This week we have an absolutely amazing group of new releases coming to Blu-ray and DVD. The bad news is that due to the release of The Amazing Spider-man (2012) on Friday, other releases from this past year are avoiding Tuesday completely. The great news is that some classic films are coming to Blu-ray for the first time, and promising to be as beautiful as ever. Also, there are some more gift sets coming just in time for the holidays.
- Sunset Boulevard (1950): Ranked the 16th Greatest American Film by the American Film Institute, Billy Wilder’s drama about silent film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) and her attempt to make her “return” to motion pictures has captivated and delighted audiences for years. Also starring William Holden in quite possibly the greatest role of his career, this film is a must see for all movie fans. Being released for the first time on Blu-ray, Sunset Boulevard is truly a landmark in the history of film, and it can now be seen in this fully restored edition. The only downside to this release is that it doesn’t appear to include the plethora of bonus features that I was expecting to find.
- Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987): Right on schedule for Thanksgiving, this comic masterpiece from writer/director John Hughes is already a classic, and can serve as the perfect alternative to watching an abundance of commercials, mixed in with a couple of football games. Because really, who could be more fun to spend your holidays with than Steve Martin and John Candy, right? If that isn’t a good enough sell, how about the fact that it is available right now for under $12.00. I love reasonably priced new releases!
- Rashomon (1950): In complete contrast to Planes,Trains And Automobiles, the Criterion Collection is releasing this Akira Kurosawa classic for the first time to Blu-ray. Considered one of the greatest Japanese films ever made, and included on the list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, this film is revolutionary in its style and non-linear format. The story is about a married couple and a bandit who meet in the forest, but the entire film is told in flashback as each of the main characters recounts the events that took place, with each story having their own drastically different takes on what happened during that fateful day. The narrative structure of this movie is unparalleled, and it is easy to see how Rashomon has cemented a place in the hearts and minds of so many film fans.
- Guys And Dolls (1955): Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine star in this film adaptation of the Broadway musical. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Cleopatra), the film stands out among 1950’s musicals for its great choreography (Michael Kidd), as well as a great dynamic between Brando and Simmons. In addition, I happen to love the Brando/Sinatra combination, and even tough Brando doesn’t match Sinatra’s musical talent, he still comes across well and shows how talented he was in all different kinds of roles. If I remember correctly, there has been some frustration in recent years when different editions of Guys And Dolls were released due to poor digital transfers, as well as messing with the ratios. I hope that it will all be squared away for this Blu-ray release, and this film will finally be able to be enjoyed in all its beautiful splendor.
- Die Nibelungen (1924): You can call me weird, but this one has me quite excited. From Kino Lorber, Die Nibelungen is a silent fantasy film. Before M (1931) and before Metropolis (1927), famed director Fritz Lang teamed with his then wife, Thea von Harbou, and wrote a fantasy film that looks to be immensely entertaining. Fritz Lang was called the “Master Of Darkness”, and from what I can tell, this film looks to be the perfect film to earn him such a title. Filmed in two separate parts, each running over two hours, this silent epic appears to be an important film that greatly deserves this re-mastering.
- Your Sister’s Sister (2012): One release this week that is actually a new movie is this comedy/drama film about a complex love situation. Jack (Mark Duplass) is still depressed a year after his brother’s death. Jack’s brother’s girlfriend, Iris (Emily Blunt), convinces him to go to her father’s cabin in order to get away. When he arrives, he finds that the cabin is being occupied by Iris’s sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt). After an alcohol inducted, sex filled evening together, Iris arrives at the cabin as well, and it appears to Hannah that Iris has come because she is in love with Jack. This film received mostly positive reviews this last summer and, to me, I think it could end up being a highly enjoyable film. Directed by Lynn Shelton, My Sister’s Sister was filmed on a miniscule budget and seems to be a film that will depend on the performances from this small cast.
I have since seen Your Sister’s Sister, and you can read my full review here!
- Patton (1970): This Best Picture winner is the story of General Patton during World War II. The winner of eight Academy Awards, Patton is an enormous film in both its content and importance. George C. Scott gives his most memorable performance, and he single handedly drives the movie from beginning to end. With a running time of 170 minutes, Patton can feel a little long at times, but when the film is over you will always remember the story as well as the man. This is a film that I personally don’t feel the need to own, but obviously it has remained popular over the years, and this newly remastered edition should prove to make the film more beautiful than ever before.
- The Client (1994): Who can forget this John Grisham favorite? Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon and Brad Renfro star in this highly suspenseful drama from director Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys, A Time To Kill). Mark Sway (Renfro) is the only witness to a man’s suicide, and Reggie (Sarandon) is the lucky woman that he has chosen to keep him away from the over eager U.S. Attorney (Jones). I haven’t seen this film in years, but remember it being a highly well made suspense film with tons of tension in every scene. The Client was a financial success and earned an Academy Award nomination for Sarandon as well.
- Rags To Riches Collection: The Films Of Mary Pickford (1917-1926): All classic film lovers know about Mary Pickford, but so many of her films have become hard to find, expensive or are in such poor condition that they can be disappointing. Now, Milestone Films is releasing this small collection of some of Pickford’s work, at a very reasonable price. This set includes The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), The Hoodlum (1919), Sparrows (1926) and the short film Ramona (1910). Each of these films has been praised and admired by some of the greatest filmmakers of all time. In addition to being a great collection, these films have been brought together as a “kid friendly” set, and each film includes a small introduction involving kids finding a treasure trove of old movies. There is also an alternate audio version that includes spoken intertitles, as well as explanations, so that younger audiences will be able to enjoy the experience as easily as possible. You can order this collection at milestonefilms.com for the extremely reasonable price of $31.96 for Blu-ray, and I believe the DVD’s are even a little less.
- Universal 100th Anniversary Collection (1930-2010): So here we have what is supposed to be the mother of all Blu-ray gift sets: The Universal Collection. This set includes 25 of Universal’s movies, all on Blu-ray, with the highest possible quality available. Here are the problems with the set: 1.) It’s a 100th anniversary set, but the film’s only range from 1930 to 2010 (That’s only 80 years). 2.) All 25 of these movies are already available, so any collector already owns some or most of them ( I already have 17 of the 25). 3.) The assortment of films is all over the spectrum, so I doubt there are many people who would even enjoy all these movies. 4.) The suggested retail on this set is $349.99, and even though you can get it right now for $244.86, that still winds up being $10.00 per movie, which just isn’t a great deal. Bottom line here is that if you know somebody who loves film, but has yet to start their own personal collection (and money is not at all important), this would make a great gift.
And To Be Released On Friday November 9th, 2012
- The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): Finally this week we have the latest installment in the Spider-man series. Starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, this was a huge box office success this last summer, becoming the 43rd highest grossing film of all time, and of course it promises to be a sought after gift throughout this upcoming holiday season.
Well that’s it for this week. Happy shopping movie fans!Back to Home for More Reviews