Home Entertainment Guide: July 2023 | TV/Streaming
Movie Reviews

Home Entertainment Guide: July 2023 | TV/Streaming

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Special Features

“Breathless” (Criterion)

I recently discussed the “gateway” films for young viewers to discover the most influential filmmakers of all time. What’s the first Hitchcock you show someone? The first Scorsese? The first Varda? I think the first Godard might be “Breathless” (or maybe “Band of Outsiders”) as it stands at a place in history where everything changed. Released in 1960, it’s hard to believe now that this was Godard’s feature debut, and even harder to believe that it’s over 60 years old. Not only riding the French New Wave but helping launch it worldwide, “Breathless” still feels so completely alive and vital to how we watch movies in 2023. It’s a great choice for Criterion to give it the 4K treatment, including a transfer of the supplemental material available on the previously-released Blu-ray. On that note, the two video essays, including one by Jonathan Rosenbaum, are excellent, as is a short film by Godard starring Jean-Paul Belmondo that the pair made the year before “Breathless.”

Buy it here 

Special Features
4K restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
Interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard; actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville; director of photography Raoul Coutard; assistant director Pierre Rissient; and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker
Two video essays: filmmaker Mark Rappaport’s Jean Seberg and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum’s “Breathless” as Criticism
Chambre 12, Hôtel de Suède, a 1993 French documentary about the making of Breathless, featuring members of the cast and crew
Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short film by Godard featuring Belmondo
PLUS: An essay by scholar Dudley Andrew, writings by Godard, François Truffaut’s original treatment, and Godard’s scenario


This one might surprise people expecting another film like the previous collaborations between star Gerard Butler and director Ric Roman Waugh. The filmmaker behind “Angel Has Fallen” and the underrated “Greenland” delivers a movie that feels like it wants to be more drama than action, the story of a CIA operative and his translator who get burned in Iran after the destruction of one of the country’s nuclear facilities. When Butler’s undercover agent in Iran throws out lines about the neverending aspects of modern warfare, “Kandahar” approaches commentary instead of shoot-em-up, but it then falls back into some pretty generic action material in the final act. Still, there’s enough to like here to include in the highlights column. I admire the effort by Waugh and Butler to make an action film set in the Middle East that feels like it has more on its mind than the average blockbuster.

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