Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 3/25/14

Martin Scorsese's THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is definitely the biggest new release on Blu ray and DVD today. Sadly, the terrifically excessive story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), is only packaged with one Special Feature: a 17 minute featurette entitled “The Wolf Pack.” I understand not including the 2-part, 4-hour cut that was mentioned in many interviews as it was a rough version never intended to be the final vision, but some deleted scenes from it would've been nice. Read my review from last December.

As WOLF was one of Scorsese's funniest films, it's fitting that his 1982 comic commentary on fame, THE KING OF COMEDY, is also hitting Blu ray today in a 30th Anniversary Edition (just two years late!). The film, starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, is one of my all-time favorites, so I'm glad to see that, unlike WOLF, is outfitted with such bonus material as nearly 40 minutes of Deleted and Extended Scenes, the 30 minute featurette “Tribeca Film Festival: A Conversation with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis,” the 19 minute mini-doc “A Shot at the Top: The Making of THE KING OF COMEDY,” and original Theatrical Trailer.

Another great 2013 film, Paolo Sorrentino's THE GREAT BEAUTY, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film earlier this month, also releases today courtesy of the Criterion Collection. As with all Deluxe Criterion Editions, there is a plethora of Extras including a 13 minute video interview with star Toni Servillo, a 38 minute conversation with Italian film scholar Antonio Monda and Director Sorrentino, a 12 minute interview with screenwriter Umberto Contarello, 6 minutes of Deleted Scenes, the Trailer, and an illustrated booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Lopate.

Criterion is also dropping two undeniable classics on the popular Blu ray format this week: Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor's 1925 Harold Lloyd comedy THE FRESHMAN, and Igmar Bergman's 1966 psychological drama PERSONA.

Also out today on Blu ray and DVD: Sini Anderson's documentary about riot grrl” Kathleen Hanna, THE PUNK SINGERKen Scott's lame Vince Vaughn comedy DELIVERY MAN; Larry Fessenden's horror flick BENEATH, Joe Massot's 1968 curiosity WONDERWALL (featuring music by George Harrison), Abel Ferrara's 1981 thriller MS. 45, and Asghar Farhadi's fascinating follow-up to his excellent 2011 Oscar winner A SEPARATION, THE PAST (my review).

More later...

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