End of Year Blu-ray Review Fest: Part 3

Hitchhike to Hell feat End of Year

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is another one of those kinds of movies that irritate me on a surface level. There’s something about an author’s memoirs that has that off-putting black box theater approach to it. Still, the cast is pretty amazing. Young Dawson, Tatum and LeBeouf kill it in their supporting roles. But, the film belongs to Robert Downey Jr’s ability to carry off the focus as the older Dino.

The Blu-ray comes with a commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, alternative opening, alternative endings, a trailer and interviews. The film has grown on me since its initial release, but it’s not the kind of thing I would revisit a ton.

The Limits of Control

The Limits of Control is another Arrow release at the End of Year. We’re probably going to have a mass piece about the End of Year Arrow titles. But, for now…let’s talk Limits of Control. Jim Jarmusch does his thing with Tilda Swinton and his cast of characters. The film came and went a decade ago. So, it naturally makes sense to feature at the End of Year. What’s the takeaway? The ice cream guy from Ghost Dog does well in a Euro style film about an assassin? Stay for the cast, avoid lingering on the subject matter.

Millennium Actress

Millennium Actress is the latest Satoshi Kon release. I love these End of Year pieces that let me catch up on quiet releases. However, it’s not quite the same film as Perfect Blue. I dig the interviews and other things, but it didn’t actually impress me that much. Oh well, Kon fans should grab it.

Ultraseven

Ultraseven is the third entry in the Ultraman series. Honestly, when I think of Ultraman…this is the series I remember. Turner Broadcasting picked up Canadian dubs of the show to air on TNT and related channels. Whether it was MonsterVision or clips aired during Cartoon Planet, this series was ever. The show is also remembered for having a banned episode due to the alien monsters resembling Atomic Blast victims.

Coming less than 25 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese viewing public was still sensitive to the issue. The Blu-ray comes with no special features. But, you get all of the uncut episodes.

Hitchhike to Hell 1 End of Year

Hitch Hike to Hell

Hitch Hike to Hell is an attempt to make a film about the Co-Ed Killer. What we get is a truly killer exploitation flick starring the Professor from Gilligan’s Island and directed by the guy behind Malibu High. When Arrow focuses on releases like this, they kill it. Hell, take a look at these stunning special features in this End of Year release.

 

  • 1.33 and 1.78 versions of the feature
  • Newly-filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower
  • Road to Nowhere: Hitchhiking Culture Goes to Hell – brand new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the dark side of hitch-hiking in the real world and on the screen
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Original press book (BD-ROM Content)

 

Joan the Maid

Joan the Maid is a two-part release that might be one of my favorite French releases in recent memory. Lengthy to the point of being obnoxious to a reviewer on a tight production schedule, I still took the time to watch it. Honestly, what Jaques Rivette has put together is nothing short of stunning. Originally released in 1994, I feel this film will be a new revelation to American audiences. I hate it when I miss things like this, but I’m so glad that the time arrives to check them out. Sandrine Bonnaire is quite stunning and I wish I knew more about her work.

The End of Year Blu-ray Review Fest concludes with Part 4

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