BURBANK, CA, October 8, 2020 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, will be available for the first time on 4K UHD on December 1.
From New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, the two epic trilogies include the theatrical and extended versions of the six films in 4K UHD with HDR. The Hobbit Trilogy includes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy includes The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Both trilogies will also include Digital copies of both versions of each film.
4K Ultra HD** showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, and more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.
The 4K remastering process was overseen by Peter Jackson.
In addition, it was also announced that a 4K UHD “Middle-earth” Ultimate Collectors’ Edition featuring the theatrical and extended versions of all six films, along with new bonus content, previously released Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy, and remastered Blu-ray discs of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be released in the summer of 2021. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy featuring remastered Blu-ray discs of the theatrical and extended versions of the 3 films will also be released in the fourth quarter 2021, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.
The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be available on 4K Ultra HD for $89.99 Expected Retail Price.
Fans can also own The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 4K UHD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on December 1st. BASICS
PRODUCT ERP The Hobbit Trilogy Ultra HD Blu-ray $89.99 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Ultra HD Blu-ray $89.99
Street Date: December 1st, 2020
Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, French, Spanish (Extended Editions), English, Spanish (Theatrical versions)
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Rating: All films rated PG-13 except for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition, which is Rated R for violence
DOLBY ATMOS-TrueHD [CC]
…because he not only wrote it himself, he’s in it. Watch the trailer for The Show:
Official selection 53 Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya
Official selection 2020 SXSW Film Festival
From the mind of Alan Moore comes a new feature film directed by Mitch Jenkins starring Tom Burke, Siobhan Hewlett, Alan Moore, Ellie Bamber, Darrell D’Silva, Richard Dillane, Christopher Fairbank, and Sheila Atim.
A frighteningly focussed man of many talents, passports and identities arrives at England’s broken heart, a haunted midlands town that has collapsed to a black hole of dreams, only to find that this new territory is as at least as strange and dangerous as he is. Attempting to locate a certain person and a certain artefact for his insistent client, he finds himself sinking in a quicksand twilight world of dead Lotharios, comatose sleeping beauties, Voodoo gangsters, masked adventurers, unlikely 1930s private eyes and violent chiaroscuro women…and this is Northampton when it’s still awake. Once the town closes its eyes there is another world entirely going on beneath the twitching lids, a world of glittering and sinister delirium much worse than any social or economic devastation. Welcome to the British nightmare, with its gorgeous flesh, its tinsel and its luminous light-entertainment monsters; its hallucinatory austerity.
In other words, for those who thought JERUSALEM made too much sense.
Gene Roddenberry left Star Trek’s third season to write a Tarzan film that never got produced, setting a tone for the next decade of his career. He produced the wretched Pretty Maids all in a Row and slunk back to television, first with the animated Trek and then a deal with Warner Bros that would see him produce the underrated Questor and Spectre along with a new science fiction film, seemingly designed to distance himself from the optimistic SF albatross around his neck.
He cut a deal with CBS in 1972 to produce a 90-minute film, Genesis II designed to be a pilot for a potential series. He quickly reunited with many of the behind-the-scenes Trek team and got to work, creating a dystopia that began in 1979. We open in 2133 as Earth is recovering from nuclear war and mankind has been dramatically reduced in number. Apparently, the survivors didn’t learn any lessons as the two sides battle, with dollops of slavery, racism, and gender inequality still on display.
“My name is Dylan Hunt. My story begins the day on which I died.” A NASA scientist, Hunt (Alex Cord) slept through the worst and is awoken to find a world out of control. Using his perspective, he finds like-minded allies forming a rebellious group determined to repair and ultimately save mankind.
As a concept, it’s not bad. The execution, from Samuel A. Peebles’ script on down, is where the pilot film gets into trouble. Peebles’ writing was stiff, and whatever rewriting Roddenberry did, didn’t help. The characters are types, never fully fleshed out, and Cord’s heroic role is blunted by his cold, aloof performance (making him better suited as Airwolf’s Archangel a few years later).
The most interesting performer here is actually Mariette Hartley, who isn’t wearing much (thank you, William Ware Theiss), allowing us to see her two navels (long story), but she has charisma and presence, unlike just about everyone else surrounding her.
Set against an America that was still arguing over Vietnam, a public just waking up to the corruption in the White House, and where a generation gap made communication nearly impossible, the themes are bluntly handled and where Trek offered people hope, this showed that nothing was going to change. Despite reasonable ratings during two airings, the network dithered over greenlighting the series. Ultimately, they gave the one SF slot on the schedule (talk about your quota systems) to a weekly version of Planet of the Apes.
ABC was waiting in the wings, wanting the show, but like Trek got a second pilot order with the new network insisting on major casting revisions. Gone was Cord, and in came journeyman action actor John Saxon, who had an appeal of his own and was a popular name thanks to Enter the Dragon. Also gone was Hartley in favor of Diana Muldaur, who was game but unconvincing in her part. The sole holdover was Ted Cassidy, but he didn’t have enough to do.
Rather than use the current events of the day as a springboard, Roddenberry stuck to themes that didn’t translate well nor were they well-handled in the rewrite, this time from Roddenberry and relatively new to TV writing Juanita Bartlett (who acquitted herself later on series like The Rockford Files and The Greatest American Hero.)
Joining the reimagined show was producer Robert Justman, fresh off the beleaguered Search, and he wrangled the production into a 90-minute production that never quite gelled. Years later, he admitted it wasn’t a very good pilot, which explains why ABC didn’t go to series.
Warner Archive remastered these two telefilms and they look pretty darn good. They are certainly a cultural curiosity, worth watching if you are a devotee of Roddenberry. They’re not very good as stories or pilots, the lofty ideas never properly translating to the screen. (It should be noted that after Roddenberry left, the studio tried one more time with Strange New World which isn’t here and that’s fine.) There are no extras but having these two on one-disc is a nice keepsake for collectors.
The film that introduced America to Star Trek Discovery‘s Michelle Yeoh and helped make Ang Lee a popular director, is making its 4K Ultra HD debut on December 1 in a limited edition steelbook.
Two master warriors (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her deeply romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they come face to face with their worst enemy – and the inescapable, enduring power of love. Set against 19th-century China’s breathtaking landscape, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDENDRAGON is the action-packed box office smash from two-time Best Director Academy Award winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, 2005; Life of Pi, 2012) and featuring stunning martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix).
The limited edition SteelBook includes the critically-acclaimed film on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray™.
Six Deleted Scenes: presented in 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range
In-Depth Retrospective Interviews: Director Ang Lee, producer James Schamus and editor Tim Squyres discuss the making of the groundbreaking film
Introduction to the Film and the Deleted Scenes by Director Ang Lee
“A Love Before Time” Music Video: in English and Mandarin
The Making of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Commentary with Ang Lee and James Schamus
Commentary with Cinematographer Peter Pau
A Conversation with Michelle Yeoh
CAST AND CREW
Directed By: Ang Lee
Screenplay By: Wang Hui Ling and James Schamus and Tsai Kuo Jung
Produced By: Bill Kong, Hsu Li Kong, Ang Lee
Executive Producers: James Schamus, David Linde
Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lang Sihung, Cheng Pei Pei
Run Time: Approx. 120 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for Martial Arts Violence and Some Sexuality
Feature: 2160p Ultra High Definition/2.40:1
Audio: Mandarin (Taiwan) Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
I keep hitting reading roadblocks, no matter what I do. I used to have a life with a lot of dedicated time for reading and eyes that could stare at pages of text for hours on end, but the past decade has repeatedly broken all of my reading mechanisms, culminating in the minor apocalypse of the past two years. I went from reading 433 books in the Book-A-Day year of 2018 to, um, 43 the year afterward. And 2020 could possibly be even worse.
On top of that, I keep finding new things to stymie me. For example, who would predict that a graphic novel about Berlin sliding into fascism, intolerance, and sectarian violence in the early ’30s would be so resonant, and unpleasant, in 2020?
I’m sure Jason Lutes, planning out this giant project back in 1996, would have expected and wanted modern history to go differently, but, as it is, Berlin Book Three: City of Light is immediately relevant to 2020 in ways that are deeply dispiriting and depressing.
Worse for me, the fact that this is the third of three books collecting a story that has been running for over twenty years — and the fact that Lutes uses a naturalistic style and doesn’t go out of his way to introduce characters that I last saw in a book I read in 2008 (see my review on ComicMix) — means that I only have a vague sense of who these people are and what they’re doing. It’s a couple of years later in their own lives as well, since Light is set in 1933 and Smoke was mostly set in 1930.
So I respected City of Light and I appreciated City of Light but I had the damndest time getting myself to readCity of Light. I don’t want to see characters I like struggling as their society plunges into a totalitarian hellhole. (If I want that, I can just read Twitter.)
And let me say explicitly what I alluded to in my review of City of Smoke and what Lutes never says, but hangs ominously over the whole enterprise: every character we like in Berlin is probably doomed. They will all be killed by the Nazis, one way or another, sooner or later.
That’s what Berlin is about. How fascism smashes norms, destroys lives, agitates its followers and gets them to do the unspeakable in the name of blood and country. It’s a powerful message, especially in 2020, but I don’t want to read about it right now.
The way to read Berlin now is to get the big single-volume edition and run right through it — that will solve my problems of character identification. The other problems, I hope, will start to be solved on November 3rd, and not by a book.
BURBANK, CA, September 10, 2020 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that DC’s V for Vendetta, 2005’s thought-provoking action thriller from the creators of The Matrix trilogy, will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD on November 3rd, 2020. From producer Joel Silver, V for Vendetta was written and produced by the Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy), and stars Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. The film was directed by James McTeigue (Ninja Assassin).
V for Vendetta is an electrifying story of an everyday woman in futuristic Britain who becomes the unlikely accomplice of a mysterious freedom fighter in his radical effort to rid the country of oppression. Based on the powerful graphic novel, V for Vendetta stars Academy-Award winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Thor, Star Wars films), Hugo Weaving (Transformers film series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Matrix trilogy), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game), Stephen Fry (Wilde, The Hobbit film series), John Hurt (Nineteen Eight-Four, the Harry Potter film series), and Tim Pigott-Smith (Alexander, Quantum of Solace).
The 4K UHD release of V for Vendetta is from a new scan of the original camera negative. 4K Ultra HD** showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, and more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of V for Vendetta features a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.
The V for Vendetta Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and three new special features, a Blu-ray disc with the film in high definition and the previously released special features in high definition, and a Digital version of the movie. Fans can also own V for Vendetta in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on November 3rd.
Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V for Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Portman) who is rescued from a dire situation by a masked vigilante (Weaving) known only as “V.” Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with fear, cruelty and corruption.
Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Elements
The V for Vendetta Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following new and previously released special features:
New Special Features on 4K UHD Disc:
V for Vendetta Unmasked
Natalie Portman’s Audition: Explore the depth of Evey’s character with Natalie Portman’s never-before-seen audition
James McTeigue & Lana Wachowski in Conversation
Previously released Special Features on Blu-ray Disc:
Freedom! Forever!: Making V for Vendetta – The cast and crew of V for Vendetta reveal the intense filmmaking process
Designing the Near Future – A look at the artistic process of creating the frightening future world of V
Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot – The history behind the story of Guy Fawkes
England Prevails: V for Vendetta and the New Wave in Comics – The origins of the original V story is illuminated
Cat Power Montage – Cat Power song played under images of the film
Easter Egg: Hidden Bonus: Saturday Night Live Digital Short
BASICS V for Vendetta, Ultra HD Blu-ray, $24.99
Standard Street Date: November 3rd, 2020
Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Latin Spanish, French, Japanese
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, French, Japanese
Running time: 132 minutes
Rating: R (for strong violence and some language)
DOLBY ATMOS [CC]
Out hthis week from Lionsgate is the 4K edition of the celebrated anime classic Ghost in the Shell. Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of one of the most critically acclaimed anime films of all time when Ghost in the Shell arrives on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray™ and Digital 4K Ultra HD) and Digital 4K Ultra HD on September 8th from Lionsgate. Based on the beloved manga from Japanese writer and illustrator Shirow Masamune, the film’s voice cast includes Atsuko Tanaka (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ghost in the Shell 2.0), Akio Ôtsuka (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Paprika, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots), and Kôichi Yamadera (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie,Ninja Scroll). Remastered in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and featuring fan-favorite commemorative artwork from pop illustrator Martin Ansin – along with brand new bonus material – this will be the most definitive Ghost in the Shell package to date.
2029: A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master,” a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of inﬁltrating human hosts. Together with her fellow agents from Section 9, Kusanagi embarks on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity. Director Mamoru Oshii’s award-winning cyber-tech thriller, based on the comic book by Shirow Masamune, is lauded as one of the leading Japanese animation ﬁlms of all time.
The Ghost in the Shell special features include an audio commentary as well as two brand new bonus featurettes: “Accessing Section 9: 25 Years into the Future” and “Landscapes & Dreamscapes – The Art and Architecture of Ghost in the Shell.” Experience four times the resolution of full HD with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes Dolby Vision, bringing entertainment to life through ultra-vivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. Additionally, the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features Dolby Atmos, which will transport viewers from an ordinary moment into an extraordinary experience with moving audio that flows all around them. Fans will feel like they’re inside the action as the sounds of people, places, things, and music come alive with breathtaking realism and move throughout the space.
The Ghost in the Shell 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack will be available for the suggested retail price of $22.99.
4K / BLU-RAY / DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES
Full-length audio commentary of Ghost in the Shell with Mary Claypool (Animation Writer and English Language Scriptwriter), Eric Calderon (Animation Producer and Writer), Richard Epcar (Voice of “Batou”), and Charles Solomon (Animation Historian and Critic)
“Accessing Section 9: 25 Years into the Future” Featurette
“Landscapes & Dreamscapes: The Art and Architecture of Ghost in the Shell” Featurette
Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi classic gets the ultimate high-definition treatment when Total Recall arrives as a 3-disc 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray™ and Digital) and Digital 4K Ultra HD December 8 from Lionsgate. Restored in 4K from a scan of the original 35mm negative, the visionary film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator franchise, Predator, The 6th Day), Rachel Ticotin (Con Air, Falling Down, The Eye), Oscar® nominee Sharon Stone (1995, Best Actress, Casino), and Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers, Scanners, Top Gun).
Undertaken by STUDIOCANAL, the restoration was supervised by Paul Verhoeven himself. The restoration crew paid particularly high attention to preserving special-effects continuity, as Total Recall was one of the earliest films to use computer-generated images for special effects winning the Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects at the 1990 Academy Awards®.
Available for the very first time in this absolutely stunning format, the Total Recall 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack will include a never-before-seen exclusive documentary feature as well as two brand-new featurettes. Experience four times the resolution of full HD with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes Dolby Vision, bringing entertainment to life through ultra-vivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. Additionally, the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features Dolby Atmos, which will transport viewers from an ordinary moment into an extraordinary experience with moving audio that flows all around them. Fans will feel like they’re inside the action as the sounds of people, places, things, and music come alive with breathtaking realism and move throughout the space.
The Total Recall 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack will be available for the suggested retail price of $22.99.
Inspired by the Short Story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick ● Screen Story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill ● Screenplay by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Gary Goldman ● Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Fully reimagined in stunning 4K for its 30th anniversary — and remastered in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos — Paul Verhoeven’s out-of-this-world sci-ﬁ thrill ride can now be experienced like never before! In this splintered-reality mind-bender, it’s the year 2084, and construction worker Quaid (Schwarzenegger) is haunted by dreams of Mars, a place he’s never been. Against his wife’s (Sharon Stone) wishes, Quaid goes to Rekall, a memory-implant company that promises a thrilling virtual trip to the red planet. But what Quaid “remembers” is that he’s a secret agent whose cover has been blown…and that he must return to Mars at any cost.
4K ULTRA HD / BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
Disc 1 (4K Feature Film and Special Features)
Total Excess: How Carolco Changed Hollywood Documentary
“Open Your Mind: Scoring Total Recall” Featurette
“Dreamers Within the Dream: Developing Total Recall” Featurette
Audio Commentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven
Disc 2 (Blu-ray Feature Film and Special Features):
“Open Your Mind: Scoring Total Recall” Featurette
“Dreamers Within the Dream: Developing Total Recall” Featurette
Audio Commentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven
Disc 3 (Blu-ray – Special Features)
Total Excess: How Carolco Changed Hollywood Documentary
“Total Recall: The Special Effects” Featurette
“The Making of Total Recall” Featurette
“Imagining Total Recall” Documentary
Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator franchise, Predator, The 6th Day
Rachel Ticotin Con Air, Falling Down, The Eye
Sharon Stone Basic Instinct, Casino, The Quick and the Dead
Michael Ironside Starship Troopers, Scanners, Top Gun
OK, first of all I probably should say that I’m not a “cat person.” There is one in my house, and I guess I tolerate cats more than I would dogs (slobbery little monsters), but I’m not all that fond of dumb animals in general.
So I am in retrospect not the right reader for Manfried Saves the Day, a graphic novel by Caitlin Major (writer and colorist, copyright owner) and Kelly Bastow (artist) about a world where…(breathless) Get this! Anthropomorphic cats have a whole society just like our own! And they keep cute little naked “men” as pets! “Men” are just like cats! (Except they only come in one gender, and that’s the gender that the creators are not, curiously.)
This is a sequel to Manfried the Man, which I have not read. The general rule is that the first book is better, and I have no reason to doubt that would be the case here, too. Maybe that book was more random-gag focused, or had a less cliched story. Anyway, if you like the idea of talking cats keeping tiny nonverbal humans as pets, try the first book.
Saves the Day has a plot so cliched that I kept expecting it to be subverted — literally, every page I was thinking up other ways for it to go, and anticipating which of the twists Major would decide to take — but I’m here to tell you that it ends up going exactly the way it looks like it will, roaring straight through all of the signposted events like a movie for particularly dull children before ending in a way Scooby-Doo would have sent back to the drawing board for a touch more nuance.
You see, there is a man shelter. And there is a mean landlord who wants to get rid of the man shelter to do mean-landlord things to it. And there is our hero, Steve, who has a demanding job and a girlfriend who is somehow even more demanding in ways that the creators don’t seem to realize are not fair at all to Steve. That girlfriend, Henrietta, runs the man shelter, and is Ahab-level obsessive about it, though again Major is on Henrietta’s side. And, inevitably, the only way to save the man shelter will be to win the annual Man Show, against (obviously) the highly-trained men of the mean landlord, who additionally will cheat in really obvious ways.
Can the scruffy underdogs beat the privileged jerks?  What do you think?
Since the actual plot of Saves the Day is annoying, predictable in its every straightforward second, and relies on Henrietta putting pressure on Steve in ways no one should tolerate, any pleasures of this book will rely on how much the reader enjoys seeing a little man-creature doing “adorable” cat behaviors.
See my first paragraph for context.
I did not enjoy this book. I think I only finished it because I did think Major couldn’t possibly be writing the completely straight version of this story (and was wrong about that) and because it’s short with lots of bright pretty pictures on every page. I do not recommend it for anyone with reading tastes anywhere near mine.
Austin, TX — Alamo Drafthouse is excited to announce The Press Room Collection, a new and ongoing collection of prints and other unique items created from Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s one-of-a-kind collection of over 60,000 original letterpress plates used for newspaper movie ads from 1930s to the 1980s. The collection launches today at ThePressRoom.bar with an array of items, including a limited-edition poster curated and autographed by Wu-Tang Clan mastermind and kung-fu disciple RZA.
“Kung fu has been called ‘the cinema of vengeance,’ but it was also built on stories of self-reliance, characters finding the strength to overcome impossible odds to carve out their place in society. This theme spoke to audiences worldwide and carried martial arts films into the ‘70s spotlight.
The movies I’ve selected for this print barely scratch the surface of the dynamic and insanely vast world of kung fu, a genre that has become as ingrained in global film, television, music and culture in general as any other. In my new film CUT THROAT CITY, I’ve incorporated that spirit of brotherhood and unique displays of action into my frames. My lead character “Blink,” a comic artist, has drawn his inspiration from the martial arts genre and mixed it with an urban western sensibility to create his world.
I hope these prints inspire the receiver to create something of their own. They’re also simply cool to look at. Enjoy.”
Making the RZA Kung Fu Ad Block Poster
Besides the poster curated by RZA, The Press Room Collection’s initial run of collectibles includes t-shirts, double-sided puzzles (one side original metal plates, one side letterpress print), truly distinctive wrapping paper, die-cut coasters, and a killer shower curtain, all celebrating cinematic culture. In addition, each purchase from The Press Room Collection through September 8th will receive a free Alamo On Demand rental of PRESSING ON: THE LETTERPRESS FILM, the acclaimed 2017 documentary about the 500-year-old printing process’ improbable survival in the digital age.
“This one-of-a-kind archive of cinema art chronicles the complete history of film promotion from the 30s to the 80s,” says Alamo Drafthouse founder and Executive Chairman, Tim League. “Digging into the different styles from decade to decade and genre to genre, you build a mosaic of cinema history, as well as a narrative of graphic design. We are extremely excited to share this Hollywood time capsule with our guests.”
Today’s launch precedes the grand opening of The Press Room as a museum, letterpress print shop, bar, and event space set to be located at Alamo Drafthouse’s upcoming Lower Manhattan and Orlando locations.
The Press Room is the culmination of over three years of effort by League, who was inspired after watching director Adam Roffman’s short film THE COLLECTION at SXSW 2017. The film tells the story of Marilyn Wagner and DJ Ginsberg, two Omaha, Nebraska antique shoppers who stumble upon the mother lode of movie memorabilia collections – over 60,000 letterpress plates that span six decades of film history – from CASABLANCA and THE LONE RANGER to THE DARK CRYSTAL and 48 HRS. League acquired the collection last year and began work on the museum project.
THE PRESS ROOM COLLECTION
THE WEIRD WORLD OF LSD T-SHIRT- Slip into something a little more transdimensional with the psychedelicious all-cotton tee that rearranges reality. This psychoactive three-color image comes from an original ad block promoting the 1967 documentary that blew the lid off the acid racket during the “Summer of Love.” Put on, tune in, drop out.
SEIZURE T-SHIRT – Before he redefined ‘80s cinema with PLATOON and WALL STREET, Oliver Stone’s relentlessly eccentric inaugural feature revelled in ‘70s insanity. Now the pulse-pounding paranoia of SEIZURE has been captured from its original ad block on a stunning two-color tee, as the film’s three harbingers of doom creep towards you on a purple portal to the afterlife.
SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON T-SHIRT – Only four years after the release of the first James Bond film, countless budget-grade secret agents were bursting through the screens of every movie theater on earth. And now you can be as dashing, fearless, and irresistible as Italy’s answer to 007 in this stylish spy-ish two-color tee, transferred from the original 1966 printing block.
LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH T-SHIRT – In the 1970s, kung fu films made the overdue leap from Asian cinemas to becoming a full-blown international phenomenon. Movie fans suddenly faced an insatiable hunger for daredevil stunts, hand-to-hand combat and antigravitational blades, all of which are on full display in the iconic LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH, now transformed from the original printing block into a blazing four-color design.
DEVIL’S EXPRESS T-SHIRT – When kung fu cinema came triple-flip-kicking into the US, it found particularly strong support among black audiences in major cities. Some fans opted to enter the martial arts movie game themselves, one extra exciting example being mighty NYC resident Warhawk Tanzania, whose unmatched fighting skills and yellow overalls are stretched to the limit when he squares off against a 50,000-year-old subway demon. Capture the kung fu fury in this fearless three-color tee from the original 1976 printing block art.
THE GROOVE TUBE T-SHIRT – Yes. That’s right. Totally, it’s a gorilla with a TV head. But it’s also a battle cry of the no-rules lawlessness of ‘70s chaotic comedy, when taboo-smashing gutbusters like ANIMAL HOUSE and KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE knocked filmgoers through their seats. Proudly display your disdain for authority with this primal three-color attack on the galaxy’s funny bone.
MONSTERS & MOTORS PUZZLE – A skull-squeezing full-color array of vehicular monster-slaughter, showcasing the most untamed and inhuman creatures and/or vehicles from the ‘50s through the ‘80s, all reproduced from the original printing blocks. Spaceborne plant-beasts collide with custom ‘70s swinger vans! Flesh-ripping dinosaurs get cozy with toothless bikers! Plus, this is a two-sided puzzle, with the ad art on one side and a photo of the actual printing plates on the reverse, making your living room table twice as fascinating and a thousand times more fun.
Mad Scientist Test Tube Puzzle Set – 10 out of 9 mentally unstable scientists agree: This collection of four double-sided miniature masterpieces of maniacal movie malevolence are the supreme sci-fi strike against our species. Each 150-piece puzzle comes disassembled in its own clear test tube, showcasing classic science fiction film ad art from the original plates, with the reverse being a photo of the unique handmade press blocks themselves. This set features four puny-yet-powerful themed puzzles: SHRINK RAY, X-RAYS & OUTER SPACE, DOCTORS JEKYLL and SPACY INVADERS.
RZA SIGNED KUNG FU AD BLOCK POSTER – Fists of steel… Weapons of vengeance… Musician/filmmaker/kung fu cinema historian RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan presents a hand-picked collection of the finest and most furious martial arts ad plates, just in time to coincide with his new feature, CUT THROAT CITY. This hand-screened, three-color print will be available in a one-time numbered edition of 250, each signed by RZA himself.THE PRESS ROOM: MUSIC, MONSTERS & MOTORS WRAPPING PAPER SET – In this deluxe duo of exclusive wrapping paper rolls, the hills are alive… with the undead!
First, entomb your loved ones’ gifts in this skull-squeezing full-color array of vehicular monster-slaughter, showcasing the most untamed and inhuman creatures and/or vehicles from the ‘50s through the ‘80s, all reproduced from the original printing blocks. Spaceborne plant-beasts collide with custom ‘70s space vans! Flesh-ripping dinosaurs get cozy with two-wheeled warriors!
Then, not sure how to wrap that surprise for the Bavarian who has everything? Turn any present into the gift of song with this exclusive wrapping paper designed from a selection of original ad plates for THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Your heart will fill with melody and good-timey anti-Nazi sentiments as you unroll this 10’ x 26” sheet of art from the timeless musical.
THE PRESS ROOM COASTER COLLECTION 1.0 – Respect wood. Protect your coffee table. Make the bottom of your drinking glass the most exciting part of your life. The Press Room presents a sextet of delightful die-cut cinematic coasters hand-printed from the original handmade printing blocks on a genuine antique letterpress machine.
BLOOD BATH SHOWER CURTAIN – Turn every morning into the opening scene from PSYCHO with this bone-chilling addition to the scariest room in your house. The Press Room’s BLOOD BATH shower curtain is a carefully curated collection of classic — and not-so-classic — horror film ads, each aesthetically alive with the thrills of the undead. While you’re scrubbing up, Dracula’s creepin’ and Frankenstein’s peepin’, all reproduced in murderously fine detail from their original handmade printing blocks. BLOOD BATH is mold, mildew and soap resistant. Non-vinyl, non-PEVA, environmentally friendly, and made from heavyweight 140 gsm polyester. 12 metal guarded holes with hooks included.
About the letterpress collection
From the classic films of golden age Hollywood to intergalactic ‘80s battle epics, the incredible visual history of 20th century cinema quietly unfolded in daily newspapers across the country. The stunning advertising images scorched readers’ eyes with Action! Laughs! Kung fu! Romance! Werewolves! – but the unique letterpress plates used to physically print these ads were then discarded and lost to time… until now.
During a trip to Omaha, Nebraska in the summer of 2019, Alamo Drafthouse founder and Executive Chairman Tim Leagued discovered the unimaginable trove of letterpress plates that had laid in wait for decades. Over four days, tens of thousands of plates were sorted, packed and prepared for a journey to their new home where the Alamo Drafthouse team began the venture of figuring out what to do with them.
The answer is The Press Room Collection, which offers prints and other creations from this one-of-a-kind collection of these rare handmade blocks – over 60,000 original printing plates for films spanning the 1930s to the 1980s. The collection is the largest single archive of these irreplaceable artifacts of movie history, all kept alive by our dedicated master printer, hand-cranking an original 1940 Vandercook press to create distinctive collectible prints celebrating cinema culture.