The best Blu-ray & 4K reissues coming in September 2019
An anniversary edition of Mean Girls an extended cuts of The Shining and Apocalypse Now are amongst the best reissues coming to Blu-ray and 4K this month..
Apocalypse Now: Final Cut – Collector's Edition
Francis Ford Coppola
Often hailed as the greatest war movie ever made, Francis Ford Coppola's legendary account of the Vietnam conflict established the director as one of the most important of his generation – and, by all accounts, nearly sent him mad in the process. The film's troubled production process has been well-documented, from Marlon Brando's famously difficult behaviour to a monsoon which destroyed thousands of dollars' worth of equipment. The editing process was no less fraught, with several scenes culled from the original theatrical release at the behest of the studio – something Coppola tried to put right in 2001 with an extended cut of the film, Apocalypse Now Redux, which added a whopping 49 minutes to the movie's runtime.
A new version, dubbed The Final Cut and premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival on the film's 40th anniversary, splits the difference between the two versions and is described by Coppola as the 'definitive' cut of Apocalypse Now. The new version is also set to arrive on 4K this month with a new limited edition release set to land on the shelves in-store on September 16th.
One of two new additions to our exclusive Premium Collection series coming in September, The Hidden was first released in 1987 and stars Kyle MacLachlan as an FBI agent investigating a series of bizarre incidents in which previously law-abiding citizens suddenly embark on crime sprees that include robbing banks and street chases in stolen sports cars. They soon discover, however, that the perpetrators are under the influence of a body-snatching alien invader bent on killing everything it comes into contact with.
Directed by Jack Sholder (Alone in the Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2), The Hidden is an enjoyably schlocky sci-fi horror in the vein of John Carpenter's They Live and the new Premium Collection edition is set to arrive in stores on September 23rd. Extras include director commentary and special effects production footage narrated by Jack Sholder, as well as the usual selection of collectable artcards and lobby-style poster.
Mean Girls 15th Anniversary “Burn Book” Edition
Mark S. Waters
Mark S. Waters and Tina Fey's hit teen comedy Mean Girls celebrated its 15th birthday in April this year with a string of screenings and other events - including one in London which saw a Marleybone leisure centre transformed into North Shore High School, giving fans the opportunity to step into the world of Jocks, Freshmen and Plastics – but this month sees a special anniversary “Burn Book” edition of the film headed into stores.
Taking its name from Regina George's fabled book of secrets, the new anniversary edition arrives in stores on September 30th (not October 3rd, sadly) and includes both DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film, as well as a host of extras including a complete script, production notes and six character artcards, plus a range of special features such as audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes and blooper reel, all housed in a Burn Book collector's box that is just “so fetch”.
The Shining: Extended Cut
It took more than 35 years for Stephen King to write a sequel to his seminal 1977 novel The Shining, later adapted into Stanley Kubrick's iconic film of the same name, but the author finally delivered its follow-up Doctor Sleep in 2013, basing the story around Danny Torrance, now in his 40s and working in a hospital. A film adaptation of the sequel starring Ewan McGregor set to arrive in cinemas in November this year, but before that there's also an extended cut of Kubrick's 1980 film coming to 4K for the first time.
To clarify exactly what the 'Extended Cut' contains, a little historical context is needed. Just three weeks after the film was first released in 1980, Kubrick and Warner Bros. ordered that projectionists should cut approximately two minutes from the film's ending and send the footage back to the studio, reducing its original 146 minute runtime to 144. Those missing two minutes have been the subject of much speculation over the years, and when Warners first announced the new 4K edition it listed the runtime on its website as 146 mins, leading some Kubrick fans to get very excited. Unfortunately, this appears to have been a simple error on their part (it has since been amended to 144), and in all likelihood any surviving copies of that missing footage have probably long since been destroyed at the director's behest.
So why is it called the extended cut? Well, when the film was released in Europe Kubrick once again decided to cut some more out of the film – this time a much more substantial amount, reducing the runtime to 113 minutes. It's this abridged version that most British and European viewers will have seen, and so the new extended cut not only brings the movies to 4K UHD for the first time, it will also be the first UK-wide release of the (almost) original US theatrical version.
90 Degrees in the Shade
Czech director Jirí Weiss directs this 1965 drama set in Prague during the years of communist rule, which revolves around a young female shop worker embroiled in the late, frustrating stages of an affair with a married man who refuses to leave his wife - who also happens to be her boss. Aside from his marital infedility, his other misdemeanors include stealing bottles of alcohol from the store - something which is about to make their lives very complicated with the unexpected arrival of two audit inspectors.
The film is set to be released on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world on September 23rd courtesy of the folks at Powerhouse Films, who are set to issue a limited edition version of Weiss' film which not only benefits from a new 2K restoration and features both English and Czech versions of the film, but also includes a huge range of extras, from a 1990 interview with Weiss and a series of mini-features to a 36-page booklet containing essays on Weiss' work from Jonathan Owen and Anthony Nield.
Anyone familiar with the films of Martin Scorsese will no doubt be aware that the many of his best feature Robert De Niro, who has worked with the director on no fewer than eight feature films. And of those, some of Scorsese's very best pictures – including Goodfellas and Raging Bull - have starred De Niro alongside another of the director's regular collaborators, Joe Pesci. It's the reunification of these three that has got fans so excited about the The Irishman, Scorsese's latest feature, which will see the director working with both actors for the first time in more than two decades. With The Irishman set to arrive in November, now seems like as good a time as any to revisit the last Scorsese film to star both Pesci and De Niro: 1995's Casino.
Loosely based on the real life exploits of casino manager and mob affiliate Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal, Casino was Scorsese's third film to star both De Niro and Pesci and while it was well-received at the time of its release, the film never quite enjoyed the level of adulation reserved for their earlier collaborations, but Casino nevertheless stands the test of time and, thanks to a new 4K restoration heading to stores on September 9th, it's never looked so good. Extras on the new 4K edition include deleted scenes and a documentary on Las Vegas and the mafia, as well as interviews with Scorsese, Sharon Stone and more.
The Thing from Another World
The second addition to our exclusive Premium Collection coming in September, sci-fi adventure The Thing from Another World first made its debut in cinemas in 1951 against a post-Hiroshima background in which the prevailing mood amongst the general public was one of skepticism towards scientists. Fitting, then, that the plot should involve a scientific expedition to the arctic in which a crashed UFO is discovered in the icy wasteland, including its frozen, humanoid pilot. While the scientists argue about what to do with discovery, the new arrival begins to thaw out and develops a hunger for human flesh.
Christian Nyby directs a cast which includes Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan and Dewey Martin and his 1951 film comes to Blu-ray for the first time when the new edition of The Thing from Another World arrives in stores on September 23rd, including artcards and lobby-style poster.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Our final pick this month is not for the faint of heart. First released in 1975, just three weeks after the murder of its director Pier Paolo Pasolini, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom was almost immediately banned in several countries as a result of its graphic depictions of violence and sexual debauchery, including the UK, where the film was shown uncut for the first time in 2000. Loosely based on the Marquis de Sade's novel 120 Days of Sodom, transplanting the story from 18th century France to the short-lived fascist state of the Italian Social Republic.
The film's shocking scenes of sex and violence have divided opinions ever since its release, but look beyond the surface and Salò is a brutally critical comment on power, wealth and corruption. The film has been newly restored by the folks at the BFI and their new edition, which arrives in stores on September 16th and includes a huge range of extras. These include no fewer than four documentaries examining Pasolini's work and legacy, a newly recorded audio commentary by Diabolique magazine editor Kat Ellinger, and, in the first pressing run, a booklet containing stills, on-set photographs and correspondence from the BBFC detailing the film's troubled history with the censors.