CineSavant Column

Tuesday January 12, 2021



Trailers from Hell’s trailer + commentary offering for Monday is a real keeper — a fine presentation by TFH ‘guru’ Allan Arkush. He fully explains his 1976 film ¬†Blast!, ¬†which he cobbled together from an earlier unreleased blaxploitation picture to capitalize on the new stardom of Billy Dee Williams. But the amiable Arkush does much more — in the span of about 13 minutes we get an unique insider view of life working for Roger Corman — with visual aids — that’s better than film school. Arkush even tells us what Roger said to do when the sun is setting and you still have those two important close-ups to get of the leading characters!

It’s funny, entertaining and educational — and helps me understand why the tyro directors at New World loved the man that worked them to death … earning a salary that worked out to $2.50 an hour!



Sometimes it seems that CineSavant’s to in life is provide sales help for Blu-rays … I’m definitely interested in promoting hard-media home video yet I resist being a free advertising wing for any particular company. But all weekend long, friends have been writing me to say that right now there are big bargains online for discs, even 4K HD discs — like in one case, a $100 recent release now being sold for $19. So if you’re looking for bargains now might be the time. When I see a title being sold for next to nothing, it always seems to be a disc I already have… but your luck should be better. Note: the illustration above is a random selection, not discs for sale.



And The Warner Archive Collection just announced its February titles … a little bit of this, a little bit of that: three MGMs (Selznick’s A Tale of Two Cities, The disaster musical San Francisco and the Technicolor remake of Showboat); one Warners Technicolor musical (Doris Day in My Dream is Yours); one Warners/independent (Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll with Carroll Baker) and a New Line (Pump up the Volume with Christian Slater); plus Six by Sondheim, an HBO docu from 2013.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson