Tuesday, February 03, 2009

DVD: Natalie Wood 6 Times!, Nick & Norah

Collections ~ It's Tuesday so there are new box sets available highlighting everything from tired hockey masked killers (you know who) to highly respected thespians (Peter Sellers and Alec Guiness) but the big ... make that B-I-G... deal for The Film Experience is the "Natalie Wood Collection" which includes six films. I haven't seen Bombers B-52 or Cash McCall but even if they're bad you still get to stare at her for two hours. Her beauty justifies most any running time.

Natalie Wood *swoon*

The other four are more notable players in her filmography. There's the Edith Head costumed Helen Gurley Brown comedy Sex and the Single Girl (1964) and two true classics: the musical Gypsy (1962) and the legendary 'Warren Beatty Destroys Lives!' teen angst of the unbeatable Splendor in the Grass (1961). Adventurous movie fanatics might be most interested in getting a good long look at the underseen and idiosyncratic inside Hollywood drama Inside Daisy Clover (1965) from director Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird). Natalie, 27 when the film was released, was too old for her role as an ascending teenage starlet, but Robert Redford is just right as her undeniably breathtaking but possibly gay lover. Ruth Gordon is her crazy mama (and strangely Oscar nominated though she's barely in the movie). Inside Daisy Clover's true Best Supporting Actress is Katharine Bard (someone I'd never heard of) who plays a slightly "off" Hollywood wife named Melora Swan. I was riveted every time she appeared. She was apparently a television actress and only made two feature films after this one. I guess nobody noticed how terrific she was. Shame.

From the Vaults ~ Being There (30th Anniversary) is sitting on my TV waiting for me to screen. I love Hal Ashby movies and I've never seen it. Oops. It stars Peter Sellers as a gardener who becomes a political advisor. Shirley Maclaine co-stars and they get Oscar winning support from Melvyn Douglas. When I wrote up that piece on The Little Mermaid two years ago, Bruno Paxton reminded me that I was giving it a teensy bit too much credit as THE comeback for Disney animation since Oliver and Company was a hit the year before. So yeah, 20th anniversary DVD for that cute 2D kitten. Finally Babs somehow found the time to return to her musical Yentl for an "Extended Directors Edition". Would that she would return to acting instead.

Newbies ~ Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in which Michael Cera moves on from Juno (not the town in Alaska) and into Kat Dennings. Sweet funny movie with stellar comedic support from Ari Graynor. Can I see her in another movie NOW (previous posts)? There's also the Southern girl-fest The Secret Life of Bees starring actresses Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Dakota Fanning and singers Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys, Space Buddies which I'd really rather not type about... moving on! And Zack and Miri Make a Porno which I have yet to see. Worth a rental? Help me out.
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16 comments:

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derek said...

Zack and Miri was horrible.

Kidmaniac said...

For what it's worth Nate, Zack and Miri makes my top 15 of the year easily (and my taste couldn't possibly be questioned since we have the same #1 in RGM :P). It is alternately hysterical & crude and intensely sweet & heartfelt. Then again, I'm a diehard Smith fan. But the comedy, especially the dialogue, makes it most certainly worth a shot to the top of your queue.

Love you film bitch, keep up your amazing work.

JA said...

A) You'd best watch Being There ASAP Nathaniel or I will have to kick you in the shins the next time I see you. I promise to watch Splendor In The Grass in return for my first time.

B) Ari Graynor is on my favorite new show Fringe right now playing the main character's sister and she hasn't had much to do but I like seeing her. I'm so happy I'm gonna have Nick & Norah waiting at home for me tonight!

C) I have tried and tried with Kevin Smith because outside of his movies I think he comes off very funny and articulate, but his movies, Zack & Miri included, are just not happening for me. Zack & Miri did have a couple bits I liked and I don't actively loathe it like I do most of Smith's films, but no, it was just a mess.

Matt Mazur said...

The Secret Life of Bees is great if you are into mammies and other awful stereotypes. Fanning is laugh-out-loud bad, which makes it all sort of worth it...

Sally Belle said...

Being There and Splendor In The Grass...two of my all time favorites.

Sigh.

Michael said...

Natalie Wood is without a doubt one of the most attractive women who has ever graced the big screen. I actually think my favorite performance of hers is in This Property is Condemned. She just sizzles with raw sexuality it that one.

Ok, it's getting a little hot now. Moving on... :-D

Anonymous said...

I also was a big fan of Katherine Bard's performance! We watched Inside Daisy Clover in my film class last semester and I couldn't take my eyes off her. She deserved more credit for her part.

Rick said...

Natalie Wood has and always will be my favorite star/actress... she made more bad films than good , but as was noted, I would watch her read from the telephone book for hours and just watch her beauty radiate from the screen.
Her best performances for me were: Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story, This Property is Condemned, and probably her most natural performance, Love With the Proper Stranger. On TV THe Cracker Factory was a terrific performance... I just lately watched From Here To Eternity ( TV version ) and was not thrilled with her performance.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I'll be posting on Cash McCall this Friday.

NATHANIEL R said...

so am i the only film blogger who didn't get a review copy of this box set? and I'm a Wood devotee!!!

Peter Nellhaus said...

Nathaniel, don't feel bad. I got the Natalie Wood DVD from Netflix. I only get a handful of advance copies or freebies.

Janice said...

You're NEVER seen Being There? Seriously?

gabrieloak said...

Nate--Did you already note the release on DVD of three very good films from WB--Far from the Madding Crowd, Goodbye Mr. Chips (musical), and The Yellow Rolls Royce.

I started watching Far last night and it's as wonderful as I remember it. It makes me sad that Alan Bates is no longer with us. And Terrence Stamp looks great.

Rob said...

You should see "Zack and Miri." It's funny. A brilliant sequence/cameo of Justin Long as a gay porn star and a really moving sex scene between Rogen and Banks make it worth your while.

Rachel said...

If you had seen "Zack and Miri..." I think Justin Long would have made your limited/cameo performance lineup. "The Secret Life of Bees" was sentimental but a great acting showcase.