Rack Focus


Robert Altman Collection


Robert Altman’s honorary Oscar may have been the high point of the recent Academy Awards ceremony (although Paul Haggis comparing himself to Brecht surely rates a close second), but as anyone who’s ever sat through the dreary likes of Images or The Company can testify, the man’s cinematic oeuvre has been wildly uneven. This four-disc box offers yet more proof, packaging the formally groundbreaking (and previously released) MASH (1970) with three lesser-known titles from the late ’70s: the romantic comedy(!) A Perfect Couple; A Wedding, which raises the bar on Nashville by cramming a preposterous 48 characters into its two hours; and the turgid Quintet, featuring an understandably bewildered Paul Newman wandering through a post-apocalyptic ice age.

Elevator to the Gallows
Louis Malle’s first feature makes its belated Region 1 debut. Criterion’s typically generous supplements include interviews with stars Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet and a video discussion of the film’s jazz score with musician Jon Faddis and longtime Voice critic Gary Giddins.

Match Point
While not quite the return to form that some have claimed, this London-set reworking of Crimes and Misdemeanors is, more or less by default, Woody Allen’s best film in about a decade. Surviving a meandering opening act and a flat lead performance from Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Match Point builds to a suitably operatic conclusion, propelled in no small part by a never more beguiling Scarlett Johansson.