For some reason, “Moonstruck” developed a reputation in the years after its release as being a disposable romantic dramedy. Sure, it won Cher a much-deserved Oscar, but that was seen as a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the truth is that sometimes the worst thing that can happen to a movie’s legacy is to be too acclaimed by the Academy. My hope is that the Criterion release of this 1987 classic allows for a true reappraisal of a legitimately great film. Cher runs away with it in a part that’s just perfect for her, but the whole ensemble here is one of my favorites of the ’80s, including work by Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, and Danny Aiello that ranks among the best in their careers. The new Criterion release includes a new interview with the screenwriter and a new restoration of the film, along with a ton of archival material from the last 30 years.
New 4K digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New interview with screenwriter John Patrick Shanley
New interview with scholar Stefano Albertini about the use of opera in the film
Introduction from 2013 featuring Cher
Interviews from 1987 with director Norman Jewison and actors Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, and Olympia Dukakis
Interview from 2002 with actor Danny Aiello
Audio interview from 1989 with Shanley about screenwriting and the development of Moonstruck
At the Heart of an Italian Family, a 2006 program about the making of the film
The Music of “Moonstruck,” a 2006 program featuring interviews with Jewison and composer Dick Hyman
Audio commentary from 1998 with Cher, Jewison, and Shanley
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by critic Emily VanDerWerff
“The New Mutants”
One of the more fascinating pandemic movie stories of 2020 was the release of “The New Mutants,” which has now finally made its way to rental streaming services and DVD/Blu-ray after a very long journey. The film was notoriously completed ages ago, stuck in release date hell, moving around over and over again on the calendar. Just as it was about to come out, the pandemic hit, knocking it back into limbo. But Fox wouldn’t give up and drop it streaming, choosing to open it in theaters back in August with a heady degree of controversy. No critics were allowed to screen it and major outlets refused to send staff to dangerous theaters. So not much was written about it. And that probably won’t change. It’s a clunky movie, but what’s interesting is that it’s not a horrible one. There have been much worse superhero films in recent years (like the last “X-Men” one actually). I wouldn’t be surprised if a fan base forms around it. This years-long story of a little superhero movie may not be over yet.