Thursday, January 31, 2019

What I've Been Watching: Shout Factory Edition

It's been a very stressful month due to a loss in my family, so my movie reviews have been a bit late. Sorry about that folks! But now, they're live and more will be coming! Let's kick things off with some great releases from Shout Factory!

THE JERK:



Hailed as one of the funniest movies of all time, The Jerk stars Steve Martin as Navin Johnson, the adopted son of a poor black sharecropping family in Mississippi. When he learns that the world is a much bigger place than he'd ever imagined, Navin sets out on a quest to find his "special purpose." His adventures lead him to encounter a would-be assassin, jobs in carnivals and gas stations, a life-saving dog, romance with the girl of his dreams and more money than he could ever spend. But his life in the clouds may come crashing down when the source of his new fame and fortune creates disastrous side effects.
Bonus Features:
  • NEW Remastered from a Brand-New 2K Transfer
  • NEW A Conversation with Steve Martin and Carl Reiner
  • NEW A Conversation with Writers Michael Elias and Carl Gottlieb
  • Learn How to Play "Tonight You Belong To Me"
  • The Lost Film Strips of Father Carlos Las Vegas De Cordova
  • Trailers & Radio Spots

THOUGHTS:

As a huge Steve Martin fan, I was super excited for this release and knew it would be in great hands. A few years ago, Shout also released a Steve Martin: The Television Stuff boxed set featuring his best bits on TV throughout the years, so they weren't a stranger to the comedy legend going into this release. Featuring a great new transfer that makes it look like a brand new movie and a clearer picture, Steve Martin's legendary performance as the naive and unsuspecting Navis Johnson finds a whole new generation. His comedy as well as charming love story with Marie Kimble (played wonderfully by Bernadette Peters) adds a great balance to this over the top silly movie. And of course, who could forget the beautiful "Tonight You Belong To Me" duet by both Martin and Peters? I'm not one for musicals or even musical numbers, but to this day, I think it's one of the most perfect and beautiful pieces of music in a movie I've ever heard. While we've seen this movie released on dvd and bluray before, the transfer makes this scene sound even more fantastic.

The bonus features included in this release also provide a whole new aspect to the classic. Hearing stories from Steve and Carl Reiner about the production and filming were my favorite. My only wish is that we could've gotten a blooper and outtake featurette as I'm sure the cast and crew had an amazing time filming this.




DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS:





In the south of France, two rival con men — suave and sophisticated Lawrence (two-time Oscar®-winner Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules) and third-rate American hustler Freddy (Steve Martin, The Jerk) — make a wager. The first one to extract $50,000 from the next woman they meet wins ... and the other leaves town. The bet is on, the stakes are high and the blows are low in this hysterically funny, ruthlessly witty, dirty, rotten comedy!


Bonus Features

  • Mastered From A Brand-New 2K Scan Of the Film
  • NEW Interview With Writer Dale Launer
  • Audio Commentary With Director Frank Oz
  • Featurette
  • Trailers


THOUGHTS:



While not one of Steve Martin or Michael Caine's most famous movies, seeing the two legends in the same movie is a real treat. Muppet master and comedy legend Frank Oz, who directed this movie, known for his close attention to help creating memorable and very flawed characters that we end up falling in love with. The characters of fast talking con men Freddy and Lawrence, while not the most fondly remembered, will be some of the most lovable and absolutely disgusting schysters you'll ever see on screen. The battle of wits and who can out-charm the other, is a fun battle for all to see.

In terms of extras, not much to report. Commentary, a featurette and trailers were ported over from a previous release, but a new interview with one of the writers Dale Launer and a great new transfer makes this set worh purchasing.



HOWLING 3:



The race is on as a colony of marsupial werewolves attempts to outwit and outlast their human counterparts in the offbeat horror film The Howling III.

Long ago, the now-extinct marsupial wolf (a.k.a. Tasmanian Tiger) roamed the Australian Outback. Today, a werewolf colony that has descended from these marsupials has taken over the land. This race of human-like creatures roams the outback, preying on the unsuspecting to feed their growing numbers. The race for survival is on as the humans struggle to contain these out of control creatures.



Bonus Features

  • NEW Digital Transfer Sponsored By The National Film And Sound Archive Of Australia
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Philippe Mora, Moderated By Filmmaker Jamie Blanks
  • NEW A Conversation With Philippe Mora – An Interview With The Writer/Director
  • Vintage Interviews From The Documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! By Director Mark Hartley
  • Theatrical Trailer



THOUGHTS:

Oh boy...

Not being a fan of the Howling series, I truly did not know what I was getting myself into when I first popped this in. Of course my friend Phil of Death Ensemble warned me that is quite the wild ride. Of course, what I expected and what I saw were two different things. There's like a million different things going on in this movie and I just don't know where to start but comparing this movie to Troll 2 is probably a good way to describe it. The movie itself is pretty wild, which is to be expected considering it's an Ozploitation classic. The special f/x, the gory gags, the ridiculous story. This movie has it all. Oh and a scene where a woman gives birth to a werewolf/human hybrid. Which, if you see it once, you'll never forget it. In fact, I'd argue that scene is worth the purchase alone.

For those who are unaware of the Ozploitation style, you'll get a great education with the extras. Interviews, brand new commentary, and even some interviews from the tremendous documentary Not Quite Hollywood, which I'm a huge fan of, will make you an almost immediate fan of the genre. The crazier, the better!



COBRA:



Lt. Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) is a one-man assault team whose laser-mount submachine gun and pearl-handled Colt .45 spit pure crime-stopping venom! Director George P. Cosmatos (Rambo: First Blood Part II, Tombstone) teams up again with Stallone for this thriller pitting Cobretti against a merciless serial killer. The trail leads to not one murderer but also an army of psychos bent on slashing their way to a "New Order" – and killing a witness (Brigitte Nielsen) along the way. Fortunately, her protector is Cobra, a man who delivers vigilante justice like no other!


 BONUS FEATURES:


  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Stalking And Slashing – An Interview With Actor Brian Thompson
  • NEW Meet The Disease – An Interview With Actor Marco Rodriguez
  • NEW Feel The Heat – An Interview With Actor Andrew Robinson
  • NEW Double Crossed – An Interview With Actress Lee Garlington
  • NEW A Work Of Art – An Interview With Actor Art LaFleur
  • Audio Commentary With Director George P. Cosmatos
  • Vintage Featurette
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries – Stills, Movie Posters, And Lobby Cards



THOUGHTS: 


As a Cannon Films loyalist, I always enjoy watching movies I've never seen produced by the company. And believe it or not, this has always been one of those movies. Before you ask why someone who claims to be the biggest Cannon Films fan ever would have never seen this before, remember that I've never been a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone's movies. I have plenty of friends who worship the ground he walks on, but I just always saw him as a big goof. However, after finally sitting down and watching this movie, I have a new respect for him. While this movie could've been a huge laughing stock since Cannon was known for it's ridiculous, over the top action and that's exactly what we got. The highlight in my opinion? The shoot out in the convenience store in the beginning. After this scene, I knew I was in for a fun ride. Also worth noting is 80s action icon Brian Thompson as "The Night Slasher", the lead villain. Although the real reason to watch is Sylvester Stallone who commands the movie with his over the top(no pun intended) presence and cool demeanor. I can honestly say I've never seen a movie where he played such a cool guy. Playing the asshole cop that cares while remaining badass is not an easy role, but he made it work. And for that, I'm  super grateful to have finally given it a chance.


Featuring a brand new transfer, some amazing interviews with cast and crew, including a real fun interview with baddie Brian Thompson where he shares many details about filming as well. Interviews with Andrew Robinson(also known as Frank from Hellraiser), Marco Rodriguez, Art LaFleur and many more also add to this already action packed set. Also, using the original poster art, makes me love this even more.

You can find these great releases and more at ShoutFactory.com !


-Chad


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