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Criterion’s September Slate Features David Fincher’s ‘The Game’

The Game BD
Criterion Collection

Because David Fincher‘s ‘The Game’ was made for the long-defunct Polygram Filmed Entertainment, its home video rights have been rocky. The studio released it on DVD at the format’s inception, while Universal released the film on HD-DVD, but has yet to release a Blu-ray. Criterion – who put the film out on Laserdisc – has now set the film for a DVD and Blu-ray release. That and more are coming from the boutique company in September.

So let’s get ‘The Game’ (Due 9/25) out of the way:

The GameIt features:

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director David Fincher and director of photography Harris Savides, with original theatrical 5.1 surround theatrical soundtrack, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Alternate 5.1 surround mix optimized for home theater viewing, supervised by sound designer Ren Klyce and Fincher, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Fincher, Savides, actor Michael Douglas, screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, digital animation supervisor Richard “Dr.” Baily, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft, visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug, and visual effects producer Robyn D’Arcy
  • An hour’s worth of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and film-to-storyboard comparisons for four of the film’s major set pieces, with commentary
  • Alternate ending
  • Trailer and teaser trailer, with commentary
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt

Note, the majority of these supplements come directly from the original Laserdisc version, it seems the newest feature is the transfer. Still, exciting.

They also announced the restored version of Marcel Carne’s ‘Children of the Paradise,’ (9/18) which is currently touring theaters:

Children of ParadiseIt features:

  • New high-definition digital transfer from Pathé’s 2011 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentaries by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron
  • Video introduction by director Terry Gilliam
  • Once Upon a Time: “Children of Paradise,”/ a 2010 documentary on the making of the film
  • New visual essay on the design of Children of Paradise by film writer Paul Ryan
  • The Birth of “Children of Paradise,” a 1967 German documentary that visits Nice, where the film was partially shot, and features interviews with cast members Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur; production designer Alexandre Trauner; and others
  • Restoration demonstration
  • U.S. trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew and excerpts from a 1990 interview with director Marcel Carné

Much of this comes from the film’s original two-disc set.

And ‘Umberto D’ is getting a Blu-ray upgrade (9/4):

Umberto D

It comes with:

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • That’s Life: Vittorio De Sica, a fifty-five-minute documentary made for Italian television in 2001
  • Video interview with actress Maria Pia Casilio from 2003
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Stuart Klawans and reprinted recollections by De Sica and Carlo Battisti, who plays Umberto D.

This is also a straight port of the DVD

New to the collection is the obscure Marcel Carne film ‘Les visiteurs du soir’ (9/18):

Les visiteurs du soir

It comes with:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • L’aventure des “Visiteurs du soir,” a documentary on the making of the film
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson

And finally Paul Bartel’s cult classic ‘Eating Raoul’ (9/25) is joining the Criterion collection:

Eating Raoul

And it offers:

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Gary Thietges, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring screenwriter Richard Blackburn, art director Robert Schulenberg, and editor Alan Toomayan
  • The Secret Cinema (1968) and Naughty Nurse (1969), two short films by director Paul Bartel
  • Cooking Up “Raoul,” a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring interviews with stars Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, and Edie McClurg
  • Gag reel of outtakes from the film
  • Archival interview with Bartel and Woronov
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Ehrenstein

That’s a pretty cool month from the collection, and we can’t wait for ‘The Game.’

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