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Blindspotting from Lionsgate

Bold new movie BLINDSPOTTING was the film festival hit of 2018. A refreshing take on friendship and tension on the streets BLINDSPOTTING will be out to download and own on DVD and Blu-ray in the new year from Lionsgate.  Collin (Daveed Diggs), a parolee facing his final three days of probation, needs to stay clear of trouble. Miles (Rafael Casal), Collin’s hot-tempered best friend, can’t stay out of it. When Collin witnesses a police shooting outside of his curfew the two men’s friendship is tested, sending Collin and Miles on a collision course with each other in this thought-provoking film that bursts with energy, style and humour. Written by the actors Diggs and Casal and also starring Janina Gavankar (True Blood, Sleepy Hollow) this surprising film will open your eyes.

Arrow Noirvember Sale to include The Glass Key

Barry Forshaw writes: Arrow’s tempting ‘Noirvember’ sale includes the Film Noir classic The Glass Key (starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, from the Dashiell Hammett novel) — which includes a commentary by this writer!

MARVEL STUDIOS RELEASE “ANT-MAN AND THE WASP”

 

 

Marvel Studios are issuing Ant-Man and the Wasp in digital (November) and Blu-Ray (December) format. Exclusive extras include an up-close look at the making of the film, the tiniest Super Heroes in the world’s biggest film franchise, commentary, deleted scenes and more. Moviegoers are still buzzing about Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” the follow-up to 2015’s “Ant-Man” and the 20th consecutive Marvel Cinematic Universe film to debut at No. 1 opening weekend and ranked in the box office top 10 for six consecutive weeks this summer. On Nov 25, fans can instantly watch the laugh-out-loud super hero adventure Digitally in HD; and on Dec. 3, take it home on 3D Blu-ray™, Blu-ray™ and DVD.

Network’s Phase II of The British Film

Network Distributing’s announcement of the upcoming Phase II of their The British Film home-entertainment imprint further bolsters their eclectic range of classic British film releases onto DVD/Blu-ray and VOD. This new collection begins with a comedy bang at the end of January with releases of the film versions of Man About the House and Till Death Us Do Part, followed in February by the one-two hit punch of Sweeney! and Sweeney 2.

 

From Hercules to Superman: New titles from McFarland and University Presses

Aficionado of cult genre movies are being well provided for in terms of books at present with some lively and provocative titles appearing from a variety of sources. The publisher McFarland has long catered to the more adventurous genre film enthusiast with books that analyse and celebrate (in forensic fashion) a variety of areas – often of the less-than-respectable variety. Take two new books from the company, for instance: Italian Gothic Horror Films 1970 – 1979 by Roberto Curti and Italian Sword and Sandal Films 1908 – 1990 by Roy Kinnard. Both titles acknowledge the energetic and imaginative approach to their individual fields by a variety of talented directors, but of the two, Roberto Curti’s volume is more penetrating and analytical. The author, of course, has written extensively in the past on Italian horror movies and the glossy murder thrillers characterised as ‘Gialli’, and this latest book is a supplement to his earlier work in the field. Apart from his enthusiasm for Gothic horror films from Italy, the level of his scholarship is mightily impressive – making his latest book an essential purchase for admirers of Italian entries in the genre. Roy Kinnard’s Italian Sword and Sandal Films is extremely comprehensive as a reference book (sharing some of Curti’s thoroughness in tabulating info), but one could have done with a lot more critical commentary about the Hercules-inspired films which were inaugurated with the Steve Reeves films based on the Demigod hero (on which the stylish Italian director Mario Bava worked – the latter’s presence throughout both Curti’s and Kinnard’s books is notable).

The late English writer on film Robin Wood was noted for his groundbreaking books on Alfred Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman, but later in his career he became a penetrating analyst of the horror movie, and Robin Wood on the Horror Film (Wayne State University Press) collects in one place virtually everything he wrote on the genre – and it’s a truly remarkable collection. Earlier top-flight critics such as Raymond Durgnat had brought the force of their intellects approvingly to bear on this once-despised genre, but Wood was more thorough in his approach, and was a particular admirer of the American horror films of the 1970s, seeing them through a variety of prisms. The family – as seen refracted through such films as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – was his subject. Wood was, of course, controversial in one aspect — his later work was channelled through a combination of Marxism and feminism, preoccupations he defends vigorously here. His radical views engendered mixed feelings in his admirers (among whom I count myself): principally, that this critical perspective became something of a straitjacket and narrowed his field of appreciation; repeated attacks on the evils of patriarchy elbowing out other insights. Nevertheless, this is an essential volume for any lover of the horror film. And not just the modern product: Wood is equally enthusiastic about the earlier work of such great directors as Jacques Tourneur.

Regarding archetypes of popular culture, few would argue that the most durable icon, capable of endless reinvention is the original (and greatest) superhero, The Man of Steel, and Daniel Perretti’s Superman in Myth and Folklore (University Press of Mississippi) is a fascinating examination of the cultural and societal ramifications of the character, as seen through the eyes of a variety of admirers. This is not really a book about Superman’s creators from originators Siegel and Schuster to such highly influential editors as Mort Weisinger – Perretti approaches his subject from a variety of other perspectives, making for a fascinating (if specialist) study.

 

 

Justice League: Vol. 1: The Totality by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez & Jim Cheung

Justice League: Vol. 1: The Totality by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez & Jim Cheung

There are those (including this writer) who have welcomed the dark tone of the DC cinematic universe, and would be prepared to mount a spirited defence for Batman v. Superman and Justice League. But even so, it’s unarguable that the films (while successful) have not been as well received as those produced under the umbrella of the Marvel juggernaut. The situation, however, is very different in the arena where such superhero properties were born – the comic book and graphic novel. On the page, DC Comics in the 21st century is now comfortably in the lead again (as it was before Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & co. took pole position in the 1960s). There is a greater concentration of writing and illustration talent in the DC stable these days. Proof? Justice League: Vol. 1: The Totality by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez & Jim Cheung. This is a strikingly drawn, adeptly plotted outing for the definitive superhero team (originally edited by the legendary Julie Schwartz – and the book that was the key influence on Lee & Kirby’s Fantastic Four), showing that this is one of the most durable of franchises in the superhero field. Other writers and artists are involved than the team listed above, but all of their individual efforts make a seamless whole – and will have readers impatient for volume 2 in the sequence.

Justice League: Vol. 1: The Totality by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez & Jim Cheung is published by DC Comics