Friday, March 21, 2008

DVD RUMORS & Twelve-Years-Old Me Remembers...

Finally on DVD...  (when I say that,  I mean here in the USA, Region 1. It seems like Europe always gets the good shit first, they have Magnificent Ambersons on DVD for god’s sake!!!).  
In June, Criterion is releasing the mesmerizing, Macedonian flick Before The Rain (1994). Back when I saw it in the theaters, the younger-me declared to anyone who would listen “this director Milcho Manchevski is gonna be a major film maker! Keep your eye on him!”  Needless to say, he never became major or even do many more films (strangely enough he did direct an episode of HBO's The Wire).

I’ve was taken down memory-lane as I found lots of rumors of DVDs to be released. 

It’s helping me recall a life spent (wasted) at the movies, twas a simpler time, carefree and full of joy... (this will all be covered in my upcoming autobiography- Spring 2009 Random House Books). 

Criterion DVD Fan Forum Site said these are up coming certainties...

 - Man, I musta been a weird kid. when I was like twelve, I saw My Dinner With Andre (Malle 1981) and I dug it, thought it was the funniest thing I ever saw (along with Foul Play). They claim a Criterion-makeover DVD is coming.

 - When I saw White Dog (1982) starring Kristy McNichol and her racist mutt, at the time I didn’t realize that director Sam Fuller was such a revered (overrated) ‘auteur” (mostly by the French and Film-theory doctorate candidates). I just knew I really wanted to make-out with the object of my kiddy-crush McNichol. Oh if only.... I wish Criterion would put out a three-disc deluxe bells/whistles edition of Little Darlings.

(Hold the press, wait now I’m just realizing White Dog did get released last year on DVD, though not by Criterion. That site is a little dated. But me like rumors!)

  - The site said that Bottle Rocket (1996) will joining the other Wes Anderson flicks (except that last terrible one) as Criterion titles. 

  - They claim that the cool little Brit thriller The Hit (1984) will be getting a Criterion edition, directed by Stephen Frears with a young Tim Roth and a brilliant John Hurt, this flick is worth a look (and been available on DVD for a while).

Some other possible flicks for to get the high-end treatment, they mention.... 

  - Leading man (gulp, yikes) Brad Dourif in John Huston's adaptation of Flannery O'Connor oh-so depressing depression novel, Wise Blood (1979).

  - Teenage me caught on cable and really liked the moving ‘Bowie On The River Kwai’ POW flick Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Oshima 1983) mostly because of it’s amazing amazing score by Ryuichi Sakamoto (The Last Emperor).

Other titles mentioned include Lars Van Trier’s first feature Zentropa (1991). Sexy as hell, Harriet Andersson is Monika and it’s her summer (Bergman 1953). Before The Conformist, Berolucci got put on the international-map with Before The Revolution (1964). Richard Burton has a runny nose as The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (Ritt 1965). And many more.

But let me move on...


What sounds a little less rumory, I hope, being reported on Fin de Cinema by way of DVD Drive-In as releases from the Paramount vaults this summer...

- A bunch of never before available DVD titles including two recently talked about here on the Rocket Video Blog, you may recall the brilliant articles on King Of The Gypsies (Pierson 1978) and Baby It’s You (Sayles 1980).

Two flicks I’ve always wanted to see...

  - Twelve year-old me read EL Doctorow’s novel The Book Of Daniel. Sidney Lumet shortened the film’s title, but still Daniel (1983) has never been available on DVD and the VHS tape has been out of print for some 20 years (no matter when Amazon wrongly claims the release date was). This was Timothy Hutton's follow up to his Oscar for Ordinary People (along with Taps). Twelve-year-old me declared “Tim Hutton the next Paul Newman!!”

  - Mob boss Robert Ryan sends his toady played by Sid Caesar to retrieve a corpse in William Castle's The Busy Body (1967). Twelve year-old me liked the play on words of the title.

  - After catching it on cable twelve-year-old me thought the slasher spoof Student Bodies (1981) was pretty dang funny. Directed by Michael Richie, who then had his name taken off it. I've been waiting years to see it again, twelve- year-old me loved the big retard Melvin or Melbert or Albert (he “pee red’).

  - Twelve year-old me also enjoyed Tony Curtis as Houdini (Marshall 1953). 

I fondly recall stowing away images of Janet Leigh, in her magic-show costumes and tight sweaters, into my bursting twelve-year-old spank-bank.

  - Rocket has a beat up old VHS copy of goofy overly scientific Phase IV (Bass 1974), But now finally on DVD the world can witness the electric intensity between the young Michael Murphy (of Manhattan, not The Dooby Brothers) and Nigel Davenport (according to IMDB 2001’s original voice of Hal, neat-o!). Twelve-year-old me & adult me like that actress lady Lynne Frederick.

  - The magical, shrill French flick, Girl On The Bridge (Leconte 1999) is one of those films people always ask why don’t you have this on DVD? 

  We say, it’s not available in the Region 1 DVD Format. 

     They respond, yes it is. 

        We say (in a shrill mocking voice), no it’s not. Etc.

           They huff off. 

  - The very-young me saw Grease at the drive-in with the Henry Winkler vehicle The One And Only. And back then, even being a big Fonzi fan, very-young me still understood that the flick was horrible. Now I’ll finally be able to reconfirm on DVD my childhood instincts.

  - I remember Siskal & Ebert having a classic argument over Ebert’s drooling attraction for the actress Kathryn Harrold in the thriller The Sender (Christian 1982). 

Siskal said, “if you like her so much, ask her out, don’t recommend her terrible movie”. 

You may recall her from Albert Brooks classic Modern Romance and or as Larry Sander’s first wife or on the short lived series (my mom watched it) MacGruder And Loud. Now you can see what was being stowed in a younger Ebert’s spank-bank.

Full Circle: twelve-tear-old me saw The Sender, at the Telex Theater on Telegraph Road in Detroit as part of a double-feature with... (the aforementioned) White Dog.

A whole slew of other random titles are also mentioned.

Twelve-year-old me wants to know... Where the hell is American Hot Wax (Mutrux 1978)?


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