The month of March is upon us and the Criterion Collection is releasing a number of quality releases, including a classic war movie, a cult horror favorite and one of the most iconic movies of the independent ’70s. Here is a look at what is coming out in March 2013 and what you can look forward to on each of the new Criterion Collection releases.
“Ministry of Fear”
The first movie of March 2013 doesn’t hit stores until March 12 with Fritz Lang’s “Ministry of Fear.” Adapted from the novel by Graham Greene, Lang paints the story of a family whose lives are turned upside down by the war. Lang was one of the greatest German directors until he found it necessary to flee the country rather than become a propaganda director for Hitler. In this movie, he brings a lot of the fear and uncertainty of the war into the story. The only special features include the trailer and a new interview with Fritz Lang scholar Joe McElhaney.
Released the same week is a movie that is drastically different. Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.s’ “The Blob” gets its Blu-ray upgrade, a special treat for horror movie fans. Starring Steve McQueen in an early role, along with music by a young Burt Bacharach, this movie tells the story of a small town plunged into terror with a gelatinous blog from outer space begins to eat the residents. The Criterion release includes two commentary tracks, one with historians and the other with the director and actor Robert Fields. There is also a large photo gallery.
Before he became an iconic director of art house films, Terrence Malick approached the story of two young serial killers on the run, killing everyone in their paths. A precursor for movies like “Natural Born Killers,” “Badlands” starred Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek in this take on the story of real-life killer Charles Starkweather. It remains one of the best movies of the groundbreaking independent movement in the ’70s. The Criterion Collection release includes a making-of documentary, an episode of “American Justice” about Starkweather, and some interviews.
“The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp”
Another movie getting a Blu-ray upgrade this month is “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,” a Powell-Pressburger film that remains one of the duos most accessible. Some call it the best British film ever made, the story of a man who survives four decades of British history as the world continues to change around him. This edition includes an audio commentary with Michael Powell and Martin Scorsese, a documentary about the movie, an interview with editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and photo galleries.
“A Man Escaped”
This movie, directed by Robert Bresson, is a classic jailbreak movie, based on a French resistance leader with the will to escape at any cost. The Criterion Collection version of the movie includes a classic television interview with Bresson, a 1984 documentary about the director, a 2010 documentary about the director, and a new video essay about the use of sound in the movie.
Finally, the last movie released in the month of March is “Monsieur Verdoux,” a Charlie Chaplin movie which remains one of his strangest performances. Instead of playing his usual lovable characters, Chaplin plays a man who seeks out lonely widows and kills them in order to help support his wife and child. The movie was a dark, black comedy about the lengths a man would go to in order to get what he wants. The special features include a 2003 documentary about the film, a new documentary about Chaplin, and an audio interview with Marilyn Nash.
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