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February 19, 2013


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Tom Block

The Criterion BR of "Blimp" is due on 3/18 (along with a mess of other other goodies).


That the two most memorable shots in 'Bonfire of the Vanities' -- the Chrysler Building time-lapse and the ultra-telephoto Concorde touchdown -- are second-unit work says it all, really.


Interesting, just reading about the "assistant to Ms. Streisand" in the 'Being Hal Ashby' book. No mention of ‘Her Closet’ but I’ll let you know if it pops up.

Excellent guide!

Not David Bordwell

I am happiest to hear your enthusiasm for the first and last entries on this list, as well as the endorsement of the Universal Monsters set. Would the Hammer restorations available in Britain but not here be on your horizon for a future guide? (I kinda suspect this is why Tim Lucas took your advice on the region-free player.) I would love your perspective on those, particularly the aspect ratio brouhaha over CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, since discussion of the like has appeared on this site IRT other films and filmmakers.

BTW, I always find these guides providing the intended service, but inevitably seem to forget their utility when people inquire about holiday/birthday gifts.

Tom Russell

"Not so much a camp classic as one of the most knowing, and saddest, movies about Old Hollywood, not to mention alcoholism, ever made."

Exactly, yes!

Bruce Reid

Oliver_C, that opening steadicam shot, which as Stuart Klawans pointed out takes every effort to associate the sleazy Willis character with Tom Wolfe, isn't half bad either.

Gordon Cameron

>The Criterion BR of "Blimp" is due on 3/18 (along with a mess of other other goodies).

Must-buy for me...

Grant L

Me too, Gordon, and just one week later, "A Man Escaped" Criterion BR.


As usual, you've got me drooling over here in anticipation of someday acquiring most of these. COLONEL BLIMP is possibly the biggest gap in my cinematic viewing history, so I need to get on that Criterion as soon as possible.

By the way, in your THE SOUND AND THE FURY capsule, I think you must have meant NO DOWN PAYMENT rather than NO MONEY DOWN.


Glenn's mention of 'Rashomon' provides enough reason to say, R.I.P. Donald Richie.

Zack H.

What Ever Happened To Baby's Jane's last line always floors me.

And while I still hear the "Rashomon effect" bandied around, especially in regards to TV show episodes, it's impressive to me how the movie's single most unsettling conceit--that we never see a one, "true" version of events, if such a thing could be said to exist--is so rarely repeated today. It's the part of the movie that still stings, no matter how cliche the rest of the story structure becomes, and few modern writers are willing to embrace it.

That Fuzzy Bastard

On behalf of cinephile readers everywhere, Glenn, I say update these consumer guides as often or as rarely as you like– it's a super useful and an entertaining read, so whenever we get to enjoy it, we'll take it!

Since you bring up the silver in Grand Hotel, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the silvering effect of using a PS3 as a player. I've noticed that for many black-and-white DVDs, when I play them through a computer or Xbox, they look straightforwardly black-and-white, but seen through the PS3, they acquire a (very flattering) silver sheen. Is this something anyone else has observed, or did Mark of the Vampire just send me into hallucinatory fits?

Kevin O

Glenn - just wanted to say I live for your Consumer Guides, just as I used to live for your DVD guides in Premiere in years past. (Also, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed hearing you on the Cinephiliacs podcast last summer. You are one of those very few erudite people, who are able to discuss stuff at length, without saying "sorta", "like" and "kinda" in every sentence).

David Ehrenstein

I saw both Walsh's "The Big Trail" and Roland West's exquisite "The Bat Whispers" in all their 70mm glory several years back on the giant screen at the motion Picure Academy theater here in L.A. That's really the way they've got to be seen. Even the biggest"home Theater" is a postage stamp by comparasion.


CINDERELLA wasn't the last of the Disney animated features to be distributed by RKO -- ALICE IN WONDERLAND and PETER PAN also were originally released by RKO.

The fabulous pre-Code SIGN OF THE CROSS, which would be most welcome on Blu-ray, was released almost two years before CLEOPATRA opened.

Glenn Kenny

Fixes in, thanks and apologies.

Tom Block

I was surprised how much I liked "The Big Trail" when I finally saw it. Everything I'd ever read about it prepared me for a movie about a horse watching John Wayne shit in his pants.

Gordon Cameron

>Glenn's mention of 'Rashomon' provides enough reason to say, R.I.P. Donald Richie.



One of the best - hell, THE best! - Consumer guides on the market, which I mention not only to ask if you got hold of the Twilight's Last Gleaming disc last November, not available to see for about 30 years or more, very fondly remembered but perhaps left in the memory bank rather than dug up and shown to be a lot clunkier than I thought at the time it was released.

mark s.

Jesus, until I looked more closely I thought Streisand was Marc Bolan/T-Rex in concert. And I think I'm afraid to look at dear Bette's fissured face on Blu-Ray.


"I was surprised how much I liked "The Big Trail" when I finally saw it. Everything I'd ever read about it prepared me for a movie about a horse watching John Wayne shit in his pants."

Dave Kehr actually has it in his Sight and Sound top 10 ballot.

Pete Apruzzese

Great roundup, as always.

Josh Z

@Fuzzy Bastard, the video output of the PS3 should be no different than any other Blu-ray player, unless you have some funky settings enabled in its menus.

This is how it should be set up:

BD/DVD Cinema Conversion: Automatic
BD/DVD Upscaler: Normal
BD/DVD Video Output Format (HDMI): Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr (if your TV will accept it)
BD 1080p 24 Hz Output (HDMI): On (if your TV will accept it)
RGB Full Range (HDMI): Limited
Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr Super-White (HDMI): On

The "Limited" option under "Full Range" sets the contrast for Video levels rather than PC levels. Super-White allows the console to pass whiter-than-white information.

That Fuzzy Bastard

Thanks, Josh---I'll play with that. I think that's where my settings were. And I'm not complaining---the silvery look I'm getting on my PS3 is much nicer than the stark b/w the Xbox shows. just... curious.

Kevyn Knox

I have always enjoyed these reports. I went out and bought several blurays because of this "project" of yours, including (somewhat) obscura such as Pasolini's Medea and Curtiz' The Egyptian.


Obscure 'The Egyptian' may be, but Curtiz' direction receives a very approving little analysis in the current 'Sight and Sound'.

Ron Goldberg (TM)

Great observation on On The Waterfront!

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