Movie Roundup: Still Not Here Edition

I’d hoped to be back in the blog game this week, but I got a nasty head cold for Christmas instead. So I’m focusing on the mammoth Ford At Fox boxset (My new #1 DVD of the year), basketball and the wife’s homemade chicken soup instead. I have managed to watch a few movies over the last few weeks, and here’s the contentless updates to The Big List:

Late Autumn: 6, 1960
The Darjeeling Limited: 2007
Red Dust: 7, 1932
Kameradschaft: 4, 1931
Ace In The Hole: 5, 1951
Hot Rod: 2007
Juno: 2007
Once: 9, 2006
Drums Along The Mohawk: 11, 1939
The Prisoner Of Shark Island: 8, 1936

If all goes well, I’ll be back next week with the 2007 Movies Of The Year (need to see There Will Be Blood still) and a contribution to the series on the Coen Brothers over at Vinyl Is Heavy.

DVDs Of The Year

Here’s my top 5 for the year thus far, only including DVDs I own:

1. Eclipse Series: Late Ozu and Early Samuel Fuller. Fine transfers of some great, previously unavailable films at a reasonable price. Early Spring, Tokyo Twilight and The Steel Helmet are as good as any new movie I’ve seen this year.

2. Dragon Dynasty: The Weinstein Company finally does something good for Asian Cinema, putting out outstanding versions of Hong Kong classics at pretty cheap prices: The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, Five Fingers Of Death, One-Armed Swordsman, Police Story 1 & 2, Last Hurrah For Chivalry, The Protector and Hard-Boiled. The RZA’s commentary on 36th Chamber isn’t the most awesome thing in the history of the world, but it’s pretty good. The Police Story discs are plagued by Brett Ratner commentaries, but they aren’t as bad as you’d think.

3. Criterion: The best DVD company in the world continues to put out great products. This year, I’ve got: Yojimbo/Sanjuro, The Third Man, La Jetee/Sans Soleil, Stranger Than Paradise/Night On Earth, Days Of Heaven, and Breathless. Days Of Heaven’s probably the best of them, the Jarmusches next. Two-Lane Blacktop doesn’t arrive until next week.

4. Masters Of Cinema: Britain’s counterpart to Criterion puts out editions that are even more deluxe, though they’re more obscure and, unfortunately, there aren’t as many of them. This year, I’ve got a pair of FW Murnau classics, Nosferatu and Tabu. They’ve also started releasing Kenji Mizoguchi DVDs, with their version of Sansho The Bailiff (paired with the previously unavailable Sisters Of Gion) tempting me to double dip.

5. The Stanley Kubrick Collection: Long-rumored and finally released. I’d been waiting over two years to buy any Kubrick DVDs in anticipation of this. With 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut (uncensored!) the only complaint is that it isn’t big enough to include Barry Lyndon, Paths Of Glory, The Killing, Killer’s Kiss and Spartacus.

Honorable Mention: Rio Bravo and Funny Face, the best regularly priced DVDs of the year, great films, great transfers.

Three things I think would be great, but I don’t have them yet: Jean-Luc Godard’s 4-disc Histoire(s) du cinéma, which I have every reason to believe is one of the most important and best things he ever did. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, whose cost is prohibitive for a 15 hour, 7-disc TV series I’ve never seen. Finally, the mammoth 21 disc Ford At Fox boxset, perhaps the best DVD box ever.

Movie Roundup: I’m Not Here Edition

As you can tell, I have had no time for The End lately, what with holidays and family and Metro Classics sucking up all my spare moments/brain space over the last couple months. My movie watching is way down as well, as I’m trying to reconnect with the NBA after several years away. Still, I’ve got quite a few new additions to The Big List, and I figured I’d just list them all here, sans capsules. If you’d like to know details of what I thought about any of these films, or why I ranked them where I did, feel free to ask in the comment section.

The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers: 12, 1946
Executive Suite: 13, 1954
Grizzly Man: 5, 2005
The Steel Helmet: 2, 1951
The Tall T: 9, 1957
Blood On The Moon: 19, 1948
Vivacious Lady: 7, 1938
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: 11, 1941
The Charge Of The Light Brigade: 8, 1936
The Affairs Of Dobie Gillis: 11, 1953
Pat And Mike: 18, 1952
Macao: 12, 1952
The Ox-Bow Incident: 4, 1943
His Last Game: 1909
The Ball Player And The Bandit: 1912
The Bigamist: 20, 1953
À nous la liberté: 3, 1931
To Be Or Not To Be: 5, 1942
Lust, Caution: 2007
Blond Cheat: 9,1938
Maid’s Night Out: 10, 1938
Passport To Suez: 14, 1943
Brigadoon: 10, 1954
Lust For Life: 15, 1956
Michael Clayton: 2007
Words And Music: 17, 1948
Mean Girls: 18, 2004
Lars And The Real Girl: 2007
No Country For Old Men: 2007
I’m Not There: 2007
The Newton Boys: 22, 1998
The Mask Of Dimitrios: 13, 1944
The Last Laugh: 2, 1924
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 7, 1935
Beowulf: 2007
Waitress: 2007
Rescue Dawn: 4, 2006