This Week On DVD/BD: The Criterion Collection Meets Carlos

Plus Ben-Hur, the return of Transformers, Footloose goes Blu and Anna Nicole Smith: The Opera

By , Columnist


Carlos (Criterion) - Olivier Assayas’ five-hour biopic of Carlos the Jackal requires a bit of a commitment but it’s well worth the time and effort. One of the few made-for-TV projects welcomed into the prestigious Criterion Collection, this is a remarkable, ambitious effort.

Ben-Hur (Warner Home Video) - The Oscar-winning epic celebrates its 50th anniversary (actually, 52nd but who’s counting?) in grand style. Featuring a meticulous, jaw-dropping restoration, a boat-load of extras, and a recreation of Charlton Heston’s personal journals, this is a beautiful, mammoth set befitting a film of this size.


Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (DreamWorks/Paramount) - Michael Bay, Shia LaBeouf, and the robots in disguise are back for another go around of blowing up major metropolitan areas. Don’t look for any extra goodies in this release, though. A more elaborate edition with extensive bonus material and 3D is planned for a later date.


Footloose (Paramount) - Kevin Bacon cuts loose and battles John Lithgow’s anti-dance agenda in the '80s classic, now on Blu-ray just in time for the upcoming remake.

Mimic (Lionsgate/Miramax) - Guillermo del Toro’s first American film comes to high-definition in a new director’s cut that restores his original intent for the movie before the Weinsteins got their hands on it.

The Phantom Carriage (Criterion) - A silent horror classic from Victor Sjostrom, a major influence on the work of Ingmar Bergman, gets the Criterion treatment.

Gamera Trilogy (Mill Creek) - Japan’s favorite fire-breathing turtle is back in three films from the 90s reboot.


How I Met Your Mother: Season 6 (20th Century Fox) - The popular sitcom returns with a renewed focus on character development, including a two-episode arc featuring John Lithgow as Neil Patrick Harris’ estranged father.

Army Wives: The Complete Fifth Season (Buena Vista) - A new season of Lifetime’s military soap.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Eleventh Season, CSI: Miami - The Ninth Season and CSI: NY - The Seventh Season (Paramount) - Lots more DNA samples and splatter patterns from Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso, and Gary Sinise.

Hung: The Complete Second Season (HBO/Warner Home Video) - Tom Jane’s well-endowed “happiness consultant” is back for another season of the HBO comedy.

How To Make It In America: The Complete First Season (HBO/Warner Home Video) - HBO’s newest comedy series from the producers of Entourage.

The Monkees: Season One and Season Two (Eagle Vision) - The pre-fab four returns to DVD at long last.

Queer As Folk: The Complete Collection (Acorn Media) - The original UK version of the series that inspired Showtime’s remake finally hits DVD in the US.


Anna Nicole (Opus Arte) - No, your eyes do not deceive you. That cover art really does say “Royal Opera House.” It’s the life and times of Anna Nicole Smith, opera-style, courtesy of composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious.

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Adam Jahnke has been writing about film since age 13, when he began foisting a self-published newsletter on friends and family (copies of which are now mercifully lost to the ages). In 2000, he joined the staff of the highly respected DVD website The Digital Bits, where he continues to serve as columnist…

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