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Criterion Collection Releases "Only Angels Have Wings"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 14, 2016 07:50pm | Post a Comment

Only Angels Have Wings

-- By Brett Stillo

Criterion Collection: Only Angels Have WingsOnly Angels Have Wings once again takes to the skies this week in a comprehensive new video restoration-release from the Criterion Collection (available on Blu-ray & DVD). This is a classic Hollywood romantic drama of the 1930's, accented with bold swaths of adventure and humor, orchestrated by one of the true masters of the craft, director Howard Hawks.

Only Angels Have Wings is the robust tale of a band of bush pilots based in the fictional South American town of Barranca, who risk their necks flying treacherous airmail routes through the Andes. The heat in this Tropic Zone is turned up with the arrival of Bonnie Lee, a down-on-her-luck cabaret singer played by quintessential 1930's heroine Jean Arthur. Bonnie soon encounters the tough, no-nonsense leader of pilots, Geoff “Papa” Carter (Cary Grant). The inevitable sparks begin to fly as these two characters from two very different worlds push and pull at each other's emotions.

The 1930s were the glory days of early aviation, and Hawks subtly isolates the mystique of this era with terse, low-key magnificence. Hawks’ pilots are the new cowboys (Geoff and his fellow pilots all wear gun belts though it’s never explained why, other than it just looks cool), laconic daredevils in leather jackets and wide-brimmed hats (stylistic ancestors of Indiana Jones), who walk and talk with the casual aplomb of men who make a living by risking their lives.

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10 Limited Edition Soundtracks Out On Record Store Day That You Can't Live Without

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 12, 2016 04:16pm | Post a Comment

10 Record Store Day Soundtracks

Record Store Day is almost here! On Saturday, April 16, 2016, independent music stores everywhere will unite to celebrate record store culture and to bring YOU fabulous limited edition releases! Download a PDF of those exclusive RSD releases right HERE.

This year RSD has several special vinyl soundtracks in an assortment of tasty colors in store for the film hounds among you. Here's our 10 favorite from those being offered:

Dark ShadowsDark Shadows by Bob Cobert
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the vampiric day-time soap opera Dark Shadows with this special re-release pressed on purple 180 gram vinyl, complete with the original poster from the 1966 version. Kick back in your velvet-lined coffin and dream of the 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, mortal governess Victoria Winters, and creepy old Collinwood Mansion as you enjoy hits like “Shadows of the Night (Quentin’s Theme)” and "Opening Theme." There's good reason this album remains one of Billboard’s Top 10 selling television soundtracks of all time!

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King In The Shadows: Elvis Presley's "King Creole"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 5, 2016 01:16pm | Post a Comment

King Creole, Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones

-- Brett Stillo

Hollywood was starting to show its age in 1958. The Old Guard, who’d turned the town into an assembly King Creoleline of fantasy and illusion in the '30s and '40s, were slowing down. Staring at them right in their faces, was the future: teenagers, Rock n' Roll, and the financial reality of the Saturday night double feature at the Drive-In.

King Creole, which was released in July of that year, straddles the line, one foot planted in old school Hollywood genre storytelling of Film Noir, the other sliding towards the juvenile market of the Rock n' Roll film. The film’s storyline is firmly planted in the former: a guy with a troubled past is just looking to get a break, but fate pulls him into a raw deal that sets him up to take a big fall. However, this particular fall guy is a sneering, hip-shaking teenager, swinging to a rockin’ beat in double-four time. And oh yes, the actor playing said fall guy happens to be one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Presley was a singer who dreamed of being an actor. He idolized Brando and Dean, and King Creole was his chance to show his dramatic potential on the screen. In King Creole, Presley plays Danny Fisher, a streetwise kid living in the French Quarter of New Orleans, trying to support his down-and-out family by working in a tough joint run by notorious gangster, Maxie Fields (played with brutish charm by a seething Walter Matthau).

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The Golden Age of Sherlock Holmes Films

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 28, 2016 06:31pm | Post a Comment


Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

-- By Brett Stillo

Spider WomanSherlock Holmes is alive and well today, but you won’t find him at his bee farm in Sussex Downs. He’s still on the case, solving mysteries on the BBC (Sherlock), American television (Elementary) and on the big screen (Mr. Holmes). Crime fighters come and go, but Mr. Holmes is a constant. The master detective has been with us for nearly 130 years and shows no sign of taking “His Last Bow” any time soon. This is truly an exciting time for this legendary character and his legion of fans—but it’s not the first time.

Universal’s Sherlock Holmes movies of the 1940’s were adventure-mysteries fueled by the pulp magazines of the era. The more staid, literary, murder-in-the-drawing-room stories of Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave way B-Movie thrills: diabolical plots, fiendish masterminds, nefarious enemy agents, and horrific death-traps, all set in embattled World War II London. These films reside in a macabre realm of shadows and intrigue that lie on the border of two cinematic worlds: Universal’s classic horror movies of the '30s, with their Hollywood-Gothic sets and expressionistic camera angles, and the foreboding dark streets of classic Film Noir of the late '40s. They are bound together by curling tendrils of fog constantly pumped out by studio smoke machines.

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An Easter-Time Movie List For All

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2016 04:07pm | Post a Comment
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter, 14th Century.
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter14th-century manuscript.

Happy Easter! Even though I grew up Jewish and had no idea what a Resurrection was, I knew I liked bunnies, chocolate, treating eggs like an art project, and finding buried treasure in foliage. I was sold on the whole Easter thing. As I matured at some point in the not too distant past, I realized that there was a whole lot more to Easter than baskets full of candy and huge hats. I learned that it was also about birth and rebirth. The symbolism of eggs, Jesus's triumphant return from the dead, and bunnies multiplying like, well, bunnies all lead us to appreciate the foundation of it all: Spring Equinox, the renewal of life on earth. I'm not sure where the chocolate fits in, but I'm not going to question a good thing.

In honor of everyone who can appreciate longer and brighter days, the rejuvenation of all life on earth, and deadly killer rabbits, I bring you this non-denominational Easter-time movie list for all...

Rebel Without A Cause

Nicholas Ray's 1955 magnum opus of teen angst is considered by most to be the first sensitive and Rebel Without A Causerealistic look at troubled, misunderstood youth. Would we have those heart-breaking scene's of Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire (Molly Ringwald), and the gang discussing their troubled home lives in The Breakfast Club without Rebel Without A Cause? I think not. The opening scene in Rebel is set in a police station on Easter night where three high school kids -- Jim Stark (James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood), and Plato (Sal Mineo) -- meet and an unlikely friendship is born. Much drama and generation gap struggles ensue, ultimately leading to one of the character's death by the hands of the police. Rebel remains James Dean's most celebrated film. It was released a month after his death at the age of 24, thus immortalizing him as a beautiful youth forever.
 

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