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Home Entertainment Guide: May 2022

10 NEW TO HBO MAX

"Bottle Rocket"
"Chungking Express"
"Devil in a Blue Dress"
"The Fugitive"
"The Matrix Resurrections"
"Old"
"Red Beard"
"Sense and Sensibility"
"Where the Wild Things Are"
"Young Adult"

10 NEW TO NETFLIX

"Dirty Harry"
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall"
"How Do You Know"
"The Lake House"
"Menace II Society"
"Once Upon a Time in America"
"Road to Perdition"
"Tully"
"War of the Worlds"
"When Harry Met Sally"

10 NEW TO BLU-RAY

"The Batman"

The highest grossing film of the year so far is already available on HBO Max but it also just hit physical media too. I've said this a lot but no one compares to Warner Brothers when it comes to 4K for their new movies, and this film is a beauty, richer in its 4K iteration than on streaming. (It sounds better too). The physical release also includes special features that aren't available on HBO Max, including featurettes about the making of Matt Reeves' film and deleted scenes. "The Batman" proved divisive in theaters, but I'm a big fan of Reeves' tactile style, Greig Fraser's daring cinematography, Michael Giacchino's gorgeous score, and the film's entire ensemble. Blockbusters feel more disposable than ever, but I have a feeling this one sustains.

Buy it here 

Special Features
DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
Vengeance In The Making
Vengeance Meets Justice
The Batman: Genesis
Becoming Catwoman
Looking for Vengeance
Anatomy of The Car Chase
Anatomy of The Wingsuit
A Transformation: The Penguin
The Batmobile
Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary


"Belle"

GKIDS is the best. The company that works with Shout Factory to release the best Asian animated films on Blu-ray recently dropped the latest from the brilliant Mamoru Hosoda, the director of the acclaimed "Mirai." Yes, it's another tale inspired by the classic "Beauty and the Beast," but this one incorporates that fable's themes into a study of how technology allows people to hide behind online personas. It's a smart film that features some of Hosoda's most striking visuals. Note: It won the Audience Award at the 2021 Chicago Critics Film Festival, beating out "The Power of the Dog," "The Lost Daughter," and "Red Rocket."

Buy it here 

Special Features
ORIGINAL JAPANESE AND ENGLISH AUDIO TRACKS
A Conversation with Director Mamoru Hosoda
The Making of Belle - Featurette
The Music of Belle - Featurette
Hosoda Draws Belle - Featurette
Finding The Voices of Belle - Featurette
Scene Breakdowns


"Chan is Missing" (Criterion)

It's been four decades since Wayne Wang dropped his indie debut on the world, announcing a major new voice in arthouse cinema. The director told a story about Chinese life in the United States in a way that film hadn't really seen before, playing with noir tropes with a playful sense of humor and a culturally resonant voice. Wood Moy and Marc Hayashi star in a film about two people searching for a man named Chan, but the plot here is really just an excuse for an examination of the Chinese-American community in the early '80s. History has come to recognize "Chan is Missing" as a major chapter in the industry's fight for representation, so it's great to see it included in the Criterion Collection.

Buy it here 

Special Features
High-definition digital master, approved by director Wayne Wang, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Is Chan Still Missing?, a making-of documentary directed by Debbie Lum
New conversations between Wang and critic Hua Hsu and Wang and filmmaker Ang Lee
Conversation between Wang and film programmer Dennis Lim
Trailer
New English subtitle translation and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by critic Oliver Wang


"Cursed"

The title could really refer to the production of Wes Craven's 2005 werewolf film, a movie so troubled behind the scenes that it was basically shot four times and taken away from the horror master. It's a true shame that "Cursed" got so messed up because there are elements here that work, including, of course, Craven's typical craftsmanship, although even that gets buried in some of the goofy editing, especially in the final act. Patrick Lussier himself, the editor who took over directing the movie and worked on it for over a year, gives a fantastic interview on the new Shout Factory collector's edition that gets into the traumatic production. Some of the early, scrapped footage still exists so maybe someday we could #ReleasetheCravenCut.

Buy it here 

Special Features
EXCLUSIVE NEW 4K RESTORATION FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
NEW A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing – An Interview With Actor Derek Mears
NEW A Movie That Lives Up To Its Title – An Interview With Editor Patrick Lussier
Behind The Fangs: The Making Of CURSED
The CURSED Effects
Becoming A Werewolf
Creature Editing 101
Theatrical Trailer


"Double Indemnity" (Criterion)

Billy Wilder's 1944 classic is the gateway for film noir, the work to show someone just getting started with the genre. It's the truly rare perfect film, a movie dripping with just the right amount of style, and one that would be copied over and over again to this day. Based on James M. Cain's 1943 novel, it stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman and Barbara Stanwyck as the housewife who gets him into a sticky situation. Criterion has included the film in its first wave of 4K releases and it's a beauty of an edition, including not just a new transfer but a new interview and new conversation, along with a classic commentary track by Richard Schickel. The radio adaptations are pretty cool too.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and two Blu-rays with the film and special features
Audio commentary featuring film critic Richard Schickel
New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, editor of Billy Wilder on Assignment
New conversation between film historians Eddie Muller and Imogen Sara Smith
Billy, How Did You Do It?, a 1992 film by Volker Schlöndorff and Gisela Grischow featuring interviews with director Billy Wilder
Shadows of Suspense, a 2006 documentary on the making of Double Indemnity
Radio adaptations from 1945 and 1950
Trailer


"A Fistful of Dollars" & "For a Few Dollars More" (4K)

Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood changed movie history in the mid-'60s with a series of Spaghetti Westerns that redefined the style of the genre. Filmed for almost nothing (Eastwood reportedly made only $15k), "A Fistful of Dollars" really launched the genre, and Kino Lorber has now given it a gorgeous 4K treatment, the result of shot-by-shot color grading. They've done the same for the 1965 follow-up, "For a Few Dollars More," having already released "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Known as the "Dollars Trilogy" or "The Man with No Name Trilogy," now you can have all three in a visual quality that fans could have never imagined almost six decades ago. 

Buy it here 

"Fistful" Special Features
Over 24 hours of extensive shot-by-shot color grading of the logarithmic restored 4K files provided by L'Immagine Ritrovata
Audio Commentary by Novelist and Critic Tim Lucas
Audio Commentary by Noted Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
Interview with Actress Marianne Koch
The Christopher Frayling Archives: A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
A New Kind of Hero
A Few Weeks in Spain: Clint Eastwood on the Experience of Making the Film
Tre Voci: Three Friends Remember Sergio Leone
Not Ready for Primetime: Renowned Filmmaker Monte Hellman Discusses the Television Broadcast of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
The Network Prologue with Harry Dean Stanton
Location Comparisons: Then to Now
TRAILERS FROM HELL with John Badham
A FISTFUL in Pictures Image Gallery
Promoting A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS Image Gallery
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS On the Set Image Gallery
Archival Outtakes
Radio Spots
Double Bill Trailer
Theatrical Trailer

"Few Dollars" Special Features
The Complete Restored Edit of FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE with Extensive Shot-by-Shot Color Grading
Audio Commentary by Novelist and Critic Tim Lucas
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
On location in Almería and Granada with Filmmaker Alex Cox
The Christopher Frayling Archives: FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE
A New Standard: Frayling on FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE
Back for More: Clint Eastwood Remembers FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE
Tre Voci: Three Friends Remember Sergio Leone
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE: The Original American Release Version Featurette
Location Comparisons
TRAILERS FROM HELL with Ernest Dickerson
Promoting FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE Image Gallery
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE On the Set Image Gallery
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE Color Stills Gallery
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE Pictures Gallery
Radio Spots
Double Bill Trailer
Two Theatrical Trailers (Newly Encoded)
NEW Correctly Synched 2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround Audio


"Licorice Pizza"

One of the best films of 2021, Paul Thomas Anderson's coming-of-age dramedy is also one of the last awards season flicks to hit the home market. And the release feels a bit like a placeholder with no commentary or deleted scenes. Does this mean a special edition is down the road? Probably. Until then, just pick it up for the movie itself, a lovingly made character study of two people connected by a series of adventures in '70s Los Angeles. Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are phenomenal in a movie that provoked some of the most interesting conversations about filmmaking in the last six months. Love it or hate it, the movie got people talking. I wish more films did.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Camera Tests – Pre-production camera tests and unused takes
The Handman Scene – A deleted scene from the film
Fat Bernie's Commercial – An in-universe commercial for Fat Bernie's as shot by Gary Valentine
Behind the Scenes – A glimpse behind the scenes of Licorice Pizza through a collection on-set photos and videos


"Mr. Klein" (Criterion)

Joseph Losey directed this fascinating period drama in the mid-'70s, starring the timeless Alain Delon in the title role. A Kafkaesque study of identity and class, it's the tale of a Parisian art dealer profiting off the Holocaust when he is mistaken for a Jewish man with the same name. Unable to prove he's not the Klein being sought by the Nazis, Delon's character embarks on a doomed journey that won the film the big prize at the Cesar Awards that year. An unexpected choice for Criterion's 4K treatment, it's a captivating film, one that's easy to get lost in, especially with a restoration this detailed. There's also a powerful documentary on the disc about the real round-up of Jewish people in France that the movie uses as a climax.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Interviews with critic Michel Ciment and editor Henri Lanoë
Interviews from 1976 with director Joseph Losey and actor Alain Delon
Story of a Day, a 1986 documentary on the real-life Vél d’Hiv Roundup, a central historical element of Mr. Klein
Trailer
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau


"Turning Red"

Disney is going through something weird with their little brother Pixar, pushing most of their new films off to Disney+ instead of theatrical. That's how most people watched the latest from the animation giants, Domee Shi's clever, sweet coming-of-age comedy about a girl who becomes a giant red panda. The first Pixar film directed solo by a woman, "Turning Red" offers a new voice in the animation world, reaching an audience that hasn't previously seen themselves in children's entertainment. Some of the allegory feels a bit too direct but this is an incredibly likable, smart movie, and representation matters.

Buy it here 

Special Features
DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
Audio Commentary – View the film with audio commentary by director Domee Shi, producer Lindsey Collins, and director of photography Mahyar Abousaeedi.
Life of a Shot – Domee Shi and members of the crew describe the many-layered process and artistry involved in creating the hilarious Red Peony scene – from observing red pandas in a zoo to creating a storyboard to finalizing the animation and background lighting.
Build Your Own Boy Band – Step backstage to learn how 4*TOWN came to animated life. From creating each band member's persona to writing and producing the songs to fine-tuning the details of their stadium performance, the filmmakers reveal how they designed the ultimate boy band.
Ani-Mei-Tion – Because Mei's heightened emotionality is central to the story, it was important that her look and movement reflect that energy. Learn how Domee Shi led the animation team to incorporate hints of expressive anime to create Mei's lovable, dynamic character.
Deleted Scenes
Easter Egg – Robutton Deleted Scene – An alternate ending in which Mei, finding herself sitting next to her 4*TOWN dream-idol Robaire on a flight to California, has some feelings.


"Wild Things"

A classic of the "could they make that today" genre gets a lavish 4K treatment from the Blu-ray Gods over at Arrow, who restored both the original and unrated cuts from the camera negatives. How's the film hold up? Pretty great actually. Often dismissed as lurid trash, the film's critics miss the craft of John McNaughton's direction as well as the playful performances from the whole cast, especially Kevin Bacon and Bill Murray. "Wild Things" came around after a wave of films inspired by the success of "Basic Instinct" had already crested and crashed, proving there was still life in making sexy thrillers for adults. One wishes that were still true in 2022.

Buy it here 

Special Features
NEW 4K RESTORATIONS of both the Original Theatrical Version and the Unrated Edition from the original camera negatives by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Original uncompressed stereo audio and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Exclusive new audio commentary by director John McNaughton and producer Steven A. Jones
Commentary by director John McNaughton, cinematographer Jeffrey Kimball, producers Steven A. Jones and Rodney Liber, editor Elena Maganini and score composer George S. Clinton
Exclusive new interview with John McNaughton
Exclusive new interview with Denise Richards
Making of documentary
An Understanding Lawyer outtakes
Trailer
Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson and Sean Hogan
Double-sided fold-out poster
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sam Hadley

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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