Okay, I'm playing a little catchup with last week's releases and even though there really wasn't much to really scream and shout about I wanted to get in a few choice words. This week, however, has the Criterion Blu Ray Release of Godzilla and I won't be satisfied until its in my player. Hopefully, I can run out early morning and score a copy. But first--
THE IDES OF MARCH: Matt was a little lukewarm on George Clooney's latest directorial effort, and even though I ackknowledge that it's probably my least favorite of his films so far (the others being Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night and Good Luck, & Leatherheads) I still felt this was a superior political thriller--no, there is not some mysterious killing at its center like some might have thought or hoped for, but there is plenty of slippery morality and excellent dirty performances from Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, and Phillip Seymore Hoffman.
TRAFFIC (CRITERION BLU): I have not seen this film in quite some time, but in 2000 I know it made my Top 10 Films of the Year and I'm really looking forward to revisiting Steven Soderbergh's multi-layered crime saga. Despite my brief love affair with The Usual Suspects, I believe I didn't truly fall head over heals with Benecio Del Toro until this picture. And I remember really digging the hell outta the gman relationship between Don Cheadle and Luis Guzeman. The crazed Michael Douglas daughter stuff I could probably do without.
BELLE DE JOUR (CRITERION BLU): I don't know why, but I've never seen (probably) the most famous film from surrealist madman Luis Bunuel. Well, I gotta correct that immediately. The below Three Reasons video promises for some stimulating arty entertainment.
THE LAST HARD MEN/SKY RIDERS (SHOUT FACTORY DOUBLE FEATURE): A James Coburn Double Feature! Yes! But, honestly, all I really care about is the Versus Western with Charlton Heston. I've heard mixed things about the film, but I'm really hoping that it proves itself worthy for Matt's next Hest Fest. "Their Shootout Becomes Cinematic Legend!"
PROJECT X (BLU): I'm guessing this film does not live up to my childhood memory, but as a kid I watched Project X over and over and over again thanks to a crappy VHS recording off of TNT or some such network. Matthew Broderick ruled the 80s and a double feature of this with Wargames was the pinnacle of cool. I was listening to some podcast recently (don't remember which one) and they said a great lead into the recent Rise of the Planet of the Apes would be Project X...hmmm, that sounds like the way to do it for me. Done.
ABDUCTION: Okay, so yeah, this should probably be a great big Avoid! but I can't help myself. It looks like stupid, fun junk. And maybe I just want to laugh at Shark Boy as he fumbles his way through sadsack John Singleton action but let me have my cheap fun.
Must Buy DVD of the Week!
GODZILLA (CRITERION BLU): Aw yeah. Here we go. Probably the most anticipated DVD release of the year, straight outta the gate from the good folks at Criterion. 2012 is definitely going to be the time I go Kaiju crazy and gorge myself on a messload of men-in-suit smackdowns and there is no better place to start than the granddaddy of them all. I can't wait to dive into the original 1954 Japanese cut, but what I'm really looking forward to is revisiting the 1956 American dubbed "King of the Monsters" cut featuring Raymond Burr which I haven't seen since I was a wee lad. Again, check out the below Three Reasons video to see why you should be as excited as I am.
WINGS (BLU): Having just thoroughly enjoyed director William Wellman's The Ox-Bow Incident, I think it's time that I delve into more of his unique back catalogue. I've never seen Wings, but a melodrama about two World War 1 aviators in love with the same woman really appeals to me at the moment. And I've been digging these Silent Film blu ray upgrades so much that I'm willing to go in on the blind buy. Probably not the most financially sound decision, but I'm a nut that way.
LETHAL LADIES COLLECTION 2 (THE ARENA/FLY ME/COVER GIRL MODELS): Another fun release from Shout Factory's Roger Corman Cult Classics collection. The Arena is not my favorite Pam Grier outing (not by a long shot), but there is plenty of Gladiatorial cheese to keep you entertained. I've never seen Fly Me or Cover Girl Models, but I have a strong feeling that they'll live up to their wanton potential.
REAL STEAL: Entertaining for a single viewing, but I seriously doubt I could get much outta this Robot Jox wannabe--yeah, that's right, I preferred the Stuart Gordon Full Moon adventure. The idea of a future world in which Boxing is done via giant, mashing, smashing robots sounds like it could be all kinds of B Movie fun. And Hugh Jackman knows how to ham it up when he should, but this film ultimately takes itself too seriously and the whole Father/Son relationship is eye-rollingly saccharine. That kid's hip hop dancing must be stopped! If you like the concept of the story than I suggest you read the original Richard Matheston story or watch The Twilight Zone/Lee Marvin original episode.
50/50: Saw this by myself in the theater and pretty much cried during the entire proceedings. Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues his streak of world wide domination and I can't wait to see where he goes after The Dark Knight Rises. 50/50 is a solid dramedy but I don't see a circumstance in which I'll just pop this film in for fun. A lot of folks thought this was one of last year's best films and even though I wouldn't necessarily argue with them, I'd still rather watch Drive Angry again.
REBECCA/NOTORIOUS/SPELLBOUND (BLU): A trilogy of masterful Hitchcock films hit blu today and it's pisses me off to no end. I own all three of the Criterion standards and they are brilliant discs worth dozens upon dozens of rewatch. But I want them in Blu! Not these non-Criterion blus--ick!
THE WOMAN: The last film I saw based on a novel by Jack Ketchum burned me something fierce. The Offspring was a terrible piece of dreck not worthy of the plastic it was burned upon. However, the adaption of Red starring Brian Cox was utterly fantastic and The Woman is supposedly a brutally satisfying horror tale from the little engine that could, Lucky McKee. I really enjoyed his May and thought The Woods had some seriously groovy atmosphere. But I also don't think I'm really in the mood for this right now. It goes on my Netflix queue, but it's pretty far down the line.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3: I was dragged to see the first two films by my buddy Robert. But somehow he didn't manage that feat with this third outing. And unless he kidnaps me and drags me to his house for a viewing (something that I could actually see occurring), I'm going to stay clear of yet another found footage bore.
Bonus Blue Oyster Cult Music Video!