It’s an absolutely stacked week for home video releases, with new titles from all of the major boutique labels. A couple of timely box-set releases accompany an over-the-top celebration of one of the most beloved blockbusters of the nineties.
Please feel free to use the comments section below to let us know if we’ve missed anything. Monday Blu(e)s and DVD’s is produced in association with Film@Home, the British Video Association’s digital hub for the promotion of Blu-ray. More information on Film@Home can be found on their Facebook page.
Disc Of The Week
The Ballad Of Narayama
Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema imprint do it again, with a wonderful release of this mid-period Shohei Imamura masterpiece. Something of a thematic sequel to his Profound Desires Of The Gods, The Ballad Of Narayama tells a story of tradition in a world seemingly far away, but ultimately incredibly similar to our own. Ultimately it’s a film about moving on, which can be a very profound subject matter when handled properly. A full review will be up soon.
Incidentally Profound Desires Of The Gods is also reissued today, in a Dual-Format edition.
A Man Vanishes
Another Imamura, this time a confusing mixture of documentary and fiction. As with The Ballad Of Narayama a full review will be up soon.
Its great to see a film like Stanley Donen’s Charade receive such lavish attention as this. The temptation to leave out of license works to rot is far too great for many film distributors, so Park Circus have really outclassed themselves with this wonderful upgrade. Paris has nary looked better than when shot through Donen’s camera lens, with the Audrey Hepburn her best by some way in the eyes of this viewer.
Little Malcolm and Voice Over
A pair of new releases from the BFI’s Flipside label accompany a raft of reissues of their existing titles as Dual-Format editions. The new entries typical Flipside fare, with Voice Over the tale of a radio host portrayed by British TV favourite Ian McNeice and Little Malcolm a play adaptation featuring an early John Hurt film performance.
Jonathan Rosenbaum once declared that Red Psalm “may well be the greatest Hungarian film of the 60s and 70s”, and while I may not agree with that personally (My Way Home edges it for me) the consensus certainly does. Second Run DVD continue to impress with their commitment to releasing the work of Miklós Jancsó.
A timely rerelease of Sam Peckinpah’s most famous work to tie-in with the shiny new remake starring James Marsden. Ultimately I’m not a big fan of the original movie, but Dustin Hoffman is amazing as the passive liberal pushed to the edge.
A Pair Of Akira Kurosawa Collections
The BFI have put out this pair of diverse Kurosawa box sets just in time for Christmas. The first, the Classic Collection features Ikaru, The Lower Depths, Red Beard, I Live In Fear and Dodes’Ka-Den, while the second, the Crime Collection, consists of Stray Dog, High And Low, The Bad Sleep Well and Drunken Angel. While the latter edges it for me, I’m sure either would be welcome in the stocking of many a cinephile this festive period.
The Jurassic Park series makes its way to Blu-ray, albeit only in box-set form. One good film and two real stinkers form the trilogy, with that term not particularly apt for a series that feels massively disconnected at best.
The set is available in three editions, each one more unnecessarily excessive than the last.