Brief aside regarding that Blockbuster refeerence I made above: For you kids out there Blockbuster is a reference to this now archaic concept of a place, as well as a chain of stores, that you traveled to for the purpose of renting movies and TV shows on these things called DVDs and VHS tapes, and take them home with you to put in this device you purchased to play them. I know, leaving your house to get shows, as opposed to today’s civilized way of just connecting to Netflix or Itunes or Amazon or Hulu… it’s so… Ancient. :). But for a good two decades there in the tail end of the 20th century (and bleeding into the 21st century)… it was all the rage. :). Okay, aside over.
Now where was I, oh yes, so in this age of the cloud and streaming and not owning physical content, what are the movies or shows that I still definitely say… “uh no, this I need to have available without having to rely on middlemen, or the vagariess of connection quality, or title availabilty on a specific streaming platform at a specific date”.
I don’t want to have to wait for Jeff Speakman’s THE PERFECT WEAPON to make it on streaming, I like to have that DVD always at the ready to pull out and fast forward to the good parts. 🙂
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT is a movie I first watched on Netflix, loved it, and knew from frame one that I had to own the Blu-Ray. The Blu-Ray is always pristine quality, and doesn’t vary depending on if the provider has to throttle quality to accomodate higher demand times, and it has a fantastic commentary and special features. I’m a commentary and special features guy. I will watch the movie, if I love it, once for the movie, a 2nd time, for the Director’s and Cast commentary and special features. I get so much mileage out of a great loaded DVD or Blu-Ray. And for a film lover and Director afficionado like myself, the commentary very much is like having a film class at your fingerstips for the price of a DVD.
So that for me makes the loaded DVD/Blu-Ray a constant and rich resource that offers so much more than just watching the movie or show. John Carpenter director commentaries… absolutely essential. Michael Mann Director’s commentaries, are often as interesting if not more so than his visually sumptuous films, The late Tony Scott, maker of fantastic movies and always riveting commentaries. His Brother Ridley Scott, his early movies, astounding things that benefit from the rich full dissection of informed commentaries.
JOHN WICK, a fantastic movie, that I cannot stop watching on Blu-Ray, and a bloody awesome Director’s commentary and special features.
So without further ado this week’s list of must own DVDs/Blu-Rays(In no particular order):
WATCHMEN BLURAY – One of the most acclaimed Graphic Novels, and an unfilmable movie in many ways, however Zack Snyder was finally the man to film it. Snyder exploded onto the scene with DAWN OF THE DEAD and 300, and immediately left a visual calling card that while definitely influenced by those who had come before, Pekinpah by way of Michael Bay, introduced us to his own unique style.
And that style serves him in great stead here, as WATCHMEN sports one of the great movie trailers of all time (the one with the song), as well as one of the most innovative and impressive credit sequences in movie history, it also sports an astounding and unique Director’s commentary. I think it’s a flawed film, by necessity I think, Alan Moore wrote the definitive Graphic Novel in the WATCHMEN, a deeply rich and layerd and haunting work, replete with references to a perpetual 80s America in decline, that never got out of the shadow of 60’s Vietnam and all that costumed multi-generational stew has to be distilled, along with the rambling plot, to a 2 hour movie. That the WATCHMEN is as good as it is, the movie’s ending I feal improves on Alan Moore’s murky McGuffin of the Graphic Novel, is nothing short of Amazing and a testament to Zack Snyder and all those who worked on this film. And the DVD is replete with the framework of this unfilmable film, and to a process and movie fan like myself, makes it a must own Blu-ray from a film perspective, a graphic novel perspective, and a historic perspective. Watchmen (Director’s Cut + BD-Live) [Blu-ray]
JOHN WICK Blu-Ray – Just a damn entertaining movie, and I do believe the co-directors have redefined and raised the bar substantially on the American Action movie. Fantastic Director’s commentary and special features. John Wick [Blu-ray]
THE RAID 2- Speaking of Directors who are redefining action Films, Gareth Evans uses no less than 3 Silat masters to introduce us to one of the most insane Martial Arts meets GODFATHER meets THE DEPARTED flick that you will ever seen. And it sports one of the best car chase scenes to boot. As well as stellar commentary and special features. The Raid 2 [Blu-ray]
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT – I unabashedly love this film, with a big L. I think Director Ana Lily Amirpour has created one of the great films of cinema, a fable, an Independent, a Horror movie, a Love story, with so much heart, and love, and care, and inventiveness, and voice, that watching it is a bit like new love. It hurts, with a bittersweet type hurt. The Blu-Ray is what a Blu-Ray should be, feature filled, to include a nice book as well. It is one of the movies that if you don’t own a copy of it, I tend to feel a little sad for you.
METROPOLIS BLU-RAY – The 2010 Restored edition including scenes that had been lost for over 80 years till a chance discovery of a surviving more complete print, allowed this version to be seen. So if it is not enough that this is arguably the greatest film of Fritz Lang, one of not just the greatest film directors, but the definer of how big film can be, it is also a historic item, 80+ years in the assembling, that exists only by the rarest gift of chance. The EUREKA MASTERS OF CINEMA version is a must have.Metropolis (Masters of Cinema Series) [Dual Format Limited Edition SteelBook]
Okay that’s the start, come back next installment for more must own DVDs and BluRays.
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“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” - E. Gilbert
A film fan who loves to write, talk and promote filmmakers
Cult, classic and crazy movies you must see, might see and maybe miss