Sale of the Day/Month : POWERHOUSE Indicator— SALE OF THE YEAR???!

You will need a region free blu-ray player to view region locked Blu-rays (ie Blu-rays from European or Asian distributors) but some of the best physical media releases are coming from non US distributors. Not all of course, but quite a lot. If you do not own a multiregion Bluray player you are missing out.

Do your own homework but one that works for me (and does 3D) is:

You especiaaly want an all region player to support the ability to play the top of class releases coming out from Blu-ray Distributor INDICATOR.

They make the best boxsets in the business in terms of content and composition. Just beautiful artifacts to watch as well as to adorn finer bookshelves everywhere.

Here are my recommendations for ones to pick up on the current sale before they sell out:

 

COLUMBIA NOIR #1 - LE

COLUMBIA NOIR #2 - LE

FORCE 10 FROM NAVARONE - LE

HAMMER VOLUME FIVE: DEATH & DECEIT - LE

IRREVERSIBLE - LE

THE FU MANCHU CYCLE, 1965-1969 - LE

WILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME TWO - LE

Those are all the box set related special editions that are currently on sale.

Here are the one title limited and standard editions that are currently for sale:

WINTER KILLS - LE TOWN ON TRIAL - LETHEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE - LETHE CRIMINAL CODE - LETHE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS - LETHE MAD MAGICIAN - LETHE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE - LEMICKEY ONE - BDNO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH - LESHIP OF FOOLS - LEDEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS - LEEVE - LEI, MONSTER - LEBELLMAN & TRUE - LEBLACK JOY - LECHARLEY VARRICK - BDCISCO PIKE - LECRIMEWAVE - LE

I have been doing this sale for three years now, and hands down it is… in terms of just bang for your buck, the best sale of the year!!! And I love the CRITERION and VINEGAR SYNDROME and KINO LORBER Sales, but in none of those sales will you get boxsets of the quality , the physical, tactile quality, of the ones you are getting from Indicator.

Go here to order yours today. And depending where you are located and how much you order shipping can be free.

tell em HT sent ya!!!!

TWELVE Favorite BEST DC Absolute Oversized Editions to pick up before they are gone! PART 2 of 3!!

 

Absolutes are a deluxe format, oversized archival quality way to present beloved works of comic books/graphic novels, and to admire the art and story in an expansive, quality, slip-cased format. The Absolute line is a DC Comics branded over-sized format, and is one of the highest quality such formats in the comic book/graphic novel industry. With its origins dating back 21 years to 2000.

Other over-sized lines are offered by other publishers such as Dark Horse, Marvel, Oni, Image, BOOM and IDW, however in terms of the breadth and depth of DC’s Absolute line; the Absolute line is largely the standard to which the others aspire.

Now given well publicized issues with DC/Warner Brothers production and distribution of comics and collected editions, on top of the paper shortage and inflation issues in these pandemic days, and the future of the ABSOLUTE line is in some doubt (as is arguably the future of paper periodical comics as a whole).

So now is probably the last golden age to pick up all the best, essential books in this line, while they are still readily available, and before they get hoarded into private collections.

So without further ado here are the ABSOLUTES I highly recommend owning, in terms of the great combination of art (if the art is not stunning, even if the story is great, there is no need to own it in oversized format) and story.

 

Without a doubt, Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN, memorably crafted by Dave Gibbons is a must for this or any list.

 

Alan Moore and Gene Ha’s TOP TEN is one of the most massive ABSOLUTES, and is another gem from the mind of the justly accalaimed Alan Moore, and Gene Ha’s artwork is arguably the best of his career.

ABSOLUTE PROMETHEA, the entire Alan Moore and JH Williams series is collected in three drool worthy must own Absolutes. Much like Alan Moore’s ABSOLUTE SWAMPTHING, all the absolutes in the series are must own. Pick these up before they are all unavailable.

The 4th and last selection for this installment, surprise, is not an Alan Moore entry. Artwise and storywise I personally do not feel LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN is Absolute worthy. V FOR VENDETTA has well known binding issues, and I think the Deluxe Hardcover with the extras is a better way to collect that title.

No the 4th pick for this installment is…

ABSOLUTE JUSTICE is a fantastic teaming of Alex Ross, Jim Kreuger and Doug Braithwaite to create one of the standout stories and collections. Ross’ paints over Braithwaite’s layouts and pencils… is a gem. The two complementing each other very well. A must own!

Well that’s it for this installment. Please like, subscribe, comment, and I would appreciate if you use the links/images to order any items you are moved to. You get a great item and earn much appreciated pennies for this Blog. And come back next time for more great coverage of all things pop culture!

OCTOBER Blu-Ray Sale Pickups of the Month and Picks for the rest of the year! CRITERION

As I mentioned previously I think with a lot of their new releases, CRITERION is basically just repackaging older material and adding very little new to their ‘new’ releases. No new commentaries, etc.

Examples abound,  such as MENACE II SOCIETY, a film I am happy is getting a new release though I personally have no interest in paying more for UHD, I would have been happy with a well mastered, feature rich Bluray. Unfortunately besides the new transfer, they  are mostly releasing it with 28 year old commentaries and special features from the DVD release, and very little new material.

Even the box art for MENACE II SOCIETY, seems a bit underwhelming when you compare it to past releases like KISS ME DEADLY or THE NEW WORLD or SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS or NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, where the care CRITERION put into those releases, including the packaging, is clearly apparent.

 

Menace II Society

Other upcoming titles such as CITIZEN KANE and ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA are interesting but also have issues.

With THE ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, it looks like you will get a quality boxset, with new features, however much like the BRUCE LEE and MELVIN PEEBLES releases, I feel these sets are WAY too expensive for what you get.

Particularly when you look at companies like INDICATOR, SECOND SIGHT, ARROW,  that produce boxsets of a FAR Higher quality than CRITERION for less money. The CITIZEN KANE release looks promising, with new commentaries and special features, however that box art does not inspire confidence.

Citizen Kane

I do look forward to the release of ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, a very good film. I enjoyed the actual play more, the play is a masterwork, but the film is very good.  And there are new features here, but a film commentary for me, is always the highlight of special features. And that is not here.

 

One Night in Miami . . .

I am looking forward to the release of Gordon Parks ‘ THE LEARNING TREE. No commentaries but interesting sounding features. 

The Learning Tree

Also on the list to pickup is DEEP COVER, though the lack of quality new features concerns me . Though the cover art and the interview with Bill Duke is likely enough for me to pick it up during the upcoming  November 2021 50% sale.

Deep Cover

Another I will be picking up during the November sale is MEMORIES OF MURDER, which for me is BONG JOON HO’s best film by a large margin. I thought PARASITE was 3/4ths of a great film, but for me completely dropped the ball in the last act. I did not think it deserved the Academy award, but I seldom agree with the Academy. I did think 1917 deserved to be the best picture of that year, over PARASITE. However Ho’s earlier film MEMORIES OF MURDER is the release that really deserves acclaim. And Criterion offers a release with older features, but also adds a new commentary and some new interviews, so i will be picking this up during the sale.

Memories of Murder

MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS IS AN OL

GHOST DOG is one I will be picking up. No commentary but interesting other features.

 

Another one I will be picking up during the sale is THE IRISHMAN. Not top on my list, but has some interesting features.

 

The Irishman

An example of one I will not be picking up is NIGHTMARE ALLEY, which is a simply fantastic film that has been dying for a quality Bluray release. However Criterion does not give us a quality release. Instead offering the worst artwork I have seen on a release in a long time, and no new features of note. I will be holding onto the DVD release till a better Blu-ray release is offered.

Nightmare Alley

So in contrast, it is good to see in THE SHRINKING MAN, a new release, that they actually put some effort into stacking it with special features. it doesn’t hurt that the artwork (very Saul Bass like) is legions better than the abominable art that British competitor ARROW VIDEO (which typically crushes Criterion with their wealth of special features) used for their release of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. Criterion’s THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN is  the release I was most excited to purchase from CRITERION, not just for October but arguably for all of 2021.

 

 

The Incredible Shrinking Man

I also purchased Criterion’s THE DAMNED, and it was strictly a cover buy (this is an example of CRITERION knocking it out the park with the cover art) , I purchased it for 50% off its retail price. Its Director,  Luchino Visconti, is very much hit and miss for me. I loved one of his earlier features, ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS, however his THE LEAPORD left me unmoved, to bored throughout its runtime. And halfway through THE DAMNED, and while ravishingly shot, it likewise fails to engage me or interest me. And the special features are all but non-existent.

The Damned

TWELVE Favorite BEST DC Absolute Oversized Editions to pick up before they are gone! PART 1 of 3!!

 

Absolutes are a deluxe format, oversized archival quality way to present beloved works of comic books/graphic novels, and to admire the art and story in an expansive, quality, slip-cased format. The Absolute line is a DC Comics branded over-sized format, and is one of the highest quality such formats in the comic book/graphic novel industry. With its origins dating back 21 years to 2000.

Other over-sized lines are offered by other publishers such as Dark Horse, Marvel, Oni, Image, BOOM and IDW, however in terms of the breadth and depth of DC’s Absolute line; the Absolute line is largely the standard to which the others aspire.

Now given well publicized issues with DC/Warner Brothers production and distribution of comics and collected editions, on top of the paper shortage and inflation issues in these pandemic days, and the future of the ABSOLUTE line is in some doubt (as is arguably the future of paper periodical comics as a whole).

So now is probably the last golden age to pick up all the best, essential books in this line, while they are still readily available, and before they get hoarded into private collections.

So without further ado here are the ABSOLUTES I highly recommend owning, in terms of the great combination of art (if the art is not stunning, even if the story is great, there is no need to own it in oversized format) and story.

There is a newer 15th anniversary version of THE ABSOLUTE NEW FRONTIER that has something like 60 additional pages, and flips the slipcover and book artwork from the above shown original absolute. But boy I do like the slipcover artwork on the old one  so much, it would have been nice to have that artwork on the slipcover and the cover of the new one. If you can afford it, buy two copies while you can. One to keep, one to give away as a gift or resell.

This 2020 Absolute is for me, one of the most sought after ever. Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben  over 30 years ago, almost single handedly redefining comics as the stuff of legitimate literature and art. A masterpiece. So to finally in 2020 get released in the Absolute format, with Alan Moore’s name on it (given the problems on getting his name on other collections of his great work, such as MIRACLEMAN), is a holy grail finally acheived. By a large margin not just the Absolute I was the most excited to pick up in 2020, but one of my favorite purchases of 2020.

https://www.previewsworld.com/SiteImage/MainImage/STL070227.jpg

You wont find PREACHER (which is a series I love) or the original run of Gaiman’s SANDMAN on this Absolute list, largely because for me, the art just doesn’t appeal to me enough to want to see it in an oversized format. The artwork, in my opinion is serviceable to ok, but not worthy of the Absolute presentation. And that is my opinion, if you love the art on PREACHER or SANDMAN, I am happy for you. For me the art helps tell the story, gets us from point A to B, but does not wow me on its own. Now what does make it on this list is Neil Gaiman and JH Williams SANDMAN:OVERTURE. To call JH Williams  one of the finest and most exciting and innovative artists currently working, is to begin to get it. And his artwork, in marriage to a compelling story, is the stuff that Absolutes were made for.

Speaking of art that was made to be in an Absolute, archival, over-sized edition, you will find few things more worthy than Alex Ross’ Kindom Come. People always credit Mark Waid as the creator, forgetting that Alex Roiss did not just paint KINGDOM COME, this was a story he brought to DC. And they assigned him Mark Waid to turn his story idea into a full fledged story.

To Mark Waid’s credit he did a fantastic job, but I do feel Alex Ross role as co-creator/co-writer (that  is Alex Ross’ Dad in the pivotal roles in both MARVELS and KINGDOM COME, and the religious themes, the pull toward iconism, all things Alex Ross brought to the table) does not get the credit he deserves.

The reason I am still reading comics, when I had walked away from comics in the 90s, after it failed to follow up the renaissance of the middle and late 80s, with anything of quality,.. is because I happened upon KINGDOM COME, and it felt (to borrow a line from the book) like faith rewarded.

KINGDOM COME, many moons ago, was one of the earlier Absolutes I purchased (the 2012 ist printing). As of this writhing Alan Moore’s SWAMP THING is the latest.

I am ecstatic to own Alan Moore’s SWAMP THING in Absolute format, that said… I can not imagine a world where I do not own Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s KINGDOM COME in Absolute format. It is a must own, and one of my favorite stories ever done in the medium. It showed the world, through Ross’ visuals, a cinematic view of these heroes, that would pave the wave for the new superhero golden age on cinema and tv.

It would make us believe… to cross brands for a moment… in Marvels. 🙂

 

Well that’s the 4 for this installment. Come back next entry for 4 more must own Absolutes— before they go out of print.

 

Mike Flanagan’s MIDNIGHT MASS Netflix TV Mini-Series… finally all watched — is it one of the best of 2021??

So I am watching the last episode of MIDNIGHT MASS, and I have to tell you… it nailed the landing.

Mike Flanagan has followed up his previous best of the year 2018’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE with what for me is the best of the year of 2021, MIDNIGHT MASS.

At my heart there are things in me, romantic, macabre, agnostic, spiritual, sinner, believer in heroes, fool, ascetic, that this series pulls on all of.

For the most part, I think it is one of the most beautifully written and beautifully performed mini-series i have seen all year. I really enjoyed SQUID GAME, and think it deserves its accolades, but MIDNIGHT MASS is made, for me, of richer and far more rewarding stuff.

Thar said it is not perfect. There is a monologue at the end that comes off as a step too far. It feels too forced, contrived, not particularly well shot or directed, and simply too far over the line. Also the speech was a lot better (and shorter) when it was used at the end of a famous Richard Matheson penned movie. The speech feels self indulgent, and you can argue the whole series is that, but this speech is one step too far.

That misstep aside, for the most part… the writing, the direction, the performances; For those of a romantic soul, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better. For 99% of it, it is a master class.

Girl: We’re going to be ok.

Boy: You think we’re going to make it?

Girl: That’s not what I said. I’m saying… either way, we’re going to be ok.

You are either of the sensibility that that line will move you deeply, or it will not. If not, this series may not be for you.

For me… that line breaks me every time.

Some people see this series as an attack on religion, or see in some of the bible quoting characters perhaps too close a resemblance to themselves, their own… zealotry. And therefore see it as an attack on them.

You have to see with better eyes than that.

Any worthwhile story about good and evil, ultimately calls into question not faith, but blind faith. And sees ignorance not as a moment to chastise, but ignorance, acknowledging it, as the only true first step toward wisdom.

I do not buy many TV shows on physical media, because I have little interest in re-watching most TV shows. This will be one I can not wait to purchase and own, hopefully in a beautiful and feature rich box-set version.

Strongly Recommended.

31 Days of October and THE LAST HURRAH : Day #10! Paul Naschy Must Haves!

 

 

VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES

HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB

BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL

NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF

HUMAN BEASTS

HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (EL JOROBADO DE LA MORGUE)

THE DEVIL’S POSSESSED (EL MARISCAL DEL INFIERNO)

THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI (LA MALDICIÓN DE LA BESTIA)

EXORCISM (EXORCISMO)

A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE (UNA LIBÉLULA PARA CADA MUERTO)

 

 

Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3 Boxing Match – Thoughts Predictions The Final Word

“What’s a tough guy?…A guy with an edge…A gun or a knife, a nightstick, or a razor, somethin’ the other guy ain’t got. Yeah, a little extra reach on a punch, a set of brass knuckles, a stripe on the sleeve, a badge that says cop on it, a rock in your hand, or a bankroll in your pocket. That’s an edge, brother. Without an edge, there ain’t no tough guy.”

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1948) One of my favorite Orson Welles films. And one of the most quotable.

 

That quote from one of my favorite films  highlights my thoughts on the Fury/Wilder fight in the micro view, and my view on heavyweight Boxing in the macro view.

We have weight divisions for a reason. 5 and 10lb jumps that denote real and game changing differences in reach and power and durability.

We have weight divisions to make fights competitive. So ever since the rise of the super-heavy weights into the heavy weight division, it has skewed the heavy weight division, so that unless you are 6’8 and on the wrong side of 250lbs, it is no longer a competitive division. You only have a few individuals with the genetics and the talent, to throw with a super-heavy weight. So the heavy weight division stagnates by the influx of these few individuals with the edge, that the above quote talks about.

It is bad for boxing, and it it bad for competition. To my mind the heavy weight limit should be 235lbs. The weight class attainable by men such as Marciano, and Ali, and Frazier, and Joe Louis and Holyfield and Tyson. And also Deontay Wilder.

 

Over 235lbs you should not compete in the historic heavyweight division, should not be part of that hallowed lineage, but be in a distinct division, of Super-Heavy Weight.

Both of them coming into a boxing match at the same weight range/limit of 235lbs I would give the edge to Wilder over Fury– nine out of ten times.

And I think even Fury realizes this because, he seeks an edge on Wilder in every fight, he came in nearly 50lbs heavier than him in his last fight, played mental warfare with him, and even with all those advantages, would not fight him clean, instead did dirty boxing, and rabbit punches, and using his weight, to lean on and tire out Wilder’s arms. it was more wrestling than boxing in that second fight.

And we come to the third fight, and it is more of the same. Fury talking about wanting to come in at 300lbs, and have brass knuckles. And while he is saying this in his game voice, the truth is he seeks to not fight Wilder on anything close to a level playing field.

From insisting on venue, and a hostile audience, to stare down and press conference shenanigans, that craziness is Fury’s world, particularly when it is a bigoted Pro Fury crowd. And being on FOX network, and the spin they put on the 2nd fight, Wilder very much was under attack and on the defense long before he ever got in the ring.

And unfortunately it is more of the same going into this third fight. Still very much like the 2nd fight — Wilder is, before he ever gets in the ring, fighting his opponents fight. Fury insisted on a crowd, he wants the mental warfare and pro-fury, bigoted pressure it would put to bear on Wilder. Fury is dictating and winning the stare-downs, the press conferences’ etc. Fury to his credit is a natural showman, and a master of gab and mental warfare. He is one that like Mayweather and Mcgregor needs the gab, the talk, the insult, the mental warfare, to break you down before you ever get in the ring.

Wilder is not any of the above.

So Wilder’s representation did him no favors putting this third fight, largely on the same trajectory as their 2nd fight. With Wilder already on the defense and under attack before he ever gets in the ring. They should have not agreed to the crowd or the venue or the press conference or stare-down shenanigans, all of which has Wilder going into this fight looking already defeated before he enters the ring.

On top of all this mental warfare outside of the ring, in the ring Fury has shown a penchant for doing whatever is necessary in and out of the rules, to win. He did a lot of dirty boxing for their 2nd fight. He has been practicing MMA since their last fight, and plans to come in with even more of a weight advantage than he had last time. I do not put it past Fury to sneak in elbows and trips, as well as more clinches and hitting in this fight as well.

 

In a level playing field, with both of them having to come in at the same weight, doing straight boxing I see Wilder’s pure power getting the job done over Fury’s dirty boxing, 9 out of 10 times.

But you add in the weight disparity, the mental warfare, and boxing glove shenanigans, and some MMA tricks, and I see Wilder as simply being unprepared to answer the circus that Fury has in-store.

 

This is why controlling the battlefield is so important. Because battles are oft won and lost, by the person who has booby trapped the ground you are to fight on. And I see that being what Fury and Fox has done,

 

Wilder is playing Boxing, which is what the sport should be, However Fury and FOX are playing circus. And it is the one who has prepared for the landscape, who typically takes the day. If anything Fury is poised to get a quicker finish than last time.

I would love to be wrong and see Wilder win this third fight, because when not trying to balloon up to try to be close to Fury’s weight, I see him as a true heavy weight, and good for the sport of boxing, in a way that I do not think Fury is. The heavyweight division in boxing has stagnated under these few super heavyweights. Put in weight limits, reinstate a fair playing field, reinstate true competition.

 

 

Here endeth the overview and the lesson.