My Two Cents
Monday, 16 October 2023 16:12

Criterion’s January slate, plus Stand by Me, Super Mario Bros (1993) & Kubrick’s Fear and Desire in 4K, Neon’s Oldboy & more!

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We’re starting our first big news update of the week here at The Bits with some new disc reviews, as always. So now available for your reading enjoyment are...

Stephen’s in-depth reviews of both the wide release 4K Ultra HD and the Disney Movie Club-exclusive “quad” 4K Ultra HD release of Walt Disney’s classic animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The good news is that Disney’s positive change in direction with 4K catalog releases is officially no fluke—the disc features absolutely beautiful 35mm film remastering with lovely grain structure and wonderfully vibrant colors.

Stephen has also turned in a review of Michael Cimino’s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) in 4K Ultra HD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, which also features terrific new remastering.

And Stuart has delivered a look at Norman Taurog’s Spinout (1966) on Blu-ray from our friends at the Warner Archive Collection.

As always, more new reviews are on the way later this week, so be sure to watch for them.

Now then... in announcement news today, the Criterion Collection has officially revealed their January 2024 release slate. [Read on here...]

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It’s set to include an upgrade of Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy (Spine #782 – 4K Ultra HD – includes Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and Apur Sansar) on 1/2, an upgrade of the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple (Spine #834 – 4K Ultra HD) on 1/9, John Sayles’ Lone Star (Spine #1202 – 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray) on 1/16, the Chantal Akerman Masterpieces, 1968–1978 box set (Spine #1203 – Blu-ray only – includes Saute ma ville, L’enfant aimé, ou Je joue à être une femme mariée, La chambre, Hotel Monterey, Le 15/8, Je tu il elle, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, News from Home, and Les rendez-vous d’Anna) on 1/23, and finally Dee Rees’ Mudbound (Spine #1205 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting (Spine #1204 – 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray) on 1/30. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below. And you can read more here via the Criterion website.

Also newly announced are a bunch of forthcoming Blu-ray and 4K titles from the good people of Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Among them are a new Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D version of Bruce Malmuth’s The Man Who Wasn’t There (1983) on 12/12, featuring a restoration from the original 35mm camera negative by Paramount and the 3-D Film Archive. Also coming on 12/12 are Peter Hyams’ Running Scared (1986), a reissue of Pete Walker’s House of the Long Shadows (1983), and Val Guest’s The Quartermass Xperiment (1955) all on Blu-ray, as well as E. Elias Merhinge’s Suspect Zero (2004) in 4K Ultra HD. Following on 12/19 are Kino Cult #4—Jess Franco’s Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac (1973)—on Blu-ray, and Kino Cult #5—Clive Barker’s Underworld (1985) on 4K Ultra HD. In the new year, look for Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street (1945) on Blu-ray on 1/30/24. And finally, KLSC has also revealed that it’s working on a new 4K Ultra HD release of Stanley Kubrick’s first film, Fear and Desire (1952), which will include both cuts of the film along with Kubrick’s other early films—Flying Padre (1951), Day of the Fight (1951), and The Seafarers (1953)—also in 4K with Dolby Vision HDR. The street date for that is TBA, but coming soon.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just set their anticipated 4K UHD Steelbook version of Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me (1986) for release on 12/5. It should be identical to the previous 4K release, except that it will now include Dolby Vision HDR.

As expected, our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia have officially announced a new 30th Anniversary Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel’s Super Mario Bros. (1993). There will be three versions, including a 2-disc Blu-ray, a 2-disc 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Combo, and a super-deluxe 3-disc Trust the Fungus 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Collector’s Edition featuring a 250-page hardbound book, a 200-page book of scripts, a film cell, lobby cards, posters, stickers, and a special slipcase. Two of these SKUs are widely available, while the Trust the Fungus edition is only available directly from Umbrella. You’ll find them for pre-order here, here, and here, with an anticipated street date sometime in January 2024. We’ll also post Amazon links if and when they appear.

Extras will include four new audio commentaries (including screenwriter Parker Bennett; co-producer Fred Caruso and production designer David L. Snyder; crew members Jeff Goodwin, Mark McCoy, and Craig Richards; and Super Mario Bros: The Movie archivists Steven Applebaum and Ryan Hoss), newly-restored deleted scenes and trailers, the workprint version of the film in HD, storyboard-to-screen animatics, 4 “academic” featurettes (including Katabasis: From Damsel to Goddess, Anarcho-Dino-Sado Chic: The Fashion of Dinohattan, The Hero Moment: Super Mario, Superhero, and (D)evolution, Dystopia, and Trusting the Fungus), Spike & Iggy’s Revolutionary Rap music video, the Anti-Koopa protest music video, and a collection of archival commercials Japanese trailers, plus the legacy This Ain’t No Video Game and Making of featurettes, and more.

Here’s a look at the packaging for the Trust the Fungus 4K/Blu-ray box set...

Super Mario Bros.: Trust the Fungus Collector's Edition (4K Ultra HD)

Also today, Imprint Films has revealed their December slate of Blu-ray titles, which is set to include Frank Pierson’s King of the Gypsies (1978), Franklin J. Schaffner’s Islands in the Stream (1977), Bob Fosse’s Lenny (1974), the Directed by Sidney Lumet: Volume One (1964-1973) box set—featuring The Pawnbroker (1964), The Group (1966), The Deadly Affair (1967), Child’s Play (1972), The Offence (1973), and Serpico (1973)—and the Film Focus: Marlon Brando – Volume One (1957-1967) box set—featuring Sayonara (1957), The Fugitive Kind (1960), One-Eyed Jacks (1961), The Ugly American (1963), Bedtime Story (1964), and A Countess From Hong Kong (1967). The street date for all of them is 12/27. You can find them all here.

And First Run Features has just set Jerry Aronson’s documentary The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg for DVD and Digital release on 10/24.

Finally today, we have a look at the cover artwork for Neon’s deluxe 4K Ultra HD release of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy (2003), which is due on 12/12. You can see it below. Click on the image to pre-order it from Amazon...

Oldboy (4K Ultra HD)

We’ll be back tomorrow with an editorial follow-up on last week’s news (which we broke here at The Bits) that Best Buy is getting out of the physical media business. I’ll include some very strong thoughts on the current state and future of the disc business, featuring context and perspective you’re not going to find elsewhere. So be sure to check back tomorrow for that.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for the new Criterion titles, along with Titanic and Stand by Me in 4K. The Amazon pre-order links will be added to each as they go live…

Titanic (4K Ultra HD) Stand by Me (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) Trainspotting (4K Ultra HD)

Young Guns (4K Ultra HD) Lone Star (4K Ultra HD) Blood Simple (4K Ultra HD)

The Apu Trilogy (4K Ultra HD) Mudbound (Blu-ray Disc) Chantal Akerman Masterpieces (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



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