Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Super Tuesday

Yesterday was one of the all-time greatest release dates for DVD reissues, with a massive stack of classic titles getting cleaned up and shoved back on the shelves, nice and shiny and proud. The hit parade included new Criterion editions of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” ((three discs!) , Fellini’s “Amarcord,” Jacques Tati’s “Playtime,” Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” and even “Godzilla,” available for the first time in both its original Japanese version (released the same year as “Seven Samurai,” 1954) and the re-edited American version.

But the best release may have been the biggest tease: “Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut,” a remastered limited edition of one of the best pieces of eye-and-brain candy ever made. Why a tease? Because this limited edition arrives a few months before the planned super-duper edition, which is slated to include not just this director’s cut but a new (somewhat paradoxical) director’s cut as well, plus a bevy of special features and supplements fans have been hoping for since “Blade Runner” first appeared on DVD.

By the way, “Blade Runner” was one of the first two DVDs I ever got, along with “Boogie Nights,” as part of a buy-a-player-get-two-movies-free deal at Target. This was back in 1998, I think. Funny how it took almost 10 years for “Blade Runner” to get the upgrade, but rights issues can be nasty, and downright infuriating, as far as classics go. Glad a new version is on its way, at least.


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