Paramount to Bow 1989’s ‘Pet Sematary’ on 4K UHD in Time for Theatrical Release of Remake

Written for the screen by author Stephen King based on his bestseller, director Mary Lambert’s 1989 horror film Pet Sematary will stalk home entertainment on 4K Ultra HD combo pack and Blu-ray March 26 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

The film, which earned more than $57 million to become the highest grossing horror film of the time, according to the studio, is being re-released in time for the debut of the studio’s theatrical remake April 5. The story follows the Creed family who, after their cat is accidentally killed, takes the advice of a friendly neighbor and buries it in a mysterious nearby cemetery. When the cat comes back, it’s only the beginning of an unthinkable evil.

Pet Sematary will mark its 30th anniversary newly remastered in 4K under the supervision of Lambert with new bonus content, which includes the cast and crew of Paramount’s new adaptation discussing the original film’s impact and the lasting legacy of its story; a new interview with Lambert about her memories making the film, the restoration, and King’s enduring influence; and new photo galleries with behind-the-scenes images, original storyboards and vintage ads.

The 4K Ultra HD disc also features Dolby Vision.  For the 4K restoration, Lambert and Paramount went back to the original film negative to rescan it in order to recapture the original detail.

“The shadows are much softer and the colors are richer…and it looks amazing,” said Lambert in a statement.

In addition to the new bonus material, both the 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray feature access to a digital copy of the film and previously released bonus material, including commentary by Lambert, a guided tour of the locations led by King along with an exploration of the origins of the novel, an introduction to the cast and characters, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

‘The Natural’ Swinging to 4K Ultra HD From Sony

For its 35th Anniversary, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing the baseball film classic The Natural on 4K Ultra HD disc and in 4K via participating digital platforms June 4.

In the film, Robert Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, who seemingly comes out of nowhere to become a legendary baseball player with almost divine talent. But on his way to stardom in the big leagues, Hobbs’s dreams are shattered when a mysterious woman and a silver bullet end his career prematurely. Sixteen years later, Hobbs finds himself coming back to baseball, seeking to overcome physical pain — and nefarious forces — to lead his team to the pennant.

Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, the film also stars Robert Duvall, Glenn Close in an Academy Award-nominated performance, and Kim Basinger.

The 4K Ultra HD disc includes two versions of the film in 4K with HDR: the original theatrical version and the directors’ cut, each restored from the original camera negative, supervised and approved by director of photography Caleb Deschanel and director Barry Levinson. Both versions of the film also include newly remixed Dolby Atmos audio, along with the original stereo and 5.1 tracks for the theatrical version.

Bonus materials on the 4K UHD include Levinson’s intro to the director’s cut and the theatrical trailer. The blu-ray disc includes the theatrical cut and several featurettes.

Jason Statham Actioner ‘Crank’ Due on 4K May 21 From Lionsgate

Crank, featuring action star Jason Statham, is heading to digital in 4K Ultra HD and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital) May 21 from Lionsgate.

In the fast-paced thriller, Statham stars as professional assassin Chev Chelios, who learns his rival has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. Also starring are Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez, Carlos Sanz and Dwight Yoakam.

The releases feature Dolby Vision  HDR, and the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features Dolby Atmos audio.

Extras include five featurettes, two of which are new.

Redbox More Than Doubles Number of Cities With 4K UHD Movie Rentals

Redbox has more than doubled the number of cities offering 4K Ultra-HD movie rentals — bringing 4K to a total of 15 markets.

Rental pricing for 4K UHD titles is  $2.50 per night.

“Our customers have spoken — they love the quality of 4K content,” said Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox, in a statement. “We’re happy to make 4K rentals available to even more movie fans, giving them more format choices than ever before so they can make the most of their movie night.”

New markets include Colorado Springs, Colo.; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Mo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Portland, Ore.; Reno, Nev.; San Diego; San Francisco; Spokane, Wash.

They join preview markets Austin; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; and Seattle, Wash.

New movies available to rent in 4K UHD include Creed II and A Star Is Born, with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald due March 12, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse coming March 19 and Aquaman streeting March 26.

Consumers in test markets can discover and rent 4K UHD content at their local kiosks. At this time, online reservations are not available.

40th Anniversary Edition of Sci-Fi Classic ‘Alien’ Coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray April 23 From Fox

The sci-fi classic Alien will come out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc with a new 4K UHD master April 23 for its 40th anniversary from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

A limited edition 4K UHD Steelbook of the Alien 40th Anniversary Edition will also be available exclusively at Best Buy.

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In the film that birthed the successful franchise, the crew of the deep space tug Nostromo awaken from stasis during a voyage home to Earth when their ship’s computer detects what is believed to be an alien distress signal coming from the desolate nearby moon, LV-426. While investigating, one of the crew, Kane (John Hurt), is attacked by an alien creature that latches to his face and he is rushed back to the Nostromo to receive medical treatment. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the ship’s warrant officer, advises against Kane’s return due to quarantine regulations — but her orders are ignored by Ash (Ian Holm), bringing the Nostromo under threat from a mysterious, extraterrestrial apex predator with violent and lethal survival instincts.

Special features include:

  • the 1979 Theatrical Version;
  • the 2003 Director’s Cut;
  • the 2003 audio commentary by Ridley Scott and the cast and crew;
  • the 1999 audio commentary by Ridley Scott (1979 theatrical version only);
  • the final theatrical isolated score in Dolby Digital 5.1 (1979 theatrical version only);
  • the composer’s original isolated score in Dolby Digital 5.1 (1979 theatrical version only);
  • and deleted scenes.

 

The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery, with the 4K scans done at EFilm.

‘Glass’ Breaks Out on Digital April 2, Disc April 16 From Universal

Glass, from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth SenseSigns), is coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) April 2 and to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand April 16 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $107.9 million in theaters.

Glass completes Shyamalan’s grounded-in-reality, comic-book thriller trilogy, started with Unbreakable and Split. It stars James McAvoy (SplitAtonement)Samuel L. Jackson (Hitman’s Bodyguard, “Avengers” Franchise, Unbreakable), Bruce Willis (Unbreakable, Die Hard), Sarah Paulson (Ocean’s Eight, “American Horror Story”) and Anya-Taylor Joy (SplitThe Witch). The story offers s closer look at the world of the Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass (Jackson), David Dunn (Willis) and Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) as they experience a series of escalating encounters in an escape from an asylum and embark on a battle of good versus evil.

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More than 60 minutes of special features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and digital include:

  • “The Collection of Main Characters,”a look at all the main players and how they fit in the universe created by Shyamalan;
  • “Bringing the Team Back Together,” in which the cast and crew share personal stories of why Shyamalan’s productions feel like seeing family again;
  • “David Dunn vs. The Beast,” an in-depth look at the animalistic face-off between David Dunn and the Beast;
  • Glass Decoded,” in which Shyamalan unveils some secrets of continuity and style from across the trilogy;
  • “Breaking Glass: The Stunts,” about the stunts that show the superhuman strength of the Beast;
  • “Connecting the Glass Universe,” exploring Shyamalan’s stylistic approach to the trilogy and the concept of a comic book movie grounded in reality;
  • “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens,” in which the cast and crew discuss Shyamalan’s meticulous approach to storytelling;
  • “The Sound of Glass,” in which composer West Dylan Thordson elaborates on his use of string instruments to create tension, and explains why recording the score on-location enhanced the tone of the movie;
  • “Enhancing the Spectacle,” in which the VFX team provides details on the task of using CGI to intensify the narrative;
  • “Raven Hill Memorial,” about the Raven Hill Memorial Hospital location;
  • “Night Vision,” a look at the the storyboards and their similarity to the final shots in the film;
  • an alternate opening with an introduction by Shyamalan;
  • deleted scenes with introductions by director Shyamalan;
  • and “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.”

 

DVD special features include the alternate opening, deleted scenes and “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.”

Samsung Halting Blu-ray Disc Player Production

Samsung is stopping production of 1080p and 4K Blu-ray Disc players for the United States market — leaving Sony, Panasonic and LG as the last CE manufacturers supporting the next-generation packaged media format.

The South Korean company had been working on a follow-up to the UBD-M9500 4K BD player, which has now been scrapped. Samsung last bowed a new BD player in 2017.

Though speculated after Samsung didn’t showcase any new BD players at CES in Las Vegas in January, the company confirmed the move in a media statement.

“Samsung will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the U.S. market,” a spokesperson told CNET.

Samsung’s decision follows the exit of Oppo Electronics Corp., the Chinese company known as Oppo, which ceased production of a 4K BD player last year.

While observers contend the move could be due to Samsung backing its proprietary HDR10 and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats versus Dolby Vision, a more realistic reason is market forces.

For the week ended Feb. 9, 4K Blu-ray accounted for just 5% of sales of the top 50 titles, according to VideoScan. That compared with nearly 40% for Blu-ray and 55% for standard DVD.

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Indeed, pending Oscar-nominated new release  The Favourite (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) and Stan & Ollie (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), reportedly are not getting 4K UHD releases, while Oscar nominee Bohemian Rhapsody and Widows (Fox) are.

Regardless, home entertainment studios remain bullish on 4K UHD.

Format sales surged nearly 70% in the third quarter last year, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. There were 392 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc titles available in Q3 representing more than $162 million in consumer spend for the period, and 595 4K titles available digitally.

“4K UHD discs already account for almost one in 10 new release discs sold in the U.S,” Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, told Media Play News.

Paramount Home Media Distribution boss Bob Buchi in January said the studio would offer most of its theatrical releases on 4K UHD Blu-ray, as well as select catalog titles.

“The response to our catalog 4K releases has been very promising, so we expect to see increased interest in owning treasured classics in the very best format available,” he said.

 

‘Wonder,’ ‘Hunger Games’ Films Accessible to Deaf Via Actiview Deal With Lionsgate

Liongate’s Wonder is becoming more accessible to the deaf.

Lionsgate has teamed up with Actiview, a mobile application company that provides film accessibility solutions for blind, deaf, and foreign language-speaking audiences, as well as celebrity deaf advocate Nyle DiMarco to make Wonder the first live-action U.S. film to have an American Sign Language interpretation available for viewing along with the film.

The Actiview app is designed as a “second-screen” experience, either through headphones or on the user’s phone screen, that allows users to playback audio descriptions, captions, multi-language dubs, and sign-language interpretations of films and shows while they watch on a TV, laptop or in a theater.

“Lionsgate is committed to making our movies increasingly available and accessible,” said Brian Day, Lionsgate SVP of strategic partnerships, in a statement. “We’re delighted to be working with Nyle and Actiview to make our incredibly moving and heartfelt movie Wonder the first live action film to ever have American Sign Language available alongside it.”

After winning “America’s Next Top Model” in 2015 and then becoming a champion on “Dancing with the Stars,” actor and model DiMarco has become an advocate for the deaf community. His goal in teaming up with Actiview and Lionsgate is to ensure that everyone has equal access to entertainment, according to a Lionsgate press release.

“I am so excited about working with Lionsgate and Actiview to make the inspiring film Wonder accessible to everyone and offer them an ASL viewing option,” said DiMarco in a statement. “It allows me to take a huge step forward in my campaign to make increasing accessibility a priority in the TV and film industry.”

Lionsgate is also making the entire “Hunger Games” series accessible via the Actiview app, providing audio description, multi-language dubs, subtitles, captions and amplified audio to all audiences who use the Actiview app. Users can watch these films on any available platform and the app will automatically synchronize with their TV. The app “listens” to the movie (similarly to Shazam listening to songs) and figures out where in the movie the viewer is, matching the playback from their device.

Any user will be able to download the app (iOS only) at http://activiewapp.com/download or by searching “Actiview” in the App store. They then select the movie they’re watching and the accessibility service they need (sign language, audio description, etc.).

Wonder follows the story of the Pullman family, whose youngest child, Auggie, is a boy born with facial differences. It is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital.

Eastwood’s ‘The Mule’ Coming to Digital March 19, Disc April 2 from Warner

The Mule, from star and director Clint Eastwood, travels to digital (including Movies Anywhere) March 19 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD April 2 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film also stars Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born, American Sniper), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, What’s Love Got to Do With It), Michael Peña (American Hustle, Cesar Chavez), Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, The Godfather: Part III). It follows Earl Stone (Eastwood), a man in his 80s who is broke, alone and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for the cartel, and eventually, he hits the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates (Cooper).

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Special features on the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include “Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule” (also on the DVD) and Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let the Old Man In” music video.

‘The Witch’ Flying to 4K Ultra HD April 24 From Lionsgate

The Witch will fly to 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital) April 23 from Lionsgate.

Directed by Robert Eggers, winner of Best Director at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the supernatural horror tale stars Ralph Ineson, Katie Dickie and Anya Taylor-Joy. It’s New England in 1630, and William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with their five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another.

The release, which features Dolby Vision, includes audio commentary with Eggers, a “The Witch: A Primal Folklore” featurette, a Q&A with cast and crew, and a design gallery.