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

Advertisements

Random Film of the Week: High and Low

High and Low 24_BD_box_348x490_originalBased on the 1959 crime novel King’s Ransom: An 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain (Evan Hunter), Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 film Tengoku to jigoku (Heaven and Hell or High and Low to western audiences) is one of those great police procedural films that’s a must for crime drama fans. With perfect casting, a gripping story of a kidnapping gone wrong thanks to a case of mistaken identity and the rush to find the kidnapper before things go further south, Kurosawa’s film is a multi-layered masterpiece worth seeing multiple times.

When “wealthy” businessman Kingo Gondo (Toshiro Mifune) and the company he works for decide to snap up the National Shoe Company, there’s a divide between executives on how to close the deal. Gondo prefers the company stick to making well-made and reliable stompers for the masses but other big shots want shoes for all that are cheaply made and thus, more profitable because they’ll need to be replaced more often. With all the back and forth debating going on, Gondo has a master plan he’s hiding from his peers. He’s mortgaged everything he owns and plans to pull off a leverage buyout of National Shoes that would put him in charge for good and keep National doing what they do best.

Little does he know he’s being watched by a few pairs of far more evil eyes looking up at his “castle” from the lower depths… Continue reading

ALL THAT JAZZ & All That Jazz You Need To See, Thanks To The Criterion Collection!

Bob Fosse’s 1979 semi-autobiographical musical masterpiece finally gets the Criterion treatment and if you’ve not see it yet (or have and it’s been a while), NOW is, as they say… the TIME. This is one of those one of a kind films that while not exactly an autobiography, is about the director’s own struggles, vices and other issues, cutting very close to the truth of his wild life on many levels. Compare this to the formulaic pap most Hollywood biopics have turned into over the decades and it’s no wonder this one makes plenty of lists of people’s favorite films. Of course, it also made me never want to do more than five things at ones, kept me away from drugs and smoking, so it’s also kicking it as a cautionary tale. Yeah, I’ll get to writing up a Random Film of the Week on this one in a bit – I actually want to see this new transfer to check out how good a job was done on it first. To the backlog you go, Gideon!

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…

You Don’t Need Six Reasons To Get These Two Films From Criterion…

But here they go, trying to convince you you need convincing:

Look, if you’ve never seen Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World by now, you NEED to and Criterion’s five-disc Blu-Ray is a must buy, period.

 
As for Michael Mann’s Thief, yeah, it’s a more modern classic as well as a brilliant film that’s a great keeper.

So yeah, short post because it’s snowing like hell and they’re kicking people out of the library. Go buy one or both of these and thank me later. I hate you, Criterion for making me want to spend more money. Boo. And Yay. You’re just TOO damn good at what you do these days…