10 Best Movies of the 70′s Now Available on Blu-ray

Many people have called the 1970′s the second Golden Age of Cinema, on par with movies produced during the late 1920s up to the late 1950s. With new directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese coming onto the scene, it’s very hard to argue this fact. The 70′s were without a doubt a time of great storytelling, producing high quality movies driven by characters more so than by plot. Great movies that still hold up today.

Below are some of these 70′s movies now available on Blu-ray. Each one is a great achievement in cinema and would be essential to anyone’s movie collection. One of the greatest advantages of owning a Blu-ray DVD Player is the fact that you get to relive watching all these wonderful movies you enjoyed in the past, as if you were watching them for the very first time. Check out these top movies of the 70′s and enjoy them once again.

M*A*S*H (Director: Robert Altman, 1970)

While being one of the most acclaimed comedies ever made, M*A*S*H is also one of the most iconic antiwar movies ever produced. Directed by Robert Altman, it is based on the novel “MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors” by Richard Hooker. Adapted for the screen by Ring Larder Jr., it tells the story of a group of medical doctors and nurses stationed in Korea during the Korean War. With no real plot, the film is about the arrival of two surgeons, Captains “Hawkeye” Pierce and “Duke” Forrest and their interaction with the surgical staff. They use a series of humorous hi-jinks to keep their sanity during all the horror that war brings.

Video Quality: M*A*S*H was never a film that looked crisp and sharp; or particularly bright. This was the intentional purpose of the original cinematographers. They used filters and brownish tones to give the film its unique look. While this look is preserved in its 1080p with AVC-encoded transfer, it still gives us the best image quality the film has ever had.

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2:35.1
Original aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Audio Quality: The film has been given a newly lossless sound in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 soundtrack.

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: DTS 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono

Special Features:
- “The Complete Interactive Guide to M*A*S*H”
- “AMC Backstory: M*A*S*H”
- “Enlisted: The Story of M*A*S*H”
- “M*A*S*H: History Through the Lens”
- “Remembering M*A*S*H: 30th Annual Cast & Crew Reunion”
- Two trailers
- Stills gallery

A Clockwork Orange (Director: Stanley Kubrick, 1971)

A controversial film even to this day. Its depiction of sex and violence is some of the most graphic ever put on screen. But simply stated, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is a cinematic masterpiece. Adapted from the Anthony Burgress novel of the same name, the film is about a man, Alex DeLarge, who is a psychopathic delinquent. Among his many delights is Beethoven, rape, and ultra-violence. He is the leader of a group of young criminals who spend their nights stealing cars, breaking into peoples homes and vicious attacks on their follow human beings. Alex is taken by the government and is used as a test subject in an experiment to force criminals to become well behaving citizen. With this film, Kubrick asked us to consider the greater evil. The monstrous acts committed by Alex throughout the film or our willingness to destroy a person’s own moral choices to maintain social order.

Video Quality: The film is presented on Blu-ray in 1080p with VC-1 encoding and a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Its many brilliant and crude colors are given a tremendous upgrade.
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Audio Quality: The audio for the movie has been remixed into a PCM 5.1 uncompressed track and a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. You can now enjoy synthesized Beethoven symphonies in all their glory.
English: PCM 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: Dolby Digital 5.1

Special Features:
- Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and Film Historian Nick Redman
- “Still Tickin’: The Return of A Clockwork Orange”
- Great Bolshy Yarblockos: The Making of A Clockwork Orange”
- “O Lucky Malcolm”
- Theatrical Trailer

The Godfather I and II (Director: Francis Ford Coppola, 1972/1974)

Generally considered two of the best American Movies ever made and landmarks in world cinema. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and Godfather II is a multi-generational crime family saga. Staring Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as his son Michael; the story takes place in New York in the late 1940′s. The Corlones are a Mafia family, and Vito is the Godfather or Don. Michael is initially an outsider in the family. Making the decision to stay out of the family business. Through a series of unfortunate events, Michael is soon drawn into a life of crime and eventually rises to the position of ultimate power. Through both films we are shown every aspect of their lives; from births, marriages, dealings with friends and allies, to deaths. What we are left with, in essence, is a great family drama.

Video Quality: Noticeable better than their DVD counterparts, The Godfather Films on blu-ray are delivered in 1080p with AVC MPEG-4 encoding at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It offers great fullness and sharp images.
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio Quality: Presented in Dolby TruHD 5.1 Surround for all films, it offers great clarity and the best sound ever for The Godfather films.
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Young Frankenstein (Director: Mel Brooks, 1974)

They don’t come any funnier than Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein. A spoof of the classic horror movies Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Using the same sets as the original, the story centers around Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his on going effects to re-animate the dead. With the help of a bumbling assistant Igor (Marty Feldman), and the beautiful Inga (Teri Garr) he is able to create life, The Monster (Peter Boyle). With scene after scene of comedy highlights, Mel Brooks brings out the very best in his cast which includes: Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman in a classic cameo. Unlike many comedy films, this one does not age and its jokes are still as funny as they were 30 years ago.

Video Quality: It gets the absolute most out of its 1080p with AVC-encoding. The remastering of the black and white imagery looks fantastic.
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio Quality: The film has a DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 sound track and a remix of the film’s original mono.
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Mono
French: Mono
Spanish: Mono

Special Features:
- Inside the Lab: Secret Formulas in the Making of ‘Young Frankenstein’
- Alive! Creating a Monster Classic
- Making FrankenSense of Young Frankenstein
- Transylvanian Lullaby: The Music of John Morris
- The Franken~Track: A Monstrous Conglomeration of Trivia
- Mexican Interviews

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Director: Milos Forman, 1975)

Milso Forman directed this 1975 film depicting the lives of patients in a mental institution. This film is regarded as one of the greatest films in American Cinema. The main character in the story is Randle Patrick McMurphy, played to perfection by Jack Nicholson. Who is sentenced to 18 months in prison for statuary rape, but he soon convinces the prison guards he is crazy and in need of psychiatric care. His rebel nature soon attracts a following with the other patients. He soon gathers them up to take on Nurse Ratched, who runs the institution more like a dictator that a dedicated health care giver. The resulting conflicts and battles will give viewers some of the most powerful emotions ever experienced while watching a film. A solid masterpiece of cinema, well worth experiencing once again on Blu-ray.

Video Quality: This film comes to Blu-ray in a 1080p with VC-1 encode. Certainly the best remastered version produced. With it high quality 1080p images, the resolution is a giant lead forward over any other version released previously.
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio Quality: The sound resolution is in Dolby Digital 5.1.
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
German: Dolby Digital Mono
Italian: Dolby Digital Mono

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary
- The Making of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Collectible Booklet

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Director: Steven Spielberg, 1977)

This, Steven Spielberg 1977 film, has become one of the most revered Science Fiction movies of all time. It stars Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, and Teri Garr. It is the story of an electrical lineman whose life takes an unexpected turn one evening when he encounters some unidentified flying lights in the sky. He soon becomes obsessive and can not help himself from being drawn to a rural site in Wyoming. Government agents are also at this site keeping away the general public. More of a character driven movie, this science fiction tale is no less riveting and visually spectacular.

Video Quality: This is a visual stunning film transferred to 1080p with AVC MPEG-4 encoding. The film remains to keep its grainy tone but you will never see this film look as vibrant as it does on Blu-ray.
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio Quality: You get two audio options, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Both giving you high resolution sound making the soundtrack absolutely brilliant as well.
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Spanish: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Special Features:
- Steven Spielberg: 30 Years of Close Encounters
- Storyboard to Screen Comparisons
- Photo Gallery
- Making of Documentary
- “Watch the Skies”
- Deleted Scenes
- A View From Above

Saturday Night Fever (Director: John Badham, 1977)

Most movies come and go without much notice or impact on our daily lives. While others, all be it rare, can come along and in an instance have an impact and even change our culture. Saturday Night Fever is one of those movies. After its 1977 release, disco rules the music airwaves and the dance floors. It tells the story of a 19 year old Italian American living in Brooklyn by the name of Tony Manero (John Travolta). He works at the local paint shop and still lives with his family. At night he frequents a nightclub and becomes a disco dance god. Director John Badham does a great job showing the spiritual connection between music and dance, and how Tony sees this as a means of escaping his limited life to something bigger.

Video Quality: Great quality with the Blu-ray format in a 1080p with AVC MPEG-4 encoding. This version of Saturday Night Fever is the best the movie has ever looked including theatrical revivals.
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio Quality: Remixed in Dolby TrueHA 5.1 Surround, the sound track is very impressive. You be able to enjoy all those classic songs like never before.
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Special Features:
- Commentary by Director John Badham
- Pop-up trivia
- Documentary: Catching the Fever
- Back to Bay Ridge (9 minutes) hosted by Joe Cali
- Dance like Travolta and John Cassese (9 minutes)
- Fever challenge – Interactive feature
- Deleted scenes

Midnight Express (Director: Alan Parker, 1978)

Midnight Express is about Billy Hayes and what happens to him when he is caught trying to smuggle out two kilograms of hashish from Istanbul, Turkey. Sentence to 4 years in prison, the sentence was soon extended, with Mr. Hayes experiencing terrifying and unbearable acts of physical and mental torture. While being committed to the prison’s insane asylum where he manages to escape in 1975. Told with fine skill and detail, director Alan Parker and Screenwriter Oliver Stone, have created a powerful film.

Video Quality: This films is delivered on Blu-ray with a 1080p with AVC MPEG-4 encoding at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.The image quality is good and faithful to its source.
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio Quality: Audio is also, faithful to the original source. Remixed into Dolby TrueHD 5.1 you get very good results.
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Portuguese: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Special Features:
- The Producers
- The Production
- The Finished Film
- The Making of ‘Midnight Express’

Being There (Director: Hal Ashby, 1979)

Peter Sellers gives an award winning performance as Chance the Gardener (Chauncey Gardiner) in the truly classic comedy film. He plays a simple man who has been isolated his entire life in a townhouse in Washington, DC. And the only things he knows anything about is what he has seen and heard on TV. Once he is thrown out into the world, he comes across an array of characters from the inner circles of political power makers and the resulting fall-out makes this one of the best comedies of the 70′s.

Video Quality: Remastered with a 1080p with VC-1 transfer the image is the best this movie has ever been.
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio Quality: The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 or lossless Dolby True 2.0 mono.
English: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
English: Dolby Digital 1.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital 1.0
French: Dolby Digital 1.0

Special Features:
- Memories from Being There
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Ending
- Gag Reel
- Theatrical Trailer

Enjoy Once Again!

Movie Review: “The Lone Ranger”

Rating: PG-13 (intense action and violence, some suggestive material)
Length: 149 minutes
Release date: July 3, 2013
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action/Adventure

When it was announced, many questioned why a movie was being made about the Lone Ranger. The character – while popular throughout the 1960s – hasn’t been relevant for a while. Perhaps Disney was using it for name recognition alone, since the movie has little in common with the radio and early TV show. Still, the finished product is fun, creative, and an insightful trip into the Old West, with characters that today’s audiences know by way of costumes and catch phrases.

“The Lone Ranger” focuses largely on Johnny Depp’s version of Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s Comanche sidekick. As a bored little boy winds his way through an American West exhibit he stumbles onto an aged Tonto, who begins recounting the trials and tribulations the duo encountered. In the process, a new origin story plays out amidst train derailments, explosions, and shootouts.

Fans of the 1930s radio show and the popular TV show of the 1960s may not enjoy Disney’s take on their strapping hero. The Lone Ranger made famous in the past has been replaced with a somewhat absent-minded – though kind-hearted – figure. It should be remembered that this is Tonto’s retelling, which explains why Depp’s character often seems to take center stage.

“The Lone Ranger” is more than just an action film. There is so much happening, so many conflicts thrown into the plot, and so many big moments that it would be easy to be overwhelmed. The film – spanning a whopping 149 minutes – jumps quickly from one situation to another, which makes it anything but boring. However, viewers may struggle with Verbinski’s rapid change of scenes and movement from drama to comedy to hardcore action movie. “The Lone Ranger” is a craftily woven story that forces viewers to actually think about what they’re watching, if only at random moments.

Not only is it complex, but the movie is also funny. Where the old programs focused on inspiring audiences or perching them on the edge of their seats, the movie frequently has viewers rolling in the aisles with laughter. Disney has chosen to shake up the traditional view of the American hero, adding elements that make the Lone Ranger more endearing than he ever was daring.

Playing the Lone Ranger, also known as John Reid, is Armie Hammer. While relatively new to movies, Hammer may be remembered from stints on TV shows like “Gossip Girl” and “Reaper.” His young, fresh look adds credence to the story’s plotline, where John takes his older brother’s place as the masked cowboy. He also plays the role of the goody-goody with genuine flair.

The movie’s calculating villain, Butch Cavendish, is played by William Fitchner from “Entourage.” Audiences will also catch glimpses of Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter. (In fact, this is the first time Depp and Bonham Carter have appeared onscreen together without Tim Burton being involved with the movie.)

With top-rated talent, a popular director, ties to a familiar, all-American story, and backing by Disney, audiences may not have known what to expect from this Lone Ranger. Instead of a straightforward Western or action flick, viewers are treated to much more of a work of art.

The stunning backgrounds of Monument Valley pay tribute to the master of Western cinema, John Ford, as does the rendition of his favorite hymn, “Shall We Gather at the River?” The throwback lends an air of authenticity to the legendary masked crusader’s origin story. Hemmed in by Depp’s portrayal of Tonto, the movie has an ethereal edge, much like that of Ewan McGregor’s “Big Fish” in 2003.

Disney’s resurrection of old stories didn’t begin with ” The Lone Ranger,” and it may not end anytime soon. The question is whether audiences will be ready for them. Movies like this one – and “John Carter,” starring Tom Cruise – that deviate from traditional storylines and attitudes may leave viewers startled.

Given time and some advance preparation, the new artistic style of Disney will hopefully catch on. Brainless blockbusters and aimless plotlines plague summer’s big screens. With more movies reimagining past genres, viewers will be forced to do more than sit and applaud. While watching their heroes defeat villains, save towns, and avenge old friends, audiences will also be thinking about the bigger picture and how these moments of hilarity relate to real life.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Perfect Movie Based On The Book

If you’re a fan of books turning into movies then I’m sure you still normally end up saying “the book was better” after each one because let’s face it, it normally is! Even if the ideal movie based on the book was made, the book would still be better because nothing is better than our imagination.

But what would make a movie based on the book the best it can possibly be? What does the movie need in order to make the majority of the book’s fans happy? Well of course it’s impossible to please everyone, but I’m a firm believer that there are several things that could really make the movie much more pleasing to the book’s fans.

The first and most crucial thing the movie based on the book needs is to stick to the storyline of the book to a tee. I know this is probably impossible, but it would make a world of difference. The closer the movie sticks to the storyline from the book, the more people will will enjoy it.

Of course, if the movie employed the author as a consultant and let them have the final yay or nay for anything going on, then I believe sticking to the storyline would be a given. So this is the next crucial thing movies from books need. Let the author be a big part of the project. It is their story after all.

In addition to letting the author have a say and sticking to the storyline, I think that cramming the story into an “ideal length” movie can actually harm it. Viewers miss important pieces that are needed to better understand the characters, relationships, and the world the story is built upon. Make it as long as it needs to be in order to tell the entire story. If it ends up too long, just have an intermission.

Last, but not least, the casting is so important. The actors need to not only look like the characters were described in the book, but they need to do a good job at playing those characters as well. So instead of looking at one factor or the other, producers should treat both just as importantly. We don’t want the actors slaughtering our favorite characters, but we want them to look right as well.

With those four changes in the process of filming a movie based on a book, I believe more book lovers would enjoy seeing their beloved reads on screen and the majority of fans would be happy with the result.