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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist: 1st Week Of February 2014

Brandon's Blu-ray Wishlist THUMBBack in November I put together an article I had been eager to write for many months since joining Why So Blu.  I patiently waited as I didn’t want to “just do it” for the sake of doing it.  I wanted it to be at a key time and be relevant.  That article was my ‘14 Blu-rays For 2014’ wishlist article (HERE).  It was a blast to do and garnered plenty of discussion.  I immediately wanted to write another.  But that would kind of kill the luster and importance of the first piece.  Also it could look like I’m subjecting myself to attention-starving and hit-baiting constantly doing lists.  So, I decided that list would be the pilot and I’m now taking it to series.  I’m going to do my best and make this a weekly series (popping up on Thursdays), picking 1 title every week that I would love to see released on our wonderful Blu-ray format.  Since this is a series now and will be ongoing, I’m also going to make the case for some titles that need merely a Region A release so I can have more possibilities.  I hope you enjoy my picks and come back each week to see what else isn’t on Blu-ray yet that should be!

Red Rock West wishlist

Red Rock West (1993)

This is a film that had a kind of weird release.  Distributors really couldn’t make up their mind with what they wanted to do with it.  Originally it was a Sundance possibility, but studios didn’t think it was festival material.  It debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and picked up distribution there.  However, Columbia Tri-Star thought of it as a cable movie or straight-to-video.  So, it premiered and ran on HBO in 1993.  Things get crazier as a theater owner in San Francisco loved it and opened it on a few screens, setting some then records and later going on tour with the film in 1994.  Like many straight-to-video or cable movie product, the film did play theatrically overseas.  So, in an odd way about it, the film did have a theatrical run.

Red Rock West wishlist 1

It stars Nicholas Cage  as a drifter (Michael Williams) who is down on his luck finding a job after being discharged from the Marine Corps.  After getting booted from a job at an oil rig for not lying about his knee, he winds up in a bar in Red Rock, Wyoming.  There, the barkeep (played by character actor legend JT Walsh) mistakes him from someone else, pays him money and gives him a gun to go and murder his wife (Lara Flynn Boyle).   Williams decides to take the offer and try to turn the tables by not resorting to violence and informing the man’s wife what he has been hired to do and demanding more money.  However, on his way out of Red Rock, his good conscience gets the best of him when he hits a man on the road and decides to take him to the hospital instead of leaving him be.

John Dahl directs this neo-noir film that has garnered much acclaim but still hasn’t risen from the ashes as the bona fide classic it should be.  Dahl’s not “name” director to get this film the attention to be released, though you’ve probably seen a couple his films; Joy Ride, The Last Seduction or RoundersRed Rock West is my favorite of the films he’s helmed.  And it’s got a nice cast, mystery and setting.  One of those “modern westerns” you hear referred to plenty.

Red Rock West wishlist 3

The most interesting thing about this film is it feels exactly like a Coen Bros movie.  Its like the lost film they never directed.  It’s got a lot in common with their caper stories.  If anything it feels like it could be a sister film to No Country For Old Men.  It’s got the vibe, setting and characters that all of their films are known for.  You’d be hard pressed to watch this and NOT be thinking of them the entire time.  It’s that normal people caught up in a dirty scheme type story.  Where what would normally be a good person makes that one bad decision because they’re down on their luck and they really have to have the worst of circumstances result from their quickly made decision for instant gain.

Nicholas Cage is in what you would call a “good Cage” mode (though I enjoy him even in the bad ones).  But this film almost feels a “passing of the torch” film between Cage and Dennis Hopper.  Personally, I have long felt that the two actors seem to be very similar in that both can be terrific and can go extremely big.  Both commit entirely to every role they take.  And they are also are aware of what kind of material they are in and how good it’s probably going to be in the finished form so they act accordingly.  There are people that are boggled by Cage or don’t get it, look no further than Dennis Hopper for your reference point.  But, in this film, you get the Nicholas Cage who won an Oscar, not the guy in Bad Lieutenant.

Red Rock West wishlist 2

This film feels like a long shot to be released, but I still hold out hope.  Sony, who has the original rights to the film has since sub-licensed it to Image Entertainment (a smart move for studios if they’re not going to release some of their smaller films themselves. I’m looking at your Warner Bros!).  Image put the film out on DVD back in 2010.  They later paired it up with Adaptation for a double feature DVD release just last year.  And they had previously release Adaptation on Blu-ray in 2012.  Being that Image is a smaller operation, there’s a good possibility they could actually put this gem out soon.  It boasts early Nicholas Cage and the late Dennis Hopper as a selling point.  And priced accordingly this could peak the interest of those curious (it does have a solid cult following).  Here’s hoping maybe 2014 is the year many can finally see what they were missing in Red Rock West!

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

5 Responses to “Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist: 1st Week Of February 2014”


  1. Brian White

    NICE! I’m looking forward to this series. It’s a very interesting take on all the goodies we are still missing on the format we all love here 🙂 And shouldn’t every Nicholas Cage movie be on Blu-ray too? 😉 Looking forward to what’s next week!

  2. Brian White

    P.S. The Lead in image is classic!

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Where’s the Scream Factory release of Vampire’s Kiss!

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    I hope the only thing that changes in the title icon is the background color.

  5. Brandon Peters

    Lead in image will be on every one…unless someone submits something better to me. I wasn’t planning on changing the color, but maybe on special occasions.