Giveaway: Warner’s 90th Anniversary Blu-ray Bundle [ended]
In honor of Warner Bros. Pictures’s 90th Anniversary on April 4, 1923, the studio is releasing a handful of their films on Blu-ray for the first time. You can get a good look at some of their amazing 100-film and 50-film collections here. I was lucky enough to get copies of three of their most lauded films on Blu-ray for review, Best Picture winners: Grand Hotel, Mrs. Miniver and Driving Miss Daisy. I am happy to report these films look amazing in their new Blu-ray transfers. Unfortunately, I can’t screencap Blus on my Macbook, so you’ll have to take my word for it. If you’d like to see for yourself, you can enter a giveaway for all three films by leaving a comment below. The only stipulation is you must be a U.S. resident (sorry international readers, Warner Bros. makes these rules, not me!) So just leave a comment and I will pick one winner at random on Monday!
 Congratulations to Candice, whose comment was chosen via a random number generator!
The only new special feature on this Blu-ray release of Grand Hotel is commentary from film historians Jeffrey Vance and Mark Vieira. It also includes the same special features from the 2004 DVD release, which include a making of documentary entitled Checking Out: Grand Hotel, a newsreel of the film’s premiere, a theater announcement entitled Just a Word of Warning, the Vitaphone musical short Nothing Ever Happens and trailers for both Grand Hotel and the 1945 remake Week-End at the Waldorf.
Really my only complaint is that a lot of the artwork (as you can see above) has been colorized. I’m not sure why they would do that when these films are so lushly photographed in black and white. The display menu is just not that attractive with that gaudy colorized still. Regardless, this Blu release is a must for fans of the film.
Grand Hotel remains the only film to win Best Picture having only been nominated for that prize.
This Blu-ray release of Mrs. Miniver includes one new special feature: the vintage cartoon Blitz Wolf and then also contains features found on the earlier DVD release: the World War II era shorts: Mr. Blabbermouth! (which was an Oscar-nominated documentary released by the Office of War Information) and For the Common Defense! (which was part of the Crime Does Not Pay shorts series and can also be found on the Warner Archive’s complete set that came out last summer) as well as the theatrical trailer.
Blitz Wolf comes with a warning stating that the film is “a product of its time” and that its racist depictions are not condoned by Warner Bros., which is an interesting way to introduce your audience to the cartoon directed by Tex Avery. The cartoon, which depicts the story of the three little pigs with Hitler as the Big Baf Wolf, looks to be beautifully restored and is presented in glorious Technicolor. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film in 1942.
Mrs. Miniver was nominated for twelve Academy Awards and won six: Best Picture (won), Best Director William Wyler (won), Best Actress Greer Garson (won), Best Actor Walter Pidgeon, Best Supporting Actress Teresa Wright (won), Best Supporting Actress Dame May Whitty, Best Supporting Actor Henry Travers, Best Screenplay (won), Best B&W Cinematography (won), Best Special Effects, Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
Driving Miss Daisy has been released as a Blu-ray book, which includes 32 pages of photos, production history, biographies and more. It also includes an all-new featurette entitled Things Are Changing: The Worlds of Hoke & Miss Daisy, as well as commentary by director Bruce Beresford, writer Alfred Uhry and producer Lily Zanuck, three featurettes found on previous home video releases and the theatrical trailer.
Driving Miss Daisy was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning four: Best Picture (won), Best Actress Jessica Tandy (won), Best Actor Morgan Freeman, Best Supporting Actor Dan Aykroyd, Best Makeup (won) and Best Adapted Screenplay(won), Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing. It is one of only three films to win Best Picture without its director being nominated (the others were Grand Hotel and the very first Best Picture winner, Wings)
Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post before Monday the 21st if you want a chance to win these three Blu-ray releases for yourself! Also, make sure you leave a way for me to contact you (Twitter, Tumblr, Email etc.)
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review discs given to me by Warner Bros., though the opinions are all my own.
Posted on January 17, 2013, in Classic Film, Contest, DVDs, Giveaway and tagged Crime Does Not Pay, Driving Miss Daisy, Grand Hotel, Mrs. Miniver, Tex Avery, Warner Bros.. Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.