Fox has released two modern classics on Blu-Ray for the first time: 1985’s Cocoon and 1999’s The Thomas Crown Affair. Where it will still take a number of years to transfer the contents of Fox/MGM’s library to the Blu-Ray format, releasing these two titles from different decades will hopefully garner enough sales to merit further journeys into the vaults.
The Thomas Crown Affair was a remake of the 1968 original, with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo taking up the roles originally played by Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. The bonus features on this release include an illuminating audio commentary by director John McTiernan, as well as audio that is rendered as clearly as was present on the theatrical print. The colors and tones of the video are similarly increased, making for a crisp, realistic experience that all can enjoy. In future releases of The Thomas Crown Affair, I would personally like to see a combo pack that ties together the 1968 and 1999 releases of the film, with a capstone featurette that showcases the similarities and differences between the two.
Cocoon’s latest foray onto the current generation of video recording (initially on VHS and then on DVD) showcases perhaps the most impressive showcasing of the feature film that has ever been available for purchase. This Ron Howard-directed title focuses on the power of an alien race as they innervate a group of individuals that have been pushed to the periphery of society – the elderly. Where television copies of the title have seemed overly washed out or fuzzy, the Blu-Ray transfer of Cocoon almost hurts one’s eyes. The residual din of ambient noise in these lesser transfers has been removed for the Blu-Ray release, while the additional features (five in total) give viewers valuable insights into a film that may have been released before they were even born. Of particular interest to me would have to be the original theatrical trailers, which are amazing as they showcase what aspects of the film were deemed important to snag 80s viewers.
In my opinion, it just seems as if Cocoon seems to be a more impressive transfer, but this is likely due to the poorer print that it had originally compared to the much-later Thomas Crown Affair. When it comes to the amount of bonus features, The Thomas Crown Affair has the jump on Cocoon. By including the additional DVD, one simply has double the value compared to the Cocoon release. At the end of the day, Fox has released two titles that are must-buys. If it is not only for the increased visual and audial clarity, a buy should be predicated on the sheer amount of bonus features and documentaries that each release has presented.
Rating (The Thomas Crown Affair): 7.6/10
Rating (Cocoon): 8.6/10