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OnVideo's Guide to Blu-ray Releases

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    April 9
  • Gate of Hell

    (1953 -- Japan) A winner of Academy Awards for best foreign-language film and best costume design, "Gate of Hell" is a visually sumptuous, psychologically penetrating work from Teinosuke Kinugasa. In the midst of epic, violent intrigue in 12-century Japan, an imperial warrior falls for a lady-in-waiting; even after he discovers she is married, he goes to extreme lengths to win her love. Kinugasa's film is an unforgettable, tragic story of obsession and unrequited passion that was an early triumph of color cinematography in Japan. In Japanese with English subtitles. New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Booklet featuring an essay by film historian Stephen Prince. (The Criterion Collection).
  • Naked Lunch

    (1991) In this adaptation of William S. Burroughs's hallucinatory, once-thought unfilmable novel "Naked Lunch," directed by David Cronenberg, a part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict named Bill Lee (Peter Weller) plunges into the nightmarish Interzone, a netherworld of sinister cabals and giant talking bugs. Alternately humorous and grotesque -- ­and always surreal -- ­the film mingles aspects of Burroughs's novel with incidents from the writer's own life, resulting in an evocative paranoid fantasy and a self-reflexive investigation into the mysteries of the creative process. High-definition digital transfer, approved by director David Cronenberg, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Extras: Commentary featuring Cronenberg and actor Peter Weller; "Naked Making Lunch," a 1992 television documentary by Chris Rodley about the making of the film; special effects gallery, featuring artwork and photos alongside an essay by Cinefex magazine editor Jody Duncan; collection of original marketing materials; audio recording of William S. Burroughs reading from the novel; gallery of photos taken by poet Allen Ginsberg of Burroughs; booklet featuring reprinted pieces by film critic Janet Maslin, director Chris Rodley, critic and novelist Gary Indiana, and Burroughs. (The Criterion Collection).


    April 16
  • Police Story/Police Story II

    (1985/1988) A double feature with the two films that made Jackie Chan a household name among action film lovers in the United States (he was already directing and starring in martial arts films in China). Chan's combination of humor and action was something new in the martial arts world and it brought him worldwide accolades. Both films co-star Maggie Cheung. $19.97. A DVD set is also available for $12.99. Extras: Outtakes, trailers. (Shout! Factory).
  • Repo Man

    (1984) A quintessential cult film of the 1980s, Alex Cox's singular sci-fi comedy stars the always captivating Harry Dean Stanton as a weathered repo man in desolate downtown Los Angeles, and Emilio Estevez as the nihilistic middle-class punk he takes under his wing. The job becomes more than either of them bargained for when they get involved in reclaiming a mysterious -- ­and otherworldly -- ­Chevy Malibu with a hefty reward attached to it. Featuring the ultimate early-eighties L.A. punk soundtrack, this grungily hilarious odyssey is a politically trenchant take on President Reagan's domestic and foreign policy. New high-definition digital restoration, approved by director Alex Cox, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Commentary featuring Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, casting director Victoria Thomas, and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora; interviews with Cox, Richardson, and Zamora, producers Peter McCarthy and Jonathan Wacks, actors Olivia Barash, Dick Rude, Miguel Sandoval, and Harry Dean Stanton, musicians Keith Morris and Iggy Pop, and Sam Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb; deleted scenes; the complete "cleaned-up" television version of the film, prepared by Cox; trailers; booklet featuring an essay by critic Sam McPheeters, an illustrated production history by Cox, with his original comic and film proposal, and a 1987 interview with real-life repo man Mark Lewis. (The Criterion Collection).

    April 23
  • Pierre Etaix

    A French comedy master whose films went unseen for decades as a result of legal tangles, director-actor Pierre Etaix is a treasure the cinematic world has rediscovered and taken up with relish. His work can be placed in the spectrum of classic physical comedy with that of Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis, but it also stands alone. These films, influenced by Etaix's experiences as a circus acrobat and clown and by the silent film comedies he adored, are elegantly deadpan, but as an on-screen presence, Etaix radiates warmth. This collection includes all of his films, including five features, "The Suitor" (1962), "Yoyo" (1965)," As Long as You've Got Your Health" (1966), "Le grand amour" (1969), and "Land of Milk and Honey" (1971 -- )­most of them collaborations with the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere -- ­and three shorts, "Rupture" (1961), the Oscar-winning "Happy Anniversary" (1962), and "Feeling Good" (1966). New digital restorations of all five features and three short films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks. Two-disc Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with director Pierre Etaix; new video introductions by Etaix; "Pierre Etaix, un destin anime" (2010), a portrait of the life and work of the director by his wife, Odile Etaix; booklet featuring an essay by critic David Cairns. (The Criterion Collection).
  • Richard III

    (1955) With "Richard III," director, producer, and star Laurence Olivier brings Shakespeare's masterpiece of Machiavellian villainy to mesmerizing cinematic life. Olivier is diabolically captivating as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who, through a set of murderous machinations, steals the crown from his brother Edward. The supporting cast -- ­including Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud and Claire Bloom -- ­is just as impressive. Filmed in VistaVision and Technicolor. New high-definition digital master of the Film Foundation's 2012 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Commentary by playwright and stage director Russell Lees and John Wilders, former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company; interview with actor Laurence Olivier from a 1966 episode of the BBC series "Great Acting," hosted by theater critic Kenneth Tynan; gallery of behind-the-scenes and production stills and posters, accompanied by excerpts from Olivier's autobiography, "On Acting"; 12-minute television trailer featuring footage of Olivier, producer Alexander Korda, and other cast and crew from the film; booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin. (The Criterion Collection).

    April 30
  • Funny Girl

    (1968) Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon. Extras: Two vintage featurettes. (Sony).
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation -- The Third Season

    (1989-90) Six-disc set with 26 episodes, $130.00. Extras: "Inside the Writer's Room" discussion on the creation of the show's acclaimed third season by some of today's most visionary science fiction television writers, moderated by Seth MacFarlane; new multi-part documentary, "Resistance Is Futile -- Assimilating Star Trek: The Next Generation"; gag reel; commentary on select episodes. (CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount).
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation -- The Best of Both Worlds

    (1990) Seamlessly edited, one-part, feature length presentation of the classic two-part cliffhanger.Extras: "Regeneration: Engaging the Borg" in-depth exploration into the creation of The Next Generation's most iconic villains, gag reel, commentary. (CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount).
  • Strictly Ballroom

    (1992) Dir.: Baz Luhrmann; Gia Carides, Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter. Extras: "Strictly Ballroom: From Stage to Screen" featurette, "Samba to Slow Fox Dance" featurette, deleted scene, design gallery with narration, commentary with director Baz Luhrmann, production designer Catherine Martin and choreographer John "Cha Cha" O'Connell. (Lionsgate).
  • The Vampire Lovers

    (1970) Ingrid Pitt, George Cole, Kate O'Mara, Peter Cushing. A female vampire with lesbian tendencies ravages the young girls and townsfolk of a peaceful hamlet in 18th century Europe. An erotic Hammer Films chiller. Extras: Commentary with director Roy Ward Baker, writer Tudor Gates and star Ingrid Pitt; excerpts from the novella "Carmilla" that inspired the film, read by Pitt; original theatrical trailer; new interview with actress Madeline Smith (Emma); new interviews with Hammer Films scholars ; original radio spot. (Scream Factory/Shout! Factory).


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May 4, 2013