Listen to the episode with our Top 5’s here
10: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Sony Columbia Pictures)
The only disc from my whole top picks of the year that doesn’t carry any kind of commentary track. A bizarre omission given how hard it is to shut Tarantino up any other time of the year. The extras do pile quite a lot of information in that does enhance the overall experience. The features on the Blu Ray are:
- Additional Scenes (1080p; 25:01)
- Quentin Tarantino’s Love Letter to Hollywood (1080p; 5:00) is a brief EPK with some interviews and fun behind the scenes footage.
- Bob Richardson – For the Love of Film (1080p; 4:34) focuses (sorry) on the film’s cinematographer.
- Shop Talk – The Cars of 1969 (1080p; 5:58) is an engaging look at the vintage vehicles in the film. It’s really fun to see how they outfitted some of these for the “POV” shots.
- Restoring Hollywood — The Production Design of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (1080p; 9:18) features Barbara Ling’s excellent work on the film.
- The Fashion of 1969 (1080p; 6:37) centres on Arianne Phillips’ equally adept costuming for the film.
The A/V quality of the disc is exceptional, but it’s to be expected given that it’s a 4K scan overseen by Tarantino.
9: Bloody Terror (Indicator)
A bit of a cheat, this one. It’s a box set of selected works of Norman J. Warren, a British filmmaker who has a reputation for creating some of the grimiest looking UK horror movies on the lowest of budgets imaginable. In fact, sometimes I’m left wondering if they were cheaper to produce than this ridiculously opulent set that spoils you with the sheer amount of extras. Luckily, Warren is still with us and looked like he was having a blast getting involved with all kinds of intros and interviews covering the set and his career.
It’s an amazing time to be alive, when labels like Indicator are able to give some little cult favourites like this a five star treatment, that even the major Hollywood studios wouldn’t give to their tentpole releases.
Full details here: https://bit.ly/2szPrMw
8: Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (1998) (Arrow Video)
The latest edition of a perennial favourite. My love for Terry Gilliam knows no bounds and after him behaving himself for Universal’s The Fisher King & Twelve Monkeys it was great to see him let loose and what better than a notorious book by Hunter S. Thompson?
This is the sixth edition I’ve picked up (including a couple of lovely Criterion releases), and hopefully the last word too.
The disc comes with a brand new 4K scan, supervised by Gilliam himself and a whole raft of brand new features, so much so that I’ll give you the link for the complete listing here: https://bit.ly/2uVP7sg. As with all the other editions I have of this movie, it doesn’t make any of them defunct so I reckon that eventually there’ll be a Fear & Loathing shelf. And that makes me happy.
7: Bedazzled (1967) (Twilight Time)
I’ve inadvertently got myself a double bill here, following The Wrong Box, Bedazzled is the second film appearance of Peter Cook & Dudley Moore. Twilight Time have consistently produced many great discs over the years and it’s no accident that I’m on the ScreenArchives.com mailing list. Each TT release is a limited run, usually picked up and released later from larger studios and some fly off the shelves faster than others. There have been a few Arrow Video releases that have nearly completely echoed some TT titles further down the line, but what makes this imprint so unique is the Isolated Score (sometimes supplying a hitherto unheard alternate soundtrack as a bonus too). Bedazzled is no exception with The Dudley Moore Ensemble providing a very polished swinging London vibe that demands to be heard as its own entity.
The disc is a stunning HD remaster with the look of late 60’s London really popping from the screen. Apart from the Isolated score, there’s an archive interview from Pete & Dud and a surprisingly entertaining love fest from Ghostbusters director Harold Ramis with a trailer rounding out the package.
Small, but perfectly formed, click here for the full disc spec: https://bit.ly/30wn2mX
6: The Wrong Box (1966) (Indicator)
Not only a film that made it into my top five of 2019, but the disc is also one of my favourites of the year too. It’s not exactly overflowing with extra features, but it’s still well stacked and what it’s got, really hit the sweet spot. The commentary track is my favourite special feature. With film historians Josephine Botting and Vic Pratt, this could easily be a dry affair. Instead it bounces along in fine form, as with most commentaries that have more than one person, the conversation is bright, breezy and ridiculously informative. There’s an interview with Nanette Newman who obviously had a whale of a time, because the amount of fond memories she shares are pure joy.
For a film from the mid 60’s, the picture is pin sharp and debris free with an equally clear mono soundtrack that punches well above its weight.
Click here for the full disc spec: https://bit.ly/2ssbepg