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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:06 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Eight-film Hammer Horror set coming in September to Blu-Ray: Brides of Dracula / Curse of the Werewolf / Phantom of the Opera / Paranoiac / Kiss of the Vampire / Nightmare / Night Creatures / Evil of Frankenstein


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:26 pm 
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Universal releasing classic catalog titles...??? Interesting :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:36 pm 
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They've been releasing some every other month...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:54 am 
Dot Com Dom
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Complete Frankenstein and Wolfman Blu-Ray boxes coming in September


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:45 pm 
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Even with a lot of films duplicated in each set (and from the 2013 Monsters set) the MSRP of $39.95 each is very reasonable, which means one should be able to get each set for $25/ea when on sale. And I can understand why they are going with all films relative to each specific monster in each set even if it brings duplicates - some people only like one series and want all the films related to that character, and with the crossover films you need to serve both individual fanbases fairly.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:06 pm 
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What I don't understand, with their willingness to have so much crossover between the two sets, is the lack of a 7 film Dracula set featuring Dracula, Spanish Dracula, Dracula's Daughter, Son of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula and Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

It would only offer 2 exclusives but so do the other two sets.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:28 pm 
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My understanding is that they are still in process of doing the restorations on the Dracula, Mummy and Invisible Man sequels.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:40 pm 
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I just wish they would release the Spanish Dracula with proper English subtitles rather than just SDH captions.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:47 am 
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The Spanish Dracula subtitling is SDH-only in the Universal Monsters set? Disappointing. That's one film in the set I haven't watched yet. I enjoyed the Phillip Glass soundtrack for the Lugosi Dracula a lot more than I thought I would. Unlike M for example where the silences are suspenseful, in Dracula I've found much of silence rather flat and stagey rather than suspenseful, so the Glass score filled in nicely.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:55 am 
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I have the UK edition of the Monsters Set, and it just has SDH captions for the Spanish version. I don't know about the US set (they're not the same discs, as the UK edition of Dracula is actually missing the Steve Haberman commentary from the US edition). However, I believe all previous DVD editions of the Spanish version have only included SDH captions as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:04 pm 
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10/4/16

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
It Came from Outer Space 3D (1953)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
Please put out This Island Earth loaded with extras. [-o<


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am
Feego wrote:
I have the UK edition of the Monsters Set, and it just has SDH captions for the Spanish version. I don't know about the US set (they're not the same discs, as the UK edition of Dracula is actually missing the Steve Haberman commentary from the US edition). However, I believe all previous DVD editions of the Spanish version have only included SDH captions as well.


The US BD and the original US DVD have proper subtitles.

The original UK DVD ommited the Spanish version alltogether!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Gregory Peck Centennial Collection is up on Amazon for a 10/11/16 release. No specific titles listed yet.

EDIT: Disappointingly, it's just a repackage of To Kill a Mockingbird and Cape Fear. Nothing to see here.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:17 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:41 am
Not sure why the previous post was removed, but here we go again.

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup) is coming to BLU-RAY on October 18th.

Nevermind. Just saw it was moved to other section.


Last edited by John Doe on Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:20 am 
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John Doe wrote:
Not sure why the previous post was removed, but here we go again.

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup) is coming to BLU-RAY on October 18th.

It was moved, appropriately, to the Marx Brothers thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:21 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:41 am
Roger Ryan wrote:
John Doe wrote:
Not sure why the previous post was removed, but here we go again.

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup) is coming to BLU-RAY on October 18th.

It was moved, appropriately, to the Marx Brothers thread.


Yeah, I just saw that and edited my post.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:26 pm 
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10/4/16

October Sky (1999)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:10 am 
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domino harvey wrote:
The Complete Airport Collection is coming in June

It had been decades since the last time I saw any of these films, and pan-and-scanned on television with commercials at that, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to pick up this set. Airport is the only one with any particularly substantial bonus features, though these take the form of two general "100 Years of Universal Studios" featurettes focused on "The 70s" and "The Lot" which barely mention Airport at all (I did learn that Judd Apatow loves The Jerk though!) but every film has its theatrical trailer included, which is at least something!

I'll add my thoughts on the films below:

Airport

The best film in the set, focused on the logistics of a running airport and juggling multiple crises simultaneously. Its all rather low key and 'grounded' too (literally in that it takes an hour into the film for a plane to take off), and while the quality dips a little in the mad bomber final section it still provides some interesting logistical moments, such as getting bullied into purchasing excessive life insurance because the ladies at the desk are having a competition with each other to see who can sell the most!

I particularly liked the engineers vs pilots antagonisms here, with George Kennedy getting a great practical role as the no nonsense guy who is able to fix everyone's problems, whilst giving the pilots and ground crew alike a much needed ticking off! While its no wonder that his vibrant character is the only slim thread of continuity between all four films, this perhaps shows the danger of taking a beloved character and furthering them (neutering them) into safe irrelevancy (whether consciously intended or not simply through not having anything in particular for the character to actually do), though that does make it interesting to see how his character gets twisted or sidelined in the later films.

Kennedy's Patroni is also the only character to be involved in a stable marriage too, even if he is called away from a night of passion to fix the airport's crises! I was much less interested in the romantic subplot stuff, but that was handled well enough here I thought, with Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin characters both involved in marriages at different points of collapsing, with Lancaster putting off his potential new love interest until the divorce is finally acknowledged while Martin screws around behind his wife's back and gets a stewardess pregnant. This is pretty obviously a film from a 'man's point of view' in the sense that its all about the problems the guys are facing, and how courageous the women find them for their approaches to solving their relationship troubles.

Dean Martin's character in particular gets away particularly easily from all the trouble, with his stewardess girlfriend pragmatically going through all the options of abortion (though that word never gets explicitly mentioned) or adoption. Martin is supportive of whatever action she decides on, and is waiting patiently for Bisset to stop prevaricating and choose. I quite liked the sensitive approach the film took in that scene of discussing the pregnancy and what to do about it, which seemed quite daring an approach for a studio film of 1970 to take. However the film kind of backtracks away from this in the later scenes as of course the real option the film seems to endorse is the couple keeping the baby for themselves, preferably in wedlock, and not aborting or adopting it. It also seems to feel it necessary to 'punish' Bisset's character a little for forgetting to take the pill and her unexpected pregnancy by making her the only seriously injured victim of the airplane bomber, something which both mutes her character into a passive semi-comatose state and forces Martin to make a choice to stay by her side at the end. Something which his wife at the end, watching from the gate sees and sadly acknowledges, fading away into the crowd, her marriage shown to be adulterous. Its an interesting turn of events and I don't exactly hate it (more than anything it still leaves Dean Martin's character as a gutless two-timer!), and it is quite sensitively done in the way that the final scene is more about the wife's reaction than Martin's, but it perhaps couldn't be called particularly feminist!

And this seems to contrast with the Burt Lancaster scenes, which seemed to be illustrating how a good man should deal with the collapse of his marriage, with patience in the face of his wife's unreasonable requests and acknowledgement of the damage the couple are doing to each other and their children by staying together. This is really a work versus family issue with the odds stacked heavily in favour of 'work' by the film - the wife was never really going to come out of a film focused on an airport at maximum crisis mode over one night of a blizzard as being anything but a selfish harridan. Even before she is portrayed as a rude, rich socialite type, angry that not everyone jumps to meet her every whim! There is some interesting filmmaking on show here, with a beautiful montage of scenes showing vignettes from the past of the collapsing marriage underneath the current argument going on. And of course the wife has to smugly announce that she has been committing adultery on Lancaster, rather than Lancaster have to admit that he's also had his attention taken by his glamorous work assistant! Again I think this is handled surprisingly well and sensitively (I love that the wife sees Lancaster go off to multiple telephone calls about the airport before she turns and walks away sadly) but this is still very much from the man's point of view and also has some strange class issues running through it of Lancaster being happy with his busy position and wanting to stay in his role, whilst the wife wants him to take a job working for her father that is much less pressured and three times the salary. Lancaster continually turns all that down (one of the scenes in the silent montage mentioned above is of Lancaster and the father-in-law at a social club also turning the proposition down directly in the past!), and eventually finds the 'right' woman in Jean Seberg's character, who is also of the right social status (maybe a notch or two lower) to befit Lancaster's position!

Then we have the mad bomber character, in the form of a (jobless) working class man going off on a mad 'suicide for the life insurance' scheme whilst his hard working yet unable to keep their heads above water by herself wife gives him the last of her money and then makes a fruitless chase to prevent him from carrying out his plan. In a way despite the man in this relationship being at his wit's end (with a 'stay at the Mental Hospital whilst in the Army' pat explanation for his behaviour, and a temper, because it obviously couldn't be society's fault!), it is another example of the man's point of view being given primacy - if the wife had not chased after him, perhaps the life insurance would have saved her and the children, but now they get nothing and the man still has to (is almost forced to) blow himself up for nothing. Though the wife does get an amazing scene of tearfully running through the crowd of passengers disembarking the plane, trying to apologise to everyone for her husband's actions, before breaking down in the arms of Seberg at the end of the shot.

So relationships in this film are rather horrible things, coercive and based on power struggles, and out and out lies! My favourite moment of this is the one between the 'intellectual' son and his parents on the plane. We know that the son is 'intellectual' because he wears black framed glasses and constantly talks facts and figures about the plane's trajectory to his befuddled parents. He also almost rumbles the plane turning around when the bomber is discovered by noting the change in position of the stars, and is only prevented from revealing the change in direction by Dean Martin speaking some kind of pig Latin/technically coded riddle at him to warn him to keep his mouth shut! So he placates his, again bemused and slightly suspicious, parents! Then later in the film post-bomb everyone has to hand their glasses over to be kept out of harm's way and that immediately seems to have neutralised the power of the 'intellectual' character, as the boy is turned into a quivering wreck, whilst his parents get the opportunity to tell him to shut up! So there you go, steal someone's glasses and you steal any 'power' that they might be lording over you!

Still a fascinating film though, and I loved all the shots inside the terminal with hundreds of extras milling about and an approach to space that feels second only to Tati's Play Time! The film handles all the multiple subplots weaving in and out of each other very well too, and shifts the focus between each one really well. I particularly like the bit as the plane is being boarded when the bomber gets the ticket then walks past Seberg and the customs officer from another department, who gets suspicious about the case the bomber is holding, mentioning that if the guy was coming into the country rather than going out of it he'd be interested in searching the bag to Seberg as they leave, which then segues into the little old lady (with an amusing change in the score from tense to light hearted!) who has been hiding in the telephone booth waiting for Seberg to leave going up to the counter to scam her way onto the flight!

Its a tough juggling act to manage all the moving parts of an ensemble piece on this scale, and I think this film does it extremely well even without the use of the stylistic tricks such as split screens and flashbacks, though those too are used sparingly but always in just the right way to get the necessary information across.

There is also an interesting faux drama of the planes taking off and landing at a runway causing noise pollution for the surrounding houses (with a very amusing cutaway gag to a family saying grace as a plane screams overhead, leading to the father signing off with a terrified "JESUS CHRIST!" as the room shakes!), which allows Lancaster the chance for a grandstanding speech about the importance of zoning and buying out properties to build airports properly in the first place, rather than doing things piecemeal and then constantly dealing with the problems that arise from that. That subplot kind of fizzles out, with a chap coming in to close the airport for the night after protests just being provided with news of the bomb and then slinking out of the picture with his tail in between his legs. You know, the thing that might have provided this subplot with a bit more traction would have been to have the bomber come from one of the houses continually being overflown, with that noise being another thing that would have added to his disturbed mental state. But that would perhaps have meant suggesting that the noise pollution issue was an important and legitimate one rather than being able to dismiss it so casually, as happens in the film itself. That's the one area where tying things together neatly was missed out on, I think.

I also remembered my favourite shot of the film: Jacqueline Bisset gets sent out to scour the passengers for the little old lady stowaway and we get a fantastic 'stewardess point of view' shot moving down the aisle with various passengers addressing the camera directly about all their various needs! Just add a red filter, some targeting reticules and computer text and you could have Terminator-vision!

This is definitely the highlight and perhaps the 'classiest' film on the set. If anyone is interested in a film in the same vein, or even lower key given that there are no mad bombers in it, I'd probably guide away from the other Airport films and towards that great 1955 Ealing film directed by Basil Dearden Out of the Clouds, about passengers stuck in a foggy London Airport terminal! (I also wonder whether all of this structure of romantic complications inside a public building has its roots back in stuff like Grand Hotel. It would certainly make more sense out of the Gloria Swanson cameo in the next entry!)

Airport 1975

"What's that?" "Don't worry, its just an alarm"

Wow, this film is really 70s. Lots of eye searing colours and dodgy politics here! The first Airport still felt very much the tail end of the 1960s in style and muted colour scheme, but the opening of this really barrages the viewer with gaudy colours and flares. This (along with Zero Hour!) is probably what Airplane! was taking most of its cues from for its parody, and its slightly bizarre to see all of the Hare Krishnas wandering through the terminal or the guitar strumming nun playing for a sick child being played entirely straight! We also get a group of comics thrown in there (Jerry Stiller included, who sleeps through the entire flight, only being woken up for the final panicked disembarking!), and Sid Caesar too, which only works to up the schtick quotient even further!

The gender stuff here doesn't get much better than the first, and in a way is worse, as we get the pilots making appreciative comments about mini-skirted passengers in the terminal, or standing behind the stewardesses on an escalator and making advances on them. Both scenes involve the women enjoying the brief, wolf whistle-style lustful attention they're getting as they pass by! And while Karen Black's character should be celebrated for getting involved in the action, she's pretty regularly undermined by the film from Sid Caesar's one memorable line "The stewardess is flying the plane!?!?" to the flight controllers not wanting to overburden Black with too many instructions (which gets somewhat dealt with later on in the film as Black manages to fly over some mountains entirely on her own by using the snippets of knowledge that she has been provided with), to the most egregious example of Black moving some hanging wreckage only to drop it directly onto the radio panel, cutting the communications off for a while!

And lets not forget the expendable Latino flight engineer who basically is around to say "Ay, chica!" to one of the other stewardesses, who will then weep over his body and the loss of their deep and meaningful relationship later on.

Of course the ill child travelling for a desperately urgent kidney transplant is the craziest element here, and it was amusing to see the girl played by a post-Exorcist Linda Blair, clutching her favourite acoustic guitar like another child would do with a stuffed toy! Perhaps that is the reason for the intervention of the nun! Perhaps more than anything else this is about Linda Blair trying to atone for 'her' behaviour in The Exorcist and show that she is actually a loveable little girl at heart to the audiences who could not see her as anything other than a foul-mouthed Devil child! Maybe the cloyingly sentimental song by the nun to the rapturous attention of everyone on the plane is this film's form of an exorcism! Or at least a benediction for both the character and perhaps the actress herself!

But its still very silly! Its a weirdly religious film in that sense, in that although its not doing much preaching we have nuns and Hare Krishna's and Jewish stewardesses and kvetching comedians all crammed together in one small space! Not to mention everyone ending up in the centre of Mormonism!

There was also a lot of stuff that went over my head, such as everything to do with Myrna Loy's character ordering whiskey with a beer chaser, which keeps getting incredulously reported on as having ordered a Boilermaker by the other characters. Was that such a bad thing? Or an incredibly alcoholic-style thing to do? Or is it just meant to be bizarre and amusing that a little old lady is ordering such a thing? I couldn't exactly tell!

I'm also still not entirely sure whether Gloria Swanson actually knew she was in a film or not! Its one of those weird things where she is actually in the film playing herself (cue adoring crowds and a completely unnecessary piece of dialogue about how wonderful she looks for her age!), and then she just sits bundled up in a seat telling stories about the Golden Age of Hollywood for her memoirs! Its almost as if the filmmakers couldn't direct her, so just got her to come in and provide a few anecdotes, and then just cut it into the film! (She is credited as "And Gloria Swanson" here domino, in case you want more examples of that trend!)

The biggest laugh of the whole film though comes with the announcement that the airplane is going to have to make an unscheduled stop at Salt Lake City, something which causes appalled cries of disgust and dismay from the passengers! (And the needling of Myrna Loy that it is a 'dry state'!). I think that the passengers have more of an intense reaction of facing approaching inevitable and unavoidable horror to that announcement than they do to the light aircraft hitting the cockpit a scene or two later!

One interesting aspect of this film is that it is much more plane based than in the terminal this time. That's a subtle but important difference in that it shows where the filmmaker's intentions are lying (and suggests really that the title of Airport was only apt for the first film, and that "Airplane!" would have been better even before the parody got there first!). Here even many of the scenes with Charlton Heston and George Kennedy working out plans and putting them into action take place in other planes circling the stricken airliner, and while there are a few scenes on the ground the real emotional dramas are taking place amongst the passengers. Already in this second film its difficult to keep George Kennedy's Patroni character meaningful in the context of the film itself, though here it anticipates the Die Hard 2 trick of having Patroni's wife and son on the plane too. I think it is telling that we again get the wife of the guy who was flying the light aircraft and caused all the trouble by crashing it and killing himself, but here she is less used as a character in her own right than as a pawn that the slimy news guy has dragged over to the airport to 'confront' the airline with their aircraft having gotten in the way of a legitimate private airplane user! Once those obviously overblown claims have been (literally!) thrown out, the wife of the dead pilot is dismissed from the film too. (Weirdly that subplot seems to anticipate the fear of the news media in Die Hard 2 as well!)

That emphasis on the plane over the terminal does mean that there are some really impressive and beautiful establishing fly by shots of the aircraft in flight and zooming between mountains. Though there are just as many terrible back projection ones once we get inside the cabin or the cockpit too! This is the kind of film where just the logistics of putting coherent scenes together, and trying to tie together action going on inside and out of the plane, must have been a bit of a nightmare!

Its entertaining though if you are in the mood for something so self-serious its rather silly! There's also a weird moment at the end when the otherwise relatively calm and collect passengers suddenly start screaming and running about with arms flailing the moment that they are safe and on the ground. Surely the moment for blind terror was long past by that point! Or maybe everyone had just been cooped up on the plane for so long they were just desperate to dash around the runway for a while to stretch their legs?

Airport '77

Speaking of silly, this has an absolutely mind-bogglingly convoluted set up. An art philanthropist (James Stewart) is opening his mansion to the public and is ferrying a bunch of VIPs and priceless art pieces down for the grand opening on his luxury airplane. The plane gets hijacked by the catering crew en route by gassing everyone else unconscious. But unfortunately their plans to fly the plane under the radar to a secluded island get scuppered by the low flying plane hitting a passing oil rig and spiralling into the ocean inside the Bermuda Triangle, where it sinks just a few feet below the surface but has compartments still pressurised enough to not flood the plane immediately!

I think this is both profoundly dumber but also much more entertaining than Airport 1975! Perhaps it all comes down to which special guest star cast you prefer. Here we have James Stewart (though he's out of the action, watching everything go down with the plane), Jack Lemmon as the pilot, Joseph Cotten and Olivia de Havilland re-starting a love affair after many years apart, Darren McGavin as dependable support, and Christopher Lee being nagged into suicide by bitchy Lee Grant!

Its also nice to see M. Emmet Walsh in a film that involves a crime scheme that doesn't have him playing a bad guy! Instead here he's a vet for the owner's stable of horses pressed into service as a doctor, ironically for a patient wth a broken leg! (I guess he could not just shoot the guy in this situation!)

The cute child in danger here is perhaps less immediately imperilled than Linda Blair was in the previous film, but is a younger girl who won a class competition to draw the new building about to be opened, so she's hitting all of the cute notes from the very start. And don't worry, she gets life-threatening internal injuries in the crash to really become imperilled later on!

I also kind of love the scene of another girl exchanging flirtatious, yet pointless, glances with the obviously blind piano player! (We know he's blind due to the dark glasses!)

This film also feels squarely in the Irwin Allen disaster movie tradition, hitting all of the beats that Airport 1975 weirdly missed out on during its own crisis. The big crash scene here is very much in the vein of The Towering Inferno or The Poseidon Adventure, with people getting thrown about the cabin, ironically crushed by their own pianos, or crates of goods they were trying to steal, lamped by flying lamps, etc. It is those impactful, visceral moments that sells a lot of the violence of the absurd situation. Plus a lot of the focus on the various flooding areas is nice too. You need details like that to really sell a disaster film.

It is also interesting in that this film has moved up in the world a bit. Perhaps there was a fear that audiences would be bored seeing another cockpit and cabin set up, so now we have a multiple levelled luxury plane with conference rooms, a library, bedrooms (though strangely for a series so focused on relationship stuff we never see the bedroom getting used!) and a big lounge area with bar and video games! Its sort of like a luxury cruise liner or posh tower block party in that sense too! More detached from any notions of reality but with its own class tensions and enjoyable bickering!

George Kennedy's Patroni character is almost completely irrelevant to this one, especially when Jack Lemmon as the pilot and the US Navy are doing all of the important stuff. He's really just in a brief cameo scene to suggest some tiny linkage back to the previous films, with the suggestion that he is now some sort of subcontractor for James Stewart's mogul figure. But its all so vague its difficult to know for sure.

Poor Lee Grant though! She really has to embody all of the previous bitchy, unlikeable female characters from the previous films and roll them into one enormous horrible, insecure harridan! Demeaning her husband and embarrassing him, treating everyone else like dirt, trying to opening the hatch to the outside and flood the plane, and so on (a bit like Ava Gardner's character in Earthquake!). Its such a horrible character that it actually becomes kind of brilliant when she seems to have that meta-moment of realisation that she is embodying all of the traits of the 'bad guy' figure in a disaster film and therefore her days are numbered! And she will not likely have her loss be mourned by any of the other characters, as that's the role that the black maid figure has covered already! Her death in the final flood, screaming for her (long dead) husband is quite a brutal one. Again, I think it bears comparison to the Ava Gardner and Charlton Heston relationship in Earthquake, only instead of Heston dying with his wife, Christopher Lee left her a long time before, preferring death to being cuckolded. Or at least I presume he prefers death, as he pointedly doesn't do anything heroic in his brief time away from his wife!

After the ludicrously pointless arm flailing final panic scene in Airport 1975, it is nice to see a final panic scene that is actually fully justified in this film, with everyone desperately trying to get into the rescue boats before the plane sinks again! And there's a nice furthering of the action in the scene with Jack Lemmon and Brenda Vaccaro getting trapped in the sinking plane and having to work their way up Titanic-anticipating style to the cockpit to escape through a hatch at the top of the aircraft. Though it is slightly strange that Vaccaro's character tells Lemmon, twice, that she loves him after everyone has escaped, only for him not to reply at all! That's a relationship which is going to work out!

It is also nice to know that "while the situation is fictional, the US Navy equipment used in this film is not". So feel safe that when a passenger plane ditches in the ocean, you know that they have the equipment to fish it out again, if only for a couple of minutes!

The Concorde...Airport '79

This is...pretty bad all around. A frankly bizarre cast tackles a plot involving an investigative reporter who is told by a whistle blower that *shock, horror* a weapons manufacturer with a new advanced missile tracking system (that hits its target 'almost 100% of the time') is illegally supplying weapons to bad guys (and not to the good guys to kill the bad guys with!). The whistleblower gets assassinated in front of her and then she decides not to immediately put things on hold to pursue the story but to go on an international trip, but not before questioning her boyfriend (Robert Wagner) who just so happens to be the boss of the arms company in question! Cue lots of "But we're so much in love. You cannot be a bad guy. Can you? Surely your international arms company is entirely above board and legitimate?" questions that are frankly absurd coming from a supposed investigative journalist, and lots of Wagner looking back and forth shifty eyed before taking mysterious telephone calls in the back of his limo.

Of course Wagner turns out to be a bad guy and makes the necessary arrangements to have one of his experimental missiles 'accidentally' go off course and bring down the Concorde that Maggie is traveling to Paris in. Of course he reckoned without the presence of the pilots in the form of Alain Delon and George Kennedy! Yes, George Kennedy's Patroni is apparently a fully accredited pilot now (and has been for the past thirty years in his dialogue?!?!?), his wife has been dead for a year after a car crash and he's ready and raring to jump fully into the randy pilot lifestyle! (See what I mean about the notion of the 'capable engineer versus randy pilot' thing getting watered down over the films?) But they've got to make it to Paris first!

The plane is also carrying a delegation of Soviet athletes from a joint US and Russian conference to celebrate a hopeful 'concord' at the upcoming 1980 Moscow Olympics (uh oh! Maybe this is why feature films don't acknowledge the Olympics so much now, having been burnt by tying in so closely to the 1980 one). The 'child in peril' here is a deaf little girl of one of the Soviet athletes, so we get a few drawn out conversations that involve her visiting the cockpit and getting inane dialogue translated into sign language, then back and then a lame pun repeated out loud for everyone to laugh at!

We also get a Soviet athlete *shock* in an illicit relationship with an American one, wondering which country to defect to, all under the watch of a taciturn female coach, played by Mercedes McCambridge! (So after Linda Blair in Airport 1975, we get the voice of the devil from The Exorcist in Airport '79!)

Then for the musical comic relief we get a black guy who, like Linda Blair and her guitar, refuses to let go of his saxophone at any time, even when he goes to the bathroom to smoke a joint! Which gets him in conflict with the lady with a UTI who has to continually keep dashing to the bathroom, in a series of scenes which feel really demeaning to the actress even before she is trapped in there during a crash landing and emerges soaking wet and mussed up to state that "I broke your bathroom"!

So the missile goes off course to attack the Concorde and the only way to escape it is to do loop the loops to confuse it for a while (which all involves cutting to a single shot of the cabin showing the screaming passengers as the cabin turns around in a circle). Then a frustrated Wagner calls out fighter planes to down the aircraft, firing homing missiles at it. Which Kennedy deflects by opening a window (at 20,000 feet) leaning a hand out of the window (whilst travelling at the speed of sound) and firing a flare gun to deflect them.

A few more dodges and weaves and they make a crash landing in Paris, but no the film isn't over because the (stupid, stupid) investigative journalist then decides to visit Wagner again and break things off with him, but not before telling him that she'll be travelling to Moscow with the Concorde, and only from there will break the news about Wagner's company's illegal activities.

I know its stupid to ask any questions about this (the Spanish 'Cuchi Cuchi' star Charro turns up on the next leg of the journey only to have a Chihuahua found in her muff and get thrown off the plane before it even takes off. Its almost as if she was too smart to stick around!) but where were the authorities during this? Won't Wagner have some questions to answer about his misguided missile, let alone scrambling jets to fire at commercial aircraft? Didn't anyone notice? And more to the point why not just kill Maggie there in Paris rather than cooking up the next crazy plan involving opening a cargo door to depressurise the plane in flight? It can't just be because Wagner is trying to still be 'subtle' at this point and only Maggie deciding to walk home rather than accept a lift was the only reason she survived? At this point, shooting her in the middle of the fancy restaurant and then systematically executing every one of the restaurant guests and staff before exploding the building would be subtler than anything he has previously done!

But no, they decide to do something involving bringing the plane down again, causing it to crash land on a ski resort, everyone still to survive (leading to Wagner shooting himself, almost in embarrassment at being unable to kill such an easy target multiple times!) and everyone to relax, safe in the knowledge that the ghost of the dead Concorde still haunts the skies forever more, travelling from place to place and righting whatever wrongs it finds there!

God, this was a stupid film! Did I mention that at their layover that George Kennedy gets introduced to (Bergman actress) Bibi Andersson by Alain Delon, Kennedy and Andersson spend a passionate night together, making love in front of a roaring fire. Only for Delon to reveal Andersson was a hired prostitute to divert Kennedy's attention away from his dead wife for a night! And Kennedy loves it, excited at the opportunity to meet more prostitutes as a hotshot international pilot!

But at least Alain Delon tells Sylvia Kristel multiple times that he "Je t'aime"'s her, probably the first guy in any of these films to actually say that to his love interest! How very European!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:43 am 
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Location: Greenwich Village
Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection review from bluray.com


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:41 pm 
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2/7/17 - as a Walmart Exclusives

Brewster's Millions (1985)
The Hindenburg (1975)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:29 pm 
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I've seen Brewster's Millions, sadly the second Richard Pryor I ever saw, after Superman III (it would be a decade before I got wise as to why Pryor was arguably the greatest stand-up comic ever, thanks to his first, brilliant concert film). Anyway, my favorite bit involved the famous inverted Jenny stamp, and that was quite a treat since I was a stamp collector at the time.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:37 pm 
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Ha, you're all welcome, I just bought Brewster's Millions a couple months ago. It was like four bucks, so I'm not exactly bleeding


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:41 pm 
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3/7/17 - Walmart Exclusives

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - 50th Anniversary Edition
Major Payne (1995)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:22 pm 
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captveg wrote:
3/7/17 - Walmart Exclusives

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - 50th Anniversary Edition
Major Payne (1995)
Any chance that Fahrenheit 451 has been restored at all?


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