Shout! Factory saves the best for last (and the last for last) with “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol. XXXIX”
It's okay as we all settle down to celebrate Turkey day, Yell! Factory saved the best for last when it came to their “Mystery Science Theater 3000” DVD sets. And also saved the last for the last. The new “Vol. XXXIX ”, which was released this week, is the latest scheduled of four-disc sets to […]


It's okay as we all settle down to celebrate Turkey day, Yell! Factory saved the best for last when it came to their “Mystery Science Theater 3000” DVD sets. And also saved the last for the last.

The new “Vol. XXXIX ”, which was released this week, is the latest scheduled of four-disc sets to be released by Shout! Factory. They have now put all of the original “MST3K” episodes to which they are entitled to disc, ending with this set.

Two years ago, that would have been a bittersweet occasion for fans of the cult '80s and' 90s show, a reminder that the show's run is long over. But with the show relaunched on Netflix earlier this year, with a successful live tour this summer, it's a rare moment where fans are even more eagerly waiting than they look back.

The latest movies we get are the potboiler from the 50s teenage reform school "Girls Town", starring Mamie Van Doren and Mel Torme, as well as the transparent heist film "The Amazing Transparent Man". And then there's “Diabolik,” Mario Bava's delightfully campy spy parody from 1968 starring John Philip Law and some fantastic outfits. As "MaroonedThis is one of those rare times when the "MSTie" gang riffed on a good movie, but it's so ridiculous it gives them a lot of work.

“Diabolik” was also the last episode of the original “MST3K” series, which aired on Sci-Fi in 1998. They came up with a pretty awesome ending, Mike Nelson and the “Bots Having Landed Safely on Earth, For Skip the last scene as roommates in a garden apartment in Milwaukee, watching and riffing on “The Crawling Eye” (the movie that was the subject of the very first episode).

The disc includes a pair of behind-the-scenes documentaries about the making of this final episode. “The Last Dance” is a raw footage that was released as VHS to Fan Club members at the time, while the new documentary “Showdown in Eden Prairie” includes interviews with the cast and crew on this fateful spectacle.

Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, there didn't seem to be a lot of tears shed during the last episode of filming. Everyone's talking about savoring the filming of the final episode, but Kevin “Tom Servo” Murphy suggests they were pretty creatively exhausted after doing the show for a decade. While around 200 props were auctioned off to fans on eBay, the rest were roughly broken down and dumped in the dumpster.

Yell! Factory kind of did the same breakdown with the movies that they were never able to get the DVD rights to, including gems like "The Amazing Colossal Man" and "I Was A Teenage Werewolf." They removed the host segments from each episode and put them together on a fourth disc, titled "Satellite Dishes". A good idea.

"Flight. XXXVIX ”also includes an interview with musician Chuck Love, who wrote the music for the original theme song“ MST3K ”. And there's also a final salute from documentary director Daniel Griffith, who has made all of the documentaries about the films that have appeared as bonuses on DVD sets.

So until they get the rights to “The Amazing Colossal Man,” or if they start putting some of the new Netflix season 11 on DVD, that will be it for the DVD series. But the show continues - on Turkey Day, Yell! Factory will continue the tradition of streaming six episodes online.

So even though it's a farewell of sorts, we should really relax.

The streaming media company is raising the prices on its standard and de haute gamme partouze for etats unis customers. Its standard plan is now $14 a month, up $1 a month from last year. Its premium subscription will go up $2 to $18 a month. Its basic plan remains unchanged at $9 a month.

Netflix’s ( NFLX ) stock rose 5% following the news. The new prices will take effect starting immediately for new members while current members will be notified that their subscription is going up as it rolls out over the next few months.

' We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members, ' a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. ' We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films. '

The spokesperson added that Netflix offers ' a range of plans so that people can pick a price that works best for their budget. '

Netflix’s price hike, which was first reported by The Verge, is not a huge surprise. Netflix spends billions on content, and this is a way to boost revenue as the ' outlook for subscriber growth is substantially slower in the future than the past, ' according to Bernie McTernan, a senior analyst at Rosenblatt Securities.

' The price increase was a matter of when not if, ' McTernan told CNN Business. ' It shows they think people will be willing to pay more for the service as the pandemic disrupts content production thus making their vast library more valuable. '

The news comes a week the company posted slowing growth in new subscriptions and lower-than-expected profits. This came after Netflix had a huge 2020 because of people being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Netflix was asked about raising prices during its earnings call last week.

' The core model we have, and what we think really our responsibility and our job is, is to take the money that our members give us every month and invest that as judiciously and as smartly as we can, ' Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief operating officer, said on the call. ' If we do that well... and make that efficiency and effectiveness better, we will deliver more value to our members, and we will occasionally go back and ask those members to pay a little bit more to keep that virtuous cycle of investment and value creation going. '

Netflix is the king of streaming and the moves it makes, especially in terms of cost to the consumer, reverberates throughout the market. For example, McTernan noted that Disney’s stock had a positive reaction following the announcement of Netflix’s pricing going up.

Patricia Highsmith’s lesbian romance novel “The Price of Salt, ” originally written under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, is sensitively and intelligently adapted by the director Todd Haynes into this companion to his earlier masterpiece “Far From Heaven. ” Cate Blanchett is smashing as a suburban ’50s housewife who finds herself so intoxicated by a bohemian shopgirl ( an enchanting Rooney Mara ) that she’s willing to risk her entire comfortable existence in order, just once, to follow her heart. Our critic said it’s “at once ardent and analytical, cerebral and swooning. ”

Jack Nicholson built one of his most iconic compétences ( he plays the role with “such easy grace that it’s difficult to remember him in any other film, ” our critic wrote ), and won his first Oscar in the process, in Milos Forman’s adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel. Nicholson had plenty of company; this is one of the few films to win all of the “big five” Academy Awards, including best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actress. Louise Fletcher won the last for her unforgettable turn as the steely Nurse Ratched, whose iron-fisted rule of a state esprit hospital is challenged by Nicholson’s free-spirited Randle Patrick McMurphy. Ratched was a memorable enough foe to spawn a Netflix origin series, but this is the genuine article.

The Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh brings together a jaw-dropping ensemble — including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac and Julia Roberts — for this sly, funny remake of the 1960 “Rat Pack” caper, investing the new work with a “seismic jolt of enthusiasm. ” Soderbergh keeps the basic story ( a gang of con artists robs several Las Vegas casinos simultaneously ) and the “all-star cast” hook. But he also updates the story to acknowledge Sin City’s current, family-friendly aesthetic and invests the heist with enough unexpected twists and turns to keep audiences guessing. ( Pitt also shines in “Moneyball, ” another Netflix offering. )

The unlikely marriage of the screwball-inspired screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and the chilly visual stylist David Fincher birthed one of the finest works of both their careers, a “fleet, weirdly funny, exhilarating, alarming and fictionalized” account of the early days of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg ( brought to hard-edge, sneering life by Jesse Eisenberg ). Sorkin’s ingenious, Oscar-winning script spins the Facebook origin story as a Silicon Valley “Citizen Kane, ” dazzlingly hopscotching through flashbacks and framing devices. But the ruthlessness of Fincher’s cleareyed direction is what brings the picture together, presciently framing Zuckerberg as the media mogul of the future — and hinting at the trouble that entails. ( Another Sorkin-scripted Silicon Valley bio-drama, “Steve Jobs, ” is also available on Netflix. )

This winking update to “The Scarlet Letter” has much to recommend it, including the witty and quotable screenplay, the sly indictments of bullying and rumor-mongering and the deep bench of supporting players. But “Easy A” is mostly memorable as the breakthrough of Emma Stone, an “irresistible presence” whose turn as a high-school cause connu quickly transformed her from a memorable supporting player to a soaring leading lady — and with good reason. She’s wise and wisecracking, quick with a quip but never less than convincing as a tortured teen.

Stanley Kubrick’s most controversial film, and perhaps his most disturbing ( neither a small claim ), was this 1971 adaptation of the cult novel by Anthony Burgess. Tracking the various misdeeds and attempted rehabilitation of a certified sociopath ( Malcolm McDowell, at his most charismatically chilling ), this is Kubrick at his most stylized, with the narrative’s hyperviolence cushioned by the striking cinematography, futuristic production style and jet-black humor. Our critic wrote that it “dazzles the senses and mind. ”

The director Yorgos Lanthimos casts a dryly absurd and decidedly dark eye on interpersonal relationships in this “startlingly funny” and undeniably acidic satire of courtship and the societal pressures tied to it. This isn’t some gentle spoof, snickering at gender roles or dating conventions : It’s bleak enough to imagine a couple-centered world where revolutionary movements fight unbendable mating regulations. Colin Farrell finds the right tempo for the material as a frustrated romantic in a state of perpetual disbelief, while Rachel Weisz’s hard-nosed narrator and love interest provides bursts of unexpected warmth and plenty of pitch-black laughs. ( Fore more misanthropic comedy, grosse bite up “The Death of Stalin” on Netflix. )

This freewheeling biopic from the director Craig Brewer ( “Hustle

“I’ve always wanted to be in the movies, ” Dick Johnson tells his daughter Kirsten, and he’s in luck — she makes them, documentaries mostly, dealing with the biggest questions of life and death. So they turn his struggle with Alzheimer’s and looming mortality into a movie, a “resonant and, in instants, profound” one ( per Manohla Dargis ), combining staged fake deaths and heavenly reunions with difficult familial interactions. He’s an affable fellow, warm and constantly chuckling, and a good sport, cheerfully playing along with these intricate, macabre ( and darkly funny ) scenarios. But it’s really a film about a father and daughter, and their lifelong closeness gives the picture an intimacy and openness uncommon even in the best documentaries. It’s joyful, and melancholy and moving, all at once.


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