When it comes to classic cinema, I think that the Astaire and Rogers films have to be mentioned somewhere. While they're short on plot, which means that Astaire and Rogers typically play their usual boy-meets-girl, girl-detests-boy, boy-and-girl eventually fall in love schtick. But when it comes to the dancing and musical numbers, they arugbly cannot be beat as perhaps the greatest duo in Hollywood history. And when you have them directed by one of the most celebrated American directors of all-time, Mr. George Stevens, you have a recipe for movie magic. Hence the point, with the new release of 1936's Swing Time by the renowed Criterion Collection, that magic should hopefully be reopened to a new generation of film collectors.
Although I have only seen two of Astaire and Rogers' films: Top Hat and Shall We Dance, I am quite familiar with their showstopping body movements and classic chemistry. The supplements on the both the Blu-ray and DVD, including an audio commentary by John Mueller, and a new video program about the film's choreography and soundtrack, should express why Fred & Ginger's legacy continues to be an excellent aspect of movie lore. I suspect that if you're a fan of classic films, then this edition should be a must-have and is my Pick of the Week.
Also being released this week:
The Entity: Collector's Edition (Shout/Scream Factory) - Barbara Hershey stars in this supernatural thriller as a single mother of three who one night gets sexually assaulted by an unseen force and has to seek help from parapsychologists. Supposedly based on a true story.
Frankenstein Created Woman: Collector's Edition (Shout/Scream Factory) - Peter Cushing plays Baron Frankenstein once again, bringing a tormented woman back to life with bizarre results after she drowns herself because her late lover's false murder charge.
Piranha: Steelbook (Shout/Scream/Factory) - Joe Dante's 1978 cult classic where a children's summer camp is terrorized by mutant, bloodthirtsy piranhas.
Mean Girls: 15th Anniversary Edition (Paramount) - Lindsay Lohan stars in the quotable 2004 teen classic as a 15-year-old who enters high-school hell after crossing paths with the most popular clique in school, "The Plastics".
Ghostbusters/Ghostbusters 2: 35th Anniversary Steelbook (Sony Pictures) - The 1984 scifi comedy classic and its much maligned sequel, together again in a five-disc set with all-new bonus features, including fan commentaries, rare deleted scenes, and outtakes.