Spotlight: FIVE EASY PIECES (1970; Directed by Bob Rafelson; on Blu-ray Disc and DVD from The Criterion Collection)
Whenever there is a new Criterion release on the schedule, it’s hard not to pick them as a spotlight. This week it was even easier given how good this title is.
FIVE EASY PIECES stars Jack Nicholson as an oil-rig worker who was once a promising concert pianist, and now lives a mundane life filled with blue collar work, drinking at the local watering hole, spending time with his well-meaning (if not the brightest) girlfriend and bowling with his buddies. When he hears that a family member is ill, he heads home to face the upper-class home life he left behind.
One of the best films from the 1970s, a decade that produced some of the greatest American cinema, it now comes to High Definition Blu-ray Disc and it should come as no surprise that it’s from the Criterion Collection.
If Barnes & Noble continues their summer tradition of a July half-priced Criterion sale, this is one title that is sure to make it into the carts of many film collectors.
The restored High Definition transfer was supervised by Director of Photography László Kovács, and features an uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
The usual rich and plentiful Criterion special features include an audio commentary by Director Bob Rafelson and Interior Designer Toby Rafelson, Soul Searching in “Five Easy Pieces,” a 2009 video piece, BBStory, a 2009 documentary about the legendary film company BBS Productions, a Documentary from 2009 about BBS, Audio excerpts from a 1976 AFI interview with Bob Rafelson, Trailers and teasers as well as an essay by critic Kent Jones.
New Releases on Digital HD only:
PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 (Sony)
IT FOLLOWS (Anchor Bay)
DIOR AND I (The Orchard)
ROBOT OVERLORDS (Vertical)
JACKIE & RYAN (Phase 4)
AVALANCHE SHARKS (MarVista)
Also Released on Disc Today:
GET HARD (Warner Bros.)
DANNY COLLINS (Universal)
THE GUNMAN (Universal)
WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (Lionsgate)
THE LAST KNIGHTS (Lionsgate)
DECLINE OF THE WESTERN CIVILIZATION COLLECTION (Shout! Factory)
VANILLA SKY (Warner Bros.)
KUMIKO: THE TREASURE HUNTER (Starz / Anchor Bay)
SOUL EATER: THE COMPLETE SERIES (FUNimation)
GHOST HOUSE / WITCHERY (Scream Factory)
VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (The Criterion Collection)
TOKYO RAVENS – SEASON 1, PART 2 (FUNimation)
BLAZBLUE: ALTER MEMORY – SEASON 1 (FUNimation)
1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS (Blue Underground)
ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX (Blue Underground)
THE NEW BARBARIANS (Blue Underground)
HARD TO BE A GOD (Kino Lorber)
MAGICAL WARFARE – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION (Sentai Filmworks)
A JOHN WILLIAMS CELEBRATION (C Major)
THE DOVEKEEPERS (Paramount)
I AM EVIL KNIEVEL (Virgil Films)
SPACE BROTHERS – COLLECTION 3 (Sentai Filmworks)
OUR EARTH, OUR OCEANS 3D (Entertainment One)
New Disney Movie Club Exclusives:
HERBIE GOES BANANAS
HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO