I’m singin’ in the rain
Just singin’ in the rain
We’ve finally got Blu-rays
Worth buyin’ again!
All right, maybe there aren’t that many Blu-rays worth buying today, but considering how slow things have been recently, it’s nice to have at least one major title to get excited about. In fact, a few discs have perked up my attention.
Unfortunately, none of those interesting titles are new releases. From this sad bunch, the only movie I might even consider as rental material is the Luc Besson-scripted sci-fi actioner ‘Lockout‘. Or, as everyone else refers to it, ‘Escape from Space York’. Guy Pearce stars as a Snake Plissken wannabe who must rescue the President’s daughter (the perpetually-kidnapped Maggie Grace) from a space prison taken over by the inmates. The movie was a big ol’ flop at the box office, but looks like it could be silly guilty pleasure fun.
Otherwise, what do we have? Will Ferrell does a fully Spanish-language comedy in ‘Casa de Mi Padre‘. Other than the gimmick that this one’s in Spanish, it looks like every other dopey Will Ferrell comedy. Meh. The Farrelly brothers finally dump their long-threatened, modern-day reboot of ‘The Three Stooges‘ onto a world that absolutely does not and will not ever want it. Blech. Lasse Hallstrom serves up more attempted Oscar bait in the awkwardly titled ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen‘. Yawn.
Now this is more like it. Warner Bros. pulls out all the stops for a brand new restoration of the Technicolor classic ‘Singin’ in the Rain‘, available in either one of those ridiculously oversized box sets (this one packaged with an umbrella) or a standard keepcase edition. I think I’ll go for the latter, unless some retailer out there gets a Digibook exclusive. If anyone finds information on that, please let me know.
In dark and gritty contrast to the bright and colorful musical splendor of ‘Rain’, Warner also gives Martin Scorsese’s first breakthrough motion picture ‘Mean Streets‘ the Blu-ray treatment. I would not recommend playing these two movies as a double feature. Then again, that might be perversely fascinating.
Olive Films has obtained the licensing rights to a couple of major classics: the Gary Cooper Western ‘High Noon‘ and the original sci-fi chiller ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers‘. I’d be a lot more excited for both of these if Olive had a better reputation for the quality of its discs.
Meanwhile, Criterion adds Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Down by Law‘ to the Collection. I’ve never really warmed up to Jarmusch’s minimalist deadpan schtick (though I do love his ‘Broken Flowers’) and I really can’t stand Roberto Begnini, so the combination of the two doesn’t appeal much to me. Honestly, I can’t even remember if I’ve already seen this one. Most of the director’s early movies tend to blur together in my memory.
Between Warner and MGM, we get a perfect trifecta of ’80s action cheese this week. Steven Seagal proves that he’s ‘Hard to Kill‘, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks his way through a ‘Code of Silence‘, and Patrick Swayze goes a-huntin’ redneck baddies to avenge his ‘Next of Kin‘. Look for all of these to turn up in your local Best Buy’s bargain bin shortly.
Jackie Chan in his prime was an amazing performer to watch, and both ‘Project A‘ and ‘Operation Condor‘ are great entertainment – in their original forms. Sadly, Echo Bridge insists on crapping the badly dubbed and edited versions onto video in North America. I can’t recommend that anyone support this miserable company.
‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and ‘Mean Streets’ are must-haves for me. I’ll put the Jarmusch title on my wish list, and approach both of the two Olive Films discs with caution. What will you buy this week?