The Criterion Collection Unveils its November Releases

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It’s that time of the month where the cinephiles across the country gather around their computers to see if their favorite movies will get the deluxe Blu-ray treatment from the Criterion Collection, who have been putting out the finest movies with the most impressive special features since the days of LaserDisc. Today brings us the announcements of what to expect from the Criterion Collection in November, including movies from Akira Kurosawa, Paul Thomas Anderson, Marlon Brando, and Noah Baumbach.

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The first round of November releases is a deluxe box set of Lone Wolf and Cub, the legendary samurai films of a protective father and his young son. All six Lone Wolf and Cub films will be included on three Blu-ray discs, even including Shogun Assassin, the bizarre re-edit of the first two films with an English redubbing. Of course, many hip-hop fans will recognize some of the soundbites from Shogun Assassin on the RZA album Liquid Swords. This stunning and expansive box set will hit store shelves on election day, November 8th, 2016.

The special features on the Lone Wolf and Cub box set:

SPECIAL EDITION BOX SET FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restorations of all six films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays

  • High-definition presentation of Shogun Assassin, the 1980 English-dubbed reedit of the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films

  • New interview with Kazuo Koike, writer of the Lone Wolf and Cub manga series and screenwriter on five of the films

  • Lame d’un père, l’âme d’un sabre, a 2005 documentary about the making of the series

  • New interview in which Sensei Yoshimitsu Katsuse discusses and demonstrates the real Suio-ryu sword techniques that inspired those in the manga and films

  • New interview with biographer Kazuma Nozawa about filmmaker Kenji Misumi, director of four of the six Lone Wolf and Cub films

  • Silent documentary from 1937 about the making of samurai swords, with an optional new ambient score by Ryan Francis

  • Trailers

  • New English subtitle translations

  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay and film synopses by Japanese pop culture writer Patrick Macias

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Once again, Akira Kurosawa has another entry in the Criterion Collection with one of his final films, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams. This is one of the Kurosawa films that I’ve yet to see, but the work of the Japanese master of filmmaking demands viewing regardless of what era he produced it in. This latest entry for Kurosawa in the Criterion Collection will hit stores on November 15th, 2016.

The special features for Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams:

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Masaharu Ueda, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray

  • New audio commentary featuring film scholar Stephen Prince

  • Making of “Dreams” (1990), a 150-minute documentary shot on-set and directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi

  • New interview with assistant director Takashi Koizumi

  • New interview with production manager Teruyo Nogami

  • Kurosawa’s Way (2011), a fifty-minute documentary by director Akira Kurosawa’s longtime translator Catherine Cadou, featuring interviews with filmmakers Theodoros Angelopoulos, Bernardo Bertolucci, Clint Eastwood, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Bong Joon-ho, Abbas Kiarostami, Hayao Miyazaki, Martin Scorsese, Julie Taymor, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, and John Woo

  • Trailer

  • New English subtitle translation

  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri and Kurosawa’s script for a never-filmed ninth dream, introduced by Nogami

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The next release coming from Criterion is a number of firsts for the collection. For the first time in his virtuoso career, Paul Thomas Anderson will have one of his films as part of the Criterion Collection. For the first time ever, Punch-Drunk Love will be available on Blu-ray. Punch-Drunk Love is a wonderful movie, one that feels minor compared to some of the other larger, expansive epics that Paul Thomas Anderson has undertaken before and since. It also stands out for being one of the few films starring Adam Sandler that could be legitimately called great. Punch-Drunk Love will be released on November 15th, 2016, and no, you can’t use pudding coupons to purchase your copy.

The special features for Punch-Drunk Love:

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Paul Thomas Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray

  • Blossoms & Blood, a twelve-minute 2002 piece by Anderson featuring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson, along with music by Jon Brion

  • New interview with Brion

  • New piece featuring behind-the-scenes footage of a recording session for the film’s soundtrack

  • New conversation between curators Michael Connor and Lia Gangitano about the art of Jeremy Blake

  • Additional artwork by Blake

  • Cannes press conference from 2002

  • NBC News interview from 2000 with David Phillips, “the pudding guy”

  • Twelve Scopitones

  • Deleted scenes

  • Mattress Man commercial

  • Trailers

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Marlon Brando changed the way actors perform on the screen. He was a revolutionary force in cinema and the larger pop culture sphere, and his on set antic later in his life only distract from his greatness, never diminishing it. While Brando became a terror for directors later in life, he only had the chance to terrorize himself in his lone turn as director with One-Eyed Jacks, his 1961 western. One-Eyed Jacks will hit stores on November 22nd, 2016.

The special features for One-Eyed Jacks:

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken with the support of The Film Foundation and supervised by filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

  • New introduction by Scorsese

  • Excerpts from voice-recordings director and star Marlon Brando made during the film’s production

  • New video essays on the film’s production history and its potent combination of the stage and screen icon Brando with the classic Hollywood western

  • Trailer

  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Howard Hampton

the-squid-and-the-whale-0001

Finally, Noah Baumbach returns to the Criterion Collection with his 2005 film The Squid and the Whale, joining his past efforts Frances Ha and Kicking and Screaming, as well as his collaborations with Wes Anderson. Baumbach’s dramedy about two brothers in Brooklyn during the ’80s earned the writer-director his only Oscar nomination, and routinely included in the discussion of the filmmaker’s best work. The Squid and the Whale will be released into the Criterion Collection on November 22nd, 2016.

The special features for The Squid and the Whale:

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Robert Yeoman and director Noah Baumbach, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray

  • New interviews with Baumbach and actors Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, and Laura Linney

  • New conversation about the score and other music in the film between Baumbach and composers Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips

  • Behind “The Squid and the Whale,” a 2004 documentary featuring on-set footage and cast interviews

  • Audition footage

  • Trailers

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