Quality film news, reviews and features
9th February 2009 11:54:00
Posted by Dave Foster

Directors’ Showcase: Take Four (R1) in May

News
Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of Directors’ Showcase: Take Four on 26th May 2009. This fourth collection showcasing the special talents of film directors is led by Hal Ashby’s comedy Lookin’ to Get Out, in a never-before-seen director’s cut that was recently uncovered with the help of its star, Jon Voight. Voight, Ashby-biographer Nick Dawson and Ashby’s daughter Lee MacManus unearthed a cut the director had donated to the UCLA archives prior to his death. As Voight, who was instrumental in the film’s development, script (as a co-writer), as well as its post-production, tells it, “For various reasons, the film we released didn’t really represent Hal’s best work. I knew every version of the script and every cut, so I was understandably excited, but I also didn’t want to be disappointed. But when I saw it, I knew instantly it had Hal’s touch. The way he took all the elements and made it his own, it was almost like we were working together again. Because when Hal Ashby [an Oscar winner editor], cut his films himself, it was magic.”

Hugh Hudson’s Revolution Revisited Director’s Cut, starring Al Pacino, is also in the collection in a newly remastered version with more than 40 minutes of new footage and new introductions by Hudson and Pacino. Rounding out the titles are John Boorman’s Beyond Rangoon, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, and David Cronenberg’s M. Butterfly.

The films have all-new transfers and select titles include bonus features such as introductions and interviews. Each title will sell individually for $19.97 SRP.

Lookin’ To Get Out Director’s Cut
The comedy tells the story of two gamblers who head to Las Vegas hoping to turn their luck around after losing a lot of money in NY. Oscar®--winner Jon Voight (Coming Home), who also co-wrote the screenplay, stars as Alex Kovac, a charming, happy-go-lucky gambler, with Oscar nominee Burt Young (Rocky film series) as his buddy. Ann-Margret (Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas) co-stars as Alex’s ex-girlfriend, and a seven-year-old Angelina Jolie is seen in her film debut.

DVD Special Features:
  • All new interview with Jon Voight, Burt Young and Ann-Margret
  • Theatrical trailer

Revolution Revisited Director’s Cut (1985)
Al Pacino plays New York trapper Tom Dobb who finds himself an unwilling participant in the American Revolution. After his son Ned is conscripted into the Continental Army by the immoral Sergeant Major Peasy (Donald Sutherland), Dobb attempts to find Ned, but becomes convinced that he must take a stand and fight for the freedom of the Colonies alongside the aristocratic rebel Daisy McConnahay (Natassia Kinski). The film includes an appearance from British singer Annie Lennox as Liberty Woman.

DVD Special Features
  • New introduction with director Hugh Hudson and Al Pacino
  • Narration track
  • Theatrical trailer

Beyond Rangoon (1995)
John Boorman (Deliverance) directs this tense political thriller based on a true story. Patricia Arquette (TV’s “Medium”) stars as Laura, an American doctor who goes on vacation to Burma (now Myanmar) with her sister (Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading) to escape the memory of the tragic murder of her husband and son. After losing her passport at a political rally, Laura is left on her own for a few days during which time she finds herself in the dangerous midst of a civil war. As an outsider caught in a strange culture, Laura discovers new truths about herself.

DVD Special Features:
  • Introduction
  • Vintage EPK
  • Theatrical trailer

Zabriskie Point (1970)
Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni (Blowup) directs his first American film: a surreal view of late ’60s America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children. Sometime secretary Daria is working for a developer (Rod Taylor) building a village in the California desert, while dropout Mark is running from the authorities for allegedly killing a policeman during a student riot. Their lives intersect at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley with an explosive finale. Harrison Ford has an uncredited part as an airport worker, and the soundtrack features music from various artists, including Pink Floyd, The Youngbloods, The Kaleidoscope, Jerry Garcia, Patti Page, and the Grateful Dead.

DVD Special Features:
  • Theatrical trailer

M. Butterfly (1993)
David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) directed this provocative romantic drama of love and betrayal that’s based on the Tony Award® winning play by David Henry Hwang. Set in the mid-1960s against a background of the Cultural Revolution in China, the film stars Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons (Lion King), who plays a French diplomat in a 20-year love affair with a beautiful yet mysterious Chinese singer from the Beijing Opera. Interwoven are allusions to the Puccini opera "Madama Butterfly."

DVD Special Features:
  • New interview with director David Cronenberg
  • Additional featurette title to be announced
  • Theatrical trailer
About Dave Foster
Dave has been loitering the virtual halls of TDF for a decade now and the majority of that time has been spent as Editor of the Home Cinema section (formerly DVDTimes). He doesn't contribute reviews anywhere near as much as he once did (or indeed would like to) but when he does it will invariably be something in the anime or Asian film area.