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New DVD, Blu-ray and digital release highlights for the week of April 19-25, 2021

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The Mortuary Collection (Photo: RLJE Films)

I think it is safe to say that the week of April 19-25, 2021, will not be remembered for its DVD and Blu-ray releases. That said, there are some solid catalog titles and a better-than-most horror anthology worth checking out.

  • The Mortuary Collection - A woman walks into a funeral parlor... Ryan Spindell's long-gestating horror anthology "The Mortuary Collection" casts Clancy Brown as mortician Montgomery Dark. Dark has seen a corpse or two and each has a story to tell. Who wouldn't want Clancy Brown to chew up some scenery and tell a grisly tale or two? "The Mortuary Collection" is likely a little too gruesome for those who aren't already genre fans or at least horror curious. For those who are, there's plenty to enjoy here as the four short films and the frame they are built within work incredibly well.

  • Annie Get Your Gun - The Technicolor adaptation of Irving Berlin's musical starring Betty Hutton as Annie Oakley is back in print courtesy of Warner Archive. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and numerous other nominations. Originally slated to star Judy Garland, the film overcame a variety of production issues to become a success at the box office and received positive reviews from critics. It's beloved by fans.
  • The Furies - The Criterion Collection is releasing a digitally restored version of Anthony Mann’s 1950 western "The Furies." The film pairs Barbara Stanwyck with Walter Huston (his final role) in this drama that sees a father clashing with his daughter over her choice of husband and the impact he believes it will have on his land and legacy. It should be noted that Dad isn't exactly a saint or a man easily reasoned with. The title is a reference to Greek tragedies and is often compared to Shakespeare's "King Lear." The film wasn't a box office success but has since become one of the more revered films from Mann's extensive and celebrated career.
  • Memories of Murder - Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" was a film for the history books but his work caught my eye with "The Host" in 2006. I was still late getting to the party. 2003's "Memories of Murder" was Bong's second feature and while it certainly retained the dark comedy of his debut, 2000's "Barking Dogs Never Bite," "Memories of Murder" was far more ambitious as it pulled inspiration from a series of unsolved murders that took place in rural Korea between 1986-1991. Like David Fincher's 2007 "Zodiac," Bong's film is an exploration of failure as investigators are bested by circumstance and a lack of modern forensic tools. Highly recommended.
  • Mutiny on the Bounty - The highest grossing film of 1935 was director Frank Lloyd's adaptation of the novel "Mutiny on the Bounty." It won the Oscar for Best Picture as well. The film stars Charles Laughton and Clark Gable as the disagreeable and cruel Captain Bligh and the ship's kinder lieutenant Fletcher Christian. While historically inaccurate in many ways, the film is based on an actual mutiny that took place on the HMS Bounty.




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