Needless Things Podcast 270 – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Needless Commentary

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Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

What better way to kick off another Needless Summer than with a trip to the ocean with Steve Zissou?

This month’s Commentary was chosen by Ryan Cadaver, but is mutually adored throughout the team. Bill Murray leads one of the most remarkable casts ever assembled in what might be Wes Anderson’s most mainstream and watchable film. While the trademark unique, quirky style is present in abundance, The Life Aquatic’s narrative is fast-paced and perhaps more of a standard cinematic storytelling experience than any other Anderson film.

Listen in as Dave, Arian, Ryan, and Nicole raid the Hennessey Sea Lab for this month’s Needless Commentary!

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Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com 

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men? 

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Home Again – June’s Blu-Ray Releases

Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media.

All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.

I have a new recommendation for you guys. If you think getting a movies a few days early sounds neat, try preordering from Best Buy. I got on their site and preordered a few Steelbooks I knew I was going to want because they tend to sell out fast. The first one – Captain Marvel – arrived this past Saturday. We watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it Saturday night. I wonder if the new digital/physical media schedule means that release dates for said physical media aren’t as important as they used to be.

On another note, I am now fully onboard the 4K train. I know I poo-poo’d it in the past, but now that we’ve got a dedicated 4K player hooked up to a properly calibrated TV and sound system it really is a noticeable difference.

We watched the Captain Marvel 4K followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on Blu-ray and I was shocked at the decline in quality. I’m not trying to say Blu-ray is bad because it for sure isn’t; it’s just that 4K really is that damn good. Or at least, a top-tier release from the biggest studio in the world is that damn good.

I won’t be purchasing upgrades or anything, but going forward I will be choosing 4K for new releases whenever I can.

6/11

Captain Marvel (2019) – Disney/Buena Vista –  We had the opportunity to watch this again prior to this post and I enjoyed the movie even more. Knowing the twists and turns allowed me to enjoy the movie itself far more the second time through.

I also had a bit of a revelation about Carol. I saw some complaints about her character. I think it’s related to our perception of females in media. If a male character had behaved exactly how Carol Danvers behaves in this movie, nobody would have had a problem. But Carol is not feminine in a traditional sense and she’s also not a stereotypical “can do no wrong” tough girl. She’s a real, human character dealing with fantastical situations.

Check out my full review here.

Since this is a top-tier release from the biggest studio in the world there are several cersions available – 4K/Blu-ray, Best Buy exclusive 4K/Blu-ray Steelbook, standard Blu-ray, and a Target exclusive 4K w/book.

Walmart seems to be getting left out of the exclusive game more and more often lately, which makes me very happy. #deathtowalmart

Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II 35th Anniversary 4K Steelbook (1984/1989) – Sony PicturesGhostbusters, despite being one of the best movies of all time – top 5 for me, easily – has had a rough road to Hi-Def. We finally got good Blu-rays of the 1984 movie and its sequel five years ago and you can buy those for $11 right now if you want to.

I’m mad at Amazon right now or I’d provide a link. I encourage you to buy them elsewhere if possible. More on that later, maybe. I’m not quite at #deathtoamazon levels, though.

From the review I read it appears that these are the same 4K versions released in 2016, but conveniently bundled together and with some added features. I’m not gonna lie – I’m tempted to upgrade. The Blu-ray set I have is nice and I really like the packaging, but the allure of a more “ultimate” release in a Steelbook is pretty darn tempting.

Jonny Quest: The Complete Series (1964-1965) – Warner Bros. – If you haven’t seen this prequel to The Venture Bros., you should really check it out.

HAHA! I kid.

Jonny Quest was one of the best cartoons that never came on often enough when I was younger. I could not get enough of these adventures and to this day feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the twenty-six episodes.

Yes – there were only twenty-six episodes in the two seasons.

I’m sure I’ve seen them all, but in my memory the show was much longer-lived and more prolific. These Warner Archives releases have all been fantastic so far, with last week’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies really blowing my mind, so I can’t wait to grab this one.

Note: This is a Warner Archive made-to-order release, so your best bet is to order from here.

The Entity (1982) – Shout Factory – This is Ghostbusters for people who wish it were an actual horror film. Barbara Hershey plays this movie’s version of Dana Barrett, who has much, much worse things happen to her than a little chair grope.

The Entity is a genuinely scary movie directed by Sidney J. Furie. If that name somehow doesn’t catch your attention, he also directed The Ipcress File, The Boys in Company C, three of the four Iron Eagle movies, and… wait for it…

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

But don’t hold that against him. The Entity is solid horror. Give it a shot.

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) – Shout Factory – The fourth Hammer Frankenstein film is interesting in that it tries something different, but I don’t love it.

Peter Cushing is always great to watch and I love the odd village world that was created for the movie – lots of rooftop business! – but it’s one of those movies that seems to sort of repeat itself and after a while you wonder if it’s ever going to go anywhere.

I own it on DVD because it came as part of a set with Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires years ago and I don’t see myself upgrading.

Jeffrey (1995) – Lionsgate Films – The mid-90s presented an odd proliferation of gay movies – The Birdcage, To Wong Foo, The Adventures of Priscilla, and probably more I’m forgetting.

Also, I realize those are all drag movies and I’m lumping them in, but I think the target audience and the following that has ensued over the years includes a heavily gay demographic.

Anyway, all of these movies are pretty good to different degrees, but nobody ever talks about Jeffrey, which I watched on cable because Jen-Luc Picard and Brian Hackett were in it. I think it’s the best of the, as Good Ol’ JR would say “alternative lifestyle” movies of the era. It doesn’t rely on the camp and the glamor in the same way that the others do and presents a sort of Average Joe gay guy in Steven Weber’s titular character.

They Might Be Giants (1971) – Kino Lorber – Believe it or not I have never seen my favorite band’s namesake.

I’ve been aware that the name “They Might Be Giants” was taken from a George C. Scott film pretty much since the internet has been a thing, but I’ve never felt particularly compelled to watch it or even find out anything about it.

Thanks to this weekly article that has all changed. Now I know that it’s about a psychotic paranoid Sherlock Holmes in modern day New York having adventures with his psychiatrist Dr. Watson – played by Joanne Woodward – following along. It sounds messed-up and amazing. For twenty bucks, I’m in.

Other Titles Worth Noting

Pirahna (1978) Steelbook, Leprechaun Returns, Can’t Stop the Music, The Warriors (1979) Steelbook, Captive State, Devil’s Kiss, Kidnapped (1971), The Godfather Collection (two different versions – I can’t figure out the difference), several Fast & the Furious rereleases

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