‘Bones and All,’ ‘House Party’ Top New Releases of Jan. 31; ‘Wakanda Forever’ Hits Digital Feb. 1
January 31, 2023
Jan. 31 offers a light slate of new releases, with the most notable titles being Bones and All on DVD and Blu-ray, and the House Party reboot becoming available via PVOD. A day later, Feb. 1, sees Black Panther: Wakanda Forever available digitally.
Luca Guadagnino’s Venice Film Festival Award winning Bones and All, from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists Releasing, will be released on Blu-ray Jan. 31 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. Directed by Guadagnino from a screenplay by David Kajganich, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Camille DeAngelis. It stars Taylor Russell (Escape Room), Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Academy Award winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), André Holland, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jessica Harper, and Academy Award nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry). Bones and All is a story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter. It’s a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are. It earned $7.8 million at the domestic box office.
The Chinese martial arts film The Grandmaster of Kung Fu will debut on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 31 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Former World Wushu Champion Du Yuhang (aka Dennis To, Ip Man, Kung Fu League, 1911) stars. In the film, near the end of the Qing Dynasty, a renowned Chinese martial artist (Du Yuhang) engages in a life-or-death battle with a feared Japanese military commander in order to prevent Japan’s ultimate goal of seizing martial arts stronghold Tianjin. Directed by Cheng Siyu (Fist of Fury: Soul), The Grandmaster of Kung Fu also stars Gao Xuemei, Yang Yongfeng, Li Ruoxi and Zhuang Han.
The comedy House Party will be available for premium digital rental ($19.99) and purchase ($24.99) Jan. 31 from New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. In the reboot of the franchise that spawned from the 1990 movie of the same name, House Party follows aspiring club promoters and best buds Damon (Tosin Cole) and Kevin (Jacob Latimore) who are barely keeping things together. Out of money, down on their luck and about to lose the roofs over their heads — and freshly fired from their low-lift jobs as house cleaners — the pair needs a huge windfall to make their problems go away. In a “what the hell?” move, they decide to host the party of the year at an exclusive mansion, the site of their last cleaning job, which just happens to belong to none other than LeBron James. The film made $8 million at the global box office. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD beginning Feb. 14.
Paramount Home Entertainment Jan. 31 releases Babylon via premium video-on-demand (PVOD) and for premium purchase. The film about Hollywood in the Roaring ’20s stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie and earned $15.2 million in North American theaters. It arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray Disc, and DVD on March 21.
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Babylon a week ago was nominated for three Oscars: Best Original Score, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design.
According to Paramount, fans who buy the film digitally at the premium price will gain access to over 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes interviews and deleted scenes.
Bonus features include:
- “A Panoramic Canvas Called Babylon” — The cast and crew discuss the inspiration and motivation behind the original story and development of the film, 15 years in the making.
- “The Costumes of Babylon” — This mini-doc explains how costume design was fundamental to character development and the challenges that went into creating over 7,000 costumes for the film.
- “Scoring Babylon” — An inside look into Justin Hurwitz’s musical process to compose a score to further elevate the film.
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, Babylon checks in at three hours and 9 minutes. The film features a cast of characters — the Silent Film Superstar (Pitt), the Young Starlet (Robbie), the Production Executive (Diego Calva), the Musical Sensation (Jovan Adepo) and the Alluring Powerhouse Performer (Li Jun Li) — who are striving to stay on top of the raucous, 1920s Hollywood scene and maintain their relevance at a time when the industry is moving on to the next best thing.
Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ box office hit Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to hit digital retail channels on Feb. 1 and will be available for streaming on Disney+. In addition, a two-movie bundle of both “Black Panther” films will be available for purchase or rent on all major digital platforms. In the film, as the nation of Wakanda mourns the death of T’Challa, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) and General Okoye (Danai Gurira) investigate the threat of Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his long-hidden underwater kingdom of Talokan, whose cultural heritage might hold the secret to restoring the legacy of the Black Panther. The cast also includes Angela Bassett, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, as well as Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman and Dominique Thorne. It arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K disc next week, on Feb. 7.
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Freestyle Digital Media releases the psychological action fantasy thriller Exceptional Beings on DVD, VOD and for digital purchase Jan. 31. Exceptional Beings tracks the existential crisis of two supernatural beings as they begin to question their godhood, when they encounter a woman with an uncanny essence that doesn’t conform with their 4,000 years of knowledge. They journey through her existence, as it relates to their desperate need to understand answers to question, they never believed existed. The movie is a prequel to the book Godhood. The cast includes Ciarra Carter (‘Ooga Booga,” “The Colony”), Dane Oliver (“The Resonator,” “Cupid’s Match”), Rachel Thundat (“9-1-1: Lone Star,” “Secrets Exposed”), Bunmi Famuyiwa (“Ida B. Wells: A Red Record,” “The Wake”), Clark Moore (“Yellowstone,” “Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”), Chad Sano (“Grease Live!,” “My Crazy Ex”), Jean Charles, Sarah Bonrepaux (“Strayed,” “Mr. Know-It-All”), Victoria Antonelli (“Switched Before Birth,” “Blader”), and Eric Roberts (Inherent Vice, The Dark Knight). The film is produced by The Gestalt Effect and FJ Morgan, and co-directed by Nigerian novelist Njedeh Anthony and South African Christian Kazadi.
Indican Pictures Jan. 31 releases the horror film Heretic on DVD and VOD. Hannah Blair (Marlene McCohen, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) tells people stories, predicts their future and even dabbles in communicating with the dead. One stormy night that all changes when she meets Rachel (Ginny You, Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood), who is actually a dead, lost spirit. Emboldened by this event, she is determined to find out the truth about what happened to her parents’ years before. Hannah embarks on a journey into the netherworld where she comes face to face with the Entity, an evil force that has haunted mankind since the dawn of time.
David Cronenberg’s sci-fi thriller Crimes of the Future will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 31 from Decal Releasing, Neon Films and Distribution Solutions. Written and directed by Cronenberg (The Fly, A History of Violence), who pioneered the “body horror” genre, the film marks his directorial return to the science-fiction and horror genres for the first time since the 1990s. In the film, 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.
Blood for Dracula; two Christopher Lee classics, Crypt of the Vampire and Castle of the Living Dead; and Legacy of Blood are on the slate of horror titles being released on Blu-ray Disc Jan. 31 from Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Group.
Immediately after completing Flesh for Frankenstein, writer/director Paul Morrissey and star Udo Kier created the Euroshocker Blood for Dracula (1974), featuring cunning political allegory. In the film, desperate for virgin blood, Count Dracula (Kier) journeys to an Italian villa only to discover the family’s three young daughters are also coveted by the estate’s Marxist stud (Joe Dallesandro of Morrissey’s Flesh, Trash and Heat). Stefania Casini (Suspiria) and Bicycle Thieves director Vittorio De Sica co-star with an unforgettable cameo by Roman Polanski. The film is scanned uncut in 4K from the original negative for the first time ever. Special features include “Trans-Human Flesh And Blood,” an interview with Morrissey; “Rubinia’s Homecoming,” an interview and location visit with Casini; “Blood for Udo,” an interview Kier; “Little Big Joe,” an interview with Dallesandro; “Conversation With a Vampire,” an audio interview with actress Milena Vukotic; “Bloodthirsty,” an interview with assistant director Paolo Pietrangeli; “Black Cherry,” an interview with art director Gianni Giovagnoni; “The Blood of These Whores…,” an interview with Murderous Passions author Stephen Thrower; “Sad, Romantic Dracula,” an interview with soundtrack composer Claudio Gizzi; “The Roman Connection,” an interview with producer Andrew Braunsberg; and trailers.
Legacy of Blood (1978), a loose remake of writer/director Andy Milligan’s own classic The Ghastly Ones, delivers a twisted family-gathers-in-creepy-mansion-for-inheritance saga filled with hysterical half-wits, inappropriate psychics, 1970s Staten Island standing in for late 1800s New England, and insane explosions of graphic carnage. With all pre-print materials believed to be destroyed, the thought-lost complete theatrical version of the film has been scanned in 2K from the only known 35mm release print. The television version featuring additional footage is presented from a video master. Special features include “Blood or Horror,” an interview with executive producer Ken Lane; “Legacy of Chris,” an interview with actor Chris Broderick; and a TV spot.
In the gothic shocker Crypt of the Vampire (1964), inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla, Christopher Lee delivers a rare hero turn as nobleman Count Karnstein, whose foreboding castle teems with ancestral curses, unnatural desires, philosophical hunchbacks and grisly acts of vengeance. Adriana Ambesi (Fangs of the Living Dead) co-stars in this Spanish-Italian co-production — also known as Terror in the Crypt and Crypt of Horror — directed by Camillo Mastrocinque (An Angel for Satan) from a screenplay by giallo master Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colors of the Dark) and Sergio Leone protégé Tonino Valerii (My Name Is Nobody). The release features a 2K scan from a fine-grain 35mm master print. The release includes a trailer.
Castle of the Living Dead (1964), presented in the original uncut version scanned in 4K from the Italian negative, is the final film of Christopher Lee’s early 1960s European period. Lee stars as a 19th century Count who invites a theatrical troupe for a weekend of horrors that boasts an enthusiastically creepy performance by Lee, startling locations in Lazio, Italy’s Orsini-Odescalchi Castle and the screen debut of Donald Sutherland as both a doofus gendarme and a hunchbacked hag. Philippe Leroy (The Night Porter) and Jacques Stany (Violence in a Women’s Prison) co-star in this French-Italian co-production from American producer Paul Maslansky — who would go on to produce Death Line and the “Police Academy” movies — and fellow expat writer/director Warren Kiefer, after whom Sutherland would name his son. Special features include audio commentary with Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson and film writer Troy Howarth; audio commentary with film writer Kat Ellinger; “From the Castle to the Academy,” a career interview with master producer Paul Maslansky; and “The Castle of the Mystery Man,” Mavericks of Italian Cinema author Roberto Curti on writer-director Warren Kiefer.
A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.