Thursday, April 10, 2014

Down With Film!

No film tonight. The feds... er, the day job caught up to me and I had to leave my hideout office for a few days.


Anonymous said...

Jesus, don't say "Down with film!" You scared me there for a second!

I don't get Cinemax, but a new HD version of The Abyss just premiered - up till now, there has been no HD transfer. Even the DVD recycled a years-old laserdisc transfer. Looks like a Blu-Ray is finally on the way.

It's pretty exciting... you know, for me. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry for the heart attack, Scott. You know, with kids having so many choices today in entertainment, you need to be more over the top just to get noticed! ;-P

Backthrow said...


Maybe you already know this already, but if not, apparently Blu-rays of both THE ABYSS and TRUE LIES are planned for release by the end of the year, I'm sure in time for the holiday shopping season. They've been prepping hi-def transfers of both for 'anniversary editions' (plus cable play and streaming)... 25th anniversary for ABYSS, 20th anniversary for TRUE LIES.

Anonymous said...

Backthrow -

I'm well-aware. :-) I still remember riding my bike to the store to pick up the DVD of The Abyss... that was 14 years ago!!

But these screenshots are the first signs of physical evidence. (Not counting the occasional rumor that's popped up over the years).

I just hope they keep the existing DVD/LD extras - a treasure-trove of material.

Kit said...

This Sunday TCM is running a marathon of Mickey Rooney films in honor of the late actor's death.

Anonymous said...

As a one-time production assistant, this story kinda gets me.

Seriously, what is it with police lately?!

Tennessee Jed said...

I had been on a mini-vacation (kind of an oxy-moron when you are retired) down in Chattanooga for 3 days. Went to the first National Cemetery ever built in this country (shortly after the civil war.) Buried there are Andrews Raiders. Of the seven, all but Andrews were awarded the first Congressional Medals of Honor ever. Andrews couldn't receive the medal because he was a civilian. Point is, if you have never watched the Disney film "The Great Locomotive Chase" starring Fess Parker, you really need to. It holds up well after 60 years, and is a little slice of history you may not have known about.

Backthrow said...

Netflix streaming just added the recent documentary, Milius (2013), to their lineup today, and I watched it this evening. Excellent stuff... though I came away wondering where all these big friends of his were for him in the post-Red Dawn period of his Hollywood career.

I also watched the classic film noir, Cry Danger (1951), on disc, starring Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming. I'd seen it before, but man, what a great little movie, with a neat plot and outstanding hard-boiled dialogue from Powell (who's been framed, but is nobody's fool) and nearly everybody else in it.

Anonymous said...

Backthrow -

Thanks!! I've been looking forward to seeing that documentary for some time.

As for big friends, I often wonder that myself. Take Joe Dante for instance. He kinda has a reputation as a troublemaker and his last big studio movie was Looney Tunes: Back in Action. So why can't Spielberg throw him a bone? They worked together in the 80s... so why not?

And did Lucas help Coppola in the 80s when the latter was going through financial difficulties?

Backthrow said...


Yeah... funny how that works, isn't it? Then they lament the fact in interviews, talking about how Hollywood has left uber-talented so-and-so behind, when they're a big part of that town, with not-insignificant influence among their peers and business associates. Oh well...

I was reading a good interview with director John Dahl (Red Rock West, The Last Seduction, Rounders, Joy Ride, The Great Raid), from late 2010, and he said something that goes along with Andrew's "Screw the Cat, Save the Film" post from April 2nd:

Dahl: "Not only has the ambition among aspirants changed, but so, too, thinks Dahl, has the creative sensibility. He remembers one young filmmaker who “…had decided the audience only had a long enough attention span to see an image for four seconds, then it had to change. I asked him, ‘How’d you come up with that?’ He said, ‘Watch a classic movie like The Rock (1996). (Director) Michael Bay figured out you had to cut all the time.’ I asked him, ‘What year were you born?’ ‘Nineteen eighty-two’ – about when MTV was launched.” Dahl chuckles ruefully: “A ‘classic’ movie like The Rock.”

Dahl remembers a four-hour compilation reel of movie car chases he put together as research for one of his projects. When he screened the reel, “You’d be surprised how many people came by and wanted to see that. I had to make copies for people!” According to Dahl, by wide consensus the car chase people thought was the best was the one from the 1968 cop thriller Bullitt. “Which is funny because, by today’s standards, it’s incredibly long, it doesn’t have a lot of cuts, there’s not a lot of damage. The French Connection (1971) came in a close Number Two. But the chase from that ‘classic’ The Rock? It made little or no impact. It seemed forced.”

In Dahl’s opinion, what those chases from earlier movies have going for them is not just the skillful ways they are assembled, but their sense of possibility; that they could happen. Whereas the chase from The Rock – as with many action sequences in today’s thrillers – is so over-the-top, that sense of impossibility actually undercuts its effectiveness. “People didn’t care.”

He sighs. “These young people have never seen Double Indemnity or Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). They probably think they’re just dusty old pictures.”""

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