Fritz Lang's landmark 1927 sci-fi silent film Metropolis
—a seminal classic that influenced everything from Blade Runner
to The Matrix—
is making its Blu-ray debut on November 16. The Complete Metropolis
features a new restoration with 25 minutes of lost footage and the original Gottfried Huppertz score. This new 147-minute version was praised by critics who thought the lost footage was truly lost until it debuted in theaters last April. The BD includes a 50-minute documentary on the making of the restoration; an interview with Paula Felix-Didier, curator of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, where the missing footage was discovered; and the 2010 re-release trailer. If you're a science-fiction fan, this Kino Blu-ray is absolutely essential.
Baz Luhrmann's garish 2001 musical Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor makes its Blu-ray debut on October 19. The Oscar-winning film comes to Blu-ray with uncut and unreleased footage, an introduction by Luhrmann, and several production featurettes. One new Blu-ray exclusive is the "Spectacular, Spectacular Picture-in-Picture Viewing Mode," which includes audio commentary by the director, Catherine Martin, Donald M. McAlpine and Craig Pearce coupled with behind-the-scenes footage. On the same day, Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes makes its Blu-ray debut with uncut footage, a music featurette, and another goofy-titled Blu-ray exclusive called "Shake Up Shakespeare Picture-in-Picture Viewing Mode."
Paramount is already dreaming of a Blu Christmas with plans to release the 1954 holiday classic White Christmas starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney on November 2. The Blu-ray debut of the timeless musical includes commentary by Clooney, "Backstage Stories From White Christmas," "Rosemary's Old Kentucky Home," "Bing Crosby: Christmas Crooner," "Danny Kaye: Joy to the World," "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," "White Christmas: From Page to Stage," and a look back at the movie with Clooney. If you require any more sentimental holiday cheer, you're probably already dressed as Santa Claus.
Musicals sure are singing the Blus today: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke will make its BD debut on November 2. The 1968 musical will include a number of featurettes featuring vintage footage, including "Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang With Dick Van Dyke." The Blu-ray also contains a sing-a-long version of the film (you know who you are).
Lycanthrope lovers will initially want to howl with delight that The Howling Trilogy has been announced for Blu-ray on October 19, but the set doesn't include the original The Howling starring Dee Wallace. Instead, this set features the less impressive Howling III: The Marsupials, Howling V: The Rebirth and Howling VI: The Freaks. What, no Howling IV: The Original Nightmare? Is it just Blu-ray Bob or is this haphazard single-disc (?!) set for the dogs?
The prehistoric documentary Dinosaurs Alive! 3D will be popping out of your TV on a 3D Blu-ray on November 30. The popular IMAX film narrated by Michael Douglas is already available on standard Blu-ray, but those who have splurged on 3D setups will appreciate the giant reptiles even more in three dimensions.
Speaking of 3D, we've barely dipped our toes into those waters at home and already Toshiba is shaking things up. Only early adopters (and those with plenty of spare cash) have upgraded to 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray players that use active-shutter 3D glasses, and now Toshiba has announced that it could have a 21-inch glasses-free 3D TV by Christmas. Granted, 21 inches isn't going to work for most people's home theater, but the fact that the technology exists to bring 3D to your home without the use of glasses suggests that the current glasses-dependent setup available in the marketplace might be going the way of the dinosaur before it even fully hatches. At least, in theory, the current crop of 3D Blu-ray players will be compatible with the new Toshiba TVs.
Also new on BD this week: $5 a Day, Abandoned, The Back-Up Plan, City Island, Dorian Gray, The Great Rift, The Long Good Friday, Lost: The Complete Collection, Machine Gun McCain, Mona Lisa, Shogun Assassin, The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season, Survival of the Dead, Time Bandits and Withnail and I