October is here. The weather is taking a distinct turn for the worse (or better, if you are like me and find chilly breezes the ideal excuse to stay in and watch a movie) and the studios are churning out DVD and Blu-ray releases like they are going out of style. Criterion nears their fall release slate with October launching off with releases like their much-anticipatedÂ In The Mood For LoveÂ Blu-ray upgrade, and Universal is dumping not one but, with their Hitchcock box set release move, two massive box sets this month. A horror movie fan’s favorite time of the year, with October, comes cinematic Christmas. Just with a bit more blood. And here are the things to keep an eye out for during this, the most frightening of months.
5. Universal Monsters: The Essential CollectionÂ (October 2)
October, a month bred on horror films and the fans that will consistently watch them for the entirety of the calendar month, is set to start off with one Hell of a bang. Universal, coming hot (and this writer means scorching) on the heels of their recently maligned Blu-ray box set of a handful of Alfred Hitchcock films, could not have worse buzz going into the release of this box set. The studio has had a storied love affair with their monster pictures, some of the most influential and well loved thrillers that the film world has ever seen. However, trust with the studio’s catalog Blu-ray transfers has gone entirely out of the window. Still, this is a must own box set including everything fromÂ DraculaÂ toÂ The Creature From The Black Lagoon, so it’s just about as must own as any Blu-ray box set around really is. The reviews have seemingly been warm, and having seen some screen grabs for respective members of the box, I can say that this is really some superb work. Hopefully I’m not wrong
Other notable releases?: Four, count them FÂ OÂ U R, John Wayne films are hitting Blu-ray during this week. Kino gives us a gorgeous Blu-ray of the underrated noir-thrillerÂ Headshot. Disney bringsÂ CinderellaÂ out from the vault. Tim Burton disappoints at home withÂ Dark Shadows.Â Iron SkyÂ is all kinds of awful-but-fun-in-a-Nazis-in-space-type-of-way on Blu-ray.Â Masters Of The Universe. On Blu-ray. Enough said. Indie darlingÂ Sound Of My VoiceÂ finally arrives on home video.Â The LadyÂ hits, as doesÂ Milk Of SorrowÂ and a brand new Blu-ray of the Stephen King adaptation,Â Pet Cemetary.
Criterion releases: In The Mood For Love
4. Shut Up And Play The HitsÂ (October 9)
The concert film is as popular as ever. Every band and their mothers are releasing a DVD of either a live performance or a collection of music videos with any deluxe release of their most recent work, so while it may seem odd that a concert film appears here on this list as one of the most interesting home video releases this month, this one is as special as they come. Documenting the final live performance of the iconic electronic/dance group LCD Soundsystem, the film is structured alongside an interview between their lead singer, James Murphy, and journalist/writer/genius Chuck Klosterman, and is one of the most interesting music documentaries that we’ve seen in quite some time. Similar thematically to the other brilliant music documentary of the past few years,Â Under Great White Northern Lights, the film is an intriguing and vital look into the world of music, art and what goes through one’s mind as he or she ages within this world.Â Shut Up And Play The HitsÂ is a beautifully shot film that blends interviews and performances asÂ seamlesslyÂ as any recent concert film could ever imagine. A tad overlong, the film proved to be one of the biggest surprises of this past SXSW, and is going to be a must-own for any music fan this holiday season.
Other notable releases?: Hitchcock’sÂ Stranger’s On A Train hits Blu-ray. People can avoidÂ The RavenÂ in the comfort of their own home. In anticipation of the remake,Â Red DawnÂ hits Blu-ray. Bette Davis goes all kinds of crazy on Blu-ray inÂ What Happened To Baby JaneÂ andÂ Dead Ringer. John Sturges’Â Ice Station ZebraÂ arrives on Blu-ray.Â Little Shop Of HorrorsÂ gets a pretty Blu-ray book. Ridley Scott’sÂ PrometheusÂ is the week’s biggest blockbusting release.Â E.T.Â makes its way to Blu-ray for then first time.Â The Great Mouse DetectiveÂ makes grown up little kids around the planet happy as it hits Blu-ray coming out of Disney’s vault.Â Dial M For MurderÂ arrives on 3D Blu-ray.Â Rock Of Ages, thankfully, does not.
Criterion releases: Three Wicked Melodramas From Gainsbourgh Pictures
3. Moonrise Kingdom (October 16)
Say what you will about director Wes Anderson, but his latest film,Â Moonrise Kingdom, may be the best thing he has crafted sinceÂ The Royal Tenenbaums.Â The film features an absolutely killer cast with names ranging from Anderson’s right hand men Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman to newcomers to his canon like Ed Norton and Bruce Willis, and blends a burgeoning young romance with tinges of chase films, escape films and hell, come the end, even a bit of good old fashion silent cinema. The film itself nears self-parody, but for a filmmaker so assured in his own aesthetic, that isn’t a shocking idea. Anderson is the prototypical auteur, blending his love for esoteric pop music with slow-motion tracking shots and vibrantly colored visual palettes. Easily and without a doubt one of 2012′s greatest films,Â MoonriseÂ is a sweet mediation on love, loss and everything between, from one of today’s greatest filmmakers.
Other notable releases?:Â Avatar arrives on 3D Blu-ray. Mad Men Season Five comes your way, finally. WB gives us the second part of their Looney Tunes Platinum Collection. Letter From An Unknown Woman makes its way onto Blu-ray.Â The art world darling Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present hits home video. Kino releases two Jess Franco films via their Redemption lineup: Exorcism and Female Vampire (both releases include each of the film’s respective secondary versions). Olive Films (who also release the aforementioned Unknown Woman) release the trio of films, Three Secrets, Sterile Cuckoo and Slender Thread. TCM releases four Classic Legends box sets: Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall, Spencer Tracy and James Stewart.
Criterion releases:Â The Forgiveness Of Blood
2. Fear And DesireÂ (October 23)
What more do you want? The very first feature length narrative film from director Stanley Kubrick finally makes its way to Blu-ray (hell, home video period) thanks to Kino’s upcoming release. Including one of Kubrick’s early documentary pictures, the release is relatively stacked. However, it’s the fact the film is being released at all that is the story here. Originally thought impossible to find due to Kubrick’s hatred for the film,Â FearÂ was recently restored and even shown on TCM in this newly restored form, which is the version of the picture making its way to Blu-ray. Featuring some brilliant artwork to boot, Kino has once again out done themselves here, and we will definitely have more on this release as it nears store shelves.
Other notable releases?:Â Magic Mike beefs up the month in the sexiest of ways. Season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars hits Blu-ray. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter gives the month a bloody tinge. Blade Runner is released, AGAIN. Kirby Dick’s brilliant The Invisible War is one of the year’s most important documentaries. Take This Waltz comes to Blu-ray. Kino gives us the legendary silent thriller The Penalty on Blu-ray. Hager Ben Asher’s The Slut hits.
Criterion releases:Â Sunday Bloody Sunday
1. Rosemary’s Baby (October 30)
While I personally try to steer clear of Criterion Collection releases to be focused upon here in this post, when it comes to October, only one release truly has this writer’s mouth watering (asides from Kino’s aforementioned Kubrick Blu-ray). The mighty C is releasing Roman Polanski’sÂ Rosemary’s BabyÂ come the final Tuesday of October (Super Tuesday, shall we call it?), and this is one that can’t get here fast enough. Easily one of Polanski’s greatest films, if not one of the horror genre’s best,Â Rosemary’s BabyÂ is a masterpiece of the highest regard. Coming stacked with supplements, the film includes a brand new transfer that will surely look superb, and given the horror movie season that we’ve hit, this is as perfectly timed a release as humanly possible. Again, we’ll have more on this release as it nears its day in the spotlight come October 30.
Other notable releases?:
Finally, the Alfred Hithcock Masterpiece Collection arrives. Safety Not Guaranteed stands as one of this year’s best indie comedies and Ruby Sparks isn’t. Max Fleischer’s Superman cartoons arrive on Blu-ray. Cannes darling Polisse hits home video. Olive Films releases five films: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Brain, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Taxi For Tobruk and Greed In The Sun.
Criterion releases: Just the one mentioned above.