‘Yellowstone’ Fever, ‘Trolls’ Mania Grip Home Viewers

Homebound consumers were enthralled with the TV series “Yellowstone” the week ended June 27, with all three seasons of the contemporary Western drama landing in the top five of the weekly “Watched at Home” chart.

Meanwhile, the digital sellthrough release of Trolls World Tour gave the animated family film, from DreamWorks Animation, a No. 2 debut on the chart, which tracks transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Trolls World Tour was the first big feature film to premier digitally instead of in theaters since the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of movie theaters. The film was released April 10 on premium video-on-demand (PVOD) at a 48-hour rental price of $19.99.

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After slightly more than two weeks, distributor Universal Pictures announced the film, a sequel to 2016’s Trolls, had generated $100 million in revenue from its PVOD release. Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” analyst Richard Greenfield a day before the film’s debut said, “It’s a pretty monumental day in the film industry where a mainstream consumer movie … is going to skip the theaters…. I’m certainly rooting for them to do well because I think this is an important model for the industry.”

Trolls World Tour will be issued on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on July 7.

The third season of “Yellowstone” debuted at No. 1 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart. The season debuted on linear TV June 21, but season passes are currently on sale through digital retailers like Amazon Prime Video and FandangoNow at $19.99 HD and $14.99 SD, even though episodes will only become available a day after they are broadcast. As of this week, the first two episodes in season 3 can purchase individually for $2.99 HD and $1.99 SD.

The two earlier seasons are both available for digital and physical purchase. Yellowstone Season 1, initially released in December 2018, rose to No. 3 on the chart after shooting up to No. 4 the prior week in the wake of the third season’s linear debut.

Yellowstone: Season 2, released on DVD in November 2019, rose to No. 4 after debuting in the top 20 the prior week at No. 10.

According to Deadline, the Season 3 debut of “Yellowstone” on June 21 across four networks – three Paramount Network telecasts and three simulcasts on CMT, TV Land and Pop – attracted 6.6 million total viewers, making it the top cable premiere so far this year.

Featuring a cast headed by Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone” is centered around the conflicts between a cattle ranch, an Indian reservation and land developers, all of whom share common borders.

Rounding out the top five is Universal Pictures’ acclaimed The Invisible Man remake, which slipped to No. 5 after topping the chart the prior week.

  1. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  2. Trolls World Tour (DreamWorks/Universal)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount
  4. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  5. The Invisible Man (Universal)
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  7. The Hunt (Universal)
  8. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  9. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  10. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  11. 1917 (Universal)
  12. The Call of the Wild (Disney)
  13. Bloodshot (Sony, 2020)
  14. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  15. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  16. Onward (Disney)
  17. Fantasy Island (Sony, 2020)
  18. Dolittle (Universal)
  19. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  20. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended June 27

Tin Cup

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Available via Warner Archive;
Warner;
Comedy;
$21.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language and brief nudity.
Stars Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson.

A kind of shaggy dog or shaggy bogey or shaggy something golf backdropped romantic comedy directed and co-written by Ron Shelton, 1996’s Tin Cup was about as popular at the box office as the filmmaker’s breakthrough Bull Durham, yet it isn’t talked about as much these days — perhaps due to Durham’s extraordinarily sustained shelf life as a movie that really caught on in the home market. It’s long and a little lumpy, but it’s my favorite golf film out of a limited pool, despite my decades of boundless affection for Martin & Lewis in The Caddy, which is the picture from which I caught the movie bug in 1953.

For one thing, it has one of the greatest premises for a romantic comedy that I’ve ever seen, as a practitioner of the No. 1 head game in sports (Kevin Costner) falls for a clinical psychologist (Rene Russo). I see that one of those cretins you sometimes see posting on IMDb.com said he didn’t like the picture because Russo didn’t act anything like real people in the profession do, but one of the key points here is that the latter has knocked around in sales and other professions before getting her certification and is hardly to the profession born. What’s more, if she weren’t in her own way as flakey as Costner, their relationship could never get past the opening tee shot, which it barely does, anyway.

The setting is a West Texas driving rage that Costner operates and lives in sub-meagerly. I won’t say it’s out in the middle of nowhere, but you somehow know it isn’t a good sign when the logo on his establishment’s sign is an armadillo. Once a promising college golfer at the University of Houston, Costner has gone to professional seed over his habit of playing recklessly and his congenital refusal to follow the advice even of his caddy and all but live-in friend (Cheech Marin, in the best screen role he’s ever had aside from maybe parts in the earliest Cheech & Chong vehicles). Meanwhile, Costner’s chief college rival (a never-better Don Johnson) has become a name pro on the circuit. Those two are not dissimilar physical types, but I can’t tell if Shelton is trying to construct an alter ego thing or not.

Russo, who has a history of “following boyfriends” to wherever they are geographically, shows up at the range for golf lessons — and though this isn’t divulged right away, her current squeeze is a golfer who happens to be … well, guess. She can barely hit the ball when teeing off, so Costner has a lot of work to do, including polishing his faltering romantic patter. His familiar formulas aren’t working, partly because Russo sees right through him. She’s also too slow in picking up on the fact, which Costner fully knows from their long history, that super-slick Johnson is about as sincere as, say, Jim Bakker.

This is all an entertaining setup for what happens when Costner elects to attempt entry to the U.S. Open, which literally is “open” to any golfer who can qualify for entry — which, among other things, means not playing like a highly talented madman. This would encompass not intentionally snapping clubs like wishbones, using a 7-iron when it’s an eccentric choice for the shot and insulting your longtime caddy to the point where he walks off the course. Still, aside from the caddy part, Costner makes it work for him up to a point, though his behavior keeps adding strokes to a score and blowing what ought to be a cushion after he’s hit a hot streak.

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The wide open settings of the movie’s second half are a photogenic contrast to the first, which spends a lot of time in and around the mold culture where Costner lives, works and has even had surprising success with women in the past, though none of them with Russo’s at least relative polish. There are at least a couple standout set pieces, the first being an incredible bet that Costner sets up in a bar on the tour, which involves a long drive through a narrow doorway and over a body of water to attempt an odds-defying feat.

The other one is simply terrific — a scene I’ve never forgotten and one I was highly anxious to see again. It involves Costner’s death-wish attempt to reach the green over (again) a body of water, and it isn’t pretty, yet ultimately, it’s jammed with grandeur — the kind sports fans will talk about for decades when the actual winner of the tournament will be a fuzzy memory except for those who qualify as the hard core.

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All four leads really deliver in form-fitting roles, and though he wasn’t awarded top spot, Costner was one of three more to win a citation as best actor for 1996 from the New York Film Critics circle. He apparently had to be coached heavily to look like a competitive golfer, but he is such a good athlete in general (and a heavily skilled baseball player) that to my eye, at least, he looks convincing.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Tin Cup’ and ‘The General Died at Dawn’

‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ Speeding to Home Video

The Art of Racing in the Rain will be available through digital retailers Oct. 29, and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 5, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Based on the bestselling novel by Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a heart-warming tale narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Through his unique insight into the human condition, Enzo helps his owners — racecar driver Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), his wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) — navigate life with a refreshing perspective on friendship, family and unconditional love.

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The film earned $26.4 million at the domestic box office.

Extras include audio commentary by director Simon Curtis, and the featurettes “A Journey to Screen,” “Directing the Art,” “Enzo Cam,” “Behind the Wheel,” “The Dog Stays in the Picture” and “Enzo’s First Ride.”

 

Did Netflix’s ‘El Camino’ Run Out of Gas?

Netflix’s big-budget “Breaking Bad” movie sequel (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie) from creator Vince Gilligan offers a lengthy tale of morality and redemption through the gritty eyes of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) — the meth-cooking partner-in-crime to high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), whose character perished in the 2013 series finale.

El Camino — name of the 1978 Chevrolet Pinkman made his escape in the series conclusion — premiered on Netflix Oct. 11, reportedly generated 8.2 million viewers in the United States opening weekend, including an average of 6.5 million per minute, and 2.6 million per minute opening day, according Nielsen.

The viewership was on par with the “Breaking Bad” series run, with opening day streaming of El Camino topping the 1.5 million average household views for “Breaking Bad” episodes.

Some media reports say the data portended a strong theatrical weekend if Netflix bothered to distribute original movies via industry norms.

The data made news largely based on the “Breaking Bad” legacy and the fact Netflix remains secretive about ratings data of original programming.

Netflix has downplayed Nielsen data in the past contending it is limited to TV households and excludes portable devices and international viewership.

It also suggests the possibility El Camino hasn’t generated as much traction with subscribers as might be expected compared with other high-profile Netflix movies. Or perhaps Nielsen disclosed incomplete data.

Regardless, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CCO Ted Sarandos made no mention of the movie during the service’s Oct. 16 fiscal webcast — which was noteworthy.

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The service last year said a lot early about Bird Box, Sandra Bullock’s dystopian thriller that attracted 45 million households during its first week of release.

Kevin Costner’s Bonnie & Clyde thriller, The Highwaymen, generated 40-million first-month views, and Ben Affleck auctioneer Triple Frontier attracted 52 million households in 30 days.

The Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston original comedy Murder Mystery set an all-time weekend Netflix streaming record with 30.87 million views. Another 20 million streamed The Christmas Chronicles, starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus.

On the Oct. 16 webcast, however, Sarandos just talked about pending movie releases 6 Underground, The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes, among others.

“It’s our first time we’ve seen the scale and this volume of films in one quarter, so we’re really excited about it,” Sarandos said.

So where’s the El Camino excitement?

Season Two of ‘Yellowstone’ on Disc Nov. 5

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Yellowstone: Season Two on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 5.

From writer-director Taylor Sheridan, ”Yellowstone” is a family drama about a multi-generational family that controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. In Season two, John (Kevin Costner), Kayce (Luke Grimes) and the rest of the clan battle constant encroachment from ruthless enemies on all sides.

The three-disc Blu-ray and four-disc DVD sets include all 10 hour-long episodes from the second season, plus more than three hours of additional content.

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Extras include deleted scenes, a “Behind the Story” featurette for each episode, “Stories From the Bunkhouse” for each episode, and featurettes “Inside Yellowstone: Season 2,” “Costner on Yellowstone: Season 2,” “Working the Yellowstone: Fight Choreography,” “Only Devils Left — Making Yellowstone: Season 2” and “Yellowstone Tintype Photography Behind the Scenes.”

The show has been renewed for a third season on Paramount Network. The season two finale airs Aug. 28.

Imax Open to Screening Netflix Movies if Streamer Expands Theatrical Window

Movie exhibitor Imax is open to screening Netflix movies provided the subscription streaming video pioneer agrees to a longer theatrical window, according to CEO Rich Gelfond.

Speaking earlier this month on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Gelfond said Imax had joined other exhibitors bypassing Netflix original movies made available on the service day-and-date with theatrical release.

He said Imax’s stance would change if Netflix was willing to compromise.

“Directors themselves really want theatrical releases,” Gelfond said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see if [Netflix has] windows for that. Now, whether the windows are good enough where the theaters want to play them, that remains to be seen.”

Exhibitors want Netflix to abide the industry-standard 12-week window, while Netflix has agreed to 14-day windows for select films such as Oscar winner Roma and Bird Box– both earmarked for industry awards.

Netflix made new release The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, available theatrically on March 15 – two weeks ahead of its global streaming debut March 29.

Imax would like to screen Netflix’s next awards-caliber movie, The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, which debuts later this year.

 

 

Report: Netflix Movies Skipping Cannes Film Festival

Netflix reportedly won’t have any film entries in the 2019 Cannes Film Festival May 14-25 in Cannes, France, despite efforts by the subscription streaming video pioneer and event organizers to hammer out a truce in their ongoing theatrical window feud.

Netflix executives Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber apparently found no compromise after recently meeting with Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux in Los Angeles regarding the SVOD service’s insistence on streaming its original movies day-and-date with any theatrical release, according to Variety — which cited a source familiar with the situation.

The standoff last year resulted in Netflix bypassing Cannes and submitting original movie Roma to the Venice Film Festival where it won the top Golden Lion award.

While industry politics generate the headlines, Variety reports that Netflix didn’t have a movie ready for the March 11 deadline for official feature length film submissions to the 72nd Cannes Festival.

Fremaux apparently had hopes for Netflix mob movie,The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, being submitted to the competition. Regardless, Netflix reps will be at Cannes scouting out indie content to acquire.

Separately, actor Kevin Costner, whose next film, The Highwaymen, begins streaming on Netflix March 29, believes movies should have a theatrical release if possible.

“I think movies are for theaters, and as long as they can stay in them,” Costner said at last week’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

The actor said over-the-top video represents a new way for people to consume movies and distribution channel for the industry to fight over.

“The sand shifting, I haven’t thought about that as much as I’ve thought about the next movie I’m gonna do, or the next story I’m gonna write,” Costner said.

‘Waterworld,’ Del Toro’s ‘Crimson Peak’ on Tap in January from Arrow and MVD

The Kevin Costner dystopian tale Waterworld, Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak, and the blacksploitation classic Willie Dynamite are among the films coming to Blu-ray in January from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Willie Dynamite debuts Jan. 8. Director Gilbert Moses balances action and social commentary in this story of Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman), the flashiest pimp in New York, who sports a personalized purple-and-gold Cadillac and eye-catching clothes. Dynamite wants to be No. 1, but he has the police, the D.A., fellow pimps and a tough-talking social worker on his tail. The score by J.J. Johnson features Motown legend Martha Reeves. Special features include “Kiss My Baad Asss,” a guide to blaxploitation hosted by actor and musician Ice-T and featuring interviews with Richard Roundtree, Melvin van Peebles, Isaac Hayes and others; the theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips; and for the first pressing only, a fully illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Cullen Gallagher.

Jan. 15 comes Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro’s (The Shape of Water) gothic romance Crimson PeakMia Wasikowska stars as an aspiring author struck by family tragedy. The film also features Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston. Special features include audio commentary by co-writer and director Del Toro; “The House is Alive: Constructing Crimson Peak,” a newly edited, feature-length documentary with cast and crew interviews and extensive behind-the-scenes footage; a previously unseen Spanish-language interview with Del Toro; “A Primer on Gothic Romance,” in which the director and stars talk about the key traits of gothic romance; “The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak,” in which the cast and crew talk about the film’s use of color; “Hand Tailored Gothic,” a featurette on the film’s costumes; “A Living Thing,” a look at the design, modelling and construction of the Allerdale Hall sets; “Beware of Crimson Peak,” a walking tour around Allerdale Hall with Hiddleston; “Crimson Phantoms,” a featurette on the film’s ghosts; a newly filmed interview with author and critic Kim Newman on Crimson Peak and the tradition of gothic romance; “Violence and Beauty in Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic Fairy Tale Films,” a new video essay by the writer Kat Ellinger; deleted scenes; original trailers and TV spots; a double-sided, fold-out poster; four double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; limited edition packaging newly designed by Crimson Peak concept artist Guy Davis; and a limited edition 80-page, hard-bound book featuring new writing by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams, an archival interview with del Toro, and original conceptual design illustrations by artists Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni.

Also due Jan. 15 is the horror film The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, from Italian director Luciano Ercoli. The twisting tale takes viewers through a triangle of friendship, sex and murder. Special features include new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine; “Private Pictures,” a newly-edited documentary featuring archival interviews with actress Nieves Navarro and director Luciano Ercoli, and new interview material with writer Ernesto Gastaldi; “The Forbidden Soundtrack of the Big Three,” a new appreciation of the music of Forbidden Photos and 1970s Italian cult cinema by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon; “The Forbidden Lady,” a Q&A with actress Dagmar Lassander at the 2016 Festival of Fantastic Films; original Italian and English theatrical trailers; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Michael Mackenzie.

Jan. 22 comes the Costner actioner notorious for its expensive budget, Waterworld, a dystopian tale about Earth being completely submerged in water. The new release features a 4K restoration and three cuts of the film, including the extended U.S. TV cut that runs 40 minutes longer than the theatrical release. Other special features include six collector’s postcards; a double-sided fold-out poster; a limited edition 60-page book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper; “Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld,” a new, feature-length, making-of documentary including cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; an original archival featurette capturing the film’s production; “Global Warnings,” in which film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters; a production and promotional stills gallery; a visual effects stills gallery; and original trailers and TV spots.

First Season of Costner’s ‘Yellowstone’ Arrives on Disc Dec. 4

Season one of writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s family drama “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Dec. 4 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

The hit Paramount Network series chronicles the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States.  The  cast also includes Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Brecken Merrill and Jefferson White.

The disc versions include more than 80 minutes of bonus materials, including new interviews with Costner and Sheridan.

 

Criterion July Slate Includes ‘Bull Durham’

The Criterion Collection in July will release new Blu-ray special editions of the classic 1988 baseball movie Bull Durham and Steven Soderbergh’s directorial debut, sex, lies, and videotape.

Arriving July 10 (order date June 12) on Blu-ray and DVD, Criterion’s Bull Durham features a new 4K digital restoration supervised by director Ron Shelton, with a 2.0 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, plus an alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD master audio on the Blu-ray.

Extras include two audio commentaries featuring Shelton and actors Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins; a new conversation between Shelton and film critic Michael Sragow; “Between the Lines: The Making of Bull Durham,” a 2002 program featuring interviews with cast and crew, including Shelton, Costner, Robbins and actress Susan Sarandon; “The Greatest Show on Dirt,” a 2008 appreciation of the film featuring former players, broadcasters, and sports-film aficionados; a NBC Nightly News piece from 1993 on the final season of baseball at Durham Athletic Park, where Bull Durham takes place and was shot; an interview with Max Patkin, known as the Clown Prince of Baseball, from a 1991 episode of NBC’s “Today”; the film’s trailer; plus excerpts from a 1989 piece by longtime New Yorker baseball writer Roger Angell, with new comments from the author.

The new DVD and Blu-ray editions of 1989’s sex, lies, and videotape arrive July 17 (order date June 19), with a new 4K digital transfer supervised by Soderbergh, and a 5.1 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include audio commentary from 1998 featuring Soderbergh in conversation with filmmaker Neil LaBute; a new program Soderbergh responding to fan questions; interviews with Soderbergh from 1990 and 1992; a new documentary about the making of the film featuring actors Peter Gallagher, Andie MacDowell and Laura San Giacomo; a new conversation with composer Cliff Martinez and supervising sound editor Larry Blake; a deleted scene with commentary by Soderbergh; trailers; plus an essay by critic Amy Taubin and, in the Blu-ray release, excerpts from Soderbergh’s diaries written at the time of the film’s production.

Coming July 3 (order date June 5) are Blu-ray and DVD boxed sets of Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood, a collection of six films pairing director Josef von Sternberg with German actress Marlene Dietrich.

The set includes the films Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935).

All six films feature new 2K or 4K digital restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays. Also included are new interviews with film scholars Janet Bergstrom and Homay King; director Josef von Sternberg’s son, Nicholas; Deutsche Kinemathek curator Silke Ronneburg; and costume designer and historian Deborah Nadoolman Landis. Other extras include a  new documentary about actor Marlene Dietrich’s German origins, featuring film scholars Gerd Gemünden and Noah Isenberg; a new documentary on Dietrich’s status as a feminist icon, featuring film scholars Mary Desjardins, Amy Lawrence and Patricia White; The Legionnaire and the Lady, a 1936 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Morocco, featuring Dietrich and actor Clark Gable; a new video essay by critics Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López; The Fashion Side of Hollywood, a 1935 publicity short featuring Dietrich and costume designer Travis Banton; a 1971 television interview with Dietrich; plus a book featuring essays by critics Imogen Sara Smith, Gary Giddins and Farran Smith Nehme.

Also due July 10 is 1967’s Dragon Inn on Blu-ray and DVD, with a new 4K digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Hua Hui-ying, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new interview with actor Shangkuan Ling-fung; a 2016 interview with actor Shih Chun; scene analysis by author and New York Asian Film Festival cofounder Grady Hendrix; newsreel footage of the film’s 1967 premiere in Taiwan; the trailer; a new English subtitle translation; and an essay by critic Andrew Chan.

The 1946 film A Matter of Life and Death, with David Niven and Kim Hunter, arrives on new Blu-ray and DVD editions July 24 (order date June 26), with a new 4K digital restoration, plus uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Bonus materials include a 2009 audio commentary from film scholar Ian Christie; a new interview with editor Thelma Schoonmaker, director Michael Powell’s widow; a new interview with film historian Craig Barron on the film’s visual effects and production design; an interview from 2009 with filmmaker Martin Scorsese; The Colour Merchant, a 1998 short film by Craig McCall featuring cinematographer Jack Cardiff; plus an essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek.