Top 5... - October 24, 2016

The Premium Collection: Five of the Best
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

The Premium Collection: Five of the Best

An exciting new collection of classic films is currently getting the reissue treatment, with a range of titles being released on Blu-ray for the first time ever. The films included in The Premium Collection are available in new editions featuring collectible slipcases and art cards, all of which contain both DVD and Blu-ray discs, as well as a digital copy downloadable from the Ultraviolet service – and what's more, all of them are exclusively available at hmv.

The first 10 titles are on sale now, with more expected to join them next year. To give you an idea of what's on offer, we've picked five of our favourite titles from the collection with details on what you can expect from each release. Check out our picks below...

 

The Shining

What is it?

Jack Nicholson stars in this Stanley Kubrick-directed horror, adapted from the book of the same name by Stephen King. Nicholson plays an author named Jack Torrance, a former teacher, writer and recovering alcoholic, who takes his family to the isolated Overlook Hotel, where he's hoping to use the downtime from his job there as a caretaker to work on his writing. But his writer's block persists and the longer he stays, the more the hotel seems to have a detrimental effect on his sanity, while his son Danny is also exhibiting some strange behaviour...

 

What's special about this version?

This edition is the Extended Cut of the film, adding an extra 25 minutes that were originally included when the film first arrived in cinemas in the U.S., but were never included in the UK cinematic version. This is also the first time that the full version has been available in the UK on DVD or on Blu-ray, making this the first opportunity for many in the UK to see the film in its original form. In addition there are loads of extras, including a mini-documentary on the making of the film by Vivian Kubrick and a featurette on the artistic vision of Stanley Kubrick and composer Wendy Carlos. You can find more info here.

 

Forbidden Planet

What is it?

First released in 1956, Fred M. Wilcox's classic sci-fi film stars Leslie Nielsen as Commander Adams, the captain of a space exploration mission who encounters the original mad scientist in Dr. Morbius, one of two remaining human inhabitants on the planet Altair-4, along with his daughter Altaira and their robotic assistant, Robby. Morbius has made a sinister discovery on the planet, but it's one he's determined to keep to himself.

Half a century after its initial release, it remains one of the genre's defining films and an expertly delivered critique on the hubris of humanity being the real danger in the application of technology. It also boats the first ever soundtrack created entirely electronically, courtesy of its pioneering composers, the husband and wife team of Louis and Bebe Barron.

 

What's special about this version?

Along with the remastered and restored feature film, accompanied by a remastered 5.1 surround mix of the Barrons' iconic score, the list of extras includes deleted scenes and lost footage, several featurettes and a full-length documentary on the making of the film, as well as another full-length feature The Invisible Boy. You can find a full list of the extras here.

 

Soylent Green

What is it?

Richard Fleischer's 1973 sci-fi film stars Charlton Heston as Detective Thorn, a tenacious cop dispatched to investigate the murder of one William R. Simonsen, a wealthy individual on the board of the Soylent Corporation. Set in 2022, the world is ravaged by pollution and a global food shortage means that for many people the only available source of nutrition is a substance manufactured by the corporation known as Soylent Green. The foodstuff is widely believed to made from sea plankton, but Thorn's investigation into Simonsen's death, ostensibly the work of a burglar, reveals more than he bargained for and he soon makes a sinister discovery that could have devastating consequences for humanity.

 

What's special about this version?

Fleischer's film has gradually gained cult status among sci-fi fans over the last 40 years but this is the first time the film has been made available on Blu-ray in the UK. On top of that there are loads of new extras available, including MGM's tribute to Edward G. Robinson's 101st appearance – one that would turn out to be his last before his death in 1973, three months before the film's release. There's also a commentary from the director and Heston's co-star Leigh Taylor-Young, as well as a documentary examining Fleischer's nightmarish, dystopian world.

 

All The President's Men

What is it?

First released in cinemas in 1974, Alan J. Pakula's film stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as two of the journalists that were instrumental in breaking the Watergate scandal that would ultimately lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. A large part of their success in revealing the scandal was down to an anonymous source nicknamed 'Deep Throat' who, some 30 years later, would be revealed as retired FBI director Mark Felt.

 

What's special about this version?

This represents the first time that Pakula's film has been made available on Blu-ray in the UK and also includes numerous bonus features, including a making of documentary revealing the extensive interviews conducted with the journalists and investigators involved, as well as a second documentary entitled Out of the Shadows, dedicated to the role of Deep Throat in uncovering the break-in at DNC headquarters andt he subsequent cover-up.

 

Logan's Run

What is it?

Director Michael Anderson was no stranger to the idea of dystopian future societies, having directed the original adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, but Logan's Run is perhaps his best-known film in the science fiction genre. The film stars Michael York and Jenny Agutter, both inhabitants of a futuristic city which seems idyllic on the surface, but there's a catch: there's no room for the elderly (or even the middle-aged) in this new society and at the age of 30 each and every man and woman must report to be 'recycled' and reborn. Some members of society aren't so keen and when they run from their fate they are hunted down by Sandmen. York plays one such Sandman whose life is turned upside down when he and his friend Jessica are selected for recycling, escaping from the city together and discovering a strange world outside of the city walls.

 

What's special about this version?

Like many of the others in this collection, this the first Blu-ray release the film has received in the UK and the extras include a feature-length commentary from York, Anderson and the film's costume designer Bill Thomas, as well as a documentary examining life in the 23rd century.

 

You can find the full range of titles included in The Premium Collection in our online store...

The Shining (hmv Exclusive) - The Premium Collection
The Shining (hmv Exclusive) - The Premium Collection Stanley Kubrick

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