Criterion Collection Releases for May 2014

Well, it’s that time again. Time for the Criterion Collection to announce the latest grouping of films to be honored with an induction to their illustrious vaults this coming May. Some of these titles are already part of the Collection, just obtaining a new (and much appreciated) blu-ray upgrade, with a couple of other films making their Criterion debut (and after much speculation, I might add). So, without further ado, here are the newest films that are now available for preorder.

Being released May 6th, 2013

  • “Ace in the Hole” (1951): Billy Wilder made so many great films, it can be easy to overlook one (or even a few in his case) every now and then. That is exactly what many movie-lovers have done to “Ace in the Hole”, aka “The Big Carnival”. Ace in the Hole (1951)The film revolves around a New York newspaperman (magnificently played by Kirk Douglas), who ends up at a small town New Mexico paper, waiting again for a chance- his chance to move back into the “big time”. That opportunity comes when a man (Richard Benedict) gets trapped in an old Indian cave while digging for artifacts. Instead of focusing on getting the man out, Douglas makes the event the largest possible story he can, creating a media circus the likes of which were rarely seen at the time (but we fully understand-and flock towards today). Quite simply, “Ace in the Hole” is a must see film in every sense of the phrase. Billy Wilder does some of his most underrated work here, and you will never forget the power of Douglas’s performance, or that of the hardened, unloving wife, perfectly performed by Jan Sterling.

Being released May 13th, 2013

  • “Like Someone in Love” (2012): This film, from Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, is a French-Japanese production about a young woman attending college, Like Someone in Love (2012)who spends her nights working as a prostitute. She ends up getting a call that leads her to the home of an older professor, and the two spend the night bonding (in the non-physical way). The morning only brings problems for both of them, as together they run into her boyfriend, who knows nothing about her night job. “Like Someone in Love” has received much praise and admiration from audiences since its initial release, and is a welcomed addition to the Criterion Collection, particularly after Kiarostami’s previous films (“Taste of Cherry”, “Close-Up”, & “Certified Copy”) have proven to be such glorious additions to the Criterion Collection.

Being released May 20th, 2014

  • “Overlord” (1975): This is another film that is already part of the Criterion Collection, but the blu-ray upgrade is not only deserved, but also encourages fans to watch it yet again.Overlord (1975) This film, directed by Stuart Cooper, centers on a young man fighting during the D-Day invasion. He is an average man, except for the fact that he has already had a premonition of his own death, and now contemplates “his part” in the war, as well as the world, while waiting for what he considers his own inevitable end. The real beauty of “Overland” is in the mastery of the picture’s construction. Its portrayal of war is as real as it can be in a film, and in ways feels more documentary than anything else.

Being released May 27th, 2014

  • “Red River” (1948): Yee-haw!! Need I say more? Well, I will anyway. Red River (1948)“Red River” is one of those movies that never gets old no matter how many times you have seen it, and with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift leading the way, it is easy to enjoy yourself. What is also amazing about the way director Howard Hawks pieced this one together is how is mixes the light-hearted western atmosphere from so many westerns of its time, with a darker, much more mean-spirited side that keeps the audience off-balance. It jumps back and forth between these two opposite styles, and feels so often the entire picture almost seems jumbled, keeping the audience constantly intrigued, sitting on the edge of their seat, waiting for that climactic conclusion. “Red River” is a movie that has been rumored to be joining the Criterion Collection for years, and I for one, am thrilled to see it finally make the list.
  • “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004): Creative The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissoufilmmaker extraordinaire Wes Anderson is one of the most regular directors around the Criterion office these days. All but one of his currently released films (Where is “Moonrise Kingdom”, Criterion?) are already part of the collection, including his sometimes misunderstood (but still brilliant) 2004 film, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”. With an all-star cast, and enough subtle humor to fill two films, Anderson has brought the world of Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his life on the water, to our hearts and minds- never to be forgotten. Also starring in this hysterical tale are Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum.

Well, that’s all for this month. Happy shopping movie fans!

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0 thoughts on “Criterion Collection Releases for May 2014

  1. John says:

    In Ace In The Hole, I just never bought into the idea that an out of town newspaper guy could control and take over a whole rescue effort, totally unrealistic to me.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Really? I find that surprising. I actually always felt that it was his “big city” attitude that allowed him to take over. Everyone just seems to fall in line behind him, based on his self-confidence.

      Like

  2. John says:

    Red River is one of the greatest westerns ever made. Definitely one of my favorite Duke Wayne films! Matter of fact, I just watched Cowboy the other day with Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon, I consider it the poor man’s version of Red River. It is worth a viewing but not nearly as good as Red River.

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    • Paul says:

      I can’t wait to see this one on blu-ray, and it is coming in two different cuts which will make the experience that much more enlightening.

      Like

  3. le0pard13 says:

    Definitely looking forward to Red River and Ace in the Hole. The former because it remains one of my all-time favorite westerns (plus, it is one of Howard Hawks greatest), and the latter being one of those few Billy Wilder films I’ve yet to see but held in high regard by my film friends. I’d like to finally catch Overlord, too. Thanks for the heads up, Paul.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      I can’t wait to see what Criterion has done with Red River, and even saw that this film comes with a whole collection of special features, including a paperback edition of the novel. Sounds intriguing to me!

      Like

  4. R.A. Kerr says:

    I bet “Red River” will look amazing in this new release.

    However, I am most excited about “Ace in the Hole” which I think is an incredibly important movie. It’s more relevant now than when it was made. I don’t think anybody could be as terrific as Kirk Douglas in this role.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      “Red River” and “Ace in the Hole” are such wonderful and important films, I am thrilled to see them finally make their way to a blu-ray release. I can’t wait to see how glorious they will look!

      Like

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