Ten more titles that should see the light of day on region 1 DVD:
1. The Brave (1997)- A real oddity. Directed by and starring Johnny Depp, the film says its about a Native American (Depp) whose offered a chance to take part in a snuff film. It was shown briefly at several international film festivals and brutally panned by critics. Depp then pulled it from distribution deals and has refused to release it. I did stumble across a copy the other day, and I'm seriously considering making the purchase. If anyone thinks differently, please let me know.
2. 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974)- John Frankenheimer's pop art gangster film shows up on TV from time to time, and it recently received a showing at the New Beverly in Los Angeles, so maybe someone, somewhere finds enough value in it to give us a proper release. I've only seen the film once... years ago in a shitty pan and scan version on Bravo (or a similar channel) and still loved it.
3. To Live and Die In LA (1987)- A bit of a cheat, but this title has been tantalizingly offered then pulled on Blu Ray, leaving us with a pretty shoddy pan and scan version on DVD.
4. Last Summer (1969)- Read the IMDB board for this film, and there some pretty fervent admirers of Frank Perry's film out there. Lined with a cast of young stars including Barbara Hershey and Bruce Davison, "Last Summer" sounds like an honest coming of age film that nailed the spirit and authenticity of its time. Warner Archive initially announced its release, then declined it due to a bad print.
5. Kings of the Road (1976)- Like many of Wender's early 70's films, I once had my hands on a worn out VHS copy, only to have it be eaten in the machine after 6 or 7 minutes. I've never been able to find it again. Clocking in at 3hours, this is widely considered the high mark for Wenders pre-1990 work, encompassing the best of his themes and adopting a leisurely tone without becoming boring. The search will go on.....
6. Secret Sunshine (2007)- Chang dong-lee's 2007 film garnered quite the buzz on the festival circuit a few years ago, opened quietly in select metro markets (not Dallas) and has since retired from the grid. Lee has already made another film that captured good buzz at this year's Cannes fest (titled "Poetry") but "Secret Sunshine" is curiously MIA.
7. Robbery Homicide Division (2002-2003)- Anyone besides me remember this Michael Mann produced TV series? Originally airing on CBS for a few weeks, it eventually was shuttled around in their hectic schedule. When I first got HD in 2005, the show was run regularly on HD NET, and I understand the Sleuth channel (which seems impossible to find on my current provider) aired the show in 2008. Filmed in stark Hi-def, "Robbery Homicide Division" starred Tom Sizemore and Mann regular Barry Henley as Los Angeles cops on the prowl in what was seemingly a hi-def experiment for Mann two years before "Collateral". Still, the brio and ambiguous story lines crossed with Mann's flair for representing an electric city were great.
8. The Amsterdam Kill (1977)- Late 70's bad assery with Robert Mitchum as a disgraced DEA agent trouncing across Europe. Very little is out there about this flick, but it sounds enticing.
9. Away With Words (1999)- Any fan of Asian cinema will recognize the hearty contributions of cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and "Away With Words" was his first stint as director. Described as a moody intersection of three people in modern Hong Kong, it sounds highly reminiscient of his work with Wong Kar Wai... a film that emphasizes place and arty visuals over content. That's not always a bad thing.
10. House (1977)- Campy Japanese horror. But don't believe me. Just do some google searches and discover the pure joy people have experienced with this film. I imagine a proper DVD release is on the way.