This week, there are quite a few new and exciting releases coming out to add to the 2021 slate from various labels, genres, and time periods. And all Blu-ray debuts, so let’s get started!
***ALL IMAGES SERVE AS DIRECT LINKS TO PURCHASE THE MOVIES THROUGH AMAZON***
From the Criterion Collection this week, we have the Blu-ray debut of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Minding the Gap,” directed by Bing Liu. One of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2018, this release also includes a new audio commentary with Liu, various interviews, and one of Liu’s earlier short films. This is also an exciting release because it marks the first collaboration between the Criterion Collection and Hulu.
For 2020 films, we have the Blu-ray release of “Ammonite.” Francis Lee’s follow-up to “God’s Own Country” stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in this period romance set on the English coast. The disc also includes a making-of featurette. You can also check out our podcast review for the film here.
Kino Lorber has a couple of releases this week marking their Blu-ray debuts. First is “Buried Alive,” the 1990 television thriller directed by Frank Darabont. The film stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Matheson, William Atherton, Hoyt Axton, and Jay Gerber. The Blu-ray features a new 2K master along with a recent interview and audio commentary track. They are also putting out the 2014 comedy thriller “Stretch.” This film is directed by Joe Carnahan and stars Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Norman Reedus, Brooklyn Decker, and Ed Helms. This release also includes two new audio commentaries.
CASEY’S WEEKLY BLU-RAY RECOMMENDATION
This week, I wanted to recommend a standard release Blu-ray rather than that of a boutique label like I typically do. I switched over to Blu-ray from DVD kind of late in the game, but even still, I became wary of “bargain” Blu-rays, standard discs costing under $10 because I feared they wouldn’t be nearly as good as your typical Criterion or Shout Factory release. However, a few months back, I purchased the Director’s Definitive Edition Blu-ray of “Heat” for my boyfriend as it is one of his favorite films (and has become one of mine as well) for roughly $5 on Amazon and was pleasantly surprised at how great a release it is for such a low cost. For starters, it looks incredible. I could go on about how this is Michael Mann’s masterpiece, but it really showcases his visual style for looks alone. The deliberate framing, crisp blues, and LA scenery look flawless. It is also an impressive release in regards to special features, containing a second disc exclusively for supplements. Not only is there an audio commentary with Michael Mann, but it also includes a number of panel interviews (including one moderated by Christopher Nolan), an hour-long making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and features on both the locations and the iconic coffee shop conversation between De Niro and Pacino.
It wouldn’t shock me if a 4K release of this film came out in the coming years, so if you are waiting for that to purchase the movie, I understand. However, I do still highly recommend this release as not only a tremendous transfer of a beautiful film but also for its hours of special features to sink your teeth into. It currently retails for under $8 on Amazon but goes on sale at times to be marked down even less, and it is worth every penny.
Will you be picking up any of these releases? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.
You can follow Casey and hear more of her thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @CaseyLeeClark