Getting More Immersed with Indiewire


  The Penske Media purchase of Indiewire has resulted in an expansion of my role as crafts and awards season contributor.  Beginning this week, I begin Emmy coverage of below-the-line contenders along with my usual Oscar season crafts reporting, working closely

Immersed in Blu-ray: Hitchcock and Bogart


The WB Archive Collection gets Hitch and Bogie on Blu-ray and they've never looked better for home viewing. In Kent Jones' indispensable doc, Hitchcock/Truffaut, he reminds us that Truffaut was on a mission to correct misconceptions about Hitch as a lightweight

Immersed in Books: Farber on Film


For the first time, the complete writings of film critic Manny Farber is available from Library of America, edited by Robert Polito (Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson). Manny Farber (1917-2008) was the first modernist film critic to write like a modernist.

Blu-ray

Immersed in Blu-ray: Schindler’s List

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Books, Clips, Movies, Oscar, Tech | Leave a comment

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Steven Spielberg came of age with his Oscar-winning Schindler’s List. Universal releases the Blu-ray this week and the black and white image mastered from the original negative looks crisp and luminous. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray Wreck-It Ralph

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Blu-ray, Clips, Movies, Oscar, Production Design, Shorts, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The Oscar-nominated Wreck-It Ralph comes to Blu-ray this week in a combo pack from Disney Home Ent. Rich Moore joyfully takes the animation giant to a new place and it looks absolutely stunning in the home theater while the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is as dynamic as it gets. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Cabaret

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, Tech | Leave a comment

Before Les Mis, there was Cabaret (1972), which redefined the musical and is now available on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video. There is no existing negative, so Warner MPI did the best it could with an IP, even repairing a vertical scratch that extends for a reel. The result is dazzling. It’s dark and dense yet warm in keeping with Geoffrey Unsworth’s alluring look and the original Technicolor dye transfer finish.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio will have you believing you’re in the Kit Kat Klub. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Insider

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Editing, Home Entertainment, Movies, Production Design, Tech | Leave a comment

Back in 2000, many of us thought The Insider should’ve won best picture. It was an incisive and oppressive fact-based thriller that recalled the best of the ’70s. Now an indispensable Blu-ray is out from Touchstone Ent. looking darker and richer than ever before, and, if anything, Michael Mann’s movie seems even more brilliant. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray On the Waterfront

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, Oscar | Leave a comment

On the Waterfront (1954) dazzles on the new Criterion Blu-ray out this week just in time for the Academy Awards. The landmark best picture winner about social corruption and personal redemption directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando has even greater intensity and intimacy, thanks to a new 4K digital restoration from the original 35mm camera negative overseen by Sony’ s Grover Crisp. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Skyfall

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Cinematography, Home Entertainment, James Bond, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Skyfall arrives this week on Blu-ray (Fox/MGM Home Ent.). No wonder it’s the first billion dollar Bond: it’s the most prestigious and dramatically rich Bond ever (under the inspired direction of Sam Mendes), the best-shot Bond movie ever (courtesy of Oscar-nominated and ASC winner Roger Deakins), and the most stunning Bond Blu-ray ever. It’s crisp, sharp, and elegant. That’s because Deakins used the Arri Alexa. In terms of audio, the 5.1 DTS HD-Master  is very dynamic . Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Jazz Singer

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Cinematography, Movies, Shorts, Sound, Tech | Leave a comment

With the Academy Awards right around the corner, it’s a great time to revisit the landmark Warner Bros. “talkie,”  The Jazz Singer (Warner Home Video), currently available on Blu-ray in a lavish three-disc set that also includes vintage shorts on two DVDs, the informative doc, The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk, and expert commentary from  Ron Hutchinson (co-founder of the Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano (Nighthawks orchestra leader);  sound designers Ben Burtt and Dane A. Davis; historians Leonard Maltin, Rudy Behlmer, and Scott Eyman; and restorer Robert Gitt. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Peter Pan

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Blu-ray, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech | Leave a comment

The timing couldn’t be better for this week’s Blu-ray release of Peter Pan, given the acclaim for the Oscar frontrunner, Wreck-It Ralph, which delightfully embraces and subverts the Disney legacy and pays homage to Ward Kimball and Mary Blair in its Sugar Rush sequence. Read more

Download ParaNorman Digital Booklet

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Clips, Movies, Oscar, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Laika’s Oscar-nominated stop-motion ParaNorman, which captured two Annies Saturday night for character animation (Travis Knight) and character design (Heidi Smith), and has earned 15 best animated feature film awards, now has an interactive booklet you can download. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Colonel Blimp

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Clips, Movies, Tech | Leave a comment

ITV’s Blu-ray of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Region B), like The Red Shoes, is a revelation and a must-own from the team of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger. Read more

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