‘Moonstruck,’ Girlfriends’ ‘Ghost Dog’ Getting Criterion Re-releases in November

The Criterion Collection in November will release new Blu-ray and DVD editions of catalog titles Moonstruck, Girlfriends and Ghost Dog.

Arriving Nov. 10 on Blu-ray and DVD is the 1978 comedy Girlfriends from director Claudia Weill. Melanie Mayron stars as a struggling artist who considers a fling with a married, older rabbi (Eli Wallach).

The film comes with a new, restored 4K digital transfer supervised by Weill and director of photography Fred Murphy, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include new interviews with Weill, Mayron, actors Christopher Guest and Bob Balaban, screenwriter Vicki Polon; Joyce at 34, a 1972 short film by Weill and Joyce Chopra; Commuters, a 1973 short film by Weill; the film’s trailer; and essays by critic Molly Haskell and scholar Carol Gilligan.

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The new Moonstruck Blu-ray and DVD editions arrive Nov. 17 with a new 4K digital restoration, and a 5.1 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

The film stars Cher in an Oscar-winning role as Loretta, an unlucky-in-love bookkeeper whose feelings about her engagement to the staid Johnny (Danny Aiello) are thrown into question after she meets his hot-blooded brother, Ronny (Nicolas Cage). The film also won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for Olympia Dukakis), and Best Original Screenplay for playwright John Patrick Shanley.

Extras include a new interview with Shanley; a new interview with scholar Stefano Albertini about the use of opera in the film; an introduction from 2013 featuring Cher; interviews from 1987 with director Norman Jewison and actors Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia and Olympia Dukakis; an interview from 2002 with actor Danny Aiello; an audio interview from 1989 with Shanley about screenwriting and the development of Moonstruck; “At the Heart of an Italian Family,” a 2006 program about the making of the film; “The Music of Moonstruck,” a 2006 program featuring interviews with Jewison and composer Dick Hyman; audio commentary from 1998 with Cher, Jewison and Shanley; the film’s trailer; and an essay by critic Emily VanDerWerff.

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Also due Nov. 17 on Blu-ray and DVD, 1999’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, directed by Jim Jarmusch, stars Forest Whitaker as a Zen contract killer working for a bumbling mob outfit, a modern man who adheres steadfastly to the ideals of the Japanese warrior code even as chaos and violence spiral around him.

The film comes with a restored 4K digital transfer supervised and approved by Jarmusch, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, as well as an alternate isolated stereo music track. Extras include a new Q&A with Jarmusch, in which he responds to questions sent in by fans; new conversation between actors Forest Whitaker and Isaach De Bankolé, moderated by film scholar Michael B. Gillespie; a new interview with casting director Ellen Lewis; a new interview with Shifu Shi Yan Ming, founder of the USA Shaolin Temple; a new video essay on RZA’s original score for the film; deleted scenes and outtakes; archival itnerviews; “The Odyssey: A Journey into the Life of a Samurai,” a 2000 program on the making of the film; the film’s trailer; and an essay by critic Greg Tate and quotations from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, by the early-18th century monk Yamamoto Tsunetomo.

‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ ‘Jake Speed’ and Jarmusch’s ‘Limits of Control’ Coming to Blu-ray From MVD in December

Three Arrow Video titles are making their North American Blu-ray debuts from MVD Entertainment Group in December: Slaughterhouse-Five, Jake Speed and Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control.

Coming out Dec. 3 is George Roy Hill’s science-fiction classic Slaughterhouse-Five. The story about WWII soldier Billy Pilgrim and how he was abducted by aliens took home the Jury Prize at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote the novel the book is based on, famously claimed, “I drool and cackle every time I watch that film.” Special features include a new audio commentary by author and critic Troy Howarth; new video appreciation with author and critic Kim Newman; Pilgrim’s Progress: Playing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with actor Perry King; Only on Earth: Presenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with Rocky Lang, son of executive producer Jennings Lang, about the film’s distribution; Unstuck in Time: Documenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with behind-the-scenes filmmaker-producer Robert Crawford Jr.; Eternally Connected: Composing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with film music historian Daniel Schweiger; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley.

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Also due Dec. 3 is Jake Speed, Andrew Lane’s action-adventure film in which all pulp heroes are real and Jake Speed (Wayne Crawford) is the best of the bunch. When Margaret (Karen Kopins) is captured by an evil slaver, Jake steps in to save the day. The campy 1980s adventure includes bonus features such as Paperback Wishes, a new interview with director Lane; The Hard Way Reads Better, a new interview with producer William Fay; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.

Finally, due Dec. 10 is Jim Jarmusch’s 2009 crime drama The Limits of Control. Isaach de Bankolé stars as a mysterious loner on a mission to complete a hit and along the way he runs into a slew of interesting characters including Paz de la Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt and Bill Murray. Special features include An American in Europe, a new video interview with Geoff Andrew, author of Stranger Than Paradise: Maverick Film-Makers in Recent American Cinema; The Rituals of Control, a new video essay on the film by author and critic Amy Simmons; Behind Jim Jarmusch, an archival documentary on the making of the film; Untitled Landscapes, an archival featurette showcasing the film’s locations; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork.

Zombie Comedy ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ Rises on Digital Sept. 3, Disc Sept. 10 From Universal

The zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die will stalk to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Sept. 3 and Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Sept. 10 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed by indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, the film stars Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge, Lost in Translation, Ghostbusters), Adam Driver (Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, BlacKkKlansman) and Chloë Sevigny (“The Act,” Boys Don’t Cry) alongside an ensemble cast that includes Tilda Swinton (SuspiriaTrainwreck), Steve Buscemi (Hotel Transylvania Series, Fargo), Danny Glover (Proud MaryLethal Weapon Series), Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriGet Out), Rosie Perez (“Pure,” White Men Can’t Jump), Iggy Pop (Gimme DangerCoffee and Cigarettes), Sara Driver (Stranger than Paradise), RZA (“Snowfall,” The Man with the Iron Fists 2), Selena Gomez (Hotel Transylvania Series, Spring Breakers), Carol Kane (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Dog Day Afternoon), Austin Butler (The Intruders, “Arrow”), Luka Sabbat (“Grown-ish”) and Tom Waits (The Ballad of Buster ScruggsThe Book of Eli).

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In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behavior. No one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing the town. The dead rise from their graves and savagely attack and feast on the living — and the citizens must battle for their survival.

Bonus features on Blu-ray, DVD and digital include “Bill Murray: Zombie Hunting Action Star,” in which Murray discusses his fear of being typecast as an action hero; “Behind-the-Scenes of The Dead Don’t Die”; and “Stick Together,” in which Jarmusch’s frequent collaborators talk about his filmmaking style and what makes The Dead Don’t Die stand out from other zombie films.

Criterion April 2019 Slate Includes ‘A Face in the Crowd,’ ‘Stranger Than Paradise’

The Criterion Collection’s slate of DVD and Blu-ray releases for April 2019 includes A Face in the Crowd, My Brilliant Career, Diamonds of the Night, Night on Earth, Stranger Than Paradise and a double-feature of Jackie Chan’s “Police Story” movies.

Due on Blu-ray April 9 is director Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth (1991), which features a talented international cast (including Gena Rowlands, Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Beatrice Dalle, and Roberto Benigni) for this quintet of transitory tales of urban displacement and existential angst, all staged as encounters between cabbies and their fares. The Blu-ray includes a high-definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by Jarmusch, with a 2.0 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack. Extras include selected-scene commentary from 2007 featuring director of photography Frederick Elmes and location sound mixer Drew Kunin; a Q&A with Jarmusch from 2007, in which he responds to questions sent in by fans; a Belgian television interview with Jarmusch from 1992; and a booklet featuring essays by authors and critics Thom Andersen, Paul Auster, Bernard Eisenschitz, Goffredo Fofi, and Peter von Bagh, and the lyrics to Tom Waits’s original songs from the film.

Also due April 9 on Blu-ray is Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise (1984), in which Jarmusch follows rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and his visiting 16-year-old cousin Eva (Eszter Balint) as they drift from New York’s Lower East Side to the snowy expanses of Lake Erie and the drab beaches of Florida, always managing to make the least of wherever they end up. The film is structured as a series of master-shot vignettes etched in black and white by cinematographer Tom DiCillo. The Blu-ray includes a high-definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by Jarmusch, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras include Permanent Vacation (1980), Jarmusch’s first full-length feature, presented in a high-definition digital restoration supervised by the director; Kino ’84: Jim Jarmusch, a 1984 German television program featuring interviews with cast and crew from Stranger Than Paradise and Permanent Vacation; Some Days in January, 1984, a behind-the-scenes Super 8 film by Tom Jarmusch; U.S. and Japanese trailers; and a booklet featuring Jarmusch’s 1984 “Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise,” critics Geoff Andrew and J. Hoberman on Stranger Than Paradise, and author and critic Luc Sante on Permanent Vacation.

Coming April 16 will be Diamonds of the Night (1964). Adapted from a novel by Arnost Lustig and directed by Jan Němec, Diamonds of the Night closely tracks two boys who escape from a concentration-camp transport and flee into the surrounding woods, a hostile terrain where the brute realities of survival coexist with dreams, memories and fragments of visual poetry. The Blu-ray and DVD editions will include a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, and a new English subtitle translation. Extras include a 2009 interview with Němec; A Loaf of Bread, Němec’s 1960 student thesis film, based on a short story by Lustig; a new interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova; Arnost Lustig Through the Eyes of Jan Němec, a short documentary on Lustig from 1993; a new video essay on the film’s stylistic influences by scholar James Quandt; and an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson.

Directed by Elia Kazan, A Face in the Crowd (1957) chronicles the rise and fall of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer who shoots to the heights of television stardom and political demagoguery. The special-edition Blu-ray and DVD arrives April 23 with a new 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new interview with Ron Briley, author of The Ambivalent Legacy of Elia Kazan; a new interview with Andy Griffith biographer Evan Dalton Smith; the 2005 documentary Facing the Past; the film’s trailer; an essay by critic April Wolfe; and a 1957 New York Times Magazine profile of Andy Griffith.

Due April 30 is a double feature of the Hong Kong action series “Police Story” starring Jackie Chan, featuring Police Story (1985) and Police Story 2 (1988). The two-disc DVD and three-disc Blu-ray sets include new 4K digital restorations; alternate 5.1 surround and English-dubbed soundtracks for both films; new English subtitle translations; and the Hong Kong-release version of Police Story 2, presented in a high-definition digital transfer for the first time. Extras include new programs on Chan’s screen persona and action-filmmaking techniques featuring author and New York Asian Film Festival cofounder Grady Hendrix; archival interviews with Chan and actor and stuntman Benny Lai; a television program from 1964 detailing the rigors of Peking-opera training, akin to the education that Chan received as a child; a Chan stunt reel; trailers; and an essay by critic Nick Pinkerton.

Also due April 30 is My Brilliant Career (1979), the award-winning breakthrough film of director Gillian Armstrong, who drew on teenage author Miles Franklin’s novel, a celebrated turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australian coming-of-age story, to brashly upend the conventions of period romance. The Blu-ray and DVD editions feature a new 2K digital restoration approved by the director, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a 2009 audio commentary featuring Armstrong; a new interview with Armstrong; a 1980 interview with actor Judy Davis; a new interview with production designer Luciana Arrighi; the film’s trailer; and an essay by critic Carrie Rickey.