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First Cow (Blu-ray Review)

After an initial release and a re-release on VOD to contend with Covid-19, A24’s cows have come home on Blu-ray. First Cow has a moment about a third of the way into the film where the cow finally arrives, and I felt like it was time for an applause break. It’s not quite Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia, but the arrival of bovine in the distance signaled something in me that had already been clear – I was not only really into the unique and quiet frontier world being developed in this Kelly Reichardt film, I was happy to feel it a strong enough companion to this director’s previous work to the point of celebrating the introduction of this domesticated creature. Now the film has a home release, for all to enjoy, as it means a lot more cow!

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Cronenberg, Iñárritu, Bresson & More Coming to The Criterion Collection December 2020

This December, the Criterion Collection welcomes the monumental first feature that kick-started twenty-first-century Mexican cinema with an electrifying jolt: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s blistering Amores Perros will appear in an edition featuring a new 4K restoration, along with extensive new interviews with the cast and crew and programs on the making of the film. David Cronenberg’s icily erotic treatise on sex and car crashes, the ever-controversial J.G. Ballard adaptation Crash, will make its Blu-ray debut. And that’s not all: William Greaves’s brilliant, docufictional meta landmark Symbiopsychotaxiplasm and Robert Bresson’s searing portrait of adolescent desperation Mouchette will both appear on Blu-ray for the first time.

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Brute Force – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Coming at audiences with a one-two punch this month from The Criterion Collection is a double-dose films from famed and once-blacklisted director Jules Dassin. Both The Naked City and Brute Force have finally been given the Blu-ray upgrade, and what fantastic work it is to see these 70+-year-old films get proper treatment in their restorations. Speaking to 1947’s Brute Force specifically, this prison-set crime drama stars Burt Lancaster in a movie that may feel somewhat standard these days. However, the intensity for its time makes for a good watch and a still-relevant critique of the American incarceration system. This new Blu-ray presentation features the film, complete with a terrific restoration and more.

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The King of Staten Island (Blu-ray Review)

By now, a new Judd Apatow movie means a film working to balance humor with pathos, while pushing the limits of its story via a lengthy runtime. For a comedy, The King of Staten Island is most certainly another Apatow flick requiring the viewer to determine whether or not 2+ hours were essential. As it stands, however, while ‘Staten Island’ does take its time, there is a lot to like about this salt-of-the-earth city and the characters from this film who reside there. The film opened on VOD this past June and has now arrived on a packed Blu-ray full of extras, in addition to a terrific transfer.

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Irishman, Ghost Dog, Moonstruck & More Coming to Criterion Collection November 2020

This November, the Criterion Collection will bring Martin Scorsese’s elegiac, Academy Award–nominated mob epic The Irishman to home video in an edition featuring extensive interviews with the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes programs on the film’s production. An Oscar-winning Cher stars alongside Nicolas Cage in the beloved romantic comedy Moonstruck, appearing in a new 4K restoration. Claudia Weill’s trailblazing Girlfriends, an independent classic that has become a touchstone for subsequent generations of filmmakers, will appear on Blu-ray for the first time. Forest Whitaker stars in Ghost Dog: The Way of the SamuraiJim Jarmusch’s radically eccentric take on the hit-man thriller, appearing in a new 4K restoration approved by the director. And that’s not all: our previously announced Essential Fellini centenary box set brings together fourteen films from one of art-house cinema’s most legendary showmen, including new 4K restorations, feature documentaries, extensive supplements, deluxe packaging, and much more!

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Fellini’s Centennial Celebrated with THE ESSENTIAL FELLINI, A 15-Disc Box Set Coming To Criterion 11/24

Joining in the international celebration of Federico Fellini’s 100th birthday, Criterion is thrilled to announce Essential Fellini, a fifteen-Blu-ray box set that brings together fourteen of the director’s most imaginative and uncompromising works for the first time. Alongside new restorations of the theatrical features, the set also includes short and full-length documentaries about Fellini’s life and work, archival interviews with his friends and collaborators, commentaries on six of the films, video essays, the director’s 1968 short Toby Dammit, and much more.
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Shanghai Triad (Blu-ray Review)

Acclaimed and prolific Chinese director Zhang Yimou is as much associated with his wuxia films such as Hero and House of Flying Daggers as his acclaimed period dramas To Live and Raise the Red Lantern, from earlier in his career. 1995’s Shanghai Triad is one of Yimou’s lesser-known films, even while nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars and Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globes. It’s a gangster film, notable for being the final film Yimou and star Gong Li made together (their 6th film) before splitting up professionally and personally (they would reunite on Curse of the Golden Flower in 2006). While perhaps not Yimou’s best, it delivers on its story, theme, and especially the stunning imagery, as one would expect. Now the film is available on Blu-ray in the U.S. for the first time.

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Judd Apatow’s THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND Hits Mainland 8/25

Pete Davidson is THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND in the moving, comedic event of the year inspired by his own true-life story, available to own for the first time on Digital August 11, 2020, and Blu-ray™ and DVD on August 25, 2020, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Renowned director Judd Apatow (Trainwreck, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) directs Davidson in “an emotional and comic knockout” (Rolling Stone) about love, loss, and laughter on Staten Island. THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND comes home with over two hours of never-before-seen bonus content.

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2020’s Best Cow, ‘First Cow,’ Arrives in the New World and on Blu-ray on September 8

With a 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes, First Cow arrives on Blu-ray (plus DVD & Digital) September 8 from Lionsgate. From critically renowned director Kelly Reichardt, the film world premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in August 2019 and screened to great acclaim at the New York Film Festival in September 2019 and the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020. The story – two travelers, on the run from a band of vengeful hunters in the 1820s Northwest, dream of striking it rich — but their tenuous plan to make their fortune on the frontier comes to rely on the secret use of a wealthy businessman’s prized dairy cow. Learn more about the upcoming release below.

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Parasite, Claudine, The Gunfighter & More Coming to The Criterion Collection October 2020

This October, Bong Joon Ho’s international sensation Parasite, winner of the Palme d’Or and four Academy Awards, will join the Criterion Collection in a director-approved edition packed with special features. Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones star in Claudine, a big-hearted romantic comedy that empathetically explores Black working-class life, with a chart-topping soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Henry King’s morally complex western The Gunfighter, starring Gregory Peck in an elegiac twist on the genre, will appear in a new 4K restoration. And that’s not all: Jean-Luc Godard’s era-defining road trip Pierrot le fou returns to the Collection in a new restoration; and Stephen Frears’s taut, stylish thriller The Hit makes its Blu-ray debut.

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The Lady Eve – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Here’s another screwball classic getting the Blu-ray upgrade from The Criterion Collection. The Lady Eve is a wonderful romantic comedy about a con gone wrong due to feelings getting in the way. Preston Sturges is in peak form with this film, knocking it out the same year as another one of his classics, Sullivan’s Travels. The combined screen energy from Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda is already enough to deliver something worthwhile, but thanks to sharp writing and a sense of poignancy, the film has many raising it to much higher ground.

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Scorsese, Lynch, Dassin & More Coming to The Criterion Collection September 2020

This September, Claire Denis’ long-unavailable, ravishingly sensual masterpiece Beau travail will join the Criterion Collection in a new, restored 4K digital transfer. Turning forty this year, David Lynch’s atmospheric, Oscar-nominated The Elephant Man, stars John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins in the poignant true story of John Merrick. Never before available on home video, the full version of Francesco Rosi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli is a revelatory humanist epic set in the dark days of fascist Italy. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3 will gather six newly restored gems from around the world: Héctor Babenco’s Pixote, Humerto Solás’s Lucía, Usmar Ismail’s After the Curfew, Bahram Beyzaie’s Downpour, Med Hondo’s Soleil Ô, and Juan Bustillo Oro’s Dos Monjes. And that’s not all: two hard-hitting noir classics from genre master Jules Dassin, Brute Force and The Naked City, will make their Blu-ray debuts in new restorations.

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Watchmen: Season 1 (Blu-ray Review)

The initial announcement of a Watchmen television series was intriguing to hear. Arriving ten years after Zack Snyder’s (pretty good) attempt to bring the groundbreaking graphic novel series from creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons to life, would HBO be able to deliver the deluxe treatment in a manner similar to what Game of Thrones was able to accomplish? Would it be the novel again, but stretched out into a weekly series? Was the plan to take the name ‘Watchmen’ and do something else entirely? As it turns out, creator Damon Lindelof had some bold plans up his sleeves – a tangential sequel series designed to carry on many of the ideas presented in the original graphic novel, but continue going down that rabbit hole in a manner fit for today’s society. The result was one of the best self-contained seasons of television I can recall seeing in recent years. Now you can enjoy the whole season and more in this complete package. Continue reading ‘Watchmen: Season 1 (Blu-ray Review)’

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Renoir, Schrader, Varda & More Coming to The Criterion Collection August 2020

This August, Paul Schrader’s seductive thriller The Comfort of Strangers– adapted by Harold Pinter from the novel by Ian McEwan- will join the Criterion Collection in a new 4K restoration. A landmark of poetic realism that went on to influence the French New Wave, Jean Renoir’s Provence-set drama Toni will make its first appearance on Blu-ray and DVD. Also debuting on home video is Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker’s Town Bloody Hallan electrifying record of second-wave feminism and its discontents that captures a legendary 1971 debate between Norman Mailer and four prominent female thinkers and activists. Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta’s urgent political thriller The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum will also debut on Blu-ray. Plus, our previously announced fifteen-Blu-ray box set The Complete Films of Agnès Varda will collect the life’s work of an artist who never stopped expanding the notion of what a movie can be.

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This August – The Criterion Collection Celebrates THE COMPLETE AGNÈS VARDA, A 15-Disc Collectors Set

The Criterion Collection is celebrating the boundless creative vision of Agnès Varda with a comprehensive collection of her genre-blurring, culture-shaping films. Bringing together all thirty-nine of her features, shorts, and documentaries for the first time, this fifteen-Blu-ray box set also contains extensive special features- many created by Varda herself- including introductions to the films, interviews with and tributes from family and friends, once-banned and unfinished works, behind-the-scenes footage, archival programs, and more. The edition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated 200-page book, with notes on the films and essays on Varda’s life and work, as well as a selection of her photography and images of her installation art. The Complete Films of Agnès Varda captures the restless curiosity and radical imagination of a true original who invented a new cinematic language.

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Streets of Rage 4 (Video Game Review)

It has been a week, and I’ve received immense satisfaction from playing Streets of Rage 4. Growing up, my initial video gaming console was the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog (specifically Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles) received their share of devoted playtime, but Streets of Rage 2 was where it was at for me. I know TMNT: Turtles in Time and River City Ransom have their share of fans, and who can forget the hundreds of quarters spent on The Simpsons and X-Men arcade console games, but SOR2 was the defining beat ‘em up game for me, as it perfected a formula. Now, over 25 years later, Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games have done what they needed to develop a game that keeps what worked intact while modernizing Streets of Rage for today.

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Marriage Story, War of the Worlds & More Coming to The Criterion Collection July 2020

This July, Byron Haskin’s genre-defining sci-fi classic The War of the Worldsan Oscar-winning adaptation of H. G. Wells’s influential novel, will join the Criterion Collection in a new 4K restoration. One of the most acclaimed films of 2019, Noah Baumbach’s bittersweet Marriage Story will make its home-video debut in an edition featuring behind-the-scenes footage and extensive interviews with the cast and crew. The battle of the sexes takes a breezier turn in Preston Sturges’s screwball classic The Lady Evestarring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, which will appear on Blu-ray for the first time. Also making its Blu-ray debut is Abbas Kiarostami’s Palme d’Or-winning masterpiece Taste of Cherrya gorgeously complex meditation on mortality. And that’s not all: our previously announced Blu-ray box set Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits will collect five kung-fu classics starring the international martial-arts legend, along with a dizzying array of supplemental features.

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The Criterion Collection Tribute to BRUCE LEE: HIS GREATEST HITS, A 7-Disc Collectors Set of Kung-Fu Classics

The Criterion Collection couldn’t be more excited to announce our tribute to the life and work of the iconic Bruce Lee with five dazzling, action-packed kung-fu landmarks starring the international martial-arts legend. Capturing Lee at the height of his artistry and superstardom, this seven-disc Blu-ray box set is loaded with special features, including alternate versions of the films, interviews with Lee’s collaborators and admirers, documentaries about his life and philosophies, commentaries, promotional materials, and so much more! Coming this July, Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits is a collection of high-flying classics from the ultimate fighter, whose unmatched persona and influence in cinema live on.

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