Glengarry Glen Ross: Collector’s Edition

BLU-RAY REVIEW 

Street Date 6/2/20;
Shout! Factory;
Drama;
$22.97 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language including sexual references.
Stars Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce, Jude Ciccolella, Bruce Altman.

Some movies just have a way of getting in your head and wrapping themselves around your brain. Glengarry Glen Ross, based on David Mamet’s stage play, is such a film. With a powerhouse cast (including four Academy Award winners) delivering juicy dialogue, how could it not be? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself quoting the film with regularity after a viewing.

In the 1992 film, as with the play, we meet four real-estate salesmen who will do anything to sell worthless property to customers who don’t want it.

Mamet has found a way to cram so many worthwhile themes, from transition to desperation, into such a simple framework. Jack Lemmon plays Shelley “The Machine” Levine, an elderly salesman who has fallen on hard times. Al Pacino plays smooth-talker Ricky Roma, who is in the midst of a winning streak. Alec Baldwin plays a hotshot from downtown who shows up in a classic cameo written specifically for the actor for the screen version. All are pitch perfect.

Baldwin puts the fear of God into the salesmen by telling them to close a deal or they’re fired. The next day, the office has been ransacked. Sensitive documents have been stolen. The subsequent investigation quickly gives way to one of the classic verbal beatdowns in cinema history, when Pacino berates the inept office manager, played by Kevin Spacey, after he costs Roma a big sale.

These are scenes you could watch again and again with continued fascination at the skill with which these performers give life to the words on the page. Mamet’s screenplay, which he adapted himself, is often hailed as being better than the stage version due to the inclusion of the Baldwin scene, which crystalizes the stakes of the story in a way the stage production only hints at.

Surprisingly, despite its legacy and acclaim, the film earned just one Academy Award nomination, Pacino for Best Supporting Actor. Pacino would lose that race to Gene Hackman in Unforgiven, but got the last laugh the same year when he took home Best Actor for Scent of a Woman. For some people it’s just in the cards. (When the movie came out, Lemmon had been the only Oscar winner in the cast. After Pacino, Spacey and Alan Arkin would later win Oscars, with Baldwin, Ed Harris and Jonathan Pryce earning Oscar nominations).

The new Shout Select Blu-ray presents the film with a gorgeous new 4K digital transfer from the original camera negative that offers a crisp, vivid image. Being sourced from a loquacious stage play, the film’s visual splendors are secondary concerns, though director James Foley and cinematographer Juan Ruiz Anchía do their best to enhance the dreary ambiance of the piece with moody shadows and reflections of rain while bathing the characters in various shades of neon.

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In terms of bonus material, the new Blu-ray offers a healthy mix of old and new extras.

The first of the new additions is a 30-minute interview with Foley as he reflects on the development of the film version and the relative ease of the production since he was working with such a talented cast and a tight screenplay. The other is “God Bless Ricky Roma,” a 24-minute interview with actor Joe Mantegna, who won a Tony playing Roma on Broadway in the 1980s.

The Shout Blu-ray also includes two half-hour documentaries from the old 10th anniversary DVD from 1992 that were subsequently included on Lionsgate’s 2016 Blu-ray edition: the “ABC: Always Be Closing” documentary about the psychological intersection of fictional and real-life salesmen, and the “Magic Time: A Tribute to Jack Lemmon” documentary.

The disc also includes two commentary tracks. One comes from Foley that originated on the 10th anniversary DVD and was included on the Blu-ray as well. He offers some good stories about the production, some of which he also recounts in the new interview, but there are lengthy gaps where he just lets the film run without saying a word.

The other commentary is by Jack Lemmon, originally recorded for the 1992 Laserdisc of the film but missing from subsequent disc releases, so it makes a welcome return here. Lemmon is effusive in his praise for his fellow cast members, whom he calls the most talented bunch he ever worked with. His commentary is a fantastic intermingling of stories from the set with tales of old Hollywood from the 1950s and ’60s.

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As to what didn’t make it from previous releases, the new Blu-ray jettisons a 10-minute clip of Lemmon on the Charlie Rose show talking about the movie in 1992, and a two-minute bit of Kevin Spacey reciting his “Go to lunch” scene with an audience member on “Inside the Actors Studio.” Both were featured on both the previous DVD and Blu-ray releases, but their absence here is understandable given the problematic revelations regarding both Rose and Spacey that have popped up in recent years. It’s a shame to lose the reflections from Lemmon in the Rose piece, though.

In addition, a couple of extras from the old DVD that didn’t carry over to the 2016 Blu-ray also aren’t resurrected here. These include a scene-specific commentary from the cast and crew, and filmmaker Tony Buba’s short documentary “J. Roy: New and Used Furniture.” So completist collectors who have that 10th anniversary DVD might want to pair this new Blu-ray with the second disc from that set (which offers the pan-and-scan version of the movie along with the extras missing from the later Blu-rays).

Shout! Factory Schedules August Home Release for Two Anime Films by Hayao Miyazaki

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, Aug. 25 are re-releasing Kiki’s Delivery Service and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, two animated films from award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, as limited-edition Steelbook Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo packs. The collector’s sets come with hours of bonus features, including a booklet with art and statements from the creators.

Originally adapted from the 1985 novel by Eiko Kadono, Kiki’s Delivery Service is coming-of-age tale of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to discover she has lost her gift of flight after a moment of self-doubt. As she overcomes her problem, the time comes for her to leave home and learn a craft (according to an old witches tradition) and she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji.

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Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, original theatrical trailers, Ursula’s painting, the locations of Kiki’s Delivery Service, an eight-page booklet with statements from the producer and director, and the featurettes “Creating Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Producer’s Perspective: Collaborating with Miyazaki,” “Flying with Kiki & Beyond” and “Behind the Microphone.”

Based on Miyazaki’s 1982 manga of the same name, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was originally released two years later, in 1984. The Japanese animated epic, science fantasy and adventure film takes place 1,000 years after the Seven Days of Fire destroyed civilization, where warring human factions survive in a world devastated by atmospheric poisons and gigantic insects. The peaceful Valley of the Wind is nestled on the edge of the Toxic Forest and led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, whose love of all living things leads her into terrible danger, as she fights to restore balance between humans and nature.

Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, the original theatrical trailers and TV spots, audio commentary with Hideaki Anno and Kazuyoshi Katayama, an interview with Toshio Suzuki and Hideaki Anno titled “Nausicaä and Evangelion! The Whereabouts of the Giant Warrior?,” a 12-page booklet with statements from the producer and director, and the featurettes “Behind the Microphone” and “Creating Nausicaä.”

GKIDS, Shout! Factory Set Home Dates for Anime Film ‘Ride Your Wave’

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have set an Aug. 4 home release date for Ride Your Wave, the latest film by anime amateur Masaaki Yuasa, who is known for  Night Is Short, Walk on Girl.

The film will be available for digital download, on demand, in a Blu-ray Disc-and-DVD combo pack, or as a standalone DVD.

Winner of the 2019 Best Animated Feature award at the Fantasia, Sitges, and Shanghai International film festivals, Ride Your Wave follows a surf-loving college student named Hinako who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a fire breaks out in her apartment, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter with whom she eventually falls in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea, which leaves Hinako so distraught that she can’t even look at the ocean. One day, as she is singing a song that reminded her of their time together, he appears on the water and she realizes she can summon him on any watery surface as soon as she sings the song.

Featuring an all-star Japanese voice cast that includes Ryôta Katayose and Rina Kawaei, Ride Your Wave also has a hit theme song in “Brand New Story,” performed by Generations From Exile Tribe. The home entertainment release also includes an all-new English-language version of the film, featuring the voices of Joey Richter (A Very Potter Musical) as Minato, Merit Leighton (“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”) as Hinako, Sarah Williams (Kill la Kill, Puella Magi Madoka Magica) as Yoko, and Michael Johnston (Teen Wolf) as Wasabi.

Additional bonus features include an interview with producer Eunyoung Choi, animated storyboards, a character still gallery, trailers and TV spots, as well as an exclusive 12-page booklet with a statement from Masaaki Yuasa and other art.

Shout! Factory, IFC to Issue ‘Three Christs’ on DVD, Blu-ray Disc June 16

Shout! Factory and IFC Films have set a June 16 release date for Three Christs, an American drama directed, co-produced, and co-written by Jon Avnet and starring Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins, and Bradley Whitford.

The film will be issued on both Blu-ray Disc and DVD, and can be pre-ordered now on ShoutFactory.com.

The 2017 film, based on Milton Rokeach’s nonfiction book The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, is set in 1959 and follows the story of Dr. Alan Stone (Gere), a psychiatrist who arrives at a mental hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with the belief that schizophrenic patients should be treated with empathy and understanding rather than confinement and electroshock therapy.

As his first study, he takes on a particularly challenging case of three men — Joseph (Dinklage), Leon (Goggins), and Clyde (Whitford) — each of whom believes they are Jesus Christ. Hoping to get them all in the same room to confront their dillusions, Dr. Stone begins a risky yet unprecedented experiment that will push the boundaries of psychiatric medicine and leave everyone involved profoundly changed.

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Three Christs originally premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2017, and went on to a limited theatrical release. It became available on video-on-demand (VOD) on Jan. 10.

Shout Select Presents ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ Collector’s Edition Blu-ray June 2

Shout! Factory’s premium home video label, Shout Select, June 2 will release a collector’s edition Blu-ray of the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross.

Adapted from the play by David Mamet, the film tracks a group of down-on-their luck Chicago real-estate salesman as they try to meet the month’s sale’s goals in order to avoid being fired.

The cast includes Al Pacino in an Oscar-nominated performance, plus Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce and Alec Baldwin as the motivational speaker whose cameo was written into the film version.

The Shout! Blu-ray edition includes a new 4K transfer from the original camera negative; a new conversation with director James Foley; a new “God Bless Ricky Roma” featurette in which actor Joe Mantegna remembers working with Mamet on a stage production of the story; an “A.B.C. ‘Always Be Closing’ featurette; a “Magic Time: A Tribute To Jack Lemmon” featurette; and separate commentaries with Foley and Lemmon.

Russian Sci-Fi Thriller ‘The Blackout: Invasion Earth’ Heads Home in June

Shout! Factory has announced a June 2 home release date for The Blackout: Invasion Earth, a sci-fi action-thriller directed by Egor Baranov.

The Russian film will be available on demand, through digital retailers, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

Originally released in the Russian Federation in late-November 2019, The Blackout: Invasion Earth is available now for preorder on ShoutFactory.com.

The film begins when an unexplained phenomenon strikes Earth and severs contact between most towns. The only town that still has electricity is a small town in Eastern Europe. The unexplained strike left corpses everywhere, including stores, cars, roads, hospitals, and railway stations. As the mystery unravels, it becomes more and more apparent that it will not be terrorism or nuclear war that causes the end of civilization, but something more sinister — and mysterious.

Shout! Announces Complete Series of ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ Will Be Available for Streaming June 1

All 11 seasons of “The Carol Burnett Show” will be available June 1 for viewing on streaming platforms from Shout! Factory TV.

On May 30 and May 31, Shout! Factory TV will kick things off by celebrating the release with a weekend-long marathon.

“The Carol Burnett Show” will be available for streaming-on-demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV-branded channels, including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

Many of the episodes included in the streaming release will be available to watch for the first time since the original broadcast more than 40 years ago. The comedy legend, who turned 87 on April 26, worked with Shout! Factory to find the long-lost masters of these episodes.

Shout! Factory TV will celebrate the streaming launch by hosting “The Carol Burnett Show” marathon, which will be streaming curated episodes of the classic show all weekend long on May 30 and May 31. The marathon can be viewed on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, YouTube, Redbox, Vizio, Pluto TV, IMDb, and STIRR. Viewers will also be able to chat live on Shout! Factory TV’s Twitch channel and the Shout! Factory YouTube channel, and answer trivia questions on Twitter @ShoutFactoryTV.

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Burnett and her cast of Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman and Lyle Waggoner were among the originators of the sketch comedy format. Cited as one of the best TV shows of all time by TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Rolling Stone and others, “The Carol Burnett Show” ended its 11-year run three years after “Saturday Night Live” started in 1975.

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Over 11 seasons, “The Carol Burnett Show” featured a who’s-who of stars from film, TV and music, including Betty White, Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, Lucille Ball, George Carlin, Cher, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Roddy McDowall, The Smothers Brothers, Bernadette Peters, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lily Tomlin, Bing Crosby, Ken Berry, Madeline Kahn, Steve Lawrence and Jim Nabors, among others.

Shout! Factory TV to Screen Films, TV Shows Starring ‘Singing Cowboy’ Gene Autry

Shout! Factory TV has announced the launch of the Gene Autry film and television library, which will be available for streaming on the site on May 1.

Autry, who died in 1998, is the fabled “singing cowboy” known for his performances on radio, in films, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s.

He was also one of a key pioneers in the history of country music, alongside such greats as Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills. His “singing cowboy” films introduced country music to a national audience through such hits as “Back in the Saddle Again,” his signature song.

Autry also sang such holiday classics as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

The Gene Autry film and TV archive will be available for streaming on demand across all Shout! Factory TV platforms; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Video Direct, Amazon Channels, and the Roku Channel.

Shout! Factory TV has worked closely with Gene Autry Entertainment to curate monthly releases of Autry content from the late actor and singer’s personal archive.

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The inaugural month’s collection will see the streaming debut of fully restored feature films South of the Border, Gaucho Serenade, Melody Ranch, The Strawberry Roan and Blue Canadian Rockies.

Coming June 1 will be Public Cowboy No. 1, In Old Monterey, Rovin’ Tumbleweeds, Ridin’ on a Rainbow and Sioux City Sue.

Additionally, on the last Wednesday of every month, Gene Autry films will stream on Shout! Factory TV’s linear channel.

Shout Select Releasing ‘Deer Hunter’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 26

Shout Select, the premium imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory, will release The Deer Hunter on 4K Ultra HD disc for the first time May 26.

The Deer Hunter: Collector’s Edition two-disc combo pack will present the 1978 Best Picture Oscar winner on both a 4K disc and a regular Blu-ray Disc loaded with bonus features including new interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

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The film follows a group of Pennsylvania steelworkers from their blue-collar lives, hunting in the woods of the Alleghenies, to the hell of the Vietnam War. The cast includes Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage and Meryl Streep.

In addition to Best Picture, the film won Academy Awards for director Michael Cimino, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Walken, Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

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Both the 4K and Blu-ray discs will include audio commentary by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and journalist Bob Fisher.

The Blu-ray will also include new interviews with Savage, actress Rutanya Alda, producer Michael Deeley, post-production supervisor Katy Haber and Universal Marketing executive Willette Klausner. Other extras include an interview with film critic David Thomson, deleted and extended scenes, a theatrical trailer, radio spots and a still gallery.

Fans who preorder the combo pack from ShoutFactory.com will also receive an exclusive 18x 24-inch poster, while supplies last.

Scream Factory Releasing ‘Escape From L.A.’ Collector’s Edition Blu-ray May 26

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory, will release a collector’s edition of director John Carpenter’s Escape From L.A. on Blu-ray May 26.

The film is a sequel to Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape From New York, which starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, the anti-hero tasked with rescuing the U.S. President from Manhattan, which in the future has been converted into a walled off prison.

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In 1996’s Escape From L.A., Russell returns as Plissken, who this time is forced to rescue the president’s daughter from Southern California, which in the future has been rendered an island wasteland by a massive earthquake.

The cast also includes Stacy Keach, Steve Buscemi, Bruce Campbell, Peter Fonda, George Corraface, Peter Jason, Cliff Robertson and Pam Grier.

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The Blu-ray will offers the film with a new 4K scan from the original negative, and new interviews with Keach, Campbell, Jason, Corraface, special effects artist Jim McPherson and visual effects artist David Jones. Other extras include a still gallery, the theatrical trailer and TV spots.

A bare-bones Blu-ray edition of Escape From L.A. was previously released by Paramount in 2010. A Scream Factory Blu-ray of Escape From New York was released in 2015.