Although there is not a lot of quantity this week, you just can’t a better week of quality. We kick the week off with probably the most significant must-buy of the year for movie buffs, Criterion’s first 4K release, Citizen Kane. Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) is a millionaire newspaper tycoon whose death has rocked the world, and his mysterious last word, Rosebud, has reporters buzzing to find out its significance. Following Kane’s rise from childhood through his rise to fame, power and riches, Citizen Kane is a fascinating examination of one man’s life and its significance to all who encounter it.
What can I say about Citizen Kane that hasn’t been said a million times before? This is a film that owns its title of greatest film ever made. A 24-year-old Welles made Citizen Kane as his debut picture and created what many consider the first ‘modern’ film. Wonderful dialogue, incredible performances and inventive and inspiring camera work all culminate in a full-on filmmaking master class wrapped up in 2 hours. The new 4K release from The Criterion Collection is just stunning to behold, perhaps looking better than the film has ever looked including its original theatrical release. And on top of the stellar presentation, Criterion also includes a copy on Blu-ray, and two Blu-rays of exhaustive special features including commentaries, a rare full length BBC documentary about the film, new interviews and essays by critics and film scholars, a brand-new documentary, a silent film by Welles, and some great vintage supplements. If you are a film buff, Criterion’s Citizen Kane 4K is the most important release of 2021 that should be in every stocking come Christmas.
Next up this week is another amazing 4K release, Philip Kaufman’s 1978 thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In San Francisco, public health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) and his friend Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) start noticing their friends and other people starting to behave strangely. Likewise, psychiatrist David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy) confirms several patients reporting loved ones not acting like themselves. Soon they discover that a strange arrival from space may be systematically replacing people with exact emotionless copies of people in a quest to replace the entire population. Now they find there may be nowhere to run as they try to find a way to stop the invasion.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a remake of a 1956 film of the same name, but Philip Kaufman crafts a much more paranoid horror thriller that is a nail biter from frame one. The pace is relentless, the story terrifying, and the performances across the board from the first-rate cast including Sutherland, Adams, Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Art Hindle, and Kevin McCarthy are all top notch. And it features one of the most horrifying endings of all time. The new 4K release of Invasion of the Body Snatchers from Kino is stupendous, night and day from the older Blu-ray release. This is a stunning addition to any 4K library and one of the best 4K releases of the year. Kino is really knocking the 4K releases out of the park.
Also of note this week is the new Donnie Yen martial arts actioner Raging Fire, another great Criterion 4K release, Menace II Society, and a Blu-ray Criterion release of Uncut Gems starring Adam Sandler.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday November 23, 2021
All or Nothing
American Night (2021)
Apache Junction (2021)
Citizen Kane (1941) 4K - Criterion Collection
Deep Blues (1992)*
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)*
I Danced For The Angel Of Death: The Dr. Edith Eva Eger Story
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) 4K
La Cage aux Folles II a.k.a. Birds of a Feather (1978)*
Little Fish (2020)
Lullaby of Broadway (1951)*
Menace II Society (1993) 4K - Criterion Collection
Night Gallery: Season One*
Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989)*
Raging Fire (2020)
Sesame Street: Wonderful World of Friends!
Stingray (1978) - Director's Cut*
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 4K Steelbook Edition - Best Buy USA Exclusive
The Card Counter
The Dogs Of War (1980) - Special Edition
The Eight Hundred (2019)
The Show (2020)
The Snake Girl And The Silver-haired Witch (1968)*
The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)*
The Woody Allen Collection (1994-2003)*
Uncut Gems (2019) - Criterion Collection
Under Western Stars (1938) and Mackintosh & T.J. (1975) Double Feature*
*New to Blu-ray