Prepare to be shocked, challenged, and delighted by the Criterion Collection’s February releases. First, take two wonderfully bizarre trips to Italy: a vacation in crumbling Venice with one of the company's most requested titles, Nicolas Roeg's occult masterpiece "Don't Look Now," starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie and named the greatest British film ever made in a recent Time Out poll; and a voyage back in time to ancient Rome with Federico Fellini's disturbing yet strangely beautiful, Oscar-nominated "Fellini Satyricon." Then, take a journey of the mind with Jean-Luc Godard's brilliant dissection of love and freedom "Every Man for Himself," starring Isabelle Huppert; picnic in beautiful rural France with the great Jean Renoir's gossamer "A Day in the Country"; and join a group of brave rabbits as they seek safety in the animated classic "Watership Down." Plus, a new Blu-ray of Yasujiro Ozu's exquisite final film, "An Autumn Afternoon."
From the Big Screen:
"22 Jump Street," "The Wind Rises," "Sin City 2," "Into the Storm," "If I Stay" and "And So It Goes." For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week's Highlights:
Opposites attract with magnetic force in "It Happened One Night" (1934), the romantic road-trip delight from Frank Capra about a spoiled runaway socialite (Claudette Colbert) and a roguish man-of-the-people reporter (Clark Gable) who is determined to get the scoop on her scandalous disappearance. The first film to accomplish the very rare feat of sweeping all five major Oscar categories (best picture, best actor, best actress, best director, and best screenplay), "It Happened One Night" is among the most gracefully constructed and edited films of the early sound era, packed with clever situations and gags that have entered the Hollywood comedy pantheon. Featuring two actors at the top of their game, sparking with a chemistry that has never been bettered, this is the birth of the American screwball comedy. In a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … For Hayao Miyazaki fans, Disney and Studio Ghibli have released two of the master's best outings in Blu-ray: "Kiki's Delivery Service" (1989), presented in Japanese and English, with an English dub voice cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo, Matthew Lawrence, Debbie Reynolds … and "Princess Mononoke"
From TV to DVD:
"Breaking Amish: Season 2" (2014) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes of TLC's series about a group of young Amish and Mennonites who risk it all to experience life outside of their simple farm community. Season 2 follows the group to Florida as they reunite in hopes of making a fresh start after discovering a world more shocking and difficult than they had ever expected. After wave after wave of culture shock, unforeseen challenges, and unexpected discoveries make their new life anything but easy — and with their old life haunting them wherever they go — they wonder if they'll ever be able to create the lives they've always dreamed of. $29.93 from Cinedigm … "Penance" (2012 — Japan) is a five-part miniseries based on the best-selling novel "Shokuzai" by Kanae Minato. "Penance" begins with a tragic crime from 15 years in the past: In a small town, a young elementary school girl named Emili has been abducted and killed by a stranger. Four girls who had been playing with Emili at the time are the first to discover her body — with the abductor never being found and the crime going unsolved. Emili's distressed mother Asako condemns the four girls, all of whom claim not to remember anything about the stranger. Crazed with grief, the mother demands each school girl to find the killer, or pay the penance. Deeply affected by Asako's condemnation, the four girls become adults burdened with the curse of "penance," which eventually triggers a chain of tragic events. The latest work by Japanese cult and horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa ("Tokyo Sonata," "Doppelganger," "Pulse," "The Cure"). On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Doppelganger Releasing … "Wolfblood Season 2" (2013) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes of the British teen series about a family of werewolves. $14.93 from Cinedigm.