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Max Allan Collins - The Black Box Collection: Shades of Neo-Noir
Max Allan Collins - The Black Box Collection Shades of Neo-Noir
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2006     9hr 32min

Max Allen Collins' (creator of The Road to Perdition) Black Box Collection features over 6 hours of hard-boiled gumshoes, double-crossing dames and two-fisted tales including the original Mike Hammer pilot written and dire...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Creator: Patty McCormack
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: NEO NOIR
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/24/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 9hr 32min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
 

Movie Reviews

Hours and hours of material
Arthur Martin | Toledo, OH United States | 02/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a 4-disc set which contains:

*MOMMY: 10th Anniversary Edition, which features the movie, the original DVD commentary and a new 2005 commentary, tons of behind-the-scenes and promotional featurettes, writer-director Max Allan Collins reading the original short story the film was based on, and more.

*MOMMY 2 MOMMY'S DAY: 10th Anniversary Edition, which features the movie, the original DVD commentary and a new 2005 commentary, two interviews with costar Patty McCormack conducted by director Max Allan Collins, and more.

*REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS MARKET, which is the same as the single-disc release of this movie -- with a multi-angle option throughout the film, multiple commentaries, interviews, another story reading, and other audio-only features.

*SHADES OF NOIR, which is a full disc of previously unreleased material written and/or directed by Max Allan Collins. The main program is an anthology of short films, including a 40-minute-plus documentary on pulp writer Mickey Spillane. The extras lean toward stuff about Spillane, including a Spillane radio show, an unaired Spillane TV pilot directed Blake Edwards, and a trailer for a Spillane. There is also a making-of for one of the short films, commentary on all the short films, and more."
Mommy and Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market
Craig Clarke | New England | 03/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mommy

What if "the bad seed" grew up and had a daughter of her own? That's the question posed by this thriller written and directed by mystery novelist Max Allan Collins. Mommy stars Patty McCormack (Oscar-nominated as a young girl for her chilling role in the classic film The Bad Seed as a mother who will do anything for her daughter, Jessica Ann (Rachel Lemieux) ... including murder.

The acting is surprisingly good. Lemieux more than pulls her own weight with a subtlely layered performance (and narration) that truly carries the film. McCormack rightly plays it straight, even in the scenes of black humor, and it is obvious that her character truly loves her daughter, even if she shows it in unconventional ways. Also, keep an eye out for Sarah Jane Miller's scene-stealing performance as Miss Jones, the cocky, know-it-all janitor.

Parallels between Mommy and The Bad Seed are deliberate and fun for film fans, as are references to other horror films like The Shining and Halloween. Collins does well by his actors and crew with his reported one-million-dollar budget. He and director of photography / editor Philip W. Dingeldein know how to use colors, light, and darkness to set the mood and ratchet up the suspense, resulting in a fun little thriller with few pretentions.

To save money, Collins went the Dario Argento route by having his band Crusin' perform the rock songs on the soundtrack -- watch out for them during the dance scene with Collins on keyboards. Shot in and around Collins's hometown of Muscatine, Iowa, using locals as extras, the suspenseful script even offers a few twists and turns to keep it unpredictable.

Mommy also features a stellar cast, including Michael Cornelison (Lost in America), Jason Miller (The Exorcist), scream queen Brinke Stevens (Nightmare Sisters), Majel Barrett (just about every Star Trek manifestation), and even Mickey Spillane (creator of Mike Hammer) in a featured role.

The tenth anniversary DVD release (currently available only in the Black Box Collection) is digitally remastered and loaded with hours of extras, including a reading of the original short story that appeared in Fear Itself, edited by Jeff Gelb. Everything from the first DVD is here along with a brand new tenth-anniversary commentary with Collins and Dingeldein that discusses the parallels between Mommy and Road to Perdition, which was based on a graphic novel by Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.

Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market

Though distributed by the schlockmeisters at Troma (the studio behind the Toxic Avenger series of films), Real Time is anything but. Based on short fiction ("Inconvenience Store") starring Collins' Ms. Tree character, it is the story of a convenience store robbery gone awry. Former "scream queen" Brinke Stevens (Nightmare Sisters) stars as the pregnant woman with a secret who gets caught up in the fracas but manages to keep a cool head.

As a movie, it's quite good. The set is realistic (it was built from scratch!), the performances are solid (with only one actor going over the top), and director Collins often uses split-screen technologies to give us multiple views of the action. That the events were reported to have been filmed by surveillance cameras allows him to use grainy black and white and four-camera blocks to showcase the action from different perspectives simultaneously.

But it is as a DVD that Real Time really shines. You may or may not know that your DVD player has an option for multi-angle viewing because most DVDs do not take advantage of this. Even those that do only showcase it in a minor way. This feature allows the viewer to switch views during playback, and Real Time takes true advantage, allowing an alternate view of every scene in the movie. At any time during the movie, you can press the Angle button on your remote and get a different camera angle of the same scene you're watching. It allows you to be the director, in a limited sense; you could watch the movie over and over and never the same way twice.

But that's not all that awaits the savvy Real Time viewer. There are also several commentaries and interviews by the director and various cast and crew members as well as an audio version of the source story, an onscreen graphic novel of another story in the Ms. Tree canon (although you'll have to have a pretty big screen to be able to read the lettering), auditions, and deleted scenes.

Also, unlike most DVDs, Collins has taken real care with the cast and crew bios, offering a look at the careers of most of the participants, not just the "stars." The creativity and imagination shown in the design and execution of Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market are sorely lacking in most DVD presentations of films by major studios. Buy a copy (it's relatively cheap for a disc this loaded) and support independent film innovators."