My Two Cents
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:52

Criterion’s July has Tarkovsky’s Stalker & Rossellini’s War Trilogy, plus Vestron’s The Unholy, new Twilight titles & more

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There’s a bunch more great new release news today, so here goes...

First up, our friends at The Criterion Collection have announced their July slate of releases, and I’m thrilled to say that they include Andrei Tarkovsky’s Russian sci-fi film Stalker (Cat #888 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 7/18! Also coming are Robert Bresson’s L’argent (Cat #886 – Blu-ray, DVD, and Hulu Plus) and Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy (Cat #500 – Blu-ray and DVD – includes Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero) on 7/11, as well as Albert Brooks’ 1985 satire Lost in America (Cat #887 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 7/25. We’ll take all the classic Russian cinema on Blu-ray I can get, science fiction especially, and the more the merrier. You can pre-order them all by clicking on the cover artwork at the bottom of this post (Stalker is pictured at left). [Read on here…]

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Not to be outdone, the good folks at Twilight Time have unveiled their July Blu-ray release slate as well, which is set to include a double feature of Tom Sawyer (1973) and Huckleberry Finn (1974), along with State Fair (1962), The Crimson Kimono (1959), and Everything You Always Needed to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972). All are due to street on 7/18, with pre-orders available on the Twilight Time site and Screen Archives Entertainment (we’ll let you know the date for pre-orders when it’s announced).

As some of you may know, Huckleberry Finn was directed by the late J. Lee Thompson, who I had the great good fortune of interviewing for The Bits back in 2000 (you can read that here). We spoke mostly about The Guns of Navarone for the interview, but our actual phone conversation ran almost three hours. He was such a gentleman, just a truly wonderful human being, and he was as thrilled to talk about his work as I was. Anytime another one of his films arrives on Blu-ray is cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned.

In other news, Lionsgate has just announced the latest entry in their Vestron Video Collector’s Series – none other than Camilo Vila’s The Unholy (1988) on 6/27 (SRP $39.97). Extras will include audio commentary with director Camilo Vila, isolated score selections and audio interview with composer Roger Bellon, an audio interview with production designer and co-writer Fernando Fonseca (featuring isolated selections from his unused score), the original ending (featuring optional audio commentary with producer Mathew Hayden), 3 featurettes (Sins of the Father with Ben Cross, Demons in the Flesh: The Monsters of The Unholy, and Prayer Offerings with Production Designer & Co-Writer Fernando Fonseca), the film’s theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots, an original storyboard gallery, and a still gallery. You can see the cover artwork below.

Lionsgate has also set the CG-animated title Rock Dog for release on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/23 (with the Digital HD due on 5/9), followed by The Shack, starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, and Tim McGraw, on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/30 (with the Digital HD due on 5/16), and The Sense of an Ending on DVD only on 6/6 (Digital HD due on 5/23).

20th Century Fox has set the wedding comedy Table 19 for release on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on 6/13.

PBS Distribution has set The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick for Blu-ray and DVD release on 9/19 (SRP $129.99 for the Blu-ray). The 10-part series will air on PBS stations in early September.

Blue Underground has set Gary Sherman’s Death Line (1973), starring Donald Pleasence and Christopher Lee, for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo on 6/27 (SRP $39.98). Limited to 3000 units, the set will include a new 2K-remastered presentation (supervised by Sherman from the original negative), all-new extras, a booklet (in the first pressing), and more.

And finally, The Warner Archive has just released the Henry Fonda film Spencer’s Mountain (1963) on Blu-ray. Also newly available are The Rounders (1965) on Blu-ray, featuring a new HD transfer of the film, and Hanna-Barbera’s Monchhichis: The Complete Series (1983-84) on DVD.

Here’s a look at the cover artwork for a number of the titles mentioned above. Click on each cover to pre-order them on if available...

Lost in America (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) Stalker (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) War Trilogy (Criterion Blu-ray Disc)

L'argent (Criterion Blu-ray Disc) The Unholy (Blu-ray Disc) The Rockford Files: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Stay tuned…

- Bill Hunt


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