Mike’s Picks: ‘The Atomic Cafe’ and ‘The Glenn Miller Story’

The Atomic Cafe

Kino Lorber, Documentary, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
1982.
An artful assemblage of Cold War propaganda films about dealing with the atomic age and potential nuclear war, The Atomic Cafe’s near-singular mix of solemnity and gonzo remains as relevant as ever. The new Blu-ray restoration makes the film look and sound as good as it ever did.
Extras: This is a Blu-ray where the film at hand, superb as it is, is almost literally only half the package. The full-length string of bonus short subjects run over three hours, and there’s 80 minutes more of material — President Eisenhower and Richard Nixon get respectively showcased in two of the entries — from what is described as an “ill-fated” 1995 CD-ROM project about the Atomic Age. There’s also a podcast with the filmmakers.
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The Glenn Miller Story

Shout! Factory, Drama, $22.99 Blu-ray, ‘G.’ Stars James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Louis Armstrong.
1954. Director Anthony Mann’s The Glenn Miller Story stars James Stewart as famed bandleader whose plane disappeared over the English Channel during World War II. The biopic really gets going in the second half thanks Mann’s staging of the musical numbers and Stewart’s cooly commanding performance.
Extras: Contains a commentary by filmmaker Jim Hemphill.
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