All right, we’ve got a nice piece of release news for you guys today, as well as a trio of new Blu-ray reviews for you to enjoy. Let’s have the reviews first…
The good Dr. Jahnke has checked in with his thoughts on a true classic of French New Wave cinema: Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, newly re-issued in Dual Disc (Blu-ray and DVD in the same package) by our friends at Criterion.
Also today, I’ve offered up my take on what might be my favorite film of 2013: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, now available on Blu-ray from Paramount. Having grown up in the Plains States, I can say with some authority that I’ve not seen it so perfectly captured on film since the Coen Brothers’ Fargo. The film is poignant, filled with great character performances, and it’s damn funny too. Nebraska made me laugh hard and often. I hope you enjoy it. [Read on here…]
More good stuff for you today…
First, Dr. Jahnke has posted a BD review of Sony’s The Big Gundown, a great spaghetti western from 1966 directed by Sergio Sollima. Sounds like the disc and its extras are pretty swell too. Don’t miss it.
Also today, our own Michael Coate has posted an update of his History, Legacy & Showmanship column from back on November – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Retrospective – with a great roundtable interview from some of the folks involved in the film’s restoration and Criterion’s fine new Blu-ray release, including Karen Stetler, the Criterion Blu-ray Disc producer; Robert A. Harris, the restoration/reconstruction producer; Karen Sharpe-Kramer, the widow of producer-director Stanley Kramer; and the team that recorded the audio commentary track: Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo. It’s a great read, so I highly recommend that you give it a look. [Read on here…]
All right, hope you all had a great weekend…
We’ve added 14 more classic Blu-ray reviews from the original Bits website into the new review database here, including Adam Jahnke’s thoughts on Gamer, The Thing (1982), The Nightmare Before Christmas, Land of the Dead, Scream 4, Mimic, The Final Destination 3D, The Last Circus, Whip It, Halloween II: 30th Anniversary Edition, The New York Ripper, The Prowler, Splice and Frozen (2010). Lots more are coming, so we’ll keep at it until all of the old BD reviews are updated. [Read on here…]
So it turns out The Desolation of Smaug is pretty good. I mustered up the energy to catch a double-feature screening last night with a friend, and it was a fine evening’s entertainment. If you enjoyed the first Hobbit film, I think you’ll like this one a great deal more. The pacing is much more engaging. Fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will definitely feel more at home here, as in this film the prequel trilogy really begins to reveal its connections to the previous films more strongly… and not just in the fact that Legolas (Orlando Bloom) features prominently. As one would hope, Smaug himself is wonderfully realized.
Smaug aside, with any luck you have a good art house theater in your neck of the woods, because there are a number of fine indie films worth seeing this holiday season: American Hustle, the Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, All Is Lost, Nebraska, Her, 12 Years a Slave and many more. This is the time of year when all the great dramas get dumped into limited theatrical distribution so they quality for Oscar nominations, so be sure to head out to your local theater over the next 2 or 3 weeks. [Read on here…]