Just the other day, my young nephew Jake* and I were perusing the Internet for upcoming Blu-ray releases that he might enjoy. We happened upon a particular title that sparked his interest—a 1974 crime-drama starring a prime Jack Nicholson and a dynamic Faye Dunaway. However, I quickly took note of the R-rating. Thus, despite my young nephew's countless pleas to order the new release, I was forced to say, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
The main thing to take away from this is the fact that Chinatown is, in fact, releasing on Blu-ray. Roman Polanski's scathing illustration at a mysterious murder case is a celebrated classic, and will now be available with a pretty ample set of special features, which you can check out below.
The Blu-ray will be available Apr. 3.
Commentary with Robert Towne and David Fincher
— Towne and Fincher offer unique insights into this classic film. No matter how many times you’ve watched Chinatown, this commentary will open your eyes to a whole new experience.
Water and Power (HD)— In this three-part documentary, Robert Towne visits sites along the original Los Angeles Aqueduct for the first time. He is informed of the social and environmental impacts and given insight into the major issues around the creation and ongoing operation of the aqueduct.
The Aqueduct (HD)— The City of Los Angeles completed the 233-mile gravity-fed aqueduct from the Owens Valley in 1913, under the leadership of a self-taught engineer named William Mulholland. L.A. Department of Water and Power representatives along with Catherine Mulholland, granddaughter of the engineer, discuss the development of the aqueduct and its contribution to the growth of the nation’s second-largest city. The Aftermath (HD)— For decades a large rural community was desiccated under the management of water rights by the City of Los Angeles over a vast area of the Owens Valley. Legal victories beginning in the 1970’s lead to successful reductions in environmental damages and the restoration of some natural habitats. Historians, local ranchers and activists discuss the up-to-date impacts of the aqueduct and struggle to maintain a stable environment and community. The River & Beyond (HD)— Prior to the building of the first aqueduct a century ago Los Angeles relied solely on its own local water supply: the Los Angeles River and its aquifer. Today the river as a water resource is largely forgotten. Currently there are plans to re-develop the river to reduce L.A.’s dependence on imported water, reducing the environmental impact on distant communities, while creating parks and open spaces for the city.
Chinatown: An Appreciation
— Chinatown has been hailed as a perfect film.
Robert Towne’s cynical labyrinth of secrets and sin, Roman Polanski at the top of his form, Jack Nicholson in all his glory, Faye Dunaway at her sexiest and most mysterious, John Huston as one of the creepiest and most unrepentant villains of all time, the great cinematography, the wonderful score, the bandage on the nose…
In this featurette, prominent filmmakers express their personal admiration for the film:
Steven Soderbergh – Director – Traffic James Newton Howard – Composer – The Dark Knight Kimberly Peirce – Writer/Director – Boys Don’t Cry Roger Deakins – Cinematographer – No Country For Old Men
Chinatown: The Beginning and the End
Chinatown: The Legacy
Theatrical Trailer (HD)
*Actual person...although the rest of the story is completely fabricated for the sake of a completely not-worth-it joke.