Do you even care to know how "gorgeous" the 1080P or 2/4 K scan transfer looks, or how cool the extra features are? By now, you are well-versed in what transfers look like and you know what's coming with the release. You're (hopefully) here because you want to know the experience I had watching this/these film(s).
New on Blu is a column from film pundit Chase Whale (that's me!), exploring studio, arthouse, underground, exploitation and cult cinema released on Blu-ray and DVD from some of the most cutting-edge independent distributors around the U.S. He talks about the movie and whether it's worth a buy or rent, not how amazing the transfer looks because you already know this system.
Dirty Dancing: 30th Anniversary Edition
Director: Emile Ardolino
Writer: Eleanor Bergstein
Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach
Film Rating: ★★★★★
DIRTY DANCING brings me back to my childhood. I'm sure it brings a lot of people my age back to their adolescence, too, but this film and BABY BOOM were staples of my growing up. I was raised by my mother, and these are her two favorite films still. (I'm pretty sure it's un-American not to have the time of your life watching this movie.)
Back then, VHS was all the rage, and my mom had a recorded version of DIRTY DANCING she got off HBO. (Buying movies were a hell of a lot more expensive back in that time, so taping two - three movies on one VHS was what you did.) We'd always watch the full movie, but then she'd rewind the ending scene, the famous dance scene, the one where the dreamy Patrick Swayze walks into the room and asks for Jennifer Grey's hand, and they do their infamous dance number that will give you chills every time you watch it it's so energetic and exciting. DIRTY DANCING showed us how to fly in the arms of an angel. Everyone -- in the movie and us -- falls in love with this moment, every time. When that bass kicks in from "Time of My Life," and the duo start getting into their routine, it's like an action movie but with crazy hypnotic dancing.
This film spoke to every generation. It taught us how to dance, and it taught us how to fall in love through dancing. And now it's back to celebrate its 30-year anniversary. It still seems like yesterday I was watching it with my mom in our living room, and now this beloved film is 30. Time flies when you're busy dancing your heart out.
It's a damn shame Swayze is no longer with us: he taught us how to dance, rip a man's throat out, and keep love alive when you're a ghost. He'll always be immortalized as one of cinema's rebels with a cause.
TROLLS: Party Edition
Director: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel
Film Rating: ★★★★★
I've probably seen TROLLS about 37 times. I'm not being hyperbolic. My darling niece loves this movie so much, she built a bear, dressed it as a troll and gave it their fabulous Christopher 'Kid' Harris-esque wavy hair, and named him Poppy. Her favorite part of the movie is the credits, which is the time when she dances like crazy to one of the film's hit songs, "September," and headbangs because it's "how the trolls shake their hair."
Don't let me sell you on this film when my niece does a much better job. Here two videos explaining why your kids need the movie, and what to do during the end credits. Enjoy.
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Director: Lian Lunson
Cast: Leonard Cohen, Bono, Rufus Wainwright
Film Rating: ★★★★
Buy/Rent: BUY (If you're a fan)
There have been a few documentaries made on icon Leonard Cohen (I found one, so just one), but none as good as LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN.
Packed with acts you love performing some of Leonard Cohen hits songs, I'M YOUR MAN is a hit documentary on the life of the artist. It's the conventional type of celebrity documentary you've seen before: artists talking about how the subject influenced them and why he/she is so prolific, his/her upbringing through to how they got to juggernaut status, but it's how it's told -- narrated by Cohen, spoken in mostly poetry -- and shown, with U2, Nick Cave (who has an excellent documentary about himself called 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH), Rufus Wainright, and many other musicians coming together for a night to play his hit songs (one of them being the opener for NATURAL BORN KILLERS, "Waiting For The Miracle.").
LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN first released in 2006 after a successful festival run at Sundance, TIFF, and Berlin, and is now resurrected for a first-time Blu-ray release.