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 FilmStage.com, 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!  🤞

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Welcome To the Dollhouse - The Special Edition!

Well, it only took, what?  24 years since the original barebones DVD release of Todd Solondz's ground-breaking depiction of modern adolescence, Welcome To the Dollhouse (27 if you want to go all the way back to the laserdisc)?  But we've finally got a proper special edition!  Sony at least gave us a feature-less blu-ray in 2018 to tide us over.  But you can throw all of that crap out, now, because a new UK outfit called Radiance Films - sort of the next iteration of the sadly shuttered Arrow Academy line striking out on their own - have given this film the care and respect it's always deserved.  The official release date is March 6th.
2023 Radiance Films blu-ray.
So I've taken screenshots that match my earlier comparison of the DVD and previous blu-ray, so you can go ahead and compare them directly.  The film is still framed at 1.85:1, the color-timing's the same, and is clearly using the same master, which we now know from Radiance's booklet, is taken from the interpositive.  But these are not identical.  Radiance's new edition features a much better encode.  Casual viewers might not notice the difference, but flipping back and forth between the old and new screen shots, you can watch the film grain appear and disappear.  This new edition really does have a stronger capture and genuinely filmic look.

Importantly, too, in the audio department, Radiance restores the original stereo track (in lossless PCM), as opposed to the US blu-ray, which replaced it with a 5.1 remix.  All three discs also offer optional English subtitles.
But now let's get into The Special Features Club (sorry)!  First and foremost, we get all new on-camera interviews with Solondz and Heather Matarazzo.  There's also a Criterion-style visual essay, which tracks the Dawn Wiener character through this, Palindromes and Wiener-Dog, and a fun audio commentary by the hosts of the This Ends At Prom podcast.  The trailer is here, too, restored to widescreen for the first time.  Also included is a full-color, 48-page booklet, with credits, Solondz's director's notes, three critical essays, extracts from a Solondz interview and critical reviews, and technical notes.  This limited edition features reversible artwork, an obi strip, and if you order direct from Radiance, a Welcome To the Dollhouse bookmark.

The limited edition is restricted to just 2000 copies, and is still available as of this writing.  Though after that sells out, there will very likely be a standard edition with all of the same contents except the obi, bookmark and booklet.  This release is region B, so make sure you can play region B blu-rays before ordering.  If you can't, though, this fantastic disc may be reason enough to get yourself a region free player!