August 17, 2021
Aug. 17 sees Lionsgate release Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K disc, while Paramount releases Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins for premium digital purchase and PVOD.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard, arrives on 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and on demand Aug. 17 from Lionsgate. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman. The world’s most lethal odd couple — bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and hit man Darius Kincaid (Jackson) — are back. Still unlicensed, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by the volatile spouses, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Banderas). It earned $38 million at the domestic box office. Read a review here.
Magnolia Home Entertainment’s Magnet Label Aug. 17 releases the Danish thriller Riders of Justice on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digitally. Riders of Justice follows recently-deployed soldier Markus (Mads Mikkelsen), who is forced to return home to care for his teenage daughter after his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. But, when a survivor of the wrecked train surfaces claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible.
RLJE Films, a division of AMC Networks, releases The Water Man on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 17. The film stars Lonnie Chavis as Gunenr, who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Amiah Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest — but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (David Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them. The cast also includes Alfred Molina and Maria Bello. The film marks the directorial debut of Oyelowo and is based on a script by first-time screenwriter Emma Needell.
Sony Pictures Aug. 17 releases Blu-ray, DVD and digital editions of The Truffle Hunters. Directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, The Truffle Hunters is a documentary about a group of aging men, in their 70s and 80s, hunting in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle, which to date has resisted all of modern science’s efforts at cultivation. They’re guided by a secret culture and training passed down through generations, as well as by the noses of their expertly trained dogs. They live a simpler, slower way of life, in harmony with their loyal animals and their picture-perfect land, seemingly straight out of a fairy tale. They’re untethered to cell phone screens or the Internet, opting instead to make their food and drink by hand and prioritizing in-person connections and community.
Shout! Studios Aug. 17 releases Fast Vengeance, an action thriller written and directed by Pearry Reginald Teo (The Assent, Ghosthunters), on major digital platforms, Blu-ray Disc and DVD. Fast Vengeance follows the story of Shen, who upon hearing of his brother’s death returns to his stomping grounds to find the men responsible and take justice into his own hands. He learns that a biker named Cobra and his gang, The Midnight Squad, were the ones responsible, but to get anywhere close to them, he must enter the dark, turbulent realm of underground motorcycle racing. Enlisting the aid of a drag racing champion-turned-mechanic, Shen must compete in the high-stakes races where he will have only one chance to confront Cobra. The film stars hip-hop legend DMX (Belly, Romeo Must Die), alongside D.Y. Sao, Natalie Burn, Bai Ling, and Jeff Fahey.
The underdog mixed martial arts story Notorious Nick becomes available Aug. 17 on DVD and for digital purchase from Lionsgate. Cody Christian (TV’s “All American” and “Teen Wolf”) stars in the underdog tale based on a true story. In the film, even though he was born with a partial left arm, Nick Newell (Christian) dreams of being a fighter. After wrestling in high school, Nick becomes a fierce competitor when his best friend Abi introduces him to mixed martial arts. Suddenly, a tragedy provides Nick with an unexpected opportunity.
The Jim Henson fantasy Labyrinth debuts on 4K Ultra HD Aug. 17 for its 35th anniversary from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The 1986 film follows a 16-year-old girl (Jennifer Connelly) who is given 13 hours to solve a dangerous and wonderful labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King (the late David Bowie). The release will feature Dolby Vision and an hour of new and archival special features. The limited-edition collectible set also includes a 28-page Digibook — featuring artwork, photography and early script pages — styled to resemble Sarah’s book of The Labyrinth from the film.
Warner Aug. 17 is re-releasing the 2001 fantasy film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally in a new 20th anniversary edition with with “Magical Movie Mode,” a new way to experience the film that lets fans discover ﬁlmmaking secrets, spell incantations, creatures, magical artifacts, trivia, and more while watching the movie. “Magical Movie Mode” includes commentary from director Chris Columbus offering candid insight and amusing anecdotes from the production of the first film, deleted scenes, quizzes testing knowledge of a vast array of topics from the film, graphics, and audio during select scenes in the film.
Lionsgate releases the 1989 horror-comedy Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat on Blu-ray Disc through its Vestron Video collector’s series Aug. 17. Seeking atonement for centuries of human carnage, Count Mardulak (David Carradine) has instructed Purgatory’s vampire residents to slather on SPF 100 sunblock, pursue daytime activities and drink only synthetic blood. But some vampires don’t agree with Mardulak — they want real blood, even if it means a vampire civil war. The cast also includes Bruce Campbell, Maxwell Caulfield, Morgan Brittany, Jim Metzler, John Ireland, Deborah Foreman and M. Emmet Walsh.
Two Chinese films, the family friendly Little Q and the comic drama Midnight Diner, arrive on Blu-ray Aug. 17 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Based on a true story, the human-canine friendship film Little Q stars Simon Yam (Ip Man) as a recently blinded chef who forms a bond with his seeing eye dog. Midnight Diner, based on the manga series “Shin’ya Shokudo” by Yaro Abe and previously adapted into TV series in Japan, Korea and China, is set in a little restaurant in Shanghai, and stars Tony Leung Ka-Fai, who makes his directorial debut and plays the leading role of a man who makes a set of special food for each guest who visits the restaurant and listens everyone’s story.
Paramount Home Entertainment releases the action movie Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins for premium digital purchase and on premium video-on-demand Aug. 17. Based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe toy line, Snake Eyes delves into the backstory of the mysterious title character, a ninja warrior who conducts covert operations for the counter-terrorist military unit known as G.I. Joe. Welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan after saving the life of their heir-apparent, Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) joins the battle against the terrorist group Cobra. The cast also includes Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, and Samara Weaving as Scarlett. Snake Eyes, which earned $27.5 million at the domestic box office, will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Oct. 19
The DreamWorks Animation family film Spirit Untamed becomes available for digital purchase Aug. 17 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Spirit Untamed follows free-spirited Lucky Prescott, who moves to Miradero to join her estranged father. She is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy town until she discovers a unique tie to her late mother who was a fearless horse-riding stunt performer. She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new pals who love horses as much as she does. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her friends set off on an epic journey to rescue the horse who has given her an unbreakable connection to her mother’s legacy. The film features the voices of Isabela Merced, Marsai Martin, Mckenna Grace, Walton Goggins, Andre Braugher, Eiza González, Julianne Moore and Jake Gyllenhaal. It earned $17.6 million at the domestic box office and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 31.
The comedy Big House arrives on digital and on demand Aug. 17 from Gravitas Ventures. The film follows Claire and Ali, for whom monogamy doesn’t run strong in paternal bloodline. They find healthy ways of dealing with the desire for more than one partner. Ali and her boyfriend Art invite Jas, a woman they met on an open relationships app, to join them for a threesome. But they also find not-so-healthy ways. Claire is cheating on her fiancé Zach with her coworker. When all six of these people find themselves stuck in the same house for what was supposed to be a beach weekend, the result is a dramatic farce.
The documentary Far Out West: Inside California’s Kerista Commune is now available via VOD and digital sellthrough from Virgil Films. In the early 1970s, 25 free spirits found each other in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and formed the Kerista Commune. For two decades, they lived as one family, loving freely, raising children together, and making millions selling Apple computers. But if the alternative society they built was fantastically alluring, it was also fragile, and a quarter century after they voted to dissolve their commune, the former members are still debating what their experiment can teach us about human nature, and whether their utopia was actually a cult in disguise.