Saved From the Flames
Less than a week after the final episode, "Rescue Me: The Sixth Season and The Final Season" (Sony) arrives on DVD, completing the show and the home video library in conjunction (appropriately enough) with the 10th Anniversary observation of 9/11, an event that haunted the show from its first episode and has come back with a vengeance in the final season. Tommy (Denis Leary, also the show's co-creator) lost his cousin and a lot of friends that day and the guilt pulled the brakes off his naturally addictive nature for season after season of extreme dysfunction and self-destructive impulses.
The series has not been the most consistent of shows through the seasons but Leary and co-creator Peter Tolan have been fearless in facing the demons of men who put their lives on the line daily and see their personal lives unravel of the job. Alcoholism, divorce, death, abandonment and crippling fear of commitment have defined not just Tommy but many of his fellow firefighter, heroes on the job and screw-ups in their lives.
The season isn't about transcending the past or curing the damage as much as it is coming to terms with who they are and moving ahead. Which is a pretty adult thing for guys who have spent years acting like overgrown adolescents. But it's also pretty funny that in the seventh season, as Tommy tries to stop following his worst impulses and look out for his family and friends and loved ones with as much selflessness as a Gavin can muster, everyone else manages to, at least for a couple of episodes, make it all about him once again. Given that the final seasons are laced with alcoholism, injury and even more loss, as well as a wedding, they are given as satisfying a send off as they could expect. It ends not with fire but with family. And a few ghosts, hanging around to keep Tommy honest.
Matt Zoller Seitz reflects on the series finale and the legacy of the show at Salon: "It wasn't always good, and sometimes it wasn't even likable, but it was almost always interesting -- sometimes in spite of itself," he writes of the seven season run. And the finale, he notes, wasn't a three-hanky special like the "Six Feet" closer. But it was almost as satisfying, and in some ways more surprising because of its emphasis on slapstick misfortune rather than dark-night-of-the-soul emoting."
19 episodes from the sixth and seventh seasons on five discs in a box set of three thinpak cases, plus four featurettes (including an overview of the final seasons), deleted scenes and a gag reel.
The long-awaited box set is out today, but released in Europe earlier this week
"Star Wars: The Complete Saga" (Fox), the Blu-ray debut of the six "Star Wars" films, didn't arrive in stateside home theaters until Friday, September 16, but Europe is a different story. It was released in Britain, Sweden and elsewhere across the pond on Monday, September 12 and the reviews, most of them for tech-savvy, "Star Wars"-loving fans, have been tricking in. Here are a few previews of coming attractions.
At The Digital Fix, Geoff Dearth (whose name already resembles a "Star Wars" character) takes on "Star Wars: The Original Trilogy." While he resigns himself to Lucas' tinkering ("For this 2011 edition of ["Star Wars"] Lucas has changed a few things once again (which I won't bleat about here) but the core of the movie still shines through the superficial CG gloss."), he takes a hard line on the technical quality of the masters. "These Blu-rays don't quite do them justice, using 7-year-old transfers which are beset with colour problems and artefacts from the then-state-of-the-art digital restoration," he complains, noting that the audio is a little better "yet it's still not perfect, hampered by the variable quality of the original sound element ".
A remarkably comprehensive review by Blu-ray.com reviewer Casey Broadwater proclaims that, a few exceptions aside (in particular "The Phantom Menace"), "the transfers/restorations the films have been given represent an exponential leap in picture refinement, integrity, and clarity from previous DVD releases." And he's in a forgiving mood when it comes to Lucas' reworking of the original films. "Yes, there are some goofy new additions, like Darth Vader yelling "NOOOOO" as he throws Emperor Palpatine over the railing. I don't think anyone expected this release of "The Complete Saga" to be free of controversy. But come on. It's "Star Wars." On Blu-ray."
"The Greatest Film Ever Made" gets a worthy Blu-ray debut - and MSN has an exclusive clip from the set
"Citizen Kane" has been so longed hailed as “the greatest film ever made” (the American Film Institute’s poll apparently made it official) that it’s in serious danger of becoming the least seen masterpiece around. The legends surrounding the film and its creator (and let’s face it, Pauline Kael was simply wrong: this is Welles’ creation) have too long overshadowed the actual production.
See an exclusive clip from the supplements, featuring actress Ruth Warrick discussing working with Orson Welles, after the jump below
Above all, Welles was a showman and "Citizen Kane" is a three ring circus of cinematic ingenuity, a startlingly entertaining blend of pulp melodrama, historical biography, detective story, political drama, storytelling confabulation, and plain old theatrical flourish. Years ahead of its time in its layered use of sound and score (a pioneering piece of dramatic composition by Bernard Herrmann), stunningly designed and brilliantly shot by Gregg Toland with a creative invention that pushed the envelope of motion picture photography, "Citizen Kane" is a vital, exciting moment of American cinema brought back to life with every viewing.
That puts a lot of pressure on Warner to get it right on their Blu-ray debut. I'm pleased to note that they do with "Citizen Kane: 70th AnniversaryUltimate Collector’s Edition" (Warner). The original negative was lost in a fire years ago but a fine-grain print survives and was been the source of this newly remastered edition. The transfer so sharp and clear and detailed it actually shows us too much information in some scenes. The cinematic sleight of hand is revealed in the projection room scene (where Joseph Cotten and Erskine Sanford, who are supposed to be shrouded in shadow, are plainly seen as "anonymous reporters" in the background) and the stunning dissolve from the still photo of the Chronicle staff coming to life at a party. These scenes were made for the chemical technology of 1940s, not the capabilities of 21st century high definition digital restoration, but such perfectionism is the kind of criticism this disc can handle: every single scene is a marvel of crisp clarity. More from archivist Robert Harris at Home Theater Forum.
The Blu-ray includes the supplements from the earlier DVD edition. Of the two commentary tracks, film critic Roger Ebert’s is the superior by far, a rich scene by scene talk that movies from sharp observation to Welles’ methods and meanings. Welles aficionado Peter Bogdanovich provides a dull, droning commentary, full of obvious statements with little detail and none of the stories you would expect from him. It also features production stills (accompanied by 11 more minutes of Roger Ebert commentary on the film and its place in history), storyboards, alternate ad campaigns, studio and personal correspondence, call sheets and other memorabilia, newsreel footage from the film’s 1941 premiere, and the film’s unique and inventive original theatrical trailer.
Plus Conan O'Brien, 'Lourdes' and 'Le Quattro Volte'
Kenneth Branagh brings "Thor" (Paramount, the Norse god-as-comic-book hero, to the big screen with Shakespearean dimension and god-versus-robot fantasy action. Videodrone's review is here, and we talk with Kenneth Branagh about gods, superheroes and movies here. Kelly Reichert's "Meek's Cutoff" (Oscilloscope), a frontier drama about a wagon train lost in the high plains of Oregon, may be the quietest western you've ever seen. Videodrone wanders through the film here.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is a headbanging blast of anarchy with a healing presence in "Hesher" (Lionsgate), a dark comedy of a bullied kid (Devin Brochu) trying to come to terms with the death of his mother while his dad (Rainn Wilson) completely checks out in his grief. Hesher, a metalhead covered in crude tattoos and sporting an even cruder mouth, moves right in to the dysfunctional household and prods them back to life with a jolt of tough-love so chaotic it's hard to tell what his intentions are, or if he even has any.
"Susser's first film feels like an original -- imperfect but often fresh and true, and a worthy showcase for a star on the rise," recommends MSN film critic Kat Murphy. "It goes without saying that Hesher's often repellent character, and the movie itself, owes everything to the snaky charisma of Gordon-Levitt. This gifted young actor is clearly having a high old time inside the (mostly naked) skin of such a relentlessly vulgar and violent creature." Natalie Portman and Piper Laurie co-star.
On DVD and Blu-ray, with deleted scenes, outtakes, a behind the scenes featurette and sketch gallery of drawings featured in the film.
Julie Taymor turns Shakespeare's banished wizard king Prospero into a sorceress, Prospera, and casts the indomitable Helen Mirren in role in her take on "The Tempest" (Touchstone). It sounds inspired but MSN film critic Kat Murphy finds it "remarkably dumb and artless… In contrast to Shakespeare's gift for weaving words into enchanted worlds, Taymor's "Tempest" leeches most of the magic out of his language and Prospera's fertile island of the imagination." Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou and Felicity Jones co-star in the film that closed the Venice Film Festival last year but withered at the box office after a critic drubbing. It's been a bad year for Ms. Taymor, what with this and getting fired from the troubled "Spider-Man" stage musical.
Curiously, there is no DVD release: it is available exclusively on Blu-ray and via Movie Download and OnDemand. The Blu-ray features commentary by Taymor, an alternate commentary track by Shakespeare experts Virginia Vaughn and Jonathan Bate, the documentary "Raising The Tempest" and rehearsal footage with Taymor, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand and Alfred Molina and its supplements.
"Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop" (Paramount) chronicles the comic's "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on TV" tour after his departure from "The Tonight Show." "It isn't as sad a movie as "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," another behind-the-mask documentary, observes Washington Post film critic Michael O'Sullivan. "It's funnier. But it's just as illuminating." Features commentary, interview outtakes and a new interview with Conan O'Brien.
"Bill Cunningham New York" (Zeitgeist) profiles the New York Times photographer. "The Bill Cunningham captured here is a puckish, eightysomething man with electric energy and a wish to devour all of New York through his camera lens," writes Slate film critic Nathan Heller.
"Love Wedding Marriage" (IFC) is a romantic comedy starring Mandy Moore as a newlywed marriage counselor whose own marriage issues are far from solved, but MSN film critic James Rocchi doesn't recommend making an appointment with this film. In his words, this generic production "inspires a bleak and baffling mix of anger and amnesia: You'd be furious with having wasted time on "Love Wedding Marriage" if only you could remember it."
The French-language "Incendies" (Sony), a Canadian drama about siblings who travel to the Middle East to find family members they never knew existed and uncover hidden family secrets in a war zone, was an Oscar nominee for "Best Foreign Language Film." MSN film critic Glenn Kenny is unimpressed. He describes the film from director Denis Villeneuve as "meretriciously overdetermined as art cinema, or any kind of cinema for that matter, gets." And adds "But very professionally done." The Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack offers director commentary and a featurette.
"Lourdes" (Palisades Tartan) stars Sylvie Testud as a young woman on a pilgrimage for a miracle. New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis writes: "One of the pleasures of this intelligent, rigorously thoughtful, somewhat sly film is that it takes place in the space between the inexplicable (no explanation is possible) and the unexplained (enlightenment might be around the corner)." In French, Austrian and German with English subtitles.
"Le Quattro Volte" (Kino Lorber) from Italy is a meditation on the mysterious cycles of life via the odyssey of a soul through four states of existence. "Grave, beautiful, austerely comic, and casually metempsychotic, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte is one of the wiggiest nature documentaries-or almost-documentaries-ever made," praises Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman.
Yuen Woo Ping directs the Asian action film "True Legend" (Indomina), starring Vincent Zhao and featuring appearances by Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh and David Carradine. "In countless over-the-top set pieces, Yuen delivers striking combat clarity without sacrificing the visceral editing and crazy digital effects of modern bloodbaths," writes Village Voice critic Nick Schrager. In Mandarin with English subtitles and optional English-dub soundtrack, plus behind-the-scenes featurettes, storyboard comparisons and other supplements.
And the rest:
Joseph Cross is mistaken for the messiah in the comedy "Son of Morning" (eOne), co-starring Heather Graham and Danny Glover. Keir Gilchrist is "Just Peck" (Image), a high-school outcast in a coming-of-age comedy.
Romantic comedies: Brian White and Mallika Sherawat are political rivals as (literal) bedfellows "Politics of Love" (Codeblack), Dean Cain and Juliana Paes star in the "Bed and Breakfast" (Green Apple) and Tamala Jones, Nicole Ari Parker and Keith Robinson headline "35 & Ticking" (One Village). "Leading Ladies" (Wolfe), a gay-themed romantic comedy set in the world of ballroom dance, features contestants from "So You Think You Can Dance."
Mayim Bialik and Joey Lawrence voice a couple of canines in the family comedy "The Dog Who Saved Halloween" (Anchor Bay), Teri Polo headlines the ghost story "Haunting at the Beacon" (Take 2) and Michael Jai White directs and stars in "Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown" (Sony).
The two original cable series pursue the Starz signature style
Starz continues to pursue its signature style of historical spectacle and contrived cable nudity with "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" (Anchor Bay) and the short-lived "Camelot: The Complete First Season" (Anchor Bay), the story of King Arthur… with a little sex in it.
John Hannah and Lucy Lawless dominate the six-episode prequel "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," which chronicles their rise as purveyors of arena entertainment. The original "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" had its fans but I wasn't one of them, so when I say "Gods of the Arena" offers more of the same—a succession of brutal arena battles painted over in swaths of crimson CGI spatter and gaping wounds (a la "300") interspersed with softcore sex right out of a late-night Cinemax Eurotica import with the thinnest of stories connecting the scenes—you can take that as either a warning or a recommendation. It is the closest that Starz has to a signature series, though, and the DVD and Blu-ray releases are packed with featurettes and other supplements. The Blu-ray also features commentary on each episode, extended episodes and a 3D battle sequence. Both are two discs in a booklet with slipsleeves.
You could say that "Camelot: The Complete First Season" (Anchor Bay), the Starz original series take on the legend of King Arthur, opens with Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) summoning Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) in the wake of the death of King Uther Pendragon. The king's bastard son, hidden away in the provinces and raised by a farming family, is roused to take the throne and his destiny while his half-sister Morgan (Eva Green) schemes to have Arthur murdered and his reputation sullied so she can take the throne. That's accurate enough but here's a more telling description of the show's skewed focus: it opens with the hunky young Arthur rolling in the meadow with a naked maiden, who lolls around like a centerfold in a photo shoot.
Yes, like "Spartacus," "Camelot" flaunts nudity and gore by forcing it into scenes with the grace of a product placement, the "Look at me, I'm a cable show" approach to R-rated spectacle. Its not as empty-headed as "Spartacus" and is even marginally better than the BBC series "Merlin," the "I Was a Teenage Camelot Legend" series that takes far more liberties with the Arthurian myths and tales. But that's not to say it's actually any good. Bower and Tamsin Egerton, the show's Guinevere (in this incarnation the wife of Arthur's most loyal knight, which is a problem since Arthur had a fling with her on her wedding day) are overshadowed by Fiennes, who plays Merlin as a carnival con artist with glowering stares and eccentric ticks, and Green, who smolders as Morgan, a woman who turns to dark arts and darker plots to take the power her culture denies her.
It turns out that "The Complete First Season" is also the only season. The series was cancelled with the Arthur legend barely begun and nary a sign of Lancelot, but at least a few key pieces of the legend were dropped into place by the end of the last episode. 10 episodes on three discs on DVD and Blu-ray, with featurettes, character profiles, bloopers and episode recaps.
Kelly Reichert's frontier tale is a different kind of western
Kelly Reichert's "Meek's Cutoff" (Oscilloscope) opens without explanation, just a place and a year -- "Oregon, 1845," stitched into a piece of homespun embroidery -- before we are dropped in the high desert to observe three families ford a river and then wordlessly, almost morosely, take the opportunity to fill canteens, wash and check the wagons before setting off again. Little do they or we know that it will be their last water for some time.
Michelle Williams stars as Emily, the young wife of Soloman (Will Patton), an older man looking to start again in the new land, and Bruce Greenwood is their buckskin guide Stephen Meek, who talks a good story of frontier adventure but has clearly lost the tiny wagon train in the desert.
This is the quietest American film I've heard in years. Apart from the tall tales spun by Meek, the dialogue is hushed and the audience strains to hear the discussions of the men debating their options. Much like the wives, who are left out of the discussions and stand apart, patiently picking up what they can. The frustration is palpable and illuminating. Kelly Reichardt, who directed Williams (and, in a small role, Patton) in her previous "Wendy and Lucy," and screenwriter Jon Raymond draw the story from history (Stephen Meek was the brother of Joe Meek, a colorful entrepreneur whose place in Oregon history is the stuff of tall tales) and the texture from the journals kept by the women, which gives the film its defining perspective.
This isn't a film about hope or heroism or the ideals and opportunities of the new land. It's about day to day struggle and survival and the fear of not knowing if they'll emerge alive. It's a severe life in a hostile world, observed with such delicate detail that the film achieves a grace and poetry. But it is also a primal piece of filmmaking, carved out of dirt and rock and calico and illuminated by natural light and campfire, with a metaphysical power arising from the mortality and the mystery.
In the words of MSN film critic Glenn Kenny, ""Meek's Cutoff" gives adventurous moviegoers a reason to rejoice…. for most of its time, "Meek's Cutoff" does seem like something new under the sun: a cinematic immersion of both modest and cosmic proportions, beautifully acted by a cast that makes you fully believe that they are these beleaguered characters, and makes you glad that you aren't."
Available on DVD and Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack, both in Oscilloscope's distinctive four-panel paperboard digipak. Both feature the nine-minute "The Making of Meek's Cutoff," an impressionistic look at the shoot san narration or interviews. Which makes it quite the companion piece to the movie.
Kenneth Branagh directs the big screen debut of the Viking Prince of superheroes
When I ponder the choice of Kenneth Branagh to direct the big screen debut of Marvel Comics' "Thor," the Norse god as comic book superhero, I can't decide if it is inspired or obvious. After all, why wouldn't (and why shouldn't) the gods of Valhalla speak and behave as the monarchs of Shakespeare's plays? And who better to bring out the Shakespearean dimension of the mythical figures and epic tales (filtered through the four-color sensibilities of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and many others since) than Branagh?
See an MSN exclusive clip with Kenneth Branagh and Chris Hemsworth from the Blu-ray supplements below.
The story of the big-screen "Thor" is the story of power, hubris and lessons learned when the might Prince Thor (Chris Hemsworth), son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), is stripped of his immortality and his magical hammer, Mjolnir, and banished to the mortal plane of Midgard (that Earth to you and me) when he starts a war with the Frost Giants. Which is in many ways a boilerplate retelling of a familiar story, with gods and robots and magic and science, not to mention a hunky goldilocks of a god and a spunky, cute as a button female physics visionary (Natalie Portman) playing at modern romance, to liven things up. A little, anyway, but not much.
Which is not to say that "Thor" is awful, simply uninspired, full of sound and fury and not much else. Hopkins can do regal grace and tortured tough-love imperiousness in his sleep and, practically buried in his flamboyant outfit, does so at times here. Hemsworth is an impressive specimen but not much of a presence and The Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Josh Dallas and Tadanobu Asano, struggling through his English dialogue) plus one (Jaimie Alexander as warrior woman Sif) are fun-loving comrades with generic charm. But it does offer a dimension of tragedy in the primal scream of little brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), god of mischief always in the shadow of golden boy and heir apparent Thor, confronting an identity crisis with a fierce plot and a heartbreaking endgame that, unfortunately, gets lost in the Earthbound politics (hey, it's S.H.I.E.L.D. on the spot once again) and weird god-versus-robot spectacle. And, of course, Kat Dennings as the saving grace of the mortal cast, her eyes lingering over Hemsworth's physique with a playful sexuality absent from Portman's performance.
Videodrone's take on the biggest, best, coolest and culty-ist releases of the week.
Kenneth Branagh brings "Thor" (Paramount, the Norse god-as-comic-book hero, to the big screen with Shakespearean dimension and god-versus-robot fantasy action. In other words, full of sound and fury and not much else. Chris Hemsworth does cut an impressive figure as the Aryan princeling god, though. Videodrone's review is here, and we talk with Kenneth Branagh about gods, superheroes and movies here.
Kelly Reichert's "Meek's Cutoff" (Oscilloscope), a frontier drama about a wagon train lost in the high plains of Oregon, may be the quietest western you've ever seen. Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood and Will Patton star in this superb, beautifully observed film. Videodrone hits the trail with the film here.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is a headbanging blast of anarchy with a healing presence in "Hesher" (Lionsgate) and Helen Mirren is Prospera in Julie Taymor's take on Shakespeare's "The Tempest" (Touchstone), which co-stars Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming and Felicity Jones.
"Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop" (Paramount) chronicles the comic's "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on TV" tour after his departure from "The Tonight Show." The French-language Canadian drama "Incendies" (Sony), about siblings who travel to the Middle East to meet family they never knew existed, was an Oscar nominee for "Best Foreign Language Film." Other imports this week include the French/Austrian/German coproduction "Lourdes" (Palisades Tartan) and "Le Quattro Volte" (Kino Lorber) from Italy.
TV on DVD:
After seven years of self-destructive behavior and incendiary lives, the characters of "Rescue Me: The Sixth Season and The Final Season" (Sony) are given as satisfying a send off as they could expect. It ends not with fire but with family. And a few ghosts. Videodrone's review is here.
"Blue Bloods: The First Season" (Paramount) is an old-school family cop drama with Tom Selleck as clan patriarch, NYC Police Commissioner and father of two policeman and one Assistant D.A., and it arrives in advance of its second season debut. And Gleeks will sing for joy for "Glee: The Complete Second Season" (Fox) (or, if you picked up the earlier half-season release, "Glee: Season 2, Volume 2").
Starz continues to pursue its signature style of historical spectacle and contrived cable nudity with the prequel "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" (Anchor Bay) and the short-lived "Camelot: The Complete First Season" (Anchor Bay), the story of King Arthur… with a little sex in it. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
And more, including "Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season" (Disney) and "Private Practice: The Complete Fourth Season" (Disney), the cult series "Supernatural: The Complete Season Sixth Season" (Warner), sitcoms "The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season" (Warner) and "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The Complete Sixth Season" (Fox) and the British import "Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis 4" (PBS).
Cool, Classic and Cult:
The 1952 "My Cousin Rachel" (Twilight Time), from the Daphne du Maurier novel, stars Olivia De Havilland and features Richard Burton in his debut American role. "Eating" (Breaking Glass) is back on DVD for the 20th Anniversary of Henry Jaglom's "very serious comedy about women & food."
On the cult front is "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos: The Hands Of Fate Special Edition" (Shout! Factory), a deluxe edition celebrating what is arguably the worst film ever made, and "Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers" (Shout! Factory) a motion-comic adaptation of the 2004 comic book mini-series, timed for home video release with the feature film.
Has a Blu-ray release ever arrived with as much anticipation and apprehension as "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" (Fox)? Arriving in a nine-disc box (there are also separate editions with each of the two trilogies), it's packed with commentaries, documentaries, interviews and plenty of behind-the-scenes peaks and techno-geek Lucas promises state of the art remastering for high definition. But once again, he's tinkering with the original films, adding yet more special effects (to make the 1977 effects look more modern?), rejiggering scenes and even adding scenes (see Corwin Neuse on The Hitlist). Expect the fan blogosphere, already buzzing with indignation, to explode when it finally arrives on Friday, September 16.
No such controversy surrounds "Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition" (Warner), a beautifully mastered edition of what has been called The Greatest Film Ever Made. Well, except for the Amazon exclusive edition which features the DVD debut of "The Magnificent Ambersons" as a supplement. Videodrone's review is here.
Criterion upgrades "3 Women" (Criterion) and "My Life as a Dog" (Criterion), previously on DVD, to Blu-ray. On the cult front is Wes Craven's original "The Hills Have Eyes" (Image), the Italian sci-fi satire "The 10th Victim" (Blue Underground) and the grindhouse revenge flick "The Exterminator" (Synapse).
Build Your Library Essential of the Week:
"Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition" (Warner) is the definition of the great American movie. Above all, Welles was a showman and "Citizen Kane" is a three ring circus of cinematic ingenuity, a startlingly entertaining blend of pulp melodrama, historical biography, detective story, political drama, storytelling confabulation, and plain old theatrical flourish. And this Blu-ray, as good a digital edition as we're likely to see (the negative was lost in a fire so a fine-grain print was used for this edition), also features the documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane" and "RKO 281," a fictionalized dramatization of the making of the film.
The complete calendar of releases this week is after the jump: