But Furie and cinematographer Otto Heller had other ideas, making a highly stylized, moody, and deliberately paced spy thriller that strives for an artful deconstruction of the Bond-iverse. He highlights the importance of Helmut Käutner’s films in West Germany in the mid-20th century and traces the rise and fall of the Heimatfilm, which eventually led to a resurgence of crime films like Black Gravel in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. The distribution version is a tad washed out compared to the premiere cut, which, as houses the commentary track included on the disc, is effectively presented as the definitive version. In a cramped apartment, a family of four are sent into a panic when the WiFi network they’ve been pirating goes offline. But this is far from a comedic turn for Eastwood. With this characteristically beautiful disc, Criterion sheds light on an underrated, mournful western that anticipated the genre’s revisionism roughly a decade later. The grain level is consistent and cinematic throughout, with the 4K exhibiting stronger color saturation and more accurate skin tones. Nineteen-fifty was a big year for McLean, who not only edited The Gunfighter, which Smyth analyzes in exhilarating detail, but also Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, which illustrated her gift for balancing spectacle with performance. In Requiem for a Dream, there’s nothing going on but style, and ultimately, that just isn’t enough. Kino outfits one of Eastwood’s bleakest westerns with a sturdy transfer that honors its savage beauty. The notion of hiding from one’s sins is a recurring motif throughout, and is often symbolically attached to the town’s giant gravel pit, which doubles as a makeshift burial ground. Rounding out a slim but noteworthy package is a booklet featuring K. Austin Collins’s essay “You Can’t Go Home Again,” which beautifully contextualizes The Gunfighter’s melancholia within the framework of postwar America. But trying to decode precisely whose memory it is gives the ending the perfect note of ambiguity. If Will Graham enters the, FBI Agent Will Graham (Petersen) has captured the diabolical Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Cox), nearly losing more than just his mind in the process. King also savors intimate moments of small-town American life, detailing, say, the specifics of shopping for potatoes and onions, or of the day-to-day trials faced by Marshal Mark Strett (Millard Mitchell), who has a relationship with Ringo that evokes the one between William Holden and Robert Ryan’s characters in Sam Peckinpah’s seminal The Wild Bunch. If Ringo had shown even a trace of the crazy swagger that was said to once drive him—the kind of swagger that Michael Bien gave to a much different conception of the character in George P. Cosmatos’s 1993 western Tombstone—the film would have more bite. The setup is more or less straightforward, in keeping with your average Japanese pink film: Shutterbug and voyeur Iguchi (Tsukamoto) blackmails a neglected housewife, Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa), into some very public displays of exhibitionism. In Black Gravel, nothing is in more abundant supply than the countless vices indulged at one of Sohnen’s bars, which doubles as a bordello and caters to German locals and American military personnel alike. Then, out of nowhere, the accused gangsters break out into an impromptu rendition of “We’ll Meet Again,” a moment that surreally blends menace and mirth. The extras are rounded out by five minutes of behind-the-scenes footage. At one point in the film, the slum village where Ki-taek and his family live is devastated by a massive flood during a night of severe weather. Kino has gone the extra mile with the features on this disc. For all its faults, it's one of the most sensually thrilling movies of the year. Petersen is superb as the obsessive investigator who risks madness each time he takes on a case, and Tom Noonan is absolutely chilling as the psycho killer. It’s not long before the hotel’s concierge recognizes Bathory’s face, unchanged from how it was three decades prior. It's a bloated Hollywood heist thriller. Yet Mann shoots this objective accumulation of clues with wild flourishes of color and composition. In an on-camera interview, actor Don Stroud discusses getting the role in Joe Kidd after working with Eastwood on Don Siegel’s Coogan’s Bluff, the fractious relationship between director John Sturges and Eastwood, working with other cast and crew members, and filming his unusual death scene. This impeccable box set allows you to follow the development of one of contemporary Japanese cinema’s true visionaries. I know that it's based on the novel by Thomas Harris but why. The desperate, craven urge to live overwhelms, and it’s a shock to the characters, just as much as it to the audience. Regardless of context, Peck doesn’t even attempt to conjure the evil of an iconic killer, as his Jimmy Ringo is refined and unruffled, seemingly untouched by violence, and this disjunction is the point here. The film’s relentless sound editing and Clint Mansell’s remarkable score is perfectly presented, never sacrificing the clarity of the dialogue. Joe Kidd ambles onto Blu-ray with an exemplary transfer and a couple of interesting extras. On the face of it, bringing together John Sturges, who had helmed top-shelf westerns like Bad Day at Black Rock and The Magnificent Seven, and iconic star Clint Eastwood, fresh off his directorial debut Play Misty for Me, would seem like a match made in genre heaven. Cast: Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell, Jean Parker, Karl Malden, Skip Homeier, Anthony Ross, Verna Felton, Ellen Corby, Richard Jaeckel Director: Henry King Screenwriter: William Bowers, William Sellers Distributor: The Criterion Collection Running Time: 84 min Rating: NR Year: 1950 Release Date: October 20, 2020 Buy: Video. It’s hard to imagine any star now who’d be as willing to confront the disturbing implications of their “image” as strenuously as Eastwood does in High Plains Drifter, which elaborates on the eroticized heartlessness that he previously mined in Don Siegel’s The Beguiled. There are many twists and turns that keep the audience guessing, and some very intense and suspenseful scenes. Interviews are included with crew members, including editor Yang Jinmo and cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo, who notes how he crafted the film’s look by making wide-angle lenses that didn’t distort the dimensions of the image. Ki-jung (Park So-dam) and her brother, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), scurry about as their father, Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), instructs them to try holding their phones up to the ceiling, and to stand in every nook and cranny of their home until they find a new connection. Stephen Frears’s The Hit, which receives a fine 2K upgrade but no new bonus materials from Criterion, is an enigmatic, existential fable about crime and punishment. Instead, it concentrates on psychological deepness of the main character, FBI special agent Will Graham, whose ability to identify himself with wanted murderers puts him to the edge of the sanity. Bong himself has a lively discussion with critic Darcy Paquet, who changes things up for the press campaign-beleaguered director by using free-associative prompts to let him dictate the flow of the conversation.
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