Category Archives: Movies

Indiana Jones Blu-ray collection arrives in September

While that fourth movie (which shall not be named) has been available on Blu-ray for a couple of years, the original Indiana Jones trilogy has not been available in HD until now.  Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures arrives on September 18 in remastered HD, with particular attention given to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

From the press release:

In June of 1981 director Steven Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas introduced the world to Indiana Jones when the unforgettable Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted in theaters. Exploding to instant acclaim, the film has now been carefully restored, alongside remastered versions of the archaeologist’s other thrilling adventures—Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Prepare for excitement, adventure and snakes—why did it have to be snakes?—all with pristine picture and sound when INDIANA JONES: The Complete Adventures debuts on Blu-ray September 18, 2012 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Supervised by director Steven Spielberg and renowned sound designer Ben Burtt, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.

The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt’s original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director’s vision. The result is an impeccable digital restoration that celebrates the film and its place in cinematic history.

The installments in the franchise have won a combined seven Academy Awards®. Relive every heart-pounding thrill like never before as all four films arrive together, for the first time presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by a collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and new bonus features.

There ya go. Thankfully Spielberg is overseeing the Raiders restoration rather than Lucas (I can just imagine him trying to replace Short Round with a CGI Shia LaBouf or some other such nonsense).  Then again, Spielberg did replace guns with walkie-talkies in E.T. – so who knows.

Preorder Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com

‘Rock of Ages’ sinks like a stone

Looks like the movie adaption of a musical named after a Def Leppard song is a box office bust – opening in the third spot behind Prometheus and Madagascar 3.  With an estimated budget of $75 million, it only took in $15 million it’s opening weekend.

From Deadline Hollywood:

 …New Line/Warner Bros’ Rock Of Ages (3,470 theaters) fell to earth with a thud. Which Hollywood expected because the pic had been tracking poorly for weeks (and even went down at one point week to week). The studio felt the 1980s period piece was a hard sell to younger moviegoers. I suspect the problem was casting. Russell Brand has been repellant to moviegoers, while Tom Cruise as iconic rocker proved just too incredulous for audiences. The PG-13 musical is looking to open to only $15M this weekend after taking in just $5.3M Friday and $5.4M Saturday. Given that the pic was based on the Broadway warbler, it did worse than the studio expected and far worse than Mamma Mia which with the same pedigree opened to $27M. Warner Bros was holding out hope for this $75M-budget pic, thinking that a good CinemaScore could generate great word of mouth and therefore great legs for the film. It didn’t materialize: audiences only gave Rock Of Ages a mediocre ‘B’. There’s just no way to save this s(t)inker with hack director Adam Shankman at the helm: in fact, weekend gross may fall below $15M by Monday.

I haven’t seen it myself, but the movie adaptation was going to have a hard time bringing in a large audience for a number of reasons.  Few fans of 80s rock have any interest in hearing those songs butchered a la “Glee,” for one.  Not to mention Tom Cruise is pretty much box office poison at this point due to his loony antics a few years back, and simply isn’t believable as a “rock god” – when I saw the trailer in a crowded theater last year, there was an audible groan from the audience as the camera whipped around to reveal Stacey Jaxx for the first time.

Rocky LXXVIII: Adrian’s Revenge

The first movie I ever saw was Rocky – it’s one of those memories that are very fuzzy, but there are specific elements that stand out regardless – the smell of the popcorn, the blue carpet in the lobby, the colored lights running down the side of the aisle.

I remember very little about the movie itself, other than thinking it was black and white (it is rather monochrome…) But I have watched it and it’s sequels many times over the years – it ranks up there as one of my favorite movies ever.

Except for the last entry in the series – Rocky V. At the time it was obviously meant to be the last one, taking Rocky back to his roots, etc. But it just felt far too contrived; it tried too hard to be contemporary with the hippin’ and the hoppin’ and the bippin’ and the boppin’. Not to mention Sage Stallone’s horrible acting.  It was a disappointing end to an otherwise great franchise.

After 15 years and a truckload of rumors and speculation, and we have Rocky Balboa – finally, a fitting finale for Rocky. It is everything Rocky V needed to be, but wasn’t. It definitely has a greatest hits feel to it, and there’s one too many trademark inspirational speeches, but overall it’s a much more authentic return to the first couple of movies. It doesn’t try too hard to be relevant or cutting edge, there’s no Survivor cheese rock or hip-hop remixes of the Rocky theme (Bill Conti for the win), and most of all the movie ends the series as it started. It’s not a matter of winning a championship or obtaining glory – it’s about the internal struggle with oneself and “going the distance” despite everyone else saying you can’t – the thing that made Rocky such a compelling character 30 years ago.

But do we really need another sequel to Rambo?

BUY: Rocky Balboa at Amazon.com