Mike’s Picks: ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ and ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’

A Matter of Life and Death

Criterion, Fantasy, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey.
1946. You can watch Matter multiple times and always see something new or be affected by a shot or minor detail that didn’t make a direct hit previously.
Extras: In addition to Stephanie Zacharek’s infectiously enthusiastic essay and a carried-over 2009 commentary from film scholar Ian Christie, the extras here are almost a primer in what and how to go out and get germane supplements — a Martin Scorsese from 2008, a featurette about cinematographer Jack Cardiff, co-director Michael Powell on one of the best episodes of Britain’s “South Bank Show.”
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Kino Lorber, Adventure, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Tommy Kelly, Ann Gillis, May Robson, Walter Brennan.
1938. Produced by David O. Selznick in the still young three-strip Technicolor process and sparked by a memorable “cave” designed by the immortal William Cameron Menzies, the capable if never really stirring The Adventures of Tom Sawyer gives a good sense of the famed producer’s deep pockets when it came to cosmetics.
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