Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 5/11/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This week, there are quite several exciting Blu-ray releases from a variety of different genres, from new releases and 4K upgrades of 2000s classics to films ranging from the 40s to the 80s.

Click below to see this week’s newest releases.


One of the big 4K upgrades this week is the 20th Anniversary Edition of the 2001 Dreamworks animated film “Shrek.” Co-directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, this film features the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. This release includes a 4K and standard Blu-ray discs and a bonus Blu-ray disc with over four hours of extras. There is also a Steelbook Edition available.

This week’s other 4K upgrade is the original “Saw,” just in time for the release of “Spiral” soon. From 2004, this film is directed by James Wan and stars Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, and Dina Meyer. This is the Unrated cut of the film and contains both a 4K and standard Blu-ray discs. It also includes two audio commentary tracks, the feature-length documentary “Game Changer: The Legacy of Saw,” the original short film, and more. There is also a Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook available.

There are several new releases from early 2021 that are coming to Blu-ray this week. The first is Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land,” starring Wright alongside Kim Dickens, Warren Christie, and Demián Bichir. Included on the Blu-ray are three featurettes on the making of the film and its themes.

Another early 2021 film arriving on Blu-ray is the legal drama “The Mauritanian,” directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Nominated for several Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards, the film received the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Jodie Foster. This release includes an alternate opening, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and more.

The final 2021 film I wanted to highlight is the action thriller “The Marksman,” directed by Robert Lorenz and starring Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Juan Pablo Raba, Teresa Ruiz, and Antonio Leyba. The Blu-ray includes a featurette on the making of the film.

​The Criterion Collection is releasing two films from female directors on Blu-ray this week. The first is the 1982 coming-of-age comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” directed by Amy Heckerling and written by Cameron Crowe. The film stars Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, and Phoebe Cates. This features a new, restored 4K digital transfer supervised by Heckerling. This release includes an audio commentary track with Heckerling and Crowe from 1999, the television version of the film from the 1980s, a new conversation with Heckerling and Crowe moderated by filmmaker Olivia Wilde, the 1999 documentary “Reliving Our ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High'” featuring interviews with the cast and crew, an audio discussion with Heckerling from 1982 at the AFI, an essay from film critic Dana Stevens, and a newly written introduction from Crowe. Talk about a stacked release!

The other Criterion coming out this week is Dorothy Arzner’s 1932 film “Merrily We Go to Hell,” starring Fredric March and Sylvia Sidney. This features a new, restored 4K digital transfer, along with the 1983 documentary “Dorothy Arzner: Longing for Women” by Katja Raganelli and Konrad Wickler and a new video essay by film historian Cari Beauchamp.

​Coming from Shout Factory’s Scream Factory label, we have the 1976 version of “King Kong.” Directed by John Guillermin, this film stars Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, Rene Auberjonois, and Jack O’Halloran. This release includes two cuts of the film: the 134-minute theatrical cut and the 192 minute extended television cut. Also included in this release are two audio commentary tracks, over 45 minutes of new interviews with the cast and crew, image galleries, and more.

​Finally, the Warner Archive Collection has several releases coming out this week. First is the 1947 film “They Won’t Believe Me,” directed by Irving Pichel and starring Robert Young, Susan Hayward, and Jane Greer. This release features a new 4K restoration from Nitrate Preservation Elements. 

Another Warner Archive release this week is the 1946 Best Picture Oscar nominee “The Yearling.” Directed by Clarence Brown, this film stars Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, and Claude Jarman Jr. This includes a new 4K restoration from the original technicolor negatives, along with a radio broadcast and an animated short from the time period to pair with the film.

The final Warner Archive release to highlight this week is “Bachelor in Paradise” from 1961. Directed by Jack Arnold, this stars Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Janis Paige, Paula Prentiss, Jim Hutton, and Agnes Moorehead. This also features a new 4K restoration from the original camera negative. 


This week, I rewatched what I think is one of the best films ever made that also has a terrific release from the Criterion Collection that I don’t think is brought up enough when discussing essentials in the collection: 1979’s “All That Jazz.” Directed by Bob Fosse, this film stars Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer, Cliff Gorman, and Ben Vereen (among others). For those that don’t know, the film is an autobiographical work examining Fosse’s career, relationships, and ultimately his massive heart attack following overworking himself editing his previous movie “Lenny” while also directing and choreographing the original Broadway production of “Chicago.” Similar to Fellini’s “8 ½” before it, the film reflects on the creative process and how interpersonal relationships are affected with fantasy sequences (in this film in the form of musical numbers). It’s a masterpiece that I think everyone should see.

As far as the Criterion release, it looks stunning with a 4K digital restoration. It is also packed with supplemental features, including commentaries, new and archival interviews, on-set footage, and documentaries about both Fosse and the film itself. It is the perfect release for this perfect film that I would highly recommend people not only watch but make a priority as a Criterion Collection must-have.

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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