"Tipping is un-American."
Today, a lot of rain and a few bits/pieces of DVD-related stuff.
Shades and I caught The Palm Beach Story (1942) on TCM last night and really liked it. This film is one of the better efforts by the writer-director Preston Sturges who also was behind the classics The Lady Eve (we'll be getting to this one soon) and Sullivan's Travels. We haven't seen Eve yet, but I feel this film wasn't quite as good as Sullivan's Travels which is a masterpiece, IMO. The ending is a bit odd, though amusing but the weakness for me is Joel McCrea who plays opposite of Claudete Colbert. Joel does a good enough job, but he just doesn't seem right for the part in this psuedo-screwball comedy. McCrea was mainly a Western genre player and I can see why he found success there. But here he comes off as stilted, somewhat unsympathetic, and unfunny (though he often has to be the straight man in a number of scenes). It doesn't sink the film by any means, but I think a different guy in the part would have improved it. The film is worth seeing for Colbert's performance and the witty sreenplay alone.
This film is on DVD, but in a bare-bones edition courtesy of Universal. Both The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels have very good Criterion DVDs, but for some reason this one hasn't been given the better treatment. In any case, this film is certainly worth a rent and perhaps a buy (the DVD is cheap).
A while back I mentioned Uni announcing a new SE DVD of Dune (1984) with both theatrical and "Alan Smithee" versions. Since then, the title was postponed, but today I found out why. David Lynch has decided to get invloved with the DVD and produce a new cut of the film. Apparently after the film came out, he didn't want to have anything further to do with it. All I can guess is that when Uni decided to release the longer un-approved version, he figured it was better to have some input. I will be curious to see what he'll do with it as the theatrical version definately has some problems as-is. Of course at the speed Lynch usually works, we may end up getting this one on a HD format disc!
Uni also has a Jaws: 30th Anniversary Edition coming on 6/14. This may be a re-hash of the existing disc or perhaps they might restore the complete Making of Jaws docu that first appeared on laserdisc, but was shortened for the current DVD.
Sony has an extended cut SE DVD of Stripes which will be out on 6/7 and have an additional 18 minutes of footage.
Image has also set The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition - Season 3 for release on 6/28 (SRP $119.99). The 5-disc set will include audio commentaries (by Billy Mumy, William Windom, Leonard Nimoy, Cliff Robertson and others), excerpts from audio interviews with cast & crew members, more isolated music scores, Rod Serling promos, Serling's guest appearance on The Garry Moore Show and more.
Star Trek fans might want to check out this article which lists all the Easter Eggs on the Trek DVDs so far.
And finally, The Home Theater Forum had an online chat last night with representatives from Warners. It's a long transcript, but some of you might want to give it a read as it has some really interesting stuff. One regret is that no one asked them when they're going to release Hamlet (1996) on DVD. But in any case, it's worth a look and can be found here.