From the Big Screen:
“Captain Phillips”, “Blue Jasmine,” “In a World …” “Instructions Not Included” and “Machete Kills.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
Highlight of the week is The Criterion Collection release of “La Vie de Boheme”
(1992), a deadpan tragicomedy about a group of impoverished, outcast artists living the bohemian life in Paris that is among the most beguiling films by Finnish master Aki Kaurismaki (“Le Havre”). Based on stories from Henri Murger’s influential mid 19th-century book “Scenes de la vie de boheme (the basis for the opera “La boheme”), the film features a marvelous trio of Kaurismaki regulars, Andre Wilms, Matti Pellonpaa and Karl Vaananen, as a poet, painter, and composer who scrape by together, sharing in life’s daily absurdities. Gorgeously shot in black and white, “La vie de boheme” is a vibrantly scrappy rendition of a beloved tale. In a new, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. In a Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition.
There’s four fine Blu-ray debuts this week: “The Postman Always Rings Twice”
(1981), directed by Bob Rafelson and starring Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos, Michael Lerner, John P. Ryan and Anjelica Huston. Warner finally does justice to the steamy remake of the 1946 Tay Garnett crime drama (starring Lana Turner and John Garfield) with this lavish remastering of Rafelson’s film (with his approval). Apparently, the 1997 DVD release was in the wrong aspect ratio in a pan-and-scan format and, according to Rafelson, contained “a host of other errors.” Warner has made it good this time, adding commentary by Rafelson, Nicholson and screenwriter David Mamet. The film is justly notorious for its hot kitchen table sex scene between Lange and Nicholson … “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” (2010) is a “Shockumentary” highlighting the horrifying history of everybody’s bad dreamer, Freddy Krueger, featuring exclusive interviews with over 100 key cast and crew from every “Nightmare,” including creator Wes Craven and Robert Englund. Extras include extended interviews, “First Look: Heather Langenkamp’s I Am Nancy,” “For the Love of the Glove,” “Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans,” “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Return to Elm Street,” “Freddy vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd,” “Expanding the Video Game Universe: Freddy in Comic Books and Novels,” “The Music of the Nightmare: Conversations With Composers and Songwriters,” “Elm Street’s Poster Boy: The Art of Matthew Joseph Peak,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes,” “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” teaser trailer. In a two-disc collector’s edition, $29.98 from Image Entertainment … “Cat People Collector’s Edition” (1982), directed by Paul Schrader and starring Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard and Annette O’Toole, is a kinky remake of Jacque Tourneur’s 1942 horror noir classic. Features music by Giorgio Moroder with the “Cat People” theme sung by David Bowie. Extras include new interviews with writer-director Schrader, Kinski, McDowell, Heard, O’Toole, Lynn Lowry and composer Giorgio Moroder; a theatrical trailer, still gallery and TV spot. From Scream Factory/Shout! Factory … And, finally, from The Criterion Collection comes a remastering of Stanley Kramer’s “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), a wild comedy about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure; it’s quite possibly the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, a pile up of slapstick and borscht-belty one-liners performed by a nonpareil cast, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Jonathan Winters, Buddy Hackett, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jim Backus and a boatload of other playing-to-the-rafters comedy legends. In a new, restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. New high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version — including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time — with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition: Two Blu-rays/three DVDs.