Don't Look Now (1973) Movie Review


Don’t Look Now is a 1973 psychological or psychic thriller, a horror movie that is full of suspense rather than a lot of gore. This film stars Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. The Guardian considers this to be amongst the top five performances given by Sutherland and Christie, like Sutherland, has a long list of credits to her name that include Doctor Zhivago, Finding Neverland and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Don’t Look Now is set in Venice, Italy an “elegantly decaying city," words that certainly depict the Venice you see in this movie. Shot in the wintertime, Venice is abandoned, gray and miserable. Watching this film gives you a good idea of what the layout of Venice is like in terms of canals, walkways and bridges but it will do little to make you want to visit the city.

Venice is the third star in this movie, lending exactly the right atmosphere with plenty of dead ends and wrong turns to create the perfect atmosphere and set. Roger Ebert  said that could not picture this film set anywhere else and I agree and The Guardian calls the Venice of this movie mysterious and exotic and untouristy. Once again, I agree.

Don't Look Now tells the story of a couple struggling to get past the death of a child who relocate to Venice and chance to meet two weird sisters, one of whom is psychic. These women appear throughout the movie in a haunting fashion but beware for as the movie tagline says, “Things are not what they seem.”

Here’s the original movie trailer, which has no spoilers in it.



What is there to object to?


This movie is rated R for Restricted so there is a lot to be aware of. There is an accidental death, an extended sex scene and a nasty murder with blood but the movie is really more suspenseful than gory. There is drinking and smoking.

As I expected when we were watching the movie, the sex scene was very controversial in its time. It might be important to note that, although lengthy, the scene is meant to be the beautiful coming together of two married adults who had drifted apart. The Guardian  considers the sex scene to be one of the ten best because of the “emotional freight” that comes with it.

Recommended?


The case for this movie says that Don’t Look Now is as renowned “for its innovative editing and haunting cinematography as it is for its naturalistic eroticism and unforgettable climax and denouement” and that it is considered one of the great endings in horror movie history.

In 2002, Roger Ebert said this movie “remains one of the great horror masterpieces” elaborating by saying, that it “works not with fright, which is easy, but with dread, grief and apprehension.” Exactly.

I chose this movie because it was set in Venice and it definitely turned out to be an interesting choice though not perhaps in the way I thought it might. With the warnings mentioned in the preceding paragraph, I would recommend this movie for those who want something different and who are interested in the history of cinema. It does give a peek into the workings of Venice but is definitely not a great travelogue for the city.

Blu-ray.com  praises Criterion for the quality of the digital restoration so if you buy this movie, you probably should buy the Criterion Collection version, which will also allow you to watch the special features and learn more about how this movie was made and why it is important to the history of cinematography.

Here’s the trailer for the Criterion reissue in which you will definitely be able to see the improvement of quality from that of the original trailer, which was shown above.



Don’t Look Now is based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. If you are a reader, it might be a movie to check out in print form prior to or even after watching the movie. Because it was a short story, the movie provides more story than the author's version. You can learn more about or buy your copy of the Criterion Collection's version on Amazon by clicking right here.

By the way, The Guardian and other sources online say that  Don’t Look Now is being remade. Given the nature of the story and it’s position as one of Britain’s finest horror stories, there is considerable scepticism about whether this is the appropriate type of movie for a remake. If you watch the film or have seen it, I am sure you will understand why it might be hard to successfully remake this movie.

Will you be watching or reading Don't Look Now? If you have seen it, what did you think? Finally, what do you think of the idea of a remake this movie?

See you
At the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Read more about Don't Look Now from Amazon.
The Woman in Black (2012) movie review.
Not-too-scary Movies for Tweens.







Fantastic Beasts Release Date on DVD & Blu-ray Disc

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD

In my world Harry Potter fans were totally pleased with the movie  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when it was finally released in the movie theatres on November 18, 2016 and now there is another date to be excited about. I know that fans have been waiting and asking when will the DVD and Blu-ray disc for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them be released?

According to HDRoom, you will be able to start watching some versions of Fantastic Beasts at home on March 7, 2017 though they do not say which formats will be available on that date.  However, they go on to say that the release date for Digital HD, DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions is March 28, 2017, timed to coincide with a new Harry Potter 4K release.

You can order your copy of Fantastic Beasts on Amazon by clicking here right now. I see that Amazon has the various format options available and I know that they will protect you with their pre-order price guarantee. If the price goes down between now and the release date, that is the price you will be charged when they ship the movie.

I love the artwork, particularly on the DVD case shown above because it shows more of the characters.  I've included the other images for interest sake. I know you won't be picking your copy of this movie based on the cover artwork but which cover is your favorite?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray & Digital Download

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 4K Ultra HD

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD Release


More Fantastic Beasts Reading:

Nifty Niffler Gift Ideas.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Calendar.



All Roads Lead to Rome (2015)


Last night we watched another Italy-themed movie. All Roads Lead to Rome (2015) stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Day, Raoul Bova (The Tourist, Under the Tuscan Sun) and Claudia Cardinale (an Italian actress.) It is a romantic comedy that starts off in the beautiful Italian countryside and arrives, after an adventuresome journey, in Rome hence the title All Roads Lead to Rome.

The movie was a light and entertaining film, definitely not the best romantic com ever but an enjoyable film with not much to object to. No sex although there is reference to a teen’s unhealthy relationship, some social drinking, marijuana use once and infrequent swearing. The movie is rated PG 13 and that seems like a good guideline to me.



While we did finally arrive in Rome (in the movie), it showed some highlights of the city. However, this would not be my top pick as an Italian-themed movie to enhance your enjoyment of an upcoming or a reminder of a past trip to Italy and Rome. There were a few, “I’ve been there!” moments but overall I felt that the movie did not really do a fabulous job of displaying Rome.

Would I recommend it? Yes, as I said for a light movie. However, I’d pick Letters to Juliet or Under the Tuscan Sun first. You can read more about All Roads Lead to Rome on Amazon by clicking here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Italy Movies:

My Letters to Juliet movie review.
Dangerous Beauty movie review.
The Tourist with Johnny Depp & Angelina Jolie.

For Better or For Worse: The Bestest Present (1986)

AN ANIMATED CHRISTMAS TELEVISION SPECIAL


This animated Christmas special, For Better or For Worse: The Bestest Present, was created based on Lynn Johnston's popular comic strip, For Better or For Worse. It was produced for Canadian television in December, 1986, and follows the Patterson family as they get ready for the holidays. Of course there are lots of funny moments and a touching finale, which combine to make a lovely film with some voices supplied by Johnston's own children.

This is a very popular Christmas television special that is not widely available on DVD. However, sometimes the videotape is available new and used through various sellers at Amazon and eBay although the rarity and popularity of this item dictates the price especially if someone finds a new copy.  You can find your copy of The Bestest Present on Amazon by clicking here and on eBay here.

See you
at the movies!

Brenda

More Rare Films:


The Great American Cowboy (1973) Documentary Film
Doctor Who The End of the Universe Boxed Set
Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall


Doctor Who The End of the Universe VHS Boxed Set

Doctor Who The End of the Universe is a VHS video set that continues to be sought after. It contains eleven tapes with 56 episodes of the cult favorite television program. A brand new set fetched over $200 recently on eBay.


The BBC started the Doctor Who series on November 23, 1963. As you know, they continue to make programs and the fan base is strong. This videotape set was issued in celebration of the Doctor’s 40th anniversary and, at that time, was the biggest collection of Doctor Who programs available. These eleven tapes include four Doctors, 19 of his companions and 56 episodes of the show.

When I checked this morning, the set was more affordable on eBay than Amazon, where I can see that one is listed for just over $200 plus $12 of shipping and one sold for that about that price recently. You can check eBay to see if there are any Doctor Who End of the Universe Collections by clicking here.  There is a set listed on Amazon right now but it is listed at just over $400. You can check for yourself to see if Amazon has it listed right now by clicking here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Doctor Who:

Doctor Who Disappearing Tardis Coffee Mug.


Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall

Disney's Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall is a hoot to watch. It features a Broadway-style presentation of Snow White that appeared at Radio City Music Hall in 1979. It starred Mary-Jo Salerno as Snow White, Anne Francine as The Evil Queen and Richard Bowne as Prince Charming.

A total of 38 performances were held in 1979, the production closed and then another 68 performances were presented in 1980. In that same year, the show was aired on television and it was aired again in 1987 on the Disney Channel.

Unfortunately, Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall is also a rare and sought after VHS videotape.  I see a DVD is sometimes available on eBay but I am not sure if it is a legitimate Disney release.

You can click here to find Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall on Amazon and here to check it out on eBay.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Snow White Reading:

Meet Snow White's Seven Dwarfs.
Meet Adriana Caselotti: The Voice of Snow White
Marge Champion: The Model For Snow White


Don't Forget Videotapes...


In the story Never Forget: The Humble, Indispensable VHS in the Austin Chronicle on January 16, 2009,  Alamo Drafthouse programmers Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlson talk about the rise of Netflix and their enduring love for old-fashioned videotape.

They start by discussing their first experiences with VHS, which might sound like a story from your past if, that is, you remember videotapes at all. One of those stories tells of a Grandfather who was on the cutting edge and who brought home a huge VCR that cost $2,000 in 1981 and of course, some family-safe movies.

My first memory of a VCR at all comes from the time I started dating my husband. He had purchased a BETA VCR, much to the chagrin of his family.

Remember that before VHS, you could not watch movies at home unless they were being shown on television. Buying a VCR in the early 1980s was a truly new and exciting experience. Movies came in as Zack said, "huge, white clamshell cases that opened with a suction-y pop and within that case was this black rectangle that held wonders."

When the story was written in the Austin Chronicle in 2009, only about 25 percent of movies made before VHS had been released on VHS and when I originally wrote this article, just 50 percent of the movies issued on VHS had been made available on DVD. That means that a large number of movies are simply gone.

People are collecting videotapes the way people collected records in the past.  Not because they are better but because they have a different selection. They are looking for a title that has not made the transition to current formats.

The Austin Chronicle article closes with the tale of customer looking for a movie they saw when they were 12 but being disgusted at only finding it available on VHS. How would you handle that situation? If you are a big movie fan and watch older films as well as newer ones, this might have happened to you. If a videotape is the only way you can watch a movie you love, would you buy the tape?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Never Forget: The Humble, Indispensable VHS
Buy these VHS buttons on Etsy. 


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