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Sin City - Unrated (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Sin City - Unrated (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Jessica Alba
24 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where style meets substance!, March 26, 2006
As a lover of film noir, I was almost reluctant to see this film. It seems like the preoccupations of noir are outdated as far as the modern world is concerned. Well, I guess Sin City ain't the modern world.

It gets both the style and the substance of noir, and tells real stories with the iconography. Sexual obsession as "love" and the idea of a man trying to redeem himself in the eyes of a woman who may or may not deserve it. And the dames themselves-- tough, smart and above all pragmatic. The movie is also a genuinely cynical, ambivalent meditation on the subject of corruption-- both personal and political. AND it's a green screen version of an old studio movie! --Actors walk on treadmills while the crew move things in front of the key light to get an interplay of light and shadow. John Alton would've been proud!

The Nikopol Trilogy
The Nikopol Trilogy
by Enki Bilal
Edition: Hardcover
29 used & new from $140.77

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real surrealism, March 7, 2006
This review is from: The Nikopol Trilogy (Hardcover)
My favorite of the recently printed material in the DC/Humanoids fiasco. Pretty hard to describe, other than to say it swings back and forth between anxiety dream and nightmare, but retains a certain haunting beauty throughout. The movie Bladerunner owes much of its visual style to this collection, though it reminds me more of Fellini's Satyricon.

The hardback edition is also probably the one really good printing job in the whole DC/Humanoids line.

Dark Crimes - 50 Movie Set: Flowers from a Stranger - The Limping Man - The Mystery of Mr. Wong - The Strange Woman - Whistle Stop - D.O.A. + 44 more!
Dark Crimes - 50 Movie Set: Flowers from a Stranger - The Limping Man - The Mystery of Mr. Wong - The Strange Woman - Whistle Stop - D.O.A. + 44 more!
DVD ~ Edward G. Robinson
Price: $9.99
19 used & new from $7.24

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great public domain noir roundup!, January 19, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this used for $15. The printo of The Chase is much better than the one on the double feature disc that's out. Fear In the Night (another Woolrich adaptation) is a pretty neat movie, and a solid print.

The Hoodlum and Martha Ivers look about the same as in other sets. The Naked Kiss transfer is just AWFUL! But there are plenty of obscure gems on here I have yet to delve into. Of course, it has the usual Mill Creek non-packaging with double sided discs. But a lot of these titles might not hit dvd otherwise. I'm very pleased with this set.

Flash Gordon - Space Soldiers
Flash Gordon - Space Soldiers
DVD ~ Buster Crabbe
6 used & new from $2.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be an Arangapoid!, January 7, 2006
World renowned polo player "Flash" Gordon must save the Earth from being destroyed by the insideous (and leacherous) Ming the Merciless-- played with sadistic relish by Charles Middleton. Both Buster Crabbe as Flash and Jean Rogers as Dale play their roles with an enthusiasm and sincerity that just no longer exist on the screen. But my heart was won by the luscious Pricilla Lawson as the scheming Princess Aura-- who's as hot for Flash as her dad is for Dale.

The production design is amazingly good, and mostly based on the Alex Raymond comic strip-- which is also where the plot originates. There are plenty of silly rubber monster suits, iguanas with glued on horns and dubbed-in bronchitis, space ships that backfire before they take off, and lotsa precode jiggle.

To me, it all spells one thing: PURE CINEMA!!!

The Best of the Spirit
The Best of the Spirit
by Will Eisner
Edition: Paperback
57 used & new from $3.64

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally compulsive reading..., December 25, 2005
This review is from: The Best of the Spirit (Paperback)
I've always essentially liked Eisner. I have both of his how-to books on comics, and a couple of the B&W Warren Spirit reprints from the 70s. But it wasn't until this collection that I got hooked.

The stories in this collection have the elegance of the best harboiled crime writers, and a stylish approach to visual storytelling that must've inspired what was best about the early Mad Magazine (and other EC titles). While The Spirit himself is pretty much of an affable do-right, the villians are usually very textured and often very funny.

And, for a vintage crime comics fan like me, the fact that this is pretty hard-hitting for the sunday funnies-- with somebody getting plugged in almost every story, and a few unsavory surprises besides-- make this a true addition to the genre. And man, could Eisner draw them dishy dames! I've now pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to get a few of the post-war Spirit Archives.

The only problem with the book is that it's a flimsy trade paperback, and should have been printed to the same standards as the Archives. But, due to the inventiveness of the stories, I can't bring myself to give it less than four stars.

13 used & new from $7.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "iWaaaah... HUH!!", November 26, 2005
This review is from: Primal! (Audio CD)
I'm a huge fan of just about all of Prado's work. Like most, I started with the Rhino disc, which was great. This is probably the best single disc of his earlier work. It lives up to its title. In terms of Prado's signiture combination of stabbing, angular horns, wild rhythm experiments and dashes of madcap musical humor, this is out there!

I'd also recomend the Bear family discs-- especially Havana, 3 a.m./Mambo Mania. But this is really the alpha to the Rhino disc's omega.

Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir
Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir
by Eddie Muller
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.97
74 used & new from $9.09

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As fast and stylish as its subject matter, October 1, 2005
When most noir-era directors are presented with what the critics have read into their films, they tend to laugh. What they were making-- as Muller points out-- were known as either crime dramas or murder dramas. They were made on the cheap, with their dark themes and fast pace borrowed from harboiled crime writing, and with lots of tricks learned from German Expressionism. They were stylish B-movies.

Finally, a book has come along that deals with these films and filmmakers pretty much on their own terms. -Highly visual and fast paced. Muller looks at subgenres and trends, but focuses more on looking at the often tortured lives of the people who made these films, and on the turbulent period in Hollywood that the 40s and 50s were.

One of my favorite film books, period.

Draw Comics with Dick Giordano
Draw Comics with Dick Giordano
by Dick Giordano
Edition: Paperback
43 used & new from $0.01

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!, September 21, 2005
Dick Giordano mixes very Andrew Loomis-inspierd construction techniques with his own very 1950s style. He devotes just a few pages to topics like figure drawing, character types, drafting tricks, and page composition. Everything but lettering, really. He gives the best foundation for doing a comic than any other single book I've seen. Right up there with Loomis's Figure Drawing For All It's Worth and Preston Blair's Cartoon Animation!

I Vampiri
I Vampiri
DVD ~ Gianna Maria Canale
3 used & new from $20.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Noir, July 24, 2005
This review is from: I Vampiri (DVD)
Very underrated film, IMO-- Beautiful gothic atmosphere, a mad doctor, a hopped-up (and later undead) thug. The plot is a pulpy rollercoaster ride that doesn't always make sense, but manages to wrap itself up neatly. The fact that our hero's by far the least interesting character on the screen barely ever occurs to you as you try to keep track of the convolutions. It was the fore-runner not only to gothic horror in Itally, but also the giallo crime dramas. Excellent B-movie!

Faster, Pussycat! Kill!... Kill!
Faster, Pussycat! Kill!... Kill!
DVD ~ Tura Satana

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to violence-- the word and the act!, July 13, 2005
A stunning acheivement in low-key (by today's standards) cinematic sleaze! This movie is often accused of being a live action comic book. As a comic book artist, I heartilly agree! Memorizing every frame should be a prerequisite to making comics.

From the deadpan irony of John Moran's script, through Meyer's direction and cinematography to the terrifyingly sexy performances by the Pussycats-- especially Tura and Haji. This movie has a weird chemestry all its own.

One of my many favorite lines has cute little Sue Bernard asking the titular psychotic go-go girl trio, "Any of you girls care for a soft drink?" to which uber-latina Haji responds, "No no. We don't like'a nothin' soft-- everything we like is'a HARD!!"

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