DVD & Blu-ray Picks: January 2017

DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

> John Carpenter talks about Assault on Precinct 13
> Roger Ebert on why The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is one of the great movies

 

The Best DVD & Blu-rays of 2015

> The Best DVD and Blu-rays of 2014
> 2015 in Film

DVD & Blu-ray Picks: October 2014

Including Fruitvale Station, The Jim Jarmusch Collection, Edge of Tomorrow and The Joseph Losey Collection

DVD and Blu-ray OCTOBER 2014

DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

  • Fruitvale Station (Altitude) Blu-ray / Normal
  • The Jim Jarmusch Collection (Soda Pictures) Blu-ray / Box Set
  • Gone With the Wind (Warner Home Video) Blu-ray / with UltraViolet Copy (75th Anniversary Edition)
  • The Green Mile (Warner Home Video) Blu-ray / with UltraViolet Copy (15th Anniversary Edition)
  • Joe (Curzon Film World) Blu-ray / Normal
  • Natural Born Killers (Warner Home Video) Blu-ray / Normal
  • Shivers (Arrow Video) Blu-ray / with DVD – Double Play
  • Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Home Video) Blu-ray / with UltraViolet Copy – Double Play
  • Steven Spielberg: Director’s Collection (Universal Pictures) Blu-ray / with Book
  • Welcome to New York (Altitude) Blu-ray / Normal
  • Cold in July (Icon Home Entertainment) Blu-ray / Normal
  • Once Upon a Time in America: Extended Director’s Cut (Warner Home Video) Blu-ray / with UltraViolet Copy – Double Play
  • Daybreak (StudioCanal) Blu-ray / 75th Anniversary Edition
  • Westworld (Warner Home Video) Blu-ray / with UltraViolet Copy – Double Play
  • Mystery Road (Axiom Films) Blu-ray / Normal
  • Castles in the Sky (Dazzler) Blu-ray / Normal

> DVD & Blu-ray Picks for September 2014
> The Best DVD and Blu-rays of 2013

DVD & Blu-ray Picks: July 2013

Including The Untold History of the United States, Arbitrage, The Apartment, Shell and Possession

July 2013 DVD Blu-ray Picks

DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

> DVD & Blu-ray Picks for June 2013
> The Best DVD & Blu-rays of 2012

Blu-ray: Blow Out

Brian De Palma’s brilliant 1981 thriller starring John Travolta and Nancy Allen gets a UK Blu-ray release.

Blow Out

Brian De Palma’s best film gets a UK Blu-ray release from Arrow Films.

A cinematic fusion of Antonioni’s Blow-up (1966) and Coppola’s The Conversation (1974), it draws heavily on real events (notably the JFK assassination, Chappaquiddick and Watergate) and sees a sound technician (John Travolta) drawn into a sinister plot after accidentally recording what appears to be a gunshot.

Although not a financial success on its theatrical release, it stands up very well to repeated viewing, not only as a showcase of the director’s dazzling technique, but also as a gripping thriller.

Brilliantly shot by famed cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, it has many of the stylistic tricks favoured by De Palma: overhead shots, split-screen and split focus are just some of the visual flourishes on display.

But this isn’t just an exercise in style, as it manages to capture the bleak post-Watergate mood that lingered long after Nixon resigned, whilst also playing around with our perception of what we see and hear on screen.

Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown had just come off Kubrick’s The Shining and this was his first time working with De Palma and the smooth movements the camera allowed suited the director’s style perfectly (he also used it to memorable effect in Carlito’s Way and Snake Eyes).

The performances are also excellent: John Travolta demonstrates his more subdued side after the late 70s superstardom madness of Saturday Night Fever and Grease; Nancy Allen paints a sympathetic portrait of innocence in what could have been a clichéd role and John Lithgow is suitably creepy as the serial killer.

Blow Out is also about the filmmaking process itself: the central character has to recreate an event using sounds and images. But can we trust what we see and hear? Even if we can, what about the forces that initially shaped them?

This disc comes in a regular and steelbook limited edition with the following special features:

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Brian De Palma
  • Original Dolby 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Black and White in Colour: An Interview with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond
  • Rag Doll Memories: Nancy Allen on Blow Out
  • Return to Philadelphia: An interview with Producer George Litto
  • A gallery of on-set photos by photographer Louis Goldman
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Atkinson, a conversation between Quentin Tarantino and Brian De Palma and more to be confirmed

> Buy Blow Out on Blu-ray from Amazon UK
> Find out more about Blow Out at the IMDb