I have been holding out on talking about the upcoming DVD release of Francis Ford Coppola’s latest film Youth Without Youth until they released the DVD cover. Well, this week they finally released the cover images and here is the Blu-Ray version’s cover. In his first film since The Rainmaker (1997), Coppola gives us the story of a professor (Tim Roth) whose life changes after a cataclysmic incident during the dark years prior to World War II. Becoming a fugitive, he is pursued through far-flung locations including Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India. Coppola made one of the greatest films in cinema history with The Godfather and has found over the last twenty years that all his movies since has been judged against those earlier successes. When beginning production on Youth Without Youth, Coppola mentioned other artists who faced these same comparisons. Artists like Tennessee Williams, who wrote who wrote THE GLASS MENAGERIE and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE when he was in his thirties; Norman Mailer, who was twenty-five when he wrote THE NAKED AND THE DEAD; Joseph Heller, who wrote CATCH-22 in 1961 and never topped it; J. D. Salinger, who wrote his two great books and stories early on and then nothing. Coppola mentioned that he has decided to start over, consider himself an amateur who knows nothing. His fresh start brings a movie that has received a critical panning (28% on Rotten Tomatoes), but it marks the return of a true master filmmaker and is worth the look. Extras will include a commentary with Coppola, a Making of featurette, and a Music for Youth Without Youth featurette. The Blu-Ray release will include identical features. Street date is May 13.
The J.J. Abrams produced, viral marketing, monster flick Cloverfield will be getting an April 22 release. I avoided this movie in theaters because I am basically a pussy who gets motion sick a little too easily. Stick me in one of those interactive theaters where it looks like you are on a roller coaster or something and I will wobble out of the room and find a bush to puke my guts out in. I just can’t handle that stuff. Hell, I have not been to the IMAX Theater we have in Oklahoma City for these same reasons. I feel I am missing out on something cool because I can’t seem to control my nausea. Enough of that, Cloverfield tells a giant monster story shot in much the style of Blair Witch Project, all with a handheld camera. Hopefully there isn’t a shot of some chick, staring into the camera, with snot dripping from her nose, saying how sorry she is. It’s got a commentary by Director Matt Reeves, 4 featurettes (The Making of Cloverfield, Cloverfield Visual Effects, I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge, and Clover Fun), 6 additional scenes and multiple Easter eggs.
On May 20, Short Circuit will be receiving a special edition release along with a Blu Ray release. The 1986 Steve Guttenberg film will be the second John Badham film I have mentioned in the last two weeks, as one month later War Games will be released (June 10). The film, released in the Reagan era is an anti-military film about a robot (Number 5) built for use by the U.S. military that discovers the meaning of life and only wishes to lead a peaceful existence. The DVD will include a commentary track by the director and writers and an isolated music and effects track. Never one to let Guttenberg one-up him, Billy Crystal will also receive a special edition release on June 3 with City Slickers. Although no cover scan is available yet, the extras have been announced: Audio Commentary from director Ron Underwood and stars Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern, a “Back in The Saddle: City Slickers Revisited featurette,” a “Bringing in the Script: Writing City Slickers featurette,” an “A Star is Born: An Ode to Norman featurette,” a “The Real City Slickers featurette,” and “2 Deleted Scenes: Releasing the Herd and A New Job.”
Here are a few Blu-Rays coming out over the next couple of months:
The biggest Blu-Ray news this week is the announcement that Batman Begins will be released just in time for the release of The Dark Knight. On July 8, Batman Begins will hit the Blu Ray market with both a single disc edition as well as a (rather expensive) gift set. For $20 more, the gift set will include “Batman Begins” motion-art lenticular, exclusive photos, script pages, storyboards, five collectible “Batman Begins” postcards, and $7.50 in movie cash toward a “Dark Knight” ticket. Not sure if it is worth it for the gift set, but the good news is that, while it has not been officially announced yet, the extra features should be the same as the HD-DVD version. Both versions will also include the first 6-minutes of The Dark Knight. There will be a standard definition 2-Disc set that will be identical to the Blu Ray gift set. The cover on the right may or may not be how the actual Blu-Ray release will look.