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Each month, the Criterion Collection gives us a new batch of digitally remastered movies from across the globe. If you’re looking to discover new classics, or maybe check out an old favorite, try the vast collection of gems the Criterion Collection has to offer. The upcoming releases for the month of September (and a couple from October) range from drama to horror, film noir, and more. To help with your love of discovering films, we’ve put together a list of films that have been restored like never before and contain exclusive bonus content. The roster not only contains great options for your next movie night, but great gift options as well. Once you’ve decided upon which film suits you best, try these snack box options to complete your perfect at-home viewing experience.
Release Date: September 14
Neil Jordan directs the British neo-noir crime drama “Mona Lisa,” released in the United States in 1986. The plot follows George (Bob Hoskins), a recently released, out-of-work former inmate hired by a mob boss to chauffeur an upscale call girl named Simone (Cathy Tyson). He becomes enthralled with her beauty and mysteriousness, but unbeknownst to George, falling for Simone can have dangerous consequences associated with a life of crime. The Criterion Collection’s special features include a 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Jordan and director of photography Roger Pratt, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; new conversations with Jordan and Tyson, moderated by critic Ryan Gilbey; and interviews with screenwriter David Leland and producer Stephen Woolley. There is also an essay by Gilbey and a new cover by Alice X. Zhang.
Release Date: September 21
Gina Prince-Bythewood made her directorial debut with “Love & Basketball,” the story of neighbors Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan), who grow up together and bond over their love of basketball and aspirations of playing professionally. Over time, they grow closer than friends as sparks begin to fly. Although the chemistry is clear, tensions between them rise as they become more successful on the basketball court. The Criterion Collection Blu-ray features audition tape excerpts and a new making-of documentary featuring Prince-Bythewood, Epps, Lathan, and Alfre Woodard, producer and writer Reggie Rock Bythewood, and basketball adviser Colleen Matsuhara. There are also deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Prince-Bythewood and Terilyn A. Shropshire, plus a conversation with Prince-Bythewood, WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes, writer/producer/actor Lena Waithe, and more.
Release Date: September 21
Johnnie To’s “Throw Down” follows the story of Tony, a young judo fighter set on challenging Szeto Bo, a former judo champion currently down on his luck and struggling to get by as a bar owner. But will the disgraced champion have a chance to prove he still has what it takes to be the best? Neon-lit nightclubs, intense fight scenes, and romance set the tone for this film. Added features include a 4K digital restoration with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio, a 2004 interview with To, and a making-of documentary short featuring To and actors Louis Koo, Aaron Kwok, Cherrie Ying, and Tony Leung Ka-fai.
Release Date: September 28
“Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films” is a set of four noteworthy projects from the renowned actor, filmmaker, playwright, novelist, and composer. Included in this collection is the 1967 film, “The Story of a Three Day Pass.” Due to segregation in the stateside, Melvin Van Peebles took his talents to France where he learned the language and wrote many books. His novel, “La Permission,” became the inspiration for “Three Day Pass”, a story about a soldier stationed in France who gets a three-day pass from his base and begins an interracial romance during a time of extreme racial divide. Other films in this set include “Watermelon Man,” “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” and “Don’t Play Us Cheap.” Van Peebles’ “unfiltered expression of Black consciousness” can be seen throughout these works.
Release Date: September 28
The fall of the prominent von Essenbeck family and their associates during Hitler’s rise in the 1930s is the setting for Luchino Visconti’s 1969 film, “The Damned.” The von Essenbecks are loosely based on the Krupp Steel Dynasty, a wealthy family who provided military weapons and equipment to Hitler’s army. Greed, corruption, and destruction consume the family as they stop at nothing for control of the family business. A new 2K digital restoration by the Cineteca di Bologna and Institut Lumière, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, an alternate Italian-language soundtrack, and the 1969 behind-the-scenes documentary, “Visconti On Set,” are among the special features.
Release Date: October 5
“Onibaba” is the story of an elderly impoverished woman and her daughter-in-law who murder lost samurai and sell their belongings during a civil war in 14th-century Japan, as a means to afford basic necessities such as food and water. During this time, a neighbor returns home from the war, igniting a firestorm of lust, jealousy, and rage. Things take a frightful turn when a cryptic demon mask appears. The Kaneto Shindo film has special features such as high-definition digital restoration and digital transfer, restored image and sound enhanced for widescreen televisions, and on-location footage shot by actor Kei Sato.
Release Date: October 12
“High Sierra” is a 1941 film-noir directed by Raoul Walsh. Before retiring from a life of crime, mobster Big Mac decides to pull off one last casino heist. To do so, Big Mac orchestrates a prison break for Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart). Things don’t go as planned and the would-be casino heist ends up with a standoff in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Criterion Collection version includes a new, restored 4K digital transfer, and “Colorado Territory,” Raoul Walsh’s 1949 western remake of “High Sierra.”