New Release Pick of the Week
Game of Thrones: Season 1
Yep, I’m featuring a TV show this week. Game of Thrones quickly sped to the top of my list of must-see shows last year, and rewatching some of it this week has only solidified that. Both in terms of an adaptation from the books and taken on its own, this show is fantastic, a perfect combination of medieval-style court intrigue and menacing fantasy.
2011 USA. Starring: Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley.
Other New Releases
Catalog Pick of the Week
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Blu-ray
I’m not sure whether this film is worth the Blu-ray upgrade if you already have the DVD, but it’s certainly a movie worth owning in SOME format. Definitely one of my most-quoted movies, its sheer absurdity keeps me watching it over and over, and enjoying it every time.
1974 UK. Director: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam. Starring: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin.
Other Catalog Releases
Universal is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year with a new logo and a raft of DVD and Blu-ray releases tagged “Universal’s 100th Anniversary Collection.” Since there’s a fair chance that readers here are interested in the classic stuff, I’ve included the more notable Universal and Warner Archive releases below – see the full list at Row Three. Note: I probably would’ve featured Sullivan’s Travels, because that’s the best movie releasing this week, but it’s only a DVD release (not Blu-ray), and it’s already out from Criterion, so I’m not sure why you’d want this version.
UNIVERSAL’S 100TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
The Blues Brothers DVD & BD (1980 USA, dir John Landis, stars John Belushi)
Charade DVD (1963 USA, dir Stanley Donen, stars Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn)
The Deer Hunter DVD & BD (1978 USA, dir Michael Cimino, stars Robert De Niro)
Destry Rides Again DVD (1939 USA, dir George Marshall, stars James Stewart)
The Egg and I DVD (1947 USA, dir Chester Erskine, stars Claudette Colbert)
Francis the Talking Mule DVD (1950 USA, dir Arthur Lubin, stars Donald O’Connor)
The Jerk DVD (1979 USA, dir Carl Reiner, stars Steve Martin)
The Last Temptation of Christ DVD (1986 USA, dir Martin Scorsese, stars Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel)
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life DVD (1983 UK, dir Terry Jones, stars John Cleese)
Out of Africa DVD & BD (1985 USA, dir Sydney Pollack, stars Meryl Streep)
Three Smart Girls DVD (1936 USA, dir Henry Koster, stars Deanna Durbin)
Screen Couples Spotlight Collection (Charade, Double Indemnity, Pillow Talk, My Little Chickadee)
Classic Monsters Spotlight Collection (Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon)
Hollywood Legends Spotlight Collection (Harvey, Spartacus, Touch of Evil)
Best Picture Winners Spotlight Collection (Out of Africa, A Beautiful Mind, All Quiet on the Western Front, Going My Way)
Westerns Spotlight Collection (High Plains Drifter, Destry Rides Again, Winchester ’73)
WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION
Balalaika (1939 USA, dir Reinhold Schünzel, stars Nelson Eddy, Ilona Massey)
Broadway Serenade (1939 USA, dir Robert Z. Leonard, stars Jeanette MacDonald)
The Firefly (1937 USA, dir Robert Z. Leonard, stars Jeanette MacDonald)
I Married an Angel (1942 USA, dir W.S. Van Dyke, stars Jeanette MacDonald)
Instant Watch Picks of the Week
One of my first exposures to the yakuza film, and I enjoyed it quite a lot – lots of twists and turns and double-crosses, and plenty of brutal and interestingly-shot kills. Definitely got me interested in more of Kitano’s work.
2010 Japan. Director: Takeshi Kitano. Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Kippei Shiina, Ryo Kase.
The Adventures of Tintin
I haven’t sat down to watch this animated TV version of the Tintin comics yet, but I really want to after enjoying the Spielberg movie as much as I did. My husband grew up with them, and he was pretty excited at the opportunity to catch them again on Netflix.
1991-1992 France/Canada. Starring: Colin O’Meara, Thierry Wermuth, Christian Pellissier.
Other Instant Watch Releases
Oh, look, The Lady Eve and Bedazzled are back after their recent expirations. Thanks, Netflix! How about you just leave stuff on instead of expiring them for a week?
Expiring Picks of the Week
Le cercle rouge [3/15]
This was hands down my favorite movie of everything I watched last year, with a fantastic crime plot shown from every angle and one of the best heists ever on screen – it’s been on Netflix Instant for quite a while, but it’s expiring soon, so catch it while you can.
1967 France. Director: Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring: Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Bourvil.
Other Instant Watch Expirations
Not too many expirations this week, which is a good thing; still some very good films, with most of the notable ones coming from the French, British, and American New Waves of the 1960s and 1970s.