I have a lot of love for the work of Joe Dante. Not just Matinee of course but Gremlins, The Howling, Explorers, Innerspace, and The ‘Burbs to name just a few of the films he has directed. Now though his 1993 film Matinee, which is an ode to the movies of William Castle is getting a Blu-Ray release by Shout Select!
Joe Dante has always worn his “Monster Kid” badge with pride. Growing up with the likes of Forrest J. Ackerman’s legendary Famous Monsters of Filmland helped to shape his love of horror and sci-fi films. As well as being a teenager during the Cuban Missile Crisis must have certainly left a mark. Which might indeed make Matinee a little more autobiographical as these elements naturally are the focus of the film.
“It’s 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simone Fenton) can’t wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, Mant! But the absurd vision of Woolsey’s tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crises places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Woolsey’s leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they’ll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.”
I will of course be sure to give a review of the Blu-Ray for Matinee when I get my hands on a copy. However Shout Factory is already letting us know what we can expect on the Collector’s Edition when it is released on January 9th, 2018.
Master Of The Matinee – An Interview With Director Joe Dante
The Leading Lady – An Interview with Cathy Moriarty
MANTastic! The Making Of A Mant
Out Of The Bunker – An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub
Making A Monster Theatre – An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler
The Monster Mix – An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey
Lights! Camera! Reunion! – An Interview With Director Of Photography John Hora
Paranoia In Ant Vision – Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film
MANT! – The Full Length Version Of The Film With Introduction By Joe Dante
Vintage Making Of Featurette
Behind The Scenes Footage Courtesy Of Joe Dante
Deleted And Extended Scenes Sourced From Joe Dante’s Workprint
Now remember that if you pre-order Matinee through Shout Factory. You not only get a free 18″ X 24″ poster featuring the brand new artwork. But in addition you get the Blu-Ray two weeks before the release date as well!
To get you in the mood for Matinee. Why not listen to Joe Dante discuss the merits of William Castle’s 1964 film The Night Walker?
Shout! Select continues to roll out the hits with their newest Blu-Ray. An uncut version of 1988’s powerful Colors. Directed by none other than Dennis Hopper it boasts an amazing 80’s cast with the likes of Robert Duvall, Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Damon Wayans, Seymour Cassel, as well as Maria Conchita Alonso to name a few.
The story for Colors concerns two LAPD officers. Long time veteran Bob Hodges (Duvall) and his rookie partner Danny McGavin (Penn). Both men assigned to the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums or C.R.A.S.H. for short. As you can probably imagine, McGavin is a know-it-all, continually refusing to learn from Hodges 19 years of experience on the streets.
Problems arise when McGavin, who is not just a hotshot in fact but reckless, causes grief on the streets. In addition to being a bully he ends up at the center of attention for the LA gangs – as in they want him dead. However, Hodges has his partner’s back, even if he doesn’t agree with his actions and that means both men are drawn into the middle of a gang war. Having said that though – this war isn’t all due to McGavin’s actions.
I probably don’t need to say that both Penn and Duvall knock it straight out of the ball park with their performances. However there is some great work by Alonso as well – as Louisa. She easily carries the emotional moments between her character and Penn’s egotistical McGavin.
Now I mentioned this was the unrated edtion of Colors. Shout! Select accomplished this by using footage restored from the International Cut as well as the home video release. All in all that tacks on an additional 7 minutes of footage. In addition the Blu-Ray also features:
“A Cry Of Alarm” – An Interview With Screenwriter Michael Schiffer
“Cops And Robbers” – An Interview With Technical Advisor/Ex-L.A.P.D. Gang Division Dennis Fanning
Easter Egg (Which I have to admit I’ve yet to find…and feel incredibly foolish about it.)
I will say that I was rather surprised by this Collector’s Edition not having any audio commentary. But at the very least we can be glad that the movie Dennis Hopper had intended audiences to see has now been restored.
Colors is out in stores today, so if you want to enjoy a taut yet emotional 80s crime film. Head out to better retailers and pick it up or you can order it from Shout! Factory of course.
To Live and Die in L.A. is a 1985 masterpiece of a film by William Friedkin. Granted you shouldn’t expect anything less from the man who directed both 1971’s The French Connection and 1973’s The Exorcist. Throw in a soundtrack by none other than Wang Chung and it is obvious why this is an 80s classic!
It only stands to reason that Shout! Factory would pick To Live and Die in L.A. as being worthy. Worthy of being released as part of their Shout Select line of films that is. The eighth movie to get that treatment in fact. Just last week I presented my thoughts on their Blu-Ray release of Death of a Salesman.
Now I’m going to make a bold statement here. So I want you to prepare yourself. Williem Dafoe’s performance in this movie is better than his role in 1984’s Streets of Fire. I know! I’ve said it and I mean it. I should also add that is even with Dafoe’s epic sledgehammer duel in Streets of Fire!
Besides Dafoe, To Live and Die in L.A. boasts the talents of other fantastic actors. Like William Petersen, John Pankow, Debra Feuer, Dean Stockwell, Darlanne Fluegel, and John Turturro.
So tell us…briefly…what To Live and Die in L.A is all about!
Happy too. Richard Chance (Petersen) and his partner John Vukovich (Pankow) are Secret Service agents. The two are at loggerheads as to how to arrest countefeiter extraordanaire Rick Masters (Dafoe). John wants to follow the letter of the law and Chance is all too happy to cross the line to nail Masters. Bear in mind that the counterfeiter is responsible for killing Chance’s former partner.
So the moral question is…how far across the line will Chance and Vukovich cross? Brutality? Extortion? Murder?
To Live and Die in L.A. is an entertaining action/thriller. Absolutely wonderful acting throughout coupled with a taut screenplay by Friedkin and Gerald Petievich. Gerald is also the author of the book the film is based on and happens to be a former Secret Service agent!
This is a Shout! Factory release so that means special features!
You have a nice selection of bonus material for this release:
NEW 4K Scan Of The Negative Supervised And Approved By William Friedkin
NEW Taking A Chance – An Interview With William Petersen
NEW Wrong Way: The Stunts Of To Live And Die In L.A. – An Interview With Stunt Coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker
NEW So In Phase: Scoring To Live And Die In L.A. – An Interview With The Band Wang Chung (Jack Hues And Nick Feldman)
NEW Renaissance Woman In L.A. – An Interview With Actress Debra Feuer
NEW Doctor For A Day – An Interview With Actor Dwier Brown
Audio Commentary With Director William Friedkin
Deleted Scene And Alternate Ending
Counterfeit World: The Making Of To Live And Die In L.A.
You can totally pick up To Live and Die in L.A. this Tuesday at better dealers everywhere. Of course you can still pre-order purchase the Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition over at Amazon.