One of the consequences of that the digitization of music and movies in the last twenty-five years is that music and movies that were long out of print or hard to find have become available again after years or even decades. I like to report occasionally on the movies and television shows that have become newly available.
Years ago, in 1991, when my youngest brother was still living in Chicago, we went to the Music Box theater to see a remarkable movie, Taxi Blues. The event that sets the movie off is a passenger stiffing a cab fare. The passenger is a half-crazy hard-living Jewish jazz musician. The cabbie is a blue collar Russian. The Russian sets out to get his fare or revenge from the musician. They end up in a strange mix of enmity and friendship. All the while, the story is set in a backdrop of a Soviet Union about to implode. Highly recommended.
Another one that was available overseas for a while and finally got released in Region 1 is The Anderson Tapes. This Sidney Lumet movie, released in 1971, was amazingly prescient about the role tapes would play in the Watergate Scandal that would break a year later. Sean Connery, trying to break out of his James Bond roles, plays "Duke" Anderson, a tough Irish con who is released from an American prison after ten years. He takes up with an old girlfriend, played by Dyan Cannon, who lives in a posh Fifth Avenue apartment. He concocts a scheme to burglarize the entire building, which is filled with rich people. Unbeknowest to him, a bunch of federal agencies are keeping wiretaps and hidden microphones everywhere, keeping dibs on the mob-related people he's in the caper with. There are a bunch of great performances, included Garret Morris, who later was a founding Saturday Night Live member, and a very young Christopher Walken.
A series that I never thought would be released on DVD, Nash Bridges, has had the first two seasons issued. File this one under "guilty pleasure." Don Johnson portrays San Francisco detective Nash Bridges. His partner Joe Dominquez is played by Cheech Marin. Bridges lives with his irascable father, played by the great character actor James Gammon (you may remember him as the manager in "Major League."). Nash has problems all around-- a couple of ex-wives, a daughter who's now on the police force, old enemies with scores to settle and a motley crew of fellow cops, including Steppenwolf Theater co-founder Jeff Perry.
Movies still on my wish list:
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid
Flight To Ashiya
Fate Is the Hunter
The Crowded Sky