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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3 more things I'm dying to have on Blu-ray even though I have no time to watch anything

Did you really think I was only going to do 5 picks for a list like this? I hope not because otherwise I have no clue what I'd be doing in order to silence the seething madness which takes over whenever I'm not working myself to death.

Justify my grief by viewing the first part of this list!

Anyway, here's some more stuff I want to see because it's the best way for me to focus all of that vicious self-persecution into something vaguely positive

6.) The Rocketeer (1991) Walt Disney Pictures
I'm still not prepared to confront how this movie is 20 years old
I'm just amazed that this hasn't been announced by now as all the timing is right for a great media tie-in with Captain America: you've got the same director, similar subject matter and Disney even owns the Marvel characters (along with part of the distribution for Cap). It's practically a license to print money and an easier fit than a lot of other promotions I've seen in recent memory.

So what's great about this movie that isn't an amazing promotional opportunity? I probably don't have to tell you guys that! Joe Johnston's adaptation of the late Dave Steven's character stands out as a superlative early example of comic books as film. The whole movie is like a checklist of every pop culture thing the internet loves, excusing zombies and goofy cat pictures. Plus it's not terrible for both society and your mental state the way Sucker Punch is!

Oh wait. Not liking Sucker Punch is my fault. Guess I'll have to remember that when someone puts together a hodgepodge of things I'm supposed to enjoy, my subjective opinion of an artistic work is irrelevant; it was designed from the ground up to mechanically embody every aspect of entertainment that's supposed to appeal to me and for that reason I should adore it, ignoring all the uncomfortable aspects it may be stereotyping me with.

Tangential rant over.

This movie, along with Terminator 2, is one of the movies from when I was really young that I remember extremely well because of how I saw it. My Mom actually took me and my Brother to see this during a weekday matinee while my Dad was at work; this probably wasn't the first time I'd been to a matinee, but I was thrilled to notice that the theater was not swamped the way it would often be on weekends when we normally came. Also, my Mom going out of her way to take us to a movie was pretty rare so the memories stick in my mind years later. In fact, I'm still not entirely positive my Dad ever ended up seeing it though its doubtless he heard about since me and my Brother must have rented the NES game 30 times that summer. Such great music in that game despite it being even harder than Kemco's Batman, one of the two NES cartridges we actually owned.

So Rocketeer never really got a great DVD release, having special features limited to a trailer. As nice as it was to be able to see it in widescreen again that's pretty lacking for a movie that had a 'making of' TV special I remember pretty clearly. This wasn't the monster hit that Disney wanted it to be back in the day but that doesn't mean they can't make crazy bank off of it now with all the anticipation for Cap's movie. They go hand in hand and this already has a pretty big cult following. Awareness of this character is so high and talk isn't cheap Disney; pull together a spectacular blu-ray for any release of Captain America and you'll be looking at some nice profit. There's a reason that the releases from IDW of Dave Stevens' work have been pretty popular with fans and the press; that complete deluxe edition hardcover is absolutely to die for. Cliff's even got some new adventures coming your way with Rocketeer Adventures, an anthology series with work by top tier talent like Kurt Busiek and Mike Allred. It's out now for those interested...

People know what's up

7.) UHF (1989) Released by Orion Pictures, Rights held by MGM with home video releases being distributed by 20th Century Fox or possibly Sony

We miss you Orion pictures

Isn't it fun looking at the whirlwind of distribution deals that have made up MGM and their catalog over the years? Its like legal hopscotch because I still can't properly figure out who has the rights to make a Blu-ray of the only film which can claim the illustrious quality of starring Weird Al.

Back in the time before Comedy Central reran nothing but those goofy direct-to-video National Lampoon movies, they used to show this classic with a frequency to rival that of USA and their adoration of Tremors. As you can imagine, with so much of the early 1990's spent by me waiting in the Doctor's Lounge for my Dad to come back and help with my math homework, I saw this movie hundreds of times. The tale of George fighting against the corrupt R.J. Fletcher is the pinnacle of 80's comedy nostalgia even if people are unaware the movie exists (for now). Aren't the 80's always a big thing with the internet? Of course they are, otherwise custom T-shirt stores would have nothing to mash-up for an easy sell!

Is it for everyone? I have no clue. But I do know it's for me. I remember when the original MGM DVD came out, me and Jaysun went specially down to Best Buy on our day off to get it. I think they only had 3 copies and we had to get help to find them but it was worth it. Of all the discs put out by MGM at a budget, this was one of the best; it had commentary, deleted scenes, live menus, the works. Were they 'film school in a box' the way David Fincher releases are? No, but they gave you pretty much everything you could hope for from a movie that went head to head with Batman back in 1989. The test screening of UHF is well known to be one of the most well-received ever so that faith was justified and now we have a chance to see it repeated. Al's going to be game for any fun new thing you want to try so you know you'll have something new to put on there. Heck, why not go all legal like and make it a double pack with a collection of all his music videos?

There's a demand for this title out there and I don't doubt that whoever holds the rights could make a pretty penny off of it. Especially if they found some more of the deleted scenes or had a printable script option... C'mon Fox/Sony, don't make us drink from the firehose!

8.) Princess Mononoke (1997) Toho Co., Ltd and domestically licensed by Disney/Miramax
Maybe they can finally do some decent localized boxart for it too; the DVD looked ok...
Princess Mononoke has an interesting history in the US. Initially brought over by Miramax, it ended up being one of the first movies released as part of the Disney Tokuma deal made in 1996. After a theatrical release, it almost came to DVD with just English audio; fan protest convinced Miramax to put subtitles and original Japanese audio on the disc but not much else.

The way the deal has evolved over time has stipulated that Disney can't put anything out in the US that isn't already on Blu-ray in Japan so the release of this is likely going to be glacial. Japan is going in pseudo-chronological order and we're behind even that since Castle in the Sky has yet to be announced. I'm hoping Disney takes advantage of the whole library even though really only people like me are going to be buying stuff like Whisper of the Heart.

Why yes, I am still frustrated that we don't have anything resembling a release of Only Yesterday.

Anyway, that's a tangent.

I picked Mononoke because Miramax's original DVD was really lackluster as far as features go; all Ghibli DVD's had 2nd discs with the entire film in storyboard form, something I greatly enjoyed back in the age of real free time (namely the summer between graduating high school and entering college). The domestic release lacked even that, but in light of it being really early in the DVD life cycle, we understood. Besides, they can make up for it now by putting the storyboard version on the Blu-ray as well as the 6 hour and 20 minute long making of documentary that's out there. I think that would make up for it pretty nicely.

Also, this is arguably my favorite Ghibli movie. It's a dead heat with Castle in the Sky but it's easier to get people to scream at me over this one for some reason and we all know I love getting into arguments about stuff I care about. Don't you want to fuel the fires of my passion?

I really hope that Ghibli gets to Mononoke sooner than later, despite their seeming adherence to releases based on chronological order; the only joy I get out of that is seeing all the people have to wait for the over appreciated Howl's Moving Castle to come out last since Ponyo already made it. Do me a solid guys and get to working on the domestic released this film has always deserved as I'm sick of waiting for it.

There you have it guys. Because my thoughts always seem to be a work in progress, I'll probably be adding to this list in the future. In the meantime, feel free to tell me how awesome (or dumb) I am for liking UHF (or disliking Howl's Moving Castle) on Twitter, leave a comment here or even buy some fancy stuff from one of our sponsors!

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