Monday, October 15, 2007

Headed to San Francisco

Taking another short hiatus, for about a week or so. This time, it's to travel out to the Bay Area to attend the wake for my uncle. Since time isn't a huge factor, I'm busing it there and back - I had hoped to drive out, but that fell through quickly -- and though I'm not afraid of flying, I like een less the idea of spending $500 just to go there and head right back...

It's been about 10 years since I last visited SF (back in the summer of '98), and I'd like to take some time to enjoy myself - visit old hangouts, if they still exist; see some friends, though most of the people I knew are no longer in the City, which is one of many reasons why I haven't been back as often as I would have liked to have been.

Since TOGI has wrapped, and I've gotten back into the house routine, most of what I've been doing is going through the backlog of DVD's I've accumulated:

FLASH GORDON - I have this on laserdisc and the previous DVD release (which was going for crazy amount of money on eBay), so when they announced the new R1 release, I was interested, but it wasn't something that I needed - unless there were bonus features, of course. With that in mind, I ordered the R2 "Silver Anniversary Edition" - again, another good reason to hack your player to 'all region'.

Although the R1 release has a good transfer, the extras are pretty 'meh' - the interview with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. sounds interesting, and though I like Alex Ross' work, I don't think it's worth $20 to hear him go on about FLASH being his favorite film. It is a pretty nifty cover that he did, though; and at least the movie gets exposure to old fans and new audiences.

The R2 has Chapter 1 of one of the original Buster Crabbe serials (about the only feature that was ported over), and TWO commentaries - one by Brian Blessed (Vultan), which turned out to be better than I thought, and a commentary by director Mike Hodges, as well as a 30 minute interview with Hodges that goes into his whole career. That alone made it worth the cost for me - the only other Hodges movie with commentary is GET CARTER (the good version with Michael Caine) - every other movie of his (The Croupier, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, Black Rainbow, Pulp) has been a bare bones release.


I've long been curious to see Robert Altman's QUINTET - although it has the reputation of being the worst film of Altman's output, the little I've read about it made it very enticing.
It's NOT Altman's worst film, by any measure, although I have my suspicions that its origins probably involved lots of bong hits while watching Bergman films.

It plays a lot better now, I suspect, than it did on it's original release... if you've had a chance to watch lots of foreign films, you can appreciate the film's assets (mainly the production design and atmosphere), as well as its flaws (lots of obtuse philosophizing and director pretentiousness) - it's worth a look for the adventurous.

I also got a jump on Halloween viewing - far too undisciplined to do anything as organized as a "31 Days of Halloween" or anything like that... plus, I've developed into a horror snob - much of the torture porn/slasher flicks don't really cut it for me.

As viewed:

THE EMPTY ACRE
HORROR EXPRESS
CHOSEN SURVIVORS/THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING
THE OBLONG BOX (lame!)/SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN
WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?
THE OTHER
CAT'S EYE
THE MANITOU

So, look any of those up, if you haven't seen them already, and am tired of SAW 4: $AW THAT.

Back in a week.

1 comment:

Jon Knoll said...

Robert, Have a good trip and don't forget my pic if you get the chance! - Jon