New on DVD and Blu-Ray

All the questions of whether or not Criterion was losing its way by releasing Sound of Metal seem a little quaint now that we’re getting a 4K of that hard-to-find masterpiece WALL•E from them. It seems this release was a request from Andrew Stanton that Disney and Criterion went along with, rather than the beginning of Criterion being the boutique label for any Disney movie with cinephile approval, but it still sets a worrisome precedent for Criterion moving even further away from their bread-and-butter of filling in gaps in the canon. At least there’s no arguments to be had with their other 4K this week, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, which deserves every bit of its spot in the canon.

Criterion’s titles are just two of many 4K titles out for the holidays this week, including Thanksgiving classic Planes, Trains & Automobiles (finally available with a selection of deleted scenes from the fabled three-hours 45-minutes original cut), Neil Jordan’s fractured fairy tale The Company of Wolves, the original Rollerball, and the movie that Frances Ha goes late to a screening of for lack of anything else to do in Paris. But standing tall above all them is Sony’s 4K gift set of 11 Sony Pictures Classics titles for the studio’s 30th anniversary. I can quibble about some of the selections (I question how much added value Still Alice, a movie I can’t imagine anyone jonesing to rewatch in any format, is versus another, much better recent SPC Oscar success like Elle, or even the similarly depressing The Father), but mostly I think they’ve done a good job of balancing obvious inclusions (Call Me By Your Name, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Run Lola Run), critical favorites (Volver, Synecdoche, New York), 4K-ready eye candy (The City of Lost Children, The Devil’s Backbone), and left-field titles (The Celluloid Closet, SLC Punk). And it’s also the only place where you can buy Sally Potter’s Orlando in 4K, which may justify the $200+ price point all on its lonesome.

The Blood Beast Terror (Kino)
Bros (Universal)
The Company of Wolves 4K (Shout Factory)
Hatching (IFC)
High Plains Drifter 4K (Kino)
Hold Me Tight (Kino)
A Kind of Loving (Shout Factory)
Malcolm X 4K (Criterion)
Mystery Men 4K (Kino)
Night Gallery: Season 3 (Kino)
Peacemaker: The Complete First Season (Warner)
Pennywise: The Story of IT (Cinedigm)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles 4K (Paramount)
Puss in Boots 4K (Universal)
Rollerball 4K (Shout Factory)
Shrek 2 4K (Universal)
Sony Pictures Classics: 30th Anniversary Collection 4K (Sony)
WALL•E 4K (Criterion)