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Archive for the 'The Criterion Collection' Category

Buck and the Preacher – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

With the recent passing of acting legend (as well as director and diplomat) Sidney Poitier, it’s entirely fitting to see the Criterion Collection release Buck and the Preacher. Also directed by Poitier (his first directorial effort), here’s a film that plays as an entertaining buddy western and a societal commentary focused on black life in America. That it happens to be set in the old west adds a unique feeling, as it’s no secret to know just how whitewashed the Western concept had been. Now with a brand new 4K transfer and a collection of extras, here’s a chance to take in an early black western made for mainstream audiences.

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Eve’s Bayou, Lost Highway, Romero 4K & More Coming to The Criterion Collection October 2022

This October: Kasi Lemmons’s Eve’s Bayou, a southern-gothic tale suffused with Creole folklore; Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure, a grisly murder mystery that redefined Japanese horror; and Jayro Bustamante’s La Llorona, a political ghost story rooted in Guatemala’s bloody past. David Lynch’s twisting neonoir Lost Highway unfolds in the Hollywood Hills, while Frank Capra’s screwball classic Arsenic and Old Lace mixes the madcap with the macabre. Plus: the movie that invented the zombie genre, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, now on 4K UHD.

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Devil In A Blue Dress – The Criterion Collection (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Seeing the announcement of Devil in a Blue Dress as an upcoming 4K release from the Criterion Collection was a great joy. An underperformer at the time of its release, only to find more appreciation as the years have gone why, this period thriller starring Denzel Washington brings together two major ideas – a neo-noir detective story starring a black lead and the social realism of what it meant to be black in 1948 America. Featuring several great performances and plenty of style, thanks to director Carl Franklin and his team, the film is terrific. Thanks to Criterion, the film now looks and sounds better than ever, with a couple of new extras to round out the package.

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Sound of Metal, Scorsese, Blow Out 4K, & More Coming to The Criterion Collection September 2022

Coming this fall: Darius Marder’s Sound of Metalcapturing one man’s odyssey through sound and silence; Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou’s Take Out, about a day in the life of an undocumented delivery worker in New York City; and Atom Egoyan’s Exoticaa defining independent film of the 1990s, set in a Toronto strip club. Plus: Henri-Georges Clouzot’s fable of suspicion in a Nazi-occupied French town, Le Corbeau, on Blu-ray; a 4K UHD edition of Brian De Palma’s stylish, paranoid political thriller Blow Out; and a six-film collection of revelatory restorations from Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project. Continue reading ‘Sound of Metal, Scorsese, Blow Out 4K, & More Coming to The Criterion Collection September 2022’

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Shaft – The Criterion Collection (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

In an entirely fitting movie for the Criterion Collection, 1971’s Shaft has been selected to join the ranks and has received the deluxe treatment with a 3-disc 4K UHD set (2 Blu-ray discs). A notable film from the Blaxploitation era, it may not be the first or perhaps even the best, but Shaft is the most iconic, having been a box office hit, leading to a franchise, winning an Oscar, and being selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Shaft was a game-changer and remains cooler than cool thanks to the presence of star Richard Roundtree (in his debut film) and Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft” title track. Now, thanks to this 4K UHD release, Shaft has even more to deliver to film fans all over again.

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Sidney Poitier, Safdie Brothers & More Coming to The Criterion Collection August 2022

This August, we invite you on a euphoric, hallucinatory Ethiopian odyssey with Jessica Beshir’s Faya dayi and a poetic-realist sojourn in 1930s Paris with Marcel Carné’s Hôtel du Nord. The creative trio behind Uncut Gems dig into their disorienting debut features, Josh and Benny Safdie’s Daddy Longlegs and Ronald Bronstein’s Frownland, and Sidney Poitier directs Sidney Poitier in a touchstone Black western, Buck and the Preacher.

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Raging Bull, Devil in a Blue Dress, Okja & More Coming to The Criterion Collection July 2022

This year’s Oscar winner for Best International Feature Film, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, will make its home-video debut in July alongside David Lean’s radiant Technicolor gem about romantic longing, Summertime, and a stacked 4K UHD slate: Carl Franklin’s stylish noir set in segregated 1940s Los Angeles, Devil in a Blue Dress; Bong Joon Ho’s modern fairy tale about a girl, a superpig, and a corporate conspiracy, Okja; Sofia Coppola’s ethereal debut feature illuminating the interior lives of five sisters, The Virgin Suicides; and Martin Scorsese’s stunningly visceral portrait of self-destructive machismo, Raging Bull.

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Shaft 4K, Pink Flamingos, The Worst Person In The World & More Coming to The Criterion Collection June 2022

This June: Criterion presents Ekwa Msangi’s stunning feature debut, Farewell AmorJoachim Trier’s ultra-charismatic Oscar contender, The Worst Person in the WorldHong Kong master Stanley Kwan’s swooningly romantic ghost story, Rougeand Shaftthe blaxploitation action-hero epic from Gordon Parks, now on 4K UHD. Plus: the filthiest, trashiest film on the Nation Film Registry, Pink Flamingos by John Waters, meets the lushest, most operatic Technicolor spectacle ever made, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressbuger’s The Tales of Hoffmann.

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Miller’s Crossing – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

This was an entirely fitting choice. Miller’s Crossing is one of the ultimate kinds of Criterion films in many ways. It’s a neo-noir, low-budget yet heavy on style and influence, one of the early efforts from the Coen brothers, a cult favorite for audiences, despite receiving plenty of acclaim at the time from critics then and now, and just old enough to feel like a bridge between older and younger cinephiles. I don’t know all that goes into the selection process, but I do know that Miller’s Crossing is a gem of a picture, and I’m happy to see this feature get the deluxe treatment on Blu-ray.

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Double Indemnity 4K, Mississippi Masala & More Coming to The Criterion Collection May 2022

Mystery lurks this May with a missing man in San Francisco’s Chinatown in Wayne Wang’s Chan Is Missinga mistaken identity in World War II-era Paris in Joseph Losey’s Mr. Kleinand the sinister scheme in hard-boiled LA that put film noir on the map in Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. Plus: The maker of TampopoJuzo Itami, takes on the Japanese way of death in The Funeraland Mira Nair’s modern cross-cultural romance, Mississippi Masalagets a long-awaited restoration.

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Walker, Miracle in Milan, Round Midnight & More Coming to The Criterion Collection April 2022

In April, Jayne Mansfield rocks Frank Tashlin’s jukebox musical The Girl Can’t Help It with a who’s who of 1950s radio idols, and bebop legend Dexter Gordon anchors one of the most beloved jazz films ever made, Bertrand Tavernier’s ’Round MidnightA stunning 2020 debut from Lagos, Nigeria, Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) brings a neorealist eye to the modern megacity, while the original neorealist, Vittorio De Sica, offers up a special-effects-laden fairy tale, Miracle in Milan, set in a postwar shantytown. Plus: a 4K UHD release of the best moon movie ever made, For All Mankindand a Blu-ray upgrade of Alex Cox’s daring, subversive, unforgettable biopic, Walker.


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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Exceptional 4K & Blu-ray Picks For 2021

“I think I’ve figured out how to shrink this thing down.” What a foolish thing I told myself, once again… This is the first full year I’ve had to enjoy not only new Blu-ray releases but 4K UHD discs as well. Having all the modern format options like my fellow Why So Blu writers (in addition to a region-free player) has allowed me the optimal viewing experience to go along with these excellent releases. As usual (see: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), this list has a key rule – I have to have gone through the disc as far as assessing the audio and video quality, along with the special features available. There are releases that I’m sure are terrific, but I just haven’t had the time to watch everything (I mainly focused on the ones I knew would satisfy the most). With that said, I have plenty of bonus sections as well. So, here we go!

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The Last Waltz 4K, Le Cercle Rouge 4K & More Coming to The Criterion Collection March 2022

Coming in March: The Last Waltz, a genre-defining concert doc by music lover Martin Scorsese; Adoption, the 1976 stunner that made Hungarian auteur Márta Mészáros the first woman to win the coveted Golden Bear; love jones, Theodore Witcher’s singular tale of Black love and poetry in 1990s Chicago; and The Flight of the Phoenix, a psychologically charged Saharan survival epic featuring World War II flying ace James Stewart and an all-star cast. Plus: Le cercle rouge, Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece of cool crime cinema, starring Alain Delon, returns to the Collection, now in 4K UHD.


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The Red Shoes – The Criterion Collection (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Upon hearing the announcement of The Criterion Collection’s first set of 4K UHD Blu-ray releases, I was excited by all that was being offered (Citizen Kane! Menace II Society II), but I was most interested in seeing The Red Shoes in 4K. Looking at the list of archival releases put out in 4K in this year alone, I had little doubt that Criterion’s 4K presentation of the classic Powell and Pressburger drama would be the technicolor feast I had hoped for. I was not wrong. Without putting down the other recent 4K releases from Criterion (the ones I’ve seen are pretty great), The Red Shoes looks stunning. It also happens to be a spectacular feature, with sequences representing some of the best that cinema offers.

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Miller’s Crossing, Love Affair & More Coming to The Criterion Collection February 2022

In February, The Criterion Collection is bringing out two classics of romance and melodrama, Leo McCarey’s Love Affair and Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind; the Coen brothers’ Prohibition-era gangster saga, Miller’s Crossing; and Ann Hui’s heartrending, humanist look at the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Boat People. 

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The Beatles, Dick Johnson, The Piano & More Coming to The Criterion Collection January 2022

This January, the Criterion Collection is ringing in the New Year with major works by three fiercely imaginative women filmmakers: The Piano, Jane Campion’s sensual tale of a woman’s inner awakening, now in 4K UHD; Dick Johnson is Dead, Kirsten Johnson’s inventive, deeply moving love letter to her father; and Time, Garrett Bradley’s poetic look at one family and the devastating toll of mass incarceration. Plus: Thomas Vinterberg’s lacerating chamber drama The Celebration, which launched the Dogme 95 movement, and the 4K UHD release of A Hard Day’s Night, Richard Lester’s wildly entertaining Beatles showcase.

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One Night In Miami, The Red Shoes 4K & More Coming to The Criterion Collection December 2021

Coming to the Criterion Collection this December, Academy Award-winning actor Regina King, in her directorial debut, brings to cinematic life an imagined 1964 meeting between four African American icons in One Night in Miami…, and renowned photographer turned filmmaker Gordon Parks weaves a spellbinding coming-of-age story in The Learning Tree—the first Hollywood studio film by a Black director. And Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s singular Technicolor fantasia The Red Shoes arrives in dazzling 4K Ultra HD.

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**UPDATE** Criterion Announces Uncut Gems 4K For November – This Is How They Win

Following the announcement of the Criterion Collection’s first set of 4K UHD releases, we now have an update regarding the Safdie’ Brother’s acclaimed 2019 film, Uncut Gems. The Adam Sandler-starring thriller, which was already set to come out this year, has been upgraded to a 4K release, complete with new artwork as well. The 4k UHD + Blu-ray combo will arrive in stores and online on November 23. Continue on to catch up on all the supplements and more arriving with this release.

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