A slew of Blu-Ray and DVD news to report...
First up, Sean Axmaker reports on the Blu-ray release of Hayao Miyazaki's latest, "Ponyo," and special editions of three Miyazaki classics: "Kiki's Delivery Service," "Castle in the Sky," and "My Neighbor Totoro." "They may seem old fashioned and perhaps too sweet for American audiences—his films, while loved by many, have never found the huge audiences that flock to the more knowing and culturally savvy Pixar films and Shrek sequels—but the lovely fables, epic adventures, ecologically-minded dramas and modern fairy tales are all treasures," notes Axmaker.
Eureka!'s Masters of Cinema series, meanwhile, recently released Blu-ray editions of Fritz Lang's "M." and F.W. Murnau's "City Girl." Of the latter, Craig Keller blogs: "The most overlooked late-Murnau film has been given new life in high-definition, and the results are stunning. It seems to me impossible from here on out to relegate 'City Girl' to 'minor' status; it could very well come down to the Blu-ray format's bringing us as close to celluloid as we're ever likely to experience in a home setting (on a TV/display-esque device) that the strengths even of the Fox-imposed sequences alone have been made freshly and powerfully evident. (Yes, Blu-ray might well be the site of the first truce between the projection purists and the home-theater'acs.)" More on the release from DVD Times.
Over at his blog, Glenn Kenny waxes poetic about the Criterion Blu-ray editions of Malick's "Days of Heaven" and "Yojimbo." "I'm actually moved to see this film, and its companion piece 'Sanjuro,' which is also coming on Blu-ray, looking so beautiful," writes Kenny about Kurosawa's film.
"The home video market is awash in versions of 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland' this week, all evidently intended to capitalize on the publicity surrounding Tim Burton’s new 3-D interpretation of the classic Lewis Carroll book, set to be released on Friday by Walt Disney Studios," notes Dave Kehr in the New York Times. "But only one can boast the endorsement of the original 'Alice': the 1933 Paramount 'Alice in Wonderland,' being released to DVD by Universal Studios Home Entertainment ($19.98, not rated), the current rights holder." Watch a scene from Norman McLeod's version of the tale, which Kehr calls "a profoundly creepy experience," on YouTube.
More on this week's DVD releases, which include Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are" and Sophie Barthes' "Cold Souls," from Tom Russo at the Boston Globe.