Sunday, May 19, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 3/16/2021

By Casey Lee Clark

It’s an exciting week in the world of physical media releases this week, from big titles from various boutique labels to one of 2020’s top awards contenders.


​The biggest release this week is one of the Next Best Picture team’s 2020 favorites and that’s “Promising Young Woman.” Written and directed by Emerald Fennell and starring Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, and a slew of other cameos, the film recently received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Fennell. The Blu-ray includes three featurettes on the making of the film, the cast, the story, its themes, and an audio commentary track with Fennell.

​The other 2020 release this week is the COVID sci-fi thriller “Songbird.” The film is directed by Adam Mason and stars KJ Apa, Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Peter Stormare, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Walter Hauser, and Demi Moore. The Blu-ray features an audio commentary track and deleted scenes.

​From Kino Lorber this week comes the 1985 action thriller “Runaway Train,” directed by Andrei Konchalovsky and starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, and John P. Ryan. This film is notable for receiving Oscar nominations in acting and editing and a Golden Globe win for Voight in Best Actor.

​The Criterion Collection is releasing the 1974 French film “Céline and Julie Go Boating,” directed by Jacques Rivette. This features a new 2K digital restoration. It also includes an audio commentary track with critic Adrian Martin, “Jacques Rivette: Le veilleur,” a 1994 two-part documentary by Claire Denis on the filmmaker, and new and archival interviews.

​From Arrow video comes a two-film set of the Japanese films “The Invisible Man Appears” and “The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly” from 1949 and 1957. This marks the films’ first releases outside of Japan.

​There are several big titles being released from Warner Archive this week on Blu-ray. First is the 1947 noir drama “Crossfire,” directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Robert Mitchum, Robert Young, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, and Sam Levene. The film received five Oscar nominations. This release includes an audio commentary track and a featurette on the making of the film and its themes.

Next is the iconic 1958 musical “Damn Yankees,” directed by George Abbott and Stanley Donan, starring Gwen Verdon and Tab Hunter, and choreographed by Bob Fosse. This includes a 4K transfer, song selection, and trailers.

Warner Archive is also releasing this week “What’s Up, Doc?”, the 1972 romantic screwball comedy directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, and Madeline Kahn. 

The final Warner Archive release this week is the 1989 Best Picture winner “Driving Miss Daisy,” directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, and Dan Aykroyd.


This week, I wanted to recommend a great film that I don’t think enough people have seen and that has a stellar release from the Criterion Collection and that is “Thief,” Michael Mann’s feature directorial debut from 1981 starring James Caan, Tuesday Weld, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Dennis Farina, and Willie Nelson. It’s a wonderful heist film that tackles many themes that Mann would go on to explore later in his career as well, such as the sacrifices and effects of living a criminal life and the toll that takes on your family and loved ones. It’s also just badass with a killer soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.

Criterion’s release looks beautiful, showcasing the film’s neon blue aesthetic with a new digital restoration from a 4K transfer (approved by Mann and using his director’s cut). The Blu-ray also includes an audio commentary track with Mann and Caan and new interviews with Mann, Caan, and Johannes Schmoelling of Tangerine Dream. If you’re a fan of Mann’s later films like “Heat” and “Collateral,” I would highly recommend you check this one out. Plus, being a 1981 release, it feels like the perfect in-between of the gritty crime films of the 1970s and the bombastic and synthesized action films of the 1980s. A fascinating entry for both the genre and the filmmaker.

​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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