Thursday, July 11, 2024

Storytelling DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison

It's here!  So let's do another DVDExotica-style comparison of the brand new Storytelling blu-ray from Shout Factory, and the previous DVD edition from New Line Cinema, which up 'till this week, had still been the best version available.  At least it was anamorphic, which is more than you can say for the old Happiness DVD, which will also be getting its HD upgrade soon enough.
2002 New Line DVD top; 2024 Shout Factory BD bottom.
Wow!  It looks like somebody just turned the lights on.  Shout Factory has just given this film a new 2k restoration, but that color correction is definitely the first thing you notice.  There's a world of difference.  New Line's DVD is also slightly window-boxed to 1.82:1, which Shout corrects to a properly letterboxed 1.85:1.  This new scan actually reveals a little more info around all four edges, but especially the left and right.  The jump to high def definitely clarifies new detail - I can finally read "30 DAY ORGANIZER" on the calendar behind the actors in the first set of shots, and film grain may be a little soft now, but the DVD couldn't even begin to process it; so it's a series of big leaps forward in terms of PQ.
2002 New Line DVD.
The one thing I guess we lost, technically, was the optional fullscreen version the DVD threw in.  It has slight curiosity value, I guess, for opening up the mattes and revealing a lot more of the top and bottom of the picture.  But it also cuts off the sides, and of course, is completely improperly framed and spoils the intended compositions.  Honestly, as consumers, we're better off without these confusing the marketplace.

Both discs offer the Dolby 2.0 stereo track and a 5.1 remix, which I believe was created for the DVD.  Shout's edition bumps up both tracks to lossless DTS-HD.  And both discs off optional English subtitles.
The only extras the DVD are the trailer and the infamous "red box" censored scene.  The DVD also gave you the option, if you were so perversely inclined, to watch the film with the scene censored, in both full and widescreen.  So yes, the DVD had four transfers crammed onto one disc.

The blu-ray has the trailer and the red box scene, too, but only presents the film uncut.  And honestly, that's just as well.  The blu also goes the highly appreciated extra distance of conducting new, on-camera interviews with the cinematographer Frederick Elmes and the composer Nathaon Larson.  So I don't know if that quite qualifies it as a full-on special edition, but it's considerably more value added to a new BD that was already a major upgrade.  This is an absolute must-have for any serious Solondz fan.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Happiness Coming In 4k from Criterion!

Holy cow - it's finally happening!  Criterion is releasing Happiness on BD and UHD on September 24th.  Yes, we're jumping all the way from a tragically non-anamorphic DVD to 4k Ultra HD.  Extras-wise, I wouldn't exactly call it over-loaded, but it's got new interviews with Solondz (by Charlotte Wells, director of Aftersun) and Dylan Baker, plus a booklet and all.

But just being able to fire up Happiness and watch it without feeling like you're watching an illicit Youtube upload from 2006 is going to be revolutionary.  And getting this right on the heels of Storytelling's blu-ray debut?  It's gonna be a hot Solondz summer, baby!

Monday, April 29, 2024

Storytelling Blu-ray This Summer!

Here's some good news - Storytelling is getting restored in HD and released on blu-ray this summer!  Specifically, it's scheduled to come out on July 9th from Shout Factory.  It's getting a new 2k scan from the interpositive with uncompressed 5.1 and 2.0 audio tracks and optional English subtitles.

Will it have extras?  Yes!  There will be brand-new on-camera interviews with the cinematographer Frederick Elmes and the composer Nathaon Larson, as well as the censored "red box" scene and theatrical trailer.  So we can finally toss our DVDs and make room for a new, high def version of Storytelling!

Friday, December 1, 2023

The Final Iteration Of Love Child?

Apparently Rachel Weisz & Colin Farrell are as out as Penélope Cruz & Edgar Ramírez before them, but Love Child is still coming.  According to, Elizabeth Olsen is now set to star in the picture, with no word yet on her male co-star.  The brief description of the plot reads the same as it did in 2017, though they quite possibly just took it from there.  According to a casting ad in Backstage, it's coming from Volition Media and is due to start filming in "March or April 2024 in NYC."  Not to jinx it, but that sounds pretty settled!  🤞