Blu-Ray Review: MGM Releases Catalog Hits For Father’s Day

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CHICAGO – Twentieth Century Fox & MGM released an onslaught of catalog titles on Blu-ray, many for the first time, on May 10th, and most seem well-timed to the upcoming Father’s Day holiday. The company was kind enough to send us a sample of the ten titles and it seems like this will be an odd mix, from which you can surely choose at least one or two faves.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

First, the titles we DIDN’T get that may interest readers — “The Terminator,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Dead Man Walking,” “The Horse Soldiers,” and “Rocky.”

The Usual Suspects
The Usual Suspects
Photo credit: FOX/MGM

We received a wonderful sampler pack of classics that included “The Usual Suspects,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” “The Misfits,” and “Some Like It Hot.” All four films are excellent and worth owning for any serious movie fan, but the quality of the Blu-ray releases differs.

The HD transfer on “Some Like It Hot” is easily the best with an excellent amount of line detail and polish, but the other three range from OK (“The Misfits”) to disappointing (“The Usual Suspects”) to bad (“The Manchurian Candidate”). “TMC” is seriously grainy, worse than most upconverted DVDs.

Even more disappointing is the general lack of special features. There have been multiple editions of “The Usual Suspects” and you couldn’t transfer a single special feature? None of the releases have anything new, although “TMC& “Some Like It Hot” do include some previously available bonus material. Nothing on “The Misfits”. Boo.

I love all four of these movies and would probably put two and maybe even three on my list of the best ever made (the three b&w ones). So, pick ‘em up because they should be included in your collection, but don’t get excited about these classics getting the HD treatment they actually deserve. Maybe next Father’s Day.

The Misfits
The Misfits
Photo credit: FOX/MGM

“The Misfits”
Expertly directed by John Huston (The Maltese Falcon) from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Miller, The Misfits is “a probing, exciting drama” (The Film Daily) of honesty, intensity and sheer poetic brilliance. Divorced and disillusioned, Roslyn Tabor (Marilyn Monroe) befriends a group of misfits, including an aging cowboy (Clark Gable), a heartbroken mechanic (Eli Wallach) and a worn-out rodeo rider (Montgomery Clift). Through their live-for-the-moment lifestyle, Roslyn experiences her first taste of freedom, exhilaration and passion. But when her innocent idealism clashes with their hard-edged practicality, Roslyn must risk losing their friendship… and the only true love she’s ever known.

“The Usual Suspects”
Winner of two 1995 Academy Awards®, including Original Screenplay this masterful, atmospheric film noir enraptured audiences with its complex and riveting storyline, gritty, tour-de-force performances (including an Oscar®-Winning turn by Kevin Spacey) and a climax that is truly deserving of the word “stunning.”

A $91 million cocaine heist. A devastating boat explosion. Two survivors. U.S. Customs special agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) is determined to find out who and what’s behind the melee. As he pieces the clues together with the help of a half-charred Hungarian gangster and an outspoken, crippled con man from New York, Kujan soon finds out this story actually begins with five criminal minds…and one infamous master mind.

Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot
Photo credit: FOX/MGM

“Some Like It Hot”
When Chicago musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) accidentally witness a gangland shooting, they quickly board a south bound train to Florida, disguised as Josephine and Daphne, the two newest and homeliest members of an all-girl jazz band. Their cover is perfect… until a love lorn singer (Marilyn Monroe) falls for Josephine, an ancient playboy (Joe E. Brown) falls for Daphne, and a mob boss (George Raft) refuses to fall for their hoax! Nominated* for 6 Academy Awards®, Some Like It Hot is “the quintessential madcap farce and one of the greatest of all film comedies” (The Motion Picture Guide).

“The Manchurian Candidate”
Eerie, shocking, daring, thrilling and mesmerizing, The Manchurian Candidate “will leave you breathless” (People)! Featuring an all-star cast, including Angela Lansbury in an Oscar®-Nominated performance, this “chilling and controversial” (Leonard Maltin) film “may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made” (Pauline Kael).

When a platoon of Korean War GIs is captured, they somehow end up at a ladies’ garden club party. Or do they? Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can’t remember. As he searches for the answer, he discovers threads of a diabolical plot orchestrated by the utterly ruthless Mrs. Iselin (Lansbury) and involving her war hero son (Laurence Harvey), her senator husband (James Gregory) and a secret cabal of enemy leaders.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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