The ‘Burbs (Joe Dante, 1989)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The ‘Burbs.

criterion logoTom Hanks is Ray Peterson, a family man whose plan for a peaceful vacation at his suburban home on Mayfield Place is soon complicated when he and the other residents of the cul-de-sac observe strange happenings at the home of Ray’s new next-door neighbors, The Klopeks.  Much to the disappointment of his wife Carol (Carrie Fisher), Ray and his buddies become convinced that a missing neighbor has fallen victim to the sinister Klopeks and, armed with assault rifles, high-powered binoculars, and shovels, they decide to see for themselves what terrors lurk just over Ray’s fence.  A stand-out, tongue-in-cheek horror-comedy, The ‘Burbs is modern cult classic that assembles a superb cast, including Bruce Dern, Henry Gibson, Rick Ducommun, Brother Theodore, and Corey Feldman, and presents Joe Dante’s most savage of lands – suburbia!

Dis Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Joe Dante, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary with filmmaker Joe Dante
  • Back on the Block, new interviews with cast and crew, including Tom Hanks, Joe Dante, Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Nicky Katt, Courtney Gains, and Dick Miller
  • A new video piece by Dennis Cozzalio on The ‘Burbs‘s opening sequence
  • From Colonial Street to Mayfield Place, Joe Dante on the Universal Studios back lot and its famous homes
  • Scoring Suburbia, Joe Dante on composer Jerry Goldsmith and scoring The ‘Burbs
  • Stand-up Tragedy, a retrospective on New York theatre icon Brother Theodore
  • Rick Ducommun: Piece of Mind, Rick Ducommun’s 1989 HBO comedy special
  • Alternate ending
  • Extended scenes and deleted content previously believed lost
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring a new essay by director Ti West

Continue reading

The War of the Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused (George Lucas/The Man Behind the Mask, 1977/2010)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The War of the Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused.

criterion logoA poor orphan working on his uncle’s moisture farm on the remote desert planet Tatooine, Luke Skywalker dreams of becoming a starship pilot like his friend Biggs Darklighter, but when Luke discovers a hidden message for an old hermit, he becomes embroiled in a quest of galactic scale.  Trained in the arcane ways of a lost order of knights by the reclusive Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke, with the help of a robotic duo and a pair of greedy space pirates, must save a princess from the clutches of the maniacal Darth Vader and destroy an evil Empire’s planet-sized weapon, the Death Star.  The War of the Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused roughs up George Lucas’ sci-fi classic, using an original 16mm print, unused footage, fearsome digital effects, and other surprising additions to recast it in the spirit of 1970s exploitation cinema.

Disc Features:

  • High-definition digital master, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Interactive lexicon cataloging incorporated material
  • Interview with George Lucas
  • Audio commentary by faneditor The Man Behind the Mask
  • Roundtable discussion with Robot Chicken co-founder Seth Green, Robot Chicken: Star Wars cowriter Breckin Meyer, actor and faneditor Topher Grace, Slash Film writer Peter Sciretta, and Fanboys director Kyle Newman
  • Fanmixed, a new interview with legal scholar Lawrence Lessig on fanediting, copyright, and piracy

Continue reading