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Recent Criterion DVDs [ATTN: Film geeks]

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Lone_Star_Speed, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. I've been a big fan of the Criterion Collection going back to the days of laserdisc (one of the first discs I bought was Blade Runner). From time to time there has been a title included that I felt didn't belong (Armageddon comes to mind) but most of those made it in after "Mother Mouse Ears" bought the company. The recent releases have been some of the best of the entire collection and there are more great titles on the way before summer's end.
    I recently picked up Stuart Cooper's Overlord and was thoroughly impressed. My only exposure to this film had been the brief clips that appeared in the Z Channel documentary from a couple of years ago. For those unfamiliar with the film, Cooper blended actual battlefield footage shot by the Brits during WW2 with material he filmed in the early '70s to tell the story of a British soldier from the time he leaves home to the moment he takes part in D-Day. The authentic war footage is of the highest quality and blends seamlessly with the staged material. This is definitely a film that deserves a wider audience than it has had over the past 30 years. The film is supplemented with a commentary track by Cooper as well as several featurettes (including an excellent newsreel piece on the servicemen film unit).
    Brute Force is the newest Jules Dassin film to be added to the collection. Burt Lancaster (in his second film role) plays a prison inmate hellbent on busting out. Hume Cronyn plays the Chief Guard with aspirations of becoming warden. It's a pretty bare bones release by Criterion standards yet still a worthy addition to one's DVD collection.
    The newly reissued Third Man adds a second disc not included with the initial release of several years ago. You get one of the best British films ever made (not to mention a cheeky Orson Welles) plus a new 90-minute documentary on the making of the film, a profile of novelist Graham Greene, Steven Soderbergh audio commentary, a couple of radio shows, and other assorted goodies. This disc and Overlord are my early picks for Best DVD of 2007.
    And I have yet to pick up Dassin's The Naked City, Shohei Imamura's Vengeance Is Mine, Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows, or Kenji Mizoguchi's Sansho the Bailiff. Still to come in the next couple of months are Billy Wilder's Ace In the Hole, David Mamet's House of Games, and Melville's Les Enfants Terribles.
    No...I'm not a Criterion employee. I'm just a film buff who geeks out over this kind of stuff. Thanks for reading.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    House of Games teetered on the edge between the hard-earned bitterness of Glengarry Glen Ross and an SNL parody of Mamet dialogue. But Lindsay Crouse probably rescued it.
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