Aug. 9 New Releases Include ‘Sonic 2’ on Disc, ‘Elvis’ on Digital

Aug. 9 New Releases Include ‘Sonic 2’ on Disc, ‘Elvis’ on Digital

Aug. 9 new releases on Blu-ray and DVD include Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Crimes of the Future, Men and Pam & Tommy, while Elvis becomes available for digital purchase.

Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 9 from Paramount Home Entertainment. In addition, Sonic 2 and the original Sonic the Hedgehog will be available in a two-movie collection on digital or Blu-ray. In the sequel, after settling in Green Hills, Sonic (voice of Ben Schwartz) is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles (Idris Elba), in search of an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands. The film also stars James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore and Lee Majdoub. The film earned $190.9 million at the domestic box office.

David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future will be released on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 9 from Neon, Decal and Distribution Solutions, a division of Alliance Entertainment. In the sci-fi thriller, a performance artist — who turns the removal of organs into real-time theater — is forced to consider the most shocking performance of all as the government and a strange subculture take note of his act. Written and directed by Cronenberg (The Fly, A History of Violence), the film marks his directorial return to the science-fiction and horror genres for the first time since the 1990s. The thriller stars Viggo Mortensen (“The Lord of the Rings,” A History of Violence), Best Actress Academy Award nominated Kristen Stewart (Spencer, “The Twilight Saga”), Léa Seydoux (No Time to Die, The French Dispatch) and Scott Speedman (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Felicity”). 

The enigmatic horror film Men arrives on Blu-ray plus DVD plus digital and DVD Aug. 9 from Lionsgate. In filmmaker Alex Garland’s (Ex Machina, Annihilation) shape-shifting horror film, Harper (Jessie Buckley) retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside in the aftermath of a personal tragedy, hoping to have found a place to heal. But someone or something from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her. What begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears.

The docudrama miniseries Pam & Tommy arrives Aug. 9 on DVD from Lionsgate. The series is streaming on Hulu. Following the scandalous drama that set the internet down a new path, “Pam & Tommy” is based on the incredible true story of the Pamela Anderson (Lily James, Cinderella, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan, Captain America: The Winter Solider) sex tape. Stolen from the couple’s home by a disgruntled contractor (Seth Rogen, This Is the End, Superbad, Pineapple Express), the video went from underground bootleg/VHS curiosity to full-blown cultural obsession when it hit the Web in 1997. A love story, crime caper, and cautionary tale rolled into one, the eight-part original limited series explores the intersection of privacy, technology and celebrity, tracing the origins of our current reality-TV era to a stolen tape seen by millions but meant to have an audience of just two. The series also stars Nick Offerman (“The Great North,” “Parks and Recreation”) and Taylor Schilling (The Lucky One, “Orange Is the New Black”).

Director Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis arrives for premium digital ownership at home Aug. 9 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film, which stars Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, tells the story of Elvis (Butler) through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning more than 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge). The film earned $136.5 million at the domestic box office. It arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 13.

The music documentary Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story will be released on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 9 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film is a celebration of 50 years of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as well as New Orleans’ unique culture, featuring Jimmy Buffett; Bruce Springsteen; Katy Perry; Pitbull; Al Green; Herbie Hancock; Aaron Neville; Earth, Wind & Fire; and many others.

Mutiny Pictures’ Swedish psychological thriller Mareld will be released for digital purchase Aug. 9 from Mill Creek Entertainment. In the story, a film crew sets sail on a catamaran to film a horror film where the scenes are improvised in chronological order, keeping the cast in the dark about the story. But what happens behind the scenes may be the real horror. Director Ove Valeskog mixes documentary style with narrative film, blending lush cinematography with behind-the-scenes documentary film and blurring the boundary between fiction and reality. Mareld stars Hanna Oldenburg (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Animalistic), Viktor Akerblom (Border, Agent Hamilton), Moa Malan (The Giant) and Matti Boustedt (The Unlikely Murder). The film has won more than 50 awards (and been nominated for 34 more) at film festivals around the world, including the Around International Film Festival, New York International Film Awards and IndieFEST Film Awards. It picked up Best Feature at the Creation International Film Festival 2021.

The romantic comedy My Favorite Girlfriend will be released on digital and on demand Aug. 9 from Saban Films. The film follows a mismatched couple and the multiple personalities that come between them. Aspiring chef Conrad’s meticulously ordered life is upended by his new girlfriend Molly, who shares headspace with five or six other women, each with distinct traits Conrad finds lovable. The film stars Bonnie Piesse (“Obi-Wan Kenobi”) and Tyler Johnson.

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Teen idols Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello returned to the big screen for a new surf-and-sand adventure with the 1980s update Back to the Beach, which was originally released on Aug. 7, 1987. To celebrate the film’s 35th anniversary, the film will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time as part of the “Paramount Presents” line on Aug. 9 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Newly remastered from a new 4K scan of the original film elements, Back to the Beach lovingly parodies the quintessential 1960s “beach party” films.  In the film, Frankie and Annette, having grown up and put aside their beach-partying lifestyle, visit their daughter in Southern California and discover there’s still some wild times left in them. Also starring in the feature are Connie Stevens, Dick Dale, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Don Adams, Bob Denver, Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes and Pee-Wee Herman.

Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Heat arrives on 4K Ultra HD Disc for the first time Aug. 9. Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and writer-director Michael Mann will reunite at this year’s Tribeca Festival June 17 for the first public premiere of the new 4K Ultra HD version of Michael Mann’s 1995 classic. The screening will be followed by an on-stage conversation, moderated by journalist and filmmaker Bilge Ebiri. In Heat, in the wake of a precision heist of an armored truck, an obsessive detective (Pacino) begins to hunt ruthless, professional thief Neil McCauley (De Niro) through the streets of Los Angeles. As the stakes escalate, their lives begin to mirror and unravel, and McCauley’s crew initiates its most dangerous and complex heist. The film co-stars Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman, Diane Venora, Natalie Portman and Jon Voight. The remastered film on disc includes previously released audio commentary with Mann, Q&As, deleted scenes and more extras. Also on Aug. 9, Mann’s first novel, Heat 2, which tells an original story woven from the lives of the characters in Heat, both before and after the events depicted in the movie, will be published.

Paramount Home Entertainment releases the sci-fi horror cult classic Event Horizon on limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook Aug. 9 for the film’s 25th anniversary. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil), the film originally debuted in theaters on Aug. 15, 1997. Known for its elaborate production design and unsettling visuals, the film stars Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), Sam Neill (Jurassic World: Dominion), Kathleen Quinlan (Breakdown), Joely Richardson (“Nip/Tuck”) and Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery”). In the film, seven years have passed since pioneering research spacecraft “Event Horizon” mysteriously vanished without a trace on its maiden voyage. But then, in the darkness of deep space, a persistent signal prompts a crew to make their way through the galaxy on a bold rescue mission. What they uncover is an unimaginable interstellar horror that will test the entire team’s sanity and souls. The release features exclusive slipcase packaging, the feature on a 4K Ultra HD disc with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, access to a digital copy of the film, as well as legacy bonus content on Blu-ray Disc. Extras include commentary by Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt; “The Making of Event Horizon”; “The Point of No Return,” the filming of Event Horizon with director commentary; deleted and extended scenes with selectable director commentary; “The Unseen Event Horizon”; the theatrical trailer; and the video trailer.

Cinedigm’s The Film Detective, the classic film restoration and streaming company, releases the 1961 sci-fi classic Battle of the Worlds on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 9. In the film, a runaway asteroid dubbed “The Outsider” mysteriously begins orbiting the Earth and threatens it with lethal flying saucers. Filmed in Italy at the height of the country’s sci-fi craze, this independent classic stars Claude Rains (Casablanca, The Invisible Man, Notorious), Bill Carter, Umberto Orsini, Maya Brent, Jaqueline Derval and Renzo Palmer with cinematography by Marcello Masciocchi. Director Antonio Margheriti’s thriller comes ripe from the period of such Italian filmmakers as Sergio Leone, Mario Bava and Dario Argento. The release is presented from a 4K scan of an original 35mm archival print.

Hong Kong Cinema titles Drive and Flying Guillotine Part II from 88 Films are being released Aug. 9 from MVD Entertainment Group.

The sci-fi action adventure Drive (1997), from director Steve Wang, is being released on 4K Ultra HD. It stars Mark Dacascos as Toby Wong, a special agent from Hong Kong with a device implanted into his chest. The device gives him superhuman speed and agility, effectively making him a prototype for an enhanced human and the perfect weapon for war. Not wanting to live under Chinese control, Wong flees to San Francisco with Chinese hitmen following in pursuit. Wong’s goal is to make it to Los Angeles and sell the device for $5 million. Part of the significant influx of Hong Kong influence on American action films in the 1990s, Drive co-stars Kadeem Hardison and Brittany Murphy. The special edition release includes the director’s cut in 4K Ultra HD, as well as the original cut of the film in 2K. Special features include audio commentary, cast and crew interviews, and the new feature Highway to Nowhere.

Also due Aug.9 on Blu-ray is Flying Guillotine Part II (1978), also known as Palace Carnage. This follow-up to the Shaw Brothers’ film The Flying Guillotine stars Lung Ti as Ma Teng, a heroic outlaw that partners with a group of female freedom fighters to rise up against evil emperor (Feng Ku). Despite being plagued by various production issues, including the departure of key cast members, the film — a favorite of Quentin Tarantino — delivers impressive action with high-flying aerial attacks and a never-ending display of creative weaponry. Even the titular guillotine is updated to include new features that make it even deadlier and bloodier than before. The 88 Films release includes the complete and uncut version of the film package in a limited edition slipcase with a collector’s booklet and poster.

The 2014 romantic drama Amira & Sam and the 2014 French crime thriller The Connection will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Aug. 9 from MVD Entertainment Group and Drafthouse Films.

In Amira & Sam (2014), to help adjust to coming home from war, former Green Beret Sam Seneca takes a stab at a life-long dream: stand-up comedy. Meanwhile, Amira, who fled Iraq after her brother was killed by U.S. soldiers, has a run-in with the police, so Sam takes her under his wing. The more time they spend together, the harder it is for them to combat their feelings for one another. The film stars Martin Starr (“Silicon Valley,” Spider-Man: No Way Home), Dina Shihabi (Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan,” Netflix/Marvel’s “Daredevil”), Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries”), David Rasche (Men in Black 3) and Ross Marquand (“The Walking Dead'”). Amira & Sam won awards at the 2014 Port Townsend Film Festival, 2014 Savannah Film Festival, 2014 Napa Valley Film Festival, 2014 St. Louis International Film Festival, 2015 Irvine International Film Festival and 2015 Prescott Film Festival.

The Connection (2014), set in Marseilles in 1975, is inspired by true events. It tells the story of real-life magistrate Pierre Michel (Academy Award Winner Jean Dujardin, The Artist, The Wolf of Wall Street) and his relentless crusade to dismantle the most notorious drug smuggling operation in history: The French Connection. The film also stars Céline Sallette (Marie Antoinette) and Benoît Magimel (The Piano Teacher). The Rotten Tomatoes “Certified Fresh” film from producer Alain Goldman (Babylon A.D., La Vie en Rose) was a 2015 César Awards nominee for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

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