Shout! Factory to Issue 2003 Bob Dylan Film ‘Masked and Anonymous’ on Blu-ray Disc

Shout! Factory has set a March 10 home release date for Masked and Anonymous, a 2003 drama directed by Larry Charles that was originally written by Charles and Bob Dylan, who also stars in the movie.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc. Bonus features include a new interview and commentary with Charles, deleted scenes, a making-of documentary, and the original theatrical trailers.

Dylan plays the enigmatic Jack Fate, a former traveling troubadour who is bailed out of jail by his manager to headline a sketchy and misguided benefit concert for a decaying America. The concert is organized by Uncle Sweetheart, a corrupt concert promoter who plans on raking in huge sums of money for himself through the event. Meanwhile, journalist Tom Friend (Jeff Bridges) investigates the corrupt concert and tries to unveil the truth to the public.

The film has a star-heavy cast, including Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Chris Penn, Steven Bauer, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Paul Chan, Christian Slater and Fred Ward.

Criterion’s January 2020 Slate Includes ‘Fail Safe’

The list of Criterion Collection Blu-ray and DVD releases for January 2020 includes Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother, George Cukor’s romantic comedy Holiday, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le petit soldat, Sidney Lumet’s nuclear-war thriller Fail Safe, and a Blu-ray edition of Lumet’s Tennessee Williams adaptation The Fugitive Kind.

Arriving Jan. 7 on DVD and Blu-ray is 1938’s Holiday, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The special edition includes a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include Holiday (1930), a previous adaptation of Philip Barry’s play, directed by Edward H. Griffith; a new conversation between filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and film critic Michael Sragow; audio excerpts from an American Film Institute oral history with director George Cukor, recorded in 1970 and ’71; a costume gallery; plus an essay by critic Dana Stevens.

Due Jan. 14 is 1960’s The Fugitive Kind, bringing together four Oscar-winning actors: Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward and Maureen Stapleton. The Blu-ray includes a high-definition digital restoration, approved by Lumet, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras include an interview from 2009 with Lumet; Three Plays by Tennessee Williams, an hour-long 1958 television presentation of one-act plays, directed by Lumet and starring Ben Gazzara and Lee Grant, among others; a program from 2010 discussing Williams’s work in Hollywood and The Fugitive Kind; plus an essay by film critic David Thomson.

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Arriving Jan. 21 on DVD and Blu-ray is 1963’s Le petit soldat, Godard’s examination of the use of torture in the Algerian War. The special edition includes a high-definition digital restoration, approved by cinematographer Raoul Coutard, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, and a new English subtitle translation. Extras include an interview with Godard from 1965; an interview with actor Michel Subor from 1963; an audio interview with Godard from 1961; plus an essay by critic Nicholas Elliott.

All About My Mother, from 1999, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 28 with a new 2K digital restoration supervised by executive producer Agustín Almodóvar and approved by the director, with a new English subtitle translation, and 5.1 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a 52-minute documentary from 2012 on the making of the film, featuring interviews with Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar; actors Penélope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Cecilia Roth and Antonia San Juan; production manager Esther García; and author Didier Eribon. Other extras include a television program from 1999 featuring Pedro Almodóvar and his mother, Francisca Caballero, along with Cruz, San Juan, Paredes and Roth; a 48-minute post-screening Q&A in Madrid from 2019, featuring the Almodóvars and Paredes; plus an essay by film scholar Emma Wilson. The Blu-ray will include an interview with Pedro Almodóvar and a tribute he wrote to his mother, both from 1999.

Also due on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 28 is 1964’s Fail Safe, starring Henry Fonda as the U.S. president and Walter Matthau as a trigger-happy political theorist. The special edition includes a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include an audio commentary from 2000 featuring director Sidney Lumet; a new interview with film critic J. Hoberman on 1960s nuclear paranoia and Cold War films; “Fail Safe Revisited”, a short documentary from 2000 including interviews with Lumet, screenwriter Walter Bernstein and actor Dan O’Herlihy; plus an essay by critic Bilge Ebiri.

Belle Epoque

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Olive;
Comedy;
$24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Jorge Sanz, Fernando Fernan Gomez, Penelope Cruz.

A color-drenched period comedy about robustly healthy (i.e., not leering) sex in the physically resplendent Spanish sticks, Belle Epoque won me over in its first-run theatrical engagement for providing an hour/50 of incessant enjoyment — in other words, even before director Franco Trueba upped my good tidings by thanking Billy Wilder for inspiration when he accepted the foreign-language Oscar on 1994’s telecast.

Good man, though there aren’t a lot of obvious direct lines to Wilder’s work here — except perhaps for when impossibly lucky protagonist Fernando (Jorge Sands) finds that he really likes it hot amid a cross-dressing romp with the one of four comely sisters who happens to be gay. No worries, though, because at least during this one solitary romp on the way back from a costume party, she enjoys getting it on with him as she sports a moustache (he’s in drag as a maid). Hey, whatever works, as Tonya Harding might have said.

The year is 1931, the seeds of the coming civil war are being watered, and Fernando falls into a household of free-living republicans. Household patriarch Manolo (the late hard-working character actor Fernando Fernan Gomez) is a sex-appreciating painter who suffers from erectile dysfunction when it’s anything but afternoon delights with his wife. Unfortunately, she’s always on the international road emptying theaters with her Florence Foster Jenkins soprano act, accompanied by a smitten, money-losing manager who’s naturally distraught when she wants to romp with Manolo on her infrequent trips home. But this is getting ahead of the story.

Most of that has to do with young Fernando’s escape from the seminary and his relationship with the couple’s daughters: a young widow; the aforementioned gay one; a third who’s being pursued by possibly the No. 1 nerd in Spain (he’s mother-dominated, too). No. 4 is the baby of the bunch, though she she’s not exactly still in her diapers, given that Penelope Cruz (in one of her first movies) plays her. Eventually, Fernando works his way through the checklist, though without any guile or duplicity — both unneeded, given that the sisters aren’t exactly reserved about the situation and are, in fact, on the aggressive side. It’s a made-to-order male fantasy for someone trying to get the seminary out of his system, though let it be said that this is already a milieu in which the local priest enjoys playing cards at the best/only brothel in the village.

When I heard that Belle Epoque was coming out on Blu-ray, I immediately wondered if the color values would be rendered right because sheer visual splendor is one of the reasons the pace here never flags (along with a slew of vividly-delineated characters who keep hopping in and out of a gorgeous frame). Though distributor Olive Films (and for that matter, Raw Deal’s ClassicFlix as well) continues to exasperate me when its releases always revert back to the movie’s beginning whenever one shuts down the player for not very long, BE in high-def is very much the visual stunner that it would have to be not to disappoint, though a commentary certainly wouldn’t have been unwelcome. (I’m of the school, however, that it’s far more important to get the presentation right before we go onto to any discussions of gravy.) Trueba’s tickler had a lot of strong Oscar competition in its year: Farewell, My Concubine; Ang Lee’s The Wedding Party; The Scent of Green Papaya; and a fourth title I’ve never seen. We were still in an era when foreign-language releases could at least attract U.S. audiences a little before the dumbed-down video game culture took over.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Raw Deal’ and ‘Belle Epoque’