‘Candyman’ Horror Film Due on Digital Nov. 2, Disc Nov. 16

The horror sequel Candyman will be released for home audiences in November by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment with a never-before-seen alternate ending and over an hour of bonus content, including a roundtable discussion on the impact of Black horror.

The film will be released through digital retailers on Nov. 2 and become available on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray two weeks later, on Nov. 16.

Candyman was released in U.S. theaters last August, more than a year after its originally scheduled release in June 2020. The date was postponed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film wound up grossing more than $61 million in U.S. theaters.

Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name. The cast includes Vanessa Williams, Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd, reprising their roles from the original film. New cast members include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, and Kyle Kaminsky.

The film is set in the same Chicago housing project as the original film and takes place 27 years later.  A visual artist (Abdul-Mateen II) begins to explore the macabre history of Candyman, not knowing it would unravel his sanity and unleash a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

Bonus features include:

    • Alternate ending;
    • Deleted and extended scenes;
    • “Say My Name,” a featurette in which filmmakers and cast discuss how the horror at the center of Candyman is both timely and timeless;
    • “Body Horror,” an exploration of director DaCosta’s influences in the subgenre of body horror, and what Anthony’s physical transformation means to the story;
    • “The Filmmaker’s Eye: Nia DaCosta,” which takes a closer look at the director;
    • “Painting Chaos,” in which filmmakers reveal how  Anthony’s artwork evolves throughout the film and how they strived for authenticity in recreating Chicago’s vibrant art scene;
    • “The Art of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe,” in which the composer reveals some of the unconventional methodology he used to create the unique and haunting soundscapes sounds of the film;
    • “Terror in the Shadows,” a  behind-the-scenes look at how the analogue shadow puppetry scenes were created and an unpacking of why this ancient artistic medium was the most conceptually relevant for depicting the legends’ cycle of violence; and
    • “Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror,” a roundtable discussion moderated by Colman Domingo about the relationship Black Americans have with Candyman, the horror genre and the overall idea of monsters and victims.

Kino Lorber Sets Dec. 14 Release Date for Trilogy of Film Noir Classics

Kino Lorber on Dec. 14 will release a set of three rare film noirs on Blu-ray Disc.

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema includes Because of You, Outside the Law and The Midnight Story.

The set carries a suggested retail price (SRP) of $49.95, with retailer orders due Nov. 16.

Because of You (1952) stars Loretta Young and Jeff Chandler in a classic noir romance.  Blonde bombshell Christine Carroll (Young) finds out too late that her fiancé Mike Monroe (Alex Nicol) is a gangster — and she’s his unwitting accessory. Emerging from prison with dark hair and an interest in nursing, she becomes a nurse’s aide in a war hospital and soon marries a battle-fatigued patient, Steve Kimberly (Chandler). The happy couple have a daughter, Kim, but Christine’s secret past threatens to tear her family apart when Mike reappears, forcing Christine to help him escape across the Mexican border. Joseph Pevney, the director of Six Bridges to Cross and Female on the Beach, directed the film, shot by the great cinematographer Russell Metty (Touch of Evil). The title song was Tony Bennett’s first No. 1 hit and became one of his many signature songs.

Outside the Law (1956) is centered around ex-con Johnny Salvo (Ray Danton), who is given the chance to redeem himself, and revenge the murder of an old Army buddy, by going undercover and helping the authorities break up a ring of international counterfeiters. But first, Johnny must earn the respect of his Treasury-man father (Onslow Stevens) and the trust of his buddy’s widow (Leigh Snowden). Prolific filmmaker Jack Arnold, the director of It Came from Outer Space, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Man in the Shadow, directed the film, which features the cinematography of noir specialist Irving Glassberg (Larceny, The Price of Fear).

The third film in the set, 1957’s The Midnight Story, features a powerful performance by screen great Tony Curtis.  When beloved priest Father Tomasino is murdered in a San Francisco alleyway, traffic cop Joe Martini (Curtis) vows to catch the killer. Ordered off the case by homicide detective Kilrain (Ted de Corsia), Martini turns in his badge and investigates alone. He follows a hunch that Italian restaurant owner Sylvio (Gilbert Roland) could be involved and decides to hide his previous life as a cop in order to become friendly with his suspect’s family. But as Martini starts to unravel the truth behind Father Tomasino’s murder, he falls in love with the suspect’s cousin (Marisa Pavan), and his world is torn apart by old and new loyalties. Joseph Pevney, the director of The Strange Door and Foxfire, helmed this psychological crime drama that features CinemaScope cinematography by Russell Metty (Spartacus).

All three films come with new audio commentary tracks and the original trailers.

Amazon Unveils Trailer for ‘I Love Lucy’ Film ‘Being the Ricardos’

Amazon Studios on Oct. 19 dropped a trailer for Being the Ricardos, a behind-the-scenes look at the famed husband-and-wife team behind the iconic “I Love Lucy” sitcom, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

The film, which opens in theaters on Dec. 10 and starts streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 21, stars Nicole Kidman as Ball and Javier Bardem as Arnaz — known on the show as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the film also stars Jake Lacy, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat.

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It follows Ball and Arnaz through a single production week on the set of “I Love Lucy,” as they contend with shocking personal accusations, a political smear and cultural taboos.

The film was produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists. Executive producers include Ball and Arnaz’s two children, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz, alongside Stuart Besser, Lauren Lohman, and Escape Artists’ Jenna Block and David Bloomfield.

MMA Film ‘Never Back Down: Revolt’ Heads to Digital, Disc on Nov. 16

Never Back Down: Revolt, the fourth and newest entry in Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s MMA franchise, will be released through digital retailers and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 16.

The film revolves around an amateur fighter (Olivia Popica) who is recruited by a trafficking syndicate specializing in elite underground fighting, where her brutal captor (Michael Bisping) forces her to fight or face certain death.

The film was written by Audrey Arkins, directed by Kellie Madison and produced by Craig Baumgarten, David Zelon and Ben Jacques.

Aside from Popica, the cast includes former UFC champion Michael Bisping, Nitu Chandra Srivasttava, Brooke Johnston, Diana Hoyos and James Faulkner.

The original Never Back Down was released in 2008. The film was directed by Jeff Wadlow and stars Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, and Djimon Hounsou. The plot follows a conflicted teenager who arrives at a new high school to discover an underground fight club.

Teen Comedy ‘Our Ladies’ Hits Digital, DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 16

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has set a Nov. 16 home release date for the coming-of-age comedy Our Ladies. The film will be available through digital retailers as well as on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Our Ladies is set in 1990s Scotland. A group of Catholic school girls get an opportunity to go into Edinburgh for a choir competition, but they’re more interested in drinking, partying and hooking up than winning the competition.

Our Ladies was directed by Michael Caton-Jones, who also wrote the script with Alan Sharp. The cast includes Eve Austin, Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Sally Messham, Rona Morison, Marli Siu, Stuart Martin, Jack Greenlees, and Kate Dickie.

The film is rated ‘R.’

Redbox Advances in Move to Go Public Through Backstop Sub Agreements

Seaport Global Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company formed to help Redbox go public, on Oct. 12 announced that it has entered into backstop subscription agreements in connection with the business combination.

As previously announced on May 17, 2021, the transaction will be funded by a combination of $145 million of cash held in the trust account of Seaport Global and a fully committed PIPE of $50 million.

The backstop agreements, which total up to $36 million, ensure that Redbox will have the capital to fund its digital transformation and expansion initiatives, according to a news release. These backstop agreements should ensure the minimum cash condition required of the business combination agreement will be met.

A special meeting of Seaport Global Acquisition stockholders will be held Oct. 20.  If certain of the proposals at the Special Meeting are approved, the parties anticipate the business combination will close shortly thereafter, subject to the satisfaction or waiver (as applicable) of all other closing conditions.

Upon closing, Redbox’s common stock is expected to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol RDBX.

“We appreciate the vote of confidence in Redbox’s digital future expressed by Seaport Global Acquisition and our existing investors,” said Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox. “Redbox is one of the most trusted brands in the entertainment industry, and we have a unique opportunity to extend the value we deliver to consumers as they cut the cord and search for affordable entertainment. We look forward to completing the combination and demonstrating our progress as a public company under the RDBX symbol.”

Two Genesis Documentaries Coming to DVD in Early November From Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber on Nov. 12 will release, on DVD only, two documentaries on the famed progressive rock group Genesis.

Genesis: The Last Domino? ($19.95) is a new hour-long documentary that follows band members Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford and their crew as they build and rehearse their Last Domino tour. Despite the complications and uncertainties of the global COVID pandemic, and without confirmed dates, the band made the decision to spend the time and money so they would be prepared once the world returned to normal. The tour began Sept. 20 in Birmingham, England, and runs through mid-December, with a total of 37 scheduled shows. The documentary debuted on various PBS stations in early September, just before the tour began.

Genesis: When in Rome (also $19.95) is a 90-minute documentary on the group’s 2007 reunion tour. The band members had gone their separate ways in March 1996. The documentary features concert footage from the tour, including live performances of hits such as “Invisible Touch,” “Mama” and “No Son of Mine.”

DEG Slates Entertainment Technology Event for February 2022

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group has announced a new entertainment technology conference for early next year as in-person events start to return.

DEG’s EnTech Fest 2022 will be held Feb. 15 and 16 at an as-yet-unspecified location, with an opening reception, exhibits, networking and presentations.

The trade association describes EnTech as “an in-person B2B trade and networking event inviting technology companies to display and demo products for all DEG studio and platform members.”

DEG says more information will come soon.

Virgil Films Doc ‘The Real Bedford Falls’ Arrives on DVD Nov. 9

Virgil Films has announced a Nov. 9 DVD release date for The Real Bedford Falls: It’s a Wonderful Life, a new documentary on the real town that inspired the fictitious Bedford Falls in the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

Retail orders are due Oct. 12.

The 30-minute doc, with a suggested retail price of $9.95, was directed by Stu Lisson and Francis DiClemente.

The Real Bedford Falls: It’s a Wonderful Life explores the connections between Seneca Falls, New York, and Bedford Falls, the iconic small town featured in Frank Capra’s 1946 feel-good film about George Bailey (James Stewart), a man who has given up his personal dreams in order to help others in his community, and whose suicide attempt on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George how he, George, has touched the lives of others and how different life would be for his wife Mary and his community of Bedford Falls if he had not been born.

The documentary examines small-town life in Seneca Falls, spotlights the annual It’s a Wonderful Life Festival, and features interviews with Karolyn Grimes (who played Zuzu Bailey), Jimmy Hawkins (who played Tommy Bailey), Monica Capra Hodges, granddaughter of Frank Capra, and film critic Leonard Maltin.

Irdeto Wins Content Protection Honors at Streaming Media European Readers Choice Awards

Digital platform security company Irdeto on Oct. 7 announced that its multi-DRM solution Irdeto Control has been selected as the winner of the Content Protection category in the 2021 Streaming Media European Readers’ Choice Awards.

The annual awards recognize the industry frontrunners and include TV operators, digital security providers, app developers and content providers.

Irdeto Control is a high-performance and highly scalable multi-DRM solution at the center of OTT content delivery activities. Generating keys for content encryption, administering content usage rules, and issuing playback licenses is done with SLAs up to 99,999%. Irdeto Control issues more than 3.4 billion of licenses per month (July 2021).

In addition, it offers a choice of service level agreements, concurrent stream management, and a geodiversity feature that the company says simplifies and minimizes the cost and management for regional and global providers.