New DVDs: Quota Quickies

Two intriguing collections of off-brand British cinema have been issued by independent distributors. MPI’s “Classic British Thrillers” features two of Michael Powell’s quota quickies, “Red Ensign” (1934) and “The Phantom Light” (1935), as well as an ingeniously plotted 1947 thriller directed by Lawrence Huntington, “The Upturned Glass.” The generous “British Cinema Collection” from VCI [...]

What Just Happened?

I’m not sure, but there’s a heavy scent of cordite in the air.

At times like this, we all need

kittens!

New DVDs: The Godfather, restored

Before:

After:

Yes, Robert A. Harris’s painstaking digital restoration of the first two “Godfather” films is stunningly beautiful. But the real shock is learning how badly Paramount has mistreated the camera negatives of two of the studio’s crown jewels — according to this American Cinematographer article, Harris found the negative for “The Godfather” [...]

New DVDs: Criterion Ophuls

The Criterion Collection release of three masterworks by Max Ophuls — “La Ronde,” “Le Plaisir” and “Madame de . . . ” — is very welcome, although the quality of the transfers falls just short enough to frustrate the pickiest amongst us. As you can see from the frame grab above, the tonal range [...]

New DVDs: How the West Was Won

In today’s New York Times, your correspondent drinks the Blu-ray Kool-Aid, and likes it! Never a satisfying experience in any of its cut-down, resized versions, “How the West Was Won” recovers something of its original grandeur in Warner Home Video’s new hi-def edition, transferred with care from the original Cinerama elements. For the first [...]

New DVDs 9-2-2008

This week in the New York Times, a look at the latest distinguished batch of titles in the “Fox Film Noir” collection — none of which fit my personal, highly subjective definition of noir, but all of which I’m glad to have in print.

And if you haven’t seen this incredible fan-made tribute to [...]