Category Archives: DVDs
In honor of Warner Bros. Pictures’s 90th Anniversary on April 4, 1923, the studio is releasing a handful of their films on Blu-ray for the first time. You can get a good look at some of their amazing 100-film and 50-film collections here. I was lucky enough to get copies of three of their most lauded films on Blu-ray for review, Best Picture winners: Grand Hotel, Mrs. Miniver and Driving Miss Daisy. I am happy to report these films look amazing in their new Blu-ray transfers. Unfortunately, I can’t screencap Blus on my Macbook, so you’ll have to take my word for it. If you’d like to see for yourself, you can enter a giveaway for all three films by leaving a comment below. The only stipulation is you must be a U.S. resident (sorry international readers, Warner Bros. makes these rules, not me!) So just leave a comment and I will pick one winner at random on Monday!
 Congratulations to Candice, whose comment was chosen via a random number generator!
All three of these films are coming to DVD for the first time. I haven’t seen them, but I do so love Carole Lombard. It’s great to see more of her filmography becoming available. I’ve included the press release below.
Carole Lombard, who delighted audiences in some of the greatest screwball comedies ever made, spent the early part of her all-too-brief career playing dramatic roles and romantic ingénues. In January, fans of the beloved actress will have the chance to enjoy three of those rarely seen performances when TCM home entertainment release the Carole Lombard in the ’30s DVD set.
Carole Lombard in the ’30s will be available exclusively through TCM’s online store as part of the TCM Vault Collection, beginning Monday, Jan. 21. The set includes fully restored and re-mastered editions of No More Orchids (1932), Brief Moment (1933) and Lady By Choice (1934). The collection also features an introduction by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz and extensive on-screen digital bonus materials, including production stills, behind-the-scenes photos, lobby cards, movie posters and more.
Lombard, whose life was cut short by a tragic plane accident in 1942, demonstrated a sparkling presence and sharp timing from the very beginning of her career. Those talents would eventually establish her as the screwball comedienne in such films as Twentieth Century (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936) and Nothing Sacred (1937). Prior to those classics, Lombard’s comedic talents were already in evidence in two films featured in the Carole Lombard in the ’30s collection – No More Orchids (1932), which successfully combines comedy and drama, and Lady by Choice (1934), a raucous farce starring Lombard and May Robson. Rounding out the vision of Lombard’s rare talents is the drama Brief Moment (1933), which a reviewer from The New York Times declared “definitely a tribute to the talents of Carole Lombard and [costar] Gene Raymond.”
Carol Lombard in the ’30s
No More Orchids (1932) – In this romantic drama, Carole Lombard plays a spoiled heiress who falls in love with a struggling lawyer despite her arranged marriage to a European prince.
Brief Moment (1933) – The class conscious formula is reversed as Lombard plays a nightclub singer trying to convince her rich playboy finance to abandon his party going lifestyle in favor of a respectable livelihood.
Lady by Choice (1934) – Released the same year as Lombard’s breakout role in the screwball classic Twentieth Century, this touching drama casts the actress as a fan dancer who adopts a feisty elderly woman with a police record. Lombard shines in one of her best early roles.
CHiPs originally aired on NBC from 1977 through 1983. Each episode followed a fairly regular formula featuring both a comic and a melodramatic tone. I’ve seen a handful of episodes in re-runs and I vaguely remembered when this reunion film aired on TNT, though I don’t think I watched it. If you are a fan of CHiPs, you’ll enjoy CHiPS ‘ 99, recently released by the Warner Archive. If you’re not. . .well, maybe you should skip this release. Many of the cast members of the show returned for this film and there are several winks and nods and straight-up flashbacks to the series. There are also some really great celebrity cameos that make this film decidedly 90s. Well, that and the ridiculously amazing use of 90s slang to make Ponch seem old.
I was pretty happy with last year’s Holiday Gift Guide, so I thought I’d do it again this year. This year gifts range from $5 books to $250 dollar box sets. I’ve scoured Amazon for the best box sets, as well as added some films and books that have made my year pretty great. I think there’s a little something for everyone here. Treat yourself. Treat the movie lover in your life. Treat your favorite film blogger. Everything you need can be found in this handy, dandy guide. I upped this year’s list from 15 to 20 items because there were just so many great new Blu and box set releases this year!
This news comes just in time for Noirvember! How perfect. I’ve seen all three of the films coming out on this set and I can’t recommend them enough. Also included in this press release is the five films that Film Noir Foundation founder and president Eddie Muller will be showing during his stint as guest hot with Robert Osborne on TCM in January. Two of the five films I’ve seen and the other two are ones I’ve been dying to see. Actually, the two films that Eddie has picked that I have seen I saw because of him! One at TCMFF12 and the other during Noir City X. I see a pattern emerging.
The Warner Archive recently released a newly remastered DVD of the six-time Oscar nominated 1953 film Lili starring Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. This is a film I had been meaning to watch for years and I am so glad I finally got to see it. It’s a simple film and a sweet one, yet somehow it is never saccharine. It’s almost like a children’s book come to life, except that there are a few scenes – especially at the beginning – that are quite dark. I think this is a film that could have fallen into an overly melodramatic trap, but Walters tackles the subject with such a light touch, the result is nothing short of magical.
When I saw that the Warner Archive was releasing Red Dust on DVD – and newly resmastered to boot – I literally shouted with joy (you can ask my roommate about that). This is my second favorite Harlow film (narrowly behind Personal Property). It has never been on DVD before and when the Warner Archive released the Harlow collection last year, I was pretty bummed that Victor Fleming’s pre-code masterpiece wasn’t part of it. Now we can all rejoice and our Harlow collections are almost complete (so many of her films on DVD now, it is amazing!) If I had to pick one actress to call my favorite (and please don’t make me!), there would be a strong case for Harlow taking that top spot. I just love her so much, and she is at the top of her game opposite Clark Gable in this steamy tale of lust, class, love and deception.
This morning I sat in on a virtual roundtable hosted by the Blu-ray Disc Association’s chairperson Andy Parsons. He sat down with Ian Harvey who is the Senior Vice President, Advanced Technology for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment about the technology behind converting a film to Blu-ray 3D. The film in question was Fox’s recently re-released i,Robot. Below is a transcript of the chat. Well, most of the chat. I forgot to turn on my recorder and missed most of Parsons’s opening greeting. Also, I took some screencaps so you could figure out what they’re talking about, but a few of the things he’s talking about I didn’t manage to cap, so it might be a little confusing. Whoops.
I just got this press release in the mail and am SO excited for this new DVD set. Three of them are films never before available on DVD and all four of them are newly remastered. After the cut I’ve included all the details, including special features.
If you follow me on Tumblr, y’all know how much I love westerns, so I was really excited to find out about these two newly remastered films from the Warner Archive. The first is a Zapata spaghetti western Un esercito di cinque uomini aka The Five Man Army, from producer/director Italo Zingarelli with a screenplay co-written by master of Italian horror Dario Argento (who also co-wrote Once Upon a Time in the West). A Zapata spaghetti western, fyi, is an Italian western from the late-1960s/early-1970s that is set in Mexico and usually they have political (i.e. dealing with the revolution, etc.) themes. The second film is 1972’s The Wrath of God directed by Ralph Nelson (not to be confused with Werner Herzog’s similarly named film, which also came out in 1972).