Blu-ray Must own Masterpiece of the Day : Criterion’s THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ (1982)

THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ – What first strikes you is the unique way the film is shot. By Director Robert M. Young (who also rewrote the script). There is a wonderful strangeness to its palette (starting with the striking choice of a lemon lime ocher sunset as opposed to the more often seen red one), and an originality to how it is shot, a lyricism that is at once somber and plaintiff and passing strange. Edward James Olmos, known for his taciturn performances, here gives his most emotive and impassioned channeling, as a family man, who one day at the hands of an alien and hostile law, has all sense leave his world.

A film about a rough miscarriage of justice in 1910, unfortunately remains sadly timely and prescient of the same type of miscarriages and abuses occurring, at the time of this writing, in 2020. The history we do not learn from we repeat. And it is not Latin history, or Anglo history, or Pan-African history, or Asian history, it is simply history.

The film could just as easily be called THE BALLAD OF KENNY WALKER. [ An active case as of this writing, Walker (the Boyfriend of Breonna Taylor), who tried to defend Ms. Taylor and their home, when  men, later identified as law enforcement; broke-in, opening fire, and shooting the naked Ms. Taylor eight times.]

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)

Film, the best of it, helps us internalize the missteps of history, and codifies a sense of morality, that urges us away from such similar follies. Never preachy, in simple strokes THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ tells us of outrages past, and if we be of human stuff, we may learn from it a better perspective of and answer to, outrages present.

Criterion has produced a simply must own Blu-ray release, sporting a not to be missed 2018 interview with Edward Janes Olmos, and adorned by the most striking and beautiful artwork/Blu-ray design; if you can own only a few Blu-rays, this Criterion release without a doubt should be among them. Grade: B+.

 

Get your copy here!

And if you found this post informative, and potentially even entertaining, please like, subscribe, share and support by using the links. Thanks and come back next installment for more! 🙂

 

Currently Watching : Eureka MASTERS OF CINEMA Blu-Ray OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) by James Whale

Guys if you buy only a few Blu-rays in 2020, Eureka’s slip-covered release of OLD DARK HOUSE should be one of them. The new art that adorns the slip cover is frame worthy, and the release itself is well mastered and over flowing with features. Sporting three interesting featurettes  as well as three film commentaries, and a booklet; the release is a worthy addition to any film fan’s collection.

Now it’s not all laudable, as I find the earliest commentary, between Kim Newman and Stephen Jones, for an earlier DVD release, to be while informative, oddly dismissive of certain things. Most notable Karloff’s performance, which I, and obviously by his billing, the studio recognized was the crux of the film. It is the menace of Karloff’s character of Morgan, that drives much of the film. Karloff is either wordlessly commanding the camera, or if off screen — is the concern the other characters are discussing.

So for the Newman and Jones commentary to dismiss Karloff’s performance, just strikes me as they have missed some crucial points regarding the film.

The second commentary is a welcome one by star Gloria Stewart (most famous these days by being in James Cameron’s TITANIC). She offers welcome insights, but just be aware that this is less an overview on the film, and much more just Gloria Stewart discussing her life as an actress, particularly as the film goes on. So if looking for a commentary that is discussing the film, this is not that. But it is great to hear her recount her insights and anecdotes. So not a great commentary per se, but it is a great and welcome interview, talk, from one of the few remaining people who was there, and knew these people. In that way it is an invaluable recording.

I have not yet listened to the third commentary, but plan to do so soon. So for all the reasons above, for the wealth of content included, I count it as a must own for any fan of classic cinema.

Get your copy here!

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)

Physical Media vs Streaming – Round 1: CLIMATES by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

 

I first had the chance to see the film CLIMATES on a DVD by the now very esteemed label Zeitgeist films. the visuals were revelatory. Zeitgeist films mastered DVDs that, then and now, were pushing the medium to its limits. If you get the chance to own any Zeitgeist film on DVD do so, because their dvd releases, then and now, blow away many poorly mastered Blu-Ray releases. Which unfortunately is a good number of Blu-ray releases.

I own a bunch of Blu-Rays, some of them look great, some of them look awful. Zeitgeist Film DVDs are always on the great part of that spectrum. Slap them into your upscaling Blu-ray player, and job done.

Re-watching CLIMATES Zeitgeist dvd today, over a decade after its release, it is visually still astonishing. Now compare that to the streaming version of CLIMATES that is on Amazon Prime, and it is like comparing night to day. The version on Amazon Streaming is a butchered faded print.

And it is a COMPLETELY different experience seeing this film in a visually arresting print, and a compromised print. If my first introduction to this film was the streaming version, I likely would never have finished the film, and definitely would not be a Ceylan fan. The power of that film IS the visuals, is the face as landscape. And all that beauty is lost in the streaming print.

Now of course Streaming CAN produce a great print to show, however that is the flaw of streaming, you never know what you are going to get. You are always at the mercy of multiple gatekeepers, and their economic or political whims of the moment. Whereas I direct someone to a well mastered DVD or Bluray, that presentation is locked, it is a certainty (barring scratching or breaking the physical media).

As I say, streaming is fine for sampling and discovering new things, but as far as revisiting something you love, and being able to revisit it periodically and be certain of what you get; in an age of studios editing content, licenses expiring, quality being throttled down due to too much traffic, or weather, or cost, there remains no substitute for a quality DVD or Bluray.

 

I would urge you if you have not seen Ceylan’s CLIMATES, do not see it via streaming. It literally is not the same movie. The images, the held stares, the light and water glistening on skin, this is the movie. And to not see those things, in rich detail, is to not see this movie.

Pick up the Zeitgeist Film DVD, while you can grab it for between $20 and $40. I was telling people to pick up this film when it was $10 on Amazon. The smart ones among you did. The past will always be future, and future will always be past. Meaning studios in the past destroyed films and tv shows, the masters, the original prints, because they were short sighted and could only see these things as product rather than art.

Product that is no longer cost effective, historically companies destroy. Much of the history of cinema and television, that studios are now happy to exploit on their various streaming services, exists only because of collectors, people like you and I, who preserved the physical media.

That said, companies remain ruled by a mercenary view, so even today, if it is more cost effective for them to alter or edit, or make unavailable some items— they will. So once again, in a different way, the consumers access to content is at risk. And then as now, the answer is physical media.

God blessing the child, that’s got his own.

That’s got his own. 🙂 [A snippet of a song for those of you who don’t catch the reference 🙂 ]

So yeah, click the link. And if there are any copies left, grab the Zeitgeist DVD of CLIMATES.

 

Iklimler (2006)

 

 

And for a look at all of Ceylan’s filmography go here!

 

The Three Greatest Werewolf Films of All Time!

The Three Greatest Werewolf Films of All Time all came out the same year, 1981. Talk about the zeitgeist in action.

The films are:

 

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THE HOWLING (1981) – Don’t hold the awful sequels against this original, the original is justifiably lauded for a reason.  Like AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, this was a movie made by kids, who believed there were still worlds to conquer. A talented young Joe Dante as director, a brilliant young John Sayles as Screenwriter, a gifted 19 year old Rob Boteen, coming off of assisting Rick Baker, creating one of the greatest special effect, transformation sequences in the history of film… and in front the camera a legendary cast of character and veteran actors, led by Dee Wallace’s brilliant performance; all come together to create one of the most beloved and brilliant films of its kind, or any kind.

 

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AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981) – No one remembers or continually goes back to the ‘serious’ A-films of 1981, but this little thought of and hard fought and continually enjoyable B-picture, by a young maverick director John Landis and young makeup/special effects artist Rick Baker, remains now almost 40years later, the stuff that careers and legends are made of. An academy award for its makeup effects, it is forever the standard by which all such films are judged.

 

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WOLFEN (1981) – Is the oft overlooked 3rd film , that makes up the holy trinity of great werewolf films released in 1981. it lacks the transformation and special effects that immortalize THE HOWLING and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, and perhaps that accounts for its under the radar status.

Also it is not a showy, flashy horror film, it is something a lot darker and more dire. WOLFEN is a slow, brooding, unnerving, and genuinely frightening study and indictment, not so much of monsters… as of men. It is a brilliant film, the first and only dramatic feature film by director Michael Wadleigh, whose only other credits included documentaries. With a director that was nearly 40, this was (unlike HOWLING and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) not a film done by talented, optimistic kids; instead there is a more mature, pensive, jaundiced eye at work here.

While a disappointment in the box office, largely because it was a more thoughtful film than the advertising promised, this film is a masterpiece. It ended Wadleigh’s career before it had a chance to grow, and that is a shame. This first film leaves us to only wonder, what subsequent dramatic films from him, could have been.

WOLFEN has so many strengths. Albert Finney delivers one of his great performances, buoyed by other talented actors… Gregory Hines, Edward Olmos, the script is captivating, the James Horner score haunting, and it is a truly frightening film, in ways that has nothing to do with what you see. Of the three great Werewolf films, it is the one that I think has the most to say. It is just a phenomenal, unjustly forgotten film. And if you do pick up the film via Bluray or streaming, I also STRONGLY urge you to pick up the Whitley Strieber audio-book performed by the late, great Roddy McDowall. That is equally a masterpiece.

 

Well hope you found that little look at the three greatest Werewolf films, enjoyable and informative. If you did, please subscribe, and patronize the links below. Your purchases help earn a few needed pennies for this blog, to keep the proverbial doors open. Much appreciated!

 

Till next time… be well!

WOLFEN Blu-Ray

I hope one of the Blu-Ray labels finally releases a worthy, feature filled director’s commentary. This movie deserves it.

WOLFEN Audio Book performed by Roddy McDowell

AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

THE HOWLING

and

Stuck at home Item of the Day!

Recommended Movie : INFERNO (1953) By Roy Baker

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Received this film in the mail, less than 24 hours ago, courtesy of Blu-ray label Twilight Time and having already watched it have it say… it is a keeper.

This 1953 directed Roy Baker film, starring Robert Ryan, Rhonda Fleming and William Londigan is a surprisingly intense, gripping and even brutal affair. What begins as a seemingly routine 1950s period film, becomes something far more compelling and intriguing, something that surprised me, watching it for the first time in 2020, in its sophistication of storytelling, and attention to detail, and the efficacy of its survival narrative.

You get a real appreciation for Robert Ryan as an actor, who rarely got the chance to play anything besides vicious heavies, and can appreciate why this was one of his films that he liked. Also actors Rhonda Fleming and William Londigan, likewise give strong performances. Also the accompanying film commentary (if you are watching via Twilight Time disc) gives a thoroughly informative and enriching look into all involved in the film, and the film itself. You particularly learn that contrary to Robert Ryan being typecast largely as heavy, and racist; that he was actually a champion for human and civil rights, and was an erudite and learned man.

Now regarding the Twilight Time Blu-ray disc for this film, it looks good but it does not look great. It looks DVD quality, not remastered, with artifacts, which is most likely the print Twilight time was given by the studio to work with, so I do not hold it against them. But I did want to make you aware you are not getting this release for its picture quality.

As of this writing this film is not available via streaming, and with it being one of the Fox inventory that is now owned by Disney, the chance of a future Region A disc release of this film is currently unlikely.

Though eventually I see this film making it onto a streaming service, and when that happens, it will likely be a better print, higher quality than presented on this disc.

You may think that’s an odd admission from me, considering I am always praising the importance of physical media, and I do prefer physical media. However in some cases, streaming gets it right, and the physical media… doesn’t. And this disc quality wise, leaves room for improvement.

That said, it could be years before this film hits Disney streaming or is re-released on disc, and considering how good of a film it is, that would be a bit of a loss, to film fans and to film history.

And the Blu-ray/Hi-Def limitations of this Blu-ray disc aside, it is perfectly presentable, and worth owning for the special features, and commentary alone. And Twilight time is one of the few labels doing the hard-work of releasing these often long unavailable films. That then get picked up by bigger labels that have the money to remaster the films, etc.

 

So Twilight Time is definitely a company worth supporting. And as of this writing you can still pickup the INFERNO Blu-ray. 

And even if the streaming version was available today, I would still recommend owning the physical version of this movie, because it not only offers you the film, and the special features, but also the ability to donate it or sell it when you are done with it. Something you are not going to be able to do with a digital version that you ‘own’.

The physical version still has inherent resale value.

 

Grade: Recommended

 

Get your copy Here!

 

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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!

 

 

The Best of Boutique Blu-ray Labels in the age of Streaming! Oct 2019 to February 2020 ARROW Collection Update! Part 2 of 2!

Despite claims of the death of physical media, Blu-ray Boutique labels, HERE IN 2020, are putting out some of the best physical content… EVER!

Here then are MUST OWN Blu-rays in the age of streaming and digital, acquired between October 2019 and February 2020!

 

PT 2 of 2 of my Arrow Video Pickups for that period:

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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN – Just in terms of art, this is not one of the better Arrow releases. The art, both versions of the reversible cover, are pretty awful.  Unworthy of such a great film. However because it is a great film, and the Arrow release is the only legitimate Bluray option out there, I can definitely overlook the art, in order to own this essential sci-fi tinged horror film. But I do hope we in the futuure get a superior version.

J.D’S REVENGE – I saw this film recently courtesy of Amazon Prime, my first time seeing this 40+ year old film… and I loved it. What a gem! Surprisingly gripping and exciting and Volatile. And this is one that ARROW VIDEO does a Fantastic job with the art, And i look forward to checking out the special features.

 

Get your copies at the following links:

INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN

JD’S REVENGE

 

ONE FINAL WORD, AS i wrap up this quick update on arrow video titles acquired recently.

One OF THE STANDOUT FEATURES OF ARROW IN ADDITION TO THE SPECIAL FEATURES THEY INCLUDE ON THEIR RELEASES AND THE METICULOUS WORK THEY TYPICALLY DO COMMISSIONING NEW ARTWORK, is their booklets that come with their releases. however, that is also one of the main frustrations of collecting arrow releases.

arrow does this policy, where they only release the book or booklet with the ‘first pressing’ of their movies. basically when their initial batch of blu-rays of a title sell out, when they release subsequent pressings, those subsequent batches will not come with the book or booklet.

NOW I DO UNDERSTAND THE BENEFITS OF DOING THIS FROM ARROW’S PERSPECTIVE, COST BEING A VERY MINOR ONE. BUT I THINK THE REAL REASON THEY DO IT, IS IT CREATES THIS AURA OF collectibility AND DEMAND AND URGENCY. it feeds into the ‘limited edition’ collectibles market, which is a valid part of their customer base.

here is the issue with that, that is only part of your customer base.

as a buyer and fan of arrow video releases, you do not know when you place your order, via a retailer, whether the new product you are getting will come with or without the booklet. and for most fans of arrow (or any boutique label, such as criterion), the booklet is part of why you collect physical media, as opposed to just streaming the movie, or getting the film from a different label. even today, four years after its initial release, i can order black narcissus (one of the most stunning films ever made) from criterion, and be assured of getting the beautiful booklet with it. that assurance of quality whenever you pick up a criterion product, well that says everything about why they remain synonymous with quality and confidence.

so while the limited nature of arrow’s books and booklet, ensures you create a quick sell out of your initial run, it hampers sales of subsequent runs. And gives the buyer pause before buying that release, and has them turn from you and your retailers to the secondary market for a used item, but one that guarantees they get the book or booklet.

this policy is actually training potential customers to be wary of getting the item new from arrow or its retailers, and to rather patronize the secondary market.

now i am a supporter of the secondary market typically, but in this case i think arrow may actually be losing sales on older titles this way. training your customer base to seek out used product as opposed to your in-stock product, courting the exclusivity fervor, is a tricky tight rope to walk, especially when it may be actually sacrificing some sales from a potentially larger customer base, to support this model.

at the very least if arrow, wants to not provide the book/booklet in all releases, and continue to court to some extent the limited edition part of their customer base, what they can still do is offer the books and booklets as an add on to customers. give customers the option to buy the book or booklet at a nominal fee, to include s&h. worldwide shipping of a booklet, even today is only few pounds. And to differentiate it from the first pressing, just simply mark it aS ‘2nd printing’.

this way your limited edition audience, still keep their ‘limited edition status- they have first prints’. and at the same time you generate revenue from people who missed out on the books or booklets. it strengthens peoples trust in arrow, since what you get is not totally left up to chance or the secondary market.

anyhow that is my two cents on the one issue, as someone only several months into arrow video patronage, that i see as room for improvement, with the otherwise excellent arrow label.

 

The Best of Boutique Blu-ray Labels in the age of Streaming! Oct 2019 to February 2020 ARROW Collection Update!

Despite claims of the death of physical media, Blu-ray Boutique labels, HERE IN 2020, are putting out some of the best physical content… EVER!

Here then are MUST OWN Blu-rays in the age of streaming and digital, acquired between October 2019 and February 2020!

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While the Criterion Collection is the most well known Boutique or Quality Curated Dvd/Blu-Ray label, coming back to physical media I was surprised to find there are new kids on the block, that arguably not just equal Criterion, but edge it out in terms of features and overall quality of packing, booklet, materials, etc.

One such Blu-Ray label is ARROW VIDEO. Following on the heels of SCREAM FACTORY getting me back into physical media in a major way in 2019, ARROW VIDEO was the next company I jumped in to with both feet. And is actually, SCREAM FACTORY aside, my favorite Blu-Ray label of 2019. And without doubt the label I purchased the most movies from in 2019.

Here Now are all the Arrow Video Blu-Ray movies picked up from Oct 2019 to now in February 2020.

 

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You can make a huge argument that Arrow’s feature rich AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON was THE BEST single Blu-ray release of 2019. For me it was a MUST OWN! You may still be able to pick up copies here.

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Great film! My first time seeing it, and is better than most films made today. Nice special features. Get it here!

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia [Blu-ray]BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA – Sam Peckinpah made several masterpieces, this is one of his best, probably only edged out by PAT GARRET & BILLY THE KID. This was his final word, on the avenging spirit made flesh. Get your copy here!

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.Lucio Fulci’s masterpieces are not his Ghoul/Zombie Films, these were the work of a filmmaker who had succumbed to the questionable tastes of the market (that had rejected his most beloved film, his attempt at art) and to an extent his own perverseness.

You want to see Fulci as a great director, then seek out LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN, DON’T TORTURE THE DUCKLING, SILVER SADDLE, MASSACRE TIME, THE PSYCHIC, BEATRICE CENCI (his favorite film) and arguably his best film ONE ON TOP THE OTHER (a homage to Hitchcock, that I actually think out does Hitchcock).

But that said, even these oft querulous and lowest common denominator peddling zombie films of his later years, have something to recommend them; namely Fulci’s unequaled imagination and real knack for composition of effectively baroque and unsettling imagery. Fulci knew how to drop your jaw, but also to stage a scene.

I quite, acknowledging its issues, I quite like CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. And the Arrow presentation, with great commentaries, is the way to see it.

Get yours here.

 

Pt 1 of 2. Come back next installment for the conclusion of my ARROW VIDEO coverage. And if you are enjoying this coverage of physical media spread the word, give a like, subscribe, and email or comment.

Be well out there!