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!

KINO LORBER Boutique Blu-ray Label Overview PART 2: FIVE FOR FRIDAY

Last installment I covered some recommended titles from Kino Lorber’s ‘While Supplies Last’ sale. This time I just wanted to cover five titles in general that caught my attention and are on my ‘to buy’ list.

Without further ado, here they are!

p.s. As a hint I generally do not purchase films that do not offer special features. At a minimum I need a film commentary.  Physical media should give you more than you can get from just watching it on streaming, or why pay for it.

So yeah if I own it, or recommend it, it has special features. The only exception for that is titles that may not be available streaming, or 3D titles, or other scarce titles, where we are just lucky to still have the film.

Okay, now we get to it!

 

 

Very interesting sounding film from the Director of DUEL AT DIABLO. And since I have that film, I have to get this one.

This one just sounds bonkers in all the right ways. Not because the movie is going to be great, I have my doubts about that. But just the backstory behind it, namely getting relatives of famous stars to star in an exploitation movie. The commentary on this one seems poised to be full of amazing Hollywood anecdotes and backstory.

This movie sold me on its names. Name One: Director Budd Boetticher, I am now interested in seeing more of his films after picking up Arrow’s sold out FIVE TALL TALES boxset. Name Two: Jeff Chandler who has never given a bad performance and was great in a jaw dropping performance in TEN SECONDS TO HELL Name Three: Sidney Poitier. Hell you could have led with that. I have picked up every single Kino Lorber release with the great Sidney Poitier (DUEL AT DIABLO, almost sold out, Gals and Ghouls! 🙂 ). So yeah, this one is a must buy.

I love the films of John Sturges, and not only have I never seen this film, I have never heard of this film. And another film that is sold by its names: the aforementioned John (MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) Sturges! Richard (One of my favorite Movie and radio actors ever) Widmark! And Borden (I wrote two of the best westerns ever, RED RIVER and WINCHESTER 73) Chase!! What?!!! This is an easy must buy.

I did not love this film the first time i saw it, however it is possible i did not give it the attention it deserved. And considering this is one of the most ‘special feature’ rich releases, from the typically bare bones Kino Lorber, this is a must buy, for the special features alone.

Honorable Mentions:

I can not recommend this Blu-ray because it does not have any commentary or special features, but it sounds incredibly interesting. I’m going to look on streaming for this one. I really want to see if it is as good and interesting as it sounds.

 

I do not currently have an affiliate link with Kino Lorber, however you can click on the images above and they will take you to the item on Amazon. If you use the link you get a great item, and this blog gets a very appreciated couple of pennies. A win-win!

Amazon Prime DEAL of the Day! SOLAR POWER GENERATOR

After hundreds of hours of research here is my recommendation for a sub $400 Solar Accepting Generator to purchase. I should not have to sell you on the need for having a generator or multiple generators.

 

LOOKING AT THE WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR  SHOULD DRIVE HOME THE NEED TO BE … PREPARED.

Our DEAL OF THE DAY is:

Now Ideally if money is no object you want something that will support as many watts as possible, at least a 1000 watts. However most of us, can not “fly into flying”, to take a line from COMING TO AMERICA; Meaning most of us have to start smaller and more affordably.

In that case the BEAUDENS is a nice starter system for a few reasons. Most notably is the type of battery it uses, LiFePO4 will last for more charges than conventional lithium-ion batteries. You arguably will get a third more life out of this unit than comparable units using the more conventional Lithium-ion batteries found in other generators.

The other thing is it uses pure sine wave circuitry, meaning sensitive DC equipment running off the beaudens’ DC circuitry is not in danger of being under-powered.

AND CHARGING WISE, YOU CAN CHARGE IT FROM THE INCLUDED POWER ADAPTER OR A SOLAR PANEL (NOT INCLUDED) OR IN A PINCH FROM YOUR CAR’S CIGARETTE LIGHTER. SPEAKING OF THE SOLAR PANEL IT HAS A BUILT IN MPPT CONTROLLER MEANING IT IS MORE EFFICIENT AT CONVERTING AND USING THE ENERGY IT GETS FROM YOUR SOLAR PANEL, COMPARED TO A SYSTEM THAT DOES NOT HAVE A BUILT IN MPPT CONTROLLER.

AND LASTLY I DID MY HOMEWORK AND RESEARCHED THE FEEDBACK ON PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY PUT THIS GENERATOR THROUGH ITS PACES.

ADD ALL THAT UP, ALONG WITH THE COMPETITIVE PRICE THIS IS SELLING FOR,  AND IN MY OPINION THIS IS A MUST BUY.  THIS IS NOT WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND FOR YOUR REFRIGERATOR OR INDUCTOR BASED KITCHEN EQUIPMENT (I WILL CREATE A SEPARATE POST FOR A GENERATOR TO SUPPORT YOUR KITCHEN EQUIPMENT), HOWEVER TO KEEP IN YOUR LIVING ROOM OR BEDROOM IN ORDER TO POWER YOUR LAMPS, OR PHONES, OR RADIOS, OR  TV OR ROUTER OR LAPTOP IN THE EVENT OF A POWER OUTAGE; WELL THIS BEAUDENS IS GREAT TO OWN AND KEEP CHARGED UP FOR JUST SUCH AN EMERGENCY.

IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, KEEP ONE CHARGED UP IN EACH MAIN ROOM OF YOUR HOUSE, AND ONE IN YOUR CAR. BUT I WOULD RECOMMEND AT LEAST OWNING ONE.

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL PLEASE LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, AND IF MOVED TO, USE THE LINKS BELOW. YOU GET A GREAT ITEM, AND THIS BLOG EARNS A FEW WELCOME PENNIES TO KEEP THE PROVERBIAL LIGHTS ON. 🙂 .

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO ORDER.

Amazon Prime DEAL of the Day!

Alberto Breccia is recognized as one of the greatest international cartoonists in the history of comics and Mort Cinder is considered one of his finest achievements. Created in collaboration with the Argentine writer Héctor Germán Oesterheld, best known in the U.S. for his politically incendiary sci-fi masterpiece, the Eisner Award-winning The Eternaut, Mort Cinder is a horror story with political overtones. This episodic serial, written and drawn between 1962–1964, is drawn by Breccia in moody chiaroscuro. The artist’s rubbery, expressionistic faces capture every glint in the eyes of the grave robbers, sailors, and slaves that populate these stories; while the slash of stripes of prisoners’ uniforms, the trapeziums of Babylon, and more create distinct and evocative milieus.—Amazon

 

One thing that does not come across when reading about this book, or even seeing pictures of it, is the actual build of this book. I absolutely love the build and feel of this book. It is a cushiony hardcover quite unlike any other hardcover I have come across.

Being a Bibliophile, a lover of books, when I come across a uniquely designed book, whether it is James Jeans REBUS, or the ABSOLUTE ALAN MOORE SWAMP THING, or Boom Studios THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIAN STELFREZE or Morpheus International’s THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI or Dark Horse’s FRANKENSTEIN by Bernie Wrightson, said book is something that gives me great enrichment to peruse, to view, to read, to flip through, to own and have on my shelf; not just as a container for something that can be recreated digitally, but as an art object, in and of itself, that cannot be recreated digitally.

Fantagraphics books’ MORT CINDER brilliantly designed by Jacob Covey, is one of those must own books. And it can currently be purchased at a, quite frankly, deal of a price, for under $30. Try picking up some of the books I list above for $30 now, and you will understand the value of picking up MORT CINDER sooner rather than later.

Click on the image above to get your copy today!

Currently Watching : Criterion Blu-Ray THE CRANES ARE FLYING (1957) by Mikhail Kalatozov

Letyat zhuravli (1957)

“I believe in poetic cinema. Poetic cinema is the cinema created in especially vivid form… by great masters like Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Dovzhenko. In my own work I strive to affect a viewer’s consciousness and soul by means of poetic cinema.”
-Kalatozov in a 1961 interview. Available on the Criterion Blu-ray

Tatyana Samoylova in Letyat zhuravli (1957)

Tatyana Samoylova in Letyat zhuravli (1957)

THE CRANES ARE FLYING (1957)-Three things period Russian films do just about better than anyone else, is tragedy and beauty and grandeur, and Director Mikhail Kalatozov’s THE CRANES ARE FLYING is overflowing with all three. You get the deep focus cinematography immortalized by Orson Welles married to a balletic, spiraling, intimate ground breaking, “you are there” camera movement, that is uniquely Russian. what kalatozov himself would call— poetic cinema.Letyat zhuravli (1957)

Almost 7 decades later and without any need for CGI, and 20 years before the invention of the Stedicam – the cinematography in this film (by the equally acclaimed Sergei Urusevesky) remains— both unbelievable and sublime. It is a film that draws you in from frame one, and holds you and the characters like a lover— deeply, afraid to be parted.Aleksandr Shvorin in Letyat zhuravli (1957)

All in all, a transfixing and haunting viewing experience, greatest of which is the beauty of Tatyana Samoylova, whose beauty captured here for all time, is so great –- and her performance so affecting—- that at times looking at her – is like looking at the sun.

One of the great Russian beauties, she becomes the mythical Helen – whom all young men seek to impress with war; and ‘changed by the war’ young men; seek only to hold in peace. THE CRANES ARE FLYING is up there with I AM CUBA/SOY CUBA (another Kalatozov cinematic achievement, with this time a stunning Cuban beauty) as a milestone of Russian cinematography, and by extension a milestone of world cinematography; up there with Welles CITIZEN KANE and Lean’s GREAT EXPECTATIONS. There is no putting this movie on, and not being captivated by it.

THE CRANES ARE FLYING is another masterpiece lovingly provided by the Criterion Blu-ray label. I am on a hunt now to see the other available Kalatozov directed films, as well as Tatyana starring films. Kalatozov,while IMDB lists 20 directing credits for him, most of those appear to be documentaries or shorts or state sponsored work. It really appears he only has 6 or 7 feature films to his name, all coming toward the end of his career, especially once he found a kindred spirit in his cinematographer, Urusevesky.  So I look forward to adding THE FIRST ECHELON, LETTER NEVER SENT and RED TENT to the list of Kalatozov films to add to my collection. Grade: It is a simple enough story, but the visuals just make it, cinema undeniable— A+.Aleksey Batalov in Letyat zhuravli (1957)

Click the image below to get the best price on the feature rich Blu-ray, and you also earn a few very appreciated pennies for this blog! A win-win!

Letyat zhuravli (1957)

The Return of WEDNESDAY’S WORDS: Must own books for week ending 31 May 2020

First, yes Wednesday’s Words is back— and I’m writing this on a Monday.

Get over it. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what Wednesday’s Words was/is— do a search on this blog, and you’ll pull up the old editions. In a nutshell WEDNESDAY’S WORDS is where I tell you about writers and books I love. See — it is that simple.

Now into the mix!!!

Guys I told you like a year ago to pick up the Wolverston Bible, back then you could have bought it for like $40. Those of you who listened to me are quite happy, as to pick that book up now is $100 to $200.

The below books are others, that are either going to sell out, have a high chance of leaving amazon except for the digital version, or generally when they are gone, it will be a long stretch between reissues — if ever. And more than anything, all these books just deserve to be on your bookshelf. You are supporting great books, by great writers.

Never buy a book for appreciation value, buy a book because you want it for your bookshelf. However it does not hurt to also choose books that tend to, at the very least, over the long haul, hold their value. I’m talking about books like THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI that went from a $20 book when new– to now ,years later, being sold out and commanding $100 to $200… the same with the WRIGHTSON’S FRANKENSTEIN HC. So if you do, down the road decide you no longer want the book, you are going to at least get your $20 out of it.

Now nothing is guaranteed, as the stock market clearly shows us, but buying for enjoyment, and also being able to, when you choose, liquidate that item— that is a win-win. And the fact that you did get to enjoy the book, means you have got your purchase price out of it; even if you only sell it for a $1 down the road, you have done great. A great book, gives you your Money’s worth and then some. :).

And if you do use the below links to purchase, I would be appreciative; as the links generate very appreciated pennies for this site.

Okay onto this installment’s selections:

 

The Goon Vol. 1: Bunch of Old Crap, an Omnibus (The Goon (2019-)) by [Eric Powell] https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61F1yjYVDNL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgEric Powell is one of my favorite comic book creators, and i think his THE GOON series is genius, if you can afford to get the out of print Dark Horse editions go for it. But I think just insuring you pick up his affordable softcover reprint editions is a great idea. But his hardcover artbook is absolutely essential. A must own to be placed beside the stunning THE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51MJ6qxE2dL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/514kSByzEmL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61cquKGPvmL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61eblr7KxdL._SY475_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Bh6bwbEQL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51g-ESG49xL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpghttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xusbEoA0L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Full disclosure I am a huge fan of Derrick Ferguson, and I know him, so I’m completely biassed here, but I love his work. And thing is, i am biassed on all the things I recommend. I love these books, and movies, and cds and objects that cry out to be added to my bookshelf, and I have no problem telling you that. :). This particular title, Amazon is starting to do that frightening thing — where it seems inventory is taking longer and longer to get out to people, so grab this one while still in stock.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/618qwUx17YL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgWhen you look at the racist caricatures people were doing in strips and comics for the first 3rd of the 20th century, by creators like Eisner and Windsor McKay, it is a tendency for people today to try and excuse it by saying “oh it was the times’ –no, it was a choice. Mac Raboy, golden age artist extraordinaire, lived in those self same times, yet his depictions of people of color were not those stereotypes.

Then as now, it is not the times that define our choices, it is our choices that define our times. I have been waiting years, for a great hardcover on this under-known golden age great. And though what I really want to see is an oversized collection of all his comic book stories, this artist overview is also welcome, and will go beside my Matt Baker book. As of this writing book is down to 17 copies on Amazon, this is one I’m going to pick up two copies of. One for me and one as a gift.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51vALLVZz8L._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgGuys this is not a cheap book. Selling on Amazon for about $90 currently, which is still less than cover price. If you have not picked this up, pick it up. Because when this item sells out (and it will, this is the 2nd printing) it is going to do exactly the same thing as the first printing. It’s going to become very hard to afford on the secondary market. For a long time before this latest printing this was a $200 book. So if you have an interest in this, get it while still in-stock.

 

That is it. I didn’t know i was bringing back Wednesday’s Words until the end of this installment. The post started as something else, but by the end of it I realized, like John Wick— “Yeah, I guess i’m back.” 🙂

If you enjoy this post you know what to do, like, subscribe and support by using the links. Thanks, and till next time— be well!!!

Blu-Rays to own in the Age of STREAMING : Alex Ross’ UNIVERSAL MONSTERS Steelbooks!

Here are all the Universal Steel-book Blu-rays done with Alex Ross art, all listed in chronological order. Starting from 1931’s DRACULA to 1954’s CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON!!! Look at that art!!!

 

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I have loved the Universal Monster movies since i was a kid, watching the films on tv. Have owned them in various formats, HOWEVER These Alex Ross Blu-Ray Steel-book Versions are the ultimate way to own these essential titles.

I AM HOPING THEY COME OUT WITH A VOLUME TWO, THAT INCLUDES TITLES LIKE ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, THE BLACK CAT, MURDERS IN THE ZOO, ETC.

BUT AS FAR AS THESE EXISTING ONES, THEY ARE beginning to sell out. A month ago you could have picked them all up.  now? well i would say if you are interested pick them up today while they are still all in stock. get them here!

VOD Streaming Film of the Day : Roger Corman’s X starring Ray Milland on Amazon Prime

 

I’ve seen this before, in passing quite a while ago. I did not remember it being this good. It is quite a fascinating and surprisingly dire film. Not a great movie, but a very good one, with one of the more impactful endings. A homerun by Roger Corman.

 

“What do you see?”

“This city, as if it was unborn, rising into the sky with fingers of metal, limbs without flesh, girders without stone, signs hanging without support, wires dipping and swaying without poles.

A city unborn, its flesh disolved in an acid of light.”

 

 

Check out the comments, as the brilliant Derrick Freguson, excellent Writer, Reviewer, general Renissance guy drops the knowledge on the ending! Also released today, coverage on the film, by great youtube channel SOLITARY RONIN at the link below. Watch the movie before checking out both, though.

And if he sells you on getting the Bluray like he did with yours truly, then get your copy here:

5 favorite audio books NOT available via streaming, spotify or Audible! Book #5 WOLFEN!

There are about two dozen truly great audio actors, whose work on audio books, is a MUST OWN. Among them are Orson Welles, David Birney, Harlan Ellison, Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Michael Boatman to name a few.

Some of these guys work, for various reasons such as rights etc, are not available via streaming or in some cases even on CD. But these are preeminent works, of the greatest voice actors of their respective era, giving their greatest deliveries. And they can still be picked up via LP or cassette, at affordable prices, and deserve to be.

Once bought on LP or cassette go ahead and digitize it so you have these must own works in a preserved format. Here then without further ado, is the first of our 5 must own audio books!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41-EAZMm3fL._SX295_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Roddy McDowall reads WOLFEN- I am a huge fan of the 1981 WOLFEN film, I think it is a flawed, but unjustly overlooked masterpeice. However, I love this audio book version as much, perhaps even more, and that iis down to Roddy McDowall.

Roddy McDowall, a prolific actor with over 250 credits to his name, who is likely only remembered by a younger generation for his turn in FRIGHT NIGHT (1985),  gave some of the great, humanistic performances of cinema in his abundant career. From Academy Award winning turn in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)  to his immortal role as Caesar in PLANET OF THE APES (1968) to THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) to the aforementioned FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), and everything in between, Roddy McDowall, despite the quality of the film or script, never gave a bad performance. The consummate actor, he always carried his role, you always believed him; and he brings that veracity to this audio book, and paints with his voice the hallowed and harrowing world of WOLFEN.

Click on the link below to acquire this essential bit of audio book history.

 

The Wolfen Audio Cassette – June 1, 1990

Material Type: Fiction, Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Whitley Strieber; Roddy McDowall

ISBN: 1558002227 9781558002227
OCLC Number: 21983678
Notes: Abridged from the author’s book of the same title.
Performer(s): Reader, Roddy McDowall.
Description: 2 audiocassettes (approximately 180 min.) : digital, Dolby processed, 1/8 in. tape
Responsibility: author, Whitley Strieben.

Best Cheap but GREAT over-sized comic book posters of the Day!!!

Best Cheap but GREAT over-sized comic book posters!!!

Makes fantastic gifts or presents for the pop-culture fan in your life, or give to yourself as a nice present!

 

 

Captain America – Madbomb Marvel Retro” Maxi Poster 36 x 24

 

Alex Ross 70721 Marvel Generations Oversize Vinyl 62×48 Poster

 

Frank Frazetta Red Planet Mars Science Fiction Fantasy Artwork Classic Retro Vintage SciFi Artist Comic Book Cover 1970s Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Pyramid International X Men Magneto Triumphant Marvel Comics Retro Cover Art Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24x36

Magneto Triumphant Marvel Comics Retro Cover Art Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

Princess and The Panther by Frank Frazetta Cool Wall Decor Art Print Poster 24×36

 

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