Major League

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Paramount;
Comedy;
$25.99 UHD BD; $30.99 UHD Steelbook;
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, Dennis Haysbert, Chelcie Ross, James Gammon, Bob Uecker, Margaret Whitton, Charles Cyphers, Rene Russo, Stacy Carroll, Andy Romano, Steve Yeager, Pete Vuckovich, Willie Mueller.

Here’s the pitch. It’s a movie about a cash-strapped baseball club that has to resort to finding undervalued talent in order to field a winning team. And it happened more than a decade before Moneyball.

Well, at least it would have, had 1989’s Major League kept its original filmed ending. But more on that later.

Oscar-winning screenwriter David S. Ward (The Sting), a long-suffering Cleveland Indians fan, figured that by the end of the 1980s the franchise was so mired in futility that the only way he would see them win anything would be if he made a movie about it.

Thus, the film finds the Indians in a state of transition, its owner having died and left the team to his wife (Margaret Whitton), former showgirl Rachel Phelps. Seeking more glamorous surroundings, she proclaims she can move the franchise to Miami if their attendance is low enough, so she stocks the team with a collection of bargain-basement players with the hopes of the squad finishing dead last. However, the players naturally believe in themselves more than she does, and once they learn of her ruse they rally to win just to spite her, making the playoffs for the first time in more than 30 years.

The basic plot doesn’t stray too far from the path of the sports-movie formula — the underdog misfits coming together to get their shot in the big game at the end. But what sets Major League apart, making it fondly remembered as one of the best baseball movies ever made, is how it twists that formula to its advantage, stocking the screen with memorable characters, sharp dialogue that isn’t afraid of the film’s ‘R’ rating, and an authenticity in the sports sequences that makes the film eminently watchable.

Ironically, due to production costs being higher in Cleveland, most of the film was shot in Milwaukee. Of course, cinema has a long tradition of intercutting stadium shots as if every ballpark looks the same (which, to the chagrin of local fans seeing their teams portrayed on screen, they very much do not).

At the time, the primary leads were billed as Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen. Berenger and Sheen had just done Platoon together, while Bernsen was a big TV star from the hugely popular “L.A. Law.” Adding to his athletic bona fides, Sheen had just appeared in another baseball movie the previous year, 1988’s Eight Men Out, and was a pitcher in high school, making him a natural to play bad boy hurler Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn.

Relative newcomers in the cast who would achieve stardom afterwards included Wesley Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes, the fleet-footed center fielder who crashes the Indians’ spring training camp; Dennis Haysbert as Pedro Cerrano, the voodoo-practicing Cuban refugee power hitter; and Rene Russo as love interest of Berenger’s Jake Taylor, the journeyman catcher with bad knees.

And then there’s Bob Uecker as Harry Doyle, the Indians’ radio play-by-play broadcaster who steals the movie with his wide assortment of quips, many of which have since entered the pop culture lexicon.

Rounding out the cast are an assortment of great character actors, such as Chelcie Ross (perhaps better known now as Conrad Hilton on “Mad Men”) as the veteran pitcher who covers his body in various creams and jellies to doctor the ball when he needs that something extra; and James Gammon as manager Lou Brown, the crafty skipper who manages to extract the hidden talents from his motley crew of has-beens and never-will-be’s. Even minor characters with minimal dialogue leave a strong impression.

And that’s where the twist comes in.

In its original construction, the film would have revealed before the big game that the mean Mrs. Phelps was actually rooting for the team to win the whole time. Her evil persona was just a front to hide the fact that the team was broke. She personally scouted the players to find undervalued talents whose flaws would make them affordable, and believed Lou had the right kind of experience to craft them into a winning squad despite the hardships. In essence, she was playing moneyball before Moneyball. But as explained in both a featurette showcasing this alternate ending, and a commentary track that accompanies the film, test audiences grew to hate the Rachel Phelps character so much that they just couldn’t mentally accept the idea she was actually supporting the team. Thus, the filmmakers cut the scene and shot new footage of her cheering against the team in the final game, thus cementing her status as one of sports cinema’s great villains.

Removing this ending does create a bit of a plot hole, in that one has to wonder why she wouldn’t just cut, trade or option to the minors anyone who started to perform well, thus nipping in the bud the teams’ climactic winning streak that sets up their chance to win the division. Her supporting the team goes a long way to explaining how some of these characters ended up in the positions they were in to win, particularly Lou Brown. So without the original ending, she ends up just looking incompetent when it comes to tanking a baseball season. Of course, the catharsis of seeing her machinations fail does add to the satisfaction of seeing the team win in the end.

It does make one even more curious to actually see this original cut of the film. The deleted footage presented in the featurette is in rough shape, and the commentary alludes to other deleted scenes for which there is no footage presented, which might suggest the original negatives aren’t available anymore. If so, that’s a shame because a fully restored alternate cut of Major League as an extra would have been a fantastic selling point for a new premium edition disc release of the film.

As it is, the only thing new in Paramount’s 35th anniversary disc release of Major League is the film being presented in 4K. And it looks fantastic, by the way, with vibrant colors and skin tones and a gritty texture that perfectly embodies 1980s baseball. (Compare this with the 1994 sequel, which looks scrubbed clean in comparison, as sanitized in its visual style as the language in its screenplay is to present what is essentially the same story in a ‘PG-13’ form instead of a hard-‘R.’)

As great as they are, all the bonus materials on the 4K edition of Major League are carried over from the film’s old “Wild Thing Edition” DVD first released in 2007 (they were also included with the film’s Blu-ray starting in 2009), and thus remain in standard-definition. These include the insightful commentary from Ward and producer Chris Chesser, which remains a fantastic listen; the 23-minute “My Kinda Team” retrospective featurette about the making of the film; the 14-minute “A Major League Look at Major League,” in which actual players and broadcasters reflect on the film; “Bob Uecker: Just a Bit Outside,” a 13-minute examination of Uecker’s involvement with the film; the four-minute featurette about the alternate ending; and a two-minute clip of Haysbert in character giving a tour of Cerrano’s locker, residence of the iconic Jobu figurine at the center of the player’s voodoo rituals.

For some perspective on how old these extras are, the Major Leaguers featurette includes an interview with Aaron Boone, presented as an Indians player in the early 2000s. He’s now the manager of the New York Yankees, the team the Indians have to overcome in the final game in the film.

On the other hand, this aspect of the film, and the tendency of the traditions of the game of baseball to speak though the generations, are another reason Major League remains such a classic. Even 35 years later it’s fun to reflect back and compare how much the sport has changed since its late 1980s setting. One of the big changes that stands out is in the way back then starting pitchers would basically be left to pitch until they dropped, a far cry from the specialization we see today. Then again, in “Wild Thing” the film kind of introduced the idea of closers having theme music when they came in to pitch the final inning.

Interestingly, Major League, an April release, wasn’t the only 1989 film to float the idea of a Miami MLB team. In November of that year, Back to the Future Part II would also call attention to a fictional Miami ballclub. An actual Miami MLB franchise was awarded in 1991, with the Marlins beginning play in 1993.

Major League and its 1994 sequel also presaged the Indians’ actual successes in the 1990s (making the World Series in 1995 and 1997), though it remains the MLB franchise with the longest title drought, having not won it all since 1948.

Now that the team is known as the Guardians, though, it’s a fair question of how long it takes before new generations of viewers start to assume the Cleveland Indians were a franchise made up for the film (a la the New York Knights of The Natural). Between the old Indians logo and Midwest baseball fans dressed in tribal gear, this movie actually has a lot of what the leftist mob might consider “cultural appropriation,” so kudos to Paramount for not slapping a “viewer discretion” label in front of it like some other culturally compromised studios might be inclined to do.

 

Catalog Film ‘The Crow’ Flies to No. 1 on Disc Sales Charts

The 1994 supernatural actioner The Crow rose to No. 1 on the Circana VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended May 11.

Based on the comic book series of the same name, the film stars Brandon Lee (who was tragically killed during the production) as a murdered musician who rises from the grave to seek revenge against his killers. Originally released by Miramax, The Crow is now controlled by Paramount, which recently released a new 4K edition of the film to mark its 30th anniversary, a move that accounts for the film’s sales spike. Thus, it was also easily No. 1 on the 4K Ultra HD disc sales chart.

The previous week’s top seller, Sony Pictures’ Madame Web, slid to No. 2 on both the overall disc and Blu-ray chart. The much maligned “Spider-Man” spinoff slipped two spots to No. 5 on the 4K chart.

The No. 3 overall disc seller was MGM’s The Beekeeper, distributed by Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. It was No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart.

The No. 4 overall disc seller, and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart, was Lionsgate’s Ordinary Angels. No. 5 on the overall sales chart, No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart and No. 2 on the 4K chart was Disney’s Steelbook of the “Star Wars” spinoff Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Rounding out the top five Blu-rays at No. 5 was Disney’s Steelbook of the first season of the “Star Wars” series “Andor,” which was No. 9 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 3 on the 4K chart.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 5-11-24
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray and 4K Discs for Week Ended 5-11-24
Top HD Formats Disc Share Per Title for Week Ended 5-11-24

 

Samba TV: ‘Roast of Tom Brady’ Tops Weekly Streaming Viewership Through May 12

Netflix’s The Roast of Tom Brady topped Samba TV’s list of top streaming programs for the week of May 6 to 12. The three-hour comedy event debuted May 5.

No. 2 was Netflix’s Mother of the Bride, a new romantic comedy movie starring Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove. It debuted May 9.

No. 3 on the Samba TV list was Netflix’s Unfrosted, Jerry Seinfeld’s new comedy about spoofing the creation of the Pop-Tart.

Samba TV, an analytics firm that tracks viewership through smart-TV data, ranks streaming programs based on U.S. household reach.

 

‘Young Sheldon’ Season 7, Complete Series on DVD Sept. 24

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will release Young Sheldon: The Complete Seventh Season and Young Sheldon: The Complete Series on DVD Sept. 24.

All seasons of the comedy series are also currently available to purchase digitally.

A spinoff of “The Big Bang Theory” relating the story of the childhood of Sheldon Cooper, “Young Sheldon” premiered in 2017 and ran for 141 episodes. Young Sheldon: The Complete Seventh Season includes all 14 episodes from the final season of the show, which aired its series finale May 16.

Jim Parson reprises his role as Sheldon to narrate the series, which stars Iain Armitage as the younger version Sheldon growing up in the early 1990s. The cast also includes Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Annie Potts, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord and Emily Osment.

The DVDs include the featurette “Sheldon’s Secret Origins and Easter Eggs,” in which the cast and producers of “Young Sheldon” look back on the series’ journey and share some favorite Easter eggs and Cooper family origins hidden along the way.

Criterion August 2024 Lineup Includes 4K ‘Last Emperor’ and a Pair of Albert Brooks Comedies

The Criterion Collection in August 2024 will release 4K editions of The Last Emperor, Bernardo Bertolucci’s Academy Award–winning epic set in Qing-dynasty China, and two Albert Brooks films — Real Life and Mother. Also on the slate for Blu-ray and DVD release are Brief Encounters/The Long Farewell: Two Films by Kira Muratova, and Not a Pretty Picture, a metacinematic experiment in re-creating trauma from Martha Coolidge.

Due Aug. 13 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is 1987’s The Last Emperor. The film from director Bernardo Bertolucci won nine Academy Awards, sweeping every category in which it was nominated, including Best Picture. The film focuses on the life of Emperor Puyi, who took the throne in 1908 at age 3 before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval. The film sports a new 4K digital restoration with 2.0 surround DTS-HD master audio. The combo pack includes a 4K disc with the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR, and two regular Blu-ray Discs with the film (both the theatrical cut and a 218-minute television version) and bonus materials.

Extras include audio commentary featuring Bertolucci, producer Jeremy Thomas, screenwriter Mark Peploe and composer-actor Ryuichi Sakamoto; The Italian Traveler, Bernardo Bertolucci, a film by Fernand Moszkowicz tracing the director’s geographic influences, from Parma to China; footage taken by Bertolucci while on preproduction in China; two documentaries about the making of the film; a program featuring cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, editor Gabriella Cristiani, costume designer James Acheson and art director Gianni Silvestri; an archival interview with Bertolucci; interviews with composer David Byrne and cultural historian Ian Buruma; the film’s trailer; plus a booklet containing an essay by film critic David Thomson, interviews with production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti and actor Ying Ruocheng, a reminiscence by Bertolucci, and an essay by Fabien S. Gerard.

Also due Aug. 13 is Brief Encounters/The Long Farewell: Two Films By Kira Muratova, which will be available on DVD and Blu-ray. Ukrainian iconoclast Kira Muratova withstood decades of censorship to realize her singular vision in expressionistic films that remain unique in their ability to evoke complex interior worlds. Her first two solo features, 1967’s Brief Encounters and 1971’s The Long Farewell, are fragmented portraits of women navigating work, romance and family life with a mix of deep yearning and playful pragmatism. Long suppressed by Soviet authorities these films became legendary.

In Brief Encounters a hard-nosed city planner (played by Muratova herself) is entangled in a romantic triangle with her free-spirited geologist husband (legendary Soviet protest singer Vladimir Vysotskiy), and the young woman from the countryside (Nina Ruslanova) whom she hires as her housekeeper. The Long Farewell traces the growing rift that develops between an emotionally impulsive single mother (stage legend Zinaida Sharko) and her increasingly resentful teenage son (Oleg Vladimirsky), who upends her world when he announces that he wishes to live with his faraway father.

The films include new 4K digital restorations with uncompressed monaural soundtracks. Extras include interviews with scholars Elena Gorfinkel and Isabel Jacobs, an archival interview with Muratova, and a booklet with an essay by film critic Jessica Kiang.      

Due Aug. 20 on Blu-ray and DVD is 1975’s Not a Pretty Picture, a hybrid of documentary and fiction that marks the feature debut of director Martha Coolidge. Centered on an intense reenactment of Coolidge’s experience of rape in her adolescence, the film casts Michele Manenti (also a survivor) as the director’s younger self, and observes the actor and her castmates as they engage in a profound dialogue about what it means to re-create these traumatic memories, and about their attitudes concerning consent and self-blame.

The film includes a new 4K digital restoration supervised by and approved by Coolidge, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras include an interview with Coolidge conducted by filmmaker Allison Anders; Old-Fashioned Woman (1974), a documentary by Coolidge about her grandmother; plus a booklet with an essay by film critic Molly Haskell.

Arriving Aug. 27 on 4K Ultra HD disc and regular Blu-ray is 1979’s Real Life, Albert Brooks’s debut feature. A deadpan, stylistically innovative satire about the perils and pitfalls of trying to capture the truth on film, Real Life finds writer-director Brooks playing a fictionalized version of himself — a narcissistic Hollywood filmmaker who plans to spend the year in Phoenix embedded with Warren and Jeanette Yeager (Charles Grodin and Frances Lee McCain) and their two children, deploying an arsenal of cutting-edge equipment (including the over-the-head Ettinaur 226XL camera) to capture an American family’s ordinary day-to-day. The mockumentary chronicles the project’s disastrous fallout, as the meddlesome Albert can’t help getting too close to his subjects.

The film includes a new 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by Brooks, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. The 4K edition includes a 4K disc of the film presented in HDR, and a copy of the regular Blu-ray edition that includes the film and bonus materials. Extras include new interviews with Brooks and actor Frances Lee McCain, and a 3D trailer directed by Brooks.

Also arriving Aug. 27 on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc is Brooks’ 1996 film Mother. Reeling after his second divorce and struggling with writer’s block, sci-fi novelist John Henderson (Brooks) resolves to figure out where his life went wrong, and hits on an unorthodox solution: moving back in with his relentlessly disapproving, cheerfully passive-aggressive mother (Debbie Reynolds), whose favorite son has always been John’s younger brother, Jeff (Rob Morrow). It’s an experiment that, however harebrained, delivers surprising results.

The film sports a new 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD master audio. The 4K edition includes a 4K disc of the film presented in HDR, and a copy of the regular Blu-ray edition that includes the film and bonus materials. Extras include new interviews with Brooks and Morrow; a teaser directed by Brooks; and a booklet with an essay by critic Carrie Rickey.

 

‘Dune: Part Two’ Tops DEG Digital Transactions Chart for Week of May 5

Warner’s Dune: Part Two led the DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s top 10 digital sales and rentals chart provided by GfK Entertainment for the week ended May 5.

The sequel, which became available for premium digital rental and sale April 16, is the top box office earner of 2024. The film explores the mythic journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he unites with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

MGM’s The Beekeeper remained No. 2. The actioner stars Jason Statham as a former covert operative who embarks on a brutal revenge mission.

Sony Pictures’ Madame Web took over the No. 3 spot. 

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GfK Entertainment’s Top 10 Transactional Digital Titles for the week ended May 5:

  1. Dune: Part Two (Warner)
  2. The Beekeeper (MGM)
  3. Madame Web (Sony Pictures)
  4. Ordinary Angels (Lionsgate)
  5. Kung Fu Panda 4 (Universal)
  6. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Lionsgate)
  7. Monkey Man (Universal)
  8. Sleeping Dogs (Paramount)
  9. Arthur the King (Lionsgate)
  10. Land of Bad (Paramount)

‘Beekeeper’ Emerges as Top Disc Seller in April; ‘Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ Remains Top Seller Year-to-Date

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment’s release of MGM’s The Beekeeper was No. 1 on the top 10 list of physical-media sales for April 2024, according to Circana’s VideoScan tracking service that compiles DVD and Blu-ray transactions.

The actioner stars Jason Statham as a former secret operative engaged in a mission of revenge against a network of computer scammers. It was released on disc April 23 and topped the weekly sales chart its first week on shelves.

The top seller for March, Warner’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, slipped to No. 2 in April. The sequel to 2018’s Aquaman arrived on disc March 12 and topped the weekly sales chart for six consecutive weeks, including the first three weeks of April. However, that wasn’t enough to change its position on the year-to-date sales chart, where it remains No. 3 for 2024 so far.

No. 3 for April was Sony Pictures’ Madame Web, the “Spider-Man” spinoff that arrived on disc April 30, giving it just a few days to place on the chart.

A pair of Disney+ “Star Wars” series arriving on Blu-ray and 4K disc also cracked the top 10 for the month after their special Steelbook editions arrived April 30: The Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series was No. 4, while season one of “Andor” was No. 9.

The only other new April release to debut in the month’s top 10 was Universal’s Lisa Frankenstein, an April 9 disc release that came in at No. 5.

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On the year-to-date chart, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes remained No. 1 for 2024 so far, with Universal’s Oppenheimer remaining No. 2.

The top 10 titles on the year-to-date chart remained the same from the previous month, the only positional change being that Warner’s Wonka moved up a spot to No. 4, knocking Universal’s DreamWorks animation sequel Trolls Band Together, which had spent the first two months of the year as 2024’s top seller, down another spot to No. 5.

According to Circana, the April 2024 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. The Beekeeper (Warner/MGM)
  2. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Warner)
  3. Madame Web (Sony Pictures)
  4. Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney/Lucasfilm)
  5. Lisa Frankenstein (Universal)
  6. Wonka (Warner)
  7. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Liosngate)
  8. Migration (Universal)
  9. Star Wars: Andor: The Complete First Season (Disney/Lucasfilm)
  10. Paw Patrol: Jungle Pups (Paramount/Nickelodeon)

 

Year-to-Date Top 10 (through April 2024):

  1. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Liosngate)
  2. Oppenheimer (Universal)
  3. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Warner)
  4. Wonka (Warner)
  5. Trolls Band Together (Universal)
  6. The Marvels (Disney/Marvel)
  7. Migration (Universal)
  8. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Disney)
  9. Five Nights at Freddy’s (Universal)
  10. The Expendables 4 (Lionsgate)

 

March 2024 Disc Sales Led by ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’

New ‘South Park’ Special ‘The End of Obesity’ Premiering May 24 on Paramount+

The Paramount+ streaming service will present its next “South Park” exclusive event, South Park: The End of Obesity, beginning Friday, May 24, in the United States and Canada, and on Saturday, May 25, in the United Kingdom, Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

In South Park: The End of Obesity, the advent of new weight loss drugs has a huge impact on everyone in South Park. When Cartman is denied access to the life-changing medicine, the kids jump into action.

South Park: The End of Obesity is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios.

Building on MTV Entertainment Studios’ expansive deal with co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, “South Park” has been renewed on Comedy Central through 2027, taking cable’s longest-running scripted series through an unprecedented 30th season.

The first six Paramount+ special events — South Park: Post COVID, South Park: Post COVID: The Return of COVID, South Park: The Streaming Wars, South Park: The Streaming Wars Part 2, South Park: Joining the Panderverse and South Park (Not Suitable For Children) — are currently available to stream exclusively on the service.

Merchandising: ‘Gate,’ ‘Lair’ Steelbooks at Walmart

May 14 saw Lionsgate release the horror films The Gate and The Lair of the White Worm in new Blu-ray Steelbook editions exclusively at Walmart.

Sporting the Vestron Video logo and offered at $19.96 each, the Steelbooks include the films on “Digitally Restored Blu-ray” and include a digital copy. Walmart’s website lists them as readily available both online and for in-store pickup.

In 1987’s The Gate, a pair of teenagers searching for precious stones in the backyard accidentally unearth a portal to an underground chamber of terrifying demonic evil.

In 1988’s The Lair of the White Worm, Hugh Grant stars as James, a young lord who returns to his family’s castle in England, where it is said his ancestor once slayed the local dragon — a monstrous white worm with a fondness for the sweet flesh of virgins. James dismisses the legend as folklore, until archaeology student Angus Flint discovers a massive reptilian skull and a pagan snake god’s ancient site of worship. When James’s virtuous girlfriend, Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg), suddenly disappears, James and Angus set out to investigate the foreboding cavern said to be the worm’s lair, where a centuries-old mystery begins to uncoil.

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‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’ Available on Disc and VOD June 25

Lionsgate will release The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 4K Ultra HD disc and VOD June 25. It will be available for purchase digitally with standard pricing starting June 18. It is available now for premium digital rental and sale.

From director Guy Ritchie (The Gentlemen) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun: Maverick), the story inspired author Ian Fleming to write the postwar James Bond spy novels. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare stars Henry Cavill (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Eiza González (Baby Driver), Alan Ritchson (Fast X), Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four), Hero Fiennes Tiffin (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds), with Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride).
 
The action-comedy, co-written by Ritchie, tells the incredible true story of the first-ever special forces organization formed during WWII by U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a small group of military officials including author Ian Fleming. The top secret combat unit, composed of a motley crew of rogues and mavericks led by Gus March-Phillipps (Cavill), goes on a daring mission against the Nazis using entirely unconventional and utterly “ungentlemanly” fighting techniques. Ultimately, the task force’s audacious approach changed the course of the war and laid the foundation for the British SAS and modern black ops warfare. 

Extras include the film’s trailer and the featurette “The Ministry of Filmmaking.”

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The film is based on the book The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops by Damien Lewis. It earned $19.85 million at the domestic box office.

A limited-edition 4K/Blu-ray Steelbook also will be available.

‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’ 4K Steelbook