10 of the best Blu-ray & 4K reissues coming in December 2018
The Big Lebowski, The Lion King and post-apocalyptic cult classic Threads are amongst the best Blu-ray and 4K reissues coming your way in December...
The Big Lebowski
With a long list of critically-acclaimed films and a string of Academy Awards under their belts, Joel and Ethan Coen have won themselves no shortage admirers amongst movie fans and fellow professionals alike. But even with Oscar-winners such as No Country For Old Men and Fargo to their names, few movies in their filmography have inspired quite as much love from audiences as The Big Lebowski.
Featuring and iconic performance from Jeff Bridges as White Russian-drinking hippy "The Dude", the movie is one of the most quotable the Coens have ever made and with The Big Lebowski celebrating its 20th birthday this year, a special 20th anniversary edition of the movie is heading to stores in 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever this month, with the newly remastered edition available in stores from December 3rd.
The Lion King
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
With Jon Favreau's live-action remake of The Lion King set to arrive next summer, there's no better time to revisit the original and that's exactly what Disney have decided to do, giving their 1994 animation the remaster treatment with a new 4K restoration heading to stores this month.
Available in 4K Ultra HD for the first time, the newly remastered version of Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff's animated classic featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Rowan Atkinson, James Earl Jones, and Jeremy Irons is available in stores from December 3rd.
BBC / Simply Media
It has been more than 30 years since Mick Jackson's made-for-television film first aired in 1984, but in the three decades that have elapsed since, few films have captured the sheer terror of a nuclear apocalypse with quite the same level of realism as Threads. At the time it was broadcast, the threat of all-out nuclear war between the Soviets and the West seemed very real and Jackson's film, revolving around the lives of survivors in the English city of Sheffield, was the first to depict the horrific fallout of a 'nuclear winter'.
The docu-drama style film has become something of a cult classic over the years and though it was eventually re-released on DVD in 2005, this year the film was given a brand new 2K remaster using the BBC's original 16mm prints and the newly remastered version is due t be released on Blu-ray for this first time this month, with the newly remastered version set to arrive in stores on December 17th.
When a Stranger Calls - Limited Edition
Fred Walton's 1979 slasher flick starring Charles Duming and Carol Kane returns to stores this month in a special new limited edition package from the folks at Second Sight Films, featuring a newly-remastered version of the film on Blu-ray, along with its sequel A Stranger Calls Back and the original soundtrack on CD.
Also included included in the new limited edition are a range of new interviews with the director, cast and composer Dana Kaproff, a 40-page booklet and reversible poster. The new limited edition version of When a Stranger Calls arrives in stores on December 17th.
Sony Pictures Home Ent.
Orson Welles' eccentric 1951 take on Shakespeare's Othello is one of a pair of Welles' films being added to the Criterion Collection this month (the other being his 1942 movie The Magnificent Ambersons), and remains one of the most original Shakespeare adaptations ever brought to the big screen.
New versions of both are set to arrive on Blu-ray this month and the Criterion Collection edition of Othello includes a new 4K restoration of the film, along with a host of extras and bonus features including commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, an interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow and a 1979 documentary on the making of the film. Othello is due to arrive in stores on December 10th.
Sony Pictures Home Ent.
Although Irvin Yeaworth's 1958 horror film has become a cult classic over the years, expectations for the film were very low when it first debuted in cinemas as the b-movie in a double feature with I Married a Monster from Outer Space. Made independently outside of Hollywood for around $110,000, the film was soon moved up to top billing and became an unlikely launchpad for the careers of its leading man Steve McQueen and its composer, then a largely unknown young songwriter by the name of Burt Bacharach.
The film has been part of the Criterion Collection since the 1980s , but this month Criterion are set to release a newly remastered edition of The Blob which includes a choice of two audio commentaries, a gallery of images, clips and props from the set and a new essay by film critic Kim Newman. The Criterion edition of The Blob is available in stores from December 3rd.
The Serpent's Egg
The one and only film made in Hollywood by legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman is set to make a return on Blu-ray this month and stars David Carradine as an out-of-work 1920s circus performer who is drawn into a web of intrigue and suspicion while investigating the mysterious death of his brother.
Produced by Dine de Laurentis, The Serpent's Egg was first released in 1977 and has been largely out of print ever since, but a newly restored version from the folks at Arrow Academy is available in stores from December 3rd and includes a new commentary from Carradine and a selection of archival featurettes and interviews.
Basil Dearden's 1966 war epic depicting the siege of Khartoum features a cast led by Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier and gates a stunning re-release this month courtesy of the folks at Eureka, who are set to deliver a newly remastered version of Dearden's film this month.
Khartoum is available in stores from December 3rd and comes with a collector's booklet, a new interview with film historian Sheldon Hall and a brand new commentary from film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman.
Once Upon a Time in China Trilogy
The original trilogy of films in Hark Tsui's Once Upon a Time in China series, all starring Jet Li, have been given the restoration treatment and are set to be released as part of a limited edition box set this month, representing the first time the trilogy has been available on Blu-ray in the UK. Set in 19th century China, the films follow the exploits of Cantonese folk hero and martial artist Wong Fei-Hung, detailing his battles against foreign armies and other enemies such as the White Lotus Society.
All three films in the original trilogy are presented in this limited edition set that includes a range of extras such as archival interviews with Jet Li and Donnie Yen, a three-part documentary about Wong Fei-Hung and a 25-minute 'making-of' documentary about the films' production. The box set is set to arrive in stores on December 10th.
Disney Classics: Complete Movie Collection 1937-2018
If you're a Disney fanatic with deep pockets and some big gaps un your collection then our final pick this month might just be the box set of your dreams. This huge new collection spans the entire collection of classic animated Disney films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Moana, and everything in between.
The new collection boasts 55 films in all and arrives in a lavish box with an 80-page booklet, on either DVD or Blu-ray. Both options are available in stores from December 3rd.