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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Jan 312018
 
WITH DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, JR, LORETTA YOUNG, WARREN WILLIAM, JOAN BLONDELL, RICHARD BARTHELMESS, FAY WRAY AND THE VOCAL STYLINGS OF PHIL LAMARR
STATIC SHOCK: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON (2003) New to DVD
Static Shock's third season arrives dynamically double-charged as a new hero joins Static in his fight to protect Dakota while the rookie hero demonstrates big-league level seasoning. Virgil's journey to the hero elites begins with a Bat-bang as Static travels to Gotham City in pursuit of a Bang-Baby that's fallen in with some seductively sinister "big sisters" – the Gotham City Sirens, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. But a Bat (and Alfred) assist is waiting in the wings. Then Richie's knack for invention is revealed to be a Bang Baby by-product, and Richie becomes the hi-tech hero Gear. But that's just the start to a season that sees Static in Africa alongside super hero Anansi, Static battling Brainiac along with the Justice League, and Static tackling Toyman with Big Blue himself, Superman. Season's end sees our hero shaken to the core as he travels to the recent past to revisit the night he lost his mother.
 

NEW PRE-CODES AND SOMEWHAT RESTRICTED HOLLYWOOD

THE FINGER POINTS (1931) New to DVD
A reporter dares to expose the Chicago underworld in this blistering crime drama penned by famed pulse-pounding screen scribes John Monk Saunders (Wings, Dawn Patrol) and W.R. Burnett (Little Caesar ). Ripped from the headlines, this pre-Code crime corker delivers the goods. Naïve Southern boy Breckenridge Lee (Richard Barthelmess) comes to Chicago to seek his fame and fortune as a newspaperman and while his first story leads the police on a raid and gets his name on a headline, it also lands him in the hospital and saddled in debt. When affable criminal fixer Louis Blanco (Clark Gable) clues the kid in on how to land the gravy over gravel, Lee signs on to be syndicate stooge. While fellow reporters Marcia (Fay Wray) and Breezy (Regis Toomey) worry that the kid is in over his head, Lee makes a play at a pow-wow with the underworld's Number One – a sit-down that proves fatal for one member of the fourth estate.
CHANCES (1931) New to DVD
A chance meeting on a foggy London street presages the sundering of an inseparable bond during World War I in this pre-Code wartime romance. Jack Ingleside (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) is on his way to meet his literal brother-in-arms Tom Ingleside (Anthony Bushell) when he bumps into an attractive young woman (Rose Hobart). Not realizing the young lass is his childhood nemesis Molly Prescott, Jack finds his charms rebuffed with the promise that he will see her soon. Soon comes in the form of his and Tom's final weekend leave (they've finagled being posted to the same cavalry unit) at his mother's country estate where they all meet again. While sparks fly betwixt Jack and Molly, Jack discovers that Tom is also in love with her. Playboy Jack elects to step aside for the better man… but the heart won't follow. While the triangle divides the brothers, director Allan Dwan serves up some truly striking multi-level war tableaus, full of trench and tragedy.
I LIKE YOUR NERVE (1931) New to DVD
Ne'er do well peripatetic playboy Larry O'Brien (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) gets ejected from one Latin American country only to land hip-deep in romance and intrigue in its neighbor. While deciding where to wreak havoc next post-deportation, Larry catches the eye of the lovely Diane Forsythe (Loretta Young) as she chauffeurs past the cantina where Larry is enjoying the local brew. Steadily refusing to accept the existence of the impossible, Larry strands and rescues Miss Forsythe, discovers she is engaged to a much older man, uncovers the reason for said engagement (parental embezzlement), and sets about unravelling all of her unsavory fiancé's (Edmund Breon) plans by kidnapping Diane before her father and fiancé can! Fairbanks swashbuckles his way through the proceedings with a pre-Bugs Bunny anarchic glee. Eagle eyed film buffs should keep the eyes peeled for then-unknown Boris Karloff.
GOODBYE AGAIN (1933) New to DVD
Celebrated women's novelist Kenneth Bixby (Warren William) made his fortune "understanding women" but is ill-prepared when a forgotten flame (Genevieve Tobin) returns, ready to scorch his fame and reputation with the consummation of her "purple passion." Ken barely recalls the now-married Julie, but Julie is sure she is the inspiration for the eponymous "Miriam," the central character of his latest opus, "the one who can't have children…" Succumbing to Julie's exhortations, Ken's hopes of a quick getaway aboard an Albany bound train are dashed when he finds his sleeping berth sandwiched between Julie's pursuing husband (Hugh Herbert) and family (Wallace Ford, Helen Chandler) and his own irate secretary (Joan Blondell). And Julie is hiding in his bed…It all comes to a climax with a mock divorce trial staged in a hotel. Equally salacious and screwball, this is as pre-Code as they come!
BACK IN PRINT ON DVD
ROMEO AND JULIET (1936) Back on DVD
Irving Thalberg put together a lovely all-star bouquet for his bride Norma Shearer in this lavish adaptation of Shakespeare's classic drama. Found trodding the boards alongside the more than 2,000 extras are John Barrymore, Edna May Oliver, Basil Rathbone, Reginald Denny and C. Aubrey Smith as the feuding family factions. Leslie Howard's Romeo is so superbly performed you'll find yourself forgetting the age difference between role and player. The Montagues and the Capulets, two powerful families of Verona, hate each other. Romeo, a Montague, crashes a Capulet party, and there meets Juliet (Shearer). They fall in love but the stars – and their families – are crossed against them.
THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952) Back on DVD
Fred Astaire and Vera Ellen star in this musical courtship about a wealthy playboy who woos a Salvation Army worker in turn-of-the-century New York. When dapper Charlie Hill (Astaire) meets straight-laced Angela Bonfils (Ellen) he believes he must become upstanding – and employed – to win her heart. And she believes he will only notice her if she becomes a gold digger, as each tries to win the heart of the other. Based on the play by Hugh Morton.
THE LONG, LONG TRAILER (1953) Back on DVD
Lucy and Desi, at the height of their "I Love Lucy" fame, joined forces with the team behind the comedy classic Father of the Bride to create this one-of-a-kind road show. Producer Pandro S. Berman, writers Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, and Vicente Minnelli mix slapstick and sly social satire into an intoxicating domestic comedy concoction, while Lucy and Desi simply delight. Based on a non-fiction book that attracted the interest of similarly insightful impresarios Berman and Arnaz, it was a bit of serendipitous fortune that led to the successful casting of Desi and Lucy in the film, shortly after Lucy had given birth to Desi Arnaz, Jr. (Some kind of second honeymoon!) Marjorie Main and Keenan Wynn co-star in this tale of couple who set off on the open road for a disastrous honeymoon trip aboard a gigantic trailer home.
FOREVER DARLING (1956) Back on DVD
James Mason plays guardian angel to Lucille Ball in this romantic comedy about a couple that puts their marriage to the ultimate test: camping. Lorenzo (Desi Arnaz) heads out into the wilds to test his chemical company's new product while his wife Susan (Lucy) decides to be his wilderness companion against sense and sensibility. As the elements put their marriage to the test, heaven sends Susan some help.
TELEFON (1977) Back on DVD
Charles Bronson and Lee Remick star as Soviet spies out to stop a diabolical plan hatched under Stalin in this Cold War thriller from director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry). Fifty sleeper agents have been seeded across America – and these agents are so asleep, they don't know they're suicidal assassins. Awakened over the phone by a bit of Robert Frost, they go boom. Long thought scrapped, someone is triggering these agents and a pair of Soviet spies must stop them before the Cold War gets hot. 16×9 Widescreen

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection, WB Shop.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 Posted by on January 31, 2018  Add comments

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