Criterion’s Upcoming Godzilla Box May Make Me Sell an Organ

Holy Crap

My exact expression when I found out Criterion was making a dream box set of mine come true.

Wow. My wallet just jumped out the window when I saw that Criterion is issuing its 1000th set in glorious style with Godzilla: The Showa Era Films (1954-1975). The funny thing is, last month, all these flicks popped up on a cable channel and I caught most of them while wondering at one point if they were going to be fully remastered and *BOOM* – along comes this news and my wallet taking a dive onto the pavement.  *Sigh*… it looks as if it’s time for another DAF game collection fire sale, as this one’s bound to sell out fast on the pre-order front and nope, I’m neither paying some ebay scalper way too much money nor holding out for the cheap knockoffs that will pack that site and fool a few folks thinking they scored a deal from some “clueless” reseller from overseas.

Color me and me inner eight-year old thrilled. Yours too, I’d bet.

Marty and the boys

“Hey, Marty! Whatcha doin’ tonight?”

-GW

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Fantastic Mr. Fox Gets The Criterion Collection Treatment. BUY IT.

 
Ooooh… I hate you (again) Criterion! Granted, I really DON’T hate these guys and gals because they do some incredible work with their hove video versions of some great and not so great films, I just hate that they charge a premium for all that hard work 9as they should). I didn’t buy Fantastic Mr. Fox on any format yet because I got busy, was too lazy to look it up when I wasn’t busy and then I heard Criterion was doing up a special “Director-Approved” version (drool!), meaning there goes an arm or leg if I now want the definitive version. This wonderful flick and Moonrise Kingdom are my current two favorite films from Wes Anderson, so perhaps that one is next up on the block to get this special treatment?

Yeah, I “hate” you, Criterion… but you’re doing film fans a major solid (at least in territories where you sell your fine products). This one’s available February 18, by the way…

Random Film of the Week(end): The Bad Sleep Well

(Thanks, Criterion Trailers!)

 

The Bad Sleep Well 1Of all Akira Kurosawa’s films set in contemporary Japan, The Bad Sleep Well (Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru) and High and Low (Tengoku to Jigoku*) are probably my two favorites. Nope, I can’t choose between either as better thanks to both doing what they do so darn well in the hands of the master director. I’ll get to the latter film in a separate post, so let’s get to some “Bad” business from this point on.

In addition to powerful performances from a great cast led by Toshiro Mifune, the film packs one of Kurosawa’s most abrupt and shocking twists in exactly the right spot that’s still one of the best collective gasp moments I can recall in a film that wasn’t a jump-scare packed horror flick. I first saw this during its revival in the 1980’s and the big twist sucked all the air out of the small theater and had people talking about it afterwards in a coffee shop afterwards as they debated the scene’s impact and how “un-Hollywood” it was.

While it clocks in at a hair over 2 1/2 hours, Kurosawa’s assured direction makes every single moment count. A great deal of intriguing ground is covered as the film lets loose on Japan’s corporate culture of the era, mixing in film noir, romance and detective story elements before a quietly dramatic finale that demands you’ve paid attention to everything that came before. If you’re one of those types who hops up to hit the restroom or get snacks at home, make sure to stomp on the pause button on your DVD player, as missing a few seconds can mean you might not grasp another scene’s impact later on…

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