Tuesday, June 25, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 4/13/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This week features a slew of new titles from Kino Lorber, as well as more recent releases coming to Blu-ray and some of our favorite boutique labels!​

Let’s take a dive into what’s coming out this week on 4K/Blu-ray/DVD.


​​This week’s big release from Kino Lorber is their 4K UHD release of Mel Brooks’ 1987 spoof film “Spaceballs.” Also being released on standard Blu-ray, the film stars Bill Pullman, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga, Rick Moranis, and Brooks himself. Newly remastered, this release features archival extras, including an audio commentary track with Brooks, the half-hour “Spaceballs: The Documentary,” and over 45 minutes of featurettes. 

​​Another Mel Brooks film being released by Kino Lorber this week is his 1968 comedy classic “The Producers,” starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn, Kenneth Mars, and Andréas Voutsinas. This is being advertised as featuring a previously completed 4K restoration with extensive shot-by-shot color grading. It includes a new audio commentary track with filmmaker and historian Michael Schlesinger, plus an hour-long making-of documentary and more featurettes from previous releases. This film was previously released on Blu-ray by Shout Factory but is now out of print. 

​​Kino Lorber is also diving into 3D Blu-ray with the release of “Dynasty 3D” from 1977, directed by Mei Chun Chang. This is a 3D restoration by the 3D Film Archive and features both 2D and 3D viewing options. It includes multiple featurettes on vintage 3D films and technology.

​Finally, from Kino Lorber are two underrated 80s films. First is the 1984 comedy “The Wild Life,” written by Cameron Crowe and directed by Art Linson. The film stars Christopher Penn, Lea Thompson, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Jenny Wright, Eric Stoltz, Rick Moranis, Hart Bochner, and Randy Quaid. Due to Crowe’s writing, the film is considered a spiritual sequel to “Fast Times At Ridgemont High.” This release includes an audio commentary track, interviews, and radio spots.

​​The other 80s release from Kino Lorber this week is the 1987 surfer flick “North Shore,” directed by William Phelps and starring Matt Adler, Nina Peeples, John Philbin, Gerry Lopez, and Gregory Harrison. This release includes an audio commentary with Phelps and executive producer Randal Kleiser, interviews with the cast and director, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.

​The only noteworthy new release coming to Blu-ray this week is the 2020 thriller “Willy’s Wonderland.” Directed by Kevin Lewis, this film stars Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Grant Cramer, and Terayle Hill.

​From the Criterion Collection this week, we have “History Is Made at Night” from 1937, directed by Frank Borzage and starring Jean Arthur, Charles Boyer, Colin Clive, David Hertz, June Preston, and Ivan Lebedeff. This one features a newly restored 4K digital transfer, and included on the disc is a restoration demonstration featurette. This release also has a new conversation with author Hervé Dumont and film historian Peter Cowie, an interview with critic Farran Smith Nehme about Borzage, audio excerpts of a 1958 interview with Borzage, and a radio adaptation from 1940 starring Charles Boyer.

​This week from the Warner Archive Collection comes another classic animated series with the 1972 Hanna-Barbera TV show “Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space.” This is a two-disc release containing all 16 episodes of the spinoff series and features brand new masters of every episode.

Finally, for this week, we have a Shudder Original coming to Blu-ray with the release of the 2019 documentary “Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist.” This film is from Alexandre O. Philippe, director of previous film documentaries such as “78/52” and “Memory: The Origins of Alien.” This Blu-ray also includes a Friedkin master class. 


​I’ve been loving the recent Blank Check podcast miniseries on Elaine May’s films and everyone discussing her work on Twitter and Letterboxd, so I wanted to recommend a terrific Blu-ray release of one of her films, and that is the Criterion Collection release of “Mikey and Nicky.” From 1976, this film stars John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, Ned Beatty, Joyce Van Patten, and Carol Grace. This is not only a great crime film and a tremendous one-crazy-night film, but it is also a terrific look at masculinity and the complexities of male friendship. 

This Blu-ray release features a new, restored 4K digital transfer supervised by May. This is probably the best this gritty film will ever look and will go down as the film’s definitive release. It includes several new interviews about the making of the film, plus interviews with critics looking back on the film and May’s career as a whole. It also features a 1976 audio interview with Falk. I adore this film and am grateful that the Criterion release has made it more accessible and known to a broader audience. I would highly recommend it to those who are discovering May’s work and fans of Cassavetes and Falk’s frequent collaborations. 

​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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