Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Movie Watching

I saw two films theatrically this month: just wasn't excited by the month's line up. A third film I saw on March 31: Michael Caine in Is Anybody There? Went to a screening in which Caine appeared. He was very entertaining and took a variety of Qs from the audience. He was so great that I'd hate to pan his movie, but let's just say you don't need to rush out.

The two April films I saw were the documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil and Adventureland. Anvil was a fascinating look at failure but didn't quite come together completely and, clearly, the filmmakers did not have an "end" to the story and kind of made one up. Worth perhaps a peek. Adventureland is being TOTALLY mismarketed as a "wacky" comedy, which it's not. In fact Kristen Wigg/Bill Hader's comedy relief comes dangerously close to detracting from the film [the trailer would practically have you believe they're the stars]. Adventureland has a definite "you have to be in the mood" quality, but it's a high point in the 'days of summer' genre.

On TCM saw: One Night of Love (good, but has a lot of cliche moments: It Happened One Night had nothing to fear on Oscar night) I Married a Monster from Outer Space [1958] (a semi-cult classic which was very good, but considering where they could have gone with it, such a missed-it-by-that-much experience; had the filmmakers gone all the way with the ramifications of the relationship between the woman and her "alien" husband, who begins to have human emotions-- it could have been a knockout), and Lubitsch's Broken Lullaby (his "notorious" drama, starts strong, but then gets pretty heavy and the acting's not too hot either; has that early '30s stage bound feeling too; an interesting curio though and definitely no-holds-barred in terms of its antiwar message).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Extant Lubitsch Films

Extant Ernst Lubitsch Films [based on available sources]
(44 films: 37 features/ 7 shorts):

Als Ich Tot War/ When I Was Dead-- 1916
Schuhpalast Pinkus/ Shoe Salon Pinkus— 1916
Wenn vier Dasselbe Machen/ When Four Do the Same-- 1917
Das fidele Gefängnis/ The Merry Jail — 1917
Ich möchte kein Mann sein/ I Don’t Want to be a Man— 1918
Meyer aus Berlin/ Meyer From Berlin— 1919
Romeo und Julia im Schnee/ Romeo and Juliet in the Snow— 1920

Die Augen der Mumie Ma/ The Eyes of Mummy Ma— 1918
Carmen aka Gypsy Blood— 1918
Die Austernprinzessin/ The Oyster Princess— 1919
Madame DuBarry aka Passion— 1919
Die Puppe/ The Doll— 1919
Kohlhiesels Töchter/ Kohlhiesel’s Daughters— 1920
Sumurun aka One Arabian Night— 1920
Anna Boleyn/ Anne Boleyn— 1920
Die Bergkatze/ The Wildcat— 1921
Das Weib des Pharao/ The Loves of Pharaoh— 1920
Rosita— 1923
The Marriage Circle— 1924
Three Women-- 1924
Forbidden Paradise— 1924
Lady Windermere’s Fan— 1925
So This Is Paris— 1926
The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg— 1927
Eternal Love— 1929
The Love Parade— 1929
Paramount on Parade [seq. dir.]— 1930
Monte Carlo— 1930
The Smiling Lieutenant— 1931
Broken Lullaby aka The Man I Killed— 1932
One Hour with You [co-dir.]— 1932
Trouble in Paradise— 1932
If I Had a Million [seq. dir.]— 1932
Design for Living— 1933
The Merry Widow— 1934
Angel— 1937
Bluebeard’ s Eighth Wife— 1938
Ninotchka— 1939
The Shop Around the Corner— 1940
That Uncertain Feeling— 1941
To Be or Not To Be— 1942
Heaven Can Wait— 1943
Cluny Brown— 1946
That Lady in Ermine [co-dir.]— 1948

See the notes in my previous blog entry.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ernst Lubitsch's Films: A Listing

Looking into Ernst Lubitsch's credits under the magnifying glass, I discovered that, since there are so few of his early films that exist, there is much debate over which films he directed. With that in mind, I tried to compile a reasonable working list for anyone interested in Lubitsch's films. Tomorrow, I'll post a list of his extant films, separately.

Ernst Lubitsch Films (Directorial Credits Only)

* Fräulein Seifenschaum/ Miss Soapsuds— 1914
* Blindekuh/ Blind Man’s Bluff— 1915
* Aufs Eis geführt/ A Trip on the Ice— 1915
* Zucker und Zimt/ Sugar and Spice [co-dir.]— 1915
* Der letze Anzug/ The Last Uniform/ The Last Suit— 1915
* Der Kraftmeier/ The Bully— 1915
* Der erste Patient/ His Only Patient— 1915
* Wo ist mein Schatz?/ Where Is My Treasure?— 1916
Als Ich Tot War/ When I Was Dead— 1916
Schuhpalast Pinkus/ Shoe Salon Pinkus— 1916
* Der gemischte Frauenchor/ The Mixed Ladies Chorus— 1916
* The Most Beautiful Girl— 1916
* Der G.m.b.H. Tenor/ The Tenor Inc.— 1916
* Seine neue Nase/ His New Nose— 1917
* Ossis Tagebuch/ Ossi’s Diary— 1917
* Der Blusenkönig/ The Blouse King— 1917 [11 mins. extant]
Wenn vier Dasselbe Machen/ When Four Do the Same— 1917
Das fidele Gefängnis/ The Merry Jail— 1917
* Prinz Sami/ Prince Sami— 1918
* Der Rodelkavalier/ The Tobaggan Cavalier— 1918
* Der Fall Rosentopf/ The Rosentopf Case— 1918
Ich möchte kein Mann sein/ I Don’t Want to be a Man— 1918
* Das Mädel vom Ballet/ The Ballet Girl— 1918
Meyer aus Berlin/ Meyer From Berlin— 1919
* Käsekonig Holländer/ The Dutch Cheese King— 1919
* Der Lustige Ehemann/ The Merry Husband— 1919
Romeo und Julia im Schnee/ Romeo and Juliet in the Snow— 1920

Die Augen der Mumie Ma/ The Eyes of Mummy Ma— 1918
Carmen aka Gypsy Blood— 1918
* Meine Frau, die Filmschauspielerin/ My Wife the Movie Star— 1919
Die Austernprinzessin/ The Oyster Princess— 1919
* Rausch/ Intoxication— 1919
Madame DuBarry aka Passion— 1919
Die Puppe/ The Doll— 1919
Kohlhiesels Töchter/ Kohlhiesel’s Daughters— 1920
Sumurun aka One Arabian Night— 1920
Anna Boleyn/ Anne Boleyn— 1920
Die Bergkatze/ The Wildcat— 1921
Das Weib des Pharao/ The Loves of Pharaoh— 1920
* Die Flamme/ The Flame aka Montmarte— 1923
Rosita— 1923
The Marriage Circle— 1924
Three Women— 1924
Forbidden Paradise— 1924
* Kiss Me Again— 1925
Lady Windermere’s Fan— 1925
So This Is Paris— 1926
The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg— 1927
* The Patriot— 1928 [approx. one reel extant]
Eternal Love— 1929
The Love Parade— 1929
Paramount on Parade [seq. dir.]— 1930
Monte Carlo— 1930
The Smiling Lieutenant— 1931
Broken Lullaby aka The Man I Killed— 1932
One Hour with You [co-dir.] + Une heure près de toi [French lang. vers.]— 1932
Trouble in Paradise— 1932
If I Had a Million [seq. dir.]— 1932
Design for Living + La veuve joyeuse [French lang. vers.]— 1933
The Merry Widow— 1934
Angel— 1937
Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife— 1938
Ninotchka— 1939
The Shop Around the Corner— 1940
That Uncertain Feeling— 1941
To Be or Not To Be— 1942
Heaven Can Wait— 1943
Cluny Brown— 1946
That Lady in Ermine [co-dir.]— 1948

Features as producer only
Desire— 1936 (dir: Frank Borzage)
A Royal Scandal— 1945 (dir: Otto Preminger)
Dragonwyck— 1946 (dir: Joseph L. Makiewicz)

*= lost film

69 Films - 44 extant
42 features – 37 extant
27 shorts – 7 extant

It should be noted that many films that are considered Lubitsch's "shorts" run seemingly as long as those (shorter) films that are considered features.

Lost shorts that some sources list as amongst films directed by Lubitsch are: Der Schwartze Moritz/ Black Moritz (1916), Das schönste Geschenk (1916), Leutnant auf Befehl/ Lieutenant by Command (1916), Fuhrmann Henschel/ The Coachman Henschel (1918), Marionetten/ Marionettes (1918), Das Schwabenmädel/ The Girl from Swabia (1919).

Some online sources credit Lubitsch as an uncredited director of The Honeymoon Express (1926; credited director: James Flood).

Additionally, online sources credit Lubitsch as co-director of Prelude to War (this is not confirmed in any scholarly source); Lubitsch did direct and complete the documentary short Know Your Enemy: Germany (1942), but it was never released.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

62nd Festival de Cannes

The line up for this year's Cannes Film Festival features some interesting U.S. and International films. Last year's winner of the top prize, the Palme d'Or, went to France's own Entre les murs/The Class. It was France's first win since 1987s Under the Sun of Satan. The Class got a proper US release and was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film. Now the Cannes winners have always been a little odd, but other than the Foreign Film Oscar, they shine the strongest spotlight on international cinema.

For this year's festival, Quentin Tarantino was able to finish Inglorious Basterds based on a timetable that would allow him to premiere the film at Cannes-- so let's hope he doesn't get any criticisms for rushing the job. What I'm mostly interested in this year is the reception of Inglorious Basterds , Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, and Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces, as well as "sidebar" film Tales from the Golden Age (from Cristian Mungiu and three other directors) and out of competition films Drag Me to Hell from Sam Raimi, L'Epine dans le Coeur from Michael Gondry, and Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (forever to be known as the last film of Heath Ledger).

Notably among the out of competition films is Pixar's Up (which opens the festival). Other films competeting include: Looking for Eric (Ken Loach) [according to the Los Angeles Times, this is Loach's ninth film to compete], Antichrist (Lars von Trier), Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe), The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke), Les Herbes Folles (Alain Resnais), Spring Fever (Lou Ye), and Bright Star (Jane Campion), among others.

Link to Los Angeles Times article.

Official site.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just Eight '60s Best Director Nominees Left

With the passing of Jack Cardiff at the ripe old age of 94, just eight Best Director Oscar nominees from the 1960s are still alive. Cardiff was nonimated for 1960s Sons and Lovers. There are but two pre-60s Best Director nominees alive: Michael Anderson (Around the World in 80 Days, 1956) and Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, 1957), neither won the Oscar. Only one winner is alive from the 1960s- Mike Nichols, who won for The Graduate.

Below is the full list of living '60s nominees and the films they received nominations for in this decade:

Arthur Penn (b. 1922): The Miracle Worker (1962), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), and Alice's Restaurant (1969).
Michael Cacoyiannis (b. 1922): Zorba the Greek (1964)
Claude Lelouch (b. 1937): A Man and a Woman (1966)
Mike Nichols (b. 1931): Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), *The Graduate (1967)
Norman Jewison (b. 1926): In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Franco Zeffirelli (b. 1923): Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Anthony Harvey (b. 1931): A Lion in Winter (1968)
Costa-Gavras (b. 1933): Z (1969)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"CBS Evening News" to Host America's Oldest Man

This Friday, as part of Steve Hartman's "Assignment America" segment, at the end of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, is an interview with 112 year-old Walter Breuning (b. 1896). The oldest man alive in the U.S. (and the third-oldest man worldwide), he's a resident of Great Falls, Montana and has made the rounds in recent years on various media outlets, including News Hour with Jim Lehrer in February.

There's a clip of Mr. Breuning talking about the Depression on Montana's News (link). It seems these types of questions are always asked, but what I'm hoping for from Steve Hartman is something less historical and more cultural in nature. I'd love to hear Breuing talk movies. I mean, here's a man who was 19 when The Birth of a Nation came out, 25 for The Kid came out, 31 for Wings.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

EW's Summer Movie 2009 Preview: The Fine Print

As always, within Entertainment Weekly's summer movies issue is that little box at the end of each month's listing from May to August in which the "smaller" movies get a half-sentence to sentence mention. Usually, they deserve the little mention that they get. But I've slogged through and below is a list of what looks like the most interesting contenders of the group.

Little Ashes (release: 5/8)

Departures (release: 5/29)-- last year's Best Foreign Language Film winner

Pontypool (release: 5/29)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Summer Movie Preview 2009

Entertainment Weekly gives us their annual Summer Movie Preview: my favorite issue of the year (even besting the Oscar issues). Below I've ranked the ten films of the summer I'm most excited to see: I've arranged my list around the weekends of release.

Films on my list (pending reviews for some/no-matter-what for others) for summer 2009:

May 1: The Limits of Control and X-Men Origins: Wolverine
May 8: Star Trek (#4)
May 15: Angels & Demons
May 21: Terminator Salvation (#1)
May 22: Night of the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
May 29: Departures and Up (#8)

June 5: The Hangover and Land of the Lost
June 12: Moon and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
June 19: Whatever Works (#5) and Year One
June 24: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

July 1: Public Enemies (#6)
July 10: Bruno (#3)
July 17:(500) Days of Summer (#7) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
July 31: Funny People

August 7: G. I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (#9), Julie & Julia (#10), and Shorts
August 21: Inglorious Basterds (#2)

Some others look interesting, but will wait for trailers to decide on those.j

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Summer Movie 2009 Box Office Predictions' "Big Questions"

Usually Entertainment Weekly's "summer movie preview" issue has their predictions for the top ten grossing films of the summer; this year they skipped it. My predictions last year were WAYYYY off (my only solid prediction was that Prince Caspian would not be a huge hit); as much as I like to follow the box office, maybe predictions are not my bag. Instead, I'll continue my "big questions": the "what will happen" of summer box office 2009, as follows:

The big questions, summer movies 2009:

1. Will Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen or Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince be the #1 movie of the summer?
2. Will Star Trek give them a run for the money?
3. Will the "leaked" X-Men: Origins: Wolverine spoil it's box office revenues or fuel a major blockbuster?
4. Will Up tarnish or maintain the Pixar "hit"-list? aka Will Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs best Up?
5. Will G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra tank?
6. Will Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian be a modest hit or a humongous one?
7. Will Public Enemies translate to a summer blockbuster?
8. Will Bruno place among the biggest rated R opening weekends?
9. Will Angels and Demons beat the domestic gross of The Da Vinci Code ($217.5)?
10. It's pretty certain that nothing will make as much as last summer's The Dark Knight, but will any summer movie make it to $400 million domestic?

Movie Poster Abstractions (Trivia!)

A friend pointed me in the direction of this today-- a website that creates abstractions of movie posters. The result is a trivia game of sorts in which a general poster image is seen but the detail removed. It has old and new posters alike. Some are easy, some hard, some impossible! But it's fun.

Here is the link.

Some of the "Answers" can be found at this link.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bob Barker Appears on "The Price Is Right"

This one gets a tag in classic TV and current TV. Bob Barker promoted his memoirs on The Price Is Right in an episode that aired this week-- it was nice to see him back. He appeared in the last ten minutes of the show during the showcase segment, and for once Drew Carey showed some enthusiasm. All things considered they did a nice job with Bob's return.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Philippe Petit Stunt

One of my favorite moments at the 2009 Oscars was Philippe Petit's onstage antics as the film he starred in, Man on Wire, won best documentary. The New York Times reports (link) that Petit is practicing up for a midtown Manhattan stunt that will be "one in a series across the country, to raise awareness for literacy." The locale has not been released (Rockefeller Center?) to keep it a surprise, for now. Should be an interesting show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Criterion Slate Includes Godard, Polanski

Four new releases. Link.

The new list of Criterion releases include Polanski's Repulsion (which I'm happy about since its on my must-see list). Criterion hasn't done much in the way of Polanski-- I wish they would since he's still with us (and working) and could contribute to the releases.

Another 70-something getting new titles added is Jean-Luc Godard. Criterion rounds out ten titles in their collection total for Godard with the addition of Made in the U.S.A. (1966) and Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967).

Criterion is also releasing Marahi Kobayashi's The Human Condition (1959).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TCM 15th Anniversary

Turner Classic Movies is celebrating its 15th anniversary and has launched a special site to coincide. I especially enjoyed the "fun facts"-- such as how many intro's Robert Osbourne has done-- WOW, quite a few!

Link to site.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lost Films Site

Just became aware of the website, an international listing of lost films. It takes a bit to navigate, but it has some good info. If you click on the front page link "3500 entries," you can then scroll to the countries area, for example, and click on the United States to see a listing of 749 US films known to be lost. Unfortunately film titles that begin with "articles" (A, The) are listed alphabetically this way. Left, Emil Jannings in The Patriot.

For the status of silent films I would still recommend (and, in fact cites them throughout).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Warner Archive Has Some Rarities

If you haven't already checked it out, the Warner Bros. (Shop) Archive is releasing some rare titles for $19.95 straight from the vault. You can also vote on upcoming ones-- the current poll has 1950s Watch the Birdie way ahead at 90%.

Some of the titles currently for sale include the rare Marie Dressler vehicles Emma and Tugboat Annie.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Top Ten 1930s Films on My Movie Radar

The 1930s is primarily known as Hollywood's Golden Age (from pre-code to its greatest year- 1939) however, internationally, several of the most important directors of the twentieth century made their first great films in this decade: Alfred Hitchcock (following some promising 20s films), Yasujiro Ozu, and Jean Renior, among others. Here's the 1930s films that have managed to elude me so far, but they're on my radar:

I Flunked But...- 1930

The Threepenny Opera- 1931

Smilin' Through- 1932

Charlie Chan in London- 1934

Manhattan Melodrama- 1934

David Copperfield- 1935

The Scoundrel- 1935

Libeled Lady- 1936

In Old Chicago- 1937

Beau Geste- 1939

Friday, April 10, 2009

2009-10 TV Season Pilots

The pilots line-up has been announced in the trades. The log lines are ALWAYS made to sound boring and tired so as not to "scare away" executives with ORIGINALITY-- so it's really somewhat impossible to get excited for them based on their description, but trying my best to discern what could be good, I'll be looking out for these shows if they make it to series:

V. Re-imaging of the 1980s miniseries about an alien invasion. As with so many "remakes" it seems everyone just says "no-brainer" and churns out junk: hope this is the exception.

Untitled Ricky Blitt. Writer Ricky Blitt's pilot about a guy in his 30s who is torn between his needy best friend and the new found love of his life and her teen kids. Didn't think it sounded like much but then saw it stars Alyssa Milano.

Canned. Ensemble about a group of friends who get fired on the same day. Interesting nugget for usual 20-something shenanigans.

House Rules. Follows the freshman class of Congress as they begin their careers in Washington. Terrible title, but could be interesting.

The Fish Tank. A teenager finds himself living the dream when his parents give him the house to himself five days a week. At least its not about a single parent, right?

Legally Mad. David E. Kelley's newest ensemble legal drama about a seemingly sane woman at the center of a tumultuous law firm full of eccentric personalities including her father.

Lost & Found. With Brian Cox and Katee Sackhoff, centers on Tessa, an offbeat LAPD detective who, after butting heads with the higher-ups, is demoted to the John Doe division which finds the identities and solves the murders of anonymous victims. Love Brian Cox and if some of the John Does are accident victims and suicides (i.e. its not ENTIRELY procedural murder stuff), might have some originality over the myriad of other shows in this genre.

Other pilots on the slate include: Parenthood (Howard/Grazer adaptation of the film), Untitled Justin Adler (Mitch Hurwitz), Human Target (odd comic book-based item), Abfab (uh huh), and thank goodness! a revamp of Melrose Place.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mary Pickford's "Cinderella" (1914) on Internet Archive

The other week I pointed out that 1915s Alice in Wonderland was now posted on the Internet Archive.

Just noticed that the Mary Pickford Cinderella (1914) is on their too (in two parts). Here's the link. This is another not-that-easily found silent that I was happy to see posted.

Plus, Georges Melies' 1899 version is up there as well: link.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Iron Man 2" Begins Production

My most anticipated movie for next summer is probably Iron Man 2. Although it does suck that Terrence Howard is out, which is a little "blip" in it's franchise perfection, it has more potential than most second outings.

Filming has just begun, and the movie is slated for May 7, 2010.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Rescue Me" Season Five Starts Tonight

It's been an age since season four of Rescue Me ended (it feels like we're in season seven or eight as a result). But I'm just glad it's back. I'm asked by non-Rescue Me viewers if you can pick up the series at the beginning of a season. And I think this is a rare show that actually can be taken season by season. It will probably have a long shelf life when it finally goes off the air because of this, anyway as much as any old TV series.

The reviews of the new season have all been resoundingly ecstatic. I can't help but think, well after a year, it BETTER be good. This will be a 22-episode season (the series' longest). One hour dramas for me are better when there are 13 or so, and I'm hoping not to run out of steam on RM by season's end-- if any show can do it this is the one.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Star Wars Clone Wars" 'Pop Up' Re-Runs

Ran across a post on TV Squad, regarding re-runs of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. Looks like all my Clone Wars questions will be answered! Ha ha! I actually am a little bit interested in watching these because I'm not super knowledgable about the obscure ins and outs of the Star Wars universe and I'm wondering how these shows all fit in-- how much of it is original to this show, what's already existed in book/comic form, etc. Hope it's done well.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tom Hanks to Be Feted By Lincoln Center

Tom Hanks is the 2009 Film Society of Lincoln Center Gala Tribute honoree. The Lincoln Center has been honoring a living movie legend each year since 1972 (link to list). Their timing seems to be back "off" following their choice last year-- Meryl Streep. Tom Hanks should either (a) have already been feted or (b) not done until he has a resurgence. Angels and Demons hardly qualifies.

I don't suggest however that Hanks isn't worthy. I still think he was robbed of a third Oscar for Cast Away (there was just too much of a "he's already got two" mentality to give him the award he deserved to win.) I also think he's been consistantly good even when his vehicles have been unsuccessful.

The first Tom Hanks film I saw theatrically was Dragnet followed, I'm not too happy to report, with the one-two punch of Joe Vs. the Volcano and Bonfire of the Vanities. But his films were all over cable and I'm sure I'd seen Big around this time too, my favorite of his movies. Although all stars fade, the ones that have one, clear big sentimental favorite film seem to last the longest, and Hanks has Forrest Gump to keep him in the annuals of pop culture for many years to come.

Another good choice, Lincoln Center-- just a little off on the timing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

TV Series Not Yet on DVD

There are relatively few series that I'm truly still waiting for. So many came out that I would have sworn I wanted but then when they were released I found I really didn't care that much. So I'm a little more honest about what I really want to buy. Old TV is just too hard to watch/catch up on. Long-running series are just not watchable after-the-fact. It's much more palatable to catch an episode here and there of a favorite old show while channel-surfing, rather than attempting to slog through entire seasons or runs. But there's some shorter-run stuff on my rainy day list, like Twin Peaks, and it's nice to know it's available for when I get around to it.

I have a really short list of shows that I would buy on DVD right now if they came out. Unfortunately nothing has changed from last year's list, although I will add that I hope Murder, She Wrote continues to get its season-by-season releases-- there is just a few more to go, plus the four made-for-television movies that followed the run.

1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Seasons 5, 6, & 7. This is a terrific show. It stands up to its reputation. I've seen almost every episode through classic TV channels, but I was actually buying and watching each season the moment it came out on DVD for the complete experience. Then about two years ago, the DVDs stopped 4 seasons in, with 3 seasons left to go. The full run was supposed to be released this coming May, but it has been delayed for now-- I suspect this has A LOT to do with the VEHEMENT reaction from people on Amazon who were incensed that the last three seasons would not be available separately from people who already bought the first four. Wow!-- take a look at the comments: link.

2. Batman. The original '60s series has yet to come out and I do think I'd buy the entire run 1966-68. Is there anyone who doesn't find this show a guilty pleasure?

3. Crazy Like A Fox. This detective show was something I watched as a kid and although in my childhood mind it was a long-running show, there are only 35 episodes and one TV movie (made to test the waters for continuing the series: it wasn't renewed). So, for nostalgia's sake, and since I could watch the entire run again, I'd get it.

4. Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Another childhood favorite. And just 88 episodes.

5. Murder, She Wrote. This was a family favorite, and I'd like to see it become fully available. It has seen nine seasons out on DVD, and its been a steady release pattern, so I hope it continues.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Golden Globes to be "Live" Nationally in 2010

In an obvious attempt to ramp up interest, the Golden Globes will now be "live" for the entire country. I'm happy about this-- because I hated trying to avoid the "spoilers" online as the show aired on the West Coast. Plus, I think it will make things more exciting. However, if the "other" movie awards shows follow suit-- they can forget it-- I'm gonna wait just like always and fast-forward through them. But the Globes and the Oscars have been the standard must-watch-as-they-air, so the Hollywood Foreign Press decision is a welcome one. OK, HFPA that was step one-- now work on the show itself.

Link to AP article.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What's the Deal with the "Pillars of the Earth" Miniseries?

Last year I read with great excitement about the Pillars of the Earth miniseries which seemed imminent. Now, one year later, there isn't even any news about it on Ken Follett's website! My blog entry of one year ago is among my most-read entries since it comes up second in a Google search of "Pillars of the Earth Miniseries". What a disappointment that this project is seemingly in limbo.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Four Wilders Still Remain Outstanding

Despite multiple DVD releases of such Billy Wilder titles as The Apartment, Double Indemnity, Sabrina, and Stalag 17, four titles still have yet-to-be-released on Region 1 DVD. Every new format seems to have this problem. By the time the outstanding four-- Five Graves to Cairo, A Foreign Affair, Fedora, and Buddy, Buddy-- get released, everyone will have Blu Ray! These are the same four that weren't on DVD last year (per my April 11, 2008 blog entry). I would especially like to see Fedora get released-- his most interesting later-career film.