April 30, 2005

Kagemusha - the shadow warrior

It finally arrived and I've finally watched Akira Kurosawa's 1980 samurai movie, Kagemusha.

I saw it when it was first released in North America, when I was living in Ottawa, so it would be close to 25 years ago - yikes! Long time.

It was the first Kurosawa movie I ever saw and the first samurai movie. As I say in my review, it knocked me for a loop. I'd never seen anything like that - not until then.

And now I've seen it again. And the DVD transfer by Criterion is incredible. It's two disc set that's well worth getting. The images in Kagemusha are absolutely stunning.

Tag: , , ,

April 27, 2005

A series of unfortunate scenes

I watched Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events last night and found it a bit underwhelming. It looks like it should be fabulous but for the most part it plays tediously, though it does have some great moments.

I’m still thinking about this one because I’m not entirely sure where the problem is - perhaps it’s the combination of several small problems (rather than one big one).

It’s episodic, and that may be part of it. It has some very contemporary moments - references and the like - that jar with the film’s somewhat fantastic and archaic style and look.

Overall, though, it just seems to me to try too hard. It’s a bit like a comedian who oversells a joke.

And having said that, I can't recommend getting the two disc version of this movie. I picked up the single disc widescreen, watched a couple of the featurettes, then stopped before I finished. I was bored.

Tag: ,

April 24, 2005

Cocktails and crime: The Thin Man

I'm still waiting on my shipment (must be sending it from the heart of China by burro). In the meantime, I've been watching a few things in my collection.

For example, last night I watched The Thin Man again - the first, the original. It stars William Powell and Myrna Loy. I've always liked Powell (hence my fondness for My Man Godfrey) and he's in top form with Loy in this one.

By the way, the movie comes from the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name. And it was directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the man who gave us Tarzan the Ape Man.

Tag: , , ,

April 17, 2005

A fistful of Sergio Leone

From DVDTimes ... it appears MGM has brought out Region 2 special editions of Sergio Leone westerns:

- A Fistful Of Dollars
- For a Few Dollars More
- A Fistful of Dynamite

Of course, my question is when will these be released in Region 1? Also, one of the comments I saw on DVDTimes (in the A Fistful of Dollars review) suggested MGM will also be bringing these out as a six disc set later in the year.

Again ... when in Region 1?

Update: I asked the guys at DVD Town about this and they said, "Sony's purchase of MGM has just been finalized. Therefore, these releases are in limbo outside of R2 UK."

Tag: ,

Sideways - and off kilter

I picked up Sideways yesterday and tapped out a review of it. My take isn't quite the view many others had, though I did like the movie. Just not so much as some reviewers.

By the way, I was sipping a red wine while I watched it - but not a Merlot!

Tag: ,

April 6, 2005

How sad is this?

If you were to make a satire of English Canadian cinema it would be Guy Maddin's, The Saddest Music in the World. It's firing on all cylinders, as they say: quirky without purpose because hey - we're Canadian, a depressing story about depressed people because - hey, we're Canadian, and of course a walking talking caricature as the "American" because - hey, we're Canadian and we hate the idea that normal people like their movies more than our tedious wank-offs.

What a self-indulgent piece of crap.

Tag: ,