Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PIÙ POLIZIESCHI DAL RARO VIDEO


Following their indispensible Fernando Di Leo Crime Collections, Raro Video will once again delve into the seamy Italian underworld with Duccio Tessari’s somber and compelling DEATH OCCURRED LAST NIGHT (1970), Lucio Marcaccini’s rarely seen HALLUCINATION STRIP (1975) and Franco Prosperi’s energetic MEET HIM AND DIE (1976), which will all be released in March of this year on both Blu-Ray and DVD.

Here are the specs and cover art from Raro's press release for each Blu-Ray and DVD:

DEATH OCCURRED LAST NIGHT (aka La Morte Risale a Ieri Sera)
Synopsis: An astute mix of classic Italian crime and giallo, Duccio Tessari’s Death Occurred Last Night is a dark slow burning murder mystery. A mentally handicapped woman is kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, sending her distressed father and a jaded police detective on the hunt for clues in Milan’s underworld. Tessari (THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY) keeps a tight rein on the action, focusing on the characters and their collective desire for justice and revenge. An unforgettable, disturbing and fascinating thriller.

SPECIAL FEATURES

New HD transfer form original 35mm print

Digitally restored

New and improved English subtitle translation
Fully illustrated booklet by Chris Alexander
Video interview by Chris Alexander
Original Italian Theatrical trailer
Original English Theatrical trailer

Production: Italy – 1970
Running time: 98 minutes, color
Language: Italian and English
Subtitles: Optional English
Audio: BR audio PCM linear stereo 2.0; DVD audio dolby stereo 2.0
Aspect ratio: 1.75:1 (br & dvd)

HALLUCINATION STRIP (aka Roma Drogata: La Polizia Non Può Intervenire)
Synopsis: Lucio Marcaccini’s only film, Hallucination Strip is a psychedelic trip with a social commentary. Bud Cort, in his debut performance, plays Massimo Monaldi, a student involved in political protests and juvenile delinquency. When Massimo steals a valuable tobacco box, he quickly becomes tangled in a dangerous web between the police and the mafia. Culminating in an extended and elaborately choreographed party sequence, underscored with an excellent soundtrack by Albert Verrecchia, Hallucination Strip excels with its not-so-subtle mix of sex, drugs, religion, politics and corruption.

SPECIAL FEATURES
New HD transfer form original 35mm Negative
Digitally restored
New and improved English subtitle translation
Fully illustrated booklet by Nocturno Cinema
Video interview with the Film Editor Giulio Berruti
Original Italian Theatrical trailer
Original English Theatrical trailer

Production: Italy – 1975
Running time: 93 minutes, color
Language: Italian and English
Subtitles: Optional English
Audio: br audio PCM linear stereo 2.0; dvd audio dolby stereo 2.0
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

MEET HIM AND DIE (aka Pronto ad Uccidere)
Synopsis: In this frame by frame digitally restored very rare entry into the poliziotteschi genre, a robbery goes terribly wrong for a hapless criminal Massimo (Ray Lovelock) when he tries to break into a jewelry store only to have the steel shutters immediately slam down and lock him inside until the police arrive. Naturally, he is sent straight to jail but It doesn’t take long before he befriends a big time crime boss inside, but the plot thickens when it transpires that the young man is actually not who we think he is. the two execute a successful escape and we soon find out that we don’t really know the true background of these criminals or what is really motivating them. franco Prosperi (Last House on the Beach) directs this revenge themed crime film with Ray Lovelock and Elke Sommer. With its clever plot twists, fist fights, motorcycle and car chases, Meet Him and Die is an entertaining police action thriller.

SPECIAL FEATURES
Video introduction by Mike Malloy (6’34”)
New and improved English subtitles
A fully illustrated booklet
Digitally restored

Production: Italy – 1976
Running time: 94 minutes, color
Language: Italian and English
Subtitles: Optional English
Audio: PCM linear 2.0
Aspect ratio: 1.76:1

  
Check out Raro Video’s website here and their Facebook Page here for more information on these upcoming releases and other cool films they have on the horizon.  Start saving your money.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT ARE COMING


On January 22nd at 4:00pm, Screen Archives Entertainment began taking pre-orders for Twilight Time’s Blu-Ray of Michael Cimino’s THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT (1974), which will street on February 11th, 2014. 

Clint Eastwood stars as Thunderbolt, a professional thief (whose nickname comes from the anti-tank gun he uses) who inadvertently meets up with Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges in an Academy Award nominated performance), an enthusiastic drifter.  After numerous scuffles, they eventually team up with Red (George Kennedy) and Eddie (Geoffrey Lewis), Thunderbolt’s original accomplices from a previous robbery in the hopes of retrieving some of the missing loot from their last job, which mysteriously went missing.

Directed under the tutelage of Eastwood himself, first time director Cimino took a rather tired premise of “one last score” and fashioned a rather uncharacteristic and almost heartfelt “buddy picture”, which still manages to push all the tough guy buttons that any fan of Eastwood’s work in the ‘70s would expect.  Both Eastwood and Bridges are terrific and play so well off each other that it never comes across as tired or clichéd.  Supporting roles are also top notch with Kennedy giving an eerily scary performance as Red, a man with the biggest chip on his shoulder imaginable. 

First released on DVD way back in 2000, MGM’s DVD featured a 2.35:1 non-anamorphic transfer, which even for the time, was nothing to write home about.  It actually looked like the same old transfer as MGM’s Laserdisc, which it probably was.  Twilight Time’s new Blu-Ray will undoubtedly look amazing in full 1080p High Definition to help better appreciate Frank Stanley’s magnificent photography whose work with Cimino unveiled a director with a very appreciative eye for the surrounding countryside as evidenced in much of his later work like The DEER HUNTER (1978) and HEAVEN’S GATE (1980).  Not sure if he was a fan of director John Ford, but the similarities are uncanny at times as the camera just lingers on a mountain range as a car drives by or in another scene, Cimino copies that amazing shot from Ford’s TWO RODE TOGETHER (1961) with James Stewart and Richard Widmark sitting at the edge of a river having a casual discussion.  Even the wonderful but equally haunting ending to the sounds of Paul William’s “Where Do I Go from Here?” has a very similar Ford aesthetic.

As usual for Twilight Time, this will be a limited edition release of 3000 units and will include an isolated music track highlighting Dee Barton’s score as well as well as an audio commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo and Twilight Time head honcho Nick Redman.  A theatrical trailer will round out the extras.  Visit Screen Archives Entertainment and pre-order yours today before it disappears.