Blu-ray Review: Universal Releases New Wave of 100th Anniversary Classics

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Did Universal know that Meryl Streep was going to win her third Oscar for “The Iron Lady”? Someone should investigate because two of her most acclaimed performances hit Blu-ray this week as a part of Universal’s 100th Anniversary Collector’s Series — “Out of Africa” and “The Deer Hunter.” With a combined twelve Oscars among the two, these are two of the most powerful films in the Universal library and great choices for the Collector’s Series upgrade. Meanwhile, Universal continues to supply this catalog, released “Charade,” “My Man Godfrey,” and “Sullivan’s Travels” under the same banner on DVD-only.

“The Deer Hunter” and “Out of Africa” both won Best Picture but Streep actually didn’t take home the acting Oscar for either (losing to other legends, Maggie Smith and Geraldine Page). Nonetheless, the films are wonderful examples of the range of the best actress of all time. And they make perfect fits for Universal Blu-ray as both films are incredibly strong visual compositions. They look beautiful in HD. Universal released a number of films this month on Blu-ray in their series and I was happy that these were the two they chose to send. “The Deer Hunter” is a vastly superior film (“Africa” makes me a bit sleepy) but both look amazing in HD. And they’re perfect fits for an Anniversary Collector’s Series.

The Deer Hunter was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6, 2012
The Deer Hunter was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6, 2012
Photo credit: Universal

As for why Universal chose to send DVD copies of the other titles, it’s hard to say. You definitely want to pick up the Criterion “Charade” Blu-ray over this standard edition. As for “Godfrey” and “Sullivan’s,” they’re releases for hardcore film nuts only. Most people interested in them probably already have them on DVD, making Collector’s Series releases a bit odd. However, it’s only about ten weeks into 2012 and the Universal 100th Anniversary Collector’s Series has lived up to its potential as one of the most important Blu-ray and DVD release series of the year. It truly is “100 Years of Unforgettable Movies.” Remember these ones.

Out of Africa was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6, 2012
Out of Africa was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6, 2012
Photo credit: Universal

“Out of Africa” Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Winner of 7 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, Out Of Africa is a cinematic masterpiece filled with breathtaking passion and majestic imagery. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep star in the fascinating true story of a woman who travels to Kenya to be with her cold husband and falls in love with a mysterious adventurer. Directed by Sydney Pollack, this epic tale of love, loss and self-discovery amid the stunning vistas of the African continent is an unparalleled filmmaking achievement.

Special Features:
o A Song of Africa
o Deleted Scenes
o Feature Commentary With Director Sydney Pollack

“The Deer Hunter” Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and one of AFI’s Top 100 Films of All Time, The Deer Hunter follows a group of Pennsylvania steelworkers from their blue-collar lives, hunting in the woods of the Alleghenies, to the hells of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, Academy Award winners Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken star in this unforgettable saga of friendship and courage. Experience the brutality of war and the depths of emotional strain on the human spirit in this extraordinary powerful film classic.

Special Features:
o Deleted And Extended Scenes
o Feature Commentary With Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and Film Journalist Bob Fisher
o 100 Years of Universal: Academy Award Winners
o Theatrical Trailer

“The Deer Hunter” and “Out of Africa” were both released in Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs on March 6th, 2012 and “Charade,” “My Man Godfrey,” and “Sullivan’s Travels” were released on DVD-only. content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of audio review of the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” the first film of one of the most successful film franchises in movie history, spun off from the original breakthrough sci-fi TV series of the 1960s. Beam me up.

  • A League of Their Own 2022

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on September 2nd, reviewing the new TV series “A League of Their Own,” a parallel universe adaptation of the popular 1992 film, now streaming on Prime Video.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions