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Home Entertainment Guide: September 2021

10 NEW TO NETFLIX

"Cliffhanger"
"Cold Mountain"
"Do the Right Thing"
"The Golden Child"
"The Interview"
"Labyrinth"
"Mars Attacks!"
"Mystery Men"
"Once Upon a Time in America"
"School of Rock"

10 NEW TO HBO MAX

"Event Horizon"
"The Evil Dead"
"Final Destination"
"Friday"
"The Iron Giant"
"King Kong"
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
"News of the World"
"Ouija: Origin of Evil"
"Unforgiven"

7 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD

"Beasts of No Nation" (Criterion)

Our very own Robert Daniels wrote the essay, his first for Criterion, in this excellent edition that resulted from the partnership between Netflix and the most important physical media company in the world. Choosing this film is also indicative of Criterion's commitment to telling more than European and American stories as they chose this adaptation of the novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. It's the harrowing story of a young boy who becomes a child soldier in an African civil war, and it contains arguably the best performance from the great Idris Elba, robbed of an Oscar nomination. The release is a reminder of the importance of physical media as it includes excellent supplemental material, including a commentary by Fukunaga, that Netflix can't replicate.

Buy it here 

Special Features
2K digital master, approved by director Cary Joji Fukunaga, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary featuring Fukunaga and first assistant director Jon Mallard
New documentary on the development and making of the film, featuring interviews with Fukunaga; author Uzodinma Iweala; actors Idris Elba and Abraham Attah; and producers Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, and Riva Marker
New conversation between Fukunaga and film and television producer and cultural commentator Franklin Leonard
New interview with costume designer Jenny Eagan
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
English descriptive audio
PLUS: An essay by film critic Robert Daniels


"Dune" (Arrow)

People all over the world are counting the days until the release of Denis Villeneuve's "Dune," especially after the positive reviews out of Venice, including our very own Glenn Kenny. But most people know it's not the first adaptation of the 1965 Frank Herbert novel that started a franchise. That title belongs to David Lynch, who long ago wrote off any association with this epic blockbuster, even as fans have been reclaiming it over the years. Arrow has released a beautiful edition for those fans that includes a 4K presentation, a bound book (that includes an essay by RogerEbert.com contributor Charlie Brigden), a poster, lobby cards, and TONS of supplemental material. Finally, if you want to read more about "Dune," check out this essay about the history of the film by yours truly. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
NEW 4K RESTORATION FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by Andrew Nette, Christian McCrea and Charlie Brigden, an American Cinematographer interview with sound designer Alan Splet from 1984, excerpts from an interview with the director from Chris Rodley's book Lynch on Lynch and a Dune Terminology glossary from the original release
Large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dániel Taylor
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dániel Taylor
DISC ONE: 4K BLU-RAY
4K Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
Original uncompressed stereo audio and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Brand new audio commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon
Brand new audio commentary by Mike White of The Projection Booth podcast
Impressions of Dune, a 2003 documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with star Kyle MacLachlan, producer Raffaella de Laurentiis, cinematographer Freddie Francis, editor Antony Gibbs and many others
Designing Dune, a 2005 featurette looking back at the work of production designer Anthony Masters
Dune FX, a 2005 featurette exploring the special effects in the film
Dune Models & Miniatures, a 2005 featurette focusing on the model effects in the film
Dune Costumes, a 2005 featurette looking at the elaborate costume designs seen in the film
Eleven deleted scenes from the film, with a 2005 introduction by Raffaella de Laurentiis
Destination Dune, a 1983 featurette originally produced to promote the film at conventions and publicity events
Theatrical trailers and TV spots
Extensive image galleries, including hundreds of still photos
DISC TWO: BLU-RAY
The Sleeper Must Awaken: Making Dune, a brand new feature-length documentary by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures exploring the making of the film, featuring dozens of new and archive interviews with cast and crew
Beyond Imagination: Merchandising Dune, a brand new featurette exploring the merchandise created to promote the film, featuring toy collector/producer Brian Sillman (The Toys That Made Us)
Prophecy Fulfilled: Scoring Dune, a brand new featurette on the film's music score, featuring interviews with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro, and film music historian Tim Greiving
Brand new interview with make-up effects artist Giannetto de Rossi, filmed in 2020
Archive interview with production coordinator Golda Offenheim, filmed in 2003
Archive interview with star Paul Smith, filmed in 2008
Archive interview with make-up effects artist Christopher Tucker


"Friday the 13th: 8-Movie Collection"

Another holiday season, another release for fans of Jason Voorhees and the "Friday the 13th" franchise. Last year, Scream Factory released the ultimate edition, a massive box set for the most hardcore fan. This year's release from Paramount is for the more casual fans of the famous serial killer, collecting the first eight movies (stopping when Jason "takes" Manhattan) but eliminating the copious supplemental material (although digital copies are included). It's a bit overpriced for what you get, but it takes up way less shelf space and could be the right fit for those looking for a horror marathon this Halloween. At least till the next release.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Nothing


"Love & Basketball" (Criterion)

They simply don't make good romantic films as often as they used to. One of the more notable ones of the new millennium that hasn't found an audience that it deserves is Gina Prince-Bythewood's excellent 2000 romantic drama that features absolutely searing chemistry between Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. They play basketball players in Los Angeles working on their professional careers and each other. The stars are magnetic, but it's Prince-Bythewood's subtle direction and tender characterizations that really elevate this underrated film. The special features here are very impressive, including commentaries, deleted scenes, and two short films by the director from the '90s. Now, Criterion should put her equally great "Beyond the Lights" on their slate too. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Gina Prince-Bythewood, featuring additional footage cut from the original release and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Two audio commentaries from 2000: one featuring Prince-Bythewood and actor Sanaa Lathan and the other featuring Prince-Bythewood, editor Terilyn A. Shropshire, and composer Terence Blanchard
New making-of documentary featuring Prince-Bythewood, Lathan, actors Omar Epps and Alfre Woodard, producer and writer Reggie Rock Bythewood, and basketball adviser Colleen Matsuhara
Editing “Love & Basketball,” a new program featuring Prince-Bythewood and Shropshire
New conversation among Prince-Bythewood, WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes, and writer-producer-actor Lena Waithe
Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Prince-Bythewood and Shropshire
Audition tape excerpts
Two short films by Prince-Bythewood: her UCLA thesis film, Stitches (1991), and Progress (1997), with a new introduction by Prince-Bythewood
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by author Roxane Gay


"Mona Lisa" (Criterion)

I miss Bob Hoskins. The great British actor gave one of his best performances in this 1986 crime drama from the great Neil Jordan, a fantastic pick for the Criterion collection. Hoskins was nominated for an Oscar (and won the Golden Globe) for his performance as an ex-convict who connects with a high-class sex worker played by Cathy Tyson. Smart, gritty, and uncompromising, this is the kind of adult drama that rarely gets made anymore. And a new conversation between Jordan and Tyson is fascinating. They miss Bob too. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
2K digital restoration, supervised by director Neil Jordan and director of photography Roger Pratt, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary from 1997 featuring Jordan and actor Bob Hoskins
New conversation with Jordan and actor Cathy Tyson, moderated by critic Ryan Gilbey
Interviews from 2015 with screenwriter David Leland and producer Stephen Woolley
Interview with Jordan and Hoskins from the 1986 Cannes Film Festival
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by Gilbey


"Nashville"

This Robert Altman masterpiece is a film that I always associate with Roger Ebert. Not only was Ebert arguably the most vocal Altman supporter, a filmmaker who really shaped my love of films too, but his Great Movies piece on this particular film, just released in a newly restored edition by Paramount, is a beauty. I love the phrase "A tender poem to the wounded and the sad." What a perfect way to capture this moving, unforgettable ensemble piece that somehow weaves politics and the personal into the fabric of America. Paramount has been getting more and more attention for the care they've been treating their catalog releases. "Nashville" is probably a film that most cinephiles own (Criterion also has a great edition), but anything that brings this masterpiece to a wider audience is a good thing. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM
NEW 24 Tracks: Robert Altman's NASHVILLE
Audio Commentary by Robert Altman
Theatrical Trailers
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
Collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film's theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments


"A Place in the Sun"

George Stevens' 1951 adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy is a beauty, a stunning performance showcase for Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters. It's the story of a working-class man torn between two women, and it's one of the first films that I remember showing me the blinding star power of Ms. Taylor. Although her work wasn't one of the amazing NINE Oscar nominations for this film. It won an incredible six, including Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Director for Stevens. (It lost the big prize to "An American in Paris".) The new 4K restoration here by Paramount is lovely as is a new featurette in which Leonard Maltin unpacks the film. Maltin is always a joy to hear.

Buy it here 

Special Features
NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM
NEW Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on A PLACE IN THE SUN
Retrospective Cast and Crew Interviews
Commentary by George Stevens Jr and Ivan Moffat
George Stevens: Filmmakers Who Knew Him
Theatrical Trailers
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
Collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film's theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments

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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