2009: The Digital Chivvy

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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:31 am

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Brians got some good picks lately (he should recognize where I got some of mine :D).



I've definitely seen a few of those here and there! :D

Picked up a few more goodies in that Amazon $5.79 sale. Gotta love these nearly-costant price drops these days! I may not even keep most of the titles I'm buying (most are movies I've just thought I should at least see), but at this price, I won't lose much, if anything, on the resale.

THE LONG, LONG TRAILER
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON
THE CANDIDATE
THE MACK

IRON GIANT (SE) (replacing the old snapper I sold)

Plus:
TERMINATOR 3 (Blu-ray) $8.49 earlier this week 8)
SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS (Blu-ray+DVD SE) $14.99 at Amazon with coupon code "SNOWHITE". Not bad.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Chungking_Cash » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:55 am

NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (Stuart Whitman) :oops:


Hard evidence, Brian, that if it's on DVD -- you'll buy it.

OUT FOR JUSTICE
UNDER SIEGE


I rest my case. :lol:
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:56 am

Chungking_Cash wrote:
NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (Stuart Whitman) :oops:


Hard evidence, Brian, that if it's on DVD -- you'll buy it.



<<gasp!>> How dare you, sir!

I have amended your comments for you:

Chungking_Cash wrote:Hard evidence, Brian, that if it's low budget exploitation fare from the 70's with even a moderate cult following -- you'll blind-buy it cheap, watch it, and probably flip it on Amazon.ca for a profit. I commend you and your keen financial acumen, my good man!



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Chungking_Cash wrote:
OUT FOR JUSTICE
UNDER SIEGE


I rest my case. :lol:



Well, alright, I'll give you this one. But is it really so wrong to like Seagal in his prime, fleeting as it was? I still look back fondly on that slappy-slappy thing he did to all the bad guys.

There are only three of the man's movies I plan to update to Blu-Ray, cheaply, never for more than $10 shipped (as these two were). The other would be EXECUTIVE DECISION, which isn't really a Seagal movie anyways. Well, OK, I might spring for ON DEADLY GROUND as well, because it's such an enjoyable godawful mess with Big Big Explosions, but there's no way I can spend more than $5 for a Blu-Ray of that. :P

By the way, you'll find many more questionable Blu-Ray purchases in this thread than mine! :lol:
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby cal42 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:46 am

Brian Thibodeau wrote: The other would be EXECUTIVE DECISION, which isn't really a Seagal movie anyways.


COMPLETELY beside the point, but I thought this film was renamed CRITICAL DECISION on your side of the pond?
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:14 pm

cal42 wrote:COMPLETELY beside the point, but I thought this film was renamed CRITICAL DECISION on your side of the pond?


Not that I know of. Somewhere else, perhaps?
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:02 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote: ...Well, alright, I'll give you this one. But is it really so wrong to like Seagal in his prime, fleeting as it was? I still look back fondly on that slappy-slappy thing he did to all the bad guys.

There are only three of the man's movies I plan to update to Blu-Ray, cheaply, never for more than $10 shipped (as these two were). The other would be EXECUTIVE DECISION, which isn't really a Seagal movie anyways. Well, OK, I might spring for ON DEADLY GROUND as well, because it's such an enjoyable godawful mess with Big Big Explosions, but there's no way I can spend more than $5 for a Blu-Ray of that. :P
...


I'm going to have to stick up for those purchases. If Brian picked up the later Seagal releases then we could mock him (kidding of course), but heck I even though UNDER SEIGE 2 was a good film).
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:48 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
Brian Thibodeau wrote:I'm going to have to stick up for those purchases. If Brian picked up the later Seagal releases then we could mock him (kidding of course), but heck I even though UNDER SEIGE 2 was a good film).


Exactly! The only "later" Seagal film I've even seen (since his studio pictures ended) is BELLY OF THE BEAST, which I thought was rather good, although more because of its director Ching Siu-tung (the real reason I rented it) than its star, who was all too obviously doubled by a smaller (and probably Asian) guy in the fight scenes. Good looking and well-paced, though. The UNDER SIEGE 2 Blu-Ray is actually sitting in my shopping cart at Amazon right now, along with a couple of others I'm still mulling over. They're all on sale for $9.99 at the moment, but I'm still debating whether I should just get it (inevitably) cheaper down the road. It's one of those Warner discs that turns up in every sale everywhere these days, and those prices are bound to drop even further as demand decreases for the title. Decisions, decisions.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby cal42 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:58 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
cal42 wrote:COMPLETELY beside the point, but I thought this film was renamed CRITICAL DECISION on your side of the pond?


Not that I know of. Somewhere else, perhaps?


Yes. The answer was...*drum roll*...Belgium.

I downloaded it on XBox Live once and the titles came up with "Critical Decision" and assumed it was a US print :? .
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Chungking_Cash » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:43 am

Hard evidence, Brian, that if it's low budget exploitation fare from the 70's with even a moderate cult following -- you'll blind-buy it cheap, watch it, and probably flip it on Amazon.ca for a profit. I commend you and your keen financial acumen, my good man!


Good show.

I actually had the displeasure of sitting through the aforementioned "Night of the Lepus" last spring when a z grade obsessed friend of mine picked it up. I wasn't surprised to learn following the screening that it was DeForest Kelley's final [non-"Star Trek"] feature film and that screen legend Janet Leigh only signed on the dotted line because it was being shot near her home and would limit time away from her family. Her parting thoughts "I've forgotten as much as I could about that picture."

I'm still working with the help of a trained professional.

What does my friend have in store for us next? "The Thing with Two Heads" and a film many of you are already familiar with and which I have seen a portion of on late night TNT a decade ago: "Crippled Masters."


Well, alright, I'll give you this one. But is it really so wrong to like Seagal in his prime, fleeting as it was? I still look back fondly on that slappy-slappy thing he did to all the bad guys.


Even in junior high when Seagal could turn a profit I found his films hard to sit through. I thought (at least then) that "Hard to Kill" was one of his better efforts and yet I still found it rather dull. A couple of years later I was shocked by the positive reaction to "Under Seige" (though one could argue it was the best of the "Die Hard" rip-off's due largely to a strong supporting cast). Heck, I remember (again, at the time -- I've never rewatched any of these films) giving "Executive Decision" a pass based partially on Seagal's on-screen demise. Long after he was sentenced to an eternity in straight-to-video hell said friend and I stumbled across "On Deadly Ground" which is now a cult classic in some circles a la "Road House." We howled through Seagal's exchange with Mike Starr and other equally troubling directorial decisions the first time director made.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:20 am

Chungking_Cash wrote:I actually had the displeasure of sitting through the aforementioned "Night of the Lepus" last spring when a z grade obsessed friend of mine picked it up. I wasn't surprised to learn following the screening that it was DeForest Kelley's final [non-"Star Trek"] feature film and that screen legend Janet Leigh only signed on the dotted line because it was being shot near her home and would limit time away from her family. Her parting thoughts "I've forgotten as much as I could about that picture."


Part of my enjoyment of these old cheapies is learning a bit about the production history behind them, which often isn't as plentiful as the stories behind your average studio blockbuster, then as now. Didn't realize it was Kelley's final film, and that bit about Leigh is the kind of thing I like to bring to a viewing of a film like this just to see if it impacts performance in any way. Certainly she's not the first to take roles because of proximity to home (or a free vacation somewhere warm, as with Michael Caine in many an 80's film). Good stuff.



What does my friend have in store for us next? "The Thing with Two Heads"


Now this is a bona fide drive-in classic. :lol: Yes, it's a big ol' corndog, but it's better written than a film like this needs to be, and that's what made it a cult classic over the years. There's a post-op dinner scene where the Ray Milland head makes some bigoted comment about watermelon that has me in stitches every time, not because of what he says, but HOW he says it. Even though his character is identified as a racist early on, the bile that comes out of his mouth, especially on first viewing, is equally shocking and hilarious, but deliberately so, and very much in reaction to the time in which the film was made.

Even in junior high when Seagal could turn a profit I found his films hard to sit through. I thought (at least then) that "Hard to Kill" was one of his better efforts and yet I still found it rather dull. A couple of years later I was shocked by the positive reaction to "Under Seige" (though one could argue it was the best of the "Die Hard" rip-off's due largely to a strong supporting cast).


I've been a huge DIE HARD fan since that film came out, and I've always had a soft spot for the clones because, frankly, many of them, including UNDER SIEGE in my opinion, are indeed solid productions in their own right. The "DIE HARD in a . . . " label was a little too easy to fling at just about any hijack/takeover movie that came after it, but most--especially the more lavish ones--were altered enough that they could still offer decent plot surprises and inventive action setpieces. Seagal was never a great actor, but he was very good at what he did. And what he did worked perfectly well, for a time, in big-budget spectacle actioners. But the sell-by date would inevitably be outlived . . .


Heck, I remember (again, at the time -- I've never rewatched any of these films) giving "Executive Decision" a pass based partially on Seagal's on-screen demise.


So you're saying if the actor you don't like actually survived beyond the first ten minutes, you would have watched this one? Hmm . . . ;)


Long after he was sentenced to an eternity in straight-to-video hell said friend and I stumbled across "On Deadly Ground" which is now a cult classic in some circles a la "Road House." We howled through Seagal's exchange with Mike Starr and other equally troubling directorial decisions the first time director made.


ON DEADLY GROUND has an almost magnetic pull for me. I agree with nearly every bad thing about it, but the money behind it--and on screen--elevates it beyond the self-aggrandizing piece of schlock that it is at heart into the realm of Bad Idea infamy. I confess to running the climactic oil rig battle once in a while just to stare in awe at all the non-CGI enhanced explosions during the climax.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Chungking_Cash » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:01 pm

Certainly she's not the first to take roles because of proximity to home (or a free vacation somewhere warm, as with Michael Caine in many an 80's film). Good stuff.


When pressed about his involvement in "Jaws: The Revenge" the third and possibly silliest installment in the shaggy dog franchise Caine replied "I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!"

So you're saying if the actor you don't like actually survived beyond the first ten minutes, you would have watched this one? Hmm . . . ;)


Pass in this instance means approval. Again, I haven't seen "Executive Decision" since it hit video well over a decade ago but I remember enjoying it at the time based partially on Seagal's early exodus. Honestly, for someone who had such an arrogant on-screen swagger I found his sacrifice momentarily endearing.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:40 pm

Chungking_Cash wrote:When pressed about his involvement in "Jaws: The Revenge" the third and possibly silliest installment in the shaggy dog franchise Caine replied "I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!"


JAWS: THE REVENGE (the fourth, actually) was the first film that instantly came to mind when you mentioned Janet Leigh taking the easy gig in LEPUS. Of course, I doubt she got enough out of that to build a house. A guest house, perhaps? Or maybe a nice new car? Not a bad line of work, these crappy movies, if you've got a "name" . . . :lol:

Pass in this instance means approval. Again, I haven't seen "Executive Decision" since it hit video well over a decade ago but I remember enjoying it at the time based partially on Seagal's early exodus. Honestly, for someone who had such an arrogant on-screen swagger I found his sacrifice momentarily endearing.


Oops. My bad. I was rather pleasantly surprised at Seagal's early exit as well. I saw it opening night, so the word hadn't yet spread at that point. Kinda reminded me of this old movie I once watched starring . . . Janet Leigh! Now what was that called again? :D :D
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Chungking_Cash » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:19 pm

JAWS: THE REVENGE (the fourth, actually) was the first film that instantly came to mind when you mentioned Janet Leigh taking the easy gig in LEPUS. Of course, I doubt she got enough out of that to build a house. A guest house, perhaps? Or maybe a nice new car? Not a bad line of work, these crappy movies, if you've got a "name" . . . :lol:


Eh, I meant to say third sequel. Who could forget "Jaws 3-D"? (lead actor Dennis Quaid withstanding)

Anyways, your reply reminded me of actress Betsy Palmer. Today history remembers Palmer as the heel in the original "Friday the 13th" (1980) but up until that point she was most recognizable as a panelist on the game show "I've Got a Secret" (1958-1967) and other non-threatening roles in television and feature films. When she read the script for the "Halloween" knock-off she called it a piece of s**t no one would see...then again there was that new car she had her eye on.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby ewaffle » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:05 am

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (Stuart Whitman) :oops:


I had missed Brian's first reference to actually buying a copy of this very, very intriguing movie. It was important in a number of ways:

1) "Night of the Lepus" showed, definitively to my eyes, that it is impossible to make bunny rabbits into objects of fear, loathing and horror--cute little bunnies with twitchy noses and big ears, with alteration in their appearance or demeanor, no blood on their fangs, not even any fangs at all, no terrible long claws that slice through human flesh--simply by making them look 10 feet tall.

2) It showed that when cutting in stock footage, including (apparently) newsreel and nature show shots it is a good idea to have someone checking continuity so that the rabbit stampede doesn't start going from right to left across the screen and then suddenly switching from left to right.

3) Using sound effects from a buffalo stampede played REALLY LOUDLY under shots of a "giant rabbit stampede" doesn't make it any more convincing.

4) Stuart Whitman in a bad wig and Janet Leigh do not guarantee cinematic quality.

I love this movie.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:21 am

ewaffle wrote:I love this movie.


Like, omigawd you guys, you are totally moving this title to the top of the list! I'll be picking it up at my U.S. mailbox tomorrow during a visit to my folks back home. I wonder what they'd think of this as an after-dinner movie on Thanksgiving day this weekend? I may not be able to wait until I get back to Toronto. :P


2) It showed that when cutting in stock footage, including (apparently) newsreel and nature show shots it is a good idea to have someone checking continuity so that the rabbit stampede doesn't start going from right to left across the screen and then suddenly switching from left to right.


Hey, if you've ever nearly hit a bunny while driving down a country road at night because it darted out from a field, you'll know that this is possible. The filmmakers just added more bunnies. ;)
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:43 am

Curse you, Big Lots, curse yoooouuu!

All $3.00 U.S.

TEKKONKINKREET (Japan; 2006)
SABOTEUR (1942)
FOLLOWING (1999)
PAL JOEY (1957)
THE WHITE DRAGON (Hong Kong; 2004) Already have the HK edition, but hey, three bucks!
RETURN OF THE TIGER (Taiwan; 1977) (I'm wondering if this is the same Trinity DVD that Ed Waffle so eloquently reviewed? :) )

Forgot to add a few others from the same trip:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1980) - $5 WalMart sale (and thank goodness, what a turkey! Listed on Amazon Marketplace already :lol: )
THE OTHER (1971)
GRACE (2009) - free from Amazon Vine program
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:16 pm

ewaffle wrote:I had missed Brian's first reference to actually buying a copy of this very, very intriguing movie. It was important in a number of ways:

1) "Night of the Lepus" showed, definitively to my eyes, that it is impossible to make bunny rabbits into objects of fear, loathing and horror--cute little bunnies with twitchy noses and big ears, with alteration in their appearance or demeanor, no blood on their fangs, not even any fangs at all, no terrible long claws that slice through human flesh--simply by making them look 10 feet tall.

2) It showed that when cutting in stock footage, including (apparently) newsreel and nature show shots it is a good idea to have someone checking continuity so that the rabbit stampede doesn't start going from right to left across the screen and then suddenly switching from left to right.

3) Using sound effects from a buffalo stampede played REALLY LOUDLY under shots of a "giant rabbit stampede" doesn't make it any more convincing.

4) Stuart Whitman in a bad wig and Janet Leigh do not guarantee cinematic quality.

I love this movie.



Finally got around to watching this sucker. Found it about as schlocky as I'd expected to, but the cast of old pros really saves it, giving performances that in no way suggest they think they're making a silly or "bad" film. I'm sure some of them may have been surprised by the hokiness of the end results, but its clear that during the making of the film they played these role strictly professionally, which of course lends the film that cult appeal in hindsight. The special effects are done capably, if rarely convincingly, using the most available and logical techniques of the day: miniature sets, bloody goo smeared on the rabbits' faces, men in suits (love the one that jumps Stuart Whitman out of nowhere during the climax), and overcranking the camera so the slow motion gives the bunnies some weight. Though there's a lot of quick cutting and superimposition going on, the climactic corralling and electrocution seems to involve the killing of at least some actual rabbits, something I'm not sure was necessary. The lack of a Humane Society disclaimer in the credits could be telling, but I'm not really sure such disclaimers even existed in those days. The hyperbolic trailer is wonderfully deceptive, never once revealing what the villains of the show really are. Not a keeper, but I'm glad I finally saw it. :)
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:37 pm

Recent bargain blind buys (aka: likely sell-offs I just wanted to see)

From a $4 standee at a U.S. Wal-Mart
ROMAN HOLIDAY (2-disc CE)
DREAMGIRLS (2-disc)
PAYCHECK (sue me :lol: )

$5 at the same Wal-Mart
GOREHOUSE GREATS COLLECTION
(another compilation of old Crown Int'l. Pictures, some previously released, but a few first appearances on DVD that I wanted to check out.)

$9.99 at a U.S. Best Buy
4 FILM FAVOURITES COLLECTION: DIRTY HARRY (2 disc)
(for those interested, this collects the recent SE versions of the first four HARRY movies, which are the best ones anyways).

Two more $3 discs from Big Lots:
BUGSY (2-disc) replacing the older version, already sold
GATTACA - suddenly realized, in store, that I'd never seen this despite meaning to several times.

$4.99 finds from an Anime bargain rack in an indie home entertainment retailer in a mall here in Canada:
STELLVIA VOL.1
INNOCENT VENUS VOL. 1
PARANOIA AGENT VOL.1
SAMURAI CHAMPLOO VOL. 1
LAST EXILE VOL. 1
TEXHNOLYZE VOL. 1

As previous posts will attest, I'm not the biggest anime follower, but I enjoy the artistry of a lot of it, so these make good samplers at this price, but probably won't be kept.


Dipped in to this month's work bonus :oops: to get caught up on recent Hong Kong goodies (some imported, some bought 2-for-1 locally). Well, hopefully there's some goodies in the bunch! :| )

WRITTEN BY (2009; Mei Ah)
ON HIS MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (2009; CN Ent.)
OVERHEARD (2009; Panorama)
TRACING SHADOW (2009; Emperor) VCD
TURNING POINT (2009; CN Ent.) Nice lenticular thingy on this one, for what that's worth :lol:
PERMANENT RESIDENCE (2009; Panorama)
KUNG FU CYBORG (2009; Mei Ah). A quick scan suggests this will not be a great experience. :(
THE FOREIGN DUCK, THE NATIVE DUCK AND GOD IN A COIN LOCKER (2009; Japan; Kam & Ronson)
And some oldies:

FATE OF LEE KHAN (1973; Legendary Collection) VCD
IMMORTAL STORY (1986; Legendary Collection)
I AM SORRY (1989; Legendary Collection)
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:19 pm

I've bought worse films than Paycheck :). Definitely interested in your opinion of KUNG FU CYBORG (Then you can sell it to me :D). WRITTEN BY I really want to see.

Since I last posted here :D. I have already seen several of these since I purchased them including House of Haunted Hill, The Haunting, Last Chance Harvey, Lucky Encounter (so far the worst Johnnie To film I have seen), Monsters vs. Aliens/B.O.B.'s Big Break (this takes place in Modesto -- where I am right now :)), The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (had never seen before, my silent movie knowledge is growing), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (though it got lots of awards and nominations, I just did not click with this Woody Allen film), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control

Sophia Loren 4-Film Collection (Neapolitan Carousel / Attila / Madame Sans-Gene / Sunflower)
The Ox-Bow Incident
Silver Hawk (HK: 2004)
The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 2: 1937-1939
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires/The Seven Brothers meet Dracula (1979)
House of Haunted Hill (1959)
The Haunting (1963)
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Ultimate Edition) (1923)
Triangle (HK, 2007)
Wagon Master (1950)
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Last Chance Harvey (2008) Target Exclusive
The Three Stooges Vol. 1
HEROIC DUO(EKIN CHEN)
THE PERFECT EDUCATION 2(NAOTO TAKENAKA)
ANNA MAGDALENA(AARON KWOK,KELLY CHEN)
The Return of the Vampire (1944)
Talk to Her
The Bishop's Wife (1948)
The Conformist (1970)
Anastasia (1956)
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
I Want To Live (1958)
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1943)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Collector's Book Set) [Blu-ray] (1937)
Pete's Dragon (High Flying Edition)
Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control (2008)
House of Sand (Widescreen) (2005)
Fist of the Red Dragon (1993)
Monsters vs. Aliens/B.O.B.'s Big Break in Monster 3D: Ginormous Double Pack
Stoner (Hong Kong)
Lucky Encounter (Hong Kong)
My Amazon Reviews

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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:57 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Definitely interested in your opinion of KUNG FU CYBORG (Then you can sell it to me :D).


:lol:

That's a very real possibility, but in fairness, my trepidation with this one is largely based on the aforementioned quick zip through parts of the disc the other night and the awful trailers for the film (English AND Chinese). It looks decent enough, but that could be a credit to the cinematographer and not Jeff Lau for all I know at this point. ;)

Lucky Encounter (so far the worst Johnnie To film I have seen)


Agreed. I also found the film a bit distasteful for a supposed family feature. I suppose it predates To really finding his voice, but even among his films of the period, it's a misfire. Like you, I haven't seen everything To's done, so perhaps surprises still await me, but LUCKY ENCOUNTER officially sets the bar.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:26 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Definitely interested in your opinion of KUNG FU CYBORG (Then you can sell it to me :D).


:lol:

That's a very real possibility, but in fairness, my trepidation with this one is largely based on the aforementioned quick zip through parts of the disc the other night and the awful trailers for the film (English AND Chinese). It looks decent enough, but that could be a credit to the cinematographer and not Jeff Lau for all I know at this point. ;)

Lucky Encounter (so far the worst Johnnie To film I have seen)


Agreed. I also found the film a bit distasteful for a supposed family feature. I suppose it predates To really finding his voice, but even among his films of the period, it's a misfire. Like you, I haven't seen everything To's done, so perhaps surprises still await me, but LUCKY ENCOUNTER officially sets the bar.


Do you know how hard it is to watch everything from To? :D Including that a few like The Iron Butterfly (and its sequel) are impossible to find (were these TVB movies?). I would rather see The Fun, The Luck and The Tycoon again :D. EIGHTH HAPPINESS starts looking more like a classic (in a weird way I really liked this). Back to LE: I just cannot see the audience for that film. While I was somewhat annoyed with the ending of Running on Karma and its weird genre shift this film I just could not lend to any family with a clear conscience. The humor also did not work.

When did you watch this Brian? What motivated you to see this? :D For me it was because I've been going over To's work (we will ignore the fact I do like to randomly pick films from time to time).

If I was going to do a book that added to Stephen Teos good action discussion I would definitely work on the themes of his ghost movies. He certainly has a lot of them (as well as what reincarnation means to several of these) and many of those themes interrelate to his later films (as well as the ghost-themed ones he does with Wai Ka-Fai).
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:55 am

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:When did you watch this Brian? What motivated you to see this? :D For me it was because I've been going over To's work (we will ignore the fact I do like to randomly pick films from time to time).


Watched it last year some time. The motivation was that it was the next one on the pile I happened to look at. In other words, random! :lol: Because the "to watch" bins around my place are so full, and there's too many Chinese DVD/VCD retailers around here tempting me with their bargain bins and 2-for-1 deals, I've taken to just watching the first thing I lay my hands on, flip through my HK film books while watching it if necessary, jot down some little ditty to refine later on, then move on to the next one (unless it's something I figure will require a fair bit of research to round out the experience—those I sometimes leave for the right mood). :)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

EDIT: Just remembered a couple of pre-orders I booked.

UP (4-disc Blu-Ray)
MONSTERS INC.(4 disc Blu-Ray).

The combined total on these so far is $27.48. :shock: 8) There's an automatic $10 off if you buy both at Amazon, plus they're honoring a "snowhitethanks" code for people who bought the SNOW WHITE blu-ray (you just have to email them to get this added). That disc also had a $10 off coupon from Disney, plus their usual price-matching deal, which lowered the price of $9.99. This "snowhitethanks" deal seems to have originally been tied to the price-matching on that title (in which some people, I think, got a double $5 reduction or something like that), but has somehow come to be honored on the UP/MONSTERS combo. Since Amazon's in a fierce price war with Wal-Mart, Target and pretty much everyone else on just about everything right now, I suspect the price of these two Blus will eventually reach $19.99 each, which would bring them down to around $10 each with the various discounts.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:02 am

UP will be an instant buy. I've seen the rest of the Pixar movies.

Brian you should (if you do not) have a place where we can see what you have been watching (and encourage discussion :)).

Our LUCKY ENCOUNTER talk got me to watch LIFELINE last night.

Does anyone have any information on the Johnnie To IRON BUTTERFLY movies?
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:37 am

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Brian you should (if you do not) have a place where we can see what you have been watching (and encourage discussion :)).


I do. It's here:
(link removed because I'm shy)
I just don't publicize it much. :?

Although of late, though, the focus there has been more about what I've been finding—in old video magazines from the 80's that I found in storage (and wanted to dump). I'm more likely to post random, incomplete thoughts about movies I actually watch here in the forums or jump in with comments in threads like this one, though, since I can spout off without having to write something more polished and complete (which tends to be my nature, which in turn tends to be anal-retentively time-consuming :lol: ). I think I just amassed toooooooo many discs over the years that I wanted to own and/or see, and now that I'm having some success plowing through them and reducing their numbers I don't take much time to actually write about them, especially when so many of them have already been reviewed aplenty all over the web. (well, in theory I'm having success getting through stuff; my posts in this thread suggest I acquire as fast as I divest :lol:). I do keep track of all the Hong Kong movies I watch, however. Just a matter of posting those more often I guess.

I do wish, sometimes, that we had more individual discussion threads on specific Hong Kong and Asian movies and themes related to them and their culture. If you look through the old threads in the "Asian Movies" and "Hong Kong Movies" forums here, you'll find some very interesting topics, but for the most part, they ran their course quickly and now sit idle—probably because there were increasingly fewer of us participating. :(
Last edited by Brian Thibodeau on Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:13 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:UP will be an instant buy. I've seen the rest of the Pixar movies.



Through the magic of an abundance of Disney Blu promos, and just two emails to Amazon customer service, I've not got my UP/MONSTERS INC. Blu-Ray combo down to $14.48. Combined. 8) I'll probably get that lowered further when and if MONSTERS drops to $19.99 (which is likely) before street date.

Amazon also has a deal where you can by these two, with the original $10 discount (which can then be reduced by asking a CS rep for the "snowhitethanks" promo for another $10), and add a third Disney Blu-ray to get yet another $10 off. Which should get you into the same neighborhood price-wise.

I suspect this season will be very good to my pocketbook if deals like this keep coming along.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby cal42 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:52 am

Brian Thibodeau wrote:I do wish, sometimes, that we had more individual discussion threads on specific Hong Kong and Asian movies and themes related to them and their culture. If you look through the old threads in the "Asian Movies" and "Hong Kong Movies" forums here, you'll find some very interesting topics, but for the most part, they ran their course quickly and now sit idle—probably because there were increasingly fewer of us participating. :(


I'll pipe up here - mainly to let everyone know I'm still alive, although I've been significantly less active in the last two months!

I agree with this entirely, and I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone for not trying to provoke more discussion on HK films. It really is a pity we can't get more people involved in the forums, but I do enjoy reading what's here, even if I don't always comment.

And keep the Blog going, Brian - again, I don't always comment, but I do always enjoy getting the notification that you've updated!
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:09 pm

cal42 wrote:
Brian Thibodeau wrote:I do wish, sometimes, that we had more individual discussion threads on specific Hong Kong and Asian movies and themes related to them and their culture. If you look through the old threads in the "Asian Movies" and "Hong Kong Movies" forums here, you'll find some very interesting topics, but for the most part, they ran their course quickly and now sit idle—probably because there were increasingly fewer of us participating. :(


I'll pipe up here - mainly to let everyone know I'm still alive, although I've been significantly less active in the last two months!

I agree with this entirely, and I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone for not trying to provoke more discussion on HK films. It really is a pity we can't get more people involved in the forums, but I do enjoy reading what's here, even if I don't always comment.

And keep the Blog going, Brian - again, I don't always comment, but I do always enjoy getting the notification that you've updated!


I just added the blog's rss to my feeder (so I now too will get the updates). I had no idea of its existence. I will now try to comment like I do with cal's thread.

Part of the problem here is that mods do not always take relevant talk from one thread and move it to another (or create a new one; the place where I mod I tend to do that; movies, directors, specific genres are all good things to move). But then we still need more members conversing (and not one line superlative comments that you see pepper many of the kung fu sites). How do you create more traffic to come here? I do advertise this site as much as I can :).

Here you can see my Johnnie To thread I created in a director's sub forum: http://www.criterionforums.com/forums/i ... wtopic=657. I thought about bringing something like that over here.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:19 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Part of the problem here is that mods do not always take relevant talk from one thread and move it to another (or create a new one; the place where I mod I tend to do that; movies, directors, specific genres are all good things to move).


Mods? Do we even have those anymore? And if we do, do they bother to post here anymore? I say if you wanna start a new thread using a post in an old thread, go right ahead.

Otherwise, any newcomers that DO peruse the forums will think the active membership only bothers to chat in a few elite threads that have a "daunting" history built into them now.


But then we still need more members conversing (and not one line superlative comments that you see pepper many of the kung fu sites). How do you create more traffic to come here? I do advertise this site as much as I can :).


I don't think Bob likes to advertise, or even let others advertise on here, a la Google Adsense or Amazon Associates or what have you, the way virtually every other forum and database on the internet do to survive these days. I desperately wish he'd consider it, because the revenue would partly offset the pledge drive that ultimately seems to have gone nowhere (and wasn't even expanded to the Chinese side of the site, despite offline promises :( ). The pledge drive was an noble effort, but once the updates stopped, I stopped contributing (what little I could). If I give money to Jerry's Kids, I expect Jerry to tell me how much money he's made. :lol:


Here you can see my Johnnie To thread I created in a director's sub forum: http://www.criterionforums.com/forums/i ... wtopic=657. I thought about bringing something like that over here.


Feel free. I recently posted over at Asian DVD Guide—something I've rarely ever done due to the never-ending debates about subtitle punctuation and missing frames on 25-year-old films and the like—because the subject of To's latest, VENGEANCE, which I'd seen at TIFF, was brought up in a thread by a poster who had very interesting (and lengthy) things to say about it. Unfortunately, the thread was yet another "catch-all" about Asian films on Blu-Ray, so I'm sure the discussion will peter out quickly. Given it's own breathing room, it probably would have went further. Perhaps it could here.
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:45 pm

Downhill Racer (Criterion)
Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)
How Bruce Lee Changed The World (2009)
Sunset Boulevard (1950 The Centennial Collection)
Looney Tunes – Golden Collection
The Kentuckian (1955)
A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968)
Code 46 (2003)
That Championship Season (1983)
Stay Hungry (1976)
The Human Condition (Japan: Criterion)
Fires on the Plain (Japan: Criterion)
Ill Posto (Italy: Criterion)
I Vitelloni (Italy: Criterion)
The White Sheik (Italy: Criterion)
Army of Shadows (France: Criterion)
Le Trou (France: Criterion)
Up (2009) 4-Disc Blu-ray
The Far Horizons (1955)
The Shadow Boxer (1974: HK)
Holy Flame of the Martial World (1983: HK)
Brave Archer and his Mate (192: HK)
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Holiday (Christmas in Connecticut 1945 / A Christmas Carol 1938 / The Shop Around the Corner / It Happened on 5th Avenue)"
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
Spy Game (2001)
Custer of the West (1968)
Reel Talent: First Films by Legendary Directors
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Pygmalion (Criterion)
Bad Education (Original Uncut NC-17 Edition) (2004)
Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Black and White (1932)
Love Story (1970)
Police Assassins (HK: HKL R2)
The Damned (1970)
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Re: 2009: The Digital Chivvy

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:31 pm

I certainly can't compete with Shawn in the quality department, but I can hold my own on quantity this month!

The Black Friday sales have been very rewarding this year, and I haven't even set foot on American soil! :lol:

Thanks to the ongoing price war between Amazon and Wal-Mart (and pretty much every other brick & mortar retailer), the Blu-Ray bargains have been too good to pass up. I was figuring on picking some of them up used eventually (especially TRANSFORMERS 2, which I just barely liked but which makes an impressive demo disc), but not now! 8)

Order #1
TRANSFORMERS 2 (2 disc Blu) $12.99
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA SE (Blu) $12.99

Order #2:
WATCHMEN DIRECTOR'S CUT (Blu) $9.99
ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (Blu+DVD+DC) $10.00
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN SE (Blu) $8.99*

Debating whether to get MONSTERS & ALIENS when it becomes a $9.99 "Lightning Deal" in a few hours. I've got a couple of other under $10 blus in the cart that would qualify for free shipping, and I did enjoy the movie quite a bit . . .

*I'll admit NEVER SAY NEVER wasn't a high priority, and would have sufficed on the DVD I've had for years. I try to control exceptions like this, as best I can . . . :lol:

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Not a Black Friday order, but another great Amazon deal placed earlier in the month:
TERMINATOR SALVATION (Blu) $16.99 (saw this on the big screen this summer and was surprisingly impressed for a McG film)
PINOCCHIO (Blu+DVD) $9.99 8) (another bonus for buying UP and MONSTERS INC.)

And, a couple more Amazon bargain Blus from earlier this month:
UNDER SIEGE 2 (Blu) $9.99
OCEAN'S ELEVEN (Blu; remake) $9.99

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Next up, a few hole-pluggers from Deep Discount's ongoing "Phony 40% Off (MSRP) Sale", where nothing was a really hot bargain unless you judiciously used a series of "$5 off $25" codes and kept individual orders to around $25. Then the prices were as good as (usually better than) their usual 25% off sales. Plus, I went through Bing Cashback and got an additional 4% cash back on all orders. Nice. Got the following:

CLASSIC EDUCATIONAL SHORTS: HOW TO BE A MAN (DVD) $9.60
HARDBODIES DOUBLE FEATURE (DVD) $5.88
MIDNIGHT MOVIES DOUBLE FEATURE: MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD / IT! $4.81

CLASSIC EDUCATIONAL SHORTS: HOW TO BE A WOMAN (DVD) $9.60
CHOCOLATE (Blu) $12.19

LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOL. 6 - $21.37

(now here's a real fine pairing! :lol: )
ABBA THE MOVIE (Blu) $12.19
SKIN IN THE 70's GRINDHOUSE COLLECTION (2 DVD) $9.75

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But enough about American cinema. I also gave a little love to Hong Kong this month. Probably a little too much love, but such is the curse of having two legit retailers of HK DVDs and VCDs on the drive home from work, plus another three "hybrids" (with their little white envelopes but 2-for-1 on the real stuff) and the ongoing "going-out-of-business" sale at the Wa Yi in downtown Toronto, which just had to be located near the intersection of two major streetcar lines. How fair is that?! I swear, they hear me coming these days . . .

2-for-1 at Wa Yi downtown (approx. $3-$3.50 each)
SOUND FROM THE DARK (VCD)
LITTLE SISTER IN LAW (VCD) (Legendary Collection) Taiwan movie
LIVING AND LOVING (VCD) (Leg. Collection) Taiwan movie
LEAVING IN SORROW (VCD)

Also from the Wa Yi, where some Shaw Bros. discs surfaced that I hadn't seen on their shelves previously. The owner seems to be doing a sporadic sale on these now, at 5%0 off (so around $10 ea). Sometimes the sign's up, sometimes it's down :? : Sorry Cal, but you may have to plan another trip to Toronto. :lol:
BRAVE ARCHER AND HIS MATE (geez, how's that for coincidence!)
SHAOLIN INTRUDERS
NA CHA THE GREAT
RIVER OF FURY
THE FUGITIVE
THE FORBIDDEN PAST
TILL THE END OF TIME

There are not necessarily titles I've been hunting, but they'll add to the overall experience I'm sure. He says he's got more "in the back" but it would be a while before he could get them on the shelves. And of course, he wouldn't let me peek! :(


2 for 1 from the junk rack at Broadcast Book & Gift ($5 each):
NIGHT MOVE (aka UNPLUGGING NIGHTMARE)
HOT BLOOD (1977)

Plus the following Legendary Collection DVDs, 2-for-1 ($5 each) at
Warden Music & Movie:
THE HELLFIRE ANGEL
THE MAN CALLED TIGER
STONER (got the VCD awhile back, then remembered the DVD has the longer version)
THE HAPPENINGS
FORBIDDEN ARSENAL (aka IN THE LINE OF DUTY 6) Upgrade from VCD
SEA WOLVES (aka IN THE LINE OF DUTY 7) Upgrade from VCD

also:
EMBRACE YOUR SHADOW (2005)

Finally, some new releases. These were BOGO's at one of the hybrid shops. They haven't done this on new releases in a while, but must be feeling generous toward Christmas, so these were approx. $11-$13 each:
PERFECT MATCH
NIGHT & FOG
THE UNBELIEVABLE
ACCIDENT
PANDORA'S BOOTH
MURDERER
(nearly every review suggests this is a pretty weird experience, if not very satisfying. I suspect I'll wish I'd waited.) :lol:
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