DVD Shopping Bag: North by Northwest Blu-ray - Mania.com

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DVD Shopping Bag: North by Northwest Blu-ray

Sorry, no YO Joe this week…

By Robert T. Trate     November 03, 2009

Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic finally on Blu-ray
© Bob Trate


Well this week Maniacs I wanted to address G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. There were a few things about the film that bothered me but overall I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Perhaps my copy for review will show up and you’ll get to hear more than that tiny bit of two cents so we’ll wait and see. If there is anything with the G.I. Joe title on it you should pick up this week it is G.I. Joe: Resolute. Brilliantly written by Warren Ellis, it is everything the G.I. Joe live action movie should have been. Check out the Amazon exclusive addition here. Sadly no Blu-ray edition has been announced.
As anyone can plainly see the DVD Shopping Bag has an incredibly long list this week. I have two recommendations this week. Quickly, pick up the Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One. It starts off a bit slow but by the final episodes, supervising producers Dave Filoni and Catherine Winder actually make Star Wars feel like Star Wars again. This season, thus far, has been phenomenal so you owe it to yourself to catch up. My big pick for the week should come as no surprise, just look at the header image; it is North by Northwest on Blu-ray.
If Alfred Hitchcock were alive today Mania without a doubt would cover all of his film releases. Sadly the master auteur isn’t but his films will survive for all time. Warner Brothers, who had acquired the rights to North by Northwest from MGM, released an incredible DVD of the film in 2004. Many of the special features are the same however what any true fan of Hitchcock will appreciate is the Blu-ray transfer. With the use of many rear screen projections and matte paintings older transfers tend to point them out. Here Warner Brothers has created a definitive addition where one watches the film as if they were in a theater in 1959. The print is better than brand new and outside of the dated scenery and styles Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill lives again. I was originally worried that perhaps this film with its brilliant colors and scenery would look dated, as many of the early James Bond films do. The 1080p transfer (16x9 1.85:1) gives it almost a period piece look and outside of opening stock footage in New York you are transported back to that era. Bernard Herrmann’s score in TrueHD 5.1 Dolby Digital requires playing the audio only track for it cuts through the air with utter brilliance. It’s hard not to get giddy when one of your favorite films gets this kind of treatment. I couldn’t be happier with what Warner Brothers has released.
Thankfully there isn’t just a rehash of special features from the 2004 edition. There are two incredible documentaries included that highlight not only the film but Hitchcock as well. “North by Northwest: One for the Ages” discusses the cultural significance and impact the film had on Hollywood. Many fans will know much of the information provided here however new fans will love every single minute of it. The second and more thought provoking documentary is “The Master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style”. Produced and directed by Gary Leva, it features costume designers, production designers and directors (Guillermo del Toro, Francis Lawrence, Martin Scorsese and John Carpenter to name a few) discussing the intricacies of Hitchcock’s work. Sadly the documentary highlights only Warner Brother’s titles but if you are a fan of Hitchcock you can clearly see that Leva’s breakdown applies to all of the master auteur’s work. Scorsese, as always, is the front runner with the most to say however it is hearing younger film makers like del Toro discussing Hitchcock’s finer points that will enable new and younger fans to connect with Hitchcock.  
The one original special feature that demands a screening is writer Ernest Lehman’s commentary. This unique insight into not only how the film was made, conceived and shot is any fan of Hitchcock’s dream. Lehman starts off pointing out the obvious but quickly breaks into choices that were made in the film by Grant and Hitchcock that he didn’t care for. He divulges a few tidbits of information that until 2004 were not ever known before. Though the true gems of his commentary come from how he went from writing “The Wreck of the Mary Deare” to North by Northwest. Lehman’s stories pass into history as each and every detail that he and Hitchcock conceived or wanted in the film become known. A perfect special feature if ever there was one.
Warner Brothers really hit it out the park with this 50th anniversary edition. If only the other studios (I’m looking at you Universal) would get on the ball and release Hitchcock’s other work on Blu-ray. Blu-rays aren’t a fad anymore and have become an established format. If only all Blu-rays could be as perfect as this one.
24 Hours to Kill ~ France Anglade, Lex Barker, Wolfgang Lukschy, and Michael Medwin
3000 Miles to Graceland (Keepcase) ~ Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, and Christian Slater
A Time to Kill ~ Sandra Bullock, Chris Cooper, John Diehl, and Charles S. Dutton
Bad Cop ~ Damian Chapa, David Carradine, and Miguel Angel Rodríguez
The Bad Game ~ Damian Chapa
Command Performance ~ Dolph Lundgren, Melissa Smith, Hristo Shopov, and Dave Legeno
Command Performance [Blu-ray]
Copycat (Keepcase) ~ Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, and William McNamara
Criminal Justice ~ Ben Whishaw, Bill Paterson, Pete Postlethwaite, and Con O'Neill
Detonator ~ Randall Batinkoff, Elizabeth Berkley, Stan Shaw, and Bokeem Woodbine
Direct Action [Blu-ray] ~ Dolph Lundgren, Polly Shannon, Donald Burda, and Rothaford Gray
Disclosure ~ Pat Asanti, Dylan Baker, Michael Chieffo, and Wayne Duvall
Don't Talk to Strange Men ~ Janina Faye, Christina Gregg, Gillian Lind, and Gwen Nelson
Empire of the Sun (Keepcase) ~ Hiro Arai, Christian Bale, J.G. Ballard, and Ray Charleson
Farewell Darkness ~ Matthew Levy, Duane Sharp, Spencer Lord, and Amanda Melby
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Two-Disc Edition + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] ~ Channing Tatum
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Two-Disc Edition)
Gothika (Keepcase) ~ Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr., and Charles S. Dutton
Just Cause (Keepcase) ~ Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Capshaw, and Blair Underwood
The Last Samurai
Matador (1986) ~ Agustín Almodóvar, Antonio Banderas, Luis Ciges, and Eva Cobo
The Men ~ Marlon Brando, Cliff Clark, Virginia Farmer, and John Hamilton
Murder at 1600 (Keepcase)
Murder by Numbers (Keepcase) ~ Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling, and Michael Pitt
Murder in the First (Keepcase) ~ Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, and Embeth Davidtz
Murder Without Crime ~ Joan Dowling, Derek Farr, Dennis Price, and Patricia Plunkett
Not Forgotten ~ Simon Baker, Paz Vega, Chloe Moretz, and Claire Forlani
Operation Delta Force: Mayday/Deep Fault/Random Fire
The Pelican Brief (Keepcase) ~ Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, and John Heard
Proof of Life ~ Stanley Anderson, Alun Armstrong, David Caruso, and Russell Crowe
Six Sex Scenes & a Murder ~ Kristin Minter, Greg Plitt, and Richard Crenna Jr.
Sleepers ~ Peter Appel, Kevin Bacon, Eugene Byrd, and Robert De Niro
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 ~ Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, and Victor Gojcaj
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 [Blu-ray]
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 [UMD for PSP]
Troy ~ Brad Pitt, Sean Bean, Ken Bones, Julie Christie, and Trevor Eve
Three Kings (Keepcase) ~ George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze
Twister (Keepcase) ~ Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, and Jami Gertz
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (Keepcase) ~ Steven Seagal, Eric Bogosian, Everett McGill, and Katherine Heigl
U.S. Marshals
Young Guns II (Keepcase)
Afro Samurai: Complete Murder Sessions (Director's Cut) ~ Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, Lucy Liu, and Mark Hamill
Afro Samurai: Complete Murder Sessions (Spike Version)
Bleach Uncut Box Set: Season 4, Part 1 - The Bount
Boogiepop Phantom/Boogiepop & Others
Dragonaut: The Resonance, Complete Series Part 1 ~ Colleen Clinkenbeard
Moribito - Guardian Of The Spirit Volume 7 ~ Mabuki Andou
The Tower of Druaga: Part One - The Aegis of Uruk ~ Todd Haberkorn
Witchblade: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] ~ Caitlin Glass
You're Under Arrest: Season 2 - Collection 1
Davey And Goliath Vol 1 (Collector's Edition)
Fraggle Rock: A Merry Fraggle Holiday
Mickey's Magical Christmas
Ruby-Spears Superman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Season 7 Set
Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End
Zorro: Generation Z, Vol. 5
A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] ~ Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, and Mervyn Johns
It's a Wonderful Life [Blu-ray] ~ James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell
It's a Wonderful Life (Two-Disc Collector's Gift Set And Limited Edition Ornament)
North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Book) [Blu-ray] ~ Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, and Martin Landau
North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition)
White Christmas (Anniversary Edition)
Aliens in the Attic (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] ~ Kevin Nealon, Doris Roberts, Henry Young, and Tim Meadows
Aliens in the Attic
Little Shop of Horrors (Keepcase) ~ Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, and Steve Martin
Spies Like Us (Keepcase) ~ Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon
Will Ferrell: You're Welcome, America. A Final Night with George W. Bush ~ Will Ferrell
Criterion Collection
Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] ~ Curt Bois, Solveig Dommartin, Peter Falk, and Bruno Ganz
Wings of Desire (The Criterion Collection)
Beast Within ~ Birthe Wolter, Philipp Danne, Anna Breuer, and Marvin Gronen
Bloody Beach ~ Hyun-Jung Kim, Dong-kun Yang, Seung-chae Lee, and Jeong-jin Lee
Contagio ~ Isabelle Stephen, Lucien Eisanach, and Luc Bernier
Dark Mirror ~ Lisa Vidal, Lupe Ontiveros, David Chisum, and Christine Lakin
Death of Evil ~ Damian Chapa
The Dead Sleep ~ Chris Armstrong
Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Keepcase) ~ David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, and Scarlett Johansson
Exorcist II: The Heretic (Keepcase) ~ Richard Burton, Linda Blair, Louise Fletcher, and Max von Sydow
The Ghost of Greville Lodge ~ Jon Newman, George Cole, Prunella Scales, and Kevin Howarth
Gravestoned ~ Lar Park Lincoln, Ivan Jones, Eryn Brooke, and Hope Latimer
House of Wax (Keepcase) ~ Vincent Price, Roy Roberts, Frank Lovejoy, and Charles Bronson
The Legend of Vipers Hill
Night Watcher ~ Daniel Vincent Gordh, Christopher Kadish, and Robert Petrarca
Nobody Loves Alice
Scaranna ~ Peter Ward, Andrina Amsdell, Jane Minchin, and Katie McKnight
Stragglers ~ Dave R. Watkins, Michael D. Friedman, Amy Holt, and Chris Burns
Vampire Conspiracy ~ Jean-Marc Fontaine
Vampiro ~ Damian Chapa
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, and Johnny Galecki
Forrest Gump [Blu-ray] ~ Tom Hanks, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Sinise, and Sally Field
Forrest Gump (Chocolate Box Giftset) [Blu-ray]
Love Actually [Blu-ray] ~ Sheila Allen, Rowan Atkinson, Alan Barnes, and Brian Bovell
Say Anything [Blu-ray] ~ John Cusack, Ione Skye, Lois Chiles, and Gloria Cromwell
Before the Fall ~ Eduard Fernández, Victor Clavijo, Mariana Cordero, and Juan Galván
Buck Rogers ~ Buster Crabbe, Constance Moore, Jackie Moran, and Henry Brandon
Decoder ~ FM Einheit, William Rice, Christiane Felscherinow, and Britzhold Baron De Belle
Doctor Who - The War Games ~ Frazer Hines
Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy (Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment) (Episodes 126-28) ~ Peter Davison
Dreamcatcher (Keepcase) ~ Rosemary Dunsmore, Jon Kasdan, Eric Keenleyside, and Campbell Lane
Gappa: Monsters From a Prehistoric Planet (Cinema Insomnia Edition)
Hardwired ~ Matt Anderson, Rob Carpenter, Robert Clarke, and Dave Cote
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (Keepcase) ~ Don Knotts, Carole Cook, Jack Weston, and Andrew Duggan
Mutants ~ Steven Bauer, Michael Ironside, and Louis Herthum
The NeverEnding Story (Keepcase) ~ Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, and Gerald McRaney
Practical Magic (Keepcase) ~ Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, and Dianne Wiest
Sand Serpents ~ Jason Gedrick, Tamara Hope, Sebastian Knapp, and Elias Toufexis
Starquest: The Odyssey ~ Adam Rini, Shane Stevens, Katherine Stewart, and Aaron Ginn-Forsberg
Superman: The Movie
Superman II
The Storm ~ James Van Der Beek, Teri Polo, Treat Williams, and David James Elliott
Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series ~ Moon Bloodgood, Victor Kubicek, and Dee Bradley Baker
Them! (Keepcase) ~ James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, and James Arness
The Donna Reed Show: Season Three ~ Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Paul Petersen, and Shelley Fabares
Edge of Darkness: The Complete BBC Series ~ Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay, and Ian McNeice
Fraggle Rock: Complete Series Collection
Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season
G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: Season 1.2 ~ Chris Latta, Arthur Burghardt, Frank Welker, and Michael Bell
Mission: Impossible - The Final TV Season ~ Peter Graves, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, and Lynda Day George
Mission: Impossible - Complete Series ~ Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, Leonard Nimoy, and Peter Graves
The Rockford Files: Movie Collection, Vol. 1 ~ James Garner, Noah Jr. Beery, and Joe Santos
The Shield: Complete Series ~ Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, and Michael Jace
Spin City: Season Three ~ Michael J. Fox, Richard Kind, Michael Boatman, and Barry Bostwick
Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series) ~ Dee Bradley Baker, Corey Burton, and Terrence 'T.C.' Carson
Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series) [Blu-ray]
Walt Disney Treasures: Zorro - The Complete First Season ~ Guy Williams, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, and George J. Lewis
Walt Disney Treasures: Zorro - The Complete Second Season
Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1 (The Big Heat / 5 Against the House / The Lineup / Murder by Contract / The Sniper)
James Bond 10-Pack [Blu-ray] ~ Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, The World is Enough, Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace
Rocky: The Undisputed Collection [Blu-ray] ~ Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Holiday (Christmas in Connecticut 1945 / A Christmas Carol 1938 / The Shop Around the Corner / It Happened on 5th Avenue) ~ Barbara Stanwyck, Reginald Owen, Margaret Sullavan, and James Stewart
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Family (Lassie Come Home / Flipper 1963 / The Incredible Mr. Limpet / National Velvet) ~ Roddy McDowall, Chuck Connors, Luke Halpin, and Don Knotts
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Comedy (Arsenic and Old Lace / A Night at the Opera / The Long Long Trailer / Father of the Bride 1950) ~ Cary Grant, Marx Brothers, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hitchcock Thrillers (Suspicion / Strangers on a Train / The Wrong Man / I Confess) ~ Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Farley Granger, and Robert Walker
Transformers/Transfo... Revenge of the Fallen [Blu-ray] ~ Shia Labeouf, Josh Duhamel, and Michael Bay
Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 3 of 3
karas1 11/3/2009 4:01:33 AM

Davey and Goliath???  You have got to be kidding me.  Some things deserve to remain burried in obscurity.

monkeypie 11/3/2009 7:59:56 AM

I would like to see a Davey and Goliath/Moral Oral 2-pack!

crystalwither 11/12/2009 5:52:46 PM




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