Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Home Video: THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE on Blu-ray ""

Monday, February 10, 2014

Warner Home Video: THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE on Blu-ray

Bob Rafelson, for me, is one of those "only in the 1970s" kind of directors. His unique, character-based, art house as mainstream films like FIVE EASY PIECES and THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS (both of which I like a lot) feel like they could only have been made during that glorious golden decade that saw Coppola, Scorsese, Cimino, Bogdanovich and Friedkin running wild with their own masterpieces - all of them often funded and released by major studios. It has been much discussed , but it was a really magical time for cinema. A magical time where you could get Sven Nykvist to shoot your movie, a very green David Mamet to write it and Christopher Lloyd for a walk-on part. A time when Jack Nicholson was firing on all cylinders and Jessica Lange never looked more alluring. It's hard to talk about this film and not mention the sex scenes, specifically the first one between Lange and Nicholson. It is a quite intense scene and is still rather sexually explicit in some ways that don't show up in a lot of movies these days (especially those made by major studios). Beyond that the film has this gritty quality about it that starts with the setting and time period and goes straight on down to the sex and the dirt under Nicholson's fingernails. I've not often heard this movie lumped in with other 'neo-noirs', but it seems to fit nicely into that category. It feels like 'noir unleashed' on some level in that it has its roots in cinema during the Hays code and it absolutely breaks out of that mold and shows and deals with things those films obviously couldn't. I can certainly see the argument for some things being left implied and that being more resonant, but here I felt like it helped the movie. It raised the stakes for me a bit and increased that lovely noir sense of dread.
This note from Rafelson included with the review copy I received, details his excitement with this new release:

As Rafelson indicates, this film was treated a bit shoddily in previous home video incarnations. I can barely recall the last time I watched this movie so it all seemed relatively fresh this time around. The Blu-ray transfer is quite nice too so that made the film pop for me even more. I had totally forgot about Sven Nykvist altogether and he is certainly a man whose work was meant for Blu-ray. Also included with this disc is a nice scene specific commentary from Rafelson, David Mamet & Jack Nicholson. These three gentlemen are obviously heavyweights in their respective crafts so they've got a lot of wisdom to dole out. Each one discusses their histories with each other, how they came to the project, their thoughts on the original film and how they approached updating it. It's a very solid commentary track - one of the best I've heard in a while.

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