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.

Home Entertainment

Warner Archive Instant Service Launched

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Home Entertainment, Movies | Leave a comment

We all know the future of viewing will be digital streaming, so it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. has launched Warner Archive Instant Service, a new streaming serving that brings hundreds of rare and hard-to-find titles instantly to your MAc, PC, or Roku-connected monitor for a monthly subscription. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Lincoln

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

Lincoln was my favorite movie of last year. It fulfilled all of my expectations and then some as a psychological study and political procedural. I would argue that Steven Spielberg came of age with Schindler’s List but achieved a new profundity with Lincoln about the fight to save the soul of this country. The Blu-ray is out this week from Fox Home Ent., which provides an opportunity to revisit this magnificent movie. It looks and sounds as rich and beautiful as it first appeared theatrically, only now you’ll be able to hear every hushed line of dialogue by screenwriter Tony Kushner and even better appreciate Daniel Day-Lewis’ commanding, Oscar-winning performance. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Life of Pi

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Ang Lee’s multiple Oscar-winning Life of Pi goes Blu (Fox Home Ent.) and looks spectacular. Even viewed flat, I’m still entranced by the spirituality of the storytelling and the seduction of the imagery. And the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio offers a thrilling soundscape. It truly is the 2001 of our time. 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: 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

Immersed in Blu-ray: Hotel Transylvania

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Blu-ray, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Hotel Transylvania, the animated hit from Genndy Tartakovsky and Sony Pictures Animation, arrives this week in a Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D/DVD combo pack from Sony Home Ent. The Tex Avery-style monster mash looks sharp and colorful and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sounds dynamic. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Frankenweenie

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

Disney’s Frankenweenie came out on Blu-ray this week in a glorious four-disc combo (including immersive 3-D), touting Tim Burton’s stop-motion Oscar nominee in all its black and white, retro glory. It looks gorgeous with great contrast and inky blacks, and the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sounds crisp and dynamic. And there are some terrific bonus features, including a fun home movie short, “Captain Sparky vs. the Flying Saucers,” along with an intimate tour of the London studio. Read more