Albert Brooks is one of the most talented filmmakers in the comedy genre. Writing, directing and starring in some of the funniest – and, at least in the UK, most underrated – films ever made, his work has been treated very poorly on home entertainment on our shores for years. A lot of his films have been totally unavailable beyond digital, which is frankly criminal.
Thankfully, The Criterion Collection have stepped in to give arguably his two finest films – Lost in America and Defending Your Life – the physical releases they deserve. These masterful, hilarious and heart-warming films serve as a perfect introduction to Brooks’ playful style and thought-provoking subject matter, and come very highly recommended to anyone with an interest in comedy film. Boasting flawless new transfers, fascinating new special features and insightful essays, these definitive releases of his two most beloved masterpieces are essential purchases.
We took a closer look at the releases’ packaging and presentation here…
Special Features (Lost in America):
- New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New conversation with director Albert Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
- New interviews with actor Julie Hagerty, executive producer Herb Nanas, and comic writer and director James L. Brooks
- PLUS: An essay by critic Scott Tobias
Special Features (Defending Your Life):
- New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Albert Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- New conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
- New interview on the afterlife with theologian and critic Donna Bowman
- New program featuring excerpts from 1991 interviews with Brooks and actors Lee Grant and Rip Torn
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Ari Aster
Lost in America and Defending Your Life are available on Blu-ray now, courtesy of The Criterion Collection.