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

Immersed in Blu-ray: Criterion Round-Up

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

It’s been another great year from The  Criterion Collection and I highlight some of my favorite must-own Blu-ray titles just in time for Christmas gift giving: Read more

Immersed in DVD: Dark Crimes

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

Three hard-boiled film noir treasures from the ’40s  — The Glass Key, Phantom Lady, and The Blue Dahlia — are now available for the first time in a three-disc DVD collection, Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers from the TCM Vault Collection and Universal Studios Home Ent. (exclusively through TCM’s online store). Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Brave

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

Pixar’s Brave looks even more impressive on Blu-ray (Disney Home Ent.) with its mystical depiction of medieval Scotland and Merida’s curly red hair, for starters. The sound, too, is powerful in Dolby TrueHD. Also included as the prime bonus feature is the vibrant and poignant Pixar short, La Luna along with some deleted scenes and informative behind-the-scenes featurettes. Read more

Everything or Nothing for Bond

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

What better way to prepare for this week’s Skyfall opening than by watching the superb documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, directed by Stevan Riley for Passion Pictures (airing on EPIX)? I also recommend diving into the Golden Anniversary Blu-ray set from Fox Home Ent. You will be totally prepped for this 50th homecoming and breakthrough. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Masters of Cinema

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

Eureka’s must-own Masters of Cinema collection of Blu-ray titles from region two continues to impress with an array of American and international classics you can’t get domestically (thanks especially to a licensing deal with Universal). They all look outstanding in HD from the Criterion of the UK. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: E.T.

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

Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial debuts this week on Blu-ray from Universal Home Ent., digitally remastered with brand new 7.1 surround sound in honor of its 30th anniversary. As Spielberg promised, it’s the original 1982 theatrical cut, which means the guns are back and gone is ILM’s more polished CG version of the beloved alien designed by the late Carlo Rambaldi. Like Raiders and Temple of Doom, it’s never looked or sounded better. Read more

John August Talks Frankenweenie

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, stop-motion, Tech, VFX | Leave a comment

John August voices his joy with Frankenweenie and his general frustration with the industry in my latest TOH/Indiewire column. Read more

Happy 50th, James Bond

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Clips, Events, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Tech, Trailers, VFX | Leave a comment

Fifty years ago today Sean Connery exploded on screen as James Bond, 007, in Dr. No and changed the face of movies and pop culture with a special mixture of danger and sex. It’s James Bond Day and there’s a lot going on, from the release of the Golden Anniversary Blu-ray box set (from Fox Home Ent.), to the launch of Adele’s Skyfall theme song on iTunes, to the premiere of the new documentary, Everything or Nothing: The Unknown Story of 007 (on EPIX), to the launch of Sky Movie’s HD Bond event on cable in the UK, to new clips, a vlog, and a 50th trailer, to the Academy Bond music event tonight hosted by Jon Burlingame (author of The Music of James Bond from Oxford). Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Ed Wood

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

With Frankenweenie coming out next week, it was great timing for Disney to release Ed Wood on Blu-ray. They are interesting companion pieces about misfits, passion, movie making, and the joys of black and white. Johnny Depp and Martin Landau have never been better (with the latter nabbing a best supporting Oscar as Bela Lugosi). The Blu-ray looks dazzling and the movie holds up as one of Tim Burton’s best. Read more

Trailering 4K Lawrence of Arabia

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

Although the new trailer for the 50th anniversary 4K restoration of Lawrence of Arabia doesn’t do it justice, you still get a sense of the look: the desert is hotter and more other worldly and flesh tones are warmer — in fact reds leap off the screen. Read more