October 29, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
4K takes the top spot this week as three very different catalogue titles get the Ultra HD treatment. First up is Victor Fleming’s timeless L. Frank Baum adaptation The Wizard of Oz, which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. The Hollywood classic has never looked better and Moviebill got a firsthand look at what went into the restoration. Check back later this week to read about our visit to the Warner Bros. Archives!
Get ready for the holiday season with Frank Capra’s perennial Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life. The 1946 melodrama stars James Stewart as a downtrodden banker who gets the chance to see what the world would have been like if he had never existed. Restored with HDR, It’s a Wonderful Life also includes a Blu-ray Disc that features the colorized version of the film.
Finally, Walter Hill’s 1988 Red Heat goes 4K, celebrating star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen this Friday in Terminator: Dark Fate. The mismatched buddy comedy actioner pairs the star with Jim Belushi when a Russian policeman (Schwarzenegger) is forced to team up with a Chicago cop (Belushi) to take down a drug lord.
The Criterion Collection has a Kaiju-sized present for monster lovers everywhere with Godzilla: The Showa Era Films, a massive set that includes 15 films: Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of the Astro-Monster (1965), Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1967), Destroy All Monsters (1968), All Monsters Attack (1969), Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Spread across eight discs, the collection is housed in a deluxe hardcover book that features original artwork from a wide array of contemporary talent.
Also from Criterion this week is John Sayles’s Matewan. The 1987 historical drama follows a 1920s union man who comes up against an aggressive mining company, culminating in a historical gunfight.
Warner Archive has a pair of new-to-blu titles arriving this week. First up is Blake Edwards’s Days of Wine and Roses. Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick headline the 1962 drama about a married couple who, despite their fun loving outward appearances, are suffering from severe alcoholism and just about to begin a downward spiral. In addition to a pristine new transfer, Days of Wine and Roses offers a commentary track with Edwards.
Also arriving from WA is Jackie Chan’s first English language martial arts actioner, 1997’s Mr. Nice Guy. Chan stars as a celebrity chef who winds up getting caught in the crossfire when a gang of drug dealers goes after a journalist who has evidence of their crimes. Mr. Nice Guy debuts on Blu-ray in its extended original cut, long unavailable in any format!
He may not be a fan of Marvel movies, but that doesn’t stop Martin Scorsese from still being one of the greatest filmmakers working today. With The Irishman on the way to theaters and Netflix, Kino Lorber has dipped into the Scorsese catalogue to bring his 1997 Dalai Lama biopic Kundun to blu-ray for the first time ever. If that’s not enough Scorsese for you, they’re also delivering a rerelease of the 1989 anthology New York Stories, featuring a trio of short films by Scorsese, Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola.
Beware! Terror has landed in the form of 1988’s The Blob, the latest film to get the Collector’s Edition treatment from Scream Factory. Previously available only as a limited edition release from Twilight Time, the remake of The Blob now gets a full fledged special edition with hours and hours of newly created bonus material, including two all new audio commentary tracks.
Also arriving this week from Scream Factory is the Hammer Horror film The Devil Rides Out. Also boasting a pair of audio commentaries and newly created special features, the 1968 thriller makes its HD debut with a new 2K scan from the 20th Century Fox interpositive.
Then, from Shout! Factory proper, comes 1983’s Private School, a zany sex comedy starring Phoebe Cates, Matthew Modine and Betsy Russell. The new release even offers the VHS version of the film as a special feature!
Masters of horror Dario Argento (Suspiria) and George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) pay tribute to Edgar Allen Poe with Two Evil Eyes, a 1990 double feature of Poe adaptations. With the film’s 30th anniversary pending, Blue Underground has given Two Evil Eyes the treatment it deserves. It returns to Blu-ray in a three-disc set, offering the film, a full disc of special features, and the movie’s soundtrack.
Then, from Kino Lorber comes a rare treat with the 1976 ABC TV movie nNightmare in Badham County about two innocent women who are arrested on false charges and trapped in a small town women’s prison.
Arrow Video continues to deliver great horror fare. This week brings a new special edition of John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London, restored in 4K from the original negative and bolstered by hours of bonus content. If videotape ghosts are more your style, though, look no further than The Ringu Collection, bringing to Blu-ray the original 1998 Ringu alongside the sequel Ringu 2, the prequel Ringu 0 and the “lost sequel”, Rasen (aka The Spiral). Finally, hailing from the Arrow Academy label, is the 1957 Hollywood horror biopic Man of a Thousand Faces, starring James Cagney as silent horror icon Lon Chaney.
Following last year’s incredible Batman: The Animated Series blu-ray set, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is bringing the next generation of Batman to HD with Batman Beyond: The Complete Series. Celebrate the spinoff series’ 20th anniversary with a six-disc blu-ray set containing all 52 episodes as well as the original movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. What’s more, for a limited time, the set comes packaged with an exclusive Terry McGinnis Funko POP.
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