If it's crap ... We'll tell you
It was a wacky week and I didn't get to do all the longer reviews I hoped to, but here's some last minute stuff about some of the other releases you might of missed that came out last week...
THE COMANCHEROS (Blu-Ray)
Fox KNOWS how to do this Digibook release thing, as I expressed last week about their re-release of "The Hustler", and no less so with the great director Michael Curtiz's last film, "The Comancheros". John Wayne is at his, erm, Wayne-iest, as a Texas Ranger who, while escorting a wanted man (Stuart Whitman) back to Louisiana for trial (and almost certainly, death), finds himself in an uneasy alliance and even friendship with him when the two must team up to fight the titular villains: anglos who gun-run to the warlike Comanche Indian tribe. It's one of those fun westerns with lots of action, John Wayne at his most bad-ass, Indians who apparently went to the Star Wars Stormtrooper school of battle, and even a Lee Marvin cameo that you'll never forget. And what a presentation: so beautifully cleaned up you'll swear they just made it yesterday, with lots of new bonus features to boot.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Comancheros (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
Please try to pretend the 1996 Sharon Stone remake never happened, because this 1955 horror-thriller by 'The French Hitchcock', Henri-Georges Clouzot, is one of the great masterpieces of film. In fact, Clouzot barely snatched away the rights to make the film by a matter of hours, right under Hitchcock's nose, who was seeking them for himself (although the authors ended up writing "Vertigo" specifically for him to make). It follows a woman who owns a boarding school (Vera Clouzot), her tyrannical and abusive husband (Paul Meurisse), and his mistress (Simone Signoret) all of whom live and teach there. Despite this awkward arrangement, the two women get along pretty well. After an escalation of abuses by the husband, the two end up reluctantly agreeing to plot his murder together. All goes to plan, until when his body is supposed to turn up seemingly as part of a drunken swimming pool accident, and it's nowhere to be found. This is one helluva nail-biter all the way to the edge-of-your-seat, one-of-the-creepiest-things-I've-ever-seen ending. Plus, it's a Criterion release, so it looks and sounds perfect, and has a slew of tasty extra bits to go with.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Diabolique: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE/YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW/SUNFLOWER (Blu-Ray)
There's no question in my mind that one of the greatest beauties in cinema was the stunning Sophia Loren, a woman as immensely talented as she was jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with 50 international acting awards to her credit. Sadly, being Americans, we don't even get the opportunity in the first place to watch foreign language movies, no matter how acclaimed they might be. Enter the "Sophia Loren Collection", featuring nicely cleaned up re-releases of three of her better known and award winning films from the latter half of the 60's (including one which one the Oscar for Best Foreign Film). All feature romantic, sometimes sexy and sometimes funny tales with Loren and her frequent co-star Marcello Mastroianni. Worth checking out for those who feel that maybe the Italians have something to say about love, sex and passion. Which is to say, in theory, all of you.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Marriage Italian Style (Sophia Loren Award Collection) [Blu-ray]
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Sophia Loren Award Collection) [Blu-...
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Sunflower (Sophia Loren Award Collection) [Blu-ray]
THE TWILIGHT ZONE - SEASON 4 (Blu-Ray)
After all these years, after all these anthology shows, still no one has ever done it better or more memorably than Rod Serling with his original horror/sci-fi series, "The Twilight Zone". Quite frankly, "Image Entertainment" has outdone themselves with their re-releases of the series, giving each exactly the amount of loving care (as well as oodles of extra features) that a show this important and eternally entertaining deserves. Season 4 is actually an oddity in the original five season program in that the show expanded from 30 minutes to a full hour, but it also only features 18 episodes. That being said, these are some great episodes. Actors appearing include Dennis Hopper, Anne Francis, Robert Duvall, Martin Balsam, Burgess Meredith, and more, in a season that was nominated for an Emmy and a Hugo. My only complaint is that I don't already own the previous three sets on Blu-Ray because now I'm going to HAVE to buy them.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Twilight Zone: Season 4 [Blu-ray]