The thing about dealing with home entertainment releases is that they aren’t always evenly spread out. What at first glance feels like a quiet month can be busy as hell. So we’re going to switch it up and talk about the top 6 + BD titles in stores today – June 4th – and we’ll talk about the rest of the month next week.
Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3 on 4K – Disney/Pixar
The world of Toy Story starts rather simply in the confines of Andy’s room where Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) and all their ever expanding cast of friends learn the importance of friendship, family and the importance of being a toy in the adventures of life.
For well over a generation, the Toy Story franchise has been delighting audiences and with Toy Story 4 on the brink of hitting theatres in just a couple of weeks time, it makes sense for these classics to be reintroduced to audiences in 4K. And based on the quality of the films alone we simply can’t wait.
We don’t have news on special features for these but based on the quality of the films alone, these are worth the double dip to upgrade to 4K.
Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin on 4K – Warner
There have been so many iterations of the Caped Crusader that it’s actually hard to count. While I’ll personally always consider Adam West to be my Batman, for many people the Dark Knight from Gotham became a real cinematic creature back in 1989 when a cowled Michael Keaton began his war on crime against the insidiously homicidal Joker, portrayed by the iconic Jack Nicholson.
While we didn’t get a chance to look at these discs ourselves before we published, we hear that the new transfer and Atmos mix are top notch, although Burton apparently also changed some audio cues since he was rushed in post on the first film. An HDR grading also helps highlight both the dark and the more colourful moments in the film (particularly the first one)
Obviously, we’ll admit that the quality does take a step down after the iconic first two Burton entries. The subsequent phase of the character tries to straddle the line between Caped Crusader and Dark Knight with mixed results, but if you need to order yourself a copy of Batman & Robin just to be a completist we won’t hold it against you because many of us here at That Shelf are doing the exact same thing.
I’ll Take Your Dead – Scream Factory
William (Aidan Devine) has a simple job: he makes dead bodies disappear. This isn’t something he likes to or even wants to do, but due to circumstances out of his control, his little farm house in the country has become a dumping ground for the casualties of the gang related murders in the nearby city. His daughter Gloria (Ava Preston) has become used to rough looking men dropping off corpses and is even convinced that some of them are haunting their house. After a woman’s body is dumped at the house, William begins his meticulous process but soon realizes she’s not actually dead. As the gang activity increases, William patches the woman up and holds her against her will until he can figure out what to do with her. As they begin to develop a very unusual respect for each other, the woman’s would-be murderers get word that she’s still alive and make plan to go finish what they started.
It does our heart good here at That Shelf to include a little bit of Canadian content – and Director Chad Archibald’s latest is a lean and mean little thriller with a supernatural twist that you won’t see coming and is very deserving of not only a watch but some space on your shelf. Plus you can support a great company like Shout/Scream and Canadian filmmakers in one fell swoop. Go pick up I’ll Take Your Dead and you’ll do exactly that.
Our friends at In The Seats caught this over at Toronto After Dark last year, you can read more about it right here.
The Andromeda Strain – Arrow Video
Sure there have been many variations on this story but the Andromeda Strain takes us back to the start. It’s the Michael Crichton novel and subsequent 1971 film where a group of scientists investigate the crash landing of a satellite and deadly new virus that it brought with it from space before it can spread across the globe.
Directed by Robert Wise, this new iteration of the film from Arrow Video looks better than ever and is loaded with extras which make it a must own for anyone enjoys getting creeped out and scared in a way that just feels a little too real.
A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman: Through A Glass Darkly/A Winter Light/The Silence – Criterion
Already regarded as a master of the moving image, Ingmar Bergman turned his gaze inward in the 1960’s with these films looking at issues of belief and alienation in the modern age. Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence are widely regarded as some of his most personal films as they draw upon his own upbringing and spiritual crisis as a young man. Collaborating with the iconic cinematographer Sven Nykvist and pulling performances from his cast of regulars like Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom, Ingrid Thulin, and Max Von Sydow, these are films that would stand the test of time.
If you didn’t already pick up that uber expensive Bergman box set from last year then this is a must own for any self respecting fan of the moving image.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – Screen Media
Well, we had to include at least ONE new release in this list… well, SORT OF…
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is the story of Toby (Adam Driver), a cynical advertising director who finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoemaker who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth – a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?
It’s rare that we can call something that has been in production limbo for 30 odd years a new release, but Terry Gilliam’s long suffering The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is finally available on Blu-Ray.
We’ll admit that it’s a bit of a mess, but for all you Gilliam fans out in the universe there’s no denying that we get some genuine flashes of that old Gilliam charm as it is a crazy and incredibly entertaining watch.
Dave Voigt is obsessed with the moving image as he watches far too many movies from, in and around
his home in Toronto. Please feel free to visit him over at In The Seats for even more cinematic insight,
the occasional nonsensical rant…and lots of contests.