Tomorrow, July 12, marks the beginning of Barnes & Noble’s semi-annual 50% off of Criterion Collection titles on Blu-ray and DVD. This marks the perfect time to fill in the gaps in your collections. For those who have yet to dive into the Criterion Collection this is a wonderful time to see what all the fuss is about.
Here’s a list of ten titles that have been released on Blu-ray that I highly recommend picking up.
1. Seven Samurai (1954) Spine #2
Akira Kurosawa’s classic samurai epic might show a little wear but Criterion’s Blu-ray release is easily the best the film has ever looked. It’s wealth of bonus material also showcases why film buffs love the Criterion Collection.
2. Gimme Shelter (1970) Spine #99
While there might be better concert films this documentary about the Rolling Stones’ 1969 U.S. tour is a compelling look at the band and the fading sense of peace and love that fueled the 1960s.
3. Chungking Express (1994) Spine #453
Director Wong Kar-wai makes some of the world’s most beautiful films and Chunking Express is one of his best.
4. Wings of Desire (1987) Spine #490
The recent passing of Peter Falk has made me desperate to return to Wim Wenders’ brilliant film about an angel willing to give up immortality for love. I’ll make the time in the near future.
5. Stagecoach (1939) Spine #516
With Stagecoach John Ford made the western into the respectable genre that it is today. This was also the first time that the director worked with actor John Wayne,
6. The Thin Red Line (1998) Spine #536
Saving Private Ryan may have dominated the headlines but Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line was the best World War II film of 1998. Where Steven Spielberg’s film attacked audiences with a gruesome realism Malick’s film’s violence was of a more internal, emotional kind.
7. House (1977) Spine #539
House is an bizarre Japanese ghost story that is filled with mind blowing special effects (for its time) and a warped sense of humor. Sometimes being strange is a very good thing.
8. Modern Times (1936) Spine #543
Charlie Chaplin at his best. The fact that the film’s message is still timely is a frightening bonus.
9. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) Spine #557
Robert Epstein’s documentary about gay activist and politician Harvey Milk was so far ahead of its time that it wasn’t until it inspired 2008’s Milk that the film received the recognition it deserves.
10. America Lost and Found: The BBS Story
This collection features the landmark films produced by Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider and Steve Blauner between 1968 – 1972. The Films are: Head (1968) Spine #544 , Easy Rider (1969) Spine #545, Five Easy Pieces (1970) Spine #546, Drive, He Said (1970) Spine $547, A Safe Place (1971) Spine #448, The Last Picture Show (1971) Spine #449 and The King of Marvin Gardens (1972) Spine #450.