(1972/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The
(1962/Paramount/Via Vision/Imprint Region Free Import
(2021/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)
B/B-/B & C Sound: B-/B-/B & C+ Extras: C-/B/C+
Import, Region Free Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at
Imprint/Via Vision Entertainment in Australia, while The
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. Both can be ordered from the links below.
start with a film based on a thriller by Michael Crichton, though
from a series of books he published under another name. Blake
(1972) is a thriller with James Coburn as the doctor of the title,
arriving at a Boston hospital run by a partly stuff doctor (the
ever-great Dan O'Herlihy) to work and from his entrance, he's going
to be a different kind of doctor. This quickly becomes a plus when
the head doctor's daughter turns up dead form an illegal abortion.
course, this was a pre-Roe vs. Wade film, a ruling no one knew was on
the horizon, but an unsafe abortion could have still happened
afterwards if someone was trying to hide something, so an innocent,
good doctor at the hospital (character actor legend James Hong) is
accused of murder and Carey is pretty sure there is something much
more sinister going on. We also get a near romance Carey has with
Jennifer O'Neill, which never rings false or is ill-fitting with the
producing studio MGM kept interfering with the film and not only did
it hurt the final release of the film, it made Edwards furious and he
later made his film S.O.B. as a comical commentary on the experience.
Still, I love the cast, the look of the film and it shows that
Edwards could handle more than just comedies. Even with all its
issues and down points, it has dated surprisingly well (abortion
rights notwithstanding) is still worth a look.
(1962) was a big production for its time, with Paramount Pictures
spending serious money to shoot in several locations when this was
still highly uncommon, save for very expensive roadshow and
large-frame movie epics, but they had a huge star on their hands with
William Holden and went all the way with this tale set during the
early 1940s in the center of WWII Europe where he plays a man getting
big money oil contracts with the Nazis.
first, he just sees it as business, but he quickly learns of the
genocide, torture and terror they are really up to. Instead of
bailing out, he decides to become an agent for the Allies while still
doing business with the Nazis, et al, but this will be very dangerous
and for its time, the film is very graphic and blunt about what this
means in all of its horror and ugliness. Lilli Palmer is great as
the religious woman he starts to fall for as she risks her life
against the Nazis and Hugh Griffith is the sometimes annoying allied
contact he has to deal with in all this.
film did business, but when it was discovered the writer who wrote
the book and said this was all true turned out to be making up more
of his story than he should have, the film got lost in the shuffle of
films that were not as remembered as they deserve to be. I had not
seen this for decades and was surprised how many moments I remembered
and how good much of this was, enthralling enough for the over two
hours it runs, a movie made by intelligent adults for intelligent
adults. That's rare today, especially with such a big budget these
has been licensing gems like this to Via Vision/Imprint Region Free
for a while and film fans worldwide have been thrilled at the
choices. I can see why. This is among many film that a long overdue
for rediscovery and this also has some great extras (see below) so if
you are a serious film fan, you should go out of your way for The
and expect to be impressed!
but not least, Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice
(2021) has the underrated, underappreciated filmmaker going back to
the 1970s, this time the earlier half in the San Fernando Valley,
telling of the unlikely love story between would-be actor Gary
Valentine (Copper Hoffman) and Alana Kane (Alana Haim) as he is
underage and she is can be cynical, being older and all by about a
decade. A slice of life comedy that recreates its period with ease,
it takes us to some offbeat places similarly good films set in the
time period over the last few decades missed.
is also a schemer, always on the lookout for any opportunity that
will make him money and get his name out there. However, it is also
a highly observant character study of all its characters and the time
it takes place in, rightly indicating that some of their behaviors
are definitely a product of their time and could have only happened
in a period of such innovation and positive, energetic mainstream
culture. The characters do not necessarily realize this, as they do,
but that all works well.
some scenes do not work as well as others and Bradley Cooper's
appearance as real life hairstylist (and soon to be controversial
movie producer and Barbra Streisand boyfriend) Jon Peters might be a
little over the top. Sean Penn and Tom Waits also turn up briefly in
amusing turns, but they are only so significant.
about two hours, it was still worth seeing and is enough of an
experience to recommend it, not being totally off like Punch
Drunk Love, but it is not
up there with his best films either. With that said, it is still one
of 2021's best films and is worth your time. Just give it some time
to start up.
for playback performance. All three films were shot on 35mm film.
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Treatment
is restored, as shot with anamorphic Panavision scope lenses and
processed in MetroColor. This looks as good as it ever has and its
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as good as this
film will ever sound, so outside of a mint film print, this is the
best way to see the film.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Traitor
can show the age of the materials used in some scratches (especially
in the opening credits) and specs here and there, but this is far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and its
slightly dark look is the way the film has always appeared to me, as
developed in French labs, which have that tendency. Then the film
was issued in
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints. The lossless DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 upgrade is not bad and fares better than the
also-included PCM 2.0 Mono.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Pizza
is just fine, but the film has a slight yellow/orange side to it that
comes from an internegative and/or styling intended by Anderson to
indicate the early 1970s period. Either way, it looks good, was shot
in real anamorphic Panavision on Kodak Vision 3 color movie film
stocks and I can imagine 70mm prints and 4K presentations were even
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is also top rate with an
amazing choice of hit songs from the time, plus dialogue and sound
effects are recorded, mastered and mixed very well. The
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD version is softer
than expected, as is the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on it, so that
disc is just included here for convenience at best.
include Original Theatrical Trailers on all films except Pizza,
which comes with a limited edition mini-poster and Digital Copy,
while its discs include Camera Tests, Fat
and Behind The Scenes. Traitor
also adds a terrific, brand new Feature Length
Audio Commentary track by Lee Pfeiffer, publisher of Cinema
Magazine, with film historian Paul Scrabo (2022) adding to their
excellent track record of such tracks with updated information and
all kinds of details and observations of the film on and off the
screen like the best commentary tracks do, William
Holden: The Golden Boy
(1989 documentary,) a Photo Gallery and a Limited Edition slipcase on
the first 1500 copies with solid, unique artwork.
go here to order directly, along with other great exclusives, at:
to order The
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great