“The Tree of Life,” Lubitsch’s “Heaven Can Wait,” Punk Scene Debut “Smithereens,” and More on Criterion’s August Slate

The Criterion Collection’s August releases kick off  August 14 with director Robert M. Young’s 1982 drama The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), a passion project for producer-star Edward James Olmos, who plays the titular Mexican American farmer forced to run from the Texas Rangers after a heated misunderstanding leads to the death of a lawman. On August 21, Susan Seidelman will join the collection with her trailblazing independent 1982 debut, Smithereens (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), a punk-rock portrait of down-and-out scenesters in 1980s New York, starring Susan Berman, Brad Rijn, and Richard Hell. Also slated for August 21 is the Blu-ray debut of Ernst Lubitsch’s sly 1943 Technicolor comedy Heaven Can Wait (Blu-ray: $39.95), which follows deceased turn-of-the-century playboy Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche), who asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter through the gates of hell and proceeds to recount past sins, exempting his happy marriage to Martha (Gene Tierney). Coming August 28 is a 4K restoration of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s long-unavailable 1968 Spanish-language masterpiece Memories of Underdevelopment (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.95), which is set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Cuban Revolution and follows a bourgeois intellectual (Sergio Corrieri) wandering Havana after his family flees due to the Bay of Pigs invasion. Also arriving on August 28 is visionary filmmaker Terrence Malick’s 2011 Palme d’Or-winning magnum opus The Tree of Life (DVD: 3 discs, $39.95; Blu-ray: 2 discs, $49.95), available in a new cut that adds nearly 50 minutes of footage to the coming of age story profiling a 1950s Texas child (newcomer Hunter McCracken) who learns to navigate between his bitter, often tyrannical father (Brad Pitt) and his ethereal, nurturing mother (Jessica Chastain).