From the Big Screen:
“Seventh Son” and “The Loft.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
Like so many greats of world cinema, Rainer Werner Fassbinder has been woefully neglected on American DVD and Blu-ray. Fortunately for us, the folks at The Criterion Collection are plugging gaps in the Fassbinder library with, most recently, releases of “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” (1974), “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant” (1972), “World on a Wire” (1973) and “Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder.” This week they’ve added “The Merchant of Four Seasons” (1971) to the list. Fassbinder kicked off a new phase of his young career when he made this despairing yet mordantly funny film in which he charts the decline of a self-destructive former policeman and war veteran struggling to make ends meet for his family by working as a fruit vendor. Fassbinder had skyrocketed to renown on the acclaim of a series of trenchant, quickly made early films, but for this one he took more time and forged a new style — featuring a more complexly woven script and narrative structure and more sophisticated use of the camera, and influenced by the work of his recently discovered idol, Douglas Sirk. The result is a meticulously made, unforgiving social satire. On DVD and Blu-ray, in a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
“Looney Tunes Musical Masterpieces” is a compilation of 18 classic theatrical shorts with two hours of hilarious musical numbers, featuring opera, piano concertos, jazz and much more. From the brilliant minds of maestro Carl Stalling and animation legends including Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones, comes 18 musical treasures. Join the likes of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and Porky Pig in classics including “Corny Concerto,” “What’s Opera, Doc?”, “Rabbit of Seville,” “Three Little Bops,” “I Love to Singa” and “Rhapsody in Rivets.” The complete list: “Corny Concerto,” “Page Miss Glory,” “Rabbit of Seville,” “Katnip Kollege,” “One Froggy Evening,” “High Note,” “Rhapsody Rabbit,” “Pigs in a Polka,” “What’s Opera, Doc?,” “Three Little Bops,” “Hillbilly Hare,” “Rhapsody in Rivets,” “Pizzicato Pussycat,” “Back Alley Oproar,” “Nelly’s Folly,” “Holiday Shoestrings,” “I Love to Singa,” “Lights Fantastic.” These shorts were previously released on “Looney Tunes Golden Collections.” $19.97 from Warner.