Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Burnt Offerings for August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014 - 11:16 am   |   By 

Before we get to this week’s new MOD releases, I’d like to call your attention to a recently launched Kickstarter campaign. I know, I know… I swear I’ll be quick and it’s worthy of your support.

As you know, one of my pet causes here at The Bits is urging studios to release obscure and semi-forgotten movies on DVD via the ongoing JET’s Most Wanted project on the Electric Theatre Facebook page. The folks at Seattle’s Scarecrow Video have been doing that since the long-forgotten pre-internet days. Do you have a copy of Criterion’s spectacular Two-Lane Blacktop? Scarecrow Video is a big reason why it exists.  [Read on here...]

scarecrowvideoSince opening their doors in 1988, Scarecrow has earned a well-deserved reputation as the best video store in the world. They believe in introducing audiences to great movies that might otherwise go unnoticed. They have fostered a community of like-minded cinephiles who love movies as much as anyone in the world. And, like all of us here at The Bits and presumably all of you, they believe in the importance of physical media.

Like all video stores these days, Scarecrow has had a tough time of it for the last several years. Today, they announced an ambitious restructuring plan that will recast Scarecrow as a non-profit film library and community resource. As both a film-lover and a former resident of the great city of Seattle, I couldn’t be happier about this proposal. To learn more about The Scarecrow Project, check out the video below and, if you can, please consider visiting their Kickstarter page and making a pledge. I know I did.

Thanks for your time. And now, let’s take a gander at those new releases, shall we?

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NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION

Out of the Past (1947) – Warner Archive’s Blu-ray lineup makes its first foray into the smoky, black-and-white realm of film noir with this all-time classic from director Jacques Tourneur. I can’t wait to check out Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas in HD. Warner Bros. has plenty more noir where this came from, so let’s hope this sells well enough to encourage additional BD releases.

The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) – Ronald Colman, Vilma Banky and Gary Cooper star in this silent western that pits engineer Colman against cowboy Cooper. Previously available on DVD as part of MGM’s out of print Gary Cooper: MGM Movie Legends Collection.

Raffles Double Feature (1930/1939) – Ronald Colman stars as E.W. Hornung’s Amateur Cracksman in the first talkie version of the popular crime thriller. The remake finds David Niven assuming the role alongside Olivia de Havilland. Both versions are making their DVD debut on this double feature disc.

Arrowsmith (1931) – John Ford directs Ronald Colman and Helen Hayes in this adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel. MGM released this one on DVD a couple of times, both now out of print.

The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938) – A somewhat miscast Gary Cooper plays the title role in this lavish, light-hearted adventure, taking on a villainous Basil Rathbone. Previously released on DVD by MGM, now out of print.

They Shall Have Music (1939) – Violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz stars as himself in this social drama demonstrating the power of classical music to overcome adversity. Young Gene Reynolds is the kid from the wrong side of the tracks whose talent is nearly crushed by poverty. Joel McCrea, Andrea Leeds and Walter Brennan costar. First time on DVD.

Enchantment (1948) – David Niven stars in this multi-generational tragic romance. The budding courtship of niece Evelyn Keyes and Farley Granger prompt Niven to reflect on his own doomed affair with Teresa Wright. Previously released on DVD by MGM.

Young Justice: Season One (2011-12) – DC’s Junior Justice League (Superboy, Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian and Artemis) goes Blu for the first time. Two discs, 26 episodes, more superheroes than you can wave a cape at.

- Adam Jahnke

 

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In 50 years or so, the @Criterion edition of The Interview will make a nice bookend with The Great Dictator.

by Adam Jahnke