Sunday, August 28, 2016

Blu Wiener-Dog

Okay, I guess it exists!  There was just one week's delay, and now Solondz's latest film, Wiener-Dog, is available on both DVD and blu-ray, as MOD DV-Rs and BD-Rs, direct from Amazon.  The blu is a single-layer disc with no special features or anything, but you are given the option of a 5.1 or Stereo mix.  The back of the case lists Closed Captions, too, but they don't seem to actually be on here.  The UPC symbol is also layered over the description, though; so clearly the artwork was a rush job.  But how does it look?  Pretty good!  Wanna see a couple screenshots?
The picture is slightly letterboxed to 1.85:1 and looks great in HD.  Unfortunately, as a BD-R, however, the playback was completely borked on my PC's blu-ray drive and even my Seiki.  But it worked alright in my Pioneer player.  Again, region free collectors might want to hold out for a properly pressed disc from another region.  Unfortunately, it's looking like Canada and the UK are only getting DVDs, so Germany's the only blu option so far (of course, more regions may still announce releases in the coming months... I'd be surprised if nothing came out in Australia, for instance).  I've been able to find a release date for that one now, though: November 29.  But for now at least, this is what we get.  And aside from BD-R playback drama, this is pretty satisfying.

Of course, you can also watch it streamed from Amazon now, if that's your bag.  Look at all the 1-star reviews it's getting from people expecting a happy family film about a puppy - yikes!  But hey, it's here.  We've finally got Wiener-Dog.  I haven't even had a chance to watch it yet; my copy just arrived an hour ago, but I can't wait.  =) 

Update 8/31/16: I imagine hearing this from the guy who runs carries roughly the same degree of integrity as your mother telling you that you're handsome, but I've just watched Wiener-Dog and thought it was great!

Now, I just wonder what's happening with Petersburg Carousel...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Wiener Dog on DVD and Blu-Ray... Next Week?!

It would seem so!  Amazon has pre-orders for Wiener Dog up now on both DVD and blu-ray, with a release date of August 23rd.  And considering Amazon isn't just the seller but the film's own distributor, they should know.

...On the other, just a week away from release, and they just have a poster up as the image rather than a proper cover isn't a promising sign.  The seasoned DVD collector in me tells me to expect delays.  But who knows?  Hopefully not.  And hey, I'm just happy to see that this is getting a physical release at all, and not just going the "streaming exclusive" route.

Excited by this discovery, I searched around and saw that has an Oct 11th release date, UK has December 5th, and Germany has pre-orders up but no specified date yet. The bad news is that the US release is going to be a BD-R (as in a made-on-demand burned disc as opposed to a pressed, manufactured blu-ray), so it may be worth holding out for one of these foreign releases, as those are coming from Mongrel Media, Spirit Entertainment Limited (never heard of them...) and GmbH, respectively.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Rare Graduate Film, Babysitter, Now Viewable Online!

It's been hard to find much info on Solondz's graduate film, Babysitter. It was listed on some of his early bios, and Solondz once personally confirmed for me that it exists, but that's about it. The IMDB even removed their listing for it. But any mystery surrounding Babysitter can now be considered solved, as the entire nine-minute short has been uploaded onto Vimeo for Le CiNĂ©Ma Club!

It's a surprisingly high quality transfer, and for a student film with no synced sound, it's also surprisingly entertaining. As opposed to Feelings, which comes off as more of an interesting early exercise by the filmmaker, this one's engaging in its own right. You can feel his distinct writer's voice in the work; and it's entertaining enough that it's really worth the watch even if you're not a die-hard Solondz fanatic. Maybe the next time Criterion or another high end label gives one of his films the special edition treatment, they could include this and his other short films as bonus features.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Wiener-Dog Trailer!

Love & Friendship is getting a pretty wide theatrical release from Amazon this weekend, so hopefully this bodes well for Wiener-Dog, too. If Amazon gets them into roughly the same theaters, this could be Solondz's biggest theatrical opening ever. But we still don't know what there plans are, let alone for home video/ DVD/ blu-ray down the line...  Anyway, some very promising material in this trailer - can't wait to see the film!

In theaters June 24th.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wiener Dog Bought By Amazon

According to Variety, Amazon has just bought Wiener Dog. This makes sense, since the new head of Amazon Pictures is Ted Hope, who produced past Solondz features Dark Horse, Storytelling and Happiness. Apparently, to secure the film, Amazon has "committed to a significant theatrical release." This would then, or perhaps simultaneously, lead to the film streaming on There's no mention of any physical media, but hopefully somebody in that mix will remember DVD and blu-ray.

This isn't Amazon's only deal coming out of the recent Sundance Film Festival. They'll also be picking up distribution of Whit Stillman's Love and Friendship, his long awaited adaptation of Jane Austen's epistolary novel, starring Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale and Stephen Fry. So they've got two of my most anticipated films of 2016 on their roster - pretty impressive!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wiener Dog Is Loose!

Todd Solondz's new film, Wiener Dog, just had its debut screening at Sundance Film Festival. Reviews are flooding in, which pretty much answer all our Wiener Dog questions about what to expect.

Apparently it's essentially an anthology in four parts, connected by a literal wiener dog that appears in all four stories. Yes, one of the four (the second) is a sort of sequel to Welcome To the Dollhouse, with Greta Gerwig as an older Dawn Weiner, who goes on a road trip with Brendan Sexton III's character, now played by Kieran Culkin. The first segment stars Julie Delpy as a mother of a cancer survivor who buys her son the dog. The third stars Danny Devito as a screenwriter forced to make a living teaching filmwriting to students. And finally, the dog winds up with Ellyn Burstyn as a woman who gets an unwelcome visit from her granddaughter.

I've just read ten reviews in a row (Variety, Vulture, Indiewire, The Guardian, Crave, Film Stage, Screen Daily, The Wrap, Gulf News and Madison) and they've all sort of run together in my mind, but they were all positive, ranging from high to mixed praise. and they all seem to agree that tonally, it's in keeping with Solondz's past work, which is always nice to hear as fans.

Now, let's just hope it's not a whole year before it breaks out of the festival circuit and us industry outsiders get to see it.