Daily Column - Giulio Paradisi’s The Visitor, plus Donovan Slacks, Run & more http://t.co/DpN8zWfb6G
First of all, my apologies for missing last week’s Burnt Offerings. The column got swallowed up by the chaos that is San Diego Comic-Con. At this point, the event has turned into a giant black hole centered smack dab in the middle of July that consumes everything else in its wake.
Of course, I was down there to participate in The Bits’ annual Blu-ray Producers panel and, as usual, it was a fine discussion with some of the sharpest talents in the industry. Although they weren’t there as panelists, the team from Warner Archive was nice enough to attend in the audience and they confirmed that Peter Weir’s Fearless will indeed be one of their next Blu-ray titles. The movie features one of Jeff Bridges’ very best performances and if you like Bridges as much as we do, you know that’s high praise indeed. Keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement of this highly-anticipated title soon.
There isn’t a whole heck of a lot to discuss in the world of MOD this week. So after a quick look at the week’s new releases and a handy-dandy link to this week’s review, I’m going to spend most of this week’s column looking at streaming video, that scourge of disc collectors everywhere.
WARNER ARCHIVE – NEW THIS WEEK
The Andy Hardy Film Collection, Volume 2 – The first volume of this series was released back in 2011. This 5-disc set collects the remaining 10 films from the long-running Mickey Rooney series. I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen an Andy Hardy movie in my life and know them only by their wholesome slice of American Pie reputation. Even so, I’m a little confused by the seemingly random order of the films’ release. This new set includes the first entry (1937’s A Family Affair), the last (1958’s Andy Hardy Comes Home) and eight more from the years between (Judge Hardy’s Children, Love Finds Andy Hardy, The Hardys Ride High, Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever, The Courtship Of Andy Hardy, Andy Hardy’s Double Life, Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble and Love Laughs At Andy Hardy). I’m not sure why they didn’t just release these in chronological order to begin with. Maybe the titles in the first volume are the most popular and well-known, although it seems like popularity and name recognition would be relative when it comes to the Andy Hardy series. Anyway, you can now have your very own Hardython in your own home.
This week, the Warner Archive Collection brings a number of terrific Paramount titles back into print. None of these are new to DVD but there are some gems here, so if you missed them, now you can pick them up without breaking the bank.
More importantly, to the best of my knowledge these are the first Paramount titles to come out under the Warner Archive label. The possibility of diving deeper into the catalog and releasing some long-awaited Paramount-owned Most Wanted picks is a tantalizing one indeed. Keep your fingers crossed.
Time for this week’s round-up of what’s new in MOD from the Warner Archive Collection. In addition, Sony last week quietly added some new titles to their own MOD program, the Sony Pictures Choice Collection. Don’t forget that the Warner Archive website offers one-stop shopping for Warner, Sony and MGM releases.
WARNER ARCHIVE – NEW THIS WEEK
Black Market Babies (1945) – Another ripped-from-today’s-headlines exploitation expose from Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures. Ralph Morgan stars as a disgraced, alcoholic doctor who teams up with lowlife Kane Richmond to create a “private maternity ward” for new mothers to dump off their unwanted brats.
Since the Warner Archive Collection introduced the concept of Manufactured On Demand DVDs, I’ve written a number of times about my enthusiasm for the format. As a longtime champion of forgotten and obscure movies with my JET’s Most Wanted project, I immediately recognized that MOD was the best way for many of these movies with an admittedly limited appeal to finally be released on DVD. For awhile now, we’ve been trying to figure out a way to increase our coverage of MOD discs on The Bits. This column is the result of these efforts.
Every week, Burnt Offerings will take a closer look at what’s newly available from Warner Archive and other MOD programs from Sony, 20th Century Fox, MGM, and Universal. I’ll run down what’s new and take a look at what’s coming down the pike. I’ll also be digging through the Warner Archive Collection and reviewing titles I think are particularly exceptional, noteworthy or unusual. Some of these will be recent additions to the collection, others will be titles that have been available for awhile. There are over 1,500 titles available on Warner Archive alone, so it’s easy for stuff to fall through the cracks. Burnt Offerings will try to catch them.