To be perfectly honest, I think I continue to love older films over newer ones mostly because these vintage flicks kinda/sorta had to accomplish a whole lot with a whole little: these producers didn't have a veritable cavalry of special effects houses they could go knocking on doors when they needed to put something new and different on the silver screen. In the past, they had to find a way to do that, and often times that meant coming up with a brand-new solution for a problem they created themselves.
As a consequence, I think I can appreciate more of the story because I know much of what they produced was the best they could achieve in that day and age. Their stories were a bit plainer, true, but what they couldn't put up in lights no one else could either; and this pushed some of these storytellers to be true pioneers in an age that didn't so openly reward them for doing so.
Well, I don't want this to devolve into another of my popular rants amounting to little more than this old man yelling "get off my lawn," so I'll instead just get to the point: this October, the ground-breaking The Incredible Shrinking Man is coming to Criterion for an all-new release with some spiffy extras. I saw the post for its impending availability over on Blu-ray.Com, and I thought it appropriate to copy and paste the particulars they were provided from Criterion below and included the link for those interested in checking out their site for posterity's sake. You'll find other motion pictures also in the pipeline, but as they've little to do with Science Fiction and/or Fantasy I'll let you read about them over there instead of over here.
Here's the straight skinny as I care:
Description: Existentialism goes pop in this benchmark of atomic-age science fiction, a superlative adaptation of a novel by the legendary Richard Matheson that has awed and unnerved generations of viewers with the question, What is humanity's place amid the infinity of the universe? Six months after being exposed to a mysterious radiation cloud, suburban everyman Scott Carey (Grant Williams) finds himself becoming smaller . . . and smaller . . . and smaller—until he's left to fend for himself in a world in which ordinary cats, mousetraps, and spiders pose a mortal threat, all while grappling with a diminishing sense of himself. Directed by the prolific creature-feature impresario Jack Arnold with ingenious optical effects and a transcendent metaphysical ending, The Incredible Shrinking Man gazes with wonder and trepidation into the unknowable vastness of the cosmic void.
Special Features and Technical Specs:
- NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New audio commentary featuring genre-film historian Tom Weaver and horror-music expert David Schecter
- New program on the film's special effects by effects experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
- New conversation between filmmaker Joe Dante and comedian and writer Dana Gould
- Auteur on the Campus: Jack Arnold at Universal (Director's Cut) (2021)
- Interview from 2016 with Richard Christian Matheson, novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson's son
- Interview with director Jack Arnold from 1983
- 8 mm home-cinema version from 1957
- Trailer and teaser narrated by filmmaker Orson Welles
- PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O'Brien
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!