Monday, July 19, 2010

A Film Fanatic's Dream, A Penny Pincher's Nightmare

With all due respects to a certain reader or two of this blog, I am grateful to have plenty of options for finding books and DVDs, both new and used, from independent resources and flea markets in Los Angeles that limit the amount of times I step into a Barnes and Noble to those few instances when I have a gift card to spend or to idly reading magazines whilst waiting for movies to start or friends to arrive. But the big book conglomerate's online store does annually offer one exciting promotion, and not coincidentally it's going on right as we speak: The 50% off all Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-Rays.

Personally, I have used this sale to upgrade my Days of Heaven and Chungking Express DVDs to Blu-Ray, as well as picking up the Blus of Paris, Texas, Stagecoach and Repulsion. And as far as DVDs, I purchased the Eclipse Box Set: Nikkatsu Noir, and while it's come up, I would heartily recommend fans of Japanese films, Film noir fanatics and/or crime fiction aficionados to if not out right purchase this box set, at least sample the titles via Netflix. So far I've rented three of the five titles (I Am Waiting, Take Aim at the Police Van and A Colt is My Passport) and have been impressed with the expressive style and content of all three (the other two titles which I have not yet seen are the vividly titled Rusty Knife and Cruel Gun Story). My favorite thus far is Takashi Nomura's A Colt is My Passport (1967), which is a film noir appropriation of the Akira Kurosawa samurai films and the Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. Stoned face Jo Shishido's performance may owe a debt to Toshiro Mifune and Clint Eastwood, but he holds his own and belongs as their equal as a whip smart gangster who is pitted in between two rival gangs, the one who's leader he assassinated and the one who hired him and want to cover their involvement after a peace treaty is reached. Harumi Ibe's score borrows from some of Ennio Morricone's cues, but adds a distinctive Japanese bent.

And in further Criterion news, it's been announced that the future holds some notable releases including Crumb, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Thin Red Line, The Magician, Paths of Glory, The Darjeeling Limited, Something Wild, and the reportedly insanely awesome, House. Those titles are not yet available for purchase via Barnes and Noble's sale, so start saving your money for next year.

4 comments:

Wesley said...

Isn't half off at Barnes & Noble like regular price everywhere else?

Mummbles said...

Having worked at said store for nine years, every once in a while they would have a sale that was actually better then some place like Best Buy or Tower. Seeing as how Tower is now out of business thats not saying much. I do like browsing the store as well, plenty to look at and buy. But since they do not value service only money I rarely buy from the store anymore unless I have a gift card. Glad you were able to find a good deal, but like the previous comment said it is rare to get a good deal at said store.

Colonel Mortimer said...

I figured you two would chime in, I was trying to be polite about B & N since I knew you both worked there.

This is a rare but really great deal since Criterion Collection is the most expensive DVD and Blu-Ray distributor (due to their independence and quality standards). I am not a big box store guy at all, and I don't care for Best Buy either, and think it's worse than B & N in some aspects.

Michael said...

Sounds like a good deal. I wish I had some extra cash to spend on Blu-rays. For the record, I, too, don't like the big-box stores either, but I do prefer B&N to Best Buy any day.

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