Paramount has taken the rug out from a number of the shady fly by night video distributors and eBay markup-artists with their Centennial Collection. The collection itself captures a number of old films (Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffanyâ€™s) that may have been originally placed on DVD with little or no extras, poor audio or video transfers, or had their limited DVD runs sell out and places a number of additional features, remastered video, and other goodies alongside the original film. Paramount is doing for old films what the Criterion Collection did for foreign and art-house films, and in doing so, have really brought a new light to some of their classics. March saw the release of two new additions to the Centennial Collection line in 1968â€™s â€œThe Odd Coupleâ€ and 1955â€™s â€œTo Catch A Thiefâ€.
Most people remember â€œThe Odd Coupleâ€ not for the film but for the television show that followed. In the film, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau buddy up as two divorced chums that are continually irritating each other. This comedy stands the test of time, but it is really the bonuses that make the film shine as brightly as it once was. The first disc, aside from featuring the original film, includes a commentary from the children of both lead actors. The second disc provides the bonus material, with galleries capturing the creative process, the original theatrical trailer, as well as featurettes that showcased the electricity that was crackling through the set.
It is the Centennial Collectionâ€™s version of To Catch A Thief that is most interesting, though. This fifties film features Grace Kelly and Cary Grant acting under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock. The film surrounds a reformed burglar, a theft of priceless jewels, and a confusing type of love that leads viewers to wonder whether it is real, or purely for convenience. In much the same way as The Odd Couple, To Catch a Thief has tremendous amounts of featurettes to match well with the remastered print of the film. The featurettes regarding the creation of the film, as well as â€œUnacceptable Under the Codeâ€, a featurette dealing with censorship in America, makes this a must buy.
The Centennial Collectionâ€™s pedigree is impeccable; Paramount, with its rich film library, should be able to release films from now until 2020. Make sure to purchase these DVDs, so that Paramount knows there is substantial demand.
To Catch A Thief: 8.2/10
The Odd Couple: 8.7/10
Centennial Collection: To Catch A Thief / The Odd Couple / 2009 Paramount / 106 | 105 Minutes / http://www.paramount.com/homeentertainment.com