Sunday, May 19, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 4/20/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This is a lighter week for recent films on Blu-ray, but there is still an exciting slate of releases from a couple of favorite boutique labels!​

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


​The Criterion Collection has two releases this week. The first (and probably the biggest of the week) is the 2003 Korean crime film from Academy Award winner Bong Joon-ho, “Memories of Murder,” starring Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung. This features a new 4K digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Kim Hyung-koo and approved by director Bong. The Blu-ray includes two archival audio commentary tracks with Bong and the cast and crew, along with a new commentary track with critic Tony Rayns. It also features a recent interview with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, a new interview with Bong about the real-life serial killer, a making-of documentary, deleted scenes with an optional commentary track with Bong, a new interview with film scholar Jeff Smith on sound, and Bong’s 1994 student film with a new introduction. This is a stacked release for a beloved but underseen film that will be a must-own.

​​The other release from Criterion this week is a Blu-ray upgrade of the 1950 Western “The Furies,” directed by Anthony Mann and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Walter Huston, and Judith Anderson. Previously released on DVD by Criterion, this Blu-ray includes both new and previously released supplemental features. There is an audio commentary track with film historian Jim Kitses, a new interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith, archival interviews with Mann, Huston, and Nina Mann (the director’s daughter), plus an essay and written interview with Mann and a new printing of the 1948 source novel by Niven Busch. This is all housed in a beautiful and thick digipak set with the disc, pamphlet, and book. 

​​Another big release this week is the 2005 performance documentary “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party,” hosted and written by Chappelle and directed by Michel Gondry. This film features Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, The Fugees, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Roots, and many more. The Blu-ray includes extended music acts and making-of featurettes. 

​​We have the Blu-ray debut of a Shudder Original with the 2019 horror anthology “The Mortuary Collection.” Directed by Ryan Spindell, this film stars Clancy Brown, Jacob Elordi, Sarah Hay, Jennifer Irwin, and more. This Blu-ray features over two hours of special features.

​​Finally, we have several releases this week from the Warner Archive Collection. First comes the 1950 Technicolor musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” directed by George Sidney and starring Betty Hutton, Howard Keel, Louis Calhern, J. Carroll Naish, Edward Arnold, and Keenan Wynn. This includes an introduction and retrospective by Susan Lucci, outtakes with Hutton and Keel, as well as the film’s original star Judy Garland and audio pre-recording session tracks with Garland. 

The other two Warner Archive releases this week are both Best Picture Oscar winners. The first is the 1981 British historical drama “Chariots of Fire.” Directed by Hugh Hudson, this stars Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers, Ian Holm, Lindsay Anderson, John Gielgud, Cheryl Campbell, and Alice Krige. The other is the 1935 version of “Mutiny on the Bounty,” directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, and Franchot Tone. 


​This week, in honor of the Academy Awards this Sunday and to coincide with the release of “Memories of Murder,” there’s no better time to buy and/or watch the Criterion Collection release of the 2019 Best Picture winner Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.” Obviously, there is a standard Blu-ray release and a 4K one can purchase. However, I strongly recommend the Criterion edition due to its impeccable digipak packaging and exclusive special features on this beloved film.

This features a new 4K digital master of the film. It also includes a new audio commentary track with Bong and critic Tony Rayns, the black-and-white version of the movie with an introduction by Bong, a brand new conversation with Bong and critic Darcy Paquet, new interviews with the creative team, a new program on the New Korean Cinema movement with bong and filmmaker Park Chan-wook, the 2019 Cannes Film Festival press conference, a master class with Bong from the Lumière Festival, and storyboard comparisons. When it comes to special features, this release is top-notch and should be a no-brainer to add to your collection. If film quality or price is more your priority and you lean towards the 4K release, that’s fine, but I strongly recommend this release for any film lovers. People sometimes complain about Criterion releasing newer films. However, I appreciate the amount of time and care still being put into physical media releases, and this release is one of the best examples of that.

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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