The Criterion Collection announced its December DVD and Blu-ray release calendar this past week. And there are some really cool things that will be at retail in time for Christmas.
Topping the list — although that is always a subjective thing — is director John Huston’s 1950 film noir masterpiece, The Asphalt Jungle. A new 2K restoration for DVD and Blu-ray product offerings is in the works for a Dec. 13 delivery date.
Adapted for the screen by Huston (with Ben Maddow) and based on W. R. Burnett’s 1949 crime novel of the same name, The Asphalt Jungle would receive four Oscar nominations — Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Sam Jaffe as Doc) and a Best Cinematography nod for Harold Rosson’s stunning work (he was nominated five times, but never won … his nominations included The Wizard of Oz and 30 Seconds Over Tokyo).
The Asphalt Jungle also marked the arrival of Marilyn Monroe as a force of nature!
Bonus goodies include a vintage 2004 commentary option featuring James Whitmore (Gus), who is joined by author Drew Casper, a newly prepared video session with author Eddie Muller (“Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir,” “The Art Of Noir: The Posters & Graphics From The Classical Era Of Film Noir,” etc.) and cinematographer John Bailey and the 1983 documentary titled Pharos of Chaos.
Also on the release calendar for release on Dec. 13 are restored Blu-ray and DVD editions of director Federico Fellini’s Roma. Bonuses here include commentary from author Frank Burke (“Federico Fellini: Variety Lights To La Dolce Vita,” “Twayne’s Filmmakers Series: Fellini’s Films”), newly-prepared video sessions with filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino and poet Valerio Magrelli giving their insights into the influence that Fellini had on the arts and deleted scenes.
Dec. 6 brings us DVD and Blu-ray editions of filmmaker Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog and a Blu-ray presentation of writer/director Luis Buñuel’s 1962 film release of The Exterminating Angel.