The best Blu-ray & 4K reissues coming in December 2021
An Orson Welles masterpiece turns 80, Michael Myers joins the Titans of Cult range and the Hughes brothers' gritty debut feature is added to the Criterion Collection - all this and more coming to 4K and Blu-ray in December...
Citizen Kane: 80th Anniversary Collector's Edition
A long-standing candidate for one of the greatest films ever made, Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece turned 80 years old this year and its story about the rise and downfall of a wealthy newspaper magnate (reportedly based on Randolph William Hearst) still feels relevant even today.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary a new collector’s edition arrives in stores on December 13, with a 4K UHD version of the film accompanied by a huge selection of goodies including a 48-page book, 20-page souvenir programme, press release reprints, a double-sided poster, three photo stills and a selection of five collectable art cards.
There’s a healthy portion of bonus material on the discs too, including interviews with Robert Wise and Ruth Warwrick, newsreels from the film’s premiere and a choice of commentaries from film critics Robert Ebert and Peter Bogdanovich.
Menace II Society - The Criterion Collection
Allen Hughes, Albert Hughes
Allen and Albert Hughes cut their professional teeth directing videos for Tupac Shakur before making an immediate impact with their debut feature film Menace II Society in 1993. A gritty and often harrowing blend of coming-of-age story and gangland drama which earned the Detroit-born brothers a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival, the film joins the Criterion Collection this month with a newly-restored edition heading to stores on December 6.
Presented on Blu-ray, the new 4K restoration has been overseen by cinematographer Liza Rinzler and the Criterion edition also comes bundled with an impressive array of bonus features, including director commentaries, newly-filmed discussions between the Hughes brothers and screenwriter Tyger Williams, a making-of featurette, archival interviews, deleted scenes and more.
Mulholland Drive – 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Even amidst a filmography that includes Blue Velvet and Lost Highway, 2001’s Mulholland Drive is arguably one of David Lynch’s most confounding pieces of work; one that has polarised opinion ever since its release in ways that few other films – or indeed filmmakers – could manage. A cinematic fever dream that is at equal turns exhilarating and frightening, mesmerising and maddening, Lynch’s poison-penned love letter to Hollywood is as visually arresting as it is narratively impenetrable, but it’s certainly not an experience that’s easily forgotten.
Recently the subject of a new restoration in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Mulholland Drive returns to stores this month in the form of a new collector’s edition, which features 4K presentation of the newly-restored film in a clamshell box featuring all-new artwork. Bundled extras include two posters, a booklet and and a selection of art cards, while a bonus disc offers interviews with actor Laura Harring, editor Mary Sweeney and composer Angelo Badalamenti.
Halloween - Titans of Cult Limited Edition
David Gordon Green
David Gordon Green’s canon-dodging 2018 Halloween reboot picked up the story of Michael Myers 40 years on from John Carpenter’s classic 1978 slasher, and the first in an ongoing trilogy of Halloween films joins the growing Titans of Cult collection this month – albeit a little late for Halloween itself – but whether you’re collecting the whole Titans of Cult series or you’re a horror fan in general, the new Steelbook will make worthy and decidedly handsome addition to your collection.
Due to land on our shelves on December 13, the new edition includes a pair of unique enamel pin badges and a range of extras that includes deleted and extended scenes, a featurette on the legacy of the Halloween movies and a making-of documentary, Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween.
Le Samouraï – The CriterionCollection
Jean-Pierre Melville’s effortlessly stylish neo-noir crime thriller first arrived in 1967 and stars Alain Delon as Parisian hitman who finds himself on the run when one of his carefully-planned assassinations goes awry, leaving him in trouble with both the police and his shady employers.
Another new addition to the Criterion Collection this moth, Le Samouraï returns to stores on December 6 with a newly-restored version of the film on Blu-ray, which also includes extras such as archival interviews with Melville and Delon, a short documentary exploring their work together and new interview with Meliville biographers Rui Nogueira and Ginette Vincendeau.
Shawscope: Volume One – Limited Edition Box Set
Ho Meng-Hua, Lau Kar-Leung, Chang-hwa Jeong, Chang Cheh
Our final pick this month is undoubtedly one for discerning fans of kung-fu films –particularly those created during Hong Kong’s ‘golden era’ of the 1970s – but if that sounds like someone you know, this stunning new box set featuring a selection of classics from the legendary Shaw Bros. studio might make an ideal Christmas gift.
Featuring a dozen films including classics such as King Boxer (better known to Western audiences as Five Fingers of Death) and Executioners from Shaolin, many of which have been newly restored, with extras including a 60-page book and hours of bonus footage that features new commentaries and cast interviews, trailers, alternate sequences and more.