Amarcord

Best in Blu-ray sifts through the week's new releases, recommending titles for both the Blu-ray veteran and newbie, and reporting on the coolest special feature and most intriguing rental. Look for it every Tuesday.

For Blu-ray Vets:

'Amarcord'

What It's About: Federico Fellini's Academy Award-winning film refracts his childhood through a lifetime of experience, spinning a yarn about a year in the life of a small town.

New Features: Extras from the 2006 Criterion Collection DVD edition are carried over to their new Blu-ray version, along with the 66-page booklet, which includes an essay by film scholar Sam Rohdie and Fellini's essay on his home town.

Transfer/Audio: "Any distracting artifacts prevalent on the SD transfers are eliminated," says Gary W. Tooze of DVD Beaver. "Overall, I expect this is as good as Fellini's 'Amarcord' will ever look for your home theater indulgence."

Replay Value: In his original 1974 review, Roger Ebert placed 'Amarcord' in the context of Fellini's career, feeling that it marked his return to "the very top of his form. ... A totally accessible film. It deals directly, hilariously, and sometimes poignantly with the good people of this small town." More recently, Jeffrey M. Anderson at Combustible Celluloid observed: "Ultimately, what's so surprising about this film is just how loose and effortlessly enjoyable it is, despite all its ideas and images. It's one of the director's very best."

If you've never seen 'Amarcord,' now is the time to catch up and marvel. And if you have seen it, the Blu-ray looks like a splendid upgrade.
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