and big special effects, only they are used much more sparingly here. Coupled with some nice film and musical hommages, this makes for great viewing on the big screen, so you folks across the pond should head out to your cinema on September 12th if it is playing in your neighborhood. We’ll overlook the math on this announcement, considering the film original came out in 1994, perhaps it took it an additional two years to get to the UK while Miramax (at their peak in terms of indie prestige) in the US jumped on it pretty fast.

On a side note, this film seems to be plagued with poor and half-assed DVD releases, I know my early Miramax release is possibly the worst looking film I have in my collection (inexcusable for such a handsomely shot picture) and while it has been out in Canada on Blu Ray for some time, apparently that release is pretty bare bones and in the wrong aspect ratio to boot. We will see if Peccadillo’s eventual release is done with as much TLC as them giving the film a theatrical repertory release.

For much more on the film, you can go back into the MOVIE CLUB PODCAST archives for the Heavenly Creatures episode.

Sunday Bookmarks: March 14-20

 

  • Why see ‘Don’t Look Now’?
    Coming to BluRay and rep screenings in the UK: “In hindsight, ‘Don’t Look Now’ is the perfect mixture of Roeg’s abilities as a teller of mysterious stories and as one of the most accomplished cinematic stylists ever to peep through a viewfinder. The film smashes up chronology and pieces it back together in a deviously strange order, so we get constant hints and suggestions of dark events to come. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are utterly convincing as the central couple who flee to Venice to retain a focus on their messed-up lives.”
  • Notes on Charlie Sheen and the End of Empire
    “No, what this moment is about is Charlie Sheen solo. It’s about a well-earned mid-life crisis played out on Sheen’s Korner instead of in a life coach’s office somewhere in Burbank. The mid-life crisis is the moment in a man’s life when you realize you can’t (won’t) maintain the pose that you thought was required of you any longer—you’re older and you have a different view of life and this is when the bitterness and acceptance blooms. Tom Cruise had a similar meltdown at the same age in the summer of 2005, but his was more politely manufactured (and, of course, he was never known as an addict). Cruise had his breakdown while smiling and he couldn’t get loose, he couldn’t be natural about it. He’s always essentially been the good boy who can’t say “Fuck You” the way Sheen can.”
  • An Interview with Greta Gerwig at SxSW
    Greta Gerwig is no stranger to SXSW. Her new film, “The Dish & the Spoon,” marks the sixth time she has had a movie in the festival in an film career that has stretched the same number of years. This new film, directed by Alison Bagnall, about a woman and a young man (Olly Alexander) who bond during a tumultuous time in their lives. Ms. Gerwig’s acting style, which A.O. Scott lauded for its “apparent absence of any method,” is employed in this intimate, primarily two-character study.
  • Bernardo Bertolucci has a 3D Project
    “Cult Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci said in an interview for his 70th birthday on Wednesday that he will be making his first 3D film this year saying it was like riding on a “flying carpet” […] “I want to use 3D in a different way from what we have seen in films like ‘Avatar’ or other films characterised by special effects,” he said.”
  • Is Netflix Abandoning Its Business Model Again?
    With the production of David Fincher/Kevin Space HBO-styled TV DRAMA, It looks like a new strategy is here. In the great tradition of the network and cable game, make themselves a “must carry.” I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the bidding for hockey or trying to make a deal to stream Major League Baseball or something like that before long. If they are going this way, no one show “airing” 13 times a year is going to keep customers paying $8 or more a month. If Netflix becomes a thrift shop, with content here and there and everywhere, the churn will get worse […] This choice, combined with the exit of Criterion and the abandonment of Red Envelope, their previously stab at original content, clearly tells us that Netflix sees no future in quality film lovers as a primary audience for the service. Fair enough. But it will be interesting to see when the cineastes get the message.”
  • Zediva – A Clever End Run Around the Movie-Streaming Gremlins
    “It lets you listen to the director’s commentary, turn on subtitles and change languages. It lets you enjoy your movie for two weeks instead of 24 hours, starting and stopping at will. It offers the 100 biggest movies for streaming on the very same day the DVD comes out. It sidesteps any meddling by the movie companies, HBO contracts and studio lawyers. And here’s the best news of all — are you sitting down on your favorite movie couch? The price is only $2 for one movie or $1 if you buy a 10-pack. There’s no signup fee, no monthly fee, no hardware to buy. Zediva’s secret is so outrageous, you may think it’s an early April Fool’s prank. But it’s no joke.”
  • Is Matthew McConaughey Really Shirtless in Every Movie?
    “Conventional wisdom likes to assume that Matthew McConaughey has taken his shirt off in every single one of his movies. True, McConaughey is not shy when it comes to going bare chested on-screen and in public, but is he really sans shirt in every one of his movies?” Yes, Movieline actually checks out each and every one of them to be sure.

 
 

You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:

 

The Criterion Collection’s CHE Set

Che_Criterion_128That the Criterion Collection was going to release Steven Soderbergh’s 4 hour, 2 part biopic on Che Guevara, Che, [Andrew’s Review] is not news, it has been known for some time. Recently, Criterion has placed the release details on their site, as well as links for pre-ordering the set in standard DVD or Blu-Ray for its January 2010 release.

One of the best films of 2008, especially when viewed in a single session, Che re-invents the Biopic and offers a fairly meaty bit of history and spectacle to chew on without settling for the pat or simplified summation usually offered in this type of movie. In fact the film is not so much about the man (or even the legend) but rather the details and minutae of running a revolution. Finally, a cinematic history lesson that is worthy.

Disc specifications are tucked under the seat. (and thanks to Filmjunk for the heads up)

Would you like to know more…?

Bookmarks for August 28th

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What we’ve been reading – August 28th:

  • Spotlight on Fake Movie Posters
    One Sheets for movies that only exist within movies. Funny People and Inglourious Basterds, specifically.
  • Has 3D Failed already?
    Dr. Bordwell and Kristin Thompson pontificate on the technology that is supposed to save Hollywood from rapid advances in Home Theatre and digital streaming and file-sharing.
  • Scarecrow Video Annotates Inglourious Basterds
    A (likely) definitive list of films that are directly or tangentially referenced in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds by the employees of Scarecrow Video. "Thanks for reading, and remember us the next time some asshat tells you independent, brick & mortar video stores that employee real people are outmoded and in need of extermination by mail based corporations. "

Bookmarks for June 25th through June 29th

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What we’ve been reading – June 25th through June 29th: