Home Entertainment Guide: November 2022

Much was made of the relative box office disappointment of this romantic comedy, a movie meant to provide some much-needed representation in the genre. When it failed to deliver, star/co-writer Billy Eichner spoke out on social media and got some backlash that felt unwarranted. He was disappointed. Anyone would be. But the truth is that this movie didn't miss its target because of its story but because the genre of adult-driven comedies is simply going the way of streaming. More and more, people are only willing to spend money at the theater for event films like the MCU or other known properties, and I fear we are quickly approaching the day when comedies like this don't open in theaters. People don't pay to see them that way. However, they love watching a good comedy at home, and Universal has already brought "Bros" to Blu-ray/DVD and on Peacock on Friday, December 2nd. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but this column is more informational than critical, and I felt it only fair for this maligned movie to get a mention.

The art of the Blu-ray box set is dying, with so many films already available on streaming media. Sony Pictures Classics released the best box set of the year last week with their anniversary collection for their landmark company, but it was actually preceded by a few weeks by Sony proper, who launched the third volume of an impressive series of 4K remasters for classic films. These have been quiet launches, especially when one considers the quality of the films and the copious special features, many of which are new and exclusive to these sets. This edition includes "It Happened One Night," "From Here to Eternity," "To Sir with Love," "The Last Picture Show" (my fave of the group), "Annie," and "As Good As It Gets." Not only are all six films in 4K, but they're accompanied by an 80-page book and some insanely rare special features, including a 1932 version of "Annie" and the four-hour 1979 mini-series version of "From Here to Eternity." This would make a phenomenal holiday gift.

Criterion has pulled Wong Kar Wai's masterpiece from their glorious "The World of Wong Kar Wai" box set and released the 4K version standalone just in time for the holidays. This is the controversial new color correction approved by WKW himself and includes the special features previously available in that set. Now, I think the set is the way to go for any Criterion collector. Still, if this is your absolute favorite WKW and you want it alone, it's an excellent release, including a documentary, short film, and special archival features. There are some days when I think there hasn't been a film as masterful as "In the Mood for Love" since it was released, so you know where I stand considering this a must-own. 

Some collectors lost their minds when Criterion announced their first Disney release, a 4K edition of this Pixar masterpiece. The truth is that even if you don't like the film that I would argue is Pixar's best, you should recognize the financial play here. In a time when Blu-ray collectors feel like a decreasing market, if a company like Criterion needs to release a Disney film so they can also release titles like "World Cinema Project" and "Daisies," then it's a perfectly fair trade. And this release is a BEAUTY. Stanton approved a stunning 4K transfer, and they imported all of the special features, including deleted scenes, a documentary, and audio commentaries. There are also new programs for those who already have the film on Blu-ray and are thinking twice. Don't think twice. This is one of the best 4K releases of the year.