Tuesday, May 28, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 4/27/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This week, we have one big recent release coming to Blu-ray and several exciting older titles from the biggest and best boutique labels​.

Let’s take a look out what’s coming out today on physical media!


​The week’s biggest release is our very recent 2020 Best Picture Oscar winner “Nomadland,” directed by Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand and David Strathairn. This past week, the film took home three Oscars for Picture, Director for Zhao, and Actress for McDormand. On top of showcasing the film’s gorgeous cinematography, the Blu-ray also includes a featurette giving background on the film, the Telluride Film Festival Q&A, and deleted scenes.

​Kino Lorber is putting out one of their most anticipated titles this week in the 4K release of the 1966 spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. Newly remastered and including a standard Blu-ray disc, this release contains archival extras, including deleted scenes, featurettes, an audio commentary track, and promotional materials. 

​There are a couple of releases from Arrow Video this week. The first is the Limited Edition 4K of the 2001 cult classic “Donnie Darko,” directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Beth Grant, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. This is a 4K upgrade to their previous 2018 Blu-ray release of the film and includes all of the supplemental features found on that disc. The other release from Arrow this week is the famous 1975 cult exploitation flick “Switchblade Sisters.” Directed by Jack Hill, this film stars Joanne Nail, Robbie Lee, and Monica Gayle. 

​There are a few films coming from the Warner Archive Collection this week. The first is the 1990 crime comedy “Quick Change.” Co-directed by Howard Franklin and Bill Murray, this film stars Murray along with Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, Jason Robards, Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, and Phil Hartman. This contains a brand new master of the film and is its Blu-ray debut. It is a pretty bare-bones release in terms of special features, containing only the theatrical trailer.

​Another release from Warner Archive this week is the 1939 comedy sequel “Another Thin Man,” the third film in the “Thin Man” series. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, this stars William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger, C. Aubrey Smith, and Ruth Hussey. This is sourced from a new 4K scan of the film and is paired with 1930s shorts as supplemental features.

​This week’s final release from Warner Archive is “Each Dawn I Die” from 1939, directed by William Keighley and starring James Cagney and George Raft. Sourced from a new 4K scan, this release includes an audio commentary track with film historian Haden Guest and era-specific shorts and featurettes.

We have two releases from the Criterion Collection this week. First comes Olivier Assayas’ 1996 film “Irma Vep”, starring Maggie Cheung, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Nathalie Richard, and Bulle Ogier. This features a new 2K digital restoration of the film. The release also includes a recent interview with Assayas, archival featurettes and interviews, the sixth episode of the original “Les vampires,” a documentary on the original actor from that series, and an Assayas short film.

​The other Criterion release is a Blu-ray upgrade from a previous DVD release. That is Jean-Luc Godard’s 1966 film “Masculin Féminin,” also starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, along with Marlène Jobert, Birger Malmsten, and Chantal Goya. This features a new 4K digital restoration. It includes various archival interviews, a discussion on the film from 2004 between film critics Freddy Buache and Dominique Païni, and Godard’s footage within the film.

​Another release I wanted to highlight this week is the 1977 film “Fun with Dick and Jane,” directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring George Segal and Jane Fonda. Beyond just the film itself, this release features a delightful and eye-catching cover design in the style of a child’s drawing that is too good to ignore.

​Finally, coming from the new Fun City Editions label (under the Vinegar Syndrome umbrella), we have the 1975 film “Smile.” Directed by Michael Ritchie, this stars Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon, and Michael Kidd. Featuring a new 2K restoration, this includes a new interview with Dern and a new audio commentary track with actor-filmmaker Pat Healy and film curator Jim Healy, along with other supplemental features. Plus, this release features a stunning, brightly-colored packaging design.


This week, I wanted to highlight a Blu-ray label that I haven’t really talked about outside of their new releases, and that is Kino Lorber. I actually did not own any films from them prior to their recent March Madness sale, where I picked up a few titles. One of them that I would highly recommend is the 1964 comedy “What a Way to Go!”, directed by J. Lee Thompson and featuring an all-star cast: Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Dick Van Dyke! The film is about a woman (MacLaine) who finds herself cursed: she keeps falling in love and getting married only to have her husband get rich and die on her, over and over again. This is a hilarious and surprisingly unpredictable film. Each section plays into each real star’s onscreen persona and parodies popular film genres of the era (such as Hollywood musicals and the French New Wave). Plus, the film looks stunning and features costumes by Edith Head that are some of her finest and most extravagant.

The Blu-ray transfer looks terrific. My one gripe with the release is its lack of special features, containing only the theatrical trailer. However, this film is harder to find outside of paying for a rental, so I would highly recommend this release as the best way to see the film. This is a dark comedy that is way ahead of its time with wonderful performances and technicals that I would encourage people to purchase during the next sale, or just check out the film in general as it is an underappreciated delight.

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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