Criterion Blu-Ray of the Day : Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)- FOLLOW-UP REVIEW

DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)– It is not till rewatching DO THE RIGHT THING after any period of time, that you understand just how strong a film, not only that it was for its time, but it remains. While Lee’s 2nd film (after SHE’S GOT TO HAVE IT, which was his first feature length. JOE’S BED-STUY BARBERSHOP iS CLOSER TO A VERY LONG SHORT THAN A FEATURE FILM ), DO THE RIGHT THING does not feel like a 2nd film.

DO THE RIGHT THING feels like what it is, not a 2nd film, not a follow-up, but the only film. A fixed point in time, a galvanizing screed against the moment, all moments. it really is a filmmaker who has fully found his voice and vision and audacity, and all of that is in display in that opening title sequence; with the astonishing introduction of Rosie Perez, over stylized lighting and backdrops, and her thrusting and gyrating, which is as much about war as it is sex. All done to the strains of the, at the time, most ground breaking and political band of the day, PUBLIC ENEMY.

It is nice to have this film on the Criterion roster in a truly gorgeous semi digi-book packaging with scintillating, vibrant art and accompanying book. However, the Blu-ray (released on the 30th anniversary of the film) while stellar in packaging feels underwhelming in actual special features.

That is until you look at the SECOND Disc, which is chock full of additional interviews and features done just for this release. Highlights being TWENTY YEARS LATER (absolutely a must watch), and THE ONE AND ONLY DO THE RIGHT THING.

Which makes this film not just great to have on Blu-ray, but great to have it accompanied by current reflections on the film.

Here, well into the 21st century, streaming has quickly made itself King. However what physical media offers is 1/sumptuous content, mastered in pristine quality, that will not change due to bandwidth throttling, or ISP load caused bit-rate fluctuations, or political games, or the screeching of the uninformed mob and 2/extensive special features that show a love and concern for the central film.

This Criterion release succeeds in both those broad areas. And in this release competes with other labels, including stellar non-us labels, that are stepping up their game and giving us simply jam-packed releases with often multiple new commentaries and special features.

Final Grade:  While I still miss an up to date commentary done for this release, on the whole — Criterion continues to make a physical object that cries out for a place on better bookshelves and display cases everywhere. A+ for the film. B+ for the Criterion release.

 

Get your copy here!

Bluray DVD Physical Media Label COMPLETE Overview : POWERHOUSE FILMS Indicator Boxsets

While a lot of people keep foretelling the death of physical media, since 2018 i personally have noticed an upswing in interest in physical media.

physical media seems to be getting, in the words of eric stoltz in the fly 2… “better!”. i think part of this upswing in physical media interest, has to do, strangely enough with streaming channels, namely youtube and youtube content providers, helping share knowledge and spur interest in these little known boutique bluray labels and releases.

i know personally youtube content providers, re-spurred my interest in physical media at the end of 2019, and is how i became aware of blurays to seek out and purchase.

further spurring this golden age of physical media releases, is (what we could consider) boutique labels making very  collectible and attractive physical media into something that is tactile art object as much as content, it very  much seems as the bluray medium has grown up, moving away from the hideous blue case branding of the bLU-RAYS (i have always hated the flimsy plastic blue ray cases), to now actual attractive, display worthy boxsets and individual titles.

it is as if physical media producers have finally realized, in the age of streaming, you have to emphasize the value of the physical media not just in the video and sound quality (which arguably streaming can compete with) but in the quality of the things streaming cannot compete with, packaging and associated specials features and booklets.

this installment we cover one of the best boutique bluray producers, and one i recently discovered at the end of 2019… namely powerhouse indicator label out of the uk.

The Indicator PowerHouse Blu-ray Boxsets, if you can get them on-sale, before they sell out, are actually one of the best deals in physical media. You can get these feature packed Blu-ray boxsets , that contain roughly 3 to 5 films per boxset for roughly $15 per film.

Which is just a fantastic deal, when you assess that you get the feature packed Blu-rays, with photographed filled and research packed limited edition booklets with each film, and the wonderful exclusive beautifully made slipcases for the films.

These boxsets are generally limited to 6000 editions. So in a planet of 7.8 billion people (according to the 2020 World Population clock) that is pretty darn exclusive. And even in the limited population of physical media lovers like myself, it is still a pretty exclusive and affordable collectible.

As of this writing PowerHouse Indicator has produced 15 boxsets and only 4 of them are no longer available. So as of this writing you can pick up the existing 11 boxsets for on average $15 per film, which is a STUNNING deal.

Here are the 15 Boxsets Power House Indicator has currently released as of this writing:

  • HAMMER VOL 1-5
  • WILLIAM CASTLE VOL 1-2
  • FIVE TALL TALES
  • RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL 1-2
  • THE SINBAD TRILOGY
  • SAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA
  • BLOODY TERROR
  • MARLENE DIETRICH
  • JOHN FORD

And for my money, while all are great to have, if you can swing it; the absolute best, and must have ones, in terms of beauty of the slipcase, quality of films, etc; in my opinion are the following (you can click on the pictures below to purchase):

 

HAMMER VOLUME ONE: FEAR WARNING! - LEHAMMER VOLUME FOUR: FACES OF FEAR - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME ONE - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME TWO - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME ONE: 1955-1960 - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME TWO: 1961-1964 - LETHE SINBAD TRILOGY - LESAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA, 1937-1961 - LEFIVE TALL TALES: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960 - LE

Now regarding boxsets that have sold out. I do think Powerhouse Indicator will in due time re-release popular sold out boxsets such as RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL TWO and THE SINBAD TRILOGY in subsequent editions with new artwork, just because it makes no sense for them not to.

Why leave the profit to the secondary market if the demand is out there? From a business standpoint, by changing the boxset artwork, they differentiate from the 1st pressing of the boxset, insuring the uniqueness of that first pressing for their die-hard fans, yet creating subsequent pressings that are unique and attractive in their own right to people who may have missed out on the first pressing.

Lets be frank, it is the boxsets that are the selling feature of Powerhouse Indicator. The individual Blurays by themselves, I don’t find them as compelling as Criterion releases or Arrow or Eureka or ScreamFactory Steelbooks, etc, but as boxsets, currently Powerhouse Indicator is the best Boxset maker in the business.

Well guys I hope you enjoyed that coverage of Powerhouse Indicator.

 

Please use the links provided above (click on the pictures of the boxsets), as they help you get great items, and generate a couple needed and appreciated pennies for this blog. Enjoy!

 

 

Currently Listening To – SICARIO and THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Johann Johannsson

I am currently listening to the score of the late, great, ‘left us way too soon’ Johann Johannsson.

I absolutely adore the compulsive and propulsive score to SICARIO, and currently listening to his completely different but completely as mesmerizing score for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

What amazes about his score is it does not tread water, it does not overstay its welcome, or pad out the running time with filler. The score gets in, delivers its moments to you, and gets out.

Not a wasted chord, which is incredibly rare. These days a lot of scores feel like they are trying to make a minimum length, they feel padded. Not so with SICARIO or what I’m hearing on THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. There does not feel to be an extraneous or tired chord,

His style in its surety, and experimentation and power, is reminiscent of the film scores of Quincy Jones at his best, most notably Quincy Jones phenomenal score for his ground breaking IN COLD THE BLOOD, which hands down is one of the greatest scores ever made. And why the EFF almost 60 years later that score is not available on CD, (akin to the way the best films of Ousmane Sembene, CAMP DE THIAROYE etc, are not availanle on DVD or Blu-Ray – I’m looking at you ARROW and CRITERION) is not an oversight, that is a crime.

 

In Cold BloodClick on the image to pick up the album, the only way to hear Quincy Jones seminal work. It is a MUST OWN. 

 

But getting back to the scores of Johann Johannsson, which thankfully are available on CD, if you don’t own his CDs, forget just streaming compressed MP3s, buy a quality $50 portable player, get some decent headphones, enjoy the music as close to the way the artist intended as possible.

Use the links below… and put aside witch hunts and social media bs posing as law, and politicians using fear to further grab power and disenfranchise the masses.

Put aside social media weaponized to remove and demonize those who actually stood up to oligarchs, and fought for you the people.

You, the people, who are so easily stampeded by hashtags and twitter and face-book into eating your own (you butcher the dogs that defend the flock…for being dogs, unaware that they were the only things that kept the wolves at bay)…

 

Let’s put all that on the back-burner for now, and embrace music, that may just help us…think better, in a world where so few of us think at all.

Enjoy these marvels,  from a marvel of a composer. Use Spotify or Amazon Music to try before you buy, then Click on the images to order it in still the best format… CD.

 

Sicario

 

The Theory of Everything (Original Soundtrack)

 

Come back for future installments where we cover the below albums, and much more. And till then subscribe, comment, email, like, and support the links.

It all helps to keep this blog going, and a voice that is perhaps a little different…. out there.

 

Thanks in advance for your support!

 

Today’s Deal of the Day – Please click and Support!!!

 

Today’s 2nd Deal of the Day – Please click and Support!!!

 

 

  • Black Panther 2018- I hate the fact they only offer the compressed MP3 version on CD, and not a full , wave, uncompressed CD of Goransson’s award winning music. The closest they offer is an LP, and I am not an LP fan, LP does not offer the dynamic range of CD and is a degradation prone medium. I’ll get it for now, but I want a full uncompressed CD! Just for longevity sake. More on this in an upcoming installment.

1994 artwork

  • The Crow

1994

1997 artwork

  • Love Jones

1997

1990 artwork

  • The Sheltering Sky

1990

1979 artwork

  • Apocalypse Now

1979

1968 artwork

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

1968

1972 artwork

  • The Harder They Come

1972

1972 artwork

  • Super Fly

1972

Under The Skin
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
Score by Mica Levi