The last Tuesday before Thanksgiving is an interesting release date for movies. You’d think that with the holiday right around the corner, distributors would capitalize on the impending family time by putting out new releases perfect for a group watch on Thanksgiving. That’s not the case, though. More realistically, distributors keep a low profile this Tuesday out of fear that Black Friday’s deals will overshadow any new releases. After all, they can’t exactly afford to put their brand new films on huge sales, so it’s best to just wait until the dust settles on the season’s biggest day of discounts.
So that’s a roundabout way of saying it’s kind of a crappy week for new Blu-rays. Criterion has a new box set out that sounds, unsurprisingly, like it demands to be an essential part of any film collection, but beyond that it’s a fairly uneventful retail day, sadly.
Top Shelf – Any elaborate collector’s editions or box sets.
Middle Shelf – Standard releases of fairly well known movies available at a reasonable price.
Bottom Shelf – Titles that are either A) suspiciously cheap or B) being released with very little fanfare.
The Movies: This is a Criterion Collection that contains Easy Rider, Head, Five Easy Pieces, Drive, He Said, A Safe Place, The Last Picture Show, and The King of Marvin Gardens. If any of those names ring a bell, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of how special this box set is. If they don’t ring a bell, this is a perfect way to get a concise education on influential films from the late ’60s and early ’70s on the (relative) cheap.
The Features: Considering this is a Criterion release, I simply couldn’t fit all of the special features found within in a brief little overview. Instead, I point you towards Moises Chiullan’s thorough review of the set.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone with even a vague interest in how one company, with only a handful of films, can make such a big impact on Hollywood. The $87.49 price tag may seem steep, but considering that averages out to less than $13 per movie, it’s a damned good deal.