November 19, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
Kicking off the week is a pair of new releases. Directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham), Blinded by the Light is based on author Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir about growing up as a Pakistani teen in England in the 1980s and discovering his undying love for the songs of Bruce Springsteen. Moviebill recently had the opportunity to sit down with Chadha and Manzoor. Click here to check out the video interviews!
Also arriving on Blu-ray and DVD from a recent big screen run is the all ages adventure Dora and the Lost City of Gold, bringing to life the hugely popular children’s television series as a live action feature film. In addition to the film itself, the disc offers bloopers, outtakes and behind the scenes featurettes.
If you’re in the mood to laugh, look no further than Shout! Factory’s impressive Abbott & Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection. Spread across 15 discs are 28 movies, representing the duo’s entire feature film output. That’s One Night In The Tropics (1940), Buck Privates (1941), In The Navy (1941), Hold That Ghost (1941), Keep ‘Em Flying (1941), Ride ‘Em Cowboy (1942), Pardon My Sarong (1942), Who Done It? (1942), It Ain’t Hay (1943), Hit The Ice (1943), In Society (1944), Here Come The Co-Eds (1945), The Naughty Nineties (1944), Little Giant (1946), The Time Of Their Lives (1946), Buck Privates Come Home (1947), The Wistful Widow Of Wagon Gap (1947), Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Mexican Hayride (1948), Abbott And Costello Meet The Killer, Boris Karloff (1949), Abbott And Costello In The Foreign Legion (1950), Abbott And Costello Meet The Invisible Man (1951), Comin’ Round The Mountain (1951), Lost In Alaska (1952), Abbott And Costello Go To Mars (1953), Abbott And Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1953), Abbott And Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955) and Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)!
Not only do you get 15 years worth of big screen comedy gold, each film has its own special features, too, with the last disc wholly dedicated to additional supplemental material. That includes the 1994 television special Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld, in which the standup comedian pays homage to his heroes. If you’re a Seinfeld fan and are unfamiliar with Abbott and Costello, you may be surprised by how much their back and forth sounds like conversations between Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.
Also hitting this week from Shout! Factory is a double serving of rock ‘n roll. Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll brings to HD director Taylor Hackford’s 1987 documentary on “the father of rock ‘n roll”, replete with special features. Then, head back to the coolest school in town as Rock n’ Roll High School celebrates its 40th anniversary with a brand new special edition housed in a stylish steelbook case and jam packed with bonus content. There are four different audio commentary tracks, new interviews with cast and crew and even audio outtakes.
Moviebill had the privilege of sitting down with the film’s director, Allan Arkush, so check back later this week for an in-depth look back at his laugh out loud comedy featuring the Ramones.
Over at Warner Archive, Vincente Minnelli’s 1952 The Bad and the Beautiful makes its HD debut. Starring Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas, the Hollywood set melodrama swept the Academy Awards upon its original release, setting what was then a record with five wins, including best supporting actress for Gloria Grahame. The new release also includes the feature length documentary Lana Turner…A Daughter’s Memoir.
Previously only available as part of a deluxe gift set, Howard Hawks’s original 1932 Scarface is now available to own by itself. The Blu-ray offers two different edits of the film, an alternate ending, and an introduction by Turner Classic Movie Host and Film Historian Robert Osborne.
If horror is more your style, though, be sure to check out Synapse’s 4K release of Dario Argento’s original Suspiria.
Two additional catalogue titles hitting from Shout! Factory this week include the 1981 thriller The Fan and the 1992 crime drama American Me. The former, from the horror centric Scream Factory label, stars Lauren Bacall as a Broadway star who becomes the central focus of a dangerous stalker played by Michael Biehn. The Fan, meanwhile, hails from the Shout Select line and represents Edward James Olmos’s directorial debut, the story of a Latino crime lord who operates his empire from within Folsom Prison.
Two new titles join the Criterion Collection this week. Look for Jean-Jacques Beineix’s acclaimed romantic drama Betty Blue. The 1986 film makes its Blu-ray debut with a host of supplemental features, including an hourlong behind the scenes documentary, a short film by Beineix and more. Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski’s own romantic drama, the recent Cold War, also arrives in the collection, straight from a 4K digital master.
Sony’s MOD program adds two very different turn of the millennium features. 2000’s The Whole Nine Yards finds Bruce Willis as a mob hitman who moves in next door to Matthew Perry’s hapless dentist. Meanwhile, somewhere about 3000 Miles to Graceland, Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell star in an Elvis-inspired heist road trip actioner filled with an assembly of eclectic acting talent that includes Courtney Cox, Christian Slater, Thomas Haden Church, Ice-T, Jon Lovitz, Bokeem Woodbine and more. Then, celebrating its 20th anniversary, Jawbreaker gets a new special edition. The 1999 black comedy thriller is headlined by Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart and Julie Benz star in the prank-gone-wrong tale from writer and director Darren Stein.
Kino Lorber continues their Studio Classics line this week, beginning with a trio of Alain Delon crime thrillers. Look for Julien Duvivier’s 1967 Diabolically Yours, Jean Herman’s 1968 Farewell, Friend, and Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1972 Un Flic. Also arriving this week from the label is the 1971 Anthony Perkins and Charles Bronson team-up Someone Behind the Door, the 1998 Eddie Murphy comedy Holy Man, and Patrice Chéreau’s 2001 romantic drama Intimacy.
Although the new big screen version didn’t quite connect at the box office last week, Charlie’s Angels fans should nevertheless be thrilled that the classic ABC series is going blu. Mill Creek is bringing all five seasons to HD in a complete series box set. It’s not the only fan favorite series to get the treatment this week, either, as the Jim Henson Company’s science fiction adventure Farscape is finally available in the format as well. The complete series box set includes all four seasons as well as the telefilm The Peacekeeper Wars.
With a fourth season on its way to Hulu in the not too distant future, the recent, 13-episode third season of The Handmaid’s Tale is now available on blu-ray and DVD. Also arriving from the streaming service is the Hulu Original six episode adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Catch-22. This one is DVD only, but the release does include additional deleted scenes, outtakes, and a trio of featurettes.
Also a DVD only release is Film Chest Media Group’s Deadline, truly a gem of a set for fans of classic television. Thirty-nine episodes of the series ran between 1959 and 1961 with each of the show’s episodes being based on an actual newspaper headline of the day. The series pretty much disappeared, however, with the masters laying untouched for half a century. Now, for the first time, the complete Deadline is available so that audiences can enjoy long lost tv appearances by stars like Peter Falk, Diane Ladd, Robert Lansing and more.