Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men. Courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace. And the vices of peace are the vices of old men. Mistrust and caution. It must be so.
Back in 2006, when Blu-ray players and discs first appeared in stores, Sony distributed a demo reel for stores to play showing how fan-damn-tacular movies looked in the new format. This included scenes from Lawrence of Arabia, a Sony property via Columbia Pictures, implying the film would be among the first released. For the next six years, film buffs waited with increasing impatience for Sony to make good on that promise.
I, for one, am tickled that they waited so long. The Blu-ray edition released in November, based on a meticulous 4K restoration, is simply amazing. The last time the movie looked this good to my eyes was back in 1989, and I was watching it projected in 70mm at the old Cinedome theaters in Orange, CA.
To Be or Not to Be is sort of an odd duck among Mel Brooks films. Aside from voice-over work and TV guest shots, it’s about his only major role in a film he didn’t write or direct. While long on slapstick, it’s the closest thing to serious that Brooks has been at any point of his career, dealing with the Nazi occupation of Poland and the Holocaust, however obliquely. It also has the most cohesive storyline of any Brooks film since Young Frankenstein.
Dune is an absolute triumph of art direction over coherency. That’s not to say that it’s completely incomprehensible, but in its theatrical length, the average moviegoer will probably be lost in this heavily compressed version of Frank Herbert‘s mythos.
The Dune series of novels, especially the first, has been compared to the Lord of the Rings stories, due largely to density of detail in the universe. Another parallel is that both were considered virtually unfilmable. Unfortunately, David Lynch was not given the degree of control and freedom that Peter Jackson< had and the film suffers for it. Forced by the De Laurentiis family to condense his movie into just over two hours, Lynch's theatrical cut feels more like a highlight reel than a cohesive story.
Continue reading →