For its 75th anniversary, Disney’s classic animated feature “Bambi” is available in a new DVD/Blu-ray release.
“Bambi: Anniversary Edition” (Disney, 1942, G, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailer, short cartoons: “The Old Mill,” “Africa Before Dark”). “Bambi” is a young deer we observe from his birth into his adulthood, along with his woodland friends: Thumper the mischievous bunny, Flower the bashful skunk, wise old Owl, etc. Age hasn’t dimmed this rich and artful, charming and poignant animated feature, which remains one of Disney’s greatest achievements. This set includes all previous extras as well as four new featurettes, two new deleted scenes and an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon.
“Protocol” (Warner Archive, 1984, PG). Or, “Goldie Goes to Washington.” This Goldie Hawn vehicle is very much a reworking of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” with the charming actress as a kooky D.C. cocktail waitress who becomes a pawn in the political machine after she innocently foils an assassination attempt. This disc marks the film’s first widescreen release. (The manufacture-on-demand DVD-R available is at wbshop.com.)
“Vision Quest” (Warner Archive, 1985, two trailers). This slick, overly familiar coming-of-age melodrama stars former Utahn Matthew Modine as a high school wrestler (despite looking every one of his 25 years at the time), who has an affair with an adult woman (Linda Fiorentino in her film debut — and the same age as Modine). Young Forest Whitaker and Daphne Zuniga have supporting roles and, in her first film, Madonna sings two abbreviated songs in a bar. (The Blu-ray debut is available at wbshop.com.)
“Juice” (Paramount, 1992; R for violence, language, sex, drugs; audio commentary, featurettes). The title is slang for “respect” in this potent crime thriller with something to say about race relations. This one gets better as it goes along, and Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur are terrific, but the extreme violence and constant profanity are off-putting. Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah and Donald Faison have supporting roles.
“The Bird With the Crystal Plumage” (Arrow, 1970; not rated/probable R for violence and sex; in Italian with English subtitles or dubbed in English, audio commentary, featurettes, 60-page booklet). An American writer (Tony Musante) in Rome innocently witnesses an attempted murder, then agrees to help police, which puts his girlfriend (Suzy Kendall) and him on the assailant’s radar. Dario Argento’s first film is a chilling and disturbing yarn, and one of the founding films in the Italian giallo horror-thriller genre.
“Spotlight On a Murderer” (Arrow, 1961, b/w, not rated/probable PG-13, in French with English subtitles, featurettes, trailer, booklet). This is an offbeat French mystery about a dying count who hides in a secret room so his body won’t be found, forcing his heirs to wait years to collect their inheritance. They naturally begin a search but then find themselves being killed off one by one. It is directed by Georges Franju (“Judex,” “Eyes Without a Face”) and written by novelists Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac (“Vertigo,” “Diabolique”).
“Where the Buffalo Roam: Collector’s Edition” (Shout Select, 1980, R for language and drugs, featurette, trailer). This is the allegedly true comedy of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (Bill Murray) covering the 1972 presidential election and other events in episodic fashion but constantly getting sidetracked by drugs and his even more manic sidekick (Peter Boyle). It is arguably Murray’s worst film.
“Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie” (Shout Select, 1980; R for language, drugs, nudity; featurette, trailer, radio spots). Speaking of drugs, this is another stoner clunker, Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong’s follow-up to their well-received movie debut, “Up in Smoke.” They both wrote the script, and Chong directed this incoherent series of unfunny skits. At one point, Paul Reubens shows up in his Pee-wee Herman guise.