Criterion in February 2014: Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’, Hitch, Polanski and More


criterion-february-2014Criterion has announced their February 2014 titles and among them is the lone Wes Anderson film that was previously missing from the collection (edit: aside from Moonrise Kingdom and yes, this is Criterion’s first animated film, post laserdisc era), Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was previously released by Fox Searchlight, but is now getting the full Criterion treatment. Here’s a look at the features:

  • New digital master, approved by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Anderson
  • Storyboard animatics for the entire film
  • Footage of the actors voicing their characters, puppet construction, stop-motion setups, and the recording of the score
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Puppet animation tests
  • Photo gallery of puppets, props, and sets
  • Animated awards acceptance speeches
  • Audio recording of author Roald Dahl reading the book on which the film is based
  • Gallery of Dahl’s original manuscripts
  • Discussion and analysis of the film
  • Stop-motion Sony robot commercial by Anderson
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • A booklet featuring a new essay; a 2002 article on Dahl’s Gipsy House by Anderson; White Cape, a comic book used as a prop in the film; and drawings, original paintings, and other ephemera

The film will be released on February 18, the same day the collection will bring a new Alfred Hitchcock film into the fold in Foreign Correspondent his second Hollywood feature after the Best Picture winning Rebecca. The film centers on a New York reporter (Joel McCrea) sent on a mission to Europe to get the inside story on a secret treaty agreed between two European countries. The release comes with a new interview with writer Mark Harris, an old Dick Cavett interview with Hitchcock (which very well may be the same one you see to the right), a radio adaptation of the film and more.

The month, however, kicks off with a new Blu-ray release of Francois Truffaut‘s Jules and Jim, a 1962 feature often considered by many to be one of the best movies ever. I’ve only watched it once and didn’t personally come away terribly moved, but I knew at the moment I watched it it was one I would need to return to again before attempting to come to a final verdict. The release comes packed with two audio commentaries, documentaries and features galore.

A week later on February 11, a bare bones release of Blue is the Warmest Color will be made available, but the site is sure to note “A full special edition treatment of this film will follow at a later date,” which heavily suggests the director’s cut Abdellatif Kechiche has previously discussed will be made available. SO perhaps it’s best to wait on this one for now.

Later in the month they’ll release a new dual format version of what very well may be my favorite movie of all-time, Jean-Luc Godard‘s Breathless on February 25. It doesn’t appear it will have any features different from the previous release.

That same day they’ll also release Steven Soderbergh‘s 1993 feature King of the Hill as well as the newly restored, three-hour cut of Roman Polanski‘s Tess, with a new 4K digital restoration, supervised by Polanski, along with documentaries and making-of featurettes.

I’d also like to remind you Barnes & Noble is still having their 50% off Criterion sale, which you can find right here or select any of the individual releases I’ve highlighted below.

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Weekend: Nov. 14, 2019, Nov. 17, 2019

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