October 25, 2004

October 23, 2004

Columbo is back

Finally on DVD, Lt. Columbo! I picked up Columbo - the Complete First Season and it's great ... and no so great.

The great part is the shows themselves. It's especially interesting seeing this set with the two movies that came prior to the series. You get to see how they developed the character into the Columbo we know.

But the set itself ... No much in the way of cleaning them up. There are scratches and so on that give you the sense that whatever copy was handy was the one tossed on the discs.

There are also no features - at all.

October 16, 2004

I'm not alarmed - or am I?

I'm not so much alarmed by the fact it is snowing as I am that a Michael Bolton song is playing through the stereo and I'm almost liking it. Strange times indeed!

The snow is wet and heavy. Trees and their branches are bent in abdication, aknowledging the inevitably of seasonal tyranny. People in the street jump and gyrate as they try to elude a minefield of puddles and snowpiles.

Shall we despair? No, we shan't. And why?

We're hopeless optimists. And we're thinking, "Hey, at least it ain't Florida."

October 11, 2004

A few new old films

I managed to watch and write about a couple of classic movies over the weekend. The first is La R├Ęgle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) by Jean Renoir, 1939.

The other is Akira Kurosawa's 1952 film Ikiru.

Thumbs up on both counts!

October 3, 2004

Canadian movies?

I can't speaking with any authority about Canadian movies largely due to the reasons outlined by Dan Brown in his ramble, When it comes to movies, let's hide our national identity. As he puts it:

We may not like to admit it, but the term "Canadian movie" comes with all kinds of negative baggage. In the mind of the average ticket buyer standing in line at your local multiplex, a Canadian movie is (a) weird and depressing, and (b) cheaply made. This reputation is well earned; it came about because in the past our movies have been low-budget productions that, for the most part, were weird and depressing.
The one exception, for me, might be films from Quebec, such as Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares).

Speaking strictly for myself, I don't want to know if a film is a good Canadian movie. I just want to know if it's a good movie. If it's from Canada - fine, surprise me when I see it. But being from Canada isn't a selling point, not where I'm concerned. Being an interesting film is.

And if the truth be told, past experience has left me with the knee-jerk response that if it is Canadian it looks cheap and is hopelessly depressing. That this isn't accurate isn't relevant. It's a knee-jerk response.