Jeremy Renner talks about the world of the movie in the MSN exclusive clip
"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" (Paramount) continues Hollywood's love affair with fairy tales and fantasies reworked for a modern audiences with offbeat twists, oddball humor, and / or unexpected imagery.
In this case, there is quite the gore factor as Hansel and Gretel, now grown up and played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, dressed in in leather armor and armed with steampunk weapons, dispatch wicked witches and other monsters preying on the hamlets of medieval Germany.
The film was critically lambasted (MSN film critic Kat Murphy writes that "it has all the terror and suspense and visual pizzazz of a downscale video game for dull-eyed teens happy to lap up lame wisecracks and lots of gore") but it became a surprise hit for its mix of self-aware humor and flying viscera (which is even more impressive in 3D).
"Is "Hansel & Gretel" a misunderstood camp horror blast, or just an odd, overdone misfire?" asks Don Kaye, editor of MSN's Parallel Universe. I opt for the latter but Kaye leaves the question open in his interview with director Tommy Wirkola.
On Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD. The two Blu-ray editions feature an unrated version of the film that runs 10 minutes longer and three featurettes: "Reinventing Hansel & Gretel," "The Witching Hours," and "Meet Edward the Troll," plus a bonus copy of the film on DVD, a digital copy of the film for portable media players, an UltraViolet digital copy for download and instant streaming.
Also available On Demand, VOD, and at Redbox.
MSN has an exclusive clip from the supplements featuring Jeremy Renner discussing the world of the movie created by the filmmakers.
Ten weeks of non-fiction features direct from the festival circuit to HBO
"Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," a portrait of the Russian feminist art collective who became international figures when they were arrested and tried on charges of religious hatred, won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
It also kicks off HBO's ten-week summer documentary series, which presents a new documentary feature every Monday night through August 12.
HBO has become one of the godfathers of documentary filmmaking, funding numerous projects every year by both new and established filmmakers, many of which end up winning awards on the film festival circuit and even occasionally securing a theatrical release before they show on the pay cable channel.
Like "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," which played theaters in New York and Los Angeles earlier this year. "It's Pussy Riot's aim to provoke—you don't give yourselves a name like that unless you want to attract attention," writes Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek. "But the official government response affirms that what the group did—pull on some popsicle-colored balaclavas to jump around on an altar for a few minutes—is genuinely subversive. It struck a nerve, and the wound still stings."
The HBO Documentaries summer series continues on June 17 with "Love, Marilyn," a new portrait of the icon using rare footage, audiotapes, and recently discovered Marilyn Monroe letters and diaries from Academy Award nominee Liz Garbus ("The Farm: Angola USA"), followed by:
Click on "More" below to continue reading
A few classics and long-awaited favorites debuting on MOD
While many previously unavailable films have made their respective debuts in the DVD era, a lot of beloved movies that were once VHS staples still await disc release. The manufacture-on-demand format is where many of these films finally debut. Here are a few of the recent debuts.
Clifton Webb was best known as a dramatic authority figure and an imperious if prissy film noir icon in such films as "Laura" and "The Dark Corner" when he took his career into a whole new direction with "Sitting Pretty" (20th Century Fox Cinema Archives), playing the role of Lynn Belvedere, the self-proclaimed genius who takes a position as a live-in babysitter for a trio of bratty boys.
He's the intellectual in suburbia who has his own reasons for playing the manny, a position to which he is clearly not temperamentally suited for, but he throws himself into the project with befuddled aplomb and within days his unconventional mix of child psychology and strict discipline tame the three rambunctious kids, much to the relief of flustered parents Maureen O’Hara and Robert Young. Webb gets third billing but he commands the screen with those witheringly snide insults and cutting comments that roll off his tongue with comic effortlessness. The film was a hit and spawned two sequels. Fox's disc is full screen and the unrestored transfer looks perfectly fine.
"A Guy Named Joe" (Warner Archive), starring Spencer Tracy as a daredevil World War II fighter pilot who dies in action but returns a guardian angel to younger pilots and watches the woman he loved (Irene Dunne) fall in love with another pilot (Van Johnson), is a mix of wartime patriotism and romantic drama with a hint of spiritual approval. God was clearly on our side, if the angels were sending back veteran fighters to help out the American war effort. Victor Fleming directs from a script by Dalton Trumbo. The superb cast aside (Ward Bond, James Gleason, Lionel Barrymore, and Esther Williams co-star), it's probably most famous because Steven Spielberg called it one of his favorite films and remade it as "Always" in 1989.
The 1949 adaptation of "The Secret Garden" (Warner Archive) was not the first (that honor was nabbed by a 1919 production) but it is still the one that the subsequent versions are measured by. Famously shot in B&W with Technicolor sequences (taking a page from "The Wizard of Oz"), it stars Margaret O'Brien (of "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Little Women" fame) as the courageous Mary, young Dean Stockwell as her crippled cousin, and Herbert Marshall, Gladys Cooper, and Elsa Lanchester as the adult supervision. Director Fred M. Wilcox is the same filmmaker who created the delirious alien landscapes of "Forbidden Planet."
More recent arrivals:
"Sons and Lovers" (20th Century Fox Cinema Archives), the 1960 adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel from director Jack Cardiff, won the Academy Award for the black and white cinematography by Freddie Francis out of seven Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, Best Director for Jack Cardiff, Best Actor for Trevor Howard, and Best Adapted Screenplay). Dean Stockwell, Windy Hiller, Mary Ure, Donald Pleasance, and Ernest Thesiger co-star. This is 16x9 letterbox, which means widescreen but not anamorphic. Fox has still not quite figured this format out, but at least it's not pan-&-scan.
Robert Shaw headlines "The Hireling" (Sony Pictures Choice Collection) as the new chauffeur to widow Sarah Miles in the 1973 drama that won the Palm d'Or at Cannes in 1973. This disc is anamorphic widescreen.
"Sincerely Yours" (Warner Archive) is a musical vehicle for Liberace, who never made the leap from TV celebrity to movie star. This isn't his only film, but it remains his sole feature as a leading man.
"Penrod and Sam" (Warner Archive) is the first talking picture to bring Booth Tarkington's Penrod and Sam to the screen, with Leon Janney and Frank Coghlan Jr. as the title characters and William Beaudine directs.
Robert Taylor takes the lead in "The House of Seven Hawks" (Warner Archive), which borrows a few elements of "The Maltese Falcon" in its mystery of Dutch smugglers and mistaken identities.
Videodrone's take on the biggest, best, coolest and culty-ist releases of the week
"Warm Bodies" (Summit) may not be the first zombie romantic comedy (or rom-zom-com), but it's the first and the sweetest mainstream story of undead love, thanks to director Jonathan Levine's facility for offbeat takes on familiar stories and the genial chemistry among both the human survivors (notably a dynamic and charming Teresa Palmer) and the shuffling undead (Nicholas Hoult as our zombie hero). Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, and at Redbox. Videodrone's review is here.
"A Good Day to Die Hard" (Fox) brings Bruce Willis back to the franchise for a fifth time, this go round in Moscow where he shows up to bail his estranged son out of jail and ends up in yet another mad genius criminal conspiracy. Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand.
"Identity Thief" (Universal) stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in a so-comedy that MSN film critic Glenn Kenny condemns as "a long, tedious picture (Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand) while the animated "Escape from Planet Earth" (Anchor Bay) didn't fare much better with the critics and was ignored by audiences (Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, and at Redbox). The dark comedy "It's a Disaster" (Oscilloscope, Blu-ray and DVD), an indie about a couples brunch in the midst of the end of civilization as we know it, got better marks from the critics.
Foreign arrivals this week include "Sadako 3D" (Well Go, Blu-ray and DVD), a new chapter in the "Ring" horror series from Japan, and the coming of age film "The Giants" (Kino Lorber, DVD) from Belgium.
The monthly B-Sides round-up spotlights "Tomorrow You're Gone" (RLJ) with Stephen Dorff and Willem Dafoe and lists plenty of other new direct-to-disc and made-for-cable pictures. Find the complete rundown here.
Most releases are also available as digital download and VOD via iTunes, Amazon, and other web retailers and video services.
TV on Disc:
"Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season" (Sony) is more accurately "Season Five, Part One," with the first eight episodes of the final season of the one of the smartest, sharpest, most dramatically daring and accomplished shows on television. It completes his brutal evolution of Bryan Cranston's Walter White from desperate cancer victim to superstar meth cook to ruthless Godfather of his domain, and sets the stage for the final act to play out on AMC in the final eight episodes this summer. Blu-ray and DVD, with hours of supplements. Videodrone's review is here.
"Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season" (Warner) expands on the first season of the alien invasion drama by taking a look at the bigger picture, taking on bigger targets, and showing the destruction of war in the scars of the survivors. Apparently cable is indeed the home of the best science fiction on TV. 10 episodes, Blu-ray and DVD. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
A couple of the more unusual TV offerings this week, "Wilfred: The Complete Original Series" (Fabulous, DVD) presents all 16 episode of the original Australian series that inspired the FX version, and "A Token of His Extreme" (Eagle Vision, DVD) is the 1974 special produced by Frank Zappa for TV, but never broadcast in the US.
"The First Churchills" (Acorn) is the 1969 British mini-series about the ancestors of Sir Winston Churchill in 17th- and 18th-Century England, and "The Politician's Wife" (Acorn) is a 1995 production starring Juliet Stevenson, Trevor Eve, and Minnie Driver. Both DVD
"Mountain Men: Season 1" (Lionsgate, DVD) is the latest backwoods reality show from the History Channel.
Cool and Classic:
"The Mad Max Trilogy" (Warner) collects all three revved-up desert apocalypse films directed by George Miller and starring Mel Gibson in a new Blu-ray set: "Mad Max" (with the original Australian soundtrack), "The Road Warrior," and the Blu-ray debut of "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome." Videodrone's review is here.
"Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection" (Warner) is the DVD set and "Clint Eastwood 20 Film Collection" (Warner) is the Blu-ray edition of this tribute to Clint at Warner Bros., and both editions feature the debut of the documentary "Eastwood Directs" on DVD. Videodrone's review is here and MSN is giving away a copy of the Blu-ray set – details on how to enter here.
Blu-ray debuts: "Electra Glide in Blue" (Shout Factory), the cult crime drama starring Robert Blake in his greatest role as an honorable motorcycle cop in a corrupt culture, and "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry / Race with the Devil" (Shout Factory), a double feature of seventies cult films with Peter Fonda.
Home video debuts: "Perfect Understanding" (Cohen) is a recently rediscovered 1933 British romantic comedy starring Gloria Swanson and young Laurence Olivier and scripted by Michael Powell, and Barbara Stanwyck stars in the 1950 film noir "The File on Thelma Jordan" (Olive). Neither film has appeared on disc or tape before, and both debut on Blu-ray and DVD.
Cult movies: "The Magic Christian" (Olive) with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, William Castle's "Shanks" (Olive) with Marcel Marceau, and Alan Clarke's controversial "Scum" (Kino) with Ray Winstone. All Blu-ray and DVD.
More stars: Cary Grant stars in "Father Goose" (Olive) with Leslie Caron and "The Grass is Greener" (Olive) with Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum, Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck are "Blowing Wild" (Olive), and John Wayne challenges the "Dark Command" (Olive) of Walter Pidgeon. All Blu-ray and DVD.
Streams and Channels:
There's plenty of comedy on newly available to stream at Netflix Instant. The original "Bedazzled" (1967) with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore goofs on "Faust" with a sardonic schoolboy sacrilege and "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" (1982) drops Steve Martin into dozens of film noir classics for a hilarious private detective spoof. Also newly arrives is "Super Troopers" (2002) from Broken Lizard and "A Shock to the System" (1990) with Michael Caine.
And here are a couple of classics: Douglas Sirk's glossy melodrama "Imitation of Life" (1959) with Lana Turner and the "Planet of the Apes" (1968) with Charlton Heston: “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”
Turner Classic Movies devotes Friday nights in June to films from the great noir authors. Eddie Muller curates and hosts film noir programs that pay tribute to Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, David Goodis, and others. More on Videodrone here.
Browse more Instant offerings here
New On Demand:
"Warm Bodies" offers zombie love with undead Nicholas Hoult and very much alive Teresa Palmer and Bruce Willis is back in the middle of the action in "A Good Day to Die Hard," which sends his to Moscow. Also available same day as disc is the comedy "Identity Thief" with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy (in a longer unrated edition) and the animated "Escape From Planet Earth."
Arriving on Friday, June 7, the same as theatrical release, is the acclaimed documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" from Alex Gibney, which gets a glowing review from MSN film critic James Rocchi here.
Available from Redbox this week:
Also arriving in Redbox kiosks this week: this season's Nicholas Sparks adaptation "Safe Haven" (Fox, Blu-ray and DVD) with Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, the horror film "Mama" with Jessica Chastain, and the direct-to-disc animated original feature "Superman Unbound" (Warner, DVD).
|Tags:||Week in review|
Plus a couple of classics, some kid stuff, and more
The comedies stand out in the new Netflix Instant arrivals this week.
In the original "Bedazzled" (1967), the Devil isn't exactly evil in this dryly farcical reworking of Faust. He's just a bored prankster cursed to spend his days punking the human race unless he beats God in a contest: the first to reach a 100 billion souls wins.
Chalk up Dudley Moore as short order cook Stanley Moon, a working class schlub offered seven wishes by a crisply sardonic and preternaturally underhanded Devil (Peter Cook) with a predilection for practical jokes. Cook, who wrote the snappy script (from a story written with Moore), is an erudite comic misanthrope with a classical education, and his take on God as the ultimate prankster and Lucifer as his long-suffering victim borders on schoolboy sacrilege. Stanley Donen directs with a stylish hand, giving a bounce to the slyly understated banter that Cook drops into increasingly bizarre situations, but it's the strangely easy rapport between the longtime comic team that pulls the skit-like episodes together. Raquel Welch has a memorable role as one of the Seven Deadly Sins (guess which one).
"Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" (1982) mixes and matches scenes from dozens of film noir classics for a hilarious private detective spoof more in tune with the gag-laden humor of Steve Martin’s early films than the more sophisticated comedy of his later films. Through the magic of editing, Martin performs opposite Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Alan Ladd, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Lana Turner, James Cagney and a dozen or so additional Hollywood stars and turns every guest performance into a perfect straight man role for his wild and crazy schtick.
"Super Troopers" (2002), from the comedy group Broken Lizard, plays like the "Animal House" boys joined the State Troopers and found a new rivalry with the local small town cops. The plot has something to do with an impending trooper station shut down and a marijuana smuggling ring, but the fun is in the stunts and inspired mind games they pull on a series of unsuspecting motorists, such as a car full of stoned college boys worked into paranoid hysteria. It’s not smart, it’s not serious, and it has all the dignity of a fat naked man covered in powdered sugar, but it sure is funny.
"A Shock to the System" (1990) offers a darker shade of humor. Michael Caine perfectly underplays a corporate executive who gives up his hardworking ways to the play the game even more ruthlessly than his backstabbing younger rivals: he stabs back with real knives. Jan Egleson’s clever black comedy didn’t stir much interest at the box office but deservedly found its audience and became a cult item on video.
More laughs with "In & Out" (1997), starring Kevin Kline as a small town schoolteacher who, on the eve of his wedding, is “outed” on national television by a former student during his Oscar acceptance speech, and "Mystery Men" (1999), a comic book hero spoof with Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, and William H. Macy as dubious superheroes.
Classics and kid stuff after the jump. Click on "More" below.
Plus 'Thelma Jordan' and 'Perfect Understanding' debut, 'Electra Glide' and 'Dirty Mary' on Blu, and many more
"Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection" (Warner) is the DVD set and "Clint Eastwood 20 Film Collection" (Warner) is the Blu-ray edition of this tribute to Clint at Warner Bros. Videodrone's review is here, and MSN is giving away a copy of the Blu-ray set – details on how to enter here.
"The Mad Max Trilogy" (Warner) collects all three revved-up desert apocalypse films directed by George Miller and starring Mel Gibson in a new Blu-ray set, including the Blu-ray debut of "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (which also arrives as a stand-alone Blu-ray release).
The original "Mad Max" (1979) is a classic revenge picture that creates a grimy, gritty social milieu on the verge of collapse on a low budget and revs it up with careening cart chases and savage wrecks. An impossibly young, baby-faced Mel Gibson plays both rebel and reliable family man as a cool cop in black leather and a souped up V8, but by "The Road Warrior" (1981) he is all scar tissue and survival instinct, a dark loner in an apocalyptic western on wheels in the harsh Australian outback. Director George Miller has improved as a director and carves out a defining production aesthetic of scavenged style and guerrilla attitude, while his car chases and action scene combine comic book mythos with a visceral punch.
"Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (1985) never rises to the heights of "The Road Warrior" and turns Max into a savior of children, but Thunderdome is a terrific creation and Tina Turner is memorable as Aunty Entity, the rock star MC of the Thunderdome deathmatches.
This set presents "Mad Max" with the original Australian soundtrack and the commentary and featurettes of the earlier Blu-ray release and "The Road Warrior" with director commentary. No supplements on "Beyond Thunderdome," but it's a superbly mastered disc. The three-disc set comes in a standard keepcase with hinged trays inside an odd tin case.
"The File on Thelma Jordan" (Olive) is one of the most low key film noir dramas of its era, with Barbara Stanwyck is fine form as a seductress who targets bitter assistant D.A. and married man Wendell Corey, surely one of the most weak-willed and deluded patsies in the history of the genre. When she becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a high society matron who names her in her will, the self-pitying Corey doesn't just miss the signs that she's playing him, he blatantly ignores them to cover up incriminating evidence and play the system. The mix of women's picture and crime conspiracy is really quite subtle and director Robert Siodmak generates more sympathy for Stanwyck, whose comes off as victim as much as victimizer, than for the Corey, who can never quite justify his corruption of the office. But its most mature triumph is refusing to let Corey off the hook for his betrayals and misdeeds. Blu-ray and DVD, in a fine transfer of a master in need of a little restoration.
Gloria Swanson went to Britain to make the 1933 "Perfect Understanding" (Cohen), an original Noel Coward-esque drawing room romantic comedy co-starring a young Laurence Olivier as her British high society husband. The "perfect understanding" is their ideal of complete honesty, which of course simply sends them spiraling in to jealousy, mistrust, and divorce proceedings. Michael Powell gets prominent billing on the disc for "script," even though his contribution is completely uncredited on the film, and while its sophisticated ambitions are admirable, it lacks the wit of its inspirations. Yet a line from another Swanson film comes to mind: "We had faces then." She certainly does, and her Hollywood screen dynamism makes an interesting contrast to Olivier's understatement. Blu-ray and DVD, with two bonus comedy shorts from 1933: "Husband's Reunion" and "Dream Stuff."
"In Old Arizona" (Fox), the first Cisco Kid film of the sound era, was the first western to be shot on location with live sound and it won an Oscar for Best Actor for Warner Baxter in the lead role. Raoul Walsh developed the production, scouted the Utah locations, and shot the dynamic action scenes of the film, but had to drop out after a car accident and Irving Cummings directed the remaining scenes. It was during this production that Walsh lost his right eye and gained his trademark eyepatch. Blu-ray and DVD.
"Shanks" (Olive) is the final film directed by William Castle, the B-movie showman and gimmick-maestro of the 1950s and 1960s, but it's even more famous for the screen appearance by Marcel Marceau, who plays the leading roles here as both an eccentric inventor and a mute puppeteer who learns to reanimate the dead and control them like marionettes. Blu-ray and DVD.
Nancy Kwan is "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" (Olive, Blu-ray and DVD) in the spy spoof starring Adam West (not to be confused with the Mario Bava film), and Tom Conti earned an Oscar nomination for "Reuben, Reuben" (Olive, Blu-ray and DVD).
"Electra Glide in Blue" (Shout Factory) could be the flip side of "Easy Rider," with Robert Blake in his greatest role as a motorcycle cop patrolling the Arizona highways around Monument Valley while making his play for promotion to detective. He's the honest man in a corrupt culture and apart from a pointed visual gag in the first act, the film leaves the short jokes alone to focus on the culture gap, bigotry, and observations on masculinity, with Blake managing to play both the well-meaning rube and the most mature and observant guy on the job. Director / producer / composer James William Guercio was a music producer and he orchestrates as much as directs, with the help of Conrad Hall, who gives the film a lonely majesty. Elisha Cook Jr. and Royal Dano deliver great characters in supporting roles, members of the band Chicago take bit parts, and watch for Nick Nolte in the crowd of the commune. The disc features commentary and an introduction by director Guercio.
Click on "More" below to continue reading
Big box sets for an American icon with credentials on both sides of the camera
Over the course of one of the longest active careers in Hollywood, Clint Eastwood had transformed himself from western movie icon to Hollywood superstar to one of the greatest and most intelligent directors of our time. It's been nearly 60 years since his debut as a bit player on the Universal lot, but for more than 40 years he and his production company Malpaso have made a home at Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. celebrates the partnership with two new box sets: "Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection" (Warner) on DVD and "Clint Eastwood 20 Film Collection" (Warner) on Blu-ray. Both collections include two documentaries: "The Eastwood Factor" from 2010 and the new 2013 production "Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story," exclusive to these collections.
The documentary aside, there's nothing that hasn't already been released on disc before, but what a collection. The "Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection" DVD set ups the count of the earlier box set "Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years" with four additional features ("Invictus," "Hereafter," "J. Edgar," and "Trouble With the Curve"), but it keeps the same packaging -- a hefty 8x11 ½ inch volume of bookleaf pages and predominantly double-sided discs -- for a grand total of 38 features and two documentaries. It's a nearly 45-year span from 1968 ("Where Eagles Dare," his first really big budget film) to 2012 ("Trouble with the Curve"), with a few clunkers in between ("Any Which Way You Can" anyone?) but mostly solid, crisply professional films from a dedicated artist who still, apparently, is not ready to retire.
The Blu-ray "Clint Eastwood 20 Film Collection" doubles the earlier "Clint Eastwood Blu-ray Collection" with a full 20 features plus two bonus DVDs with the documentaries, and even drops a couple of the films in that earlier set. Gone are "Where Eagles Dare" and "Kelly's Heroes," pre-Malpaso ensemble pictures where Clint shares the billing, in favor of his own productions from the seventies and eighties. This set spans about 40 years, from "Dirty Harry" in 1971 (it also includes the two best sequels, "Magnum Force" and "Sudden Impact") to "Trouble with the Curve." In between are some of his biggest hits and most iconic characters ("The Outlaw Josie Wales," "Pale Rider") as well as most of his great films as a director, including Oscar winners "Unforgiven" (1992) and "Million Dollar Baby" (2005) and his underrated "A Perfect World" (1993). The discs are filed in a 6x7 bookleaf case with sturdy pages and slipsleeve disc holders and the case includes the illustrated booklet "Clint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker at Work."
The documentaries are both directed by film critic, film historian, documentary filmmaker, and Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel. "The Eastwood Factor" (previously available on disc) is a breezy profile of Eastwood the actor and icon, less as a portrait of the artist than a genial tour through his career at Warner Bros. The more interesting "Eastwood Directs" focuses on his legacy as the director of over thirty films, with special attention paid to a few of his greatest and most important accomplishments, including "The Outlaw Josie Wales," "Unforgiven, "Million Dollar Baby," and "J. Edgar."
The complete list of titles for each box is after the jump. Click on "More" below.
Eddie Muller hosts four nights of films from the great noir authors
Eddie Muller, the "Czar of Noir" and creator of the Noir City film festival and the Film Noir Foundation, is Turner Classic Movies' guest through the month of June, curating and introducing a series of films adapted from the novels by the great noir authors.
Muller takes the screen every Friday night to introduce the films and discuss the authors, beginning on Friday, June 7 with Dashiell Hammett, the godfather of American crime fiction. Muller introduces four films adapted from Hammett's novels and original stories: the original 1931 "The Maltese Falcon" with Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade, Rouben Mamoulian's "City Streets" (1931) with Gary Cooper (DVR alert: not on home video), "After the Thin Man" (1936) with William Powell and Myrna Loy, and "The Glass Key" with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.
In addition to the Muller's official picks, TCM continues the evening with screenings of the two subsequent remakes of "The Maltese Falcon": "Satan Met a Lady" with Bette Davis and Warren William, and John Huston's 1941 adaptation with Humphrey Bogart that has become the definitive screen version of the novel.
Friday, June 14 pays tribute to perhaps the most underrated of noir authors: David Goodis, who Muller calls "the mystery man of American crime fiction." His most celebrated film is "Dark Passage" (1947), thanks to the teaming of Bogart and Lauren Bacall and an inventive first act filmed entirely in first-person, but Muller introduces us to some of his less well-known pictures: the superb "Nightfall" (1956), the seedy "The Burglar" (1957), and Francois Truffaut's alternately playful and tragic "Shoot the Piano Player" (1960). (Full disclosure: I contribute reviews and essays to the TCM website and the essay on "The Burglar" is written by yours truly.)
TCM follows up with two additional Goodis pictures: the French heist film "The Burglars" (1971) (DVR alert: not on home video) and "The Unfaithful" (1947), from a screenplay co-written by Goodis.
Friday, June 21 throws the spotlight on author and screenwriter Jonathan Latimer with original screenplays "Nocturne" (1946) and "They Won't Believe Me" (1947), and James M. Cain with the iconic film noirs "Double Indemnity" (1944) and "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946).
And on Friday, June 28, Muller pay tribute to Cornell Woolrich with "The Leopard Man" (1943) and "Deadline at Dawn" (1946) and Raymond Chandler, the heir apparent to Hammett's mantle, with "Murder My Sweet" (1944) and "The Big Sleep" (1946). TCM tosses in "Lady in the Lake" (1947), which was entirely shot from the detective's point of view, and "Strangers on a Train," which was adapted by Patricia Highsmith's novel for Alfred Hitchcock by Chandler.
You can browse the schedule for the entire month of June on Turner Classic Movies here.