‘Chinatown’ Due on Limited-Edition 4K Ultra HD June 18 for 50th Anniversary

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the 1974 noir classic Chinatown on limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on June 18 for its 50th anniversary.

In the film, Jack Nicholson is private eye Jake Gittes, living off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-war Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband’s extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together for one, unforgettable night. The film inspired by real events also stars John Huston.

Robert Towne’s Academy Award-winning screenplay weaves a tragic and shocking tale of corruption, greed, and the human propensity for evil.  

Produced by the legendary Robert Evans, Chinatown was originally released on June 26, 1974, and received 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. In 1991, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

The limited-edition “Paramount Presents” release includes the restored film on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc for the first time ever. The restoration was completed using the original camera negative, which was repaired using the latest technology in areas that had been previously damaged, according to Paramount. 

“The result is a sparkling 4K Ultra HD presentation that uses more of the best possible source than previous masters and faithfully captures the film’s distinctively dreamy and simultaneously realistic look,” according to the Paramount press release.

The release includes new and legacy bonus content, access to a digital copy of the film, and a bonus Blu-ray with the 1990 sequel The Two Jakes, directed by and starring Jack Nicholson and written by Robert Towne.

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New bonus content includes:

  • “A State of Mind: Author Sam Wasson on Chinatown,” in which Sam Wasson, film historian and bestselling author of The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, discusses the importance of the film and its legacy;
  • “Chinatown Memories,” in which producer Hawk Koch shares stories from his time as assistant director on the film; and
  • “The Trilogy That Never Was,” in which Sam Wasson discusses the planned third installment of what would have been a trio of movies featuring the character Jake Gittes. 
     

Additional legacy bonus content includes:

  • commentary by screenwriter Robert Towne with David Fincher;
    “Water and Power”;
  • “Chinatown: An Appreciation”;
  • “Chinatown: The Beginning and the End”;
  • “Chinatown: Filming”;
  • “Chinatown: Legacy”; and
  • the theatrical trailer.

 

Roger Corman Double Feature ‘The Terror’/’Little Shop of Horrors’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 12

A Roger Corman double feature of the spooky gothic tale The Terror (1963) — marking the 60th anniversary of its release this year — and the comedic horror flick The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) are being released in a special-edition, two-disc collector’s set on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 12 from Film Masters.

In The Terror — with an all-new HD restoration from 35mm archival elements — an 18th century French Lieutenant in Napoleon’s army encounters the ghostly apparition of a young woman (Sandra Knight). Curiosity leads Lt. Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) to the castle of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff), where he notices a painting of the Baron’s late wife Ilsa, who looks identical to the ghostly woman. Determined to unravel the castle’s mystery, Duvalier learns that the Baron has many terrifying secrets. Though officially credited to Corman, The Terror had a total of five collaborative directors, including Nicholson, Monte Hellman and Francis Ford Coppola.

The Terror has languished in the public domain for decades,” Film Masters president Phil Hopkins said in a statement. “We’re delighted to have put together a celebratory and thought-provoking version with an award-winning team of contributors. Fans of the film will appreciate the editorial bonus features, which take a much-needed deep dive into this infamous Corman classic.”

In a newly restored HD version, The Little Shop of Horrors is the story of Seymour (Jonathan Haze), a lonely florist, and his hungry plant Audrey, for whom he goes to great lengths to ensure that his green friend is fed and happy. With a cast that also includes Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles and a very young Jack Nicholson as a scene-stealing dental patient with a high threshold for pain, Corman and screenwriter Charles Griffith give us a comic horror masterpiece that inspired a Broadway musical, which led to a remake of the film that was nominated for two Oscars.

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Special features include a commentary track on The Terror with C. Courtney Joyner and Dr. Steve Haberman; a commentary track on Little Shop of Horrors with author Justin Humphreys and the film’s star Jonathan Haze; an essay by Joyner on the Karloff/Poe connection; liner notes from Mark McGee for The Little Shop of Horrors; Ballyhoo Motion Pictures’ part two of the featurette “Hollywood Intruders: The Filmgroup Story”; a featurette by Howard S. Berger, “Ghosts in the Machine: Art & Artifice in Roger Corman’s Celluloid Castle,” on The Terror; and recut trailers, based on the original theatrical trailers.

Both films are presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Discs are region free and include English SDH.  Audio is DTS-HD/Dolby AC3s.

‘The Shining’ to Terrify in 4K UHD Oct. 1 From Warner

Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The Shining will come out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital Oct. 1 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The 4K remastering, done using a new 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging, is of Kubrick’s original 144 minute version of the film which premiered in the United States May 23, 1980. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Kubrick’s former personal assistant  Leon Vitali worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. during the mastering process. May 17 the restored 4K version of the film will be screened at The Cannes Film Festival.

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The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel, was directed and produced by Kubrick, who wrote the screenplay with Diane Johnson. It stars Jack Nicholson in an iconic role as Jack Torrance, Shelley Duval as Wendy Torrance, Scatman Crothers as Dick Halloran, and Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance. In the film, Jack Torrance becomes the winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy and his son Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

In 2018, The Shining was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”  The film ranked 29th on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills list, and Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains list.  Additionally, the quote “Here’s Johnny” from the film was ranked 68th on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes list.

The Shining Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc with the film in high definition and the special features in high definition, and a digital version of the movie. Fans can also own The Shining in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray of The Shining will include more than three hours of previously released special features, including:

  • audio commentary by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and Kubrick biographer John Baxter;
  • “Video from the Overlook: Crafting The Shining”;
  • “The Visions of Stanley Kubrick,” a detailed look at one of cinema’s greatest visual storytellers and his unique ability to move audiences through the magic of unforgettable images;
  • “The Making of The Shining,” a cinema verité documentary offering a rare glimpse into the directing style of Kubrick as he interacts with Nicholson, Duvall and others;
  • “Wendy Carlos, Composer,” in which composer Wendy Carlos reflects on working with Kubrick and developing music scores for The Shiningand A Clockwork Orange.

Shout! Factory Buys Roger Corman Library with Chinese Co.

Indie distributor Shout! Factory and China’s Ace Film HK Co. have acquired Roger “The Pope of Pop Cinema” Corman’s New Horizons Picture catalog featuring 270 movies and TV series. No financial details were disclosed.

The deal grants Shout! rights to North America, Europe, Australia and Russia. Ace has rights for China, Asia, Africa and South America.

Titles include Rock‘N’Roll High School, The Trip, The Wild Angels, Death Race 2000, Piranha, Bloodfist, Black Scorpion, Little Shop of Horrors, Eat My Dust! and Humanoids From The Deep, among others.

The 91-year-old Corman received an honorary Oscar in 2009, and reportedly helped foster the careers of Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Paul Bartel, Ron Howard, Jonathan Demme and Gale Anne Hurd, among others.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Shout! has distributed select Corman titles on branded packaged media box sets and digital since 2010. It plans to support the catalog with a “long-term growth strategy” that includes new content development, remakes, merchandise licensing programs, digital media initiatives, and content syndication.

The company bowed ad-supported Shout! Factory TV in 2015.