10 of the best Blu-ray and 4K reissues coming in November 2019...
Criterion adds a Wes Anderson classic to their collection, The Italian Job gets an anniversary box set, and Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy becomes the first in our new Cine Edition series - all this and more coming your way in November...
Hellboy (hmv Exclusive) - Cine Edition
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro's 2004 film Hellboy remains one of the most unique comic-book adaptations in recent memory and if Neil Marshall's 2019 reboot wasn't exactly a hit with critics, it only goes to show what a great job del Toro did with Mike Mignola's source material. Starring Ron Perlman as the titular half-Demon, del Toro's 2004 film was executed with a level of charm and wit that has proved difficult to match. We are therefore delighted to announce that Del Toro's Hellboy is to become the first instalment in a brand new series of collector's editions available exclusively at hmv.
The Cine Edition launches this month and Hellboy is the first of an upcoming series of limited edition reissues, presented in 4K UHD and packed with tons of bonus content, as well as exclusive slipcases, art cards and posters, each produced in a strictly limited, individually numbered run
The Cine Edition version of Hellboy arrives in stores on November and includes both a remastered theatrical version and the director's cut of the film, as well as a new introduction by Guillermo del Toro, a new retrospective featurette documenting the film's legacy, three commentaries from del Toro, Mignola and the cast, and much, much more. In addition, the Cine Edition version comes with a collection of exclusive art cards and poster, all house in a limited, numbered box. If you're looking for a collector's edition of Hellboy, this is as good as it gets.
Moonrise Kingdom - The Criterion Collection
A somewhat overlooked entry in the filmography of Wes Anderson, his 2012 coming-of-age story Moonrise Kingdom is nevertheless one of his most heart-warming movies, as well as one of the most visually arresting. Co-written with Roman Coppola, the story revolves around a young orphan named Sam who absconds from a scouting trip to hook up with his pen-pal Suzy, sparking a manhunt that ropes in both the scouts and members of the local community.
Featuring a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, the film is one of this month's additions to the Criterion Collection, who have overseen a new reissue featuring a 2K remaster, supervised by Anderson himself, which arrives in stores on November 18th. Alongside the remastered film are a host of extras including interviews with cast and crew, audio commentary featuring Anderson, Murray, Norton, Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, a selection of Norton's home movies from the set and a booklet featuring a map of the fictional New Penzance Island, where the film is set.
The Italian Job: 50th Anniversary Edition
Five decades on from its original release in 1969, Michael Caine's role in Peter Collinson's heist caper The Italian Job remains one of his most iconic. Centred around the story of an ex-convict and his ambitious plan to steal a bounty of gold from underneath the noses of the mafia in Turin, the film features memorable appearances from Noel Coward and Benny Hill, not to mention an iconic score penned by none other than Quincy Jones.
To celebrate the film's 50th birthday, a special anniversary edition of the film is winging its way to stores in November in the form of a smart-looking black-and-gold box set. Besides the Blu-ray and DVD featuring the film and a host of bonus content, the box contains a range of other goodies including a complete script, A3 anniversary poster, art cards, a numbered collector's certificate and even a customisable 1960s-style driving license. The 50th anniversary edition arrives in stores on November 11th.
Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
With HBO recently kicking off the broadcast of Damon Lindelof's TV adaptation of Watchmen, the classic graphic novel created by comic book legends Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, now is as good a time a any to take another look at Zack Snyder's big screen adaptation, which made its debut on cinema screens in 2009.
Although there has been both a theatrical cut and a director's cut of the movie, the challenges involved with condensing the story into a two-hour movie mean that there was one aspect of Watchmen that Snyder wasn't able to include: Watchmen's story-within-a-story, Tales of the Black Freighter.
In Moore's novel, the latter is a comic book story being read by one of the minor characters and its events are interspersed throughout. Although its narrative relates to the main story, including it in the film proved too unwieldy and Snyder's solution was to create a separate, animated version of the story, which has been included as bonus content on the DVD & Blu-ray editions. What The Ultimate Cut does is weave the tale back into the main film, presenting an experience that's as close to the original as possible. The new Blu-ray edition of Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut makes its arrival in stores on November 25th.
Paul Verhoeven's 1987 sci-fi action adventure produced one of the decade's most iconic action heroes, but despite two sequels which followed shortly afterwards, Robocop never quite grew into the kind of franchise that has seen the likes of Terminator spawn numerous sequels and reboots. A Robocop do-over did eventually emerge in 2014, but it somehow lacked the playfulness and wit of the original.
The original film was the subject of a 4K remaster in 2013 and a new Steelbook edition is heading into stores this month courtesy of Arrow Video, who have put together a limited edition Blu-ray reissue which is due to land on November 25th. Included are both the theatrical cut and the director's cut of the original film, as well as a range of bonus content including director commentary, newly-filmed interviews with various cast and crew members, and a 2012 panel discussion featuring Verhoeven, leading man Peter Weller and effects supremo Phil Tippett, among several others.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson's iconic tale of psychedelic excess had largely been considered unadaptable until Terry Gilliam got hold of it in the mid-1990s and transformed it into one of the decade's most memorable movies. Starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as Thompson's fictionalised alter-ego Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr. Gonzo, respectively, Duke's mission begins as an vaguely earnest attempt to provide journalistic coverage for the Mint 400 motorcycle race, only to degenerate into a debauched rampage through every mind-altering substance the pair can get their hands on.
First released in 1998, Gilliam's film has recently been given the 4K restoration treatment with a new scan taken from the original negatives, courtesy of the folks at Arrow Video, who are set to release a limited edition version of the film this month. Alongside the newly-remastered film are a range of extras including new director commentary and interviews with Gilliam, producer Laila Nabulsi and cinematographer Nicola Pecolini, as well as a selection of artcards, double-sided poster and a sketch by Gilliam himself. The new 4K edition is due to arrive in stores on November 8th.
In today's political landscape it's difficult to imagine something as common as a politician having an affair bringing the government to its knees, but the 1960s were a different time altogether – and the Profumo Affair, as it became known, was no ordinary scandal. The issue that rocked Harold Macmillan's government was less about the fact that John Profumo, Secretary of State for War, had slept with 19-year old model Christine Keeler than it was about who else might have done the same. When it emerged that Keeler was also understood to have shared an intimate moment or two with Soviet spy Yevgeny Ivanov, the incident became a full-blown national security crisis and helped topple the government at the following election.
The story was memorably committed to celluloid by director Michael Caton-Jones in his 1989 film Scandal, which stars Ian McKellen as Profumo and Joanne Whalley as Keeler, with supporting roles for John Hurt, Bridget Fonda and Britt Ekland. To celebrate the film's 30th anniversary, a new dual-format edition (DVD and Blu-ray) has been put together by the folks at the BFI, with a new 4K scan of the film presented on Blu-ray for the first time. The new edition arrives in stores on November 25th and includes a limited edition booklet, as well as new interviews with director Caton-Jones and producer Stephen Woolley.
Monty Python's Flying Circus: Series 1
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam
For comedy fans on both sides of the Atlantic, the Monty Python crew need no introduction. John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam changed the face of comedy with their surreal sketch show, and while the series has been released on DVD numerous times, the show's recent 50th anniversary has seen the series undergo a painstaking restoration process and the results are finally arriving in stores this month.
The newly-restored first series landed in stores this week on DVD & Blu-ray, with series 2-4 set to arrive next year. The improvements are particularly apparent during Gilliam's animated sequences and for fans wanting to own the series on Blu-ray, Monty Python has never looked so good.
After Jackie Chan's first attempt to break into the American film market with 1980 film The Big Brawl had fallen flat at the box office, Chan had another go at cracking America with its follow-up, The Protector, released in 1985. Unfortunately, the film proved to be another box office disappointment and almost caused Chan to give up on America altogether. However, it proved to be a real turning point for Chan's career in the sense that he realised he needed more creative control over his work. After re-editing the film for the Hong Kong market, Chan made the move into directing and scored his first real hit with another movie released later that year: Police Story.
A new reissue of The Protector is heading into stores this month courtesy of 88 Films, who have overseen a new 2K scan of the original negatives to produce a remastered Blu-ray edition that makes its arrival on November 18th. In addition to the remastered US version, the reissue also includes Chan's recut version (although this has not been remastered), as well as a range of bonus content such as a new interview with director James Glickenhaus, archive behind-the-scenes footage and a limited edition booklet, as well as reversible artwork featuring the original Hong Kong poster and new artwork from R.P O'Brien.
Godzilla: The Showa Era Films 1954-1975 - The Criterion Collection
Ishiro Honda, Motoyoshi Oda, Jun Fukuda, Yoshimitu Banno
When Ishiro Honda's 1954 film Godzilla first arrived in cinemas in 1954, few could have imagined the lasting impact the giant sea monster would have on future generations. With more than 35 films and counting, Godzilla has become one of the most enduring cinematic franchises in history and even though recent adaptations have turned Godzilla into a modern box office hit, the early films produced by Japanese studio Toho – known as the 'Showa era' in honour of Emperor Hirohito's posthumous name – remain some of the most beloved.
This month the folks at Criterion celebrate the films' legacy with a new collection containing newly restored versions of all 15 films released between 1954 and 1975, presented in a box set and bundled with a range of bonus content such as new and archival interviews with directors and cast members, a featurette documenting the films' pioneering visual effects and a booklet containing essays on Godzilla's legacy. The box set is due to arrive in stores on November 25th.