Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 2/9/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This week, several recent films are coming to Blu-ray, as well as some unique and underrated films from a couple of boutique brands. Plus, a 2010s sci-fi film comes to 4K. Let’s get started!​


Several 2020 films are coming out this week. First, we have the horror-comedy “Freaky,” directed by Christopher Landon and starring Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, and Alan Ruck. The release includes quite a few supplements, including an audio commentary track with Landon, deleted scenes, and featurettes on various aspects of the film (such as the actors, the director, genre conventions, etc.). 

​Next, there’s the disaster film “Greenland,” directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler, Scott Glenn, Morena Baccarin, and David Denman. The Blu-ray also includes a commentary with the director and producer and deleted scenes. 

​Finally, for 2020, we have the romantic-drama “Wander Darkly.” Directed by Tara Miele, the film stars Sienna Miller, Diego Luna, and Beth Grant and premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

​​This week’s coming to 4K is the 2013 Neill Blomkamp film “Elysium,” starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, and Diego Luna. The release also includes a standard Blu-ray, with new extras on the 4K disc and carry-over extras from the Blu-ray disc’s previous release. There is an in-depth featurette on various film elements (including the visual effects and the stunts), along with a few other shorter featurettes on the film. 

​This week, the Criterion Collection is releasing the 1974 political thriller “The Parallax View,” directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Warren Beatty. The release features an introduction to the film by filmmaker Alex Cox, interviews with Pakula and cinematographer Gordon Willis, an essay, and more.

Paramount Presents has a couple of special edition releases coming out this week. First is the 2005 Cameron Crowe film “Elizabethtown,” starring Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, and Bruce McGill. It features a 4K master supervised by Crowe and new retrospectives, vintage featurettes, and deleted scenes. It also features the Paramount Presents classic slipcover with fold-open poster artwork. 

They are also releasing the 1970 romantic classic “Love Story.” Directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, this release comes just after the film’s 50th anniversary in December 2020. From a 4K master, the release also includes an audio commentary with Hiller, a TCM introduction, a discussion on the film with critic Leonard Maltin, and a retrospective featurette.


Back in late-2020, during their Cyber Monday sale, I picked up my first ever batch of Warner Archive titles, and since receiving them, I have slowly been working my way through. Warner Archive is a wonderful company in terms of preserving older films and giving them high-quality transfers, as well as showcasing original classic posters with their cover art designs. One of the films I got and would like to recommend this week is a 1975 crime film that I watched for the first time in film school in a noir class and that I feel is a hidden gem and that is Arthur Penn’s “Night Moves.” The film stars Gene Hackman as a private eye tasked with tracking down the runaway daughter of a washed-up actress in the Florida Keys. It also stars Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, a young James Woods, and the first major film role of a young Melanie Griffith. Not only is this an engrossing and engaging neo-noir, but it also contains surprisingly graphic and unsettling violence towards the end of the film that feels incredibly bold. Plus, the sunny Key West setting makes for a rather unconventional look for a crime film that I quite enjoy. 

As far as the release, it looks incredible, coming from a 4K scan. Warner Archive is known for its transfers and this film is no exception. It is more of a bare-bones release in terms of special features (Warner Archive can be like that at times). However, the film is harder to find otherwise, so it is worth it for the film alone. Gene Hackman gives an excellent performance as usual. If you’re a fan of him or this era of crime films, I would highly recommend not only seeking out the film to watch but this release of it as well, featuring it in the best quality possible. 

​Are there any releases you will be picking up this week? 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

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