May's best Blu-ray & 4K reissues
The Karate Kid, Hellboy II and The Grand Duel are amongst the best movie reissues coming to Blu-ray and 4K in the month of May...
The Karate Kid (35th Anniversary Edition)
John G. Avildsen
First released in the blockbuster summer of 1984 that also saw the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters and Gremlins hitting the big screen for the first time, The Karate Kid nevertheless remains one of the year's most iconic films and celebrated its 35th birthday at the beginning of April with a series of anniversary screenings.
This month a newly remastered, 35th Anniversary Edition of The Karate Kid arrives in stores on 4K for the first time. As well as benefitting from both a new 4K scan from the original film negatives and a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack, there are also a host of extras available on the two-disc reissue. The 4K disc includes a new retrospective featurette starring Ralph Macchio, Billy Zabka & Martin Kove, while the accompanying Blu-ray disc includes audio commentary and mini-features on everything from Bill Conti's film score to bonsai trees. The 35th Anniversary Edition arrives in stores on May 6th.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Guillermo del Toro
With Neil Marshall's Hellboy reboot starring David Harbour making its debut in cinemas in recent weeks, now seems like as good a time as any to revisit Guillermo del Toro's two films featuring Mike Mignola's demonic creation. The second of del Toro's Hellboy films is due to be reissued on 4K for the first time in this dual-format package which features a stunning 4K remaster of Hellboy II: The Golden Army and a Blu-ray disc packed with extras.
These include commentaries from the director and stars Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair and Luke Goss, production workshop, galleries, director's notes, a comic book builder and a Troll Market tour with Guillermo del Toro. The new 4K reissue is set to arrive in stores on May 6th.
Adapted from the 1958 sci-fi novel of the same name by Algis Budrys, Jack Gold's tense cold war thriller revolves around Dr. Martino, an allied scientist with knowledge of a top secret military project who is kidnapped by Soviet operatives in East Germany following an explosion in the lab where he works near the border. After six months of pressure and wrangling, the Soviets finally agree to turn him over to the Americans. However, as a result of injuries supposedly caused by the explosion, his badly disfigured face is covered by a metal mask which cannot be removed, leading the Americans to suspect that the Soviets have sent a spy in Dr. Martino's place while they hold him for further interrogation.
Elliott Gould stars as the intelligence specialist tasked with figuring out whether the masked man really is Dr. Martino, alongside a cast that also includes Trevor Howard and Edward Grover. A newly remastered version of the film is set to be issued on Blu-ray in stores from May 27th and includes a variety of extras such as commentary with Elliott Gould, archival interviews with the cast and a limited edition 36-page booklet.
From casting David Bowie in surreal sci-fi The Man Who Fell To Earth to adapting Roald Dahl's The Witches for the big screen, Nicholas Roeg delivered some of the most memorable and unique films in living memory over the course of his career, but his 1988 movie Track 29 saw him team up with screenwriter Dennis Potter for one of his most unsettling creations.
Roeg's atmospheric film stars Gary Oldman, Theresa Russell and Christopher Lloyd and revolves around the tense relationship between a doctor obsessed with model trains, his wife, and the long-lost son she gave up for adoption at birth. Roeg's film is set to be issued on Blu-ray for the first time on May 27th and includes a series of extras such as new interviews with editor and longtime Roeg collaborator Tony Lawson, costume designer Shuna Harwood and sound mixer David Stephenson, as well as a 36-page booklet.
Loosely based on the real-life killing spree committed by Charles Starkweather in the 1950s, Badlands was the directorial debut of Terrence Malick and stars Martin Sheen as Kit Carruthers, a 25-year old garbage collector and Korean War veteran who becomes romantically involved with a local 15-year old girl named Holly (Sissy Spacek). When her father disapproves of their relationship, Kit shoots him dead and the pair escape, kicking off a killing spree across the state of Montana that soon finds them on the run from the police, with a trail of bodies in their wake.
Malick's film is one of the latest additions to the Criterion Collection and is set to be reissued in May with a new, director-approved 4K restoration of the film and a host of extras, including a 2012 Making-Of documentary starring Sheen and Spacek, interviews with editor Billy Weber and an episode of crime series American Justice detailing the real-life story of Charles Starkweather. The new reissue of Badlands is set to arrive in stores on May 20th.
The Grand Duel
Italian film director Giancarlo Santi spent much of his career as right-hand man to Sergio Leone, serving as assistant director on a string of Leone's 'spaghetti westerns' such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West, but Santi also made his own directorial debut in the genre with this often-overlooked 1972 classic. The Grand Duel tells the story of a man who escapes from jail after being framed for the murder of a wealthy industrialist, enlisting the help of a grizzled ex-Sheriff (Lee Van Cleef) to face the three sons of his supposed victim, all of whom want him dead. The film's iconic main theme has since been used in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1.
Santi's debut feature is set to be reissued in May by the folks at Arrow Video, in a new blu-ray package that includes a new 2K restoration from the original film negatives and a huge cache of extras that includes newly filmed interviews with Santi, screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi and producer Ettore Rosboch, a video essay on actor Marc Mazza and even an obscure sci-fi short starring Mazza. The new edition makes its arrival in stores on May 7th.
How I Won The War
Richard Lester's 1967 black comedy holds the distinction of featuring John Lennon's only non-musical appearance on the big screen – perhaps not surprising, given that Lester was the man in the director's chair for both of The Beatles' forays into cinema, A Hard Day's Night and Help! Here, though, Lennon isn't playing an exaggerated version of himself, but a musketeer named Gripweed, one of several soldiers being led through a series of misadventures by their inept commander Lt. Goodbody, played by Michael Crawford.
This month the film will be released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK courtesy of the folks at the BFI, who are set to reissue the film in a dual-format edition which includes both High-definition (Blu-ray) and Standard-definition (DVD) versions of the film, as well as a range of extras including two animated shorts, a short pop-art film and a newly rediscovered short film shot on the streets of Liverpool and starring comedy-musical trio The Scaffold. The newly reissued version of How I Won The War makes its arrival in stores on May 20th.
In The Aftermath
One of the more unusual films we've come across this month is this oddity from Belgian-American director Carl Colpaert, a former protégé of B-movie king Roger Corman. The film repurposes footage from a Japanese animated feature called Angel's Egg by Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii. In Colpart's film, which combines animated sequences from Oshii's film with new live-action footage, the young girl featured in Oshii's animation is reimagined as an angel looking down on two soldiers wandering across a barren wasteland looking for other survivors after an apocalyptic event.
After years out of print, the film is set to be reissued by the filks at Arrow Video, who have given Colpart's debut feature a new 2K remaster presented on Blu-ray for the first time. Among the extras included are a new interview with producer Tom Dugan and a newly-filmed appreciation of Oshii's overlooked anime.