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Old 07-09-2020, 11:32 AM   #35641
dr727 dr727 is offline
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Thank you. I checked there first (and when I preordered on announce). Sometimes Eureka’s product renders make it difficult to tell the case depth—anyway, I guess I’ll find out soon.
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Old 07-10-2020, 11:00 AM   #35642
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Quite a few titles on base.com for under £10 (Amazon have matched, of course):

The Holy Mountain, Shoah: The Four Sisters (might still come with a slipcover) and Michael are £9.99; Les Miserables is £7.99.
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Old 07-10-2020, 11:50 AM   #35643
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Having never seen a DeMille film before, Cleopatra turned out to be not what I was expecting at all...

This is spectacularly made ridiculousness IMHO with the camp factor turned high and a very loose regard for historical accuracy. But it’s very fun to watch and DeMille really pulls out the stops in some fabulously mounted set pieces, the best of which is a jaw dropping scene on Cleopatra’s barge that had me go from rolling my eyes at the start to clapping at the end of the scene as the barge takes off.

You want more? How about Julius Caesar saying “Nope” as a reply. How about some sort of dance act involving women dressed as exotic cats and Jumping through hoops while also being whipped? How about Cleopatra telling someone that has just freed her from restraints that what she is really angry about is not having had breakfast!

To be fair, the film sort of works on a dramatic level because Claudette Colbert is really something here, her impeccable comic timing making some of her dialogue sound better than it is and her being the best actor onscreen works in the context of the Cleopatra story. DeMille dresses her like a goddess too, although the fashions here seem much more influenced by the the 1920s than ancient egyptian times.

Eureka’s blu is OOP now but featured a solid older master from Universal that looked pretty good and sounded pretty decent too. But if you were unable to pickup the Eureka disc, I believe the relatively inexpensive region free US release from Universal has the same extras and also a newer restored master that seems to have much finer grain.
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Old 07-10-2020, 11:50 AM   #35644
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1950's Rio Grande isn't quite the throwaway picture it could have been given the story behind its making - what director John Ford really wanted was to mount his passion project, the technicolor Irish romance The Quiet Man, but Republic Pictures put up the funds on the condition that Ford first make a crowd-pleasing Western for them with the same cast - but it's not top-tier Ford either.

The picture begins well enough with a majestic scene showing the return of the US cavalry, led by Col Kirby Yorke (John Wayne), after a skirmish with native Americans to their frontier outpost near the Rio Grande river. Lasting several minutes without any dialog, we see the procession slowly ride in, dust billowing all around them, the rider's faces lined with sweat and disappointment. The women of the outpost look expectantly at the mounted party (and the wounded being brought in on stretchers) to ensure that their beloveds have returned. No words are spoken but much is conveyed about the life of the people in this settlement. The evocative feel and flow of this episode undoubtedly influenced some of the opening shots in Akira Kurosawa's movies. The sombre mood is continued when Kirby's commanding officer Sheridan (J Carrol Naish) laments the limitations placed on the US forces by the government, restricting them to stay within their borders, while the guerilla natives go back and forth between the US and Mexico. This has been taken up by critics as an analogy to the US government's handling of the Korean conflict, which had begun around the same time.

Chafing under restrictions which hamper their tactics, Kirby is a frustrated commander with an inadequate fighting force. A request for an additional 180 men is answered with a supply of 18...and one of those is his own son Jeff (Claude Jarman Jr.), who enlisted as a soldier almost immediately after failing the officer's commission at the military academy in West Point. A conversation between Kirby and Jeff in which they let each other know that no favors will be given or accepted reveals that the father has been away from his family for 15 years. This estrangement was mainly perpetrated by the incident during the American Civil War when Kirby, following Sheridan's scorched earth policy, ordered the razing of the farms and homestead of his Southern origin wife's family, and in the process his relationship.

Thus far we have a strong dramatic picture, boasting finely etched characters, each battling their inner demons. Alas, this is soon lost. In an earlier address, Kirby tells the new recruits, "...each of you will have to do the work of ten men. If you fail, I'll have you spread-eagled on a wagon wheel. If you desert, you'll be found, tracked down and broken into bits." This creates expectations of a frank and harsh depiction of life for the soldiers. But apart from when the natives attack, they appear quite comfortable. We hardly see them do any chores, and the atmosphere is rather like that of a rather pleasant Boy Scouts camp. Within no time, Jeff makes himself one of the men as they sing inside their tents under starry skies. Then there's Victor McLaglen's comic relief Sergeant, who dispels all notions of the hard-nosed disciplinarian.

Kirby's personal life intrudes further into his domain when wife Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara) turns up unannounced, determined to drag her son back to the safety of an officer's commission. Between Kirby's obsession with duty and Jeff's own stubborn pride, she is not to have an easy time of it, and must stay back till she gets her way. This in turn rekindles the feelings between the couple (at a hosted dinner, she makes a toast "To my only rival, the United States Cavalry."). Rendered in smoldering glances and subtle gestures, the chemistry between the actors is palpable. It's a lovely path for the film, seeing these middle-aged people, not just as parents of a strong-willed adolescent, but as an intensely attached pair who despite their differences, love each other with a passion.

It is what comes to the picture's rescue when its take on the conflict with the natives is the old cliche of soldiers vs savages. Kirby gets his redemption when Sheridan orders him to declare an all-out-attack on the the Injuns, even if it means going over into Mexico ("I want you to cross the Rio Grande, hit the Apache and burn him out.") Unlike Ford's own previous Fort Apache, this film refuses to acknowledge the natives as more than stock villains that deserve to be shot down in the admittedly exciting action sequences. Even children are made part of the propaganda machine (fronted by an irritating cutesy Karolyn Grimes). But if you are willing to excuse its faults in other areas, Rio Grande is still acceptable as a well-acted emotional romance drama in a military setting.

Eureka's blu-ray features a recent remaster by Paramount. It doesn't look as good as My Darling Clementine did on Arrow's blu, but is still a strong release for a "quickie" in Ford's oeuvre. The mono track (as LPCM 2.0) is clear and supports the music and several songs in the film. Extras include 2 feature-length commentaries (one by Stephen Prince and one by Maureen O'Hara) and a 20-min "making of" hosted by Leonard Maltin with the presence of some of the film's cast (or their children) - Ben Johnson has some interesting stories about Ford's mean streak, and everyone talks about how John Wayne was impressed with the way O'Hara looked him directly in the eye. Since I'd pre-ordered my copy came with a slipcover which has an austere almost meditative look, wholly contrasting with the colorful vintage art inside. If you're making slipcovers a thing, do it like this.

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Old 07-10-2020, 11:51 AM   #35645
ravenus ravenus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin View Post
Having never seen a DeMille film before, Cleopatra turned out to be not what I was expecting at all...
[Show spoiler]
This is spectacularly made ridiculousness IMHO with the camp factor turned high and a very loose regard for historical accuracy. But it’s very fun to watch and DeMille really pulls out the stops in some fabulously mounted set pieces, the best of which is a jaw dropping scene on Cleopatra’s barge that had me go from rolling my eyes at the start to clapping at the end of the scene as the barge takes off.

You want more? How about Julius Caesar saying “Nope” as a reply. How about some sort of dance act involving women dressed as exotic cats and Jumping through hoops while also being whipped? How about Cleopatra telling someone that has just freed her from restraints that what she is really angry about is not having had breakfast!

To be fair, the film sort of works on a dramatic level because Claudette Colbert is really something here, her impeccable comic timing making some of her dialogue sound better than it is and her being the best actor onscreen works in the context of the Cleopatra story. DeMille dresses her like a goddess too, although the fashions here seem much more influenced by the the 1920s than ancient egyptian times.

Eureka’s blu is OOP now but featured a solid older master from Universal that looked pretty good and sounded pretty decent too. But if you were unable to pickup the Eureka disc, I believe the relatively inexpensive region free US release from Universal has the same extras and also a newer restored master that seems to have much finer grain.
Yeah, I found the irreverence very attractive, more so than the overcooked seriousness of De Mille's color films.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:01 PM   #35646
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin View Post
Eureka’s blu is OOP now but featured a solid older master from Universal that looked pretty good and sounded pretty decent too. But if you were unable to pickup the Eureka disc, I believe the relatively inexpensive region free US release from Universal has the same extras and also a newer restored master that seems to have much finer grain.
I think they're meant to be the same master; I've seen people say the Eureka looks better in terms of encode.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:26 PM   #35647
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Quote:
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I think they're meant to be the same master; I've seen people say the Eureka looks better in terms of encode.
These are not quite same shot but you can see the masters are definitely different (with the Eureka showing all the signs of an older Universal master):

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/scree...012&position=1

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/scree...478&position=1

I am happy enough with the Eureka release to not double dip though.
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:04 PM   #35648
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^Darn, those comparisons make the Eureka transfer look dated. But I don't remember feeling disappointed when I watched the release in motion, so I guess it's alright. It's not my most revisited film anyway.
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Old Today, 06:15 AM   #35649
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Was trying to make some orders on the Eureka site and saw that they no longer have India listed as a shipping destination. Recent discussion with a friend suggested that our government has essentially blocked delivery of imports through the postal system, and all overseas retailers / individual sellers depending on economic delivery through the post are going to be walled off. This is in conjunction with increase in base duty to 77% of order value (with no minimum threshold) and the removal of all gift /sample exemption clauses. Joy
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Old Today, 07:34 AM   #35650
Hintermann Hintermann is offline
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Quote:
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Was trying to make some orders on the Eureka site and saw that they no longer have India listed as a shipping destination. Recent discussion with a friend suggested that our government has essentially blocked delivery of imports through the postal system, and all overseas retailers / individual sellers depending on economic delivery through the post are going to be walled off. This is in conjunction with increase in base duty to 77% of order value (with no minimum threshold) and the removal of all gift /sample exemption clauses. Joy
Donner und schitzen!
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Old Today, 03:27 PM   #35651
ravenus ravenus is offline
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I have to say here that the booklet which came with Rio Grande is one of Eureka's more substantial efforts. It includes the quite well-written short story that inspired the film, a decent essay, an extensive compilation analysis of all of John Ford Westerns with a "Cowboys and Injuns" theme and a vintage print interview with Ford himself (which is not a great interview, but nice to have). Lots of reading material here.
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Old Today, 03:47 PM   #35652
Dailyan Dailyan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenus View Post
I have to say here that the booklet which came with Rio Grande is one of Eureka's more substantial efforts. It includes the quite well-written short story that inspired the film, a decent essay, an extensive compilation analysis of all of John Ford Westerns with a "Cowboys and Injuns" theme and a vintage print interview with Ford himself (which is not a great interview, but nice to have). Lots of reading material here.
I like the "John Ford on Other Masters of Cinema" section. Sure, it's "old man yells at cloud" territory, but I got a chuckle when he called John Huston a "phony" (mostly because to just picture an old Pappy saying it). It reminded me of when Peter Bogdanovich interviewed Howard Hawks, Bogdanovich asked what he thought of Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch", and Hawks responded with how he could kill more people in the amount of time Peckinpah spends on one (jabbing at Peckinpah's slow-mo shots).
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Old Today, 05:08 PM   #35653
Professor Echo Professor Echo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dailyan View Post
I like the "John Ford on Other Masters of Cinema" section. Sure, it's "old man yells at cloud" territory, but I got a chuckle when he called John Huston a "phony" (mostly because to just picture an old Pappy saying it). It reminded me of when Peter Bogdanovich interviewed Howard Hawks, Bogdanovich asked what he thought of Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch", and Hawks responded with how he could kill more people in the amount of time Peckinpah spends on one (jabbing at Peckinpah's slow-mo shots).
And Andre De Toth literally ranting that Hitchcock had the most wasted career of any director because all he did was repeat himself over and over in every movie.
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Old Today, 07:02 PM   #35654
Colin McGuigan Colin McGuigan is offline
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Ford may have had a point there - I think Huston may well be one of the most overrated directors in classic era Hollywood.
There, I said it!
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