It’s that time of year again! Daily Grindhouse is here to provide gift suggestions for the genre-film fan in your life this holiday season. First up, we have picks from J. Tonzelli!
Given the massive and ongoing success of Tom Cruise’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film franchise, which began with 1996’s Brian De Palma original and continues to this day with TWO more entries due in theaters over the next few years, I don’t think it would be unfair to suggest that many of its younger skewing audiences simply don’t know that the franchise is based on and inspired by a television series that ran from 1966 to 1973. Perhaps that will change with this handsome release from Paramount Home Entertainment/CBS, who have released the complete series (seven seasons), all newly remastered in HD,in one tidy collection of 46 discs.
Newcomers to the show should hopefully be assuming that the original television series was much more focused on suspense, intrigue, and duplicity, rather than large set pieces that would come to define the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film brand, which has seen lead star Tom Cruise break more bones than there are seasons of the original television show. Peter Graves, probably best known to modern audiences at this point for appearing in AIRPLANE as Captain Oveur, plays Jim Phelps (the character played by Jon Voight in the first film), who is the head of the Impossible Missions Force for most of the series’ run.
Oddly, for such an anticipated and highly anticipated release, Paramount haven’t provided any details on specs or special features, either new or recycled from their previous DVD releases, but I imagine those will be coming soon.
Synopsis: The original TV action drama centering on the activities of The I.M.F. (Impossible Missions Force) was a sensation from the beginning. The inspired cast, fast-moving plots, neat gadgets, pre-recorded tapes that self-destruct — all these elements made this brilliant show one of television’s crowning achievements.
The era of slapstick/vaudeville/sight gag comedy saw many teams and solo acts come and go. Charlie Chaplin’s masterful use of stunts and illusions blew the minds of audiences seldom used to seeing such spectacle on screen. The Three Stooges, likely the most infamous from this era, still pervade pop culture to this day and hung around the longest of their comedic counterparts (replacing beloved the beloved Curly a staggering three times following the comedian’s stroke and subsequent death). Abbot and Costello enjoyed moderate success, but their pairing with Universal Studio’s classic monsters really put them over the edge. And all during this was the team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, whose comedy began on the stage before translating to short films and eventual features. “Wholesome” might not be the right word to describe their comedy acts, which employed the use of small-scale musical numbers and rarely relied on slapstick violence. Sure, Hardy was the bitter, bullying boss of the two, but he seldom raised a hand against Laurel, his adorably meek and mild on-screen partner, the immeasurable and secret genius of the duo.
Following the recent film dramatization of their personal and professional lives together (that would be the kind-souled treasure of 2018, STAN & OLLIE starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, respectively) comes this incredible release from Kit Parker Films, which presents remastered shorts, features, and a wealth of supplements across four Blu-ray discs.
Synopsis: The comedy films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy have been beloved around the world since they were first released between 1927 and 1940. So beloved that many of the available copies are blurred dupes printed from worn-out negatives. Now, the best of their short comedies and two of their finest features have been fully restored. They look and sound as spectacular as when they were first released…
Special Features and Technical Specs:
• WORLD PREMIERES! Laurel and Hardy’s legendary 1927 silent “pie fight” film THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY makes its video debut after being “lost” for 90 years! The only reel of L&H bloopers and out-takes, THAT’S THAT!
• Classic short comedies BERTH MARKS, BRATS, HOG WILD, COME CLEAN, ONE GOOD TURN, HELPMATES, THE MUSIC BOX (the legendary Academy Award winning “piano moving” short), THE CHIMP, COUNTY HOSPITAL, SCRAM!, THEIR FIRST MISTAKE, TOWED IN A HOLE, TWICE TWO, ME AND MY PAL, THE MIDNIGHT PATROL, and BUSY BODIES in addition to the feature films SONS OF THE DESERT and WAY OUT WEST (which includes the team’s famous soft shoe dance routine).
• EIGHT HOURS of EXCLUSIVE extras – 2,500 rare photos and studio documents, audio and film interviews with L&H co-workers, original music tracks and trailers plus a full restoration of their one surviving color film, THE TREE IN A TEST TUBE.
• Audio Commentaries by Laurel & Hardy historians Randy Skretvedt and Richard W. Bann
Well folks, here it is – probably the 4K UHD releases of the season comes two of the biggest Hollywood event trilogies of all time. Both trilogies for THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT are hitting the new-ish format in their theatrical and extended versions. Above and below reflect the most standard releases available, but different retailers will have different releases (Best Buy will be offering the trilogies in steelbook, Amazon will be selling an exclusive book edition, etc.) so explore your options and read the below studio-provided synopsis before you buy.
Details on special features were not included on the press release, but we do know that not all previously available special features will be ported over, including the feature-length making-of included on the Extended Edition Trilogy Blu-ray release. (However, in an unusual move for a major studio these days, Warner Bros. have already indicated that there will be a second release of THE LORD OF THE RINGS later this year being described as a “gift set,” which will contain more special features.) If special features aren’t important to the person in your life for whom THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT trilogies would make a huge holiday splash, this is the ideal and more economical way to go.
Synopsis: From New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, the two epic trilogies include the theatrical and extended versions of the six films in 4K UHD with HDR. Both trilogies will also include Digital copies of both versions of each film. The 4K remastering process was overseen by Peter Jackson. In addition, it was also announced that a 4K UHD “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition featuring the theatrical and extended versions of all six films, along with new bonus content, previously released Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy, and remastered Blu-ray discs of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be released in the summer of 2021. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy featuring remastered Blu-ray discs of the theatrical and extended versions of the 3 films will also be released in the fourth quarter 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Is GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS becoming the most quoted movie of all time, and mostly by people who don’t remotely work in the sales industry? Probably. How many of your office workers have smirked at you and said “coffee’s for closers” as you reach for the pot? Too many. But I don’t blame them or anyone else. GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS seems like the most unlikely of titles to catch fire with the mainstream considering what it’s about: a group of desperate salesmen in a real estate office doing what they can to achieve success to avert an unceremonious firing… by any means necessary. Middle-aged men cringing through whiskey shots and grumbling about their jobs has never been more awe-inspiring.
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS assembles one of the greatest casts in cinema history, featuring a crackling script by legendary playwright/screenwriter David Mamet, based on his play, and directed by James Foley (AT CLOSE RANGE) at the top of his game. Two hours of profane, searing dialogue, immensely impressive performances, and all the testosterone you can handle, Shout! Factory’s reissue of this title boasts a handsome 4K restoration and a couple new special features, along with all the old ones ported over from Lionsgate’s previous release. This is a solid title to introduce to someone who’s never seen it, or someone who loves it but likely only has the previous Blu-ray with its okay technical presentation.
Synopsis: When an office full of New York City real estate salesmen is given the news that all but the top two will be fired at the end of the week, the atmosphere begins to heat up. Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), who has a sick daughter, does everything in his power to get better leads from his boss, John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), but to no avail. When his coworker Dave Moss (Ed Harris) comes up with a plan to steal the leads, things get complicated for the tough-talking salesmen.
• BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM from the original camera negative
• NEW A Conversation With Director James Foley
• NEW “God Bless Ricky Roma” – Actor Joe Mantegna Remembers Working With David Mamet
• Audio Commentary With James Foley
• Audio Commentary With Jack Lemmon
• A.B.C. “Always Be Closing”
• Magic Time: A Tribute To Jack Lemmon
Tags: Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Bain, Blu-ray, David Mamet, Ed Harris, Holidays, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack Lemmon, James Foley, Joe Mantegna, Jonathan Pryce, Laurel & Hardy, leonard nimoy, Martin Landau, Oliver Hardy, Peter Graves, Peter Jackson, Stan Laurel, TV