Dreams Do Come True

I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for a box set of the Ju-on films. Well, that box set has now been officially announced and it’s stacked. Squee!

Ju-on: The Grudge Collection (Limited Edition) drops in the UK (and for us multi-region player owners) on December 19th from Arrow Video.

Ju-on: The Grudge Collection - Limited Edition

  • Brand new 4K restoration of Ju-On: The Grudge from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
  • 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Ju-On: The Grudge in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all films
  • Home video premiere outside Japan of Ju-On: The Curse and Ju-On: The Curse 2
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (except The Curse and The Curse 2) and 2.0 stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Exclusive 60-page collector’s booklet featuring writing by Grady Hendrix, James Marsh, Tom Mes, William Carroll and Lindsay Nelson [Limited Edition Exclusive]
  • Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Oink Creative
  • Twenty-four double-sided, postcard-sized artcards [Limited Edition Exclusive]
  • Reversible poster with new and original artwork [Limited Edition Exclusive]

DISC 1 – JU-ON: THE CURSE AND JU-ON: THE CURSE 2 (BLU-RAY)

  • Introduction to both films by writer-director Takashi Shimizu
  • Introduction to Ju-On: The Curse by actor Takako Fuji

DISC 2 & 3 – JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY / BLU-RAY)

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
  • Introduction by writer-director Takashi Shimizu
  • New audio commentary by film historian David Kalat
  • Audio commentary by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel
  • Alternate English dub track in 5.1 Surround
  • Haunting in Monochrome, a new interview with Takashi Shimizu on the Ju-On films
  • Being Kayako, a new interview with Takako Fuji on her role as Kayako
  • The Evolution of Ju-On, a brand new featurette with authors and Japan specialists Tom Mes and Zack Davisson discussing the cultural forces that shaped the series
  • Through a Glass Darkly, an archive interview with Takashi Shimizu
  • Whispers in the Dark, an archive interview with actor Megumi Okina on her role as Rika
  • Fade to Black, an archive interview with actress Kayoko Shibata, who plays Mariko
  • On-set interviews with Takashi Shimizu, Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara and Yui Ichikawa
  • Deleted scenes with commentary by Takashi Shimizu
  • Almost an hour of behind-the-scenes footage
  • Ju-On True Stories, two ghostly true-life tales that inspired the films, narrated by Hiroyoshi Kihara
  • Original trailers
  • Image gallery

DISC 4 – JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 (BLU-RAY)

  • Introduction by writer-director Takashi Shimizu
  • New audio commentary with scholar Raechel Dumas and critic Jasper Sharp
  • Alternate English dub track in 5.1 Surround
  • Interview with Takashi Shimizu from the time of making Ju-On: The Grudge 2
  • On-set interviews with Noriko Sakai, Chiharu Niiyama, Kei Horie, Yui Ichikawa, Emi Yamamoto and Shingo Katsurayama
  • Deleted scenes
  • 55 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage
  • On-set reports by cast members Noriko Sakai, Yui Ichikawa and Erika Kuroishi
  • Premieres and stage greetings footage from Japan, Taiwan and Korea
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • Image gallery

DISC 5 – JU-ON: WHITE GHOST AND JU-ON: BLACK GHOST (BLU-RAY)

  • Introduction to Ju-On: Black Ghost by writer-director Mari Asato
  • New interview with Mari Asato
  • Original trailer
  • Image galleries
Dreams Do Come True

FWP [Monday Edition]

Criterion is shipping out a replacement disc for the Citizen Kane 4K and standard Blu-ray sets due to an encode issue. I got a shipping notification on January 7 and this is what the tracking still says 17 days later.

USPS Sucks

I am not sure if this is a Criterion issue or a USPS issue … but this frustrates me endlessly. And, yes … I know this is totally a privileged, first-world problem thing.

Meanwhile … the sunrise (as seen from the Walmart parking lot) yesterday morning was quite pretty.

Sunrise 01-23-22

FWP [Monday Edition]

Crushin’

Life continues to be a bit of a slog. The workweeks just seem to drag on FOREVER.

Well … at least Christmas is over! There is one more weekend of holiday shenanigans (wherein we will hopefully not get Omincron-laced COVID) and then we are into the doldrums of winter. Yay.

We did attend a big Christmas party at the beginning of the month and I went to a short family gathering on Christmas Eve and a rather lengthy Christmas Day dinner at a friend’s house (10 people were in attendance).

This might be me tipsy and in a Santa hat after too many vodka tonics before dinner. I guess there are worse ways to spend the evening.

Tipsy on Christmas

It’s hard not to feel paranoid about social interaction these days and I must confess to being jealous of those people who can put the worry of potential illness aside. The slightest headache or sniffle sends me into a fit of worry about whether I have COVID or not.

And, yeah. The beard is in serious need of a trim.

I got some cool presents (movies and books and such) this year … and I also received some end-of-the-year cash from the bosses. Whoo! So, while we were in Asheville last night, we stopped into my favorite movie store. I had been in last week and had found used copies of Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels and Happy Together on the shelf. These are the Kino Lorber releases that are seriously OOP. I have been pretty keen on locating copies of these after the revisionist debacle that World of Wong Kar-Wai ended up being. I didn’t buy them last week, so I was pretty excited to see that they were still on the shelf last night. $50 total for both movies! I have yet to see these listed for under $80 each on eBay or the Amazon marketplace. And somebody has this exact set listed for $280 on eBay. I am guessing the movie store didn’t quite know what they had on their hands. Ha, ha. Christmas Cash FTW!

Wong Kar Wai Double Feature

We’ve been going to this movie store for a while, and I had started to develop a crush on one of the employees. He’s punkish. He has tattoos. He’s a film nerd. A trifecta of awesomeness! When we walked in last week, Siouxise and the Banshee’s Juju was playing through the store’s sound system. Then it switched to Siouxise and the Banshee’s Tinderbox (my most favorite album of all time). Then it switched to a few songs by The Cure. Then is switched to the Cocteau Twins’ first album, Garlands (arguably the least liked by most fans … though I think it’s totally aces!). Guess who was behind the counter controlling the tunes. My Film Nerd Crush! So, now my wee “in-store” crush has blossomed into a full-blown “I want to watch movies and listen to records with you” crush. Oh, well.

Ah, life. It’s been a while since I have totally crushed on a store employee (remember the Cute Bookseller?).

Next stop … 2022 and hopefully a new iPhone 13 Pro (which will take years to pay for).

Crushin’

Christmas in October!

The Guest Limited Edition 4K UHD / Blu-ray from Second Sight Films
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love The Guest. So, when Second Sight Films in the UK announced in August that a fancy, limited edition 4K UHD set, I knew I would be ordering this. Dang. This set looks amazing! And, yeah … I spent too much money on it and I don’t care.

Special Features 

  • Limited Edition of 5,000
  • 4K / Blu-ray dual format release
  • Brand new grade for both formats supervised by Director Adam Wingard
  • UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR
  • New commentary by Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett
  • Archive commentary by Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett
  • The Uninvited Guest: a new interview with Actor Dan Stevens
  • A Perfect Stranger: a new interview with Actor Maika Monroe
  • By Invitation Only: a new interview with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett
  • Producing The Guest: a new interview with Producers Keith Calder and Jess Wu Calder
  • Light and Fog: a new interview with Director of Photography Robby Baumgartner
  • Lightning Strikes: a new interview with Production Designer Tom Hammock
  • The Sounds of The Guest: a new interview with Composer Steve Moore
  • Deleted / Alternate Scenes, Outtake Gag with optional Director commentary

Limited Edition Contents

  • Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Adam Stothard
  • Various Artists Soundtrack CD
  • 160 page book with new essays by Tim Coleman, Zena Dixon, Craig Ian Mann and Zoë Rose Smith; Script-to-Screen featuring storyboards and script extracts, Behind-the-Scenes photos and Adam Wingard soundtrack notes
  • 6 collectors’ art cards

Exclusive to Second Sight orders

  • 3 art card reproductions of the on-set Halloween Dance posters
Christmas in October!

Worked For It

The weekend is FINALLY here! Thank God. Work has gotten slow again and that makes for long, drawn-out work weeks that never seem to want to end.

At least there are some fun plans on tap for the weekend!
– Firepitting tonight with Shortlegs and Co.
– Tasty Boojum Brewing beer and food with Michelle tomorrow night
– Visiting Biltmore on Sunday for the first time since October

Hopefully, David is cool that I am all “fuck you I am off to do fun things without you.” Ha, ha.

And … the big news for the day is that I finally have the Arrow Video Battle Royale 4K UHD Limited Edition in my greedy, consumerist hands. This set is a BEAST!

Arrow Video Battle Royale 4K UHD Limited Edition
Arrow Video Battle Royale 4K UHD Limited Edition
Arrow Video Battle Royale 4K UHD Limited Edition
Arrow Video Battle Royale 4K UHD Limited Edition

Worked For It

Alive, Not Kicking

Not much to report here really. Just navigating the winter and pandemic doldrums.

I wish we would get some warmer weather. I miss (socially distanced) fire pitting with friends. I want to get out on some camping trips. I am tired of just sitting around the house worrying about finances and COVID-19. I want my county to get on a roll with the vaccinations so that I can get my shots (of course I am in the very last “everyone else” category).

And, I am tired of feeling underappreciated. It’s making me bitter. I have felt bitter most of the day … for most of the last several days, to be honest. Sometimes it just feels like people are just paying a lot of lip service in regards to my abilities/training. I am always getting duped into feeling the expectation that someone is going to put in a good word for me when they are not. And after months of lip service, I am bitter. Honestly, I think I’d prefer to be treated with indifference. At least then I wouldn’t have these expectations that people are standing up for me or are advocating for me when they are not.

Meanwhile … I finally got the two packages that the USPS has been holding hostage. Yay!
New Arrivals

This Week’s Excitement: Trump is out of office! Thank Christ.

Alive, Not Kicking

Beast Mode

THE BEASTMASTER 4K Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome
The big excitement recently has been the arrival of Vinegar Syndrome‘s new 4K UHD release of The Beastmaster. I have very vivid memories of seeing this at the local movie theater in 1982 (when I was on the cusp of turning 11 years old). I pretty much knew I was different at this point in my life and that men grabbed my attention more women. It was a weird, scary, and thrilling feeling. The Beastmaster just helped reaffirm all this. Marc Singer running around in a leather hula skirt that barely covered anything was an amazing site for these young eyes.

It’s weird to think now that my parents probably thought I was excited to see Tanya Roberts topless in this movie. Nope. I was all about Marc Singer. I mean, c’mon … look at him!

Marc Singer

The Beastmaster is one of three films from my childhood that I feel helped solidify my gayness. The other two are Flash Gordon and Gwendoline. Maybe it’s of note that all three are from the fantasy/sci-fi genre … and maybe it’s not.

Beast Mode

Updates and Things

Yeah … I am still alive. I just haven’t felt like posting.

Thanksgiving came and went last week without much fanfare. Our friends who normally host a “Friendsgiving” that we go to every year (wisely) decided to not host this year. It was disappointing but understandable. So, David went off to see his family and I stayed around the house and didn’t really do anything but consume pizza and be a generally depressed bastard. Yay, 2020!

I did get this year’s batch of egg nog made on Thanksgiving Day. Later this week, I get to decide who has been nice enough to receive some and who’s on the shit list and is out of egg nog luck. Ha, ha.

COVID-19 case numbers are going crazy here in our little mountain county. It’s a bummer since we’ve done pretty well for most of the year. It seems like precaution fatigue has people letting their guard down and thus getting infected. I am so ready for all this to be over!

One (well, two really) of the bright spots of the past week has been the arrival of the Dawn of the Dead 4K UHD Limited Edition release from Second Sight and the Midsommar Director’s Cut 4K UHD Limited Edition from A24. Squee!

On Saturday, I had a solo shopping appointment at my favorite record store in Asheville, Harvest Records. I managed to snag the 2020 Black Friday Record Store Day release of Amiee Mann’s Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo. I also found a rare Japanese pressing from 1985 of The Sisters of Mercy’s First and Last and Always. So cool!

Sunday morning, we went for a fancy brunch at The Ascot Club at Highland Forest. We have recently become social members there because a) the membership is cheap and b) all of our friends were joining and we didn’t want to be left out. The food is good and the atmosphere pretty quiet. So, it’s a great place to go for a relaxing meal. We drank mimosas and had fancy brunchables … Chicken and Waffles for me and Steak Caesar Salad for David. Très chic.

Since there were no Black Friday sales to go to in person, I bought a few movies online for cheap. Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season arrived yesterday. Horray for 2-day shipping! But, thanks to Amazon’s amazing pack job, it’s already being returned. The slipcase was damaged and (it might be hard to tell from the photo) the case is actually curved and bent. Amazon’s crapping packing/shipping strikes again. Sheesh.

Bent!

Some other randomness that I might post more about later:
– I framed some enamel pin sets I have recently acquired.
– We watched Unhinged. It’s nowhere near as bad as the critics made it out to be.
– I have become obsessed with color matching my jockstrap and shirt colors when I can.

The workweek is now underway. December is nigh (which means 2021 is just around the corner. And they are calling for SNOW tonight!

Oh, and … because I was bad and missed the actual day on the 21st … Happy 18th Birthday to The Boy Wonder. I guess this blog finally legal! I know I say this every year … but, damn … I never thought it would last this long. So, a big thanks to the constant (or even occasional) readers that still come here and read my ramblings.
18

Editor’s Note: No links ’cause I’m lazy.

Updates and Things

Yes, Please!

The first Collector’s Edition from A24, Ari Aster’s 171-minute director’s cut will look as crisp on your bookshelf as it does on your screen.

Disc comes enclosed in a clothbound, Hårga-yellow slipcase, accompanied by an illustrated 62-page booklet featuring original artworks from the film by Ragnar Persson and a foreword by Martin Scorsese. Choice of Standard Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD.

Midsommar Director's Cut 4K
Midsommar Director's Cut 4K
Midsommar Director's Cut 4K
Midsommar Director's Cut 4K
Midsommar Director's Cut 4K
Midsommar Director's Cut 4K
Midsommar Director's Cut 4K

Make mine 4K UHD, please!

Side Note: I think it would seriously cool to have a tattoo of that flaming bear art.

Yes, Please!

Weekend Update

Well … that was another lazy weekend. Thanks, pandemic!

At least now we have a new President-elect! Hopefully, he will be able to make some headway on getting COVID-19 better under control. I am somewhat hopeful for what 2021 might hold now. If we can get past Trump’s last two months in office, that is. What a total waste of a human being. Ugh.

I did make it to the local B&N on Saturday morning to grab some goodies from the Criterion 50% Off Sale. Yay, consumerism! Though it was a little weird to be only one of two shoppers in the whole store.
Criterion Sale!

Saturday night, I went and fire pitted (socially distanced, of course) with Short Legs, Kiki, and Tom. This has become a weekly event (weather permitting) and a bright spot of sanity … especially since we see friends in person so rarely these days. I am really going to miss this once winter fully hits and it’s way too cold to sit outside even with a fire.

Sunday afternoon, I took a glorious two-hour nap. Yes!

AND … a big hat tip to Bowser for alerting us to the neighbor walking towards the front door on Saturday afternoon. David and I were not naked in the living room or engaged in any form of sexual activity at the time. In all the years I have been in this house, I am surprised that I haven’t been caught having sex in the living room. There have been a couple of close calls though when friends have unexpectedly dropped by. Ha, ha.

Weekend Update

Meanwhile … CRASH!

Who would have thought that after years of no high definition release of David Cronenberg‘s Crash, we will have three releases (Germany, UK, and the US) by the end of the year! And, of course, all three have different special features.

Crash - Turbine Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-Ray Mediabook
Crash Mediabook from Turbine Media (New 4K Restoration!)

Bonus Materials:
40-page Booklet – HD-Trailer – US-NC-17-Trailer – New interviews in HD (ca. 140 Min.): Talk with Viggo Mortensen & David Cronenberg (ca. 52 Min.), Peter Suschitzky (DoP – ca. 20 Min.), Jeremy Thomas (Producer – ca. 17 Min.), Howard Shore (Composer – ca. 23. Min.), Deirdre Bowen (Casting Director – ca. 27 Min.) – Archive: Theatrical Release Interviews with Cast & Crew (ca. 22 Min.) – Behind the Scenes (ca. 11. Min.) – David Cronenberg’s Short Films: The Nest (ca. 9 Min.), Camera (ca. 6 Min.), At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World (ca. 4 Min.)

Crash - Arrow Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-Ray
Crash 4K UHD Limited Edition from Arrow Video

  • Brand new 4K restoration of the uncut NC-17 version from the original 35mm camera negative, supervised by writer-director David Cronenberg and director of photography Peter Suschitzky
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Cronenberg Challenge – new interview with the director of photography Peter Suschitzky
  • Mechanical Animals – new interview with executive producer Jeremy Thomas
  • The Shore Thing – new interview with composer Howard Shore
  • License to Drive – new interview with casting director Deirdre Bowen
  • Archival “Behind the Scenes” featurette
  • Archival interviews with David Cronenberg, J.G. Ballard, and actors James Spader, Holly Hunter, Deborah Kara Unger, and Elias Koteas
  • Cronenberg: Concrete Cowboy – brand new video essay by Caelum Vatnsdal on Cronenberg’s use of Toronto as a filming location
  • Original Trailers
  • Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Vanessa Morgan and Araceli Molina, alongside a reprinted excerpt from Cronenberg on Cronenberg
  • Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Limited edition packaging with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Crash - Criterion Collection Blu-Ray
Crash Blu-ray from the Criteron Collection

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New 4K digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, both approved by director David Cronenberg
  • Audio commentary from 1997 featuring Cronenberg
  • Press conference from the 1996 Cannes Film Festival featuring Cronenberg; Suschitzky; author J. G. Ballard; producers Robert Lantos and Jeremy Thomas; and actors Rosanna Arquette, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, James Spader, and Deborah Kara Unger
  • Q&A from 1996 with Cronenberg and Ballard at the National Film Theatre in London
  • Behind-the-scenes footage and press interviews from 1996
  • Trailers
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang

And guess which consumerist sucker is going to own all three?

Meanwhile … CRASH!

Things ‘n Stuff

The arrival of The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection 4K Blu-ray has been the best thing that has happened in the past few weeks. Seriously. Psycho and Vertigo look insanely beautiful in 4K (Rear Window and The Birds aren’t too bad either).
The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection 4K Blu-ray

And to balance out all that cinematic awesomeness, I grabbed a copy of the Rob Zombie Trilogy. Trash-tastic! (Plus, you can’t beat three movies for $13.)
Rob Zombie Trilogy

One of the other things I have done recently has been to separate my regular Twitter from my porn Twitter. Now my regular followers won’t see when I like or comment on some really hot porn tweet. Ha, ha.

Meanwhile, I am obsessing over remixes of Madonna’s Erotica.

Things ‘n Stuff