Blu-Ray Review: Whisky Galore!

Whisky Galore_AF004If the great Ealing Studios’ 1949 version of Whisky Galore! didn’t exist, director Gillies MacKinnon’s excellent 2016 version would be an even better film than it is. That’s an odd compliment, I know. But the original film’s boozy aroma lingers heavily in the corners of this newer version, smiling down on MacKinnon’s capable cast as it plops down on a bar stool with a sigh of contentment. This newer film has a fine cast and some absolutely gorgeous cinematography (it’s enough to make you want to consider a move to wherever in Scotland it was shot just for the rocks alone), as well as humor that goes down smooth with a bit of water added.

While not exactly laugh out loud funny through and through, there’s one early scene that had me doubling over with a good belly laugh. As soon as it’s announced that the small village is completely out of whisky, one old chap gets up, walks out of the pub he and his friends inhabit daily, walks over to a his home and promptly drops dead outside as it begins to rain. For some reason, I found this hilarious as well as the following scene where his friends gather around his coffin to send him off. I’m guessing it’s because I’ve heard people say they’d “literally die” if they didn’t have a particular guilty pleasure handy, but seeing it happen was actually amusing and made me think how many real-life friends would drop like that over booze, chocolate, or bacon if they were suddenly taken away.

Hey, I’m a practical man. Less friends means less gifts to buy this holiday season, folks.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Mail Call 2: Movie Nights, Endless Version

more movies.JPG

Eep. The backlog gets bigger with some nice entries to the library. Yeah, I’m old and have very varied tastes in my viewing preferences, so what? Anyway, reviews will go up as I get to these and a stack more discs I’ve gotten that need to be watched. Keep, ’em, coming, folks. I do need a decent movie watching pal, I’d say. Not that it’s boring watching movies at all, but it’s just nice to have someone to bounce commentary off between films. Eh, whatever. Off to do some eyeball exercises and catch up on classics and non-classics alike. Back in a bit.

-GW

Blu-Ray Review: Blood Feast/Scum of the Earth

Blood Feast_AV107So, officially (to me, at least) Blood Feast isn’t a “Halloween” movie at all – it’s more of a big, plump Thanksgiving Day turkey surprise. Under-cooked enough to give you a terrible gut-ache, but stuffed with tasty treats for those willing to push on and make it to that pumpkin pie and ice scream. And yeah, you’ll scream maybe a few times too many if the late H.G. Lewis’ classic 1963 gore-fest isn’t up your alley, but it’s the film’s campy pull wrapped in that grue brew that makes this one entertaining.

Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) just so happens to be the caterer chosen by wealthy suburban mom Dorothy Fremont (Lyn Bolton) to cater a party for her pretty young daughter, Suzette (Connie Mason). Little does Mrs. Fremont know she’s hired a somewhat criminally insane man with a bit of a strong desire to chop up a bunch of nubile young ladies and use their body parts as sacrifices in order to resurrect the Egyptian goddess, Ishtar. Mua-ha-ha-haaa! I’m telling you, though – those damned eyebrows Ranses has would make me NOT want to hire him because they look like chalk-outlined squished caterpillars on his face. Now, go drink some recently cooled molten iron to coat your stomach while I spill out some more gory details on this gem.

Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Day of Anger

Day of Anger BRDVDWhen UK-based Arrow Video finally decided to launch in North America this year, it picked a trio of excellent films to kick off what’s going to be a wild run of classics and desired library additions. As all three films arrived at the same time, I had to flip a coin to choose which one to review first and Tonino Valerii’s magnificent 1967 spaghetti western Day of Anger (I giorni dell’ira) won the review draw.

This was one of those genre films I’d heard about for years but have never seen until this beautifully restored (from the original 35mm Techniscope camera negative) version and it’s very highly recommended whether or not you’re a western fan. Excellent performances all around, some stirring set pieces, excellent art direction and cinematography all wrapped up with a superb Riz Ortolani score that will stick in your head for days makes this one a must-see (and must buy if you’re a collector). Continue reading

Jodorowsky’s Dune Coming to Blu-Ray/DVD July 8. BUY IT.

Jodorowsky's DUNE BDVD 

 
Predictions: this one will get a nomination for Best Documentary at next year’s Academy Awards for sure, but will probably lose to something more dramatic and real-world fixated. Anyway, if you’re a creative sort, Jodorowsky’s Dune will expand your mind significantly even as the project as intended ends up not getting filmed in the end. If you happen to love behind the scenes dirt, this film is packed with it (and MAN, is some of it of the VERY bizarre variety). Still, I wonder how the sci-fi film landscape would have changed had this been shot and completed as intended. It would have certainly been one of the more expensive films ever created at that time, but as we all know, money tossed down a well doesn’t guarantee all the wishes dumped in afterwards will come true. Anyway, grab this one in July, invite some friends over and make it a movie day, as I’m betting any special features included will be as compelling as the documentary or even more so…