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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, May 11, 2013.
The great Raimu in a great film in a great transfer. Did I forget to use the word GREAT?
When writing about Footlight Parade I forgot to mention that this film afforded us the first close-up of the great and beloved John Garfield. It also took me back to the days when Ruth Donnelly used to visit MoMA, a very gracious old lady. It was also nice to see Martin (Marty) Rubin, who used to run an extraordinary series of films at the New York Cultural Center (Huntington Hartford Museum), as a talking head.
April Showers (TCM) An old WB chestnut with the immensely talented Ann Sothern and Jack Carson. She was beautiful and both could act, sing, dance, etc. Real powerhouses. Lovely period ballads as well.
Cry 'Havoc' (TCM) Affecting wartime drama of nurses caught in the Philippines with no hope of escape. Last seen many years ago. However, having just seen the radiant, the sublime Margaret Sullavan in The Shining Hour, I wanted to watch her in this. She is her radiant, sublime self. What a performer! Never a false note. Plus it has Blondell, Sothern, Bainter, Raines, Hunt, etc. Great cast.
Heaven Can Wait (Criterion BD) The Lubitsch one. The one that everyone should see for its charm and beauty. Very good transfer. Too bad the negative is gone. Lucky to have seen a nitrate Technicolor 35mm print at MoMA.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (TT BD) Tracy delivers a master class in acting; Beah Richards wrings out all she can from her one big scene with Tracy; and Poitier really had a banner year with this and In the Heat of the Night. Lovely transfer. Last saw this film in 1967. Can we really say there's been that much progress since then?
Sidney had a third big hit that year: To Sir, With Love. I guess having three top performances split the actors' votes, and he didn't end up getting nominated for any of them. A real injustice.
I really enjoy your mini reviews, but chronology is everything to me. Would you mind including the date of the film releases?
August 14th, 2019 Wednesday
Marvel Double Feature
The Avengers: Infinity War
4K UHD Blu-ray HDR10
Dolby Atmos 7.1.4
The Avengers: End Game
4K UHD Blu-ray HDR10
Dolby Atmos 7.1.4
I used to and then stopped. Don't know why, but will be happy to oblige. I also watch these films in the order I list them.
In the last post, 1948 for April Showers; 1943 for Cry 'Havoc' and Heaven Can Wait; 1967 Guess Who's Coming...
I watched the special feature on the disc of a TV special spotlighting a couple of the players and the village where the film was shot...40 years later. It was amazing to see how bad the film clips shown in the TV were. Dark, muddy and full of debris...what a contrast to the Criterion transfer.
The Wizard of Oz: I haven't seen this in longer than I can remember. What a blast.
I always enjoy it when ever I get around to watching this movie! Really hoping for a great transfer on 4K Blu-ray!
The Thin Man (WA BD) 1934. Pristine transfer. Powell, Loy and Asta as they have never looked before in our lifetimes. How those livers must have felt at the end of the night!
Bad Girl (Kino BD) 1931. Frank Borzage won the Best Director Award for this small gem of a film. I first saw this at MoMA in a very good 35mm nitrate print and loved it. Many decades later, I watched the Fox DVD. I was disappointed by this Kino transfer (can it be worse than the DVD?). The BD print is very ragged, skips frames and bits of dialogue, etc. The movie is still a joy to watch. Two young people marry and face imminent parenthood, not understanding their own selves or their own partners, while loving each other quite deeply. James Dunn's performance is a standout, much superior to that ham who shared the AA for best actor that year, Wallace Beery. Sally Eilers was also very good as the title character, and her friend was played by Minna Gombell, who was also featured in The Thin Man.
The Lion in Winter (Kino BD) 1968. Still enjoyable after all these years. I found the PQ and the sound to be very good. The script, acting, music and cinematography were top notch. I had just watched Hepburn's previous year's AA winning performance, so I felt like watching this one.
So far tonight I've watched:
The Third Secret (FXMovies) 1964. Directed by Michael Crichton. Starring Stephen Boyd, Pamela Franklin and many other notables. Who killed the psychoanalyst, or was it suicide as determined by the coroner? Intriguing premise, fine performances. Good use of B&W 'Scope.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen it in 20 years.
So I started my evening watching The Third Secret (see post # 5852). This one featured Diane Cilento and Rachel Kempson (mother of the Redgrave clan) among others. So I decided to stay in England, view productions made during the '60s, and by chance they also featured many of the same performers. So next in line I picked two Best Picture winners.
A Man for All Seasons (TT BD) 1966. I saw this when it came out and I had forgotten what a fine film this is. Scofield delivers a towering performance; Wendy Hiller is not far behind. Their parting scene is heart wrenching. Robert Bolt adapted his own play to the screen and all the other elements of the production are first rate (so is the transfer). What an intelligent film! In the cast you see Corin Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Susannah York, and a young and smarmy John Hurt.
Tom Jones (Criterion BD) 1963. Rachel Kempson, Diane Cilento, Susannah York, Lynn Redgrave. It's positively incestuous! I watched the theatrical version because this is the one I saw in Puerto Rico when it came out. I was 14 at the time. I then found it a real breath of fresh air: comic, inventive, engaging, charming and thoroughly enjoyable; it still is. The cast is led by the roguishly handsome Albert Finney and the lovely York; supported by the unctuous David Warner; the lusty Cilento, Joyce Redman; the extremely vulgar Hugh Griffith; the indomitable Edith Evans; the (swoon) dreamy Joan Greenwood, and many others too numerous to mention. The John Addison score is also very appropriate for the film and its milieu.
I so enjoyed the film that it led me to the novel, a worthy path.
Colossal (2016): I guess this is my fourth viewing of this movie in about two years. Read a few reviews and you'll find this is an extremely divisive movie. The first time, I was a little lost. Mostly because the story really doesn't end up being what you'd expect it to be. It was promoted as some kind of slapstick comedy, when it actually takes on some very dark themes, with a comedic approach. It has a beginning we've all seen many times. Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, a thirtysomething woman whose life is a train wreck of partying, drinking and generally self-destructive behavior. When her boyfriend kicks her out, she returns to her New England home to try to gather herself.
Yeah, pretty standard, Sundance indie stuff. Except for the Kaiju that appears in Seoul, South Korea.
The less said from there, the better. There are two aspects I'd like to mention, which I think I can without spoiling anything. The first time I watched Colossal, there was a point about half way through when it just... changed. I actually asked myself, out loud, "What just happened?!? Is this a different movie?" I thought it was bad writing, or editing, or just bad movie making. It isn't. The second time through I realized, "yeah, there it is." The reason the entire dynamic of the story had completely changed. The second aspect is the reliability of the narrative. This isn't a traditional type of "Unreliable Narrator". In this case, several story developments are missing, because Gloria has passed out or been so drunk she just can't remember what she did.
I don't think much of Colossal can be taken literally. The situations and the characters are real, and very realistic. Yes, many people are this awful, and worse, and many of them are never exposed for what they are. It's very rare that any of them can be defeated literally, so Colossal defeats them metaphorically. After all, if the defeat that's depicted in the movie was a literal one, the victim would have become even worse than the culprit.
I love this movie. And that final line... LOL.
Lifeforce (Shout BD) 1985. The latest and greatest scan. I watched the Director's Cut. I had originally watched the Theatrical Cut when it came out and had enjoyed it (Ms. May!). I still do since I'm a sucker for vampires (Ms. May!) The PQ and sound mix are awesome.
When Tomorrow Comes (TCM) 1939. A terrible dupe of what I assume is now a PD title. I saw this many decades ago in a beautiful 35mm print shown by Marty Rubin. This movie reunites Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer after their enormous hit, Love Affair. John M. Stahl, a director I like, directed from a script derived from a story by James M. Cain. It is a woman's melodrama, but it touches the labor union struggle against capitalism, with a rousing "Norma Rae" speech delivered by Dunne; it exploits the 1938 Long Island Hurricane; mental illness; and the possibility of adultery. But it's very tasteful, and the sentimentality is contained. For the record, Stahl directed the original versions of Imitation of Life and Magnificent Obsession.
I'd comment on that movie, but I don't want to come across as some kind of lech.
EDIT.... fine! Sold!
The Claim (2000): A loose adaptation of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Claim transports the story from late 19th Century England to the California gold rush of the same time period. Peter Mullan is Mr. Dillon, the "Mayor" of the story, when a woman (Nastassja Kinski) and her teenage daughter, Hope (Sarah Polley) arrive in town at the same time as a Central & Pacific Railroad surveying party led by Dalglish (Wes Bentley).
The Claim is probably a little too arthouse to have been very successful, and not arthouse enough to be given the credit it deserves. It's a stylishly and quietly told story, aside from a few moments of violence. It draws obvious comparisons to Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller, due to it's similar visual and narrative styles, but it also has thematic similarities to Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time In the West. Both having men being primal and basically destroying themselves and each other, and a woman coming out victorious. One noticeable difference is the wide mix of national origins among the characters. It's an unusual and accurate representation of that point in the growth of the United States. There are only two actors in major roles of North American birth. Wes Bentley (USA) and Sarah Polley (Canada). Even Julian Richings, who I always associated with Canadian productions, and assumed was Canadian born, was actually born in London, and didn't move to Canada until he was 30. Milla Jovovich, who grew up in the USA, was born in Kiev, and plays a Portuguese character. The nationalities and accents range throughout Western Europe, as the actual people residing in that part of the country at that time would have been. Harry Potter fans might notice Shirley Henderson, who played Moaning Myrtle. That voice is definitely recognizable.
I've discovered through the years that this has become one of my all-time favorite movies.