698 King of the Hill

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Roger Ryan
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#26 Post by Roger Ryan » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:26 pm

For those who want to check the film out before its release next week, Netflix is now streaming KING OF THE HILL in HD and it looks quite lovely.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#27 Post by The Narrator Returns » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:17 pm

It's actually been streaming for a while (that's how I watched it in the first place).

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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#28 Post by arthousecowboy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:50 am

I hastily wrote a complete filmography retrospective on Soderbergh for Badass Digest that I called Soderberghopolis, and tracking down the two of these was impossible. Hill because it was totally OOP, and Underneath because the DVD looks like ass. This is probably my most-anticipated release of the year.

…unless they do another Ozu Blu-ray.

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domino harvey
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#29 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:40 pm

Well, no one could accuse Soderbergh of being dishonest in either of his interviews, considering he opens both complaining about his perceived mistakes in the films. I was especially interested to hear a longer rationale for his notorious hatred of the Underneath, but though he makes his cogent points for the record, it still felt like he has trouble distancing himself from the making of the film and is instead associating the film itself with his negative headspace during the film's production and the dissolution of his marriage. His language even alludes to not having seen the film in a long time, so there's not even a spirit of revisiting it on its own terms. It's fair and it's his film, but luckily it's ours too, as viewers, and again, it's the better of the two films. His interviews do help explain why the two got packaged together despite in all non-production regards being two of Soderbergh's most disparate films, though.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#30 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:20 am


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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#31 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:27 pm

Watching The Underneath for a third time (probably two more times than even most Soderbergh fans), I've found that it not only sets up Soderbergh's obsession with non-linear time lines, it also sets up Soderbergh's smart use of the widescreen frame. Soderbergh utilizes each part of the frame for a specific action or person, making sure nothing is wasted (he's very critical of the dinner table scene in the on-disc interview, but I think it's a really great solution to the normal monotonous cutting rhythm in scenes at tables, like the use of the camera to switch emphasis in the dinner table scene from sex, lies, and videotape). It's an even smarter use of the widescreen frame than in King of the Hill, and it predates his similar work in the Ocean's movies, where every inch of the frame is someone carrying out an action. I'm a bit disappointed Criterion didn't carry over Soderbergh's piece on fullscreen-vs.-widescreen that was on the DVD, because this is a prime example of a movie that would be borderline incomprehensible when viewed in pan-and-scan.

Also, it never fails to amuse me that not only does Mike Malone (T. Azimuth Schwitters) have a cameo in this movie as a guy getting blown off by Alison Elliott, he's wearing Schwitters' exact wardrobe in the film. I take this to mean that Underneath is in canon with Schizopolis, and that before he created Eventualism, Schwitters frequented Texas roadhouses and kept getting rejected when he tried to hit on women there.

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Drucker
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#32 Post by Drucker » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:55 am

Can someone explain the last shot in The Underneath to me?
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I enjoyed the film, but am perplexed about the idea that 1) Rachel had the money at the end, which she didn't seem interested in and 2) the owner of the company wanted to steal his own money back? I assume there's supposed to be a greater message about the dangers of gambling and / or the idea that we can't run forever, but it's lost on me at the moment.

Harry Caul
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#33 Post by Harry Caul » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:03 pm

Recently finished watching this set. Along with Thief, this is one of my favorite Blu Criterion releases ever. Re: King of the Hill, very good story that was both sad & uplifting. A lot of attention to detail was paid to recreate the 1930's period setting, and I especially liked the large billboards & cars from the era. Interesting to see Adrien Brody & Katherine Heigl in early roles; it was also nice to see Karen Allen (Marion in the IJ films) who is in too few films.

However, the real jewel in this set is The Underneath, for the first time with excellent PQ and the correct aspect ratio (I had seen the film a couple of times before on the 1998 DVD, but couldn't really appreciate it due to the sub-par print). All due respect to KOTH, I find TU far superior in every way - While KOTH was a well-done coming-of-age story, TU is a truly superb, unpredictable, & expertly directed thriller:

The non-linear storyline was well done - it was clever to show Michael (Gallagher) with the beard in the flashbacks so you wouldn't get confused as to which time period the scenes were taking place.

Liked the Texas bar/roadhouse bands.

Excellent use of the color blue - both in the lighting of many scenes, as well as the blue painted walls in the house Michael rented.

Great camerawork, such as the skewed angle when Michael is riding on the bus & looking out the window near the beginning.

When it became obvious that
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Michael's ex-wife Rachel and her new husband Tommy Dundee set him up so that he would be forced to do the armored car job, it was so cleverly executed that when I first saw the film, I didn't see this coming: In the scene when Michael first mentions the job idea to Tommy & Rachel, you get the impression it's completely his idea - but, that he thought of it to avoid getting beaten up (or worse) by Tommy when he catches both of them at Michael's rented house. However, when you continue watching, you realize that Michael's been set up for this from the beginning.
The whole sequence in the hospital room was quite tense - from the beginning with the disorienting POV fading in & out, to the conversation with the shady Mr. Rodman (this actor was also in KOTH as a crooked bellboy) - well-done sequence(s).

To explain the ending, here is my take on this:
SpoilerShow
The very last scene with Hinkle (Joe Don Baker) in the gas station was brilliant; his hand motion made it evident he was in on the scheme the whole time. Nice.
In closing, though it may have been interesting to see The Underneath get it's own release, I'm glad it was instead released as a special feature with KOTH - this way you're getting two great Soderbergh films for the price of one...

Now, I just need to see the 1949 film Criss Cross & read the original novel...

Marwood
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#34 Post by Marwood » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:29 pm

I see this is OOS at Amazon and WOWHD and is also listed as unavailable on criterion.com.

Should we take this to mean that it is going OOP, or just that the dual format release will be replaced with a new amaray release, like happened to Ace in the Hole?

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CSM126
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#35 Post by CSM126 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:44 pm

…it’s the second option.

black&huge
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#36 Post by black&huge » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:17 pm

what they should really do is give The Underneath its own spine.

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colinr0380
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#37 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:20 am

black&huge wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:17 pm
what they should really do is give The Underneath its own spine.
Or double bill it with Criss Cross as with the two versions of The Killers!

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tenia
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Re: 698 King of the Hill

#38 Post by tenia » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:45 am

They've done this in France.

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