27 February 2009

Suzuki, Lang, an untalented actress' cans can't justify a theatrical release and some talking dinosaurs for good measure...

Apologies for not updating the blog sooner, but my Internet connection has been a hot mess all week. Hopefully yesterday's schizophrenic day will be the last of those woes. Also, I must have written a DVD release update blog in one of my dreams, because I seem to recall mentioning some of these releases on here before... but a quick search provided those thoughts false. So whoops... or maybe I forgot to publish that particular blog. Alas... here are some DVD updates.

Two Seijun Suzuki will make their U.S. DVD debuts in the coming months. The first, Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards, will be released through Kino on 19 February. The second, A Tale of Sorrow (also translated as Story of Sorrow and Sadness or A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness), will be out from Cinema Epoch on 2 June. Also upcoming from Kino is Tan Ida's action flick 3 Seconds Before Explosion on 19 May, as well as the critically acclaimed Momma's Man from director Azazel Jacobs, on 5 May. Jacobs' previous feature The GoodTimesKid is slated to be Benten Films' next release sometime this summer.

Kimstim, who released DVDs through Kino, are boxing together their four Alain Resnais films for a 28 April release. The titles are Life Is a Bed of Roses [La vie est un roman], Love unto Death [L'amour à mort], Mélo and I Want to Go Home [Je veux rentrer à la maison]. I would doubt any new material has been added to the discs for this release. Image Entertainment are bringing Woody Allen's first directing foray What's Up Tiger Lily? out from the vaults on 16 June (helpful suggestion: sell your old copy now, as it goes for about $40 used on Amazon.com). Fritz Lang's Man Hunt will make its DVD premiere from 20th Century Fox on 19 February as well. Magnolia is putting their two recent Wayne Wang films out on 26 May. They are A Thousand Yeard of Good Prayers and The Princess of Nebraska and will be available together or separate. Magnolia also moved the date for James Gray's Two Lovers to 30 June.

MGM has announced a handful of action/western/war flicks for 12 May. The choice pick of the five titles (though I haven't seen any of them) is Frank Perry's Doc, the much-disliked western with Faye Dunaway and Stacy Keach. The other four are: Raoul Walsh's The King and Four Queens with Clark Gable, J. Lee Thompson's North West Frontier with Herbert Lom and Lauren Bacall, Karl Malden's Time Limit with Richard Widmark, Rip Torn, Richard Basehart and June Lockhart (nice cast, eh?) and Burt Kennedy's Young Billy Young with Robert Mitchum, Angie Dickinson and David Carradine. Also look for a 50th Anniversary Edition of Pillow Talk from Universal on 14 April.

There's also a good number of films you've likely never heard of starring people you have lined up. Morgan Spurlock's distribution company, formerly Arts Alliance America and now Virgil Films, set a 12 May date for M. Blash's Lying, starring Chloë Sevigny, Jena Malone, Leelee Sobieski and Meryl Streep's son Henry Grummer. Also on tap from Virgil is Richard Ledes' The Caller, with Frank Langella, Elliott Gould and Laura Harring, on 7 April. Kim Basinger and Lukas Haas star in While She Was Out, a thriller produced by Guillermo del Toro, from Anchor Bay on 28 April. Michelle Pfeiffer should pray that her performance in Stephen Frears' Chéri is as good as everyone was claiming it would be last year, because another film of hers is heading straight-to-video. Personal Effects, which also stars Kathy Bates and Ashton Kutcher, will hit shelves on 12 May from Screen Media Films (who have a tendency to release 'doomed' films with big stars like Smother with Diane Keaton and Battle in Seattle with Charlize Theron).

Brittany Murphy is an American in Tokyo in The Ramen Girl, a romantic comedy from director Robert Allan Ackerman that will be out through Image on 26 May. The film also stars Sohee Park (Big Bang Love). Daniel Barnz's directorial debut Phoebe in Wonderland, which premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival, will be out from ThinkFilm/Image on 23 June. Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson, Elle Fanning, Campbell Scott and Bill Pullman star. Image will release yet another star-studded (but apparently ill-fated) film, Powder Blue on 9 June. The film, which will be better known as the film a couple of straight dudes mentioned to me last year where Jessica Biel takes her top off, also stars Kris Kristofferson, Lisa Kudrow, Ray Liotta, Eddie Redmayne, Forest Whitaker and two Swayzes (Patrick and brother Don)! Those guys forgot to mention whether any of the other actors were doing the same.

Howard Hawks' El Dorado and John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (one of my personal faves) will be the two latest releases in Paramount's Centennial Collection. Anchor Bay will release Elie Chouraqui's almost-unwatchable O Jerusalem, which laughably chronicles the religious struggle for Israel and stars Saïd Taghmaoui, JJ Feild, Patrick Bruel and a hammy Ian Holm, on 12 May. The week prior to that, Anchor Bay will release Adam Rifkin's Look with Giuseppe Andrews. Miramax is releasing their first catalogue title in over three years with Mike Newell's Enchanted April, which stars Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker, Jim Broadbent and Alfred Molina. Let's hope they don't wait as long to get their other films out there. Menemsha Films are releasing Sam Garbarski's (Irina Palm) Rashevski's Tango [Le tango des Rashevski], starring Hippolyte Girardot and Jonathan Zaccaï on 28 April.

I was unaware (and likely unwilling to notice) that the Steven Spielberg-produced animated film We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story won't make its official DVD debut until 26 May. Funny story about that film... When I was about 10 or 11, my parents signed me up for some lame, populist cartoon animation after-school class. The teacher was a total dolt who looked like Dom DeLuise. His talents at teaching and "drawing" were limited, so he was basically an overpaid babysitter. Among the fellow "students" was the classic brown-noser, a portly mouth-breather who'd taken at least three other classes with Dom. Thanks to both of those morons' love for John Goodman, we got to spend our entire class session "drawing" while being visually "inspired" by watching We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. It was the continuation of the John Goodman lovefest that had begun earlier with that hideous live-action Flintstones movie, which I remember Dom had rented from Blockbuster the day it was released on VHS. The fucking movie hadn't been on home video for more than twenty-four hours and that parasitic brown-noser had memorized at least three-fourths of the entire movie! I remember him being particularly amused by something about John Goodman's toes during a bowling scene. I also strangely remember a barefooted Elizabeth Taylor being a terrifying sight. Anyway, I don't plan to relive that experience by picking up We're Back when it makes its overdue(?) premiere to DVD, but hey, if John Goodman isn't enough for you, the vocal talents of Rhea Perlman, Jay Leno, Julia Child (!), Walter Cronkite, Yeardley Smith and Martin Short are also on display!

I digress... rounding up this DVD update are three titles unavailable in the US coming on Region 2. Jack Smight's action/comedy Kaleidoscope starring Susannah York and Warren Beatty comes on 20 April from Digital Classics. They're also putting out Mel Ferrer's Green Mansions, which stars Audrey Hepburn and Anthony Perkins, on 6 April. Mary Lambert's Siesta is its European DVD premiere in Germany from Concorde 16 April. I actually haven't seen it, but I remember thinking the word siesta meant something really slutty after walking past the box at Blockbuster nearly every time I rented a video. After looking at the cast, it appears to matter even less whether it's good or not. How could I say no a film with Ellen Barkin, Julian Sands, Isabella Rossellini, Gabriel Byrne, Grace Jones, Martin Sheen and Jodie Foster? That's all for now.


filmbo said...

There better not be any additional material in the Kimstim Kino Resnais box.

Toby Jones said...

Re: Rachel Getting Married v. A Christmas Tale

But A Christmas Tale is foreign! Doesn't that make it automatically better? (sadly, I am occasionally guilty of following this mindset)

In early versions of my list Rachel was higher, I'm not sure what compelled me to flip them. Either way, I've only seen them once and I should probably check them out again.

lstewart said...

i'm excited to finally see lying...