Trailer Tuesday: Cuphead

We’re all about loving film, but sometimes our favourite movies don’t fit the usual MMC! post advocating for spine numbered greatness.  Some movies we love already have great hard media editions.  Some films will just never be made available to a favoured boutique label.  And some films just aren’t that good, making the trailer their best part.  To these films (and/or trailers) that we love, we offer “Trailer Tuesdays.”

Sometimes trailers aren’t even for movies, such as this trailer for the recently announced video game Cuphead!  We’re not so much the avid gamers here at MMC!, but we appreciate the medium and love our 1930s East Coast animation.  It’s stunning to think that no video game has ever attempted to emulate the cartoons of Fleischer Studios or Van Beuren Studios.  All credit to Cuphead‘s developers, Studio MDHR, who produced the game using traditional cel animation.  Cinephiles and video-game dilettantes should be warned however.  Cuphead‘s gameplay relies solely on boss battles and early reports indicate the game is extremely challenging.

(… and don’t be surprised if Cuphead inspires some more posts honouring the stretch and squash of early sound animation.  We’ve got some more select films in the coming weeks to share that are sure to bring a smile.)

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom, 2005)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

criterion logoTristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story is Michael Winterbottom’s unorthodox adaptation of the unfilmable English literary masterpiece The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, written by Laurence Sterne.  Staying true to the manic spirit of the book, the film flips back and forth between the 18th century story and the hapless efforts of the 21st century filmmakers attempting to shoot the classic.  Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan) narrates the filmed story of his life from conception onward, with numerous digressions and unfinished thoughts, while actor Steve Coogan serves his professional ego behind the scenes against the increasing prominence of his co-star, Rob Brydon.  Crammed with literary jokes and dark humor, and aided by stellar performances by Jeremy Northam, Stephen Fry, and Gillian Anderson, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story is a clever, postmodern take on the construction of a film from an intricate, hilariously autobiographical novel.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by cinematographer Marcel Zyskind and approved by director Michael Winterbottom, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • A Womb with a View, a new interview with director Michael Winterbottom and actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
  • Audio commentary with Coogan and Brydon
  • Helen Weinstein conversation with Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton for Historyworks
  • Extended interview with Steve Coogan conducted by journalist Tony Wilson
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Premiere footage
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Mark Kermode and cartoonist Martin Rowson

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The 2015 Billy Wilder Blogathon!

Billy Wilder Blogathon 2015The 2015 Billy Wilder Blogathon is upon us, hosted by Outspoken & Freckled and Once Upon a Screen.  We participated last year, but are happy to just observe this time around.  Lots of great posts already up and still more are scheduled to come.  There’s even a fantastic gallery of behind-the-scenes photos from Wilder’s sets (with Marilyn Monroe looking particularly fetching).

For those of you distraught and heartbroken by our absence, you can re-discover our post advocating for Kiss Me, Stupid (Billy Wilder, 1964)Olive Films has since released on Blu-ray a restoration of the film’s international cut, offering a version of the film before the it was edited slightly to satisfy the Catholic Legion of Decency and moved over to Lopert Pictures for distribution.  Fans of Kiss Me, Stupid will find a much improved transfer, but will likely want to hold onto their MGM DVDs for comparison’s sake.

Homage to Tezuka (Yoh Yoshinari, 2009)

Note: Yoshinari’s concept are visuals only and have no accompanying sound.

Some shorts just leave you craving for more, aching for more in fact.  Director and animator Yoh Yoshinari’s collection of all too brief concepts for various Osamu Tezuka’s works is precisely one of those shorts.  While not only perfectly capturing and interpreting Tezuka’s signature style, Yoshinari offers movement and dynamism that seems precisely in keeping with what Tezuka implies by the line work, composition, and page arrangements of his manga.  For Western viewers, Yoshinari even offers the added cachet and cultural capital of representing works much less known on this side of the Atlantic – The Devil Garon, Zero ManAngel’s HillRoppu-kunThe Mysterious Underground Men, King Burunga.  Hardcore fans will particularly appreciate the appearances of characters like Spider and Hyoutantsugi, small cartoon characters based on the scribblings of Tezuka’s siblings that appear throughout his comics.  Given the large fans base for Tezuka’s work, Japan’s tradition of animated anthology features, and the rise of crowdfunding, how is this not yet a larger work?!?

Such a Pretty Little Beach (Yves Allegret, 1949)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Such a Pretty Little Beach.

criterion logoPierre, a young and disillusioned man, arrives at a small hotel in a seaside town in northern France.  In the cold, driving rain of the resort’s off-season, he wanders its deserted beach haunted by his past.  His gloomy demeanor raises the suspicions of the hotel’s staff and guests, including an unsavory and mysterious man who arrives shortly after him and who takes a peculiar interest in Pierre.  Yves Allégret’s Such a Pretty Little Beach is a gorgeously melancholic work of film noir aesthetics that evokes the fatalism of French poetic realism, shot by the great cinematographer Henri Alekan and exploring for the first time the dramatic potential of its star Gérard Philipe.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with DTS-HD Master dual-mono soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Gérard Philipe: The Beginnings of a Child Prodigy, a video retrospective featuring interviews with French writers and filmmakers including Gérard Bonal, Alain Ferrari, Olivier Barrot, and Francis Huster
  • A 1973 episode of Au cinéma ce soir with interviews of Yves Allégret, Jacques Sigurd, and Jean Servais
  • Short, music-only film from the Gaumont Pathé Archives on the children of the state orphanages
  • Alternate ending
  • Photo gallery
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by French film scholar Susan Hayward

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Kung Fury (David Sandberg, 2015)

“It’s bloody well brilliant.” – Todd Brown, TWITCH FILM.

“The world will never be the same.” – Peter Debruge, VARIETY.

Drafthouse Films LogoAfter his partner is killed in the line of duty, Miami Police Department detective and martial artist Kung Fury time travels from the 1980s to World War II to kill rival kung fu master, Adolf Hitler (a.k.a. “Kung Führer”), only to be sent back to the Viking Age where he must face powerful warrior women and Norse Gods.  This ’80s inspired, action extravaganza pits Kung Fury against lethal arcade robots, martial arts masters, laser-dinosaurs, and Nazi mutants.  With only his biceps, his skateboard skills, a collection of similarly badass heroes, and a mere 30-minutes to save history, Kung Fury kicks and quips his way to victory.  Constrained by a miniscule budget, David Sandberg’s Kung Fury was shot on green screen to construct a fanciful trailer of epic, B-movie awesomeness that became an internet sensation and inspired a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.  The result is an homage to 1980s adventure films and side-scrolling video game battles, complete with astounding visual effects and a shredding electropop synth score.  A darling of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, Kung Fury now hits hard media with the mighty force of Thor’s enchanted hammer!

Special Features:

Hack Time Edition – Package Includes:

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