FOUR Button-Lock Must Own Knives of the Day!

Civivi has made me a Button-Lock fan, and at their price point their knives are all must own tools and collectibles. Really smooth and addictive deployment, beautifully designed, Gentleman’s carry (or Gentlewoman’s carry). All of these make great letter or package openers and are really just a nice office desk knife, tactile fidget, zone-in knife. They are the Rubix Cube of knives, the addictive deployment making them perfect for giving your hands something repetitive to do while your mind is working on a problem or processing.

Today’s pick for the best civivi knives are AS FOLLOWS.

Click the images below for more information or to pick up one for yourself or as a gift.

 

My first Button Lock knife, I absolutely LOVE this knife. Own multiple copies of this specific variation with its color, blade material and handle material. Essential.

This one is great for gals and guys.

A sub $100 Damascus folding knife? A no-brainer of a purchase.

And Another Damascus blade, but a whole different model and blade shape/design. Another must own.

So that’s it guys. My list of today’s 4 MUST OWN Civivi Button Lock knives! Click on the images to find out more. And purchase via the links and you get a great item, and earn this blog a few pennies to keep the proverbial lights on.

 

A win-win!

 

Till next time, be well.

Essential Films for Black History (or any) Month : Today’s Entry… EL BENNY!

 

EL BENNY

Based on the life of Benny Moré, the film concentrates on a period in the early 1950s when Moré leaves the orchestra of Duany and starts his own ‘Banda Gigante’. In flashback we learn of his success in Mexico. Moré is caught in the events connected to Batista’s coup in Cuba. Also, he tours Venezuela, where he suffers the machinations of a vengeful businessman.

Movie Diary : 2022 Day 1- 01012022- UNDERWORLD AWAKENING 3D and PINA 3D from Criterion!

 

 

 

So my first movie viewing of 2022 is one that came into my 3D collection in the last couple of weeks of 2021, and I am just now getting a chance to give it a spin on my 3D projection system.

I am speaking of UNDERWORLD:AWAKENING. The 3D Blu-ray reviews on it were mixed, so I thought I would find out for myself. Generally the 3D is very similar to the quality of the movie, okay but nothing great.

I am a fan of a good creature feature, and even CGI laden werewolf transformation scenes are always fun to watch. You kinda know what you are getting with this UNDERWORLD franchise and this one delivers what you would expect.

Regarding the 3D, a couple of things really work against stereo imaging, even for natively shot 3D. Dark or underlit/dreary/ low contrast scenes, particularly night scenes, being one of the nemesis of good stereoscopy and poor shot compositions that flatten out the depth rather than accentuating it, being the 2nd one. A film like the first DOCTOR STRANGE… people tend to confuse great visual effects with 3D, when in actuality DOCTOR STRANGE has (for the most part) deplorable 3D, sporting both dreary, underlit scenes and poor/flat compositions.

This film, UNDERWORLD AWAKENING, is not flawed to that degree; it actually has good shot composition– designed to make use of 3D, but is hampered by the fact that 90% of the film takes place at night or in low light situations, effectively undermining the very separation you are trying to get in a stereoscopic movie.

Still there is enough 3D to be noticeable and given the choice I would much rather watch this film in even muted 3D, then without. So worth a look. Grade: C- for the movie and C- for the 3D.

Now onto PINA.

 

I knew very little about the film PINA, before watching it today. I knew it was the only 3D release that seminal Boutique Blu-ray company Criterion has released. I knew it was in some way to deal with dance.

Now having seen it, I completely do not understand how this film is virtually never mentioned, even by die-hard Criterion experts and fans. This is clearly one of Criterion’s best and most essential releases.

PINA, by the great director Wim Wenders, is at once a love letter to a calling — a vocation, while also being as moving an eulogy as one person has ever had. It is a dance troupe’s love letter to their guiding star, choreographer Pina Bausch, and as great and effective and affecting a use of 3D as I am likely to see all year.

What LIFE OF PI was able to do for a fiction film, PINA does for documentaries/performance art, making the 3D more than a gimmick, but an indispensable part of the storytelling process.

The doorway sequence close to the end is one of numerous excellent uses of stereo imaging, but may be my favorite of the whole film, as they break rules in that shot, moving the camera, as the actors move, as all the layered doorways seem to move, it is a brief moment, but it helps your idea of reality tremble for a moment, and what more is magic but that.

As a fan of theatre, great theater is hard to translate to great film. While a fan of ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI the film, it pales to the power and immediacy of the theatrical presentation I saw. The same with nearly every version of RICHARD THE III I have seen, they pale to the experience of having attended a walking theatrical play of RICHARD III , conducted at night, in the rain, following the actors in an out of decaying edifices, with roofs gone, and nothing to stop the heavens to bearing witness. Great theater is hard to match.

Very rarely does that happen the other way, where the film can capture or surpass the theatrical presentation.

A few come quickly to mind, Branagh’s HENRY THE VTH (1989), Anthony Harvey’s THE LION IN WINTER (1968) and this film, Wim Wender’s PINA (2011) while not an adaption of any one performance, but rather the overview of a troupe’s body of work, offers an immediacy in how the camera is used, and the stereo imaging is used, that allow the artists to communicate with you in a way that transcends, perhaps by a little — perhaps by a lot, anything that you can experience sitting in the best seats of the best traditional theater.

PINA becomes therefore great film, and even rarer a great and essential 3D film. Grade: A. a film that must be experienced in 3D, and a must own film.

p.s. THE CRITERION RELEASE OFFERS A MAKING OF, THAT IS ALSO IN 3D (SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE), as WELL AS A COMMENTARY. THIS FILM HAS A WEALTH OF CONTENT FOR NUMEROUS VIEWINGS and REVISITS. A RELEASE I LOOK FORWARD TO ENJOYING FOR YEARS.

 

“Dance. Dance! Or otherwise we are lost.”

–Pina Bausch

 

These reviews were conducted using 3D Blu-rays, a region free 3D compatible Blu-ray player, and a short throw, full HD, 3D compatible short throw projector (Essential for a flexible/portable system) offering at least 3000 lumens, and high contrast, and active DLP glasses (one of the most important parts of any system)..

 

 

 

If you would like to purchase your own pre-assembled system you can use this link as well as clicking the images in this post to acquire the items depicted.

If you found this post useful please like, subscribe, and patronize the attached links.

 

Streaming TV Guide of the Day : Youtube Video Discovery of the Day.

 

If you have never watched THE RICH REBUILDS channel, which at its heart is about the love of getting the most out of your cars, this is arguably not the episode to start with. But for us long time fans, this is Rich at his most irreverant and funniest. I laughed and cringed all the way through this one. Comedic gold.

 

Two New Youtube Channel Discoveries of the Day : HISTORY OF THE BATMAN and SALAZAR KNIGHT

As I have previously mentioned I do not watch YouTube on my computer. However it was the ease of access of viewing YouTube on your TV, courtesy of streaming devices/platforms like Roku that in 2018 finally made the YouTube platform a major destination for me.

So now here in 2021 the channel I watch the most of… is not Netflix, is not Amazon Prime, is not Disney, is not Hulu or Kanopy; the channel I watch the most of… by a LARGE margin is Youtube (free version).

And on that YouTube platform, I am subscribed to something like 60 varied and distinct sub-channels (aka content creator channels), many of which I have shared and will continue to share on this blog.

The great thing about YouTube is there is SOOOOOOO much content that you are always making new discoveries. New channels put up not by networks, or conglomerates, but typically just passionate people who want to share their passions and hobbies and interests with you.

I love discovering a new passionate channel, whether new or new to me. Here are two of this weekend discoveries and they both have to do with Batman.

And not just Batman, but the strength of these channels is their focus on the classic,  individual stories/ comic book issues as opposed to the collected edition.

Many channels will tell you what is recent, or current, or hot, or collectible. Many channels will speculate on the cgc (graded) book to get in a 9.8 because of movie news this or that, but very few channels will actually just tell you about individual comic book stories that are worth reading or getting just because they are enjoyable reads.

Both of these channels do just that and cover primarily the older Bronze, Silver and Golden age of Batman Comics, which I particularly am a fan of, and am always looking to be informed more on.

These two channels succeed in being my discoveries of the weekend, and are both now subscribed to by me, and I urge you to give them a look, and if as entertained by them as I was, likewise subscribe to their channels and give a like to their videos.

 

 

 

 

Both of these channels I found entertaining and I have highlighted above what i consider their best videos so far.

 

if you enjoy this post, please support this blog by liking and subscribing and grabbing our item of the day at the links below. You get great items and you earn this blog a few pennies to keep the proverbial lights on.

 

 

 

Streaming TV Guide of the Day 4 Aug 2021- Youtube Edition!

MOVIES AND PHYSICAL MEDIA RECOMMENDATIONS AND INSIGHTS

 

GREAT MOVIE TRAILERS OF THE DAY

Sports and Competition

AUTO AND HOME IMPROVEMENT NEWS AND INSIGHTS

INSIGHT AND NEWS YOU CAN USE

ART BOOKS AND COMIC BOOKS

 

THE LAST HURRAH : Essential Movies – THE BIG SLEEP (1946)

“Do you like orchids?”

“Not particularly.”

“Nasty things. Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men,  Their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption.”

—From Drector Howard Hawks’ noirish paradigmatic film, an essentional framework of noir, 1946’s THE BIG SLEEP starring the first pairing of the immortals, Bogart and Bacall.

 

It was a film that was so convoluted that not even the screenwriter or director were able to tie up all the knots. However despite this, the power of the performances, direction, and charisma of the leads carries it over any lapses of plot.

Their on screen sparks, the 20 year old Bacall and the married 45 year old Bogart [they filmed THE BIG SLEEP in 1944 but it was not released until 1946], mirrored their off-screen sparks. They would be married three months after filming wrapped, and it would cement a love affair that would transcend both their lives.

One of the must watch films of the 20th century.

Click the image below to  get the Blu-ray. I generally only purchase films if they include special features and audio commentaries. But I make an exception for this film, it is worth having even with this relatively bare-bones release.

 

THE LAST HURRAH : Ten Greatest Film Noirs of the 20th Century and their best physical releases here in the 21st Century!

I have not put CASABLANCA or THIRD MAN on this list, because although they have noir elements, there is an A picture scope to them in terms of not just budget but aspiration, that transcends the conventions of the noir, they ultimately tell larger tales than the fall or redemption of a single man, which is the heart of the noir aesthetic.

With that caveat aside, onto the list.

  1. MALTESE FALCON (1941)

  2. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)

I don’t love the cover art for the Eureka release of Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY (I think they should have gone with the art used for DVD and other releases) , but the film itself is magnificent, one of the greatest film noirs of all time. And a very good Blu-ray release. It is currently the must own version of this film.

3. MURDER MY SWEET (1944)

4. KISS ME DEADLY (1955)

5 DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (1995)

Walter Mosley’s DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS remains a watershed book, in many ways improving on the pulp noir and film noir roots laid by writers like Hammett And Chandler. As someone who has read the book, listened to the audio book, and seen the film, Director and Screenwriter Carl Franklin’s take on DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is just as watershed a film. With a stellar cast, the film is Noir distilled, while being one of the most beautiful color films, and is endlessly watchable and compelling. Indicator Films finally releases this film on Blu-ray, with Booklet and one newer special feature… a charming 2018 Interview– Carl Franklin: DANCING WITH THE DEVIL. That said I do wish they had sprung for new interviews and commentaries to go along with the ported features from the original 20 year old DVD; but that aside this is a must own limited-special edition release, that is  25 years in the making.

6. LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947)

7. THE BIG HEAT (1953)

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8. THE BIG SLEEP (1946)

9. I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941)

While ostensibly 1941’s MALTESE FALCON is recognized as the first FILM NOIR, this film, I WAKE UP SCREAMING, made at the same time as MALTESE FALCON, actually is the first film to put together all the iconic elements we would later associate with film noir.

In addition to the Femme Fatale, and the morally challenged protagonist, this film adds the heavy use of shadows, the Venetian blinds, the stylish dutch and off-center shooting angles, in essence the visual language of film noir shows up first in this least heralded of films. And with a winding script that keeps you shifting your belief of “who done it” from one character to another, and some strange and compelling performances and laudable direction, you end up with a film that deserves to be better known.

 

10. RAW DEAL (1948)

Being the single best of Anthony Mann’s and John Alton’s magnificent collaborations makes RAW DEAL a must for any top ten list. This special edition, complete with booklet  is a must own release.

Well, that’s it my top 10 list.

2020 saw all ten of these films available on quality, feature rich Blu-Ray releases (eff barebone, questionable quality 4K releases — I despise the “no interior artwork, lacking new artwork” 4k releases. I also blame 4k for the further fragmentation and dwindling of a market, that can not survive anymore fragmentation. If you are going to do UHD releases, release them with the Blu-Ray and/or DVD in multi-packs. You eliminate having to have a DVD market and a Bluray Market and a UHD market, and the associated expenses of trying to package for 3 different formats ) for the first time in the relatively short history of physical media. And arguably by the end of 2021 these ten movies will never again all be available in quality, feature rich, physical media versions.

I hope that will not be the case, but hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

If you want these films in physical media, pick all ten up today, while they are still in stock. Click the images to be taken to the movies in question.

If  you have enjoyed this post, then like, subscribe and come back for more of our coverage of physical media and the… Last Hurrah.

Amazon Deals of the Day : Recommended Complete CRIMINAL Collection Available!

 

I like the dayglo covers of the above reprint editions (the first two are reprint editions, the last two are new printings). However, I like the covers of the original Icon editions  (shown below) a little bit better. The contents and build of both editions are almost identical, I just think the below Icon Editions have covers that are more in keeping with the noirish, slow-burn, content of the interiors. Price being no object I would get the below editions. However the below editions are out of print, and going for multiple times the cost of the new reprints. So unless you get the first editions cheap, or are well off and buy what you want… get the above reprints. Cick the images to view more and/or purchase.