396 Ace in the Hole

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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lord_clyde
No. 33 Killer
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 4:22 am
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#51 Post by lord_clyde » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:22 am

Via_Chicago wrote:I'm still very disappointed this isn't going to be a Paramount DVD release. Not only does the transfer already look immaculate, but I'd be able to pay $10 for it. Criterion's going to throw a bunch of extras on this that I'm not going to watch and then charge me $40. If it were a transfer in need of serious work, I'd be more than happy that Criterion were releasing it, but the transfer on TCM looked great.
I think that getting The Conformist for ten bucks used up all that luck for the next decade.

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Max von Mayerling
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#52 Post by Max von Mayerling » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:26 pm

Right now it is $24.99 on Amazon. (And the Conformist is $12.99 - so as of today, on a per disc basis, the Criterion is cheaper than the Conformist. Or, if you hate all supplements, and just want to think of what you're paying to own the film, then you're paying an extra $12 because it is coming out on Criterion, if we're using the Conformist as our benchmark for a bargain.) (Not to dispute that the Conformist is a bargain.)

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Via_Chicago
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#53 Post by Via_Chicago » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:55 pm

lord_clyde wrote:I think that getting The Conformist for ten bucks used up all that luck for the next decade.
You're right. I'm actually more inclined to complain about the impending release of Days of Heaven (which I, of course, will not), but despite my bitching, I'll probably still pick up Ace in the Hole at some point. It's a fabulous film.

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souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#54 Post by souvenir » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:01 pm

The new Entertainment Weekly has a write-up on the Criterion DVD, putting it at #20 on its "EW 100" list. Here's what they have to say:
EW wrote:WHY THIS: Previously unavailable in any video format, director Billy Wilder's scorching 1951 drama - about a cynical reporter (Kirk Douglas) who turns the tragedy of a man trapped in a cave into a media circus - is getting its due with a smashing Criterion release. 'ACE' EXTRAS: The two-disc set, in stores July 17, includes commentary from film scholar Neil Sinyard (who quotes William Holden's pungent remark that Wilder had a "mind full of razor blades"), plus interviews with Wilder and Douglas and an insightful afterword from Spike Lee. If you're looking for a change of pace from pirates, potty humor, and Potter, this is it.

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Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
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#55 Post by Jeff » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:45 pm

There is a review up at Home Theater Forum. It sounds like a great transfer and a solid package all around.

mogwai
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#56 Post by mogwai » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:02 pm


Joshua Dago
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:12 am
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#57 Post by Joshua Dago » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:53 pm

all sounds good. too bad it's again pictureboxed. that's such a waste. does it makes a difference to email them about it? can we start another petition?

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

#58 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:55 pm

my DVD Player overscans, so I'll just write to thank them for pictureboxing and we'll cancel each other out

Joshua Dago
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#59 Post by Joshua Dago » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:59 pm

buy a new one. why else would you spend so much money on dvds?

what the heck, i'm buying for $$$$ a month on dvds and like my 'collection' to be a bit more definitive.

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davebert
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#60 Post by davebert » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:05 pm

They would become more definitive if you bought a worse DVD player/TV to compensate, no?

It's odd that the screens look much sharper than I remember seeing on TCM only two or three weeks before the DVD release; I figured we were going to see a screening of the fully remastered print, but it seems to have lacked sharpness in comparison. Maybe its my crappy TV.

It's a great film, though, and has some of the best descriptions of New York when Kirk's doing his monologue to a disinterested New Mexico newspaper staff early on in the film.

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Jeff
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#61 Post by Jeff » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:00 am


Greathinker

#62 Post by Greathinker » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:11 am

Savant , only four stars, what the hell!?

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tryavna
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#63 Post by tryavna » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:25 am

Greathinker wrote:Savant , only four stars, what the hell!?
I don't think Savant uses the star system of evaluation. If you link directly from his main page, his reviews never have them. I suspect that DVD Talk editors add them later to fit the site's formatting, making educated guesses. (Many of Savant's reviews have straight four-star ratings down the line.)

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souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#64 Post by souvenir » Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:20 pm

Criterion has an advertisement in today's New York Times Magazine for Ace in the Hole. Here's a scan I made:

Image

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Person
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 3:00 pm

#65 Post by Person » Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:36 pm

Greathinker wrote:Savant , only four stars, what the hell!?
DVD Savant wrote:On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Ace in the Hole rates:
Movie: Excellent
Video: Excellent
Sound: Very Good
Always ignore the star rating on a Savant review - go by his rating below the technical review. It is a bit confusing, but its DVD Talk's template.

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Gigi M.
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#66 Post by Gigi M. » Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:28 am

souvenir wrote:Criterion has an advertisement in today's New York Times Magazine for Ace in the Hole. Here's a scan I made:

Image
Since when, Wages of Fear is considered a film noir?

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tryavna
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#67 Post by tryavna » Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:57 am

Gigi M. wrote:Since when, Wages of Fear is considered a film noir?
Didn't you know? Nowadays "film noir" means whatever anyone wants it to mean.

In fact, it's bordering on becoming a completely meaningless term.

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Lemmy Caution
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#68 Post by Lemmy Caution » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:40 am

"In fact, it's bordering on becoming a completely meaningless term," he said noiringly.

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Person
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 3:00 pm

#69 Post by Person » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:58 am

tryavna wrote:In fact, it's bordering on becoming a completely meaningless term.
It always was! I love many films that other people label "Film Noir", but all that happened was that American crime dramas and thrillers films became darker and more violent during WWII. I used to use the term for those films of the 40s and 50s, but it doesn't describe a film very well - 'dark' suffices. And there has always been dark films. It just seemed unexpected to the French critics at the time - the films seemed transgressive and they were. I didn't see I am a Fugitive from a Chaingang until last year and it pulverized me. Yet most so-called 'tough' films of this century do not. The Wages of Fear also remains a very powerful, uncompromising film with many audacious set-pieces that I find far more invigorating and impressive than Bruce Willis surfing a fighter jet down New York. So, it might not fit into the "Film Noir" box, but it is definitely darker, tenser and more cynical than most gold-seal Hollywood films about private detectives and blonde tarts babbling unrealistic dialogue, trying to look cool. Ace in the Hole is also a far better illustration of the cynical, hysterical dark side of the American psyche than gumshoes prowling around alleyways.

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Gigi M.
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#70 Post by Gigi M. » Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:31 pm


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tryavna
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#71 Post by tryavna » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:28 am

An interesting appreciation of the film from a journalist's point of view is up on Slate now.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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#72 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:59 am

Anyone surprised by the Spike Lee afterward? When I saw it originally on the back of the case, my first reaction was "That Guy?", but he honestly had good points to say. He even showed off an original lobbycard, from it's re-release as The Big Carnival, signed by Kirk Douglas and Billy Wilder. Hell the guy is really enjoying the fact he's talking about it.

This was one of my best blind buys in a while. Recently, I've been staying away from special features, but the AFI interview is too good to pass up. I saw about 10 minutes of the Perfect Man documentary, and that seemed a bit more serious than the AFI interview, but nevertheless, excellent.

Also, the cover looks AWFUL online, but it's a lot nicer in person.

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Belmondo
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#73 Post by Belmondo » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:41 pm

tryavna wrote:An interesting appreciation of the film from a journalist's point of view is up on Slate now.
Thanks for the link to this excellent article. Note that it is in the "News" section, not the "Arts" section. As they discuss journalism, we also get a deeper appreciation of the movie. It may be unconventional film noir in one sense, but, on the other hand, it epitomizes the film noir style in showing us the "crackup of the American Dream".

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colinr0380
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#74 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:44 pm

Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jbeall
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#75 Post by jbeall » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:33 pm

What a great film! Kirk Douglas's acting is hammy by today's standards, but it fits right in with acting of the noir genre (although how much you want to categorize this film as noir is debatable).

I'd love to show this film to all my students--Clockwork Orange-style, with the students bound and unable to look away from the screen--and then tell them: this is about YOU, you bleating sheep!!! Turn off the damn tv and forget about Paris Hilton or Barry Bonds and go do something!!!

(Unreal. I'm 31, and I'm already a cranky old man. :cry: )

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