Rupert Pupkin Speaks ""

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Warner Archive - TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT on Blu-ray

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944; Howard Hawks)
"You know how to whistle don't you Steve..."
There are movie watching experiences and then there are TRANSFORMATIVE movie watching experiences. These are the kind that forever shift your viewpoint a bit. In the case of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, it came along at just the right moment in my budding cinephile period. I took a college film course, one of my first and it completely changed my life. That was where I was introduced to Howard Hawks and John Wayne. It was in that class, that things started to click into place for me in terms of what I wanted to focus on. I was already into classic films and so forth because of Danny Peary's Cult Movies books, so I had run across masterpieces like DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SUNSET BOULEVARD and they had impacted me greatly. I actually got to the point where I would see these films and then I'd buy them on VHS (yes, this was a long time ago) and then bring them home during my winter breaks to show my family. It became a regular thing that I would sit the family down and make them watch classic films and they actually tended to go over pretty well. TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT was one of those movies. After I saw it in class, I became obsessed with it. How could you not be drawn in by the chemistry between Bogie and Bacall? I hadn't seen very much Bacall at that time, but she captivated me immediately (as she has for so many folks over the years). She was this different kind of woman for a classic movie - much more individualistic and not just a stock character meant for the inevitable romantic subplot. She had a fire and a vibrance that made her impossible to take your eyes off of. Those eyes and that voice were simply mesmerizing as well. She truly gave me a sense of what it was to be a movie star. She just had that special something that made her stand out and whenever she was on screen, she literally pulled your eyes towards her. She had a presence that was like few other actresses I'd seen. She was part of the reason that my passion for classic films grew and grew when I was in college. I was convinced that if there were actors like her that were totally and utterly compelling to watch, I must seek out more of them. I really think that's all it takes to get someone addicted to classic cinema. You just need those one or two actors to draw you in and then you watch more movies and you come to know other actors from the period and suddenly you're hooked. It's really not much different than keeping up with all the "hot" actors of today, but you can do it at your own pace and you don't have any publicity machines shoving people down your throat so you can take your time find the folks that you really appreciate. The amazing thing about Bacall in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT is that it was Bacall's first film and she's only nineteen years old! It's a fascinating thing to see Bogart falling for her as you watch the movie. She is really a special lady.
Now TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT came out a few years after CASABLANCA and thus it's hard not to draw some comparisons between the two films. And while Ingrid Bergman is one of the loveliest and most talented actresses of the time, she just doesn't have the same smoldering sensuality that Bacall has. Bacall almost makes Bergman feel stuffy by comparison and that's really saying something. Beyond the remarkable leading ladies that Bogart played opposite in both films, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT and CASABLANCA also have some plot similarities. The "I stick my neck out for nobody"attitude that Bogart personified as Rick Blane carries right over to his turn as Harry Morgan. Bogart is also dealing with the Free French and helping out one of their leaders as he did in CASABLANCA. Also, both movies have a piano playing sidekick (Hoagy Carmichael in the case of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT). The two films make great companion pieces to each other, but it seems to me that TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT gets much less love these days. Case in point, it is only now getting a Blu-ray release now in 2016 whereas CASABLANCA got the HD treatment years ago. Granted, it's a lovely looking Blu-ray and I am more than grateful that it has finally come out, but it seems like a movie that should have hit Blu-ray a while ago. That said, I hope (as I always do) that more folks will be drawn to the movie now that it is available this way. It is a true classic and worthy of the Cadillac treatment. This Blu-ray looks great and is an essential for any fan of great cinema.

Special Features:
-BACALL TO MY ARMS (1946) (Vintage Merrie Melodies Short w/ animated versions of Bacall and Bogie).
-"A Love Story: The Story of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT".
-Lux Radio Broadcast of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT starring Bogart and Bacall.
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT can be purchased on Blu-ray here:
http://amzn.to/2arIWOj


Friday, July 22, 2016

Vinegar Syndrome - THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN & PETEY WHEATSTRAW on Blu-ray

THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN (1975; Matt Cimber)
Vinegar Syndrome continues their stellar run of blaxploitation releases with this rare cult item. I remember this was a regular renter on VHS back at my old video store and I always meant to see it and never did. I lost track of it once DVD took over and as far as I know, it never really got a decent DVD release so this is sort of it's debut on any (non-bootlegged) format outside of VHS.
From the very beginning, this movie lets you know that the Candy Tangerine Man is one cool dude. He's a pimp and he's somewhere between SHAFT, SUPERFLY and TROUBLE MAN (obviously on a lower budget). I mean, check out this smooth opening theme song that sets the stage:

That's some cool funky stuff right? Well it's just bad enough to express the coolness/badassness of The Candy Tangerine Man (known as "The Baron" in the movie). Sidenote - I really really miss these character/tone setup songs that used to run with movies like this. They don't do them anymore (they'd probably play cheesy now, but I don't care) and that makes me sad. Anyway, The Baron is a mean mother himself, but he also has a mean machine as his automobile. It's a total pimpy classic kinda car, but there's a catch. He's tricked it out with hidden machine guns near both of the headlights so he can tear up anybody that tries to ambush him drive-by style. It's quite neat when he unleashes these bad boys on his unsuspecting foes (and he is forced to do so when he starts a war with a local mobster). The Baron is something of a dark  pimp superhero and he even leads a double life and has a secret identity too. This is a new wrinkle for a movie like this and it makes it more memorable than your average flesh-peddler blaxploitation actioner. 
This film was directed by Matt Cimber and Vinegar Syndrome has also included his film LADY COCOA as an extra added bonus, which is pretty cool. It's another blaxploitation flick about a jailbird girl who is out to take down her gangster ex-boyfriend.

Special Features
• Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm archival prints - (Transfer is a little rough to start, but it gets better)
• Director’s video introduction for The Candy Tangerine Man
• Commentary track for LADY COCOA with Director Matt Cimber and Director’s Assistant / Actor John Goff
• Reversible cover for LADY COCOA
• English SDH Subtitles
You can buy THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN on Blu-ray here:

http://amzn.to/29Ug7sc
https://vinegarsyndrome.com/shop/the-candy-tangerine-man-lady-cocoa/



PETEY WHEATSTRAW (1977; Cliff Roquemore)
Rudy Ray Moore is back! After the success of his two DOLEMITE films (which Vinegar Syndrome also put out on Blu-ray), It makes sense that Rudy would make another film and this one is just as nutty as his other efforts. This time he plays the titular Wheatstraw, who we seen born in the first scene as a young child (as opposed to a baby) and who attacks his doctor right out of the gate. While still a teenager, Wheatstraw meets a hobo mentor (known as "Bantu") who teaches him the ways of kung fu and to take no sh*it from anybody. Of course Rudy had to work kung fu into this film too and in that way it's kinda DOLEMITE-y. Wheatstraw grows up to be a successful nightclub comedian (like Rudy Ray himself). He's so successful that he draws the ire of some competing comedians. Said comedians decide they have to take Petey down and when they do so, he is mortally wounded and runs into a Mr. Lou Cipher (aka The Devil himself). So when the Devil offers Petey a deal to save his life and come back, Petey takes it and then he's off to get revenge (using the Devil's magical "Pimp Cane" to get it). The whole movie affords Rudy Ray many opportunities to spout his spoken word comedy/poetry and also beat lots of dudes up with his martial arts skills. If you're a Rudy Ray fan, you really don't need much more than that from one of his films. If you dig the DOLEMITE films, you'll dig this movie too which is basically a DOLEMITE film with a "deal with the devil" supernatural twist. Rudy Ray is just as outlandish and ludicrous as Wheatstraw as you'd expect him to be the he entertains as only Rudy Ray can. 

As with THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN, PETEY WHEATSTRAW features a groovy theme song for our "hero". Check it out in this trailer for the film:

Special Features:
• Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
• “I, Dolemite Part III” making-of documentary (the other two parts can be found on VS's Blu-rays of DOLEMITE and THE HUMAN TORNADO respectively)
• Commentary track with Rudy Ray Moore’s biographer, Mark Jason Murray, co-star Jimmy Lynch & director Cliff Roquemore.
• “Shooting Locations Revisited” featurette with Rudy Ray Moore
• Soundtrack • Promotional still gallery
• DISCO GODFATHER – theatrical trailer
• THE HUMAN TORNADO – theatrical trailer
• DOLEMITE – theatrical trailer
• Reversible cover artwork by Jay Shaw
• English SDH Subtitles


You can buy PETE WHEATSTRAW on Blu-ray here:

Kino Lorber Studio Classics - WHERE'S POPPA on Blu-ray

WHERE'S POPPA (1970; Carl Reiner)
What makes a cult movie a cult movie? I've asked myself this question for years and I've slowly been able to come up with some criteria that can come into play when talking about these films with fervent fan bases. It's a strange alchemy though and I do believe that it's difficult to make a cult movie from the outset. One thing a cult movie needs is to slowly grow an audience over time. Cult movies were often not hugely successful upon their initial release, but though things like revival screenings, cable and home video, they can build a loyal following. Cult films are often a bit offbeat too. They strike a chord with a group of movie watchers who don't necessarily go in for lowest common denominator stuff. This is not to say that cult films can't be low brow - quite the contrary, but they often deal with some more taboo subject matters and can sometimes cross boundaries into less than mainstream territory. 
I first discovered WHERE'S POPPA? (as I did with many many films) via Danny Peary and his Cult Movies books. Before reading those books, I was always a bit confused when I'd come across "cult movie" sections at video stores. Peary helped me understand what films had passionate supporters and maybe a little bit about why. WHERE'S POPPA? used to show up a lot in those video store cult sections and after seeing it, I was able to comprehend how it might have stood out from the pack as a bit different than many of the other films that came out around 1970. Case in point, the opening of the movie. We see George Segal getting out of bed, getting a shower and getting dressed. We've seen this kind of "morning routine" business many times before and since, but this movie throws in a twist. Once Segal is just about dressed, we see him rummaging through a box which appears to have furry hands and eventually he pulls out a gorilla mask. Cut to Segal, fully attired in the costume, sneaking down the hallway of his apartment and quietly opening a door. Inside he begins to go completely nutzoid, acting like a real ape and thrashing the room a bit. We quickly realize he's attempting to frighten the old woman (Ruth Gordon) whose room he's in and he ends his tantrum by jumping up and down on her bed. The old woman is his senile mother and his intentions are to scare her to death as to get her out of the picture and stop dealing with her. All that comes out a little later, but the point is, not a lot of big films from this period begin in quite this way. Its the kind of thing that immediately gets your attention and makes you want to see where on earth this outlandish tale could be headed. The closest thing I can think to compare it to would perhaps be some of Woody Allen's films from a few years after. Stuff like BANANAS maybe, especially when it borders on the surreal (both movies have goofy daydream sequences which are entertaining). There's even an odd reference to Cornel Wilde and THE NAKED PREY. WHERE'S POPPA Director Carl Reiner is no slouch in terms of comedy. This was basically his third feature film and his prior efforts were more bittersweet dramas then comedies. In fact, his prior film - THE COMIC - is much more tragic than funny. WHERE'S POPPA? is kind of the beginning for Reiner's truly classic comedies and he would go on to make THE JERK and DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID not too long after this. 
One other thing that helps a cult movie get traction is its cast. The aforementioned Segal and Ruth Gordon are a great start, but WHERE'S POPPA? also has folks like Ron Leibman (who is just generally underrated), Trish Van Devere, Vincent Gardenia, Paul Sorvino, Garrett Morris, and Rob Reiner as well. It's a veritable parade of comic talent. Each of them has a memorable scene and it just keeps things clipping right along. Ruth Gordon is especially given some extra room to be crazy, which is quite excellent. WHERE'S POPPA? comes from a much more freewheeling and wacky time for Hollywood filmmaking in general. A time when risque material (containing comedic allusions to matricide, rape and incest for example) could be adapted for the screen and audiences were more open to sort of dark and challenging material. There's a huge lack of political correctness here and it's kind of refreshing in this weird way. The film is a very black comedy and certainly wouldn't play as well for present day audiences, but that's just fine. There are at least a couple scenes and moments that will most likely make you say, "Wait...what?" and one of them involves a rape in central park. It is a truly odd film and one that you won't soon forget after seeing it.
WHERE'S POPPA? can be purchased on Blu-ray here:
http://amzn.to/2a3Uh6U

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Underrated '76 - Troy Anderson

Troy Anderson is a veteran movie reviewer who has been doing his thing online for many years. Currently, his reviews can be found at www.andersonvision.com.
He's @AVCentral on Twitter.
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MOTHER, JUGS & SPEED (1976; Peter Yates)
Mother, Jugs & Speed is one of my favorite comedies ever made. Only in the mid-1970s could a film about rival ambulance companies undermining the safety of Los Angeles to one up each other. Hell, the lead characters are a receptionist, a rude African American and a former Sheriff’s Department Detective that got busted selling cocaine to kids. This film has it all; Fat people getting stuck in buildings, Dick Butkus and Larry Hagman practically raping an unconscious college student. I’ve said it before, but no one could touch 20th Century Fox in the 1970s.

From a stoned Toni Basil shooting Bruce Davison in the face to a pregnant woman bleeding to death in an ambulance, this movie has something for everyone. Did I mention it was a comedy? Well, while all of this is happening, we have the laughs come in rampant drug use, Hagman’s never-ending boner and sexual harassment claims. But, it’s funny. I know that’s enough to make the Tumblr crowd start screaming “Problematic” like a nation of Lemongrab clones.

What makes this film so underrated is that it was last truly mature and great role that Cosby mastered before diving into the world of Cliff Huxtable. On top of that, there’s a part of me that wishes we got to see a world where Larry Hagman and Harvey Keitel became comedy superstars.

GATOR (1976; Burt Reynolds)
Gator is Reynolds’ follow-up to White Lightning. Honestly, it’s one of the rare cases where the sequel trounces the original. The film opens on Gator getting out of prison after the events of the first movie. Mike Douglas playing The Governor of Georgia (wrap your head around that) cuts a deal for Gator to bring down his best friend Bama McCall. McCall (played by Jerry Reed) has been running a protection racket between Florida and Georgia, but the Feds want it busted up. This leads to enough high speed boat chases to make Sterling Archer cream his jeans.

Lauren Hutton shows up as the gap-toothed love interest, but this isn’t about her. What makes this film so insane is that Reynolds lifted the Blaxploitation formula of AIP and others to make a similar movie about white rednecks. While not quite true Hicksploitation, the film is a celebration of the Gulf Coast mentality. Reynolds being a Florida native uses every inch of the landscape to paint a portrait of a Good Ol’ Boy doing what it takes to make things right. Plus, that poster is amazing. If I were younger, I’d want that spray painted across the hood of a Trans Am.

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II (1976; Susan Winslow)
All This and World War II is another FOX cult film of the era that bombed. Mixing footage of World War II with 1940s FOX isn’t a new concept, as Phillipe Mora has done something similar with WB film clips. It’s just that it’s such an odd film that grows even odder to the lack of a home video release. I only discovered the film after being handed a DVD-R by a reader back in 2010. Needless to say, musical rights clearance will probably keep this film from ever hitting video.

The soundtrack is the film’s strength, as it boasts Beatles hits covered by everyone from Tina Turner to Leo Sayer to Elton John and even Frankie Valli. What makes this film different than the later release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club is the lack of a need for a forced story. The covers play better without the need for disco influence. The film is an oddity that plays like a documentary meant for stoners. I’d love it if Criterion or Shout would at least attempt to bring this to a new audience.

DIXIE DYNAMITE (1976; Lee Frost)
Dixie Dynamite is one of the first major releases from genre mainstay Dimension. Warren Oates leads a cast of outlaws trying to fight a corrupt Sheriff over moonshining. Jane Anne Johnstone and Kathy McHaley play the two outlaw daughters trying to avenge their father’s murder. The problem is that the girls only know about moonshining. Enter Warren Oates to teach the little ladies about how to drink and drive motorcycles.

Many of the car crashes and inspired wrecks from Death Proof would be lifted directly from the film. Honestly, there’s no better Grindhouse film to honor. Somewhere between the Duane Eddy power chords, Warren Oates seemingly driving drunk for real and Christopher George playing one of the best corrupt Southern sheriffs…it all just comes together. Those with a keen eye might be able to spot Steve McQueen as the lead motorcycle stunt driver. McQueen picked up the job after being out of work for a bit.

THE MISSOURI BREAKS (1976; Arthur Penn)
The Missouri Breaks is everything that a Revisionist Western can be in the right hands. Nicholson plays a rustler who just wants to screw over a local land baron that acts as the law of the land. Eventually the land baron gets tired of not picking off Nicholson, so he hires regulator Marlon Brando to hunt down Nicholson and his gang. Brando was at peak weirdness in this film. Dressing like a dandy with an Irish brogue, Brando hunts down each of Nicholson’s gang in an almost Punisher style way. One of the best death scenes caught on film is Brando dragging Randy Quaid by his throat through the raging Missouri River. Quaid fights and fights, but Brando keeps playing with the dying man.

The rest of Nicholson’s men die by sniping and Brando cross dressing to kill Nicholson’s best friend. Watching Nicholson break down near the end of the movie, so that he can brutally slaughter Brando is amazing. It’s just that the film carries on too long to feature Nicholson wiping out the initial land baron. So much of the film’s momentum ends when Brando dies and I think that’s what cost the film upon its initial release. Arthur Penn is an incredible director, but I’d have to argue that this was his best film. Yeah, even better than Bonnie & Clyde.

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (1976; Peter Clifton/Joe Massot)
The Song Remains the Same is the greatest concert film ever made. This is coming from a lifelong “Stop Making Sense” fan. The documentary runs nearly 2 ½ hours of concert and interview footage, but even that can’t work for a film about Led Zeppelin. That’s where we get the fantasy sequences that simply ruin any natural flow in the film. The band’s manager is a gangster, John Paul Jones reads to his kids, John Bonham drag races and Robert Plant seemingly enacts the Wonderboy video 30 years before it happened.

This was the last gasp of the grandiose rock musical. There were later attempts to recapture this magic, but MTV killed the demand for this sort of affair. Film fans and Zeppelin die-hards will know that the film is a lie. The concert footage was shot at multiple venues, Pittsburgh doubled for NYC in many shots and the entire film was re-recorded on a stage in Shepperton. When you’re a teenager, this is the kind of film that blows your socks off. Now, I just wonder how many monster bong hits this took to happen. Still, it’s a moment in time that can never be recaptured and goes ignored by newer Classic Rock fans.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Underrated '76 - Daniel Budnik

Daniel R. Budnik’s writing can be found at Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things. He is part of three podcasts: Podcastmania – a free-for-all horror good time, The Made For TV Mayhem Show, which he co-hosts with Amanda Reyes and his own show, Eventually Supertrain: The Short-Lived TV Show Podcast. He is co-author of Bleeding Skull: A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey.
Check out his Underrated '86 list as well:
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Bloodsucking Freaks – An extremely sleazy film about a mad magician who tortures women (usually naked) on stage. He alsokeeps lots of naked women at his house for various purposes, including tables and dartboards. He has a dwarf helper who has some wry sexual peccadillos of his own. Sardu, the magician, is also involved in the white slavery trade. Just reading about the film makes it sound absolutely repugnant. But, at some point during the scene when a doctor sucks a woman’s brains out through a straw, we leave dark sleaze behind and end up situated on a high camp playing field. My parents let me rent this moviewhen I was 13 back in 1986. We got it from a video store that provided a big dot matrix printer list of all their movies. And, on one line, it said “Bloodsucking Freaks (X).” I said “I want this one.” My parents rented it without a pause. I was unable to close my eyes as I watched the film. Now, I’m not specifically saying only 13-year-olds should watch this. But, maybe I am. No…  I don’t think so. Joel M. Reed’s Blood Bath anthology is a more straightforward entertaining film. But, Bloodsucking Freaks is screwball Grand Guignol that every horror fan should see once drunk and then once sober. Just so you can prove to your drunk self that it wasn’t a hazy booze-fueled dream. 

Gemini Man – Yes, this is the TV movie that spawned the very short-lived show about Sam Casey, invisible INTERSECT agent, that MST3K went after in their very funny “Riding With Death” episode. “Riding” is a sloppily edited combination of the first hour-long episode of Gemini Man and an unaired episode. The show, itself, is really quite good. I reviewed it, episode by episode, over on my Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things blog. (The French put out a DVD set with this movie and all 11 episodes, including the 6 that didn’t air.) You can hop over there to get the full skinny. I wanted to state here that the Gemini Man TV movie is an excellent example of 1970s action/ adventure TV. It’s written and created by Leslie Stevens, the man behind The Outer Limits. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s nicely paced. And, it mingles the origin story of Sam becoming invisible with the intrigue (involving jerks trying to kill a businessman) of the episode. Unlike other TV movies (like The Man From Atlantis), which separate the origin story from the main plot making for less compelling viewing. Popcorn and a beverage of your choice will make it a very nice afternoon with my man, Invisible Sam.

Ma-Ma – I sometimes go searching for weird kids’ films. I found this one on YouTube a few weeks ago. It’s a Romanian (I think) film based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tale of “The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids.” I watched it in either Romanian or Russian so I didn’t always catch what was happening but I do know the fairy tale. The movie is a lot of dancers from Moscow half-dressed as animals in fun locations moving all over the place and singing a lot of very catchy songs. The whole thing borders on fever dream, especially the Wolf who reminded me of Detective Lassiter from Psych gone deep undercover. Look, I love odd kids’ movies. I don’t know that this one is actually odd. It could just be a cultural thing. But, to this dumb American, it looks like a bunch of goofballs having a great time rocking out while dressed as animals. I’m in. Alternate Title: Rock’n’Roll Wolf.

The Redeemer – I will always recommend The Redeemer as great example of 1970s American horror in that free-for-all space before the slashers took over. The Redeemer AKA the Son of Satan is sent to reclaim six souls that have gone “wrong.” The sinners are assembled at a fake class reunion and evil abounds! From the wonderful school location to the rather good acting to the odd structure, The Redeemer is a hoot that surprises throughout. The film contains one of my favorite sequences: that weird bit where the camera is travelling down a backroad intercut with the killer making a mold of a face as thicsynths play. (I’ve had a nightmare exactly like that.) It also has a great structure: 15 minutes introducing the premise and the characters, 50 minutes of proto-slasher and 10/15 minutes of conclusion, which doesn’t fully make sense and is very odd. I own this as Class Reunion Massacre on VHS and I have the Code Red DVD and Blu-Ray. I await the next format so I can purchase it again. Can someone program this movie to play on my eyeglasses?

The Wackiest Wagon Train In The West – Gilligan’s Islandon a covered wagon in the Old West! The Schwartz brothers strike again! A group of people become separated from their wagon train (or something like that). The group consists of Forrest Tucker as the Skipper stand-in. The original Bobbie Jo and Billie Jo from Petticoat Junction as the Mary Ann and Ginger stand-ins. There’s a snooty rich couple. There’s another guy who (I guess) is The Professor. (I kept forgetting he was there.) And, then there’s Dusty, played by Bob Denver. He’s a clumsy but lovable goofball. (The optimum form of goofball.) This movie is four episodes of the short-lived syndicated TV series Dusty’s Trail edited together, minus its laugh track. I came across this while researching short-lived TV shows for my Eventually Supertrain podcast. Elroy Schwartz (my favorite Schwartz) was involved. So, I watched it. And, it is incredibly unfunny. Almost hypnotizingly so. Bad gags delivered without laugh tracks proliferate. After a time, I could hear the laugh track in my mind, which may have kept me sane somehow. Episode is edited into episode sometimes blurring the line between where one ends and the other begins. There is a sequence where Bob and Forrest dress up as women that seemed like an excerpt from some transdimensional horror film. My mind is unable to absorb it all. The simple concept of taking four average episodes of a failed sitcom so out of context and releasing it as a theatrical film fascinates me. Is it funny? No. Is it worth a viewing for those curious to see something a bit odd? Definitely.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Release Roundup - July 19th, 2016

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT on Blu-ray (Warner Archive)
http://amzn.to/29t8J77


RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD on Blu-ray (Scream Factory)
http://amzn.to/29t8MQ6


WHERE'S POPPA? on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
http://amzn.to/29vyB1B


CUBA on Blu-ray (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
http://amzn.to/29zrAip


THE OUTSIDER on Blu-ray (Olive Films)
http://amzn.to/2a2vKiI


THE RATINGS GAME on Blu-ray (Olive Films)
http://amzn.to/29z34zl


BAD MOON on Blu-ray (Scream Factory)
http://amzn.to/2a2wYdN


13 GHOSTS/13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS on Blu-ray (Mill Creek)
http://amzn.to/29C2P7S


HOMICIDAL/MR. SARDONICUS on Blu-ray (Mill Creek)
http://amzn.to/29vzyaq


A TOUCH OF ZEN on Blu-ray (Criterion)
http://amzn.to/29JEwDr


NIGHT AND FOG on Blu-ray (Criterion)
http://amzn.to/29rzm0u


MURIEL, OR THE TIME OF RETURN on Blu-ray (Criterion)
http://amzn.to/29tafGc


BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE on Blu-ray (Warner Bros)
http://amzn.to/29C3gir


MILES AHEAD on Blu-ray (Sony)
http://amzn.to/29rzGwt


DEMOLITION on Blu-ray (Fox)
http://amzn.to/2a2xfO0


HOODLUM on Blu-ray (Olive Films)
http://amzn.to/29taLE6


GANG RELATED on Blu-ray (Olive Films)
http://amzn.to/29JGEem

OUTATIME: SAVING THE DELOREAN TIME MACHINE on Blu-ray (Virgil Films)
http://amzn.to/29Poabl

OUTATIME: SAVING THE DELOREAN TIME MACHINE

OUTATIME: SAVING THE DELOREAN TIME MACHINE (2016; Steve Concotelli)
As I'm sure many of you yourselves are, I am a big documentary fan. Of the many things I love about them, one is that they often convey a sense of love and appreciation for a huge variety of phenomenon. In this case, said love is expressed for one of the most iconic vehicles in the history of movies - the DeLorean Time Machine from the BACK TO THE FUTURE films. Vehicles in movies can really stand out and stay with us as film fans. Just as the Ecto-1 will always be the GHOSTBUSTERS car (which was even re-worked for the brand new reboot), the DeLorean is inextricably linked to BACK TO THE FUTURE forever. It's easy to see why. It's just a cool looking vehicle. 
I must admit that I was never much of a car fan as a kid. I didn't come to appreciate them until later in my life (and honestly since I moved to California - where you can see classic cars all the time). So it should be no surprise that I had never seen a DeLorean before I watched BACK TO THE FUTURE for the first time. I'm sure I'm not alone in this experience and I do believe that was part of what captivated a lot of young people when they saw it in the summer of 1985. I caught the movie at a drive-in actually, so I was surrounded by cars. But like I said, I'd never witnessed anything like the DeLorean before that movie so it was something of a revelation when I saw it. The car is just so cool looking. The stainless steel, the gull-wing doors and the cockpit-like interior were all mesmerizing to me. The DIY external modifications that Doc Brown made to the car only made it look more like a vehicle that came straight out of the future.
Bob Gale and other members of the production team talk specifically about the three different time machines that were built for the movie (the A, B and C cars). The film goes into detail about what happened to the cars after the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies were all shot and done with. The "A" car was the most detailed version of the time machine and the one that was used in subsequent productions like BACK TO THE FUTURE the Ride as well as for the openings and closings of the animated series. But the DeLorean was used for so much more stuff and Universal even hired a character actor to play Doc Brown and drive the car around to special events (and that actor is interviewed in the documentary). As a result of years of use, weather related wear and general fan love, the car started to deteriorate of course. The movies are wonderful because they immortalize hero props like the time machine, but the saddest thing in the world to see is how such props are effected by time. So fast forward to 2011, when Nike put out some cool replica shoes like the ones Marty wore in BACK TO THE FUTURE II. Much attention was focused on BTTF and Universal trotted out the car for press related events. It was then that Bob Gale himself realized how much the car had decayed from it's former glory. He and Universal Studios Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy decided they should really get a team together and work on restoring the DeLorean, especially in light of Universal's 100th Anniversary being right around the corner. A team was assembled to do the restoration. It consisted of engineers, movie prop guys, doctors, rocket scientists and everyday hardcore BTTF fans who wanted nothing more than to see the car returned to its original unforgettable glory. OUTTATIME includes interviews with many big folks that were involved with the film's production (Bob Gale, Claudia Wells) as well as high profile fans (Chris Gore) and tons of people involved with the DeLorean's restoration. We get a look at just how much work went into basically reviving this car from the dead. It was no easy task and the documentary walks us through the process. These are some seriously dedicated people (many of whom already owned their own BTTF DeLorean replicas) and you can't help but get caught up in their nerdy enthusiasm. Now I'm not necessarily a person that gets a big kick out of watching cars being rebuilt and reconstructed, but I was obviously on board for this ride. I just have such a deep emotional connection to those films from my childhood, that it was impossible for that feeling to not carry over. As I watched the team strip down, fix and re-assemble the car - I couldn't help but be moved by it. The amount of time, energy and remarkable attention to detail that the team takes is beyond admirable. Any and all BACK TO THE FUTURE nerds out there need to have a peek at this documentary. It will certainly warm you heart to see the resurrection of one of the single greatest movie props of all-time.
Bonus Features:
Like the DeLorean itself, this doc is tricked out with some extras for your viewing pleasure.
-Audio Commentary with Director Steve Concotelli and Head of the Restoration Joe Walser.-"OUTATIME World Premiere" (4 mins)
-"Time Machine 101" (5 mins)
-"It Belongs in a Museum" (7 mins)
-"The Legacy of Bob Burns" (4 Mins)
-Deleted Scenes (19 mins)

You can rent/buy OUTATIME on Vimeo (with Special Features) here:
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/outatimemoviedeluxe
It can also be purchased on Blu-ray here:
http://amzn.to/29VY0FM
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