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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sunday Afternoon DVD Stuff -- Just back from the local mall, where I special ordered the re-release on DVD of the Lee Marvin clasic Point Blank, which I have never seen. Enough people I trust tell me it's good that I plunked down the deposit for the special order with no reservations at all. It should come in this coming Friday, so, keep your fingers crossed for me.

I actually spent much of the day yesterday looking for this DVD, which was released last Tuesday, but came up empty in three different stores in Saratoga Springs. I guess there's not enough smart film lovers in either Saratoga or here in the Glens Falls area for any store to order a copy -- Jesus, that is a depressing thought. I might have been able to find a copy in Albany, but I didn't feel like driving all the way down there, and I couldn't justify it with a coincidental trip to the comics shop, since nothing of consequence came out this week that would make it worth all the hassle.

I did, yesterday, though, buy two other DVDs, since I was really craving some good-movie satisfaction after studying Roger Ebert's The Great Movies over the past few nights at bedtime. I picked up Dark City (which I had never seen) for 8 bucks at Borders. Between the excellence of the movie and the full-length Roger Ebert commentary track, 8 bucks for that disc is about the biggest bargain in DVDs that I can think of. I also, in the same store, picked up Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum. I liked it for many of the same reasons Ebert does, namely the sense of dread, the oddness of the child actors and the fabulously skeevy Mitchum performance. But I was surprised and a bit disappointed in the third act's overtly religious tone and sudden removal of Mitchum as anything other than a bit player. The transference of father-figure status in the mind of the boy as Mitchum is taken into custody also fell flat for me -- I get what director Charles Laughton was going for, and maybe it even could have worked with the right set-up, dialogue and direction, but as it is I'm kind of wishing I'd just rented Hunter, although I am happy with my purchase of Dark City and can see myself watching that one again and again.

Amazing, too, how much of Dark City you can see in works that came after, including The Matrix and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also interesting to me was how much Mitchum's character in Hunter was probably an influence on the evil misogynist preacher serial killer in the final season of Buffy.



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