September's treasure trove of 4K-Ultra HD releases includes both cult classics and Oscar-winning films, beautifully restored for cinephiles to experience anew. This month sees the 4K release of a Vietnam War masterpiece from Oliver Stone, an iconic erotic thriller from Adrian Lyne, and a neo-noir thriller from Brian De Palma that, amongst other praise, Quentin Tarantino has named as one of his all-time favorite movies.
There's also the definitive restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director's Edition, which has been 40 years in the making and will go down as one of the most ambitious re-releases ever conceived. For Trekkies and movie-lovers alike, it's a must-have for your film collection, as are all of the below releases.
Considered an underrated masterpiece of the early '80s, Brian De Palma's Blow Out is receiving a much-deserved new release by The Criterion Collection. John Travolta — in one of the best performances of his career — stars as Jack Terry, a B-movie sound technician who inadvertently captures audio that suggests murder and conspiracy is afoot. It isn't long before he begins to find that his own life is in danger.
Inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 murder mystery Blow-Up, De Palma crafted the concept for Blow Out while working on 1980's Dressed to Kill, and the result is one of the essential films of his career, a thriller that transcends traditional genre conventions.
This director-approved release from Criterion features a brand new 4K digital restoration with both HDR and Dolby Vision offered along with the film's original 2.0 surround DTS HD Audio Master. Additional bonus materials include interviews with De Palma conducted by filmmaker Noah Baumbach, De Palma's 1968 feature Murder a la Mod, and much more.
Available: On 4K UHD Blu-Ray on Sept. 6.
Star Trek: The Original 6 Movie Collection
In 1966, Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek introduced television audiences to the crew aboard the starship U.S.S. Enterprise, led by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his ever-logical first officer, Spock (Leonard Nimoy). 1979 saw the release of the franchise's first adventure on the big screen, with the aptly-titled Star Trek: The Motion Picture, helmed by four-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Robert Wise (The Sound of Music). At the time, Wise considered the movie to be a work in progress and previously revisited it for the 2001 Director's Edition.
The newest edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture goes beyond a traditional restoration, elevating the acclaimed 2001 Director's Edition to new heights with VFX reproduced from scratch in 4K. The film's audio track has also been completely remastered, with a sublime Dolby Atmos sound mix giving new life to Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score.
Building a devout fanbase and earning three Oscar nominations, Star Trek: The Motion Picture launched five successful sequels: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Paramount is releasing all six films in 4K UHD formatting with new scans from their original camera negatives, complete with HDR10 and Dolby Vision. This six-movie collection also includes Director's Cuts of both of the Nicholas Meyer Star Trek films — The Wrath of Kahn and The Undiscovered Country — and hours of supplemental material for each film.
Available: On 4K UHD Blu-Ray on Sept. 6. Also available as stand-alone releases.
Upon its release in 1986, Oliver Stone's Platoon was universally acclaimed as an unrelenting depiction of the Vietnam War. Inspired by the Stone's firsthand experiences, Charlie Sheen stars as PFC Chris Taylor, a young Army recruit who is deployed to Vietnam, where he witnesses unspeakable atrocities — many of which are committed by his fellow comrades. Backed by a solid supporting cast, including Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Tom Berenger and Forest Whitaker, Platoon went on to earn eight Oscar nominations and win four, including Best Picture and Best Director for Stone.
Bold and uncompromising, Platoon served as the first in a loose trilogy of Vietnam War films directed by Stone, followed by Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven & Earth (1993). In 2019, Platoon was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
This restoration is presented courtesy of Shout! Factory with a new scan from the original camera negative. The release includes audio commentaries with Stone and military advisor Dale Dye, deleted and extended scenes, and the documentaries One War, Many Stories and Preparing for 'Nam.
Available: On 4K UHD Blu-Ray on Sept. 13.
Flashdance and 9 1/2 Weeks director Adrian Lyne shocked audiences with his 1987 erotic psychological thriller Fatal Attraction. Starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, the film tells the story of New York attorney Dan Gallagher (Douglas), who engages in a weekend affair with the seductive Alex Forrest (Close) while his wife and daughter are out of town. When Dan brushes off the affair, Alex makes it clear — in no uncertain terms — that she will not let go. What follows is a study of obsession and fury, one that blew film critics and audiences away with its unrelenting tension and explosive lead performances.
Fatal Attraction was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. Stylishly shot by Howard Atherton, the film arrives on 4K UHD from Paramount with a remaster supervised by Lyne. Complemented with a new HDR color grade and Dolby Vision, the release also features a Dolby True HD 5.1 audio mix. Bonus materials include a conversation with Lyne about the making of the film, the legacy director commentary, and the film's infamous alternate ending.
Available: On 4K UHD on Sept. 13 and on HD Blu-Ray via Paramount Presents.
It's hard to describe the effect Poltergeist had on unsuspecting audiences when it was released in 1982. Based on a story by Steven Spielberg — who co-wrote the screenplay — and directed by iconic horror filmmaker Tobe Hooper, the film centers on a suburban family who is forced to confront the supernatural forces in their home. Initially, the specters appear friendly. It isn't long, however, before the family learns there is evil at work, and their lives are terrorized by child abductions, murderous clown dolls, demonically possessed trees, and a bedroom closet which opens a portal to another dimension. Nominated for three Oscars, including Best Original Score for composer Jerry Goldsmith, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Effects Editing, Poltergeist is an essential horror classic to revisit this Halloween season.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Poltergeist comes to 4K UHD from Warner Bros. and features a new 4K scan from the film’s original camera negative and both a DTS HD 5.1 audio track and the original 2.0 audio track. For super fans and collectors, the release is also available in a limited-edition steelbook.
Available: On 4K UHD Blu-Ray on Sept. 20. Also available on digital.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
If you were a teen in the late '90s, there was no escaping I Know What You Did Last Summer. Hot off the success of Scream (1996), screenwriter Kevin Williamson penned the 1997 slasher, loosely based on the 1973 Lois Duncan novel of the same name. The movie, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and the late Anne Heche, follows four friends as they are hunted down as payback for what happened during a boozy summer night one year prior. Directed by Jim Gillespie, the horror flick features enthusiastic performances and nail-bitingly tense sequences.
To mark its 25th anniversary, the film is making its debut on the 4K UHD format from Sony and features a stunning new transfer from the film's original camera negative with Dolby Vision and HDR presentations of the film. A vast array of bonus materials are included, with deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a new retrospective with director Gillespie, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and the "Hush" music video from the film's soundtrack.
Available: On 4K UHD on Sept. 27. Also available on digital.
By Adam J. Yeend