If the sheer image of James Caan looking that fucking cool on a DVD cover isn’t enough to get you to pick it up, we don’t know what to tell you. So yes, Michael Mann’s “Thief” is Criterion approved, and thus you have to the go ahead to buy it in January.
The boutique label is issuing the director’s first theatrical feature, and while the content will be thin, this will probably be the best looking version of the 1981 flick ever. The tale of a safe-cracker on one last gig has been given a new 4K restoration, and will arrive with a commentary track by Mann and Caan, along with new interviews with the pair, along with Tangerine Dream who provided the excellent score to the movie. If you haven’t seen this one yet, now’s the time.
Continuing in the vein of intimate flicks, Criterion will drop Terence Davies‘ “The Long Day Closes,” his 1992 flick about a young boy growing up in 1950s Liverpool. Again, the extras here are minimal — commentary and a vintage TV special being the big draws — but then again, Davies isn’t exactly the kind of filmmaker whose pictures are produced with extensive bonus content in mind, so this is still one to take notice of.
Also from 1992 is deadpan master Aki Kaurismaki‘s “La Vie De Boheme,” which features his cast of regulars, André Wilms, Matti Pellonpää, and Karl Väänänen, as a poet, painter, and composer respectively, who struggle to get by in this adaptation of the stories by Henri Murger. And like the aforementioned films, extras are slight — the big one here is a 1 hour doc on the making of the movie — but again, that we’re even getting a Kaurismaki flick at all is reason enough for celebration.
The last title getting the wacky C in January is Stanley Kramer‘s “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and it’s unlike the titles above, it’s overflowing with extras, starting with a 197-minute extended cut of the film, featuring scenes appearing for the first time on this disc. A new audio commentary and documentary join an insane amount of vintage material as well, that will give full scope and perspective to the wild, goose-chase, comedy movie.
For those of you aching for more Satyajit Ray on your shelf, the Eclipse line is dropping “Late Ray,” featuring three of the Indian master’s movies: “The Home And The World,” “An Enemy Of The People” and “The Stranger.” These are all streaming now on Hulu, but if you prefer hard discs, here you go.
And finally, the stone-cold noir classic “Rififi” and Akira Kurosawa‘s “Throne Of Blood” are getting Blu-ray upgrades.