I don’t think we’ve had a decent week of New Releases since the 17th of July when we had INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and some titles from Redemption drop. Everything after that has either been shit or mediocre which makes The Wall tough to write; I don’t want to just put stuff up here, it HAS to be worth a click to someone out there. This week The Wall is back with some titles worth the coin, but honestly this is all foreplay leading up to next Tuesday. JAWS, THE RAID: REDEMPTION, FERNANDO DI LEO’S MADNESS, JUAN OF THE DEAD, KILL LIST, it’s one of the biggest release days of the summer and we have all those titles ready to review. Until then, we still have some good stuff to toss in the cart.
AS ALWAYS, CLICK THE COVER ART
TO BUY THIS GOOD SHIT FROM AMAZON!
— DG PICK OF THE WEEK–
This flick has just been rotting in the Paramount vault but Olive Films is continuing a strong year by rescuing this flick from the dusty bins and giving it a great looking transfer. This film is one good ending away from being a classic. Unfortunately, director James Conway either lost his budget or his balls and the last 10 minutes are like a firework that never ignites. Everything leading up to that is really well done and executed. This includes a commentary track with director James L. Conway, writer David O’Malley, and actress Rebecca Balding. I haven’t listened to the entire track but I jumped around it sounds like a fun commentary.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK…
This is a far better film than the release it’s being given; dumped on DVD with little fanfare, no Blu-ray. Michael Biehn chalks up another strong entry in his catalog of badasses. There are some points in the story that are kind of silly, but this is a pretty fun flick.
More pre-code goodness from Warner Archives. FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD 4 and 5 are both out this week and they each have their own bits of vintage goodness made at a time when directors weren’t creating films with one eye and looking behind their back with the other. Volume 5 includes the great LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT, an early women-in-prison film. Elijah Drenner (AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE) told me the other day that Warner Archives was probably his favorite label, good choice. Dig it!
John Wayne as Captain Kirby York is back in John Ford’s third and final film in the Calvary Trilogy. This is more of a true sequel to FORT APACHE than SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, unfortunately it doesn’t really work for me. It has all the Wayne/Ford touches; some well-staged action, sweeping scenery, but the film as a whole feels a bit a flat.
Sterling Hayden may have hated it, the critics may have slammed it, but JOHNNY GUITAR became classic. A little ashamed to say that I have yet to get eyeballs on the film Francois Truffaut called the “Beauty and the Beast of Westerns, a Western dream”. This film has always been huge in France, kinda like Jerry Lewis.
This is one of my least favorite Kubrick films, which is it to say it is still better than the best of some other filmmakers. The first half is fascinating, frightening, and a little bleak. The second half just settles in to familiar routine that feels a little foreign for a Kubrick film. I blame Mathew Modine. This is being released as a Blu-ray book for the films 25th anniversary.
I will pay ungodly sums to see Gina Gershon knock boots with Jennifer Tilly but $25 bucks for a single film with minor extras is a little steep. This film is a fun ride with huge re-watch for me, I just dig the way it plays with the idea of a noir… but $25?
I haven’t got eyeballs on this flick but it’s produced by John Woo, it has been well reviewed, and several of those have noted the film for having massive amounts of bloodshed. Done and done. This is the 4.5 hour international version which by all accounts is far superior.
So here’s the thing: I fucking hate this movie. I know I am in the minority, I know you are reading this with a “what the fuck” expression on your face, I know you are calling your buddies to sit around your cubicle and mock this particular post on The Wall, but I can count the number of times I laughed on one hand. I dig Rick Moranis, I think John Candy has some funny moments, but overall this film is flat and far from the comedic masterpiece that Mel Brooks is capable of creating.
I know there are a lot of you who will buy anything with a zombie in it, the same vocal bunch that send me emails each time I post anything negative about a zombie film, but come on; this thing doesn’t work at all. It is a little to sanitary and meandering for a zombie film set in post-apocalyptic Vegas. This should be gritty, tough, and violent but it is none of those things.
Last but not least we have two films that really don’t belong on a site like ours but one is a favorite that gets an annual watch and the other is pretty good and based on one of my favorite books of all-time.
The book is dangerous. Written by Nick Hornby, this novel holds all the secrets of mandom. Fuck, it’s almost autobiographical for me. Change a record store for a video store and it’s damn close. The film isn’t as dangerous, it’s sanitized for your protection but it’s really good and has the ultimate Jack Black performance if you’re into that sort of thing.
That’s it for this week, Bastards.
We’re back next week with: JAWS (Blu), THE RAID: REDEMPTION, JUAN OF THE DEAD, FERNANDO DI LEO’S MADNESS (Blu), SHAFT (Blu), and more.
HERE’S TO GOOD WATCHING THIS WEEK, SALUTE!
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