#136 – LATE SPRING, CLUELESS, ROAD TRIP and more!

Hey Folks!  On this espisode, Moviebob joins us to discuss new Blu-ray and DVD releases. We bounce from subject to subject, but we’re mainly guided by the new releases listed below. We do, however, begin the episode with a spontaneous (as it always is) discussion of THE RAVEN – a film we didn’t cover in a prior episode. I didn’t think it was as loathesome as John and Bob believe it is. I do my best to defend it in a small way, which is all one can do.

From THE RAVEN we get to talking about three new boxed sets from Mill Creek Entertainment. And that’s perhaps the first 15 minutes of the show.

Below are the featured titles we discuss. After the Mill Creek sets, I’ve included the approximate times around which we start discussing each. They’re approximate but they get you there.

THE NIFTY FIFTIES – 50 MOVIE SET – DVD

Highlights from this set include AFRICAN SCREAMS (1949) starring Abbott & Costello; BEHAVE YOURSELF (1951) starring Farley Granger; A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT (1952) starring Boris Karloff; HOME TOWN STORY (1951) starring Marilyn Monroe; and THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (1954) starring Elizabeth Taylor.

DARK CRIMES – 50 MOVIE SET – DVD

Highlights from this set include two films from director Edgar G. Ulmer, STRANGE ILLUSION (1945) and THE STRANGE WOMAN (1946); THE RED HOUSE (1947) starring Edward G. Robinson; D.O.A. (1950) starring Edmond O’Brien; FEAR IN THE NIGHT (1947) starring STAR TREK’S DeForest Kelly; and THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) starring Barbara Stanwyk, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas.

FAMILY CLASSICS – 50 MOVIE SET – DVD

Highlights from this set include the W.C. Fields films THE DENTIST (1932) and THE GOLF SPECIALIST (1930); the Buster Keaton films  THE BLACKSMITH (1922), THE GENERAL (1926), THE PALEFACE (1922); and the Shirley Temple films DORA’S DUNKING DOUGHNUTS (1933), THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1933), MANAGED MONEY (1934), PARDON MY PUPS (1934) and WAR BABIES (1932).

This marks the first time John has seen a Shirley Temple movie.

15:00 – CLUELESS – Blu-ray

I was just thinking it’s been 12 years since ROAD TRIP. It’s even stranger to think its been 15 years since CLUELESS. 15 YEARS! And it seemed like yesterday when we first saw Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer on screen for the first time. And lets not forget Justin Walker as the eminently stylish Christian. In a movie that featurs many memorable supporting performances, in my opinion, Justin Walker’s is the one that really stands out. And does Paul Rudd even age? The movie looks great in this Blu-ray upgrade. Bright, vibrant, and visually all that. An exceptional image. I still can’t believe it’s been 15 years.

Our discussion of CLUELESS on Blu-ray includes a Wayback Machine trip via John and Bob’s exceptional knowledge of Alicia Silverstone’s Aerosmith videos. Impressive.

23:00 – ROAD TRIP – RATED & UNR8D VERSIONS – Blu-ray (Best Buy Exclusive)

Another Blu-ray upgrade that makes me think: I can’t believe it’s been a dozen years already. A DOZEN YEARS! Was it that long ago that Tom Green was in such high demand? What’s Tom Green doing these days anyway? I suppose I could’ve asked the same question about Breckin Mayer. We all know what Sean William Scott’s been up to (one can try to forget about AMERICAN REUNION). For those of you keeping track, this is the first narrative feature from Todd Philips, the man who brought us THE HANGOVER. My personal favorite scene: when E.L. (Scott) scams Blind Brenda (Mary Lynn Rajskub) to get the mini-bus.

30:00 – ONE FOR THE MONEY – Blu-ray

I get the feeling Katherine Heigel hasn’t made all these romantic comedies because – as it is with many actors who must keep working – they’re the opportunities she’s offered. The sad truth appears to be: Romantic comedies are the films she WANTS to make. And now it’s waaaay past the time for her to stop!

Sidenote: I’m never convinced when action scenes play out with the lead female character in high heels. Never works.

White I found myself appreciating what Heigel is trying to do with ONE FOR THE MONEY, I’m not the audience for this film. It falls flat on me. But this is a home run for somebody.


37:00 – THE ORGANIZER (1963) – CRITERION COLLECTION – Blu-ray

A terrific black and white period piece from director Mario Monicelli and Fellini’s go-to cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno. Marcello Mastroianni plays a gregarious wanderer who inspires workers in a Turin factory to force management to shave an hour off their hellish 14-hour work-day. The hell these townsfolk have to go through to get that extra hour. Wow!

This disc is doesn’t offer any extensive speacial features. It’s slim in that department. However, it has an insightful 10-minute introduction by Monicelli, who passed away in 2010.


42:00 – LATE SPRING (1949) – CRITERION COLLECTION – Blu-ray

One of the greats from one of the greats, Yasujiro Ozu. Rarely have I felt so good about appreciating the simplicity of a film. Ozu’s LATE SPRING arrives on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and it’s a wonderful reminder. How does one bottle this seemingly integrated ease of images, editing, story and acting? It’s like building a delicate doll house and seeing the action play out on screen. Somehow in this world, life, everything on screen is a toy.

This is a disc not to be missed. It includes these standout features…

  • (An absolutely fantastic) audio commentary by Richard Peña, program director of New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • TOKYO-GA (1985), filmmaker Wim Wenders’s ninety-two-minute documentary about director Yasujiro Ozu

Regarding TOKYO-GA, sometimes the best documentaries about a film are true homages that detail the real impression the film or film-maker made; and in this case the impression Ozu and his films made on Wim Wenders. An exceptional special feature!


Click on the image at the top of this post or the media player below and enjoy the show!

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#135 – THE AVENGERS completely

Hey folks! We’re happy to have Moviebob join us to discuss the box office monolith that is The Avengers. As for new films, it’s the only show in town of course – aside from Miley Cyrus’s LOL which Lionsgate buried – but it’s a hell of a show.

Big surprise: We fucking loved it.

Click on the image above or the media player below and enjoy!

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IFFBoston 2012 #3 – Bobcat Goldthwait, Director of GOD BLESS AMERICA

With his new film GOD BLESS AMERICA screening at IFFBoston 2012, John and I, and fellow critics Moviebob and Meg Quinn, spoke with Bobcat Goldthwait this afternoon.

This was one of those “We can’t believe we’re talking with one of our idols” moments. But we’re professionals. This is about film-making: The making and interpretation of GOD BLESS AMERICA. And maybe it’s a bit about the comedy.

For tickets to the Saturday, April 28th, 10:15 PM screening of GOD BLESS AMERICA at the Somerville Theater, head on over to IFFBoston.org.

Click on the image above or the media player below and enjoy the show!

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#134 – SHAME, HELLACIOUS ACRES, BOB’S BURGERS and more!

Extra Features is our home video-centric podcast. And in this installment, being our 20th, critic Sean Burns (The Improper Bostonian) joins us to discuss the new Blu-rays and DVDs: SHAME, HELLACIOUS ACRES, THE RED HOUSE, BOB’S BURGERS: SEASON ONE, Werner Herzog’s INTO THE ABYSS and more.

Click on the image above or the media player below and enjoy the show!

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IFFBoston 2012 #1 – Preview of The Independent Film Festival Boston (Guest: Sean Burns)

In Boston (Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline), it’s film festival time! Now’s your chance to see that obscure film you’ve read about and looked forward to.

With guest critic Sean Burns from The Improper Bostonian, John and I preview The Independent Film Festival Boston 2012. It all happens April 25th – May 2nd at The Somerville Theater, The Brattle Theatre and The Coolidge Corner Theater. For the complete list of films and events, and to purchase tickets online, click on over to IFFBoston.org.

Simply click on the image above or the media player below and enjoy the show!

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#133 – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, WE BOUGHT A ZOO and More!

Since the inception of DVDs more than a dozen years ago, home video Special Features – those wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful “extras” which can validate purchasing the movie after you’ve seen it at the theater three months prior – have greatly improved in style and content. Case in point: The special features on Paramount’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Blu-ray are state of the art. Tops not only in content, but in menu presentation. The team that put together the disc clearly had its menus in mind while Ghost Protocol was being filmed.

On this episode, John and I get to talking about the Ghost Protocol disc, as well as the impressive We Bought a Zoo Blu-ray, which has a couple neat special features from Cameron Crowe and Co.

We also discuss the new titles: Kate & Leopold: The Director’s Cut (a fine film and a guilty pleasure, and I’ll stand by that); The Witches of Oz; Conversation Piece (starring Burt Lancaster); The Siege of Firebase Gloria (from 20th Century Fox’s video on demand); the French film The Conquest; Timur Bekmambetov’s The Darkest Hour on 3D Blu-ray; Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous and The Marvel 3-Movie Collection (Thor, Hulk and Dr. Strange) and The Marvel Movie Collection: Ultimate Avengers – both from Lionsgate Home Video.

Click on the media player below and enjoy the show!

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#132 – CABIN IN THE WOODS, LOCKOUT and THE THREE STOOGES

112 is one of the rare episodes in which John and I generally liked all of the films we saw this week: The Joss Whedon-penned and produced Cabin in the Woods, director Joseph Kahn’s slasher comedy Detention, the Luc Besson-produced sci-fi actioner Lockout, and the Farrelly brothers’ up-chuck of The Three Stooges.

Actually, we loved Cabin in the Woods. It’s the one film you must see. I won’t get into spoiler territory (we do that in the episode), so you’ll have to trust us: See it! Don’t wait for video. See it in a theater!

Oh! And after you listen to 112, head on over to HorrorUnlimited.com’s Diabolique Radio Show and listen to my interview with Detention director Joseph Kahn. He’s a cinephile through and through. I think you’ll find him a kindred spirt.

As always, simply click on the image above or on the media player below and enjoy … well, as much as one is capable of enjoying an mp3 file. I mean, it is what it is: compressed data. But this compressed data is made with cinema-love, coffee and cranberry juice!

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