Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Criterion Collection Sets Seven-Strong February 2014 Release Slate

The Criterion Collection, with sales and distribution support provided by Image Entertainment, has announced a seven-strong release package for delivery during Feb. of 2014.   

Let’s get right to it … in chronological order we start off the first street-date Tuesday of the month (Feb. 5) with the newly re-mastered Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release of famed auteur filmmaker François Truffaut’s 1962 New Wave masterpiece, Jules et Jim.

Bonus features include two vintage commentary options —one teams film scholar Annette Insdorf with Truffaut, film editor Claudine Bouché and Jean Gruault, while the other has Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana teamed with the film’s star, Jeanne Moreau.  

The following week, Feb. 11, marks the domestic DVD and Blu-ray debut of actor-turned-director Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d'Or-winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Blue is the Warmest Color.

Clocking in at three hours, Criterion is doing something a little different for their brand with this one.  They are bringing the film to market as no-frills DVD and separate Blu-ray editions … perhaps timed to take advantage of awards-season hype.  A special edition is promised sometime later in 2014.

For the record the ARR is 109 days and the current box office haul (mainly arthouse venues) currently stands at an impressive $746,428.

On Feb. 18 the latest Alfred Hitchcock remastered film presentation will be getting a Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack push from the Criterion Collection.   This time it is his 1940 spy thriller, Foreign Correspondent, starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall and George Sanders.

Bonus goodies include a visual effects featurette hosted by f/x expert Craig Barron (Oscar-winner for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), a featurette titled “Hollywood Propaganda and World War II, a vintage interview with Hitchcock (circa 1972) and a radio adaptation of the film with Joseph Cotten (circa 1946).

Also streeting on Feb. 18 as a Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack is director Wes Anderson’s 2009 film adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Bonus features here include commentary from Anderson, puppet animation tests and behind-the-scenes footage of the various actors voicing their puppet characters.

We finish up the month on Feb. 25 with the double-feature Blu-ray/double-disc DVD Combo Pack edition of director Steven Soderbergh’s King of the Hill (1993) and The Underneath (1995).   Included in the package are newly minted interviews with Soderbergh and auther A. E. Hotchner and the video essay titled “Against Tyranny.”

Also heading to retail on Feb. 25 is auteur filmmaker Roman Polanski’s 1979 Best Picture nominee, Tess (he was also nominated Best Director).  The film has been digitally restored by Criterion and will be released as a Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack.

Bonus features include a trio of featurettes, the 2006 feature-length documentary title Once Upon a Time … Tess, a vintage Polanski interview and French TV behind-the-scenes documentary filmed during the making of Tess.

Lastly, Feb. 25 also marks the release date for a restored Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack release of New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 feature film debut, Breathless (with a script proved by none other than François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol).

Bonus features include vintage interview, the 1959 short film, Charlotte et son Jules and the 1993 feature-length documentary, Chambre 12, Hôtel de Suède.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

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