From the Big Screen:
“Godzilla,” Think Like a Man Too” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
“Eraserhead”: When I first saw “Eraserhead” back in 1977 during the now-defunct Filmex Los Angeles film festival, high above Beverly Hills in the Greystone Mansion (which, at the time, housed the American Film Institute), I was astounded and shocked at what unfurled before my eyeballs. Don’t forget, this was a time in film history when many, many films were released with little or no fanfare; there was no Entertainment Tonight, no TMZ, no Indiewire, no blogging and Internet universe to leave no stone unturned as to the production, filming and gossip surrounding virtually every film that gets made today. It was a time when you could be truly surprised at the cinema, a time when an “El Topo” or an “Eraserhead” could burst upon the scene and change everything that came after it. Lynch’s debut feature — a work of extraordinary craft and beauty — became a lasting cult sensation. Its story — with undercurrents of sex, industrial living and surrealism, shot with mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes, with bizarre set designs by Jack Fisk and a unique industrial sound design — takes place in a nightmare world and revolves around Henry Spencer (Jack Nance in an unforgettably enigmatic performance), an expressionless man who must marry his girlfriend, Mary X, when she gives birth to an inhuman child —- a swaddled bundle with a snakelike face — and live with her in his small apartment. After Mary leaves him and the child, Spencer begins having visions, including those of a planet with a man pulling levers and some involving the famous singing and dancing Lady in the Radiator. It’s all very mind-blowing and fantastical, a very, very dark dream of life. The folks at The Criterion Collection have put out a director-approved DVD and Blu-ray special editions of the film with a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: include “Eraserhead Stories,” a 2001 documentary by David Lynch on the making of the film; new high-definition restorations of six short films by Lynch: “Six Figures Getting Sick” (1966), “The Alphabet” (1968), “The Grandmother” (1970), “The Amputee, Part 1 and Part 2” (1974), and “Premonitions Following an Evil Deed” (1996), all with video introductions by Lynch; new and archival interviews with cast and crew; trailer. Fascinating, freaky stuff.
“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Black Maria Limited Edition” (1974): Tobe Hooper’s horror-thriller gets a 40th anniversary makeover with an all-new 4K digital transfer and a newly created 7.1 surround sound mix (supervised by Hooper). The release marks the only transfer of the film to go back to the original 16mm A/B rolls, the actual film that rolled through the cameras. The Limited Deluxe “Black Maria” Edition will be released at retail on October 14 but will be available exclusively for $99.98 at www.gorgon-video.com for 30 days beginning September 16. Fans of the film will recognize the unique packaging as a replica of the iconic “Black Maria” cattle truck that comes to Sally Hardesty’s rescue when she’s being pursued by Leatherface, a fitting nod to the legions of “TCSM” enthusiasts who were instrumental in keeping the film at the forefront of the genre for the past 40 years and a true collectible display piece. This four-disc DVD/Blu-ray combo pack will include such extras as a Leatherface apron, theatrical mini-poster, five audio options, feature commentaries with the filmmakers and cast, several making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes, bloopers, trailers and more. A Collector’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo and single DVD and Blu-ray will also be available on September 16. From Dark Sky Films.
“Ghostbusters Anniversary Editions”: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Ghostbusters” (1984) and the 25th anniversary of “Ghostbusters II” (1989), Sony will release 4K remastered versions of both films on Blu-ray (with the sequel making its Blu-ray debut) as well as a two-disc anniversary edition Blu-ray Digibook that includes both films as well as a Limited Edition gift set that includes both films, an exclusive collectible Slimer figurine and the two-disc Digibook. Both films were directed by Ivan Reitman and starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson. From Sony.
From TV to DVD:
“About a Boy: Season One” (2013) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Universal …
“Arrow: The Complete Second Season” (2013) includes all 23 episodes plus a Season One recap. Based on the DC Comics “Green Arrow” superhero comic book series. Billionaire archery enthusiast Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns for another season in Starling City. Sworn to fight crime and corruption in his city, Oliver (aka the Arrow) — with the help of the tech-savvy Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and his iron-fisted right hand, John Diggle (David Ramsey), and the occasional, reluctant assistance of former police detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) — has been waging a one-man war on crime. But in all wars, there are casualties. To honor his fallen friend, Tommy Merlyn, and protect the people he loves, Oliver must rededicate himself to his mission and be more than just a vigilante. He must become a beacon of hope for the city’s most vulnerable…and a weapon of justice against those who prey upon them. Formats: Five-disc DVD: $59.98, nine-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $69.97. From Warner … “Awkward Season Three” (2013) is a four-disc set with 20 episodes of the MTV series, $26.99 from MTV/Paramount … “Bones Season Nine” (2013-14) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes, $39.98 from Fox … “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – The Fourteenth Season” (2013-14) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $69.99 from CBS/Paramount … In “DCI Banks: Season Two” (2014), Stephen Tompkinson returns as the tenacious and stubborn Chief Inspector Alan Banks in three more chilling crime stories. Two-disc set, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … In “Death in Paradise: Season Two” (2014), Ben Miller returns as Detective Richard Poole, solving more mysterious murders and still stuck in paradise on the stunning Caribbean island of Saint-Marie. Two-disc set, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … In “Father Brown: Season One” (2013), “Harry Potter’s” Mark Williams plays GK Chesterton’s ecclesiastical sleuth in the 10-episode first season of this crime drama. Four-disc set, $39.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … “Grimm: Season Three” (2013-14) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes. Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt is back — but not exactly himself — as “Grimm” returns for another 22 hair-raising episodes. With his abilities manifesting in new and unusual ways, Nick is stronger than ever with his partner, Hank, and reunited love, Juliette, by his side as he tracks down Wesen criminals with renewed determination. But things are changing all around him. As Captain Renard embroils himself with the birth of a royal child and Monroe and Rosalee’s relationship intensifies, the ties between humans and the Wesen world will become even more irrevocably intertwined. DVD: $59.98, Blu-ray Disc: $69.98 from Universal … “Hannibal: Season Two” (2014) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes. Based on the characters and elements appearing in the novel “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris, “Hannibal” stars Mads Mikkelsen as the iconic Hannibal Lecter, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne. The second season continues with Will Graham (Dancy) locked in a mental asylum, accused of Hannibal Lecter’s (Mikkelsen) crimes. Jack Crawford (Fishburne) is dealing with his own feelings about Will, and whether his protege is in fact a cold-blooded killer. With Will locked up, Hannibal becomes Jack’s new consultant on cases. The deadly dance between these characters continues to turn in startling and unexpected ways. Formats: DVD: 39.97, Blu-ray: $39.98 from Lionsgate … “Hawaii Five-O (2010) – The Fourth Season” (2013-14) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $64.99. The Hawaii Five-O team fights to keep paradise safe from the most dangerous criminals on the islands. This season, Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan) pursue an expert hacker and are taken hostage by an escaped convict who convinces them of his innocence while the danger of Kono’s (Grace Park) relationship with the son of a Yakuza boss escalates. Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) is investigated by Internal Affairs about his ties to the head of a drug cartel, and Catherine (Michelle Borth) gains a spot on the team but must repay a debt of honor in Afghanistan. From CBS/Paramount … “Petals on the Wind” (2014) stars Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn, Rose McIver and Wyatt Nash in this sequel to V.C. Andrews’s best-selling novel and Lifetime’s hit movie “Flowers in the Attic.” Set 15 years in the future from the end of the previous film, the second installment shadows the Dollanganger children as they attempt to find their way in the world following their escape after years of imprisonment. From Lionsgate … Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp return in “Scott & Bailey: Season Two” (2014), Sally Wainwright’s investigative drama that explores the personal and professional lives of two female detectives. Two-disc set, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … “South Park: The Complete 17th Season” (2013) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes. DVD: $29.99, Blu-ray Disc: $39.99 from Paramount … “Spartacus: The Complete Series” (2013) is a 13-disc set with all 39 episodes. DVD: $199.99, Blu-ray Disc: $149.99. A limited edition Blu-ray set packaged with a Spartacus collector’s figurine will also be available for $199.99. From Anchor Bay.