Holiday Specials

CHRISTMAS STOCKING STUFFERS, 2003

By • Dec 15th, 2003 •

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Well, we’re told the economy’s bounding back, and that means loved ones will be bounding into video stores to purchase DVD special editions for other loved ones. It’s been a good year, as it always is when I sit back and take stock of what’s come out on disc over the past 12 months. And so I’ve whittled an overwhelming list down to a precious few choices with which you can’t go wrong, provided you have your loved ones’ favorite genres noted correctly. Let that one subjective element be your only guide – I’ll do the rest.

THE ADVENTURES OF INDIANA JONES

VICTORY AT SEA

THE MONDO CANE COLLECTION

THE EDUCATIONAL ARCHIVES

THE F. W. MURNAU COLLECTION

RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER’S BRD TRILOGY

THE SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION

THE DEAD ZONE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

DOGME UNCUT (book review)

Just for the record, of the many fine preservation/restorations this past year — of which PHANTOM OF THE OPERA was astounding, METROPOLIS was jaw-dropping, and Warner Bros. TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE was enough to make one cry – my vote was for the (so far) two-box-loads of SHERLOCK HOLMES films, originally from Universal, but after their licensing agreement had expired, from numerous companies over the years, which explains the quick and complete deterioration of the elements, until films I’d remembered as densely black & white were now thinly gray, and the emulsions were beaten to a pulp. UCLA has done grand by these ‘B’ gems, and MPI is releasing them, and they’re what they originally were, or moreso, if what I’m seeing in film stocks today is any indication. I watched a 35mm print of STREET TRASH at Technicolor Labs this morning, a film I’d produced in 1985, and Kodak’s recent Vision stock has so little grain that both the colors and sharpness were noticeably improved from prints struck upon the film’s original release. This new quality leap has to make its way into DVD production, and films like the Holmes’ series are probably superior to their original theatrical prints as well.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and we’ll be bombarding you with more reviews come January.

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