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Sunday, Nov 26, 2006

It’s enough to make fans of the famous dance team swoon with song and dance possibilities—10 films, a bonus CD, another disc featuring a comprehensive documentary and a startling array of complementary features. Just having the ability to own every film this dynamic duo made (Flying Down to Rio / The Gay Divorcee / Roberta / Top Hat / Follow the Fleet / Swing Time / Shall We Dance / Carefree / The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle / The Barkleys of Broadway) should be motivation enough for an instantaneous purchase. But Warner Brothers hedges it bets by providing the best possible print of each film possible, and then larding each entry with enough extra goodies to seal the cinematic deal. [Amazon]


“Cheek to Cheek” from Top Hat


“Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails” from Top Hat


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Sunday, Nov 26, 2006

Shaun Cassidy (that’s right, Mr. “Da Do Run Run” himself) can’t seem to get a break in network television. He has masterminded several sensational series (American Gothic, The Agency, the recent Invasion) only to see them unceremoniously cancelled before their time. Nowhere was this truer than in his sword and sandal epic for Fox, Roar. Starring an unknown Heath Ledger and centering on a young Irishman’s battles against the oncoming Roman onslaught, Fox hoped that the series could cash in on some of Hercules/Xena’s crazed cult audience. Sadly, the show was not a campy kitsch companion piece to said series, and after 13 scant installments, it was cancelled. Thanks to DVD however, fans and newcomers have a chance to revisit this special series—and ponder what if. [Amazon]


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Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006

Small Gauge Trauma [Synapse Films - $24.95]


For a little over 10 years, Canada’s Fantasia International Film Festival has been on the cutting edge of up and coming genre greatness. They discovered such macabre masters as Takashi Miike and introduced J-Horror and other world shock cinema to a ‘desperate for something different’ Western mentality. Offering the unusual, the brazen, and the unique, the festival specializes in both full-length features and an amazing array of short films. At last year’s (2005) celebration alone, over 100 of these truncated talent showcases were presented. In conjunction with Synapse Films, the festival is offering up Small Gauge Trauma, a DVD collection of its most novel and creative contributions. Believe it or not, it’s one of the best film packages of the year.


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Tuesday, Nov 14, 2006

Cemetery Man [Anchor Bay - $19.98]


Cemetery Man is a most unusual horror film. Actually it’s not really a horror film at all. Certainly, it has nods to the normal macabre ideals—zombies and murders and the foul stench of death. Still, this is not really a chiller. Instead, it’s a thriller, in the most soul-uplifting definition of the word. It is a movie so bafflingly beautiful that it argues for its acceptance as art. Anyone coming to this movie hoping to continue their fascination with flesh-eating corpses will have to get their Romero/Fulci fill elsewhere. In the hands of the amazing Michele Soavi, this is moviemaking as poetry, cinema as stunning visual feast. It remains one of the most important fantasy films ever made, one that shows the true power inherent in thoughts and imagery.


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