Digital Week – October 31st

Blu-rays of the Week

The Voice of the Moon (Arrow Academy)

For his last film, made in 1990 but never released here until now, Italian master Federico Fellini made this flawed but funny and even touching fantasia about a lovestruck young man (Roberto Benigni, before he became insufferably smug) who, while aimlessly wandering, runs into the usual Fellini phantasmagoria of bizarre, weird characters. Parts of the film come off as pale echoes of earlier and better Fellini, but a bittersweet atmosphere pervades, making this a melancholy and satisfying capstone to a magnificent career. Arrow’s terrific release includes an excellent new hi-def transfer and an hour-long on-set featurette of Fellini directing his final film.

Annabelle: Creation (Warner Bros)

I never thought that 105 minutes of slamming doors and young women screaming at the top of their lungs would constitute an actual horror movie, but it’s what this risible origin story of the original doll flick Annabelle unfortunately provides. There’s little rhythm or reason to the monotonous filmmaking, not to mention the three or four non-endings. There’s a sleek-looking hi-def transfer; extras are deleted scenes, director commentary, on-set featurette and two short films.

The Durrells in Corfu—Complete 2nd Season (PBS Masterpiece)

Wherein the Durrell family—widowed mom Louisa and her four growing (and grown) children—continue living on the remote Greek island where romance is definitely in the air: Mom juggles a couple of suitors, her oldest son has an affair with their sexy landlord, and her daughter decides only foreigners are eligible for her affection. It’s all handsomely photographed, and if the plotting tends toward cutesy soap-opera antics at times, the cast—led the superlative Keeley Hawes as Mom—keep the series’ six episodes light and frothily entertaining. The Blu-ray looks good; extras are short featurettes.

The Lift / Down (Blue Underground)

Dutch director Dick Maas made his seminal horror film The Lift in 1983; its malevolent elevator—which kills indiscriminately—is a foolish conceit (why don’t the authorities just completely shut it down?), but it’s a fun ride nevertheless, with satisfyingly nasty endings for several victims. His own 2001 New York-set remake Down follows the original fairly closely, with a few added gory scenes that go above and beyond—and it’s notable for the presence of a young Naomi Watts. The Lift is preferable, however. Both films have fine transfers; extras include Maas’s commentaries, his own clever 2003 short, Long Distance, a making-of featurette and (on Down) a couple of hours of on-set footage.