« Image of the day, 9/23/11 | Main | Image of the day, 9/26/11 »

September 23, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mr. Milich

1) Yes, it's okay to consider Fast Times a classic.

2) Funhouse. Yes, Berridge. I Googled her after watching this on Netflix not long ago, and upon clicking an image from the film, which you can probably imagine, spyware immediately began downloading to my computer. Random!

3) Cobra had both Andy Robinson and Reni Santori (playing Gonzales vs. his other Gonzalez), so, yeah, I think the Dirty Harry reference is still valid.

Tony Dayoub

Agreed on DRESSED TO KILL, but I would have flagged STRAW DOGS for being light on the extras. As always, a real treat to read.


ANIMAL HOUSE...FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH...DAZED & CONFUSED...I don't like any of them. Eat it, 1970s, 80s and 90s!


Last year I broke down and watched ZERO DE CONDUITE in sections on YouTube, because how else was I ever gonna see it? Really hoping the ol' budget stabilizes enough soon to allow me to splurge on the Vigo set and ORPHEUS.

Glenn Kenny

I can't BELIEVE you don't like ANIMAL HOUSE, Bill.

warren oates

I thought ESSENTIAL KILLING was a region-free Blu-ray? So it should play in any machine.

For me the film was more like a solid B. I really wanted to like this movie. It's theoretically exactly my kind of thing in oh so many ways: Minimalist narrative -- survival procedural -- vaguely abstract military/security thriller atmosphere -- you had me at hello.

Thing is that the film kind of runs out of gas after 40 minutes or so and resorts to all manner of illogical and time-killing stuff, some of it inventive and arresting like (SPOILER ALERT!) the breast-milk theft, almost all of it beside the point in terms of the nameless protagonist's immediate survival needs -- warmth and water, not food. It takes people a long time to starve to death in the wild, so how come in almost every movie like this they immediately try and find try tree bark to munch on or go rabbit hunting (as Robert Ryan does in INFERNO).

Also, unless I'm remembering this wrong, what's up with the total elision of this major plot point (more SPOILERS): how did he dry off after that plunge into the iced-over water? If he didn't build a fire quickly, he'd be dead. And he isn't. Which you would think would be an important and interesting part of the story to relate. Jack London, anyone?

On top of which, I'd just seen DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT, which is an obvious reference point for Skolimowski and a better film.

Glenn Kenny

Oops. Fixed that, thanks for the correction.

Also, Robert Ryan hunting rabbits in INFERNO is awesome, so that's why. I guess.


I'm not THAT predictable, Major Sarcasmo. I bet I like lots of shit you wouldn't expect me to like. I just bet I do.

Glenn Kenny

Yeah. Like OLIVER'S STORY, I bet.

Ha! What a burn!

Unkle Rusty

COBRA wishes it had William Lustig.


[Can't remember what OLIVER'S STORY is, looks it up]

You son of a bitch...


RE: Dominique Sanda. I dunno, Glenn. DAMNATION ALLEY came out just a year after 1900, and a couple of years before VOYAGE EN DOUCE, which ain't exactly chopped liver. So I'm not sure the trajectory you cite there is all that representative of where her career was going at the time.

I'd say something here about Bolognini's THE INHERITANCE, too, but that'd probably just get me in trouble.


George Pan Cosmatos has some intriguing, if slightly nauseating, business about the previously (to me anyway) unknown world of "ghost-directing":



Erk. That should read "George Pan Cosmatos's Wikipedia page has...", dammit.

Michael Dempsey

There should be a still from "Cobra" in the dictionary next to "repulsive."

"Cross Of Iron" (the 131-minute uncut version released in Europe) is the finest war movie ever made.

James Keepnews

DEAD MAN's iconic stature as one of Jarmusch's best films only towers more and more with the passage of time -- James still thinks it his best, and it pleased him if no one else mightily to declare it 1996's best film for Albany's Metroland, after it had not been screened even once in Albany at that point. The notion that there should be anything but an utterly impeccable Blu-Ray edition for commercial release is a bloody effing disgrace. Pace Gary Farmer's Nobody, Miramax/Echo Bridge shouldn't let the sun burn a hole its conglomerated ass waiting to issue and recall and replacement disc. And I won't let the sun burn a hole in my ass waiting for that to happen...


COEUR FIDELE on blu is the greatest shit ever.

Bruce Reid

warren oates: Regarding any plot holes (like drying off after the plunge) in Essential Killing, I read it as an Owl Creek occurrence, or more accurately a dreams-within-dreams variation.


Glenn, re your update: It should be clear to anyone who actually reads what you write in the guide that the letter grade is for the Blu-Ray presentation. Which is exactly what I personally want in such a guide. Nothing drives me crazy like reading a supposed DVD review column and realizing the writer has simply repurposed his or her original theatrical reviews, with no discussion of the discs' extras, technical quality, etc.

Chris Stangl

Not to be That Guy, but the Arrow Video BIRD WITH CRYSTAL PLUMAGE Blu-ray is maybe not a primo example of an Argento disc slam-dunk. The image has been cropped to Vittorio Storaro's favorite all-purpose AR, with a bias toward losing picture on the left. Some might say it's sloppily chopped off and sabotages composition throughout. The color has been, um, cooled off, shall we say? Whatever one makes of Storaro's input — delayed correction or bizarre revisionism — it ain't what BIRD looked like in 1970.

Really though, the history of Argento on home video is such a nightmare that at this point one shells out for new editions just to see novel methods of screwing up.


Short of the ghost of Gregg Toland materialising on the Warner backlot and demanding they use digital processing to blur all the backgrounds in 'Citizen Kane', has a cinematographer ever had a more pernicious retrospective effect on their own work than Storaro?

Glenn Kenny

@ Chris Stangl: No, you're not being That Guy or even Some Guy; thanks for the nudge. As you say, the Argento Situation on home vid is a nightmare, one from which all his fans are trying to awake, and I got a little caught up in it. The "Plumage" I meant to recommend is the Blue Underground U.S. issue, as I make clear in the little correction to the capsule above. The two Arrow Argentos I wanted to commend were "Inferno" and "Phenomena," both of which I think look terrific. Arguably the subsequent Blue Underground Blu of "Inferno" has a slight edge on the Arrow (and yes, I have both, oy), but as yet there's no comparable domestic issue on "Phenomena," the Arrow version of which I think is really terrific. Don't even get me started on the whole "Suspiria" thing...

Jandy Stone

I skipped watching Went the Day Well at this year's TCM Film Festival. Twice. Based on the buzz about it that I heard from everyone who DID see it, I made a grave mistake. I'm still kind of kicking myself for not trying to make it into the repeat screening.


While the Blue Underground release of PLUMAGE is indeed the one to get, it, alas, is OOP and currently going for ridiculous prices across the Internet. And wasn't the BU Blu of PLUMAGE the only extant home video version to not be Storaro'ed? I don't recall the Blue Underground DVD version being in the right AR.


I don't want to be that guy either, but Arrow haven't released Four Flies on Grey Velvet in any format, but Shameless (who are one of Arrow's affiliates and have released a number of Euro-horror and giallo titles) are aiming to release it on standard-disc and on Blu-Ray in December. Also, apparently the French Wild Side release of Tenebrae is far superior to the Arrow version. I believe it's region-free but with enforced English subtiutles, alas.

Glenn Kenny

@ Neil: D'oh!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad