Just some short takes today — first up is a link to the page of respected correspondent Kyu Hyun Kim, on his long-running blog Q Branch Mirror Site … which three days ago posted Kyu’s ‘best of 2021’ list of Blu-rays. I always appreciate Kyu’s take on discs, which exhibit an original viewpoint. And if you’re interested in Korean (and some Japanese) movies and TV, other articles on his page will be especially rewarding.
Kyu says he’d have had the list up sooner but back-in-person teaching has slowed him up this semester. There’s apparently a Korean language version of the same page . . .
No critical chest-thumping here: Mr. Kim just calls out My Favorite Twenty Blu Rays/4Ks of 2021 and proceeds with good plain talk about them. He remarked in private that he’s always surprised when my favorites and his favorites coincide. “Well of course we do,” said the self-important disc reviewer CineSavant …
Those unstoppable disc folk from Australia keep releasing new and exclusive titles to Blu-ray. Viavision [Imprint]’s output could be difficult to access back in 2020 with gotta-have movies like When Worlds Collide were just too pricey to import from Down Under. Now they’re readily available on Amazon.us, if you’re not too slow on the draw. And ignore occasional bad info — everything I’ve gotten from them so far has been Region-Free.
Coming in May to tempt fans and empty wallets is another stack of interesting titles, with more Blu-ray exclusives. The link page is to the Imprint Bundle Pack – May 2022. I’m eager to see the two-disc set of Walter Hill’s The Warriors in both its theatrical and director’s cuts. The same goes for Rod Lurie’s The Contender, with its attractive star lineup of Gary Oldman, Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Christian Slater.
I’m also a serious fan of Paul Greenglass’s Bloody Sunday, the docu-drama recreation of horrible events in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972. This month’s disc set knockout is [Imprint’s] 6-title After Dark: Neo Noir Cinema Collection One. It contains Lili Fini Zanuck’s Rush with Jason Patric, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sam Elliott, Carl Franklin’s One False Move with Bill Paxton, Cynda Williams and Billy Bob Thornton, Alan Rudolph’s Mortal Thoughts with Demi Moore, Glenne Headly, Bruce Willis and Harvey Keitel, Steve Kloves’ Flesh and Bone with Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, James Caan & Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Benton’s Twilight with Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, James Garner, Stockard Channing, and Reese Witherspoon …
… and finally one I’ve been wanting on a decent disc seemingly forever, James Foley’s After Dark My Sweet, from the novel by Jim Thompson, starring Jason Patric, Rachel Ward & Bruce Dern. The unheralded show has a terrific role for Bruce Dern, and is possibly the best of the Jim Thompson film adaptations.
Correspondent Jason Hones is asking after the arresting ‘Greenwich Village’ paintings attributed to Edward G. Robinson’s character ‘Chris Cross’ in Fritz Lang’s grimly pessimistic noir Scarlet Street. We know they were painted by artist John Decker, and because we believe everything we read in Wikipedia, we also believe they were ‘sent to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for exhibition in March 1946.’
The paintings work well in the context of Lang’s film. The gifted amateur Chris Cross might have painted them, and they do satisfy as street art that might take off in an upscale art gallery. But where did the actual originals end up, Jason asks. Anyone know? I myself would like to see them in color, especially the one with the giant snake hallucination under the 3rd Avenue El. It’s only 77 years later — did producer Walter Wanger keep the artwork?
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson