When we began doing our Christmas coverage, no one knew it would take this long to get through the backlog. But, here we are. Enjoy the backlog.
At War is a fictional look at a labor strike. For being a French film, I expected something a little less melodramatic. Oh well, it still works. The Blu-ray comes with a trailer as the sole special feature. What? I’m not about to start counting closed captions as a special feature.
Lost City of the Jungle
Lost City of the Jungle is a classic 13 chapter serial. A crazy old white guy wants to kickstart World War III, so another white guy and Keye Luke team up to stop him. The VCI release has their patented typical transfers. Still, it’s neat to see anything that old getting an HD release. You also get a trailer and photo gallery as the special features.
Nighthawks is one of those FilmRise releases that I wouldn’t watch unless it showed up on my door step. As I polish off my backlog, I took a second viewing of the film and I don’t get the appeal. The whole concept of club grinding, millennial cliques and clubbing is just so alien to me. Plus, I’m not a big fan of the cast. Oh well, you get a trailer and photo gallery as the special features.
My Samurai is the latest release from the MVD Rewind Collection. Featuring the 80s standard of using Asian martial arts to defend oneself from bullies, we get to watch Julian Lee and Mako take part in saving little white kids. Truly the Christmas miracle that we all expected. The special features are stacked with new interviews, featurettes and promotional materials. Plus, that poster is pretty nice.
The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House had an impressive first season bow on Netflix. While it wasn’t one of my favorite shows of 2018, it still rung my bell a few times. The Bent-Neck Lady episode is what sold me on Michael Flanagan as a future horror icon. There is a love letter to Doctor Sleep coming sooner than later, but this entire series reaffirms his majesty. Plus, you get Director’s Cuts of a third of the episodes. I wish Netflix had more partners that would do these kinds of physical releases. They’re so awesome.
Bunuel in The Labyrinth of the Turtles
Bunuel in The Labyrinth of the Turtles is so amazingly visual. However, I found the story to not pop. I love the work of Luis Bunuel and that’s enough to get me in the door for this film. However, I found working animation around the L’Age d’Or time was strange. Hell, it would have made for a better documentary. Still, I keep finding myself drawn to the film over and over again. If you dig this sort of thing, check it out.
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs had a 40th anniversary release from the amazing Cohen Collection. While it won the Oscar back in 1978/1979, the film has fallen out of the mainstream. Even American film fans won’t bring it up when talking about Gerard Depardieu. The Cohen disc looks amazing and comes stacked with a ton of special features. You get a new introduction, trailers and a generally fun release.
Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic
Fritz Lang directed a two-part adventure epic set in India. The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb were meant to be a proud return to German Cinema after being gone for 20 years. What we got and what was illustrated in the wonderful audio commentaries for the film is an Indiana Jones style format test run. Leaning heavy into the epic adventure world traveling angle, Lang never takes his foot off the gas.
It was the kind of effort Lang hadn’t got to do since Moonfleet, but I still don’t get why he couldn’t make the movie in America. Releases like this are why Film Movement Classics has my attention just as much as Criterion or the other Arthouse powerhouses. Releases like this one matter.
Galaxy Quest: 20th Anniversary Edition
Galaxy Quest is one of those titles that upset me most during my backlog. I had this big plan to tackle this one and the recent documentary release, then scheduling hit all parties. Now, I’m rushing through talking about a movie I really dig and here we are. A lot of the special features are ported over from the original DreamWorks DVD. Still, the big winner is the nice Steelbook that actually plays well into the film’s world.
Manson Family Movies
Manson Family Movies is that Cult Epics release that fell through the cracks. The original review was much longer, but turned into an angry diatribe about something completely unrelated. Now, enjoy the abbreviated version. The movie was filmed at actual locations, plus you get a lot of rare footage of sites that are no longer there. The DVD comes loaded with a commentary track, outtakes, featurettes and a bonus disc called Sharon Tate Home Movies. It’s pretty stacked and quite worth checking out even for a DVD.
The Thing remake just got re-released by Mill Creek. It was a fascinating thing to find in my backlog. Still, I wish there was something more to be had here. The bonus features are loaded with a commentary, featurettes, trailer and deleted/extended scenes. Still, I’d love to see Universal try editing this one together with the Carpenter original. Oh wait, you didn’t know?!? It’s a prequel!
The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary Edition
The Swan Princess was a film that totally missed me, but it arrived when I was 13. I was out of kid movies and firmly into whatever Miramax was bringing out Post-Pulp Fiction. It was a different era, kiddies. While the film is pretty straight-laced, I dug the voice cast. The special features were informative, but nothing in this release actually explained why this film has a fanbase. Oh well, what can you do?