Dec 8, 2011

New Spy DVDs Out This Week

This week sees the release of The Debt (movie review here) on DVD and Blu-ray from Universal. The Debt follows a team of Mossad agents hunting a Nazi war criminal in Sixties East Berlin... and then dealing with the consequences of their Cold War actions decades later. Both formats include the featurettes "A Look Inside The Debt," "Every Secret Has A Price: Helen Mirren In The Debt" and "The Berlin Affair: The Triangle At The Center Of The Debt," as well as an audio commentary with director John Madden and producer Kris Thykier. Retail is $29.98 for the DVD and $34.98 for the Blu-ray, though naturally both are substantially cheaper at all the usual online vendors.

The Mission: Impossible "Extreme Trilogy" comes on both Blu-ray and DVD, too, though most people who want to no doubt already own the DVDs. I'm not really sure what qualifies these three feature films spun out of the classic TV series as "extreme" (dangling, I guess? They're not xXx!), but I do know that one of the reasons why I love Peter Graves is because he was never extreme. (Though some of his shirts and coats were.) Extreme or not, the cover art is actually pretty cool, and this set certainly makes for a good way to accumulate the first three movies at a very reasonable price just in time for the new fourth entry from director Brad Bird. The Mission: Impossibe Extreme Blu-ray Trilogy retails for $39.99 (though it's currently under thirty bucks on Amazon), and the Mission: Impossible Extreme DVD Trilogy is priced at just $26.98 ($19.99 on Amazon right now).

From Music Box Films comes (at last) the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition on both Blu-ray and DVD. While the first film in the Swedish trilogy based on Stieg Larsson's bestselling novels, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is a murder mystery (and required viewing in the overall saga), the two subsequent entries (The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) are both spy movies. To reveal exactly how is to give too much away, but they involve a ruthless Cold War defector and the Swedish security service the Säpo. Essentially, the plot progresses from Agatha Christie territory to Robert Ludlum's realm over the course of the three films. "Films," however, is a slightly misleading term. While the first one was always intended for theatrical release, the other two were made as a miniseries for Swedish TV, then cut down into features for international distribution. That means that the versions seen in American theaters (and previously available on DVD) were truncated. This release marks the first time that all three "films" have been available here in their entirety. Tying this release with the one discussed above, Swedish star Michael Nyqvist (whose role Daniel Craig takes on in the upcoming David Fincher version) plays a villain in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Finally, from Criterion we have the high-def debut of an Alfred Hitchcock spy classic with The Lady Vanishes Blu-ray Blu-ray. This disc contains all the same special features as the excellent DVD version from 2007 (discussed in my review here), as well as a new HD transfer of the film. A special bonus among those features is the inclusion of an entire second movie, 1941's Crooks' Tour, starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne reprising their Lady Vanishes roles as the oh-so-British, cricket-obsessed overgrown schoolboys Charters and Caldicott. Charters and Caldicott also turned up in Carol Reed's 1940 spy movie Night Train to Munich (from the same writers as The Lady Vanishes), which is also available on DVD from Criterion. (Review here.)

1 comment:

Phil Hansen said...

OMG I am SO excited about the DRAGON TATTOO TRILOGY finally being released uncut! Am now badgering Darren for Christmas! (It's all his fault -- he got me the first book last Christmas!)