The 9 Best Blu-rays and 4K UHD Releases of March 2023

March is overflowing with underrated movies getting love transfers to Blu-ray and 4K UHD. One of my top 10 films – a pop-rock musical set in an alternate New York reality – comes out in the middle of the month and is closed by fantastical retro horror, a rarely printed film by John Woo, a time capsule of the 90s , and a Hitchcockian cult classic from the 2000s.

Each month, in an effort to help you find your next favorite albums, we curate a list of our most anticipated releases. We haven’t had the opportunity to try these discs yet, but if you want the formal thumbs up then don’t worry – over the next few months we’ll begin our ongoing list of the best Blu-rays and 4K UHD discs of the year. But each of these releases has potential and comes from a label we’ve enjoyed in the past.

Our most anticipated album of March 2023

Image: Universal Pictures

Streets of Fire (4K UHD + Blu-ray) — March 14, 2023

Walter Hill’s Lost Masterpiece Streets of Fire don’t feel so lost lately. Thanks to a few limited Blu-ray releases, more regular repertory theater appearances, and a growing reputation on Letterboxd, the ’80s pop-rock musical has been given the cult classic status it has long deserved.

The film has Diane Lane singing rock anthems and Willem Dafoe with an attack that I can only describe as perverted leather rockabilly. But the reason to watch this movie over and over again is the first 10 minutes of guitar destruction – and the last. Hill films concerts as well as any of the best music documentarians, converting his living room into the best seat in the house.

This disc, from Shout Select, includes two feature-length documentaries and a bunch of other retro features like music videos and on-air promos.

The big Blu-ray and 4K UHD releases for March 2023

Image from John Wick's Stashbook Steel book collection.  A fake Russian stashbook from John Wick 3, with three Steelbooks inside.

Image: Lionsgate

John Wick 1-3 Stash Book Collection – February 28, 2023

The John Wick movies are an absolute blast, and I can’t wait for the fourth movie at the end of March. Until then, we have this amazing new steel book set to help us out, in a “stock book” box that is a replica of Wick’s own book from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. The book looks like a huge Russian tome, with religious iconography on the cover and a few pages of text inside. After enough leafing, you’ll find three steel books hidden inside, along with a pair of photos of John’s lost loved ones.

The set includes all three films, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and audio commentary by Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski. —Pete Volk

The house that screamed (Blu-ray) — March 7, 2023

I hadn’t heard of this movie before putting it in my Blu-ray player; now I’m a convert. What looks like a gaudy schoolgirls-in-trouble thriller is actually a surprisingly subdued mix of Hitchcockian psychosexual mystery and gothic horror.

Director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador creates a 19th-century French boarding school that feels like the prettiest, coziest prison. The doors and windows are always locked. Girls close to the headmistress serve as spies and enforcers. And the few men who have occasional reasons to visit have questionable motives, which is a problem when girls start to disappear.

Phenomena (4K UHD + Blu-ray) — March 14, 2023

Dario Argento’s proto-slasher has something surprising in common with The house that screamed: the all-girls European boarding school, the unnerving local men, and the new girl who seems all too aware that things are about to go very, very wrong. For all the similarities, the differences are just as glaring: Jennifer Connelly plays the daughter of an internationally famous actor, she befriends a hyperintelligent chimpanzee, and communicates telepathically with a cloud-sized swarm of flies.

This special edition includes three cuts from the film. I recommend starting with the longer cut, the Italian version. The shortest cut, the Creepers cut, removes so much from the film that, ironically, you’d have to have seen other versions to make sense.

Moses extends his hand

Image: DreamWorks Pictures

The prince of Egypt (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy) – March 14, 2023

In 2018, we spoke with director Brenda Chapman to The prince of Egypt20th anniversary. “We were trying to make movies that didn’t feel like they were just for kids,” Chapman said. “We wanted to make films that everyone would see. We wanted to say that we can do a drama in animation and not just where parents leave their kids in the theater like they used to, or just use them as babysitters. We wanted to do something that would reach more adults.”

The result, DreamWorks Animation’s musical adaptation of the Book of Exodus, is a bold and beautiful epic condensed into a lightning-fast 99 minutes. We hope this 4K release gives the visual and audio fidelity attention it deserves.

The set includes a making-of, some featurettes, and a director’s commentary with Chapman.

A fight breaks out in John Woo's Last Hurray for Chivalry

Image: Criterion Collection

Last hurray for chivalry (Blu-ray) — March 14, 2023

John Woo is finally returning to the Criterion Collection, albeit not with the films fans would expect. Criterion DVDs of Woo’s Iconic Pairing, Cooked It is the killer, have been sold out for years. Instead of moving them to modern formats, Criterion produced a surprise 2K digital restoration of Woo’s period film. Last hurray for chivalry. The drama predates Woo’s gun-laden action movies, replacing them with swords, and has been difficult to watch in the US – let alone in high resolution.

The Criterion edition includes an audio interview with Woo and a new English subtitle localization.

Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy in Red Eye.

Image: DreamWorks Pictures

Red eye (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy) — March 21, 2023

After launching Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream series, director Wes Craven took a brief detour into thrillers with the delightfully watchable Red eye. On a cross-country flight, Cillian Murphy kidnaps Rachel McAdams by threatening to murder her father, Brian Cox. The only way out: political assassination!

The two-disc set includes new commentary by the film’s editor, Patrick Lussier; some new features; a making-of; a gag spool; and an old commentary by the late Wes Craven himself.

party girl (Blu-ray) — March 28, 2023

My first job out of college was as a PA on a canceled sitcom. Every day, I would take the subway to the Queens office, set up the cafeteria for the writers, and clean up after Parker Posey’s small but digestive dog. At first, I hated it. How dehumanizing. But over time, I realized something very important about this show. A privilege, if you will. I was able to observe Parker Posey’s work, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. And dear reader, she is as wonderful and confusing as each of her characters. Years later, I lived in a small apartment in her neighborhood. We often had brunch at the same place. She left the bag there three times and I gave it back to her, and every time she said, “Oh thank you! how i forgot what?”

Why did I bump into Parker Posey so much? Lower Manhattan operates according to its own cosmic laws! Which is, in a small part, the point of this movie.

Anyway, party girl is Parker Posey’s best film and is in the running for the title of ’90s film most committed to celluloid. It is like girls through the lens of Generation X. I love it and am so happy to see it get a promising limited edition Blu-ray. Finally, I get to check out her killer outfit in HD.

Violent Streets: The Umberto Lenzi/Tomas Milian Collection (Blu-ray) — March 28, 2023

I have never seen a crime film as openly brutal and unpleasant as Umberto Lenzi’s. Almost human. Where most genre entries focus on the detective, Lenzi focuses most of this pitch-black film on the shadow of sociopath Giulio Sacchi (played by Tomas Milian). Sacchi stinks like a petty crook, so he makes the bold decision to jump straight at the crime boss. It turns out that this is not so difficult for a soulless killer with no sense of shame. Milian’s take on Sacchi is terrifying, echoing Pinkie in Graham Greene’s version. rock of brightonand seemingly set the groundwork visually and stylistically for De Niro’s Travis Bickle in Cabbywhich would premiere two years after this film.

Violent Streets contains Almost human, along with four additional director-actor collaborations, a couple of commentaries, over a dozen interviews, a few soundtrack CDs, and more. It’s an excellent entry into the Poliziotteschi/Euro cop subgenre. Just be prepared to be shocked.

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