Well, take all my money right now. Another month, another insane Criterion Collection line-up that will bleed you dry because you’ll feel like you need every release. First up, the new crown jewel in the collection, the first Paul Thomas Anderson title on Criterion. “Punch Drunk Love.” In case you’ve been living under a rock, the picture is Anderson’s take on a sweet romance film, but it’s also dark, weird, dramatic and features many fanciful musical notes. Apart from starring Adam Sandler in a rare dramatic role (funny too, but played straight) and Emily Watson in a wonderful turn, the movie also features a terrific supporting performance by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Another modern title joining the boutique label is Noah Baumbach’s brilliant coming-of-age comedy “The Squid And The Whale,” featuring an early turning-point performance by a young Jesse Eisenberg. The title will be Baumbach’s third film in the collection, or fifth if you consider co-writing credits on two Wes Anderson movies (“The Life Aquatic,” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”).
Classic restoration titles aren’t in short supply either. Marlon Brando’s sole directorial debut, “One Eyed Jacks” is finally coming to DVD after years of being AWOL, in addition to Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams,” the master’s magical realism picture about his own dreams released under the aegis of Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and funded by Warner Bros.
Last but not least is Kenji Misumi‘s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance,” the first in a series of six films that chronicle a wandering assassin for hire who is accompanied by his young son. Five pictures all worth owning that will set you back a few hundred, worthwhile dollars. PTA, Baumbach, Kurosawa, Brando and Misumi, what a killer month.