Saturday, March 28, 2009

Warner Bros Takes a Catalog Dump - And You Are There!

Warner Bros, holder of an incredibly large library of unreleased-to-DVD films, has opted for a unique method of making that library available to consumers. For the rather steep price of $19.95 a pop (currently with gratis ground shipping) Warners will, essentially, custom-create a DVD-R for you, complete with professional disc artwork and case. There are currently 150 titles available in the Warner Archive Collection, and we’d wager that most cinema savvy consumers can find at least 10-15 that they’d like to own. The only problem is the price.

$19.95 is what I'd expect to pay for a Blu-Ray catalog release, not 45 year-old Jeff Hunter movies. Once you add a couple of titles in that cart (and you'll just love the way it rockets you back up to the top of the page after you "add to cart") that price really adds up. There's been a lot of negative interwebs buzz about the cost, so hopefully Warner Bros will address it (and add a few MIA favorites, like The Terminal Man and The Green Slime)

We purchased an odd George C. Scott film, Rage* and the little-seen George Roy Hill directed The Little Drummer Girl. We'll let you know how they turn out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Zero Gravity Tummy Trouble Or Peerless Ballyhoo?


The Scribe frequently looses patience with the sheer volume of emails laying out various marketing campaigns for new horror films. I normally withhold them from you, so as not to be considered merely a delivery platform for studio shilling, but I made an exception in this case, because, frankly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I actually think the movie itself looks quite interesting, feeling more like the original Amityville Horror than the anemic in-name-only remake of a few years back.

*Now there's a good reason to visit one's own site more often - my God, was that irritating!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Are You Curious, Giallo?

The following quote is from effects makeup designer Sergio Stivaletti, who has worked with the Dario Argento several times in the past, and can be found on the Fangoria website. We’ve only seen stills (and don’t know much at all about the plot) so any news is welcome, and this contains both the good and bad variety:

“[GIALLO star] Adrien Brody has been very involved with the movie and built up a close working relationship with Dario,” Stivaletti (pictured) tells us. “I think this is one of Dario’s strongest and most impressive films. He and Adrien collaborated on making the movie as believable as possible, and of course, fans can expect some bloody violence. This is an American movie—it is financed from the U.S. and it looks like a Hollywood picture, but it is still impossible not to see Dario’s touch in almost every scene.”

I hope that Brody really is heavily involved with the film, as the Oscar winner’s involvement will increase its chances of a decent theatrical release, but “believable” isn’t generally a phrase commonly associated with the director’s films. And if Stivaletti is right, and the film is “an American movie” – then that is a potential problem. By that standard, Argento’s other American film is the rather dull Trauma, and Argento’s weakest film from his most productive period, Cat ‘o Nine Tails, is been virtually disowned by the director as having too much of an American influence. The biggest problem with The Third Mother (besides the dull, clumsy title) is that it felt like Argento was pandering to an audience that he feels has left him behind with outrageous gore and a graphic misogynism that outdoes even Fulci’s less genteel efforts, and we hope that Giallo isn't similarly afflicted.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Catching Up...

Greetings, all, and forgiveness please for the lack of new posts. We’ve been busy writing-up reviews for several discs that are streeting today, Pinocchio and an Escape from/Return to Witch Mountain double feature.

In other news, we’re finding ourselves oddly looking forward to the Last House on the Left remake out next Friday. Vern, one of our favorite reviewers, offered his surprisingly positive (and well thought out) take today on Ain’t it Cool News and may have stripped away our last reservations about the project. We were happy to read his shout-out to Alexandre Aja’s remake of another Wes Craven classic, The Hills Have Eyes. Interesting European filmmakers rarely smell of studio endorsement; so if it is Craven overseeing the choice of director for these remakes, it’s just another reason to love the guy.

We’re still waiting on a Blu-Ray copy of Let The Right One In, which we hear is one of the very best genre films of last few years. The best new horror film that we’ve seen recently has been The Midnight Meat Train, which isn’t meant to be the compliment that it resembles. The state of modern horror is pretty dire, and lately it seems like the best horror is being imported.

We plan on seeing Watchmen ASAP and will post our feelings directly. Lots of folks that eagerly flocked to Iron Man and The Dark Knight seem to dislike Watchmen immensely; Warner Bros has perhaps been a bit too coy in its advertising and has led people to believe that it’s a business-as-usual comic book movie adaption. This is – from what I’ve heard – a hard ‘R’, with all the violence and sex inherent in the source material intact. Anyone expecting otherwise should do some investigating before bringing their children or unsuspecting spouse/significant other.