Tuesday, June 18, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 6/29/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This week, we have some exciting Blu-ray and 4K upgrades, plus some hidden gems from fan-favorite boutique labels.​

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


Easily the week’s biggest release is the 4K UHD upgrade of the 1971 musical “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, this film is directed by Mel Stuart and stars Gene Wilder in his iconic turn as the titular candy-maker. This includes both a 4K and a standard Blu-ray disc and features extras from the previous Blu-ray releases.

From Arrow Video, we have the 1965 western “Major Dundee,” directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, James Coburn, and Michael Anderson Jr. This is a two-disc limited edition Blu-ray with deluxe packaging. It features two cuts of the film: the 136-minute extended cut (from a 4K scan) and the 122-minute theatrical cut. It includes three audio commentary tracks, two score options for the extended cut, a feature-length making-of documentary, featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, a fold-out poster, and a 60-page booklet.

​From Fun City Editions comes the 1985 film “Walking the Edge,” directed by Norbert Meisel and starring Robert Forster, Nancy Kwan, and Joe Spinell. This features a new 4K restoration from the 35mm original camera negative. It includes a 10-page booklet featuring an essay on Forster, two audio commentary tracks, an interview with composer Jay Chattaway, and more.

​There are a couple of big releases from the Criterion Collection this week. First, we have the 2011 film “Pariah,” directed by Dee Rees and starring Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, and Rob Morgan. This features a 2K digital transfer. It includes a new conversation between Rees and filmmaker and professor Michelle Parkerson, a recent cast reunion, a new program on the making of the film, and a new interview with film scholar Kara Keeling.

Also, from Criterion, we have a Blu-ray upgrade of the 1953 film “Pickup on South Street,” directed by Samuel Fuller and starring Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, and Thelma Ritter. This includes a new 4K digital restoration. It also features a new interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith, an archival interview with Fuller, and the 1982 French television program “Cinéma cinémas” in which Fuller discusses the making of the film.

Paramount is releasing a few war films on Blu-ray. The first is the 1965 film “In Harm’s Way,” directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, and Paula Prentiss. The other is the 1999 film “The General’s Daughter,” directed by Simon West and starring John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell, and Timothy Hutton.

Shout Factory has a few unique releases this week. The first is a new release: the 2020 David Bowie biopic “Stardust.” Directed by Gabriel Range, this stars Johnny Flynn, Jena Malone, Marc Maron, and Anthony Flanagan. They are also putting out a film starring David Bowie, the 1978 film “Just a Gigolo.” Directed by David Hemmings, this stars Bowie and Hemmings alongside Kim Novak and Marlene Dietrich. It includes a 30-page booklet, an audio commentary track, and a making-of featurette.

Shout Factory is also releasing a Steelbook upgrade for their Blu-ray release of “Battle Beyond the Stars.” From 1980, this film is directed by Jimmy T. Murakami, written by John Sayles, and stars Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, George Peppard, John Saxon, Sybil Danning, and Darlanne Fluegel. This features a new 2K transfer along with the extras from the previous Blu-ray release. 

From the Warner Archive Collection, we have the 1943 biopic “Madame Curie.” Directed by Meryn LeRoy, this film stars Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Henry Travers, and Robert Walker.

Zeitgeist Films is releasing Todd Haynes’s feature film debut, “Poison,” on Blu-ray. From 1991, this film stars Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Gayle Norman, Scott Renderer, and James Lyons.

From Scorpion Releasing (via Kino Lorber) comes the 1977 made-for-TV movie “Night Terror.” Directed by E.W. Swackhamer, this stars Valerie Harper, Richard Romanus, and Nicholas Pryor. It includes an audio commentary track with critic Amanda Reyes.

Kino Lorber is releasing a Blu-ray of the 2006 film “Bonneville.” Directed by Christopher N. Rowley, this film stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen, Christine Baranski, Victor Rasuk, and Tom Skerritt.

Finally, Kino Lorber is releasing nine(!) films starring the iconic Mae West on Blu-ray this week: “Night After Night” (1932), “She Done Him Wrong” (1933), “I’m No Angel” (1933), “Belle of the Nineties” (1934), “Goin’ to Town” (1935), “Klondike Annie” (1936), “Go West Young Man” (1936), “Every Day’s a Holiday” (1937), and “My Little Chickadee” (1940).

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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