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The technological advances shown are staggering to see and contemplate; the four episodes’ extraordinary footage from coast to coast looks particularly amazing on Blu-ray. Twenty minutes of bonus footage is composed of a featurette for each episode.
Anyone who’s even remotely a Cardinals fan will want to pick this up to re-live that immediate classic again and again. Even if you watched the Series on your HDTV, be prepared for more astounding clarity on Blu-ray.
Maccarone also intercuts excerpts from some of Rampling’s many films to further illustrate her themes. The movie comprises mainly interviews and film clips, so the Blu-ray transfer is adequate without being stunning.
Armageddon stereotypes are present and accounted for, and Gens relies on shock and mayhem, which fails, as witness the lovely final shots that seem out of another, more philosophically rich movie. But Gens isn’t Andrei Tarkovsky. The hi-def image, especially the darks and blacks, is first-rate; the lone extra is Gens’ and actors’ audio commentary. Late Spring
The first of Ozu’s timeless classics to arrive on Blu-ray has noticeable wear and tear, but since these were the best elements available, it’s a stunning-looking 63-year-old movie. Extras include NY Film Festival head Richard Pena’s commentary and 90-minute Tokyo-Ga, Wim Wenders' 1985 documentary paean to Ozu.
Even the action scenes and music interludes feel off, making this seem like Rodriguez’s most amateurish effort in a career littered with them. The movie receives a decent but unspectacular hi-def transfer; there’s a Rodriguez commentary and his 10-Minute Film School, both more fun than the movie.
This hysterically unconvincing melodrama even burdens the poor guy with a needy sister who stays at his apartment and walks in on him while he’s masturbating in the bathroom. Shame, indeed! Michael Fassbinder and Carey Mulligan are excellent in a less than hard-hitting character study. A ravishing, dream-like Manhattan still looks that way on Blu-ray; extras are five inconsequential featurettes.
There’s lots of vintage footage--who was around to record some of these things before Clash became famous?--and interviews that shows that, sometimes, good guys can finish first. Extras include additional footage, interviews and a Sundance Q&A.
A bonus disc comprises Buying the War, an 83-minute expose of the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq and the media’s complicity in it, along with interviews with historian Andrew J. Bacevich and Mother Jones magazine’s Kevin Drum and David Corn.
Cleverly intercutting old spy movie footage with informative new interviews, Roch comes up aces. Extras include a half-hour interview with spy expert Nigel West and 27-minute WWII training film Sonic Deception.
Don McAlpine’s exquisite photography gleams in this new transfer; a wonderful bonus is an hour-long documentary about the making of the film, including interviews with Beresford, Fowle, McAlpine and others.
Hearing his espousal of ideas that made the likes of William F. Buckley squirm--and watching their priceless exchange on Buckley‘s Firing Line program about American education--is worth the price of admission in itself. Interviews with family, friends and colleagues illuminate a towering figure of the American left. Extras include a Lee interview, deleted scenes and readings of Goodman’s poetry.
Among many others, there’s the group of heroic Norwegians who risked life and limb to destroy the building that was instrumental in developing an atomic bomb, there’s Hardy Amies, who later became a fashion designer following the war; there’s Polish super-agent Christine Granville, who came to bad end after surviving five dangerous war years; and there’s a French triple agent whose allegiance was continually called into question.
But these warhorses are also magnificent orchestral showcases, and conductor Myung-Whun Chung leads the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in energetic performances. The strings might sound thin at times, but overall the players acquit themselves well enough to wonder why this 54-minute CD doesn’t include another piece that the ensemble could flex its muscles with.
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