The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff 30th anniversary blu-ray

We’re back! So, make yourself a sandwich of turkey leftovers and settle in with us as we  give you DVDs and blu-rays to be thankful for (and some we’d rather pass on). We kick off the show with the last of Charlie Chaplin’s silent films, “City Lights” from Criterion. Chaplin has said that this 1931 film was his favorite, find out if this blu-ray edition is one of ours. If you’ve listened to the show before you probably know The Little Tramp rarely does wrong by us and with a Criterion restoration, “City Lights” is likely to impress. Next, we take a look at a modern comedy from the “Wedding Crashers” duo, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as they apply for “The Internship” at Google. Can two salesmen hold their own amongst young tech geeks and rise to the top?

More than 50 years since the space program began, we get a special 30th anniversary edition blu-ray of the film that celebrates those first astronauts. The 1983 film, “The Right Stuff” follows the rise of the Mercury 7 Astronauts and parallels their journey with that of unsung hero, Chuck Yeager who was first to break the sound barrier. Based on the book by Tom Wolfe, “The Right Stuff” hits all the right notes in developing the characters. Bridging the gap between genres, “The Right Stuff” went on to win 4 Academy Awards and put this outstanding cast on the map. While 30 years later, we no longer have a shuttle program or manned missions to space, we can at least look back with fondness through this special edition.

Halloween-season came and went for us, so we thought it was only fair to end the show with two horror films that left a lasting impression on us, the 35th anniversary blu-ray of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and the much-debated “Lords of Salem” from musician turned director, Rob Zombie. You might be saying, “hasn’t ‘Halloween’ already been out on Blu?” You wouldn’t be wrong, but you would be wrong if you think you’ve seen it the way Carpenter intended it. In this version, the granddaddy of all slasher films, is seen in glorious 1080p with rich color saturation and less brightness. The restoration overseen by the original cinematographer, Dean Cundey and 7.1 Dolby True HD audio will make the night Michael Myers came home one to remember. Plus, we get two new special features for this edition. So, join us as we visit Haddonfield one more time.

Lastly, we wrap it up with “The Lords of Salem.” This atmospheric horror film from Rob Zombie owes a lot to movies by Roman Polanski and Dario Argento. “Salem” tells the story of a rock DJ, played by Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon, who receives a mysterious record with a curse embedded in it. With witches being so popular now, we think history will be kinder to “Lords.” See for yourself, either way, we guarantee it won’t be a boring ride down the Satanic rabbit hole.

All this, plus we weigh in on the trend of multiple editions for movies like “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Twin Peaks” blu-ray rumors and as always, this week’s honorable mentions!

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Logan's Run

Logan’s Run

As the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Cinerama Dome, they’ve pulled out all the stops by running a series of classic films alongside illuminating Q&A sessions.

In 1976, “Logan’s Run” premiered at the Cinerama Dome, and the Arclight presented a special evening on October 29, 2013 that included the film’s star, Michael York, in a lively audience discussion.

Your DVD Geeks – along with special guests Chris Gore, Mary Forrest and Jay West – attended the screening and couldn’t hold back from a deep discussion about the film’s central issues and how it holds up nearly 40 years later. We also got a little off track and let loose with some of our more primal observations. If DVD Geeks is a “family appropriate” show, this episode is definitely not. But Logan’s Run was always sci-fi that talked about adult themes, and we didn’t want to pull our punches. This one gets the EXPLICIT tag. You’ve been warned.

Michael York

Michael York “Logan 5″

Special thanks to our guests, the Arclight for letting us sit in their cafe for so long, and to the fine people at Vintage Los Angeles for helping to pull it all together.

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Power Rangers

Power Rangers from Shout! Factory

We’re right in the middle of “con season,” and big news about DVD and Blu-ray releases always comes from Comic Con.

We wandered the floor and spoke to studio reps to get an idea of what to look out for in the coming weeks and months. Starting out, we were pretty impressed with the massive “Power Rangers” set coming soon from Shout! Factory. It’s all encased in a replica Power Ranger helmet that will make an interesting addition to either your DVD or prop collection.

We also have a look at the upcoming “Dexter” set that will encompass the entire series once they have their last hurrah.

Many more titles, big and small, are on our radar. Everything from classic sci-fi from the Fox archives to the small screen adventures of everyones’ favorite man-child, Pee Wee Herman!

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The Call

Halle Berry in The Call

In our post Comic Con haze, we whipped up a show with some of the more intriguing titles to be released in the last few weeks. We start off with the big-screen Halle Berry vehicle “The Call” about a 911 operator who helps track down a kidnapped girl.

Next, we look at the French Canadian comedy “Starbuck” in which a sperm donor is hit with the news that he fathered 533 children – and 142 of them want to know who he is! It’s a bizarre but heartfelt story in a blue-collar setting with some outstanding performances.

Finally, we celebrate the release of two long-awaited comedies on Blu-ray. Shout! Factory has brought us John Landis’ “Kentucky Fried Movie” and Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” In “Kentucky Fried Movie,” we get a taste of fast-paced sketch comedy from the ’70s, and in “The Producers” we get Mel Brooks’ hilarious feature-film debut in all its ’60s glory.

All those plus some great honorable mentions that run the gamut from classic TV to modern horror!

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Podcrash

Podcrash

He’s back!

Chris Gore sat in on the last episode of DVD Geeks, and we couldn’t let him go. In this very special episode, Chris hangs around to share some of his Geek Picks with us.

We’ve got a seriously weird puppet movie with “Live Freaky, Die Freaky” and a seriously weird comedy about air drumming (yes, you read that right) with “Adventures of Power.”

Chris also introduced us to one of the strangest low-budget sci-fi films we’ve ever seen, “The American Astronaut.” It’s as if David Lynch did a space truckers movie… with music and dancing. We kid you not.

Viva

Viva

Finally, what may be the smartest, sexiest send up of exploitation movies we’ve ever seen, “Viva” hits all the right notes. If you put this on your DVD player and don’t warn your guests, they’ll think you simply hit the jackpot in finding the weirdest relic from 1972. It’s not, though. It’s a masterfully crafted homage to natural bodies and macrame in one of the most quotable movies in years.

All that plus Mary tries her first Space Food Stick! Join us for DVD Geeks, and join Chris Gore on Podcrash!

 

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Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

We’re being CRASHED!

On this special episode of DVD Geeks, we welcome Chris Gore – he of “Film Threat” and “Attack of the Show” fame – to sit in and crash our regular DVD reviews.

You’ll hear the three of us talk about our love of cheesy sci-fi, argue over the merits of some new horror and praise of one of the year’s woefully overlooked large-scale epics.

“Lifeforce” from Tobe Hooper introduced us to a stark-naked space vampire who turned most of London into energy-sucking zombies. We’ll see if the new Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory of this 1985 cult film helps it stand up to modern scrutiny.

We’ll also argue over the 26 individual episodes that make up “The ABCs of Death.” It’s a collection of 26 directors doing their thing to make a horror anthology with each episode interpreted through a single letter. Some work, some don’t. We’ll tell you which is which. If you can’t wait, you can even have a look at Chris’ re-arranged ranking for the 26 short films here.

Chris Gore

Chris Gore

Finally, we really want to talk you in to seeing “Cloud Atlas.” It’s science fiction on a grand scale – occupying six distinct time periods – and it investigates the big issues: friendship, freedom, love, revolution. People stayed away from the box office, but we want you to get this on DVD or Blu as soon as you can.

All that plus our weekly Geek Picks, and don’t forget: we’ll be back with PART II of our collaboration with Chris Gore in a couple of days!

Chris Gore can be reached at his personal web site and at Podcrash.

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ABCs of Death

ABCs of Death

As we mentioned in the show, Chris Gore went to the trouble of ranking “The ABCs of Death” from best to worst. We present that here along with a guide to the description of each letter.

W
L
Q
Z
V
H
D
N
F
A
J
R
T
S
I
C
U
M
X
O
K
B
G
P
Y

And just in case you were wondering what all the letters mean…

A is for Apocalypse
B is for Bigfoot
C is for Cycle
D is for Dogfight
E is for Exterminate
F is for Fart
G is for Gravity
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (Hitler?)
I is for Injection
J is for Jidai-Geki
K is for Klutz
L is for Libido
M is for Miscarriage
N is for Nuptials
O is for Orgasm
P is for Pressure
Q is for Quack
R is for Removed
S is for Speed
T is for Toilet
U is for Unearthed
V is for Vagitus
W is for WTF!
X is for XXL
Y is for Youngbuck
Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction)

Identity Thief

Identity Thief

We love diversity in a DVD collection.

We sure hope you do too, because this week we get to expose you to a seriously diverse collection from heady, political sci-fi to modern, R-rated slapstick comedy. Hold on…

“Identity Thief” may not have been marketed to appeal to those of us who like a little more thought in our comedy, but we have to admit that it surprised us. Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman team up in a cross-country road trip that owes a little to “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” but definitely has a darker streak.

Next, we take on two remarkable releases from Criterion Collection. “H.G. Wells’ Things To Come” is a socio-political piece of Utopian fiction designed to point mankind in the direction away from war and toward peaceful scientific exploration. It’s a visually stunning masterpiece from the black & white era of sci-fi film.

Finally, “Safety Last” may be the best known of silent-era comedian Harold Lloyd. In this restored Blu-ray from Criterion, we get to revisit Lloyd’s genius with stunts, special effects and photography that 90 years later can still make us gasp. There are special features galore, and we hope you’ll enjoy this treasure as much as we did.

Much more this week with Honorable Mentions and a special shout out to our upcoming guest, Chris Gore!

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Silver Lining's Playbook

Silver Lining’s Playbook

As we enjoy doing so often here at DVD Geeks, we bring you a new episode that runs the gamut from ’70s schlock to a modern Oscar winner.

Any kid who knew his way around a cable box in the ’80s was sure to have come across these two gems more than once. First, we’ve got “Futureworld,” the follow-up to the hit “Westworld.” In the second outing to Delos, Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner play reporters who discover the deadly secrets of this adult theme park. Next, we’ll take our time machine to the old west long before Marty McFly gets there. In “Timerider,” Fred Ward plays Lyle Swann, the motorcycle star who finds himself whisked back to the 1880s where he’s got to navigate gun-toting bandits and a seductive woman who may just play a part in his future.

For a delightful diversion, we’ll look at “Dirk Gently,” the holistic detective created by the late Douglas Adams and starring “Episodes” alum Stephen Mangan. Then we’ll look at the outstanding cast of Oscar nominees (and winners!) and “Silver Lining’s Playbook.”

Finally, we’ll see if the hype matches the movie when “John Dies At the End.” All that plus our Honorable Mentions, Televixen’s “Geek Pick” and more!

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

There’s a whole lot of DVD and Blu-ray goodness in this episode. We’re rounding up a couple weeks of new and notable releases, and we may as well start with a classic celebrating its 25th anniversary with a brand-spanking new Blu-ray release: “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” If you’ve always wanted to see Jessica in HD, now is your chance. There’s also a ton of special features to further illuminate the process of creating this groundbreaking film.

Next up, we’ll look at the slice-of-life drama “Smashed” that tackles alcoholism in a personal coming-of-age story. We’ll also look at the surreal “Holy Motors” and the unreal 1957 SciFi classic “The Blob” (now out on Blu-ray in a fabulous special edition from Criterion).

James Bond is back in “Skyfall,” and we could not resist talking about the movie and all the goodies included on this very thorough Blu-ray edition. Finally, we look at the on-screen pairing of Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Academy Award nominated “The Master.”

All those plus our weekly Honorable Mentions and more!

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