Music Feature

DVD Splurge: March

by Piers Marchant
A round-up of new home video releases that amount to more than a hill of beans in this crazy world.
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A Night To Remember
The Skinny: Back before James Cameron got hold of it and brought us the wonders of Celine Dion, among other things, the tragic story of the doomed Titanic was memorably brought to screen back in 1958. Far less melodramatic and strident than Cameron's vision, this film tells the story of the giant ocean liner's sinking with very little fluff.
Studio: Criterion
Linkage: A Night To Remember: Criterion BD Edition

Casablanca
The Skinny: Perhaps one of the most enduring films ever made, the old girl is finally getting the VIP BD treatment it so richly deserves. Amongst the goodies in this well-stocked gift set, you'll find a production art book, drink coaster set and a reproduction of the original movie poster, in addition to the host of extras on the discs themselves.
Studio: Warner Home Video
Linkage: Casablanca (70th Anniversary BD Limited Collector's Edition)

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
The Skinny: He might not be a household name in the stodgy U.S., but in his native France, the enigmatic and controversial musician is held in the highest regard. The film follows the trials and tribulations of the singer, from his surviving the Nazi occupation to becoming a superstar pop singer in the '60s and '70s.
Studio: Music Box
Linkage: Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season
The Skinny: Simply put, one of the best shows currently on TV. "GOT" took the world by storm with its particular brand of medieval fantasy, complex histories and Machiavellian politics. The first season -- which follows very closely the source novel from George R.R. Martin -- is full of blood, sex, carnage, betrayal and truly shocking surprises. The new season begins April 1, so you'll just have time to get caught up if dare to take the plunge.
Studio: HBO
Linkage: Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season BD Edition

Great Expectations
The Skinny: You know, from the country that brought you "Downton Abbey," this classy BBC production stars Douglas Booth as Pip and Gillian Anderson as the unconquerable Miss Havisham in one of Charles Dickens' most beloved stories.
Studio: BBC
Linkage: Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations

Letter Never Sent
The Skinny: Mikhail Kalatozov's brutal tale of survival and subterfuge comes to a gorgeously remastered BD format, making the film all the more bewitching to watch. DP Sergei Urusevsky captures the pain and suffering of four men stuck in a Siberian disaster, and makes it so sumptuous you almost want to crawl in there with them.
Studio: Criterion
Linkage: Letter Never Sent: Criterion BD Edition

Triad Trilogy
The Skinny: Not exactly a connected trilogy (two films are directly associated, but the third is more its own separate piece), Johnnie To's brilliant Japanese mobster tale still hits all the right bloody notes. Violent and unflinching, the films do combine to present a vision of the Asian underworld as a methodically malevolent battleground of ego, lust and madness.
Studio: Palisades Tartan
Linkage: Triad Trilogy: BD Edition

The War Room
The Skinny: A fascinating doc that reveals a lot about modern American politics, the film -- which follows a young(er) Bill Clinton as he attempts to win the presidency with a young, energetic staff -- was made by legendary director D.A. Pennebaker (Monterrey Pop). We follow the ups and downs of the 1992 election through the eyes of the staff of bright young people (including James Carville and George Stephanopoulos) who break convention at every turn in order to get their man in office.
Studio: Criterion
Linkage: The War Room: Criterion BD Edition

War Horse
The Skinny: Steven Spielberg's emotionally gooey horse story has some wonderful moments, and fine performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson and Tom Hiddleston, among others, but one suspects the Broadway version (which utilizes a brilliant bit of puppetry to represent the horse) has a good deal more pizzazz.
Studio: DreamWorks
Linkage: War Horse: BD Edition
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