Some long-awaited 4k films and Blu-rays have been delivered to my theater in the past week or maybe a little longer. A few were preorders, and some were catalog titles I caught on sale here and there, many of which I have never seen for one reason or another. A few are films I never had heard of but bought them on sale after checking out whether they might be worth spending some time with and possibly relaying my thoughts on what I had witnessed back to the two or three people who might wander in here to what my late brother and the biggest fan called “The World’s Greatest Blog” operated by “The World’s Greatest Movie Reviewer.” My brother was such a clown.
Of the movies I received on 4k, The Longest Yard (1974) 4k was tops on my list, with another one being a close second. I had pre-ordered it from Best Buy at the end of April, with a release date of May 16th.
I used to do most of my pre-orders from Amazon. One of their more stupid CSR’s royally pissed me off for her inability to fix what should have been a simple problem. I began making my purchases elsewhere, like Best Buy and Target, and buying directly from what I call Boutique Sellers such as Shout Factory, Arrow Video (which has just now delayed my order of The Last Starfighter on 4k), Kino Lorber and Vinegar Syndrome.
As it turned out, despite pre-ordering The Longest Yard way early, I didn’t get it on the release date as Best Buy promised. It didn’t arrive until June 1st, two weeks later. But this is not terribly unusual. I sometimes had the same problem when I would pre-order a Kino, Shout Factory, or other specialty labels from Amazon. Still, that long of a delay is irritating.”
I’ll probably be reviewing The Longest Yard in a Clyde’s Movie Palace article. Suppose you’ve ever seen the Adam Sandler remake, as I had the misfortune to have done. In that case, I recommend you return to the original starring Burt Reynolds and Eddie Albert and stay away from Sandler’s poor man version. The original seems quite popular as Amazon now lists a one to four-week wait to receive the item. Strangely, there was never a domestic Bluray release of the movie, so if you don’t have 4k, a regular Bluray is included with your purchase. And isn’t that a nifty cover?
Jerry Lewis made only a handful of movies I consider worth your time. I’m referring to his solo efforts, not his pairings with Dean Martin which I must revisit if I can stay alive long enough. I, Like many others, consider The Nutty Professor (1963) to be one of his best movies (But not my favorite. My heart belongs to Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958)) and probably his only solo effort that has a message worthwhile. Unless you count Cinderfella, which sort of has a message. That message is to watch the animated Disney version instead. But I’ll be reviewing it in depth at some point.
The 4k film comes from The Paramount Presents catalog titles, and whoever is in charge of that division has been doing a bang-up job lately with unexpected 4k releases such as this, Red Eye, Double Jeopardy, Blue Hawaii, War of the Worlds, Flashdance and 48 Hours.
Speaking of Cinderfella, I bought the 50th Anniversary edition of The Nutty Professor on Bluray in 2014, and one of the extras was a Cinderfella DVD. Good luck finding that special edition now, as it lists for over a hundred dollars on Amazon.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) finally gets a Blue Ray Release from Warner Archives. I bought the original DVD many years ago. I have intended to give a viewing in Clyde's Theater and then write one of my wordy reviews (sort of like what this mess of an article is turning into) just for you. It's a movie I like, but it has its flaws. One flaw it doesn't have is Ronny Howard stealing every scene he is in. He's absolutely charming.
And what can I say about Shirley Jones? She is always one of my favorites, whether playing a prostitute in Elmer Gantry (1960), a librarian in The Music Man (1962), or the mother of a family rock band in The Partridge Family (1970-1974) . I bought the DVD eons ago, and am happy to replace it with this Bluray.In 2005, I was writing a fictional story for The Sims 2. The story, Laurie and Dag, centered on the lives of two sisters and was a sequel to The Kid and Me, another tale I had written in that format. I ended up cribbing the plot for about a third of my story. I didn’t make a secret of the fact that I was “paying homage” (as Quentin Tarantino might tell you). Suppose you were so inclined (which you aren’t) to read it, along with the illustrations from The Sims. In that case, it still exists on the internet, but you’ll have to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat to find Laurie and Dag. I don’t give out that link because people claim they will read it but never do. And besides, I’ve been in the process of rewriting that novella for about three years, without the part cribbed from Eddie’s Father.
I also picked up three 4k releases in a sale at Shout Factory, and the deal was the main reason I added them to my library. Although I bought many 4k movies at that location upon release, I try to stick to the sales these days because funds are low, and I have to watch my wallet more carefully.
I picked up two horror movies and one Christmas Movie that does double duty as a horror film. I believe that one can never have enough Holiday material in their library.
My late brother felt the same way, although on a Thanksgiving visit to his home just before he passed away, the entertainment on his TV was Chips, one of the worst movies I have now had the utmost misfortune to run across. However, it wasn’t my brother Paul who had put that shit on. It was his daughter and son-in-law’s choice of holiday entertainment. Being a wise one, my brother was out on the porch.
The three movies I picked up were, They Live (1988), Black Christmas (1974), and Return of the Living Dead (1985). I've seen all three. I've always thought that Black Christmas was a fun horror ride for a movie made in 1974. It also stars Olivia Hussey from Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Keir Dullea from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I know I’ve seen They Live and Return of the Dead many blue moons ago. I remember that Return had a comedic touch. I don’t have a fond memory of They Live but I’m told by other cult collector’s that I’m wrong. They might be right as I don’t remember anything about it at all except it stars that great athlete and thespian, Rowdy Roddy Piper. When I watch it I’ll let you know.
I also picked up some movies from The Disney Movie Club. I preordered Avatar 4K and Avatar: The Way of Water 4k and only paid the full price for one of them. I always try to pick up some others for my library when ordering a new release since they will either be 60 percent off (you pay the shipping) or 50 percent off (free shipping). Once you fulfill your initial agreement, The Movie Club can be quite a bargain, but you have to play your cards right. This time I picked up Muppet Treasure Island & The Great Muppet Caper, The Help, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes (2001), The Maze Runner Trilogy, and Lilo & Stitch: The Two Movie Collection.
I saw the first Maze Runner Movie and didn’t care about it. But my youngest son, who lives across the country in Virginia Land, has been pushing me to get it, as he claims it’s not as bad as some people say. I’ve had it in and out of my shopping cart at Disneyland, mostly out. But this time, it was a good bargain at $14.98.
The Muppet Films are the ones that I’ve wanted in my collection for a long time. I always say you can never have enough Muppet stuff in your life. I have never thought The Great Muppet Caper was even close to the original The Muppet Movie in quality, but it’s good enough. I haven’t seen Muppet Treasure Island, but you can’t go wrong with Kermit and the Pig.
People are constantly bugging me to give Lilo & Stitch a chance, so I guess that’s what I will do now. If it does not live up to what all those people insist it is, I will look those people up, and I will find them, and they will pay.
The rest of the films on Bluray I acquired this week came from Kino Lorber and their never-ending While Supplies Last sale. I was surprised that Steve McQueen’s The Reivers was on the list, and being a big McQueen fan, I snatched it up. The problem with this movie is the title, which is hardly the kind of title you give a movie you want people to watch. However, I’ve heard good things about it, and I’ll let you know whenever I get to it.
The rest of the movies I obtained from that sale were blind buys. It’s an eternal lesson that old films are new if you’ve never seen them. If I had seen them, I’d undoubtedly have forgotten about them long ago.
So how do I choose? Generally, I look at the actors and plot and try to find reviews of the film elsewhere. Suppose they have actors I like a lot, such as McQueen, Tony Curtis, Anthony Hawkins, Betty Grable, and Barbra Stanwyck. In that case, it goes a long way toward whether I’ll be on the sly or head to the checkout lane.
They won’t all be winners, but once in my library, you’re there to stay, at least for now. When I’m dead and gone, my wife, who has never been into my Film on Discs Odyssey, could have the final say on their disposition. Actually, there’s a bunch I’d put on eBay if I could figure out the ins and outs. I have a ton of old DVD’s I’d almost give away, so bring a truck and haul them off.
If you want to check out my current bluray/4k libraries, check them out here. You’ll also find listed a few of my TV series, which I add occasionally. Here are the rest of the films I picked up at Kino and two more of the Disney ones. Click on any picture or link if you’re interested in adding them to your at home library.