Blu-ray

All posts tagged Blu-ray

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Yesssss! Criterion knocks it out of the park in October, with another David Lynch film (Mulholland Dr., following last year’s Eraserhead — maybe next October we’ll get Lost Highway or Inland Empire) as well as another Cronenberg (The Brood). Add to the mix Kwaidan, a classic ghost story from director Masaki Kobayashi (Samurai Rebellion), some Gus Van Sant movie I don’t care about with Keanu “Whoa” Reeves and River “Dead” Phoenix, and A Special Day, which teams Marcello Mastroianni with Sophia Loren, and you’ve got a pretty damn good month.

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Moonrise Kingdom has apparently been delayed a month, if you’re into that sort of thing. Originally slated for August, but with no box art, it reappeared with this set of releases for September.  Meanwhile, despite losing the rights to older Merchant Ivory films, resulting in some of them (such as Howards End) going out of print, A Room With a View is getting a Blu-Ray edition. There’s also a one-two punch of Bruce Beresford films, both with cover artwork from the great Sean Philips (Criminal, The Fade Out, Fatale), and an early Krzysztof Kieślowski film, pre-Three Colors.

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Directed by Errol Morris.

Directed by Errol Morris.

In the interview with director Errol Morris that’s featured on the Criterion blu-ray of Vernon, Florida (a double feature alongside Gates of Heaven), Morris reveals the unlikely origins of this documentary. Originally intended as an expose on insurance fraud in this small town, known as “Stump City” due to its inhabitants having a predilection for cutting their own limbs off to get some cash, when asking around Vernon, several people persuaded Morris that he might want to look elsewhere. If you get the meaning. He instead decided to just film a selection of people in the town, letting them ramble on about whatever the hell they want. The result is far stranger, and likely far more captivating, than the original story would have been.

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I can’t say I care too much about the individual releases here, other than an early DePalma effort with Dressed to Kill, but hey! A new Eclipse Series set! Already, 2015 will have double the number of Eclipse sets that 2014 saw (the lone Late Ray one) with this and the Keisuke Konishita collection.

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It would be hard to follow up March’s fantastic set of titles, but Criterion has done a pretty good job of sticking the landing. A Blu-Ray upgrade of The Friends of Eddie Coyle, starring the great Robert Mitchum, is my pick of the month, but we also get an early film from Le Samourai director Jean-Pierre Melville, 1949’s Le Silence de la Mer. Rounding out the month, which also features entries from Preston Sturges and Jean Renoir, is a new Eclipse set! Featuring three silent films from Yasujiro Ozu, Silent Ozu focuses on a genre he wasn’t known for: crime dramas. Ozu’s most celebrated films, such as Tokyo Story, were usually focused on Japanese family life. So, enough yammering, here’s all the hot phresh deets:

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March is a pretty exciting month, and one thing in particular makes it a notable outlier — in fact, almost a theme month: a heavy emphasis on documentaries. Fully half of the releases are docs, including three from the master of the form, Errol Morris. Plus, we get a classic Bergman, a weird old noir, and a Truffaut film. Pretty great, all told.

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No need to check your vital signs, you haven’t gone to prog rock heaven. Rush will be releasing a comprehensive blu-ray set of live performances, so you can hop in your red barchetta and pick it up on November 11, but you’ll probably need to be a working man to afford it. 

Rush super-fans who have bought every other release are upset because only the bonus disc features wholly new content, but who cares about those weirdos? They can fly by night right into the trees, as one of the branches pierces them closer to the heart than is reasonably survivable.

Also, don’t forget to Cygnus X-1 Book II.

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December will be pretty light in terms of new releases (only one fully new Blu-Ray, and two upgrades [one from Laserdisc]), it brings a long-awaited spark of hope: the continuation of the Eclipse Series.

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