The best Blu-ray & 4K reissues coming in October 2020
A David Lynch body-horror, a Roald Dahl classic and a brand new and exclusive Steelbook series among this month's best movie reissues...
Jaws - Japanese Artwork Series #1 Limited Edition Steelbook
We kick off this month with the first in a brand new and exclusive Steelbook series coming to hmv stores over the next few weeks, and it's a stone-cold Steven Spielberg classic. Jaws is such a well-known film that it really doesn't require a detailed explanation of its plot (massive shark, over-confident Mayor, bigger boat etc.) but what's special about this version – and indeed all the Steelbooks in the new series – is that it features the original, stunning artwork used for the film's theatrical release in Japan.
We'll be detailing some of the others in the series in a moment, but the new Japanese Artwork Series will feature six reissued classics presented in limited edition Steelbooks featuring their original Japanese poster art, and which all include a host of bonus features. Jaws is set to arrive in stores on October 5 and includes bonus features that include deleted scenes and outtakes, a making-of documentary and a mini-feature examing the film's legacy and restoration. You can also find this and all the others in the series here in our online store.
Joker – Ultimate Collector's Edition
Although it only arrived in physical form earlier this year, if you've been intending to grab yourself a copy of Todd Phillips' nihilistic take on Batman's nemesis, but haven't yet gotten around to it, then October presents an opportunity to reward yourself for your procrastination with a stunning new limited edition version of the film heading to the shelves in our stores this month.
A new Ultimate Collector's Edition of Joker, led in Oscar-winning style by Joaquin Phoenix, is set to arrive on October 26 and comes as dual 4K + Blu-ray Steelbook that also includes the film's soundtrack on eye-catching purple vinyl, collectable photocards and poster, as well as bonus materials including a behind-the-scenes featurette, costume tests, alternate takes and more.
Eraserhead - The Criterion Collection
The debut feature film by David Lynch was by no means a critical or commercial success when it first arrived in 1977, but in the decades that have elapsed since then, the haunting and enigmatic Eraserhead has, quite rightly, undergone something of a reappraisal and is now regarded by many as a cult classic.
The film joins the Criterion Collection this month with a new 4K restoration of the film and a range of bonus features, including new and archival interviews with cast and crew, a 2001 documentary by Lynch himself of the making of the film and, perhaps best of all, new high-definition restorations of six of Lycnh's short films, namely Six Figures Getting Sick (1966), The Alphabet (1968), The Grandmother (1970), The Amputee, Part 1 and Part 2 (1974), and Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1996). The Criterion edition is set to arrive in stores on October 19.
The Thing - Japanese Artwork Series #3 Limited Edition Steelbook
Perhaps not quite John Carpenter's most famous horror film – but arguably his best – The Thing was first released in 1982 and stars Kurt Russell in one of his most magnetic performances as an American helicopter pilot stationed at a research facility in the Antarctic, whose investigation of a strange incident at a nearby Norwegian base quickly unravels into an unrelenting nightmare fuelled by fear and paranoia.
The film is another to join our new Japanese Artwork Series this month and is set to make its arrival in stores on October 5. In addition to the limited edition Steelbook case there are also several bonus features on the disc, including commentary from Carpenter and Russell, outtakes, production and post-production guidelines, and a behind-the-scenes featurette documenting the making of the film.
Topsy Turvy - The Criterion Cllection
First released in 1999, Mike Leigh's musical drama charts the troubled process behind the making of Gilbert & Sullivan's comedy-opera The Mikado, with Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner starring alongside an excellent cast that also includes Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Andy Serkis and Dexter Fletcher.
The film becomes another new addition to the Criterion Collection this month, with a new limited edition version of the film which benefits from a director-approved digital transfer and comes bundled with a range of bonus materials. These include a newly-filmed conversation between Mike Leigh and the film's musical director, a 1999 featurette with Leigh, Broadbent and Corduner, and a 1992 short film A Sense of History, directed by Leigh and starring Broadbent. The new Criterion edition makes its arrival in stores on October 19.
The Witches – Ultimate Collector's Edition
With a new adaptation of this Roald Dahl classic, courtesy of director Robert Zemeckis, due to arrive later this month, now seems as good a time as any to revisit Nicolas Roeg's 1990 film starring Anjelica Huston, which brought Dahl's dark fantasy to the big screen for the first time. Telling the story of a boy who takes on a worldwide coven of witches plotting to murder kids all over the globe while masquerading as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the film also happened to be the last produced by Jim Henson before his death, which tragically arrived just a few days before the film's London premiere.
This month sees a newly-reissued version of the film arrive in stores in form of this Ultimate Collector's Edition, which is set to land on the shelves on October 12 and includes an exclusive booklet, four art cards and a replica of the film's original theatrical poster.
Duel - Japanese Artwork Series #2 Limited Edition Steelbook
The third new addition to our Japanese Artwork Series that we've picked out from the bunch this month is another Steven Spielberg film – his very first feature, to be exact – and of all the stunning artwork featured in the new Steelbook series the one featured on Duel is arguably the most drop-dead gorgeous.
Set to arrive on October 26, our exclusive Steelbook edition of this frenetic action-thriller also includes a mini-feature on Spielberg's career, a conversation with the director himself, a photograph and poster gallery, and a detailed look into screenwriter Richard Matheson's work on the film's story.
Monkey! - The Complete Collection
Toshi Aoki, Kazuo Ikehiro, Jun Fukuda, Yusuke Watanabe, Daisuke Yamazaki
Originally created and screened in two 26-episode series in Japan, Monkey! is surely one of the oddest Japanese TV exports to find success not just in the UK, but around the world too. If you tried to explain its concept to somebody who hadn't seen it before, they could be forgiven for thinking you were describing a strangely vivid dream you had as a child and confused for a real memory, but we'll give it a go.
The story follows a kind of monkey-human hybrid “born form an egg on a mountain top” who gains enlightenment, gets a job in Heaven shovelling manure, complains about it, and is subsequently promoted to be guardian of a sacred peach garden, filled with fruit that takes centuries to ripen. So naturally, he eats loads of the peaches, gets kicked out of Heaven and is sentenced to 500 years living under a mountain to teach him patience. When he is finally released, he is sent on a pilgrimage to collect scriptures from around the world, and much mayhem ensues as he does so. Oh, and he has a magic stick that grows on command.
If you think that sounds completely mad, you'd be absolutely right, but t's also heaps and heaps of fun. The entire series, containing a whopping 2,317 minutes of this utter lunacy, is set to be reissued as a 10-disc box set this month and is due to arrive in stores - in all its irrepressible glory - on October 5.