Beloved clas­sics

BeautyAndTheBeast and Humphrey Bog­art films lead big pa­rade of Blu-ray ti­tles.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By DOUG NYE

ATIME­LESS tale of love’s power, Beauty And The Beast, and a pair of Humphrey Bog­art clas­sics, The Mal­tese Fal­con and The Trea­sure Of The Sierra Madre, top this week’s im­pres­sive list of new Blu-ray re­leases.

Beauty And The Beast (Walt Dis­ney, 1992), as to be ex­pected from Dis­ney, looks stun­ning on Blu-ray and sounds ter­rific. It be­came an in­stant clas­sic at the time of its re­lease and is the first of only two an­i­mated films ever nom­i­nated for an Academy Award for Best Pic­ture (the sec­ond is Up).

The film tells the story of Belle (voice of Paige O’Hara) who lives in an 18th cen­tury French vil­lage with her in­ven­tor fa­ther. Belle en­joys read­ing books and ex­pand­ing her mind, which is some­thing her ego­tis­ti­cal suitor Gas­ton can’t un­der­stand. That soon doesn’t mat­ter be­cause Belle has an­other fig­ure come into her life.

Liv­ing in a dis­tant cas­tle, he is a prince who has been cast un­der a spell and turned into a hor­ri­ble Beast. Only by find­ing true love can the Beast ever be trans­formed back into hu­man form and it is Belle who fi­nally makes that pos­si­ble. Robby Ben­son sup­plies the voice of the Beast with un­for­get­table thun­der.

It all un­folds in the won­der­ful Dis­ney style that en­ter­tains both young and old alike. Much of the fun comes in watch­ing the an­i­mated house­hold ob­jects prance around each with their own dis­tinct per­son­al­i­ties.

The movie was nom­i­nated for six Os­cars and won two for Best Orig­i­nal Song ( Beauty And The Beast) and Best Orig­i­nal score. In­cludes stan­dard DVD ver­sion. Highly rec­om­mended.

TheMal­te­seFal­con (Warner Broth­ers, 1941): The de­fin­i­tive screen ver­sion of Dashiell Ham­mett’s novel that made Humphrey Bog­art a full-fledged star.

The shad­owy film noir pho­tog­ra­phy looks crisp on Blu-ray. Bog­art plays de­tec­tive Sam Spade, who be­comes in­volved with a va­ri­ety of char­ac­ters af­ter his part­ner is mur­dered.

A great cast in­cludes Syd­ney Green­street, Mary As­tor, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook Jr and Ward Bond.

This was John Hus­ton’s first di­rec­to­rial ef­fort. In­cludes Warner Night At The Movies short sub­jects. Highly rec­om­mended.

TheTrea­sureOfTheSier­raMadre (Warner Broth­ers, 1948): This Blu-ray demon­strates just how stun­ning blackand-white can look in high def­i­ni­tion. Bog­art and Tim Holt play down-on-their­luck drifters in Mex­ico who meet up with an old prospec­tor (Wal­ter Hus­ton). The three de­cide to go into the hills to Warner Night At The Movies short sub­jects. Highly rec­om­mended.

Other Blu-ray re­leases

TheLastOfTheMo­hi­cans (20th Cen­tury Fox, 1992): A beau­ti­fully pho­tographed and ex­cit­ing ver­sion of James Fen­i­more Cooper’s clas­sic fron­tier tale of the French and In­dian War.

Daniel Day-Lewis shines as the great hunter Hawk­eye. Of­fer­ing sup­port are Made­line Stowe, Wes Studi and Rus­sell Means. Di­rected by Michael Mann. Rec­om­mended.

TheEx­or­cist (Warner Broth­ers, 1973): This is the film that sent shivers up the spines of many movie fans when first re­leased. Linda Blair plays the girl who is pos­sessed by a de­mon.

Max von Sy­dow and Ja­son Miller play two priests who at­tempt to per­form an ex­or­cism on the girl, but not with­out some ter­ri­fy­ing mo­ments.

Also in the cast are Ellen Burstyn and Lee J. Cobb. Re­leased in Blu-ray book for­mat. Rec­om­mended. Base­ball:TheTen­thIn­ning (Para­mount, 2010): Ken Burns’ se­quel to his spec­tac­u­lar 1993 doc­u­men­tary Base­ball.

The two-part, four-hour ef­fort cov­ers the steroid scan­dals of the past 17 years but also fo­cuses on the ac­com­plish­ments of the

Ocean’s11:50thAnniver­sary (Warner Broth­ers, 1960): Frank Si­na­tra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Law­ford and friends at­tempt to pull off the heist of the cen­tury in Las Ve­gas.

Si­na­tra plays Danny Ocean, who gets his old Army bud­dies to­gether to do the job. Also in the cast are Angie Dick­in­son, Joey Bishop, Ce­sar Romero and guests Red Skel­ton and Ge­orge Raft. Great fun. Rec­om­mended.

Robo­copTril­ogy (MGM/UA, 1987-90-93): Peter Weller plays the cop who is mur­dered and then brought back to life by technology. He dis­cov­ers he is part man, part ma­chine and is haunted by mem­o­ries of his past life. Still, that doesn’t stop him from go­ing into ac­tion when the bad guys ar­rive. Weller re­turns for the sec­ond film and then Robert Burke takes over for the fi­nale. Rec­om­mended for lovers of ac­tion.

Peanut­sHol­i­dayCol­lec­tion (Warner Broth­ers): This in­cludes A Char­lie Brown Christ­mas, It’s The Great Pump­kin, Char­lie Brown and A Char­lie Brown Thanks­giv­ing. It also in­cludes stan­dard DVD ver­sions of each ti­tle. Highly rec­om­mended.

MadMax (MGM/UA, 1979): Mel Gib­son stars in this saga set in Aus­tralia in a fu­ture torn by war and strife. Mo­tor­cy­cle gangs roam the land try­ing to elude what passes for a po­lice force. Max Rock­atan­sky (Gib­son) is con­sid­ered one of the best on the force and it his job to hunt down a law­breaker known as the Nightrider. That makes for a mem­o­rable chase se­quence.

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