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DVD Shopping Bag: A Clockwork Orange Anniversary Edition Blu-ray

655321 is 40 this year

By Robert T. Trate     May 24, 2011

Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange(1971)
© Warner Home Video/ Robert Trate


Stanley Kubrick couldn’t get Malcolm McDowell’s face out of his mind while reading Anthony Burgess’ original novel. That face was permanently locked in there after seeing McDowell in Lindsay Anderson’s If…. (1968). This little historical note and many others are relayed to us in a commentary by Alex DeLarge himself Malcolm McDowell. Next week Warner Brothers will release their anniversary edition of A Clockwork Orange on Blu-ray celebrating this cinematic classic.
My first experience with A Clockwork Orange was from the golden age when video stores were common place. I was employed as a modern librarian updating people on all the releases in the video world. As I would walk the aisles putting films away I discovered Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). I marveled at it and instantly had a need to view this man’s other films. I then went to A Clockwork Orange. While watching it, I found myself in a quandary about the film’s main character. This anti-hero made me feel compassion for him. I actually felt sorry for this murderer/ rapist. If he wouldn’t have been so charming it would have been easy to think he got what he deserved. This of course is the hook to the film; we all love and root for the villain.
The Warner Brothers Hardcover:
Warner Brothers has put A Clockwork Orange in the hard bound book edition. Similar releases include Casablanca, North by Northwest, and The Exorcist to name just a few. This care and appreciation puts the Blu-ray in the same category as a Criterion Collection release. The book is populated with photographs, production stills, actor bios, and trivia. There is a digital copy for the modern viewer so they can take their film anywhere. On a bonus disc is two documentaries. One is for the director “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures”. The other is a tribute to the film’s star “O Lucky Malcolm!”.
Special Features:
The features included here are identical to the 2007 Blu-ray and DVD release. Outside of the bonus disc with the two documentaries all the special features are on the first Blu-ray. If you have the original 2007 release you aren’t missing much.
The Commentary:
The film historian Nick Redman sits down to watch A Clockwork Orange with McDowell for this commentary circa 2007. With any commentary you have to remember that it is one person’s perspective. Rarely do actors talk about their films on a commentary track. Let alone do it without the director present. I mention this because it sounded like McDowell cast most of the film. The biggest part being Dim (Warren Clarke) who he pushed on Kubrick until no one else was found. Redman opens the discussion up to numerous historical facts about the film and McDowell supplies us with truths. The best of which is how low budgeted the film was. McDowell gives a lighting technician commentary by telling the audience how much light was used in the room. What was natural, free standing, and what time of day it was. It will make any film aficionado appreciate Kubrick all the more. The film was shot out of sequence and McDowell allows us to know which was the first shot, the last, and that he is not masturbating merely taking off his boots. He also makes Kubrick human and not the mad genius we have all know that he was. Simple stories about an actress he liked on set, driving home, and what it took to make him laugh are gems in this commentary.
Little Droogs:
There is nothing new here but if you were like me and didn’t have a Blu-ray player in 2007 then it’s all new. Warner Brothers has placed their X rated Academy Award nominated film in a brilliant hardcover book making it a perfect edition to your library. The transfer is equally impressive but that hasn’t changed either since 2007. When I discovered the film in the library of old I never realized it would change me as well and the way I saw cinema forever. Any film that can do that is a classic.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Solaris: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
2. The Great Dictator: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
3. Killers From Space
4. Platoon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
5. Papillon [Blu-ray Book]
Bail Out (UK PAL Region 0) Starring David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair
The Big Bang Starring Antonio Banderas, Autumn Reeser, Sam Elliot
The Big Bang [Blu-ray]
Bravo Two Zero Starring Sean Bean
Fighting Mad / Moving Violation [Double Feature] Starring Peter Fonda, Scott Glenn, Stephen McHattie and Eddie Albert
Hotel Ca / The Ministers Starring Tyson Beckford, Simon Rex, John Leguizamo and Harvey Keitel
Le Mans [Blu-ray] Starring Siegfried Rauch, Fred Haltiner and Luc Merenda
Le Mans
Murder Once Removed (UK PAL Region 0) Starring John Forsythe
The Night Listener Starring Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh and Rory Culkin
Operation Condor Starring Jackie Chan
Operation Condor 2: The Armour of God featuring Jackie Chan Starring Jackie Chan
Rabbit-Proof Fence featuring Kenneth Branagh Starring Kenneth Branagh
Robinson Crusoe Starring Pierce Brosnan, Ian Hart, Damian Lewis and James Frain
The Ron Howard Action Pack (Eat My Dust! / Grand Theft Auto) [Roger Corman's Cult Classics] Starring Ron Howard, Nancy Morgan and Marion Ross
The Scenesters Starring Sherilyn Fenn, Blaise Miller, Suzanne May and Jeff Grace
Tigerland [Blu-ray] Starring Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, Clifton Jr. Collins
Twin Dragons Starring Jackie Chan
Air Gear: Complete Box Set S.A.V.E. Starring Chris Patton, Christine Auten and Illich Guardiola
Samurai Champloo: The Complete Series Starring Kari Wahlgren, Kirk Thornton and Daniel Andrews
Samurai Champloo: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Soul Eater: The Meister Collection Starring Micah Solusod, Laura Bailey, Brittney Karbowski
Fanboy & Chum Chum
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown [Blu-ray]
Transformers: The Complete Series Starring Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Chris Latta and Corey Burton
Boy Friend Starring Christopher Gable
Grand Prix [Blu-ray] Starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand
Mr Wong Detective (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Boris Karloff and Grant Withers
Mysterious Mr Wong (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Bela Lugosi and Wallace Ford
Papillon [Blu-ray Book] Starring Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory and Don Gordon
Savage Messiah Starring Scott Antony
The Squeeze (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Lee Van Cleef and Karen Black
Gnomeo & Juliet Starring James McAvoy and Emily Blunt
Gnomeo and Juliet (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)
Gnomeo & Juliet (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo)
Sirens Starring Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Portia de Rossi and Sam Neill
Criterion Collection
The Great Dictator: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Charles Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner
The Great Dictator: The Criterion Collection
Solaris: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Natalya Bondarchuk, Juri Jarvet, Donatas Banionis
Solaris: The Criterion Collection Starring Natalya Bondarchuk, Juri Jarvet, Donatas Banionis
Bat Shit Crazy
Death Hunter: Werewolves vs. Vampires Starring Sam McConkey, Paulino Hemmer, Mike Lawler
Fertile Ground (After Dark Original) Starring Gale Harold, Leisha Hailey, Chelcie Ross and Jami Bassman
Forget Me Not Starring Carly Schroeder, Cody Linley, Brie Gabrielle
The Hole Starring Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Keira Knightley
The Killer Shrews (UK PAL Region 0) Starring James Best and Ingrid Goude
Mad World Starring Gary Cairns, Dylan Vigus and Matthew Thompson
Maniac (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Bill Woods and Horace B Carpenter
Seconds Apart (After Dark Original) Starring Orlando Jones, Edmund Entin, Gary Entin and Samantha Droke
Sleep Dealer / Hunter Prey Starring Jacob Vargas, Luis Fernando Pena
Gods and Generals : Extended Director's Cut (Blu-ray Book Packaging) Starring Jeff Daniels and Stephen Lang
Platoon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Keith David
Final Encounter Starring Dean Cain and Thomas Ian Griffith
I Am Number Four Starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron
I Am Number Four (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
I Am Number Four [Blu-ray]
Impostor Starring Gary Sinise, Madeleline Stowe, Vincent D'Onofrio
Killers From Space (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Peter Graves and James Seay
The Almighty Thor [Blu-ray] Starring Cody Deal, Kevin Nash, Patricia Velasquez
Capadocia: Season 1 Starring Ana De Reguera, Alejandro Camacho, Dolores Heredia
Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 1 Starring Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 2 Starring Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 3 Starring Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 4 Starring Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 5 Starring Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
Kids In The Hall, The: Complete Series DVD Megaset Starring Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald
Melissa & Joey: Season One, Part One Starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joseph Lawrence
Stanley Kubrick Slide Show
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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redhairs99 5/24/2011 5:22:03 PM

Love A Clockwork Orange and just about anything with Malcolm McDowell, and while I like the hard cover book packaging the Warners have done on some Blu-Rays, I feel like this is a pass for me.  The Kubrick box set I have on DVD has a separate disc for the documentary Kubrick: A Life in Pictures and the Clockwork Orange in the set also has the O' Lucky Malcolm documentary, which btw, is also on my DVD of O'Lucky Man (the not-quite a sequel to Linsay Anderson's If... even though If..., O' Lucky Man and Britannia Hospital are loosely called a trilogy of sorts).  The upconverted picture from my DVD on my blu-ray player is quite good enough for me too.

EagleManiac 5/24/2011 5:48:56 PM

Redhairs, I agree. A Clockwork Orange is one of those rare masterpieces, and an incredible film! Macolm is fantastic as Alex....still one of my all-time favorite rolls of his!



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