Blu-ray Review: Universal Launches Four More 100th Anniversary Titles

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CHICAGO – Universal’s landmark line of Blu-ray releases under the banner of the company’s 100th anniversary continues with four more of the studio’s most beloved films — “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “Airport,” “Harvey,” and “Sixteen Candles.” It’s clearly an eclectic bunch and a wonderful sampler platter of what this line of releases have offered Blu-ray owners. Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster, Bela Lugosi, and Molly Ringwald — it’s a star-studded quartet that is sure to have at least one release that appeals to the Blu-ray collector in your family.

In alphabetical order (star rating takes into account transfer & special features along with the film itself):

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Photo credit: Universal

“Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein”

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Synopsis:
Comedy meets horror when Bud Abbott and Lou Costello encounter Universal’s classic monsters in the frightfully funny Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The world of baggage handlers Chick Young (Abbott) and Wilbur Grey (Costello) is turned upside down when they receive the remains of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and Frankenstein (Glenn Strange) bound for the House of Horrors museum. When Dracula and Frankenstein escape, complete chaos ensues as Chick and Wilbur get mixed up in an evil plot to switch Wilbur’s brain with Frankenstein’s and are aided by Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.), who turns into The Wolf Man when the moon is full! Featuring a perfect blend of laughs and thrills, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is one of the “all-time great horror comedies.” (Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide)

StarClick here to buy “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein”

Special Features:
o Abbott and Costello Meet The Monsters
o Feature Commentary With Film Historian Gregory W. Mank
o 100 Years Of Universal: The Lot
o 100 Years Of Universal: Unforgettable Characters
o Theatrical Trailer

Airport
Airport
Photo credit: Universal

“Airport”

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Synopsis:
Combining a gripping story, intense action and ground-breaking special effects, Airport paved the way for a whole new style of disaster film and became a trend-setting box office blockbuster. The tension filled adventure stars Burt Lancaster as the manager of an international airport who must juggle personal crises with professional responsibilities as he attempts to keep his blizzard-torn facility open to rescue a bomb-damaged jetliner. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast that also include Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset, George Kennedy, Maureen Stapleton and Helen Hayes, this unforgettable film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and remains a suspense-filled trip from take-off to dramatic landing.

StarClick here to buy “Airport”

Special Features:
o 100 Years Of Universal: The ’70s
o 100 Years Of Universal: The Lot
o Theatrical Trailer

Harvey
Harvey
Photo credit: Universal

“Harvey”

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Synopsis:
James Stewart gives one of his finest performances in this lighthearted film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Stewart stars as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see. To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwood’s obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs and she finds herself committed instead.

It’s up to Elwood to straighten out the mess with his kindly philosophy, and his “imaginary” friend, in this popular classic that features a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winning performance by Josephine Hull.

StarClick here to buy “Harvey”

Special Features:
o Special Introduction by Film Star James Stewart with Photographic Montage
o 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era
o 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era
o Theatrical Trailer
o Digital Copy

Sixteen Candles
Sixteen Candles
Photo credit: Universal

“Sixteen Candles”

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Synopsis:
It’s Samantha Baker’s Sweet Sixteen and no one in her family remembers the important occasion. John Hughes, the writer of National Lampoon’s Vacation, shows how coming-of-age can be full of surprises in this warm hearted teenage comedy starring Molly Ringwald.

She’s your average teen, enduring creepy freshmen, spoiled siblings, confused parents and the Big Blonde on Campus who stands between her and the boy of her dreams. But wait…the day isn’t over yet! This sparkling film features a dynamic score, and outstanding performances by Paul Dooley, Emmy winner Blanche Baker and Oscar nominee Justin Henry.

StarClick here to buy “Sixteen Candles”

Special Features:
o Celebrating Sixteen Candles
o 100 Years of Universal: The ’80s
o 100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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