Criterion Collection, with sales and distribution expertise provided by Image Entertainment, announced its April slate of DVD and Blu-ray product offerings this past week.
By any accounts, it is a playful mix of film selections. Blu-ray debuts for Repo Man, Naked Lunch and Richard III pretty much sums it up … playful!
So let us get right to it, in chronological order we kick off the month with the Apr. 9 selections of the Blu-ray debut of director David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s rambling novel (autobiography?), Naked Lunch. Bizarre. Fascinating. Weird. Surreal. All descriptions apply (and more).
Bonus features include commentary from both filmmaker David Cronenberg and the film’s star, Peter Weller, plus there is the 1992 documentary from Chris Rodley titled “Naked Making Lunch,” an audio recording of Burroughs reading selected passages from the book and more, including a gallery of photos and artwork.
On the same Apr. 9 street date is the Blu-ray debut of director Sir Laurence Olivier’s 1955 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. Olivier was nominated Best Actor for his interpretation of legendary English monarch (losing out to another king … Yul Brynner in The King and I).
This new hi-def transfer comes from the Film Foundations’ 2012 restoration of the film. Bonus goodies include commentary from playwright and stage director Russell Lees, who is joined by the former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, John Wilders, plus Criterion has included a vintage interview with Olivier (1966) and a gallery of production stills and theatrical posters.
Also on Apr. 9 is a Blu-ray release of Japanese filmmaker Teinosuke Kinugasa’s 1953 Oscar-winner (domestic release was 1954), Gate of Hell.
On Apr. 16 there will be a Blu-ray and a double-disc release of director Alex Cox’s ode to all things Los Angeles … the strange, the other worldly and the, well, bizarre (don’t open the trunk). A newly restored version of Repo Man is on the way!
Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Alex Cox, who is joined by music legend Michael Nesmith (he produced the films) and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora, plus there are cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes and an alternate version of the film.
On the foreign-language front, look for collections of Masaki Kobayashi Against the System (a four-film set on Apr. 16 — DVD only) and both Blu-ray and DVD editions of Pierre Etaix (a five-film collection on Apr. 23).
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report