March 17, 2020: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
As people all over the world enter an unprecedented period of self quarantine, the home video market is more important than ever. This week kicks off with the latest from Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life. Starring August Diehl, the film is based on the life of Franz Jägerstätter (Diehl), an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II.
If you’re looking to turn back the clock a few months, Black Christmas offers some seasonal fun for horror fans. Directed by Sophia Takal (Always Shine) from the script she cowrote with April Wolfe (Widower), the update of the classic 1974 slasher stars Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Brittany O’Grady, Lily Donoghue and Caleb Eberhardt. Black Christmas comes to DVD and Blu-ray with deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, a commentary track with Takal and Poots, and more.
Having pulled in more than $750 million at the worldwide box office, Jumanji: The Next Level comes home on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. Directed by Jake Kasdan, the third entry in the franchise sees the return of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle stars Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson alongside newcomers Awkwafina, Danny Devito and Danny Glover. The release includes a gag reel and several behind the scenes featurettes that explore bringing the out of body adventure to life.
The latest from director Clint Eastwood, Richard Jewell brings to the screen the story of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing and the man falsely believed to be responsible. Paul Walter Hauser stars in the title role as part of an ensemble cast that also includes Kathy Bates, John Hamm, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde. It arrives on Blu-ray with a pair of behind the scenes featurettes.
Adapting the 2003 comic book miniseries written by Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son marks the latest animated feature from DC Comics. Posing the question, “What would have happened if Kal-El’s rocket landed in Soviet Russia instead of rural Kansas?,” Red Son offers a glimpse into an alternate reality where the DC Universe unfolded very differently. In addition to several featurettes, Red Son arrives on Blu-ray and 4K with all seven of the recent Phantom Stranger shorts and a preview of the next direct to home video release, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
Animation fans will also be thrilled to learn that Tom and Jerry: The Golden Collection Volume One is back in print! Originally released nearly a decade ago, the set offers restored versions of 37 original Tom and Jerry shorts. Not only does the rerelease mean not having to pay an exorbitant cost for the set, it also suggests that a Volume Two may finally be in our sights!
The Warner Archive has another excellent catalogue title receiving the HD treatment this week with the 1968 western The Stalking Moon. Reteaming with To Kill A Mockingbird director Robert Mulligan and producer Alan J. Pakula, Gregory Peck headlines as Sam Varner, tasked with bringing home Eva Marie Saint’s Sarah Carver, a white woman who, along with her half-Apache son, has just been “rescued”. Little does Varner know that, even as he makes his way across the nature, his party is being hunted by the boy’s violent father, Salvaje (Nathaniel Narcisco). Boasting a new 1080p HD master, the Technicolor release has never looked better.
Having already added his 1989 masterpiece Do the Right Thing to the collection, Criterion is now turning their attention to Spike Lee’s 2000 scathing satire, Bamboozled. Damon Wayans stars as Pierre Delacroix, a television writer who, in an effort to satisfy his racist boss, pitches a modern minstrel show. The new release offers a 2K digital restoration of the film and a host of supplemental material, including deleted scenes, a commentary track with Lee, and lots more.
Shout! Factory’s horror themed Scream Factory label continues its series of vintage horror with their fourth Universal Horror Collection set. This one offers Boris Karloff in both Night Key (1937) and The Climax (1944), Bela Lugosi in Night Monster (1942) and the 1946 thriller House of Horrors. All four films have their own special features, each boasting a commentary track by a different film historian.
Kino Lorber has several catalogue titles making their HD debuts this week. Antonio Margheriti’s 1980 horror thriller Cannibal Apocalypse gets a 4K restoration and a full special edition of the film’s uncut version, which tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic plague that turns the infected into violent cannibals.
Also arriving from Kino this week is the 1947 western Man in the Shadow (starring Jeff Chandler and Orson Welles), 1978’s Force 10 From Navarone (the sequel to The Guns of Navarone), the 1984 thriller Raw Courage (the story of a group of marathon runner who become hunted for sport), and the 1994 mystery A Pure Formality (starring Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski).
Last year, Kino received acclaim for their impressive Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers box set. Now, Kino turns their attention specifically to Alice Guy-Blaché, the French artist who wasn’t just one of the first women to make movies, but one of the very first people. Two different sets span two distinct periods of Guy-Blaché’s output. Look for both Alice Guy Blaché Volume One: The Gaumont Years and for Alice Guy Blaché Volume Two: The Solax Years, each offering more than two hours of rare and little seen works of early cinema.
Complementing the Alice Guy-Blaché sets is Intrigue: The Forgotten Films of Writer & Director Julia Crawford Ivers. The set offers two films directed by Crawford, 1916’s A Son of Erin, what survives of 1915’s The Majesty of the Law, and the 1916 sci-fi thriller The Intrigue, scripted by Crawford and directed by Frank Lloyd.