Welcome back to The Wall! The New Year is already revving into 3rd gear with Criterion doing us all solid by upgrading a classic, Karl Urban knocking down doors, and Tim Burton working some stop-motion madness.
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— DG PICK OF THE WEEK–
Universal was looking for another EASY RIDER, an ode to counter culture. So, with a $900,000 budget they gave Monte Hellman the director’s chair for his first and only major studio production. Hellman created a film full of brooding characters and barren landscapes, it’s the existential movie that Dennis Hopper probably thought he was making with EASY RIDER. This was dumped in the theaters by an angry Universal, but it remains one of the best films of Hellman’s fascinating career. A quiet, meditative, classic. In tune with the road and the wrestles soul of youth.
I am not sure what special features were ported over from Criterion’s DVD release a few years back outside of the Hellman/Anders commentary track but here’s what you get:
Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Monte Hellman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Hellman and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
Two audio commentaries: one by Hellman and filmmaker Allison Anders and one by screenwriter Rudolph Wurlitzer and author David N. Meyer
Interviews with Hellman, actor James Taylor, musician Kris Kristofferson, producer Michael Laughlin, and production manager Walter Coblenz
Screen test outtakes
Performance and Image, a look at the restoration of a ’55 Chevy used in the movie and the film’s locations today
Color Me Gone, photos and publicity from Two-Lane Blacktop
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones; appreciations by director Richard Linklater and musician Tom Waits; and a reprint of the 1970 Rolling Stone article “On Route 66, Filming Two-Lane Blacktop,” by Michael Goodwin
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK…
“A whole lot of nasty fun. There are some acts of violence inflicted upon human bodies in this movie that I took an almost-scientific interest in because I don’t think I’ve ever seen their like in a movie before, and if that’s not a vote of confidence in the movie, it’ll be interpreted as one anyhow…” Read Jonny A-bomb’s full review here.
It feels like this was the movie Tim Burton had been waiting to make. I haven’t genuinly enjoyed anything he has done since BIG FISH; and it’s not lost on me how personal both films feel. FRANKENWEENIE is a flawless piece of stop-motion filmmaking. This was a crowded year for brilliant films and it just missed out on my Top 10, but goddamn I can’t wait to watch this again.
We’ve seen these period films dropping from Well Go, USA at a pretty quick clip but not a lot of them have been good. ASSASSINS is one of the exceptions. This is a pretty fascinating film with a classy performance by the great Chow Yun Fat. Detailed review coming right up.
If you need me to tell you why you need to buy this film, you and me got problems, Counselor.
Simon West and Nic Cage back together again. Anybody else getting a rush to watch CON-AIR? I haven’t seen STOLEN but the action oddities that Cage and West have the potential to create warrants a watch.
I haven’t seen this yet, and probably won’t. However, this film had its share of fans and may be worth checking out.
That’s it for this week, Bastards. We’ll be back next week with: TAKEN 2, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (BLU), SLEEPER (BLU), THE TIN DRUM (BLU), I AM BRUCE LEE, and more.
HERE’S TO GOOD WATCHING THIS WEEK, SALUTE!
SEE YOU ON FORTY DEUCE
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