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LOS GATOS - It’s been nearly a year since I killed my Netflix account and I really don’t miss it as much as others feared. There was a strange pang in my gut when I went online to cut the cord. A deep chill went down my spine from the future pain of not seeing red envelopes in my mailbox every again. But it had to be done.

I was a serious Netflix junky when I joined in the early Aughties. I used the 3 out plan as if it was the 8 out plan. Because of my situation, my mailman would drop fresh titles in the slot around 10 a.m. and I could have 2 or all three in the 5 p.m. mailbox that evening. I had memorized the pick up times for every mailbox within two miles of my house. I became good pals with Teddy the Mailman. We’d talk a bit while he sorted all the deliveries into the apartment mailboxes. He gave me the tip to tape a “Knock Please” directly over the front doorbell so people wouldn’t wake up the newborn daughter. We exchanged Christmas gifts instead of me just leaving a seasonal tip.

Some people used Netflix rentals to burn their own copies of films. That wasn’t me
I was an avid viewer. A cinema and TV junky who lived for his daily fix. Netflix fed my habit like no other and at a reasonable price. After dealing with the $4 a day VHS rental, Netflix’s low monthly price was salvation. It really was an all you can eat buffet of images. I watched more films in those early years than my time at film school. Unlike VHS, DVD promised me proper aspect ratios so I was really seeing the film instead of a pan and scan glimpse. I was finally able to make a huge dent in the Psychotronic Film Guide. It was so easy to dig through an entire director’s work or pick through a genre. I could catch up on TV shows that I’d only heard about, but never glimpsed because of lame local TV programmers. My queue had 300 titles and I could turn those over in months instead of years.

In the beginning of our relationship, Netflix did its best to grab up all the DVDs that were being put out by major and minor distributors. They even had copies of the documentary I associate produced. Once I learned the secret of sending in DVDs on Saturday to ensure the new release titles arrived on Tuesday, it was bliss. This was heaven and the reason why I rarely stepped inside the local videostores to rent anything off the shelf. When all those stores shut down, I didn’t shed a tear. There would be no blues sung for Blockbuster as it went belly up. I was too busy drowning in a sea of red Netflix return envelopes.

But then Netflix CEO Jeff Hastings began to destroy all the things that made his company something I would defend in public. Slowly he stopped stocking all the titles that were coming out on DVD. The fresh cult items weren’t popping up on the queue. The ones he did have started to disappear. The maybe we’ll get it portion of my list grew rapidly as rare DVDs became extinct. He made deals with the major studios to stop offering new titles until a month after their release in retail stores. Somehow he wanted me to think that this was an amazing deal that I would embrace. Even when the new titles were offered, there seemed to be fewer copies offered. It would take months to finally have a fresh title come off the queue. Odds were high it’d arrive the same night of the HBO premiere. Hasting’s big focus was the streaming service.

This was the future of the company since it turned them into a true entertainment machine like Time-Warner, MTV Networks and Starz. You want to watch a movie without commercials, you could cut the cable TV cord (although not your cable modem) and just let Netflix entertain your evening. No longer would you have to wait days to see your movie or TV show. It was instant gratification. Netflix even makes its own shows like HBO and Showtime including “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black” and the new season of “Arrested Development.” The original shows wouldn’t be made available to the Netflix members that just wanted to rent shiny discs. The DVD portion of the company became a burden to Hastings. He had to tolerate those old luddites who weren’t going to leap into the future of streaming. But he didn’t have to love us anymore.

While nobody at Netflix is going to admit it, the company seemed bent on making the DVD renter get frustrated and swap over. The company was sick of paying postage and employees that worked at the warehouses receiving and shipping the DVDs. So they let quality go to Hell. This is the same business strategy employed in the late ’80s by record companies when they screwed with vinyl to make sure we’d be happier just paying a little more to get the album on CD. Netflix would wait an extra day before claiming they’d received a DVD from me. I know that this was being done since I would send 2 discs in the same envelope and yet they arrived a day apart at the warehouse. More and more DVDs would show up looking like they’d been used as a beer coaster or with cracked inner holes. The quality control seemed to be a forgotten element. The lack of new titles became frustrating. Red Box would tease me at what I couldn’t get from Hastings. Netflix just wasn’t fun anymore. Which is the big reason why I went online and killed my membership.

I didn’t go cold turkey. A friend had left their password in my smart TV so I could watch the streaming version. But instead of being my new best friend, Netflix streaming became an annoying neighbor that teased me with promises and only came up with excuses when it counted.

The streaming version of Netflix became equally frustrating as the DVD version. Anytime my kid would ask about a movie that wasn’t in my personal stash, I’d naturally search for it in the Netflix catalogue. Instantly I’d be told that it didn’t exist, but they’d suggest something that the kid never desired as a substitute. Even the grown up titles seemed as frustratingly limited as the OnDemand selections offered by Cinemax. Every day a movie I wanted to watch would no longer be offered. Often I’d try to binge watch TV episodes only to get the second show to refuse to load up. Or the resolution quality would drop to VHS levels. Sure it was enjoyable to catch the new season of Arrested Development and the first season of House of Cards. But the seasons were short and you could watch them all in a day or two. Then what was I supposed to do for the rest of the month? Most of the time was waiting for that stupid “loading” bar to crap out on me. When my friend canceled their streaming account, I didn’t feel the need to even use the free trial month to extend the experience.

Netflix is embraced as the future of entertainment delivery, but for me, the company is in the past. It doesn’t feel like the brave solution for television. Hastints is the lame local TV programmer who acts like he’s so superior in taste when he’s purely pedestrian. But since he’s appealing to pedestrian crowd, Netflix won’t worry about falling down anytime soon. For me, I’ll just now mourn the loss of Dave’s Videodrome because it’s time to realize the destruction that I contributed to happening in a disruptive moment.

NFL SET FOR FALL

The NFL is riding high. The ratings at amazing. They make billions off their TV contracts. There seems to be no limit for growth. Except the ceiling is about to be hit. Think that’s unthinkable? Look at what happened to NASCAR.

The big thing that drives the sport appears to be Fantasy Football. It doesn’t seem like ESPN can do a single real player update without telling the viewers how it’ll affect their Fantasy Football team. Notice that sports announcers won’t reflect how a coach’s decision to go for a field goal instead of a touchdown will affect a betting line. Somehow Fantasy Football where a billion dollars is wagered by fans wanting to win their league isn’t viewed as a gambling operation by EPSN and the NFL Network. But Fantasy Football at its core is all about the money. Instead of picking if a team wins or loses, you get to create a mutual fund of players from different teams that can all be winners even if their team sucks. The person with the winning “team” gets the big bucks. At some point, people are going to tire of the fantasy game. This will happen the same way people tired of Boy Bands, MySpace and Robot Fighting. Their mothers will call them up for tips on who to draft and the game loses all its charm.

The second big threat to cause the league to go downhill is a reluctance for parents to let their kids play football. Mothers are finally understanding that concussions aren’t cool. That overbearing coaches who have the kids practicing in 100 degree weather with the warning that “water is for pussies” aren’t colorful. That junior high kids shouldn’t have the knees of an 80 year old grandmother. If Mom doesn’t want junior to be a football hero, who will be the NFL player 10 years down the road? The concussion business is only going to get worse as research gets clearer. We are now being told of guys who played 10 years in the pros getting brain damage that leads to depression and suicide. A few reports have gotten out about guys who only played in college having Hall of Fame symptoms. But there’s a lot of men who are suffering that merely played in high school. I know a couple men who have the same complaints as the pros of memory loss and depression, but never got a scholarship to a SEC school. They have fond memories of high school where their coach demanded they lead with their helmet during tackles. They had more concussions that dates with cheerleaders. They were told to walk it off when they had their bell rung.

When Robin Williams killed himself, did anybody ponder if his time playing high school football contribute to his depression? The family probably didn’t care about getting Williams’ head scanned for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. But he did play back when coaches didn’t give a crap about the health of students. Remember that most concussion occur during practice when players have to give their all so the coach knows they’re ready to play and not be on the bench.

The NFL is doing its best to make people ignore the whole concussion business by attempting to pay attention to it. The other night Roger Goodell and a few concerned mothers had a lame infomercial on the NFL Network insisting that it’s good to let your kid play football. It had all the in-depth sincerity of Vince pimping the Shamwow. Goodell wants to calm everyone’s fears without having to really do any of that science business. He must keep the feeder chain intact. He needs those Pop Warner kids to keep on coming. How about this, before a parent wants to decide if their kid should play football, maybe they can take a peek at Earl Campbell’s knees.

The Ray Rice ugliness is also causing people to question the point of football players. Goodell thought he was being a badass for suspending Rice for a whole two games after knocking out his future wife in an Atlantic City elevator. During a preseason game, the Baltimore Ravens fans gave Rice a big standing ovation when he hit the field. Who knew throwing a knockout punch at a loved one could make you beloved. The NFL spends so much time and money trying to make women embrace the sport. And yet the sport only suspends a guy for two games for beating up a prime demographic? Then when the inside the elevator footage gets leaked out, Goodell and the Ravens finally take what Rice did seriously. Maybe it was the whole spitting on a woman twice before knocking her out that got to Goodell? Such hypocrisy should be expected for a multi-billion corporation doing its best to protect the brand. Goodell learned nothing from Penn State. He did the least he could do to hide a nasty situation. The Ravens wanted their player back on the field. This is the same team and league that had no problem with Ray Lewis being part of a double homicide. ESPN now has to act like they were duped by their semi-support of Ray Rice. EPSN also had no problem hiring Ray Lewis and letting him talk about Ray Rice. Sure Lewis claims his situation is different. Lewis’ victims didn’t get to marry him.

NASCAR used to think it was never going to stop growing in popularity. It was poised to be the next NFL. Now their ratings are slumping. Fans are no longer coming out to the race track. NASCAR keeps changing their championship to excite the meh fans. And their star racer ran over a driver on a dirt track. Now it’s the NFL’s turn to realize the game can change.

VINEGAR SYNDROME

Graduation Day is an early stab at the slasher genre during the time of Friday 13th and Prom Night. The school year is wrapping up at Midvale High School, but there might be a few less students collecting their diplomas at the commencement ceremony. There’s a killer on the loose and it’ll be a bit of time before anyone realizes that these aren’t independent accidents. Who could have killed the school’s top female track star? There’s a lot of suspects especially ones still wearing leisure suits in 1981. The big star of the film is Christopher George (Rat Patrol) as the school’s driven track coach. The film was produced by Troma who had it originally distributed by Columbia Pictures. The movie was a huge hit back in 1981 when the kids were aching to see fellow students hunted down and killed by mysterious strangers. Today’s teens much prefer The Hunger Games where they get to hunt down and kill classmates. While Vinegar Syndrome has cleaned up the image for Blu-ray release, they’ve maintained the gritty feel to the low budget production. You’ll feel a bit dusty when the killer wanders through the dirty boiler room of the school. The musical moments really get to shine at the dance scene. The bonus features include interviews with star Patch MacKenzie, Director, Herb Freed, producer David Baughn and editor Martin Jay Sadoff. Baughn gives a commentary track along with one from The Hysteria Continues.


Peekarama: Cry for Cindy, Touch Me & Act of Confession is a triple feature from director Anthony Spinelli. The three films have a little fetish for everybody looking for a Times Square flashback. Cry For Cindy copes with the suicide of a call girl. What drove her to such a decision? Her funeral turns into stories about Cindy and the various things she did to make clients happy. Touch Me is a rather feel good story from Spinelli. A bunch of hot couples meet up for their encounter group. Except they do more than sit around in chairs, drink coffee and whine about their day. These people are ready to undress and face their mental issues that prevent them from experiencing total pleasure. This film seems like a great episode of HBO’s After Dark documentary series. Act of Confession is a fine piece of nunsplotation. A young woman gets ready to become a full time nun in the convent. To prepare herself for the major event, she makes sure she’s ready for a life that pays little mind to the libido and the desires of the flesh. Don’t watch this with your Holy Roller Great Aunt in the room. This one was transferred from the only surviving 16mm print so it’s a bit more grainy than the first two films. This give the movie the perfect forbidden feeling. The three films are spread over 2 DVDs to keep them looking better than when they were released in the early 1970s.


Peekarama: Mai Lin Vs. Serena & Oriental Hawaii is a double feature from director Carlos Tobalina. Mai Lin vs. Serena is a rather meta movie. The two starlets are in a competition to see which one of them can earn the right to star in Carlos Tobalina’s next major adult film. The two ladies do their darndest to top each other in how they can heat up the screen. Jade Wong and Herschel Savage get into the various demonstrations of pleasure. The joke of course is that both ladies are going to win since this is Tobalina’s movie. It’s kinda like Survivor except much more interesting than a bunch of unwashed people in the wilderness. Oriental Hawaii is a precursor to AirBnB. And older couple decide to make a little cash renting out the rooms in their house. They tell their grown children to share rooms or else. Well the else turns out to be an orgy with the new renters. They score a couple of college girls in the guise of May Lin and Jade Wong. These two women aren’t afraid of doing more than renting a bed in the house. Both films feature their trailers.


Prisoner of Paradise once more gives us that wonderful Polynesian sets that Bob Chinn gave introduced us to in Sadie. This time the set is being used for completely evil purposes. The new residents are Nazis operating in the Pacific. The only two things that can stop their evil plan is John Holmes and…John Holmes’s johnson. Holmes gets to flex his acting muscle by playing a sailor who ends up stranded on an uncharted island in ocean. He figures he’s just got to deal with the Japanese. But no. There amongst the islanders is an output of Hitler’s dream. Mainly a fat Nazi guy and his two hot assistants including the platinum blonde beauty of the legendary Seka. The things John Holmes has to do to save American in World War II should have given him a Presidential Medal of Something from Bill Clinton. Jade Wong also appears as one of the non-Nazis. Chinn’s wonderful set does its job of making things look more realistic than the normal adult feature period piece set.


BLU-RAY HEAVEN

The World Wars is the History Channel’s interesting way to connect World War I and World War II. The group biography follows how the major figures of World War II were transformed by their experiences in World War I. If you’re like an average student, World War I is the overlooked war. Mainly this is from an education system where American History classes ran out of school days right after the Civil War. World War II was something that always got attention on the weekends thanks to McHale’s Navy and Hogan’s Heroes. But World War I just lacked the public relations push to matter. Part of it can be blamed on the lack of color footage. Trench warfare just never had the same pull like an atomic bomb. But this great conflict which was original as “The War to End All Wars” shaped the men such as George Patton, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle and Adolph Hitler. This is not a six hour mini-series that will sum up everything you need to know about both Wars. People who were not listed previously will not get that much coverage. It is important to recognize what past experiences allowed Patton to view battles that gave him the attitude that powered his tank corp. There’s an hour worth of bonus footage that was cut from the film so your dad will want to watch it again. It’s good to see the History Channel didn’t try to connect all of these historically significant leaders to items being sold on Pawn Stars.


DVD SHELF

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season is a rather amazing bit of action television. The series picks up where The Avengers left off. Although this is a semi-alternate universe where the major superheroes are only discussed. The agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. must deal with the up and coming superheroes. The crew is led by Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). This leads to a major mystery since Agent Coulson didn’t do so well during The Avengers. There are a few cameos from the big Marvel movie stars including Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). The team hopes around the world in a special plane that includes Coulson’s prize Corvette. The show works because it’s able to get audiences used to characters that just might crop up in the upcoming Marvel major movies. There’s a major geek out moment when Patton Oswald appears. The show allows viewers to get a greater sense of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s work atmosphere when Captain America isn’t in the building. As the season progresses, the office politics grows nasty. Turns out some people at the company might have lied on their resumes and still are working for their evil corporation. The final episodes see Coulson and his youthful crew fighting against other people in business suits for control of their destiny. The show works on the same level as The X-Files and The 4400 when it comes to dealing with the unknown in human form.


Here’s a little behind the scenes action that’s one of the bonus features on the boxset.


Prisoners of War: Season Two is 14 more episodes of the series that Showtime’s Homeland is based on. If you’re a fan of Homeland, don’t avoid this show for the fear that it’ll somehow spoil the adventures of Carrie Mathison. The folks behind Homeland have not been merely translating the Hebrew scripts. Prisoners of War starts out differently with two Israeli military POWs returning home with the remains of their friend who was on a secret mission in Lebanon. The season starts off with the stunning news that the remains don’t belong to the dead soldier. The show focuses on the two men attempting to regain their former life after 17 years away. The duo also have to deal with what they’ve become at the hands of their captors. Are they a threat to Israel? It’s a riveting show that will elevate your Homeland experience. The dialogue is subtitled for those who don’t understand Hebrew. There have only been two seasons produced and aired of the series so you’ve caught up with the viewers in the Holy Land. Supposedly Season three is being written at this time. The bonus features include interview with the actors and a commentary track from the show’s creator Gideon Raff.


Dynasty: The Final Season - Volume One & Volume Two brings to an end the feud between Carringtons and Colbys. How could this have happened? The easy answer was that the Reagan era was coming to an end. The easier answer was that ABC no longer wanted to pay for the expensive production that wasn’t scoring the massive ratings. The sad answer is that Dynasty had one of its best seasons with a producer poached from Dallas figuring out how to make compelling narratives even with major cast issues. Linda Evans had already announced that she was bowing out this season. Joan Collins’ pricetag meant the show could only afford her for 13 of the 22 episodes. The new producer and his crew set to work with these major restraints. They figured out the proper gimmick for Linda’s Krsytle to spend more time in the show without appearing in episodes. John Forsythe (Bachelor Uncle) spends a lot more time with the kids on the show. This is a good move since it means more time with Heather Locklear and Emma Samms. Plus they bring in Stephanie Beacham as Sable Colby to sizzle in Denver. Now that Dynasty has wrapped up, can we see the two seasons of The Colbys get released on DVD?


Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella: 50th Anniversary Edition brings the classic TV to DVD. This is a simply lovely production that aired on CBS. This musical is perfect for those who dream of going from scrubbing the floors to being the loveliest girl at the royal ball. Lesley Ann Warren is perfect as both the ashen girl being kept down by her stepmother and stepsisters and the transformed beauty. The music is grand on a Broadway scale. Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon are stellar as the King and Queen. Celeste Holm is magical as the Fairy Godmother. Stuart Damon is so fetch as the Prince. There’s such a joy that comes from the musical that’s still irresistible after half a century. The show was shot on videotape, but looks rather sharp. The DVD’s bonus feature is a featurette with Warren and Damon discussing their magical fairytale romance before the cameras.


My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales are six episodes that are perfect for little one wanting equine scares for the Halloween season. “Boast Busters,” “Stare Master,” “Luna Eclipsed,” “Sleepless In Ponyville,” Caste Mane-ia” and “Bats!” will make you shake your hoofs in fear. There needs to be a warning that small kids watching this DVD set will come up with a more complex Halloween costume than originally planned. My daughter is now hinting that she wants to be Rainbow Dash and a vampire at the same time. The big bonus feature is a sing-along song that’s perfect for the kids to scream out when it comes time to go trick or treating.


Perry Mason Movie Collection has released the three double feature DVDs individually that were boxed up for Volume Two. Double Feature 4 includes: “The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel” puts Perry and Della Street (Barbara Hale) on the cover of a tabloid for an alleged affair. Robert Guillaume (Benson) is the publisher spreading such a lie. When he ends up dead, Perry must find the real killer. William Katt (The Greatest American Hero) is Paul Drake Jr, Perry’s main investigator. “The Case of the Avenging Ace” puts Larry Wilcox (CHiPs) in cuffs for homicide. Erin Gray (Buck Rogers) and Patty Duke (The Patty Duke Show) are tangled in the military intrigue. Double Feature 5 includes: “The Case of the Lethal Lesson” and “The Case of the Lady in the Lake” which busts David Hasselhoff for killing his rich wife. What? The Hoff? There’s more hunk on the screen with the arrival of John Beck (Rollerball). Still it’s the young Hof in serious trouble and not a cheeseburger in sight. Double Feature 6 includes “The Case of the Musical Murder” has a Broadway director dying and an underling behind bars. Somehow Jerry Orbach and Debbie Reynolds might be part of the encore for elimination. “The Case of the All-Star Assassin” has a hated pro sports team owner found dead. Nobody loved the guy. What sort of major sports team owner can be so hated? The star guests include Deidre Hall, Bruce Greenwood (Exotica), Shari Belafonte and Pernell Roberts. Volume 4 with the next 6 cases is due out October 7.


State Trooper: The Complete Series brings the excitement of cases from the Nevada State Police. The show recreates major crimes that get covered by Officer Rod Blake (played by Rod Cameron). The series ran from 1956 to ‘59 so it reminds us of all the glorious crime that happened during those Happy Days. Rod gets a little help from local sheriffs played by Robert Armstrong and Don Haggerty. If you’re a fan of vintage crime show, this will be pure law and order bliss over the course of 104 half hour episodes. There’s plenty of guest stars wrapped in the lawbreaking. You’ll get a glimpse of Claude Akins (Sheriff Lobo), Lee Va Cleef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), Deforest Kelley (Star Trek), Jeanette Nolan, Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty) and Carolyn Jones (The Addams Family). Even though State Trooper had more than enough episodes to keep itself in syndication for decades like Highway Patrol and Dragnet, this is my first exposure to the show. Perhaps it was kept off the air by the Nevada tourism mob. Why would they want America knowing about all the crime about Las Vegas and Reno? The cool bonus DVD gives us various Westerns that had Rod Cameron guesting including Tales of Wells Fargo, The Men From Shiloh and Alias Smith and Jones. Timeless once more has introduced me to a show that TVLand forgot.


The Curse of Oak Island: Season 1 is the History Channels’ series about a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Rick and Marty Lagina have bought up most of the island. They’re obsessed with the story of buried treasure on their property. The legend has it that seven people must die on the island for the secret location to be reveled. So far only six people have dropped dead on the rock. Sadly History Channel didn’t go Battle Royale on the Lagina brothers with a Thunderdome edict that only one brother shall live. The brothers do their best to find the treasure without beating to death an unsuspecting hobo either. They explore various landmarks on the island including the mine shaft. They even go to major terraforming extremes to uncover unseen territory. They find out quite a bit about the property during their explorations over the five episodes. The DVD set includes 25 minutes that weren’t shown on TV as the big bonus feature.


Burning Blue is a trip back to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the military. The movie plays out Tarantino’s hunch that Top Gun is gay cinema on the downlow. Two top U.S. Navy pilots get drawn into one military investigation only to have the true nature of their relationship exposed. Can their military conduct breaking forbidden love survive the crash and burn? The movie does a fine job of mixing the dangers of being a military pilot with the fear of allowing others to know their true desires. The bonus features include a commentary track from director DMW Greer. There’s several deleted scenes and a featurette. The DVD includes the ability to access the Ultravoilet stream and download.


Transformers: Beast Machines - The Complete Series is the follow up series to Transformers: Beast Wars. The show ran in 1999 for 26 episodes that deal with Optimus Primal and his crew returning to Cybertron. Instead of getting a hero’s welcome, they find a rather deserted place. What has happened? A deadly virus has struck and they quickly learn has infected them. Thankfully they are saved by a rebooting into technorganic warriors. This is good because Megatron had taken control of the streets using evil robots. Besides the usual battles outside, the Transformers must deal with the organic issues in their technological bodies. The series does its best to be a bit more adult entertainment and less motion catalog for moving more Transformers products. The CGI looks impressive for its time.


The Big Sleep is best remembered by me as playing in the same Twin theater as Star Wars back in 1978. There was not much desire in me to see a remake of a Humphrey Bogart classic. Robert Mitchum (The Friends of Eddie Coyle) was not going to keep me from seeing Han Solo. So I wrote it off. The film received a bit of a revival when Ray Regis ran it one night back at the NC School of the Arts as part of his Film Noir class. I will not fault my younger self for dismissing it. This is a film that requires a bit of age since Mitchum on the cusp of losing his prime. Director Michael Winner is best known for Charles Bronson flicks such as The Mechanic and Death Wish does his best to transfer the plot to England. The movie sticks with Raymond Chandler’s tale of a family being blackmailed and needing private detective Sam Spade to stop it. The cast is star studded. Jimmy Stewart is the father of Sarah Miles and Candy Clark (The Man Who Fell to Earth). Joan Collins (The Bitch) is part of the scam. Oliver Reed (Gladiator) and Richard Boone (Have Gun - Will Travel) might want to trump Spade. The adaptation doesn’t suffer by making the action take place in the ’70s instead of flashingback to 1930s. They also are able to have things be a bit more edgy on screen than what Bogart was allowed. It’s R rated for a reason. The bonus features include a trailer, a vintage behind the scenes and a commentary track from Winner who passed away back in 2013. The movie works well for fans of Film Noir who want to see something more contemporary with a little color.

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