Tuesday, February 27, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 6/22/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

It is a genuinely stacked week for releases from boutique labels, primarily underseen or underappreciated films getting their debut to Blu-ray. Plus, some new releases and a few box sets!​

Let’s take a dive and see what’s coming out this week!


​​The biggest new release of the week is the early 2021 action thriller “Nobody.” Directed by Ilya Naishuller, this film stars Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, RZA, Aleksey Serebryakov, and Christopher Lloyd. It is being released on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD. Included with both is an audio commentary track with Odenkirk and Naishuller, deleted scenes, and several featurettes on the making of the film.

There are a few other new releases as well. First, we have the 2021 horror film “The Unholy,” directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos and starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cary Elwes, William Sadler, Katie Aselton, and Diogo Morgado. From Shout Factory, we have the 2020 horror film “Hunter Hunter,” directed by Shawn Linden and starring Camille Sullivan, Devon Sawa, Summer H. Howell, Nick Stahl, and Lauren Cochrane. Last, we have the 2021 psychological thriller “Siberia,” directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Willem Dafoe, Dounia Sichov, and Simon McBurney. This film premiered at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.

Severin Films has a few big releases this week. The most talked-about is “The Eurocrpyt of Christopher Lee Collection,” a box set devoted to Lee’s work in the 1960s and early 1970s. This set includes eight Blu-ray discs featuring five films in new 2K, or 4K remasters: “The Castle of the Living Dead” (1964), “Challenge the Devil” (a.k.a. “Katharsis”) (1964), “Crypt of the Vampire” (1964), “Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace” (1962), and “The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism” (1967). Also included are all 24 episodes of the television anthology series “Theatre Macabre” hosted by Lee, featuring new 2K masters of the original camera negatives. The eighth disc contains featurettes and interviews. Additionally, it includes a CD for the original soundtrack to “The Castle of the Living Dead” and an all-new 88-page book by Lee biographer Jonathan Rigby.

Also, from Severin Films this week, we have Blu-ray releases for the films “Strike Commando” and “Strike Commando 2,” from 1986 and 1988 and both directed by Bruno Mattei. Both feature new 2K restorations, as well as the theatrical and extended cuts of each film. They also each feature interviews with their respective casts and crews.

This week’s final release from Severin Films is the 1982 film “Invaders of the Lost Gold,” directed by Alan Birkenshaw. This includes a new 2K restoration of the film and an interview with the director.

Arrow Video has a couple of releases this week. The first (and biggest) is the “Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers” box set, which features five films on three Blu-ray discs. The films are “Savage Three” (1975), “Like Rabid Dogs” (1976), “Colt 38 Special Squad” (1976), “Highway Racer” (1977), and “No, the Case is Happily Resolved” (1973). Each film is restored from its original camera negative. Also included are tons of interviews with the casts and crews of each of the films.

Also from Arrow Video this week comes the 1966 Japanese film “Irezumi,” directed by Yasuzô Masumura and starring Ayako Wakao, Akio Hasegawa, Gaku Yamamoto, and Kei Satô. This features a new 4K remaster. It also contains a slew of new extras, such as an audio commentary track with Japanese cinema scholar David Desser, an introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns, and a video essay by Asian cinema scholar Daisuke Miyao.

Kino Lorber is releasing a few 90s comedies on Blu-ray this week. First comes the 1998 stoner comedy “Half Baked,” directed by Tamra Davis and starring Dave Chappelle, Jim Breuer, Harland Williams, Guillermo Diaz, and Clarence Williams III. It includes an audio commentary track with Davis, deleted scenes, and featurettes on the movie. We also have the 1991 film “Career Opportunities,” directed by Bryan Gordon and written by John Hughes. The film stars Frank Whaley, Jennifer Connelly, and Dermot Mulroney. Lastly, we have the 1993 film “CB4: The Movie,” also directed by Tamra Davis and starring Chris Rock, Allen Payne, Phil Hartman, and Chris Elliott. This release includes a new audio commentary track with critics Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson and a new interview with Davis.

There are a couple of new Blu-rays from Scorpion Releasing this week. One is the 1985 Robert Altman film “Fool for Love.” This film stars Sam Shepard, Kim Basinger, and Harry Dean Stanton. The other film is the 1964 surf comedy “For Those Who Think Young.” Directed by Leslie H. Martinson, this stars James Darren, Pamela Tiffin, Paul Lynde, Tina Louise, Nancy Sinatra, Bob Denver, Claudia Martin, and Woody Woodbury.

​From Shout Factory’s Shout Select label comes the 2001 film “Human Nature.” Directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman, this film stars Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans, and Miranda Otto. This includes new interviews with the film’s crew and creative team. Shout Factory is also adding two more films to their catalog of Studio Ghibli Steelbook releases: 2010’s “The Secret World of Arrietty” and 2013’s “The Wind Rises.” Both films were previously released on standard Blu-ray by Shout Factory.

​The Warner Archive Collection has two new releases this week. First is the 1950 film “Chain Lightning,” directed by Stuart Heisler and starring Humphrey Bogart and Eleanor Parker. The other is the 1963 musical “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” directed by Norman Taurog and starring Elvis Presley, Gary Lockwood, and Joan O’Brien.

Finally, there are two big releases from the Criterion Collection this week. The first is the two-disc Blu-ray box set “The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs,” which features the complete works of prolific Black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs. It includes “Ethnic Notions” (1986), “Tongues Untied” (1989), “Affirmations” (1990), “Anthem” (1991), “Color Adjustment” (1992), “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)” (1993), and “Black Is…Black Ain’t” (1995). This features new high-definition digital masters of all films. It includes new and archival introductions and interviews, Riggs’s graduate thesis film, and a feature-length documentary on Riggs’s life and work.

This week’s other Criterion Collection release is “Visions of Eight,” an anthology collection of short films depicting the 1972 Olympics in Munich by eight filmmakers: Miloš Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Juri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, and Mai Zetterling. This is a new 4K digital restoration. It includes an audio commentary track, a new documentary on the film, and a short promotional film. This film was previously included in the “100 Years of Olympic Films” box set released by Criterion.

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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