My Two Cents
Wednesday, 18 December 2019 12:41

Criterion’s March, more on The Skywalker Saga on 4K, and a little more on Rise of Skywalker (again, no spoilers)

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All right, there’s a little more ground to cover today...

First, our friends at The Criterion Collection have announced their March 2020 slate of titles, which is set to include David Maysles’ Salesman (Cat #122 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/10, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (Cat #1019 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/17, John M. Stahl’s Leave Her to Heaven (Cat #1020 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Mikhail Kalatozov’s The Cranes Are Flying (Cat #146 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/24, and James Whale’s Show Boat (Cat #1021 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Barbra Streisand’s The Prince of Tides (Cat #1022 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 3/31. We’ve updated the Criterion Spines Project pages here at The Bits accordingly. [Read on here...]

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Also, late last night we posted a link to Best Buy Canada’s listing for Disney and Lucasfilm’s 9-movie, 27-disc Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4K/Blu-ray box set, which is due to street on 3/31/2020. We now have a picture of the box set to show you...

Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (4K Ultra HD)

We suspect that this box set is a Best Buy exclusive, and that all of the individual films will be available separately (and more widely) on 4K/BD combo as well. This seems very much in line with what Disney and Marvel did with their MCU box set recently. Note that we’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly as well.

Now then... I’d like to post just a few more thoughts today, not so much about The Rise of Skywalker itself but the early reactions to it. It’s fascinating to see the wildly varying fan and critic reviews and responses, even before most of the world has seen the film. Every single thing in our culture seems now to be a Rorschach test of the individual’s psyche and also a social loyalty test—are you a MAGA-saurus or a Libtard, a gun nut or a tofu tree hugger, a fan of Zack Snyder or an apologist for Rian Johnson. So rather than reviewing a film and then responding to readers’ reactions, I find it’s almost easier simply to ask first: Tell me what your agenda is, and I’ll tell you what your inevitable reaction to this film is going to be.

Americans seem to have lost the ability to have an experience, be in the moment, and have a pure reaction. Instead, everything is freighted with a lifetime of expectation, your identity as a card carrying member of this group or that, and subject to manipulation by trolls and those for whom social malice is a badge of honor. We live in an opinion economy now, where personal identities are so wrapped up in what you love or hate that insta-reacting is no longer enough—you have to pre-decide your opinion months in advance. Apply this tendency to politics, science, religion, etc and there’s what’s wrong with humanity. We are, quite simply, going off the rails.

I refuse to write a more in-depth review of The Rise of Skywalker (or to even link to one) before most people have had the chance to see it. Because those who are still capable of having an experience and a pure reaction should have the chance to do so. But if you wish to know my thinking, I’d say I’m in rough agreement with Owen Gleiberman’s Variety review. Personally, I’d grade the film: B+. If you end up disagreeing, I’m completely fine with that. Have your own experience. Form your own opinion. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. And let everyone else have their own experiences and opinions too.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned...

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