A new restoration of Toho’s Godzilla (a.k.a., Gojira), the 1954 monster classic “that has spawned six decades of sequels, imitations and remakes,” will debut on 4.12 at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, followed by a national release beginning at New York’s Film Forum (4.18 to 4.24). But of course, a 50th anniversary re-release happened ten years ago plus Criterion released a Bluray Gojira in 2012, so why is this happening again? This Rialto trailer uses a fireball effect at the very end that’s not from the ’54 original — it’s re-configured black-and-white CGI.
In her “Oscar Voting for Dummies” piece, Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone breaks it all down and makes it easy for those Academy members who “have never [and] will never see all of the movies.” Except she advises against voting for the Best Picture of the Year, which of course is Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street.
Stone does so by saying “don’t vote for Ralph Nader…you know what I mean by that…there are three films that have the best shot of winning right now — 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and American Hustle. If none of those three are your favorite, just pick some other movie for the #1 spot then rank these three in order of preference because sooner or later your ballot is likely going to count only for one of those three movies.”
And yet she says that “no film has captured America in 2014 like Scorsese’s masterpiece…it’s about the pinnacle of gluttony and greed, of a people raised to take what they want no matter who they hurt or what debris they leave behind.”
No matter — she’s advising Academy members to get smart and vote for American Hustle, Gravity or 12 Years A Slave because Scorsese’s “masterpiece” is a throw-away Ralph Nader choice.
“There’s a sublime tension and at the same time a kind of coming together” in Lindsay Anderson‘s This Sporting Life (’63), which will have a British (i.e., Region 2) Bluray release on 5.5.14. “A 1963 kitchen-sink drama about a somewhat loutish, emotionally needy rugby player (Richard Harris) blundering his way through an unexamined life, it has the usual elements — British working-class despair, rage, sex, banging into furniture. But there’s such balm and tranquility provided by Denys Coop‘s black-and-white cinematography that it all seems strangely beautiful. Monochrome as luscious as Technicolor, sometimes moody and murky or fog-lit, sometimes pierced by odd shafts of light or reflections of same. A rough-and-tumble world lit and captured with tonal perfection.” — originally written on 1.30.08 about the then-new Criterion DVD.
There’s a new Arrow Region 2 Bluray of Don Siegel’s The Killers (’64), a tolerable if bland-looking gangster flick that contains Ronald Reagan‘s final big-screen performance. It’s quite inferior to Robert Siodmak’s 1946 black-and-white version which costarred Burt Lancaster, Edmond O’Brien, Ava Gardner, Sam Levene, William Conrad and Charles McGraw. The latter should be Blurayed, not the ’64 version.
John Patterson‘s 2.14 Guardian piece about The Godfather, Part II, which is celebrating its 39th year and two month anniversary (the 40th anniversay of Francis Coppola’s classic will happen on 12.20.14) is nicely done, but predictable. But the sub-headline is hilarious: “Coppola’s classic belongs to an age when the Best Picture Oscar went to a deserving winner, or in this case, one of the finest US movies of the late 20th century.” As opposed to today when Best Picture Oscars go to questionable winners — Argo, The Artist, The King’s Speech and (quite possibly but who knows?) Gravity. These are but two noteworthy scenes in The Godfather, Part II…the film’s full of them.
“Once upon a time antitrust authorities…would probably have been trying to cut Comcast down to size. Letting it expand would have been unthinkable [as] Comcast perfectly fits the old notion of monopolists as robber barons, so-called by analogy with medieval warlords who perched in their castles overlooking the Rhine, extracting tolls from all who passed. The Time Warner deal would in effect let Comcast strengthen its fortifications, which has to be a bad idea.” — from Paul Krugman‘s 2.16 N.Y. Times column about Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner.
“For consumers, cable is not just television anymore, it is where the internet comes from. And should this deal go through, more people who want to cut the cable cord will still have to buy their broadband from a cable company where prices go only one way — up.” — from David Carr‘s 2.16 N.Y. Times column about same.
A Film Society of Lincoln Center screening of David Jones‘ long-absent Betrayal (’83) is happening tonight at the Walter Reade theatre. My flight to Los Angeles leaves around 4:30 pm otherwise I’d be there with bells on. I’ve been writing for years about the fact that this superb adaptation of Harold Pinter‘s celebrated stage play can’t be bought, borrowed or rented. I’ve written FSLC staffers for information. Here’s what I said:
Modest, self-effacing, “who, me?” parents in the audience, humbled. “Put a smile on your face…have fun,” etc. The idea is that Fallon’s new, Manhattan-based Tonight show will take most if not all of the under-45 viewers and that Late Night with David Letterman can have the rest. In that time slot. Possibly. Maybe. We’ll see. Good opening, in any event. Will Smith is over, but Seth Rogen, Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Rudy Giuliani, Lindsay Lohan, Stephen Colbert and…like that. Reactions?