June 13, 2014

SUMMER BLU-RAY SPIES

Summer Blu-ray releases: The 1998 adaption of The Avengers starring Uma Thurman, Ralph Fiennes, and Sean Connery hits shops on August 12th. Although the movie was a pale reflection of the original series, it might be fun to revisit if only for some of the design work. From Blu-ray: "THE AVENGERS, the hip secret-agent series from '60s TV, is reinvented for the movies with a stylish blend of wit, fabulous retro fashions and effects-packed action. Ralph Fiennes is the very dapper John Steed and Uma Thurman is the smartly catsuited Emma Peel, two secret agents who fight crime with style. Sean Connery portrays Sir August De Wynter, an evil genius out to control the world with his high-tech weather machine. This madman poses quite a threat with his raging icestorms, scorching temperatures, and mechanical buzz-bombing bees. But come cold, heat or dreaded plight, our two heroes never lose their cool. Tea anyone?" You can pre-order on the Best Buy site, but no Amazon page has appeared yet on our radar. 


A new Blu-ray edition of Michael Caine's classic spy film, The Ipcress File (1965), will be released this summer from Network. Often hailed as the "Criterion Collection" for cult TV and movies, Network has been working on a Hi-def upgrade to their DVD. Highlights porting over to Blu-ray include interviews with Michael Caine and designer Ken Adam. From the press release: "Featuring a quintessential performance from multiple Oscar-winner Sir Michael Caine and an iconic score from the legendary John Barry, this stylised and compelling Cold War spy movie won multiple awards on its theatrical release - including three BAFTAs. The Ipcress File is featured here in a High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. Harry Palmer, a stubbornly insolent sergeant working for the Ministry of Defence, is less than thrilled to be transferred to an elite counter-intelligence unit under threat of blackmail. Palmer and the rest of his unit follow the trail of a missing scientist, but when he finds a piece of tape marked "IPCRESS" in an abandoned warehouse he suddenly becomes a marked man…" The Ipcress File is often out-of-print in the States. And with Anchor Bay's Harry Palmer box set also available, it may be time to add a multi-region player to your Spy Vibe lair! Street date is July 28th. Marketed as "the thinking man's Goldfinger," Len Deighton's seminal story was brought to the screen by talent from the James Bond circle, including John Barry, Harry Saltzman, Ken Adam, and Peter Hunt. Learn more at the Deighton Dossier. Spy Vibe's post about the creative cinematography and depth-staging in The Ipcress File here.


SPECIAL FEATURES
Michael Caine is Harry Palmer - exclusive interview with Sir Michael Caine
Exclusive interview with production designer Sir Ken Adam
Commentary with director Sidney Furie and film editor Peter Hunt
Michael Caine Goes Stella comedy short
1969 documentary: Candid Caine
Original theatrical trailer and US radio commercials
Stills gallery


British distributors Eureka will release Fritz Lang's classic Frau Im Mond (Woman in the Moon) in the UK on August 25th. Starring the cast of his must-see SPIES, this Sci-Fi story sports an espionage set-up. From Blu-rayIn this, Lang's final silent epic, the legendary filmmaker spins a tale involving a wicked cartel of spies who co-opt an experimental mission to the moon in the hope of plundering the satellite's vast (and highly theoretical) stores of gold. When the crew, helmed by Willy Fritsch and Gerda Maurus (both of whom had previously starred in Lang's Spione), finally reach their impossible destination, they find themselves stranded in a lunar labyrinth without walls- where emotions run scattershot, and the new goal becomes survival.

"A modern Daedalus tale which uncannily foretold Germany's wartime push into rocket-science, Frau im Mond is as much a warning-sign against human hubris as it is a hopeful depiction of mankind's potential. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present in a Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) special edition the culmination of Fritz Lang's silent cinema, restored to its near-original length."



Special Features:
  • Gorgeous 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray of the F. W. Murnau-Stiftung restoration
  • Original German intertitles with newly-translated optional English subtitles
  • The First Scientific Science-Fiction Film – a German documentary about Frau im Mond. made by Gabriele Jacobi [15:00]
  • 36-page booklet which includes a newly revised analysis by Michael E. Grost on the film, and on Fritz Lang's body of work as a whole — and more!

Recent Spy Vibe posts: Richard Sala: Super-EnigmatixThe SpotnicksGerry Anderson ModelsModel Spy GearModel Secret AgentsRemo Williams Blu-rayBunny Yeager and Ursula AndressDanger MouseLost Avengers EpisodesBig Fun ToysDanger Diabolik SoundtrackBruno Nicolai CDMother's Day (Avengers)Mod Fashion DollsWild Wild West Blu-rayCold War ArchieNew Avengers ComicIpcress File Blu-rayHonor Blackman TourPlayboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionUNCLE GunThe Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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