‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Due on ‘Premium Digital’ May 21, 4K and Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD June 15

Godzilla vs. Kong will come out on “Premium Digital” May 21 and on DVD, 4K Ultra HD combo pack and Blu-ray combo pack June 15 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The May 21 “Premium Digital Ownership” release will be available at $29.99.

The film was previously released concurrently in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. It has earned more than $415 million at the global box office.

From Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, the film stars Alexander Skarsgård (The Legend of Tarzan, TV’s “Big Little Lies”) and Millie Bobby Brown (TV’s “Stranger Things”). In this installment in the MonsterVerse, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans — instigated by unseen forces — is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc will feature both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata HDR formats, as well as Dolby Atmos sound.

Special features include “Kong Discovers Hollow Earth”; “Kong Leaves Home”; “Behold Kong’s Temple”; “The Evolution of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World”; “Godzilla Attacks”; “The Phenomenon of GŌJIRA, King of the Monsters”; “Round One: Battle at Sea”; “Round Two: One Will Fall”; “Titan Tag Team: The God and the King”; “The Rise of MechaGodzilla”; and commentary by Wingard (only on 4K and Blu-ray).

Spaghetti Western ‘Django’ on 4K Ultra HD and ’12 Monkeys’ in Next Batch of Blu-ray Releases From Arrow and MVD

The spaghetti Western Django on 4K Ultra HD and the sci-fi title 12 Monkeys are in the next batch of titles coming to Blu-ray Disc from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Due June 1 is the 1966 spaghetti Western Django — the inspiration for the Oscar-winning Quentin Tarantino movie — on 4K Ultra HD for the first time with Dolby Vision. Franco Nero stars as Django, a mysterious loner who arrives at a mud-drenched ghost town on the Mexico-U.S. border, ominously dragging a coffin behind him. After saving imperilled prostitute Maria, Django becomes embroiled in a brutal feud between a racist gang and a band of Mexican revolutionaries. With Django, director Sergio Corbucci upped the ante for sadism and sensationalism in Westerns, depicting machine-gun massacres, mud-fighting prostitutes and savage mutilations. Django’s brand of bleak nihilism would be repeatedly emulated in a raft of unofficial sequels. Also included in the set is Texas, Adios on Blu-ray, which also stars Nero, and was released as a sequel to Django in some countries. Extras include six double-sided collector’s postcards, a double-sided fold-out poster, a 60-page bound book featuring writing by Howard Hughes and Roberto Curti and original reviews, and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips. Special features on the Django disc include audio commentary by film critic, historian and theorist Stephen Prince; “Django Never Dies,” an interview with Nero; “Cannibal of the Wild West,” an interview with assistant director Ruggero Deodato; “Sergio, My Husband,” an interview with Corbucci’s wife Nori Corbucci; “That’s My Life: Part 1,” an archival interview with co-writer Franco Rossetti; “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Scriptwriter,” an archival interview with co-writer Piero Vivarelli; “A Punch in the Face,” an archival interview with stuntman and actor Gilberto Galimberti; “Discovering Django,” an appreciation by spaghetti westerns scholar Austin Fisher; an Introduction to Django by Alex Cox, an archival featurette with the acclaimed director; a gallery of original promotional images from the Mike Siegel archive; and original trailers. The Texas, Adios Blu-ray also has several special features.

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Available May 25 is 12 Monkeys in a Blu-ray Steelbook limited edition. Following the commercial and critical success of The Fisher King, director Terry Gilliam’s next feature would turn to science fiction and a screenplay by Janet and David Peoples (Blade Runner, Unforgiven) inspired by Chris Marker’s classic short film La Jetée. In the film, in 1996, a deadly virus is unleashed by a group calling themselves the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, destroying much of the world’s population and forcing survivors underground. In 2035, prisoner James Cole (Bruce Willis) is chosen to go back in time and help scientists in their search for a cure. The film features an Oscar-nominated turn by Brad Pitt (Fight Club) as mental patient Jeffrey Goines. Special features include audio commentary by Gilliam and producer Charles Roven; “The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys,” a feature-length making-of documentary by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost in La Mancha); “The Film Exchange with Terry Gilliam,” a 1996 interview with Gilliam and film critic Jonathan Romney, recorded at the London Film Festival; an appreciation by Ian Christie, author of Gilliam on Gilliam; “The Twelve Monkeys Archives”; the theatrical trailer; limited-edition steelbook packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin; and a limited edition booklet featuring writing on the film by Rabin and an excerpt of Gilliam on Gilliam by Christie.

Bringing together six films, all new to Blu-ray and in brand new restorations, on four discs, Weird Wisconsin: The Bill Rebane Collection is due June 1. It packs in a mutant astronaut bothering blissful sunbathers (Monster a Go-Go), a contagion apocalypse as seen from the vantage point of a remote mountain cabin (Invasion from Inner Earth), deadly alien spores from the rocks of Mars (The Alpha Incident), rural gothic and outright horror (The Demons of Ludlow), an eccentric “body count” movie (The Game) and a comedy smash-’em-up that pits three hillbilly stooges against a talking Monster Truck with artificial intelligence (Twister’s Revenge). The set includes numerous special features.

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The 1958 Japanese comedy Giants and Toys debuts on Blu-ray May 11. The corporate satire revolves around the ruthless machinations of a group of admen working in the confectionary industry. Its absurdist and acidly cynical take on the excesses of the media and advertising worlds presents a garish vision of a bold new postwar Japan where traditional company values come head-to-head with American-style consumer capitalism. As a new recruit to the marketing department of World Caramel, fresh-faced graduate Nishi is eager to impress his ambitious and hard-nosed boss Goda, even if it strains his relationships with his college friend Yokoyama and new love interest Masami, who work at the rival companies of Giant and Apollo. With World’s lead over its competitors slipping badly, the two spot a chance to get back in the race in the shape of the pretty but unsophisticated 18-year-old, Kyoko. The two get to work polishing this rough diamond as their new campaign girl, but as the three rival confectionary companies pitch themselves into an all-out advertising war that spills out onto the streets of Tokyo as it escalates to ludicrous extremes, Kyoko’s newfound fame starts going to her head. With the pressure mounting within the hothouse environment of World’s boardroom, it soon becomes clear to Nishi that the Goda has sold out more than just his family in the name of corporate advancement. Making its worldwide Blu-ray debut, this adaptation of the award-winning 1957 novel by Ken Kaiko is considered a landmark in Japanese film history and a key work by Yasuzô Masumura (Blind Beast, Red Angel), one of the country’s most acclaimed directors of his generation. Special features include a new audio commentary by Japanese cinema scholar Irene González-López; a newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns; “In the Realm of the Publicists,” a new visual essay by Asian cinema scholar Earl Jackson; an original trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Michael Raine.

Available now on Blu-ray is the comic horror film A Ghost Waits (2020), winner of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor at Frightfest & Screamfest 2020, from first-time writer/director Adam Stovall and producer/star MacLeod Andrews. Tasked with renovating a neglected rental home, handyman Jack (Andrews) quickly finds out why the tenants keep leaving in droves — this house is haunted. The ghost in question is Muriel (Natalie Walker), herself employed from beyond the veil to keep the home vacant. Against the odds, Jack and Muriel find they have a lot in common. Having found a kindred spirit in an otherwise lonely existence, they must fight for their newfound affection as pressure mounts for them each to fulfill their “cross-purposes.” Special features include audio commentary by writer/director Stovall; audio commentary by Stovall and Andrews; audio commentary by the cast and crew; “Humanity and the Afterlife in A Ghost Waits,” a new video essay by Isabel Custodio exploring the film’s themes and cinematic forebears; eight interviews with cast and crew; an interview and post-film Q&A with Stovall moderated by Alan Jones at Frightfest Glasgow 2020; outtakes; Easter eggs; the theatrical trailer; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sister Hyde; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann.

Science-Fiction Thriller ‘Voyagers’ Coming to Digital June 8, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD June 15

The science-fiction thriller Voyagers will arrive on digital and digital 4K Ultra HD June 8, and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and VOD June 15 from Lionsgate.

Written and directed by Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist), the film stars Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan (X-Men franchise), Lily-Rose Depp (The King), Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), Chanté Adams (Roxanne Roxanne), Isaac Hempstead Wright (“Game of Thrones”), Viveik Kalra (Blinded by the Light), Archie Madekwe (Midsommar), Quintessa Swindell (“Trinkets”) and Madison Hu (“Bizaardvark”).

In the film, with the future of the human race at stake, a group of young men and women, bred for intelligence and obedience, embark on an expedition to colonize a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, they defy their training and begin to explore their most primitive natures. As life on the ship descends into chaos, they’re consumed by fear, lust and the insatiable hunger for power.

Special features include: 

  • “Born for This: The Cast of Voyagers” featurette;
  • “Against Type: Unlearning Human Nature” featurette;
  • “Survival of the Fittest: The Physicality of Voyagers” featurette;
  • “On the Surface: The Visual Style of Voyagers” featurette; and
  • “Hidden Chambers: Tour the Humanitas” featurette.

Speed

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/4/21;
20th Century;
Action;
Rated ‘R’ for violence and language.
Stars Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Joe Morton, Jeff Daniels.

Jan de Bont’s 1994 action thriller Speed is motoring to 4K Ultra HD for the first time, and despite the old tech (ubiquitous cell phones would have changed so much in these films!), it looks like it came out yesterday. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, whose stars both soared after this fast-paced hit, are restored as fresh-faced ingenues with a makeover by the picture upgrade.

In the film, originally released by Fox, Reeves stars as an L.A.P.D. SWAT team specialist who is sent to diffuse a bomb that a revenge-driven extortionist (Dennis Hopper) has planted on a city bus. But until he does, one of the passengers (Bullock) must keep the bus speeding through the streets of Los Angeles at more than 50 miles per hour — or the bomb will explode.

The plot of Speed is so familiar and satirized that it’s easy for forget that it is a heart-stopping thrill ride. Viewers will relish a return to the kind of pure popcorn-movie fun that existed in the 1990s before 9/11 and other dark events. Speed came out of a time when the biggest threat seemed to be a ruthless terrorist out for money, and the body count could be counted on one or two hands. The aim of this era of films was to send the viewer on a rollercoaster ride with twists and turns and, particularly in the case of Speed, accelerated action.

So, the point of Speed isn’t to think too much — plot holes and physics-defying scenes abound — but to sit back and go along for the ride. And it’s a fun ride that looks better than it has since its theatrical release due to this 4K upgrade.

Special features, which vary by product and retailer, include audio commentary by de Bont; audio commentary by writer Graham Yost and producer Mark Gordon; several making-of featurettes; extended scenes; and a Speed music video by Billy Idol.

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The commentaries by de Bont and Yost and Gordon were obviously recorded for the DVD release just after 9/11, as they make reference to the horror that recently occurred in New York City. Despite their vintage origin, the commentaries have a nostalgic feel that still rings true today, as they note that bigger threats are happening in the real world. Poking fun at some of the dialog and effects, they outwardly wonder if films like Speed will be made in the future. Viewers, too, might wax nostalgic for a time when cell phones were the size of bricks, Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves were young up-and-comers, a bunch of American strangers could actually work together, and the biggest threat was one madman, rather than many.

Classic ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD June 29

The family classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and 4K digital June 29 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for its 50th anniversary.

Directed by Mel Stuart from a screenplay by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is an adaptation of Dahl’s 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory stars Gene Wilder as Wily Wonka, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket, Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt, Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde, Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde, Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee and Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee.

The musical follows a boy named Charlie who wins a whirlwind tour of Willy’s incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections.

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The combo pack will include the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features, which include:

  • Commentary with the Wonka Kids;
  • “Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”;
  • “The Moviemakers”;
  • “Scrumptious Sing-Along: Pure Imagination”;
  • “Scrumptious Sing-Along: I Want It Now!”;
  • “Scrumptious Sing-Along: I’ve Got A Golden Ticket”;
  • “Scrumptious Sing-Along: Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do”; and
  • The theatrical trailer.

‘Donnie Darko’ 4K Ultra HD, ‘Elvira’ Blu-ray Among Titles Available From MVD and Arrow in April

Donnie Darko on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark on Steelbook Blu-ray, and two 1970s cult films on Blu-ray, Switchblade Sisters and Death Has Blue Eyes, are available in April from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Richard Kelly’s debut feature Donnie Darko (2001) is coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray April 27 in a two-disc set that includes both the theatrical and director’s cut. Initially beset with distribution problems, it would slowly find its audience and emerge as a cult classic. Donnie is a troubled high school student: in therapy, prone to sleepwalking and in possession of an imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. During that time, he will navigate teenage life, narrowly avoid death in the form of a falling jet engine, follow Frank’s maladjusted instructions and try to maintain the space-time continuum. Described by its director as “The Catcher in the Rye as told by Philip K. Dick,” Donnie Darko stars Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross and Noah Wyle and features a soundtrack of 1980s classics by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. The new 4K restorations of both the theatrical cut and the director’s cut from the original camera negatives by Arrow Films were supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster and feature Dolby Vision. The release includes a 100-page hardcover book featuring writing by Nathan Rabin, Anton Bitel and Jamie Graham; an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly; an introduction by Jake Gyllenhaal; and contemporary coverage, illustrated with original stills and promotional materials. It also includes a double-sided fold-out poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece; six double-sided collector’s postcards; and limited edition packaging with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece. Both discs include numerous extras, including commentaries and featurettes.

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Horror icon Elvira’s big screen debut Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) is coming to Blu-ray in a Steelbook special edition April 27. In the film, having just quit her job as a Los Angeles TV horror hostess, Elvira receives the unexpected news that she’s set to inherit part of her great aunt Morgana’s estate. Arriving in the small town of Fallwell, Mass., to claim her inheritance, Elvira receives a less than enthusiastic reception from the conservative locals — among them, her sinister uncle Vincent, who, unbeknownst to Elvira, is in fact an evil warlock secretly scheming to steal the old family spell book for his own nefarious ends. Elvira: Mistress of the Dark helped solidify the horror hostess (played by Cassandra Peterson) as a major pop culture icon. Featuring a 2018 restoration from a 4K scan of original film elements, the release includes an introduction by director James Signorelli; 2017 audio commentary with Signorelli, hosted by Fangoria editor emeritus Tony Timpone; 2017 audio commentary with Patterson Lundquist, www.elviramistressofthedark.com webmaster and judge of U.S. TV show “The Search for the Next Elvira”; “Too Macabre – The Making of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark,” a 2018 version of this feature-length documentary on the making of the film, including interviews with various cast and crew and rare never-before-seen archival material; “Recipe for Terror: The Creation of the Pot Monster,” a 2018 version of this featurette on the concept and design of the pot monster, as well as the film’s other SFX; original storyboards; extensive image galleries; original U.S. theatrical and teaser trailers; a limited edition Steelbook featuring newly produced artwork; and a limited edition booklet featuring a foreword by writer and director Sam Irvin and writing on the film by Kat Ellinger and Patterson Lundquist.

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From Jack Hill, director of Spider Baby, Coffy, Foxy Brown and The Swinging Cheerleaders, comes the 1975 grindhouse classic Switchblade Sisters, due on Blu-ray April 27. In the film, Lace (Robbie Lee), the leader of inner-city girl gang the Dagger Debs, meets her match when new girl Maggie (Joanne Nail) moves into the neighborhood. Mistrust and conflict turn to friendship as the girls end up in Juvenile Detention together at the mercy of abusive guards. Meanwhile, the Dagger Debs’ male counterparts the Silver Daggers have to contend with the arrival of a new gang, led by the villainous Crabs (Chase Newhart). But when the girls get back on the streets, a planned retaliation strike in tandem with the Silver Daggers backfires and puts Lace in hospital. Maggie assumes control, teaming up with Muff (Marlene Clark) and her gang of African-American militants from across town to declare all-out war, but there’s a traitor in their midst. Extras include a new audio commentary by historians/critics Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger; “We Are the Jezebels,” an archival documentary featuring director Jack Hill, producer John Prizer, casting director Geno Havans, production designer B.B. Neel, stunt coordinator Bob Minor, and stars Joanne Nail, Asher Brauner, and Chase Newhart; “Gangland: The locations of Switchblade Sisters,” an archival documentary in which Jack Hill and filmmaker Elijah Drenner revisit the shooting locations; Jack Hill and Joanne Nail at the Grindhouse Film Festival, a 2007 archival interview with the director and actor; an interview with Jack Hill, Robbie Lee and Joanne Nail, an archival 1990s interview with the director and stars in conversation with Johnny Legend; galleries of behind the scenes stills, international posters, video covers and lobby cards; theatrical trailers; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Heather Drain.

Available now is Death Has Blue Eyes (1976) on Blu-ray, a paranormal action thriller from the director of the cult classic Island of Death (1976). In the film, when local gigolo Chess (Chris Nomikos) greets his vacationing friend Bob Kovalski (Peter Winter) at Athens airport, the pair embark on a string of scams and erotic dalliances that eventually lead them into contact with an elegant wealthy woman Geraldine Steinwetz (Jessica Dublin) and her glamorous daughter Christine (Maria Aliferi). Geraldine blackmails the two bachelors into acting as bodyguards for Christine, whom it transpires has telepathic abilities and has had her eye on them for some time. After fleeing from a series of assassination attempts, it soon becomes clear that Geraldine herself might not be quite who she seems, as the two young men find themselves caught up in a political conspiracy of international dimensions. In his debut feature, filmmaker Nico Mastorakis presents viewers non-stop car, bike and helicopter chases, a bevy of beautiful girls with guns, softcore sex scenes, psychic thrills, and Cold War political intrigue set against the picturesque landscapes of 1970s Greece. The release features a new restoration from the original camera negative approved by the director; two versions of the film, the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version; an exclusive new interview featurette with Nico Mastorakis; an exclusive new interview with actress Maria Aliferi; “Dancing with Death,” tracks from the Death Has Blue Eyes original soundtrack; original theatrical trailers; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Julian Grainger.

‘The Day of the Beast,’ Rosie Perez Starrer ‘Perdita Durango’ Among Titles Coming to 4K and Blu-ray Disc March 30 From MVD and Severin

Coming to disc March 30 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films are Perdita Durango (1997), The Day of the Beast (1995), Nosferatu in Venice (1988) and A Scream in the Streets (1973).

Writer-director Álex de la Iglesia’s Perdita Durango and The Day of the Beast are restored on 4K Ultra HD (in combo pack with Blu-ray) and Blu-ray Disc for the first time in America.

For his English-language debut with Perdita Durango, de la Iglesia chose novelist Barry Gifford’s prequel to Wild at Heart featuring the titular sociopath priestess. But when the U.S. distributor saw the finished film, they slashed more than 10 minutes of gleefully profane sex and violence and dumped it under the title Dance With the Devil. Severin is now presenting the complete director’s cut starring Oscar nominee Rosie Perez and Academy Award winner Javier Bardem in a violent love story filled with human sacrifices, kidnapping, murder and fetus trafficking with the dogged DEA agent (James Gandolfini) on the trail of it all. Don Stroud (Django Unchained), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Alex Cox (Repo Man) and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins co-star in the film with music by Simon Boswell. Special features include “On the Border,” an interview with de la Iglesia; “Writing Perdita Durango,” an interview with writer Barry Gifford; an appraisal by film scholar Dr. Rebekah McKendry; “Narcosatanicos: Perdita Durango and the Matamoros Cult,” an interview with Abraham Castillo Flores and Cauldron of Blood author Jim Schutze; “Canciones de Amor Maldito: The Music of Perdita Durango,” an interview with composer Simon Boswell; “Shooting Perdita Durango,” an interview with director of photography Flavio Labiano; and trailers.

In between his cult hit debut Accion Mutante and Perdita Durango, de la Iglesia delivered the international horror comedy smash The Day of the Beast, which won six Goya Awards, including Best Director. In the film, when a rogue priest (Álex Angulo of Pan’s Labyrinth) discovers the exact date The Antichrist will be born, he enlists a Death Metal record store clerk (Santiago Segura of Killer Barbys) and a cheesy TV psychic (Armando De Razza) for an urban spree to prevent the Apocalypse by summoning Satan himself. Terele Pávez (800 Bullets) co-stars. Special features include “Heirs of the Beast,” a feature length documentary by Diego López and David Pizarro on the making and cultural impact of the film; “Antichrist Superstar,” an interview with director Alex de la Iglesia; “The Man Who Saved the World,” an interview with actor Armando De Razza; “Beauty and the Beast,” an interview with actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta; “Shooting the Beast,” an interview with director of photography Flavio Martínez Labiano; “Mirindas Asesinas,” a 1990 short film by Alex de la Iglesia; and trailers.

Nosferatu in Venice (1988) and A Scream in the Streets (1973) are coming out on Blu-ray for the first time ever March 30 scanned in 2K from the original negatives.

What was intended to be an unofficial sequel to Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu, Nosferatu in Venice instead became one of the most notoriously fascinating productions in EuroCult history. Klaus Kinski stars as the legendary vampire resurrected in modern-day Venice with an insatiable hunger for warm blood and rough sex. Donald Pleasence and Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer co-star in this shocker that features music by Oscar winner Vangelis (Chariots of Fire) and employed five different directors, including Mario Caiano (Nightmare Castle), Luigi Cozzi (Paganini Horror), writer-producer Augusto Caminito and reportedly Kinski himself. Special features include “Creation is Violent,” a new feature-length documentary on Kinski’s Final Years; “Creation is Violent Outtakes: – Nothing Bad Can Happen – Gypsies Should Be Played by Real Gypsies!”; and a trailer.

From producer Harry Novak — whose Box Office International Pictures brought the world such classics as Axe, Mantis in Lace and Wham Bam Thank You, Spaceman — comes A Scream in the Streets, about a pair of L.A.P.D. detectives hunting a transvestite psychopath through a polyester jungle of massage parlor perverts, suburban sex fiends and violence-crazed cops. Directed by Carl Monson (Please Don’t Eat My Mother), the film stars Joshua Bryant (Enter the Devil), Sandy Carey (Drive-in Massacre), Linda York (Chain Gang Women) and Sharon Kelly (aka ’80s adult film superstar Colleen Brennan). Special features include “The Peeper — Two Sexy Shorts Produced From A Scream in the Streets outtakes” and a trailer.

Gattaca

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Sci-Fi;
$24.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for brief violent images, language and some sexuality.
Stars Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Jude Law, Loren Dean.

In revisiting Gattaca, it’s easy to see why the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction and for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score. The retro-futuristic look of the film and its haunting score are truly extraordinary and still impress more than two decades after its initial 1997 release.

Written and directed by Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show), Gattaca’s story, set in an indefinite future time period, also hold ups well. The issues the sci-fi thriller explores are perhaps even more relevant today. Ultimately, it poses the question: What makes us, genes or guts?

The film centers on Vincent (Ethan Hawke), an “in-valid,” or genetically inferior “God child,” whose parents chose not to use genetic means to make a baby. Saddled with a heart condition, among other “defects,” Vincent decides to take a “borrowed ladder” by assuming the identity of a member of the genetic elite to pursue his goal of traveling into space with the Gattaca Aerospace Corp. (The name “Gattaca” cleverly features the letters in the genome sequence.) Thus, through a financial arrangement, he uses the name and genetic material of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), who is confined to a wheelchair. All seems to be going well until a week before his mission, a murder marks Vincent as a suspect. With investigators in pursuit and a love interest (Uma Thurman) beginning to suspect his deception, Vincent sees his dream beginning to unravel.

The 4K edition has been remastered from the original camera negative, and the crisp picture nicely renders the effect of the small skin cells and strands of hair falling onto surfaces, littering the workspace and threatening to give Vincent away. It also makes more vivid the graphic lines of the concrete and glass architecture. (The film was shot in part at Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1960 Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, Calif.) The 4K treatment does justice to the lasting, timeless beauty of this film.

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Sony is releasing the title in a Steelbook combo pack that includes a regular Blu-ray and digital copies of the film in addition to the 4K disc, which does not include extras. Extras on the Blu-ray include deleted scenes, a blooper reel and the featurette “Welcome to Gattaca.”

Godzilla (2014)

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner Bros.;
Sci-Fi;
$24.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence.
Stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla (2014) marked a big-screen reboot of the King of the Monsters and the start of Legendary’s MonsterVerse, which would come to include Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong, hitting theaters and HBO Max March 31. The 4K release of Godzilla is nicely timed to prepare for the latest installment in the series.

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), the film is based on the character Godzilla, owned and created by Toho Co. The adventure reimagines the lizard-like giant in contemporary times and is set 15 years after a nuclear meltdown in Japan which was caused by giant MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms). Years later, as two MUTOs terrorize the countryside in order to reproduce, they awaken the ancient alpha predator, known as Godzilla, whose existence has been kept secret by the U.S. government since 1954.

Godzilla starts with a strong dramatic sequence featuring Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche at the nuclear plant 15 years previous; then it flashes forward to follow their son (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a U.S. Navy officer who has just returned home to his son and wife (Elizabeth Olsen, in a pairing of the two before the Marvel series). He reluctantly leaves them once again because his father, obsessed by what caused the nuclear disaster, has been detained in the plant’s quarantine zone. Eventually, both get caught up in the chaos caused by giant monsters that feed on radiation.

As do many first movies in a series, this film takes its time introducing the true star of the show, Godzilla, and the action slows a bit before he emerges. Still, he’s quite impressive when he does. The disc features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which is used to full effect when the bellowing, truly enormous Godzilla enters. In addition to the monster sequences, another impressive action scene features a HALO jump that is as beautiful as it is nerve-wracking. These scenes are the kind of visuals that are really shown to their best advantage in 4K.

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There are no extras on the 4K disc, but the Blu-ray in the combo pack contains the previously released special features “MONARCH: Declassified,” offering new evidence not contained in the film that unravels the massive cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret, and “The Legendary Godzilla,” a behind the scenes look at the monsters in the film.

‘Speed’ Racing to 4K Ultra HD May 4

Jan de Bont’s action thriller Speed will motor to 4K Ultra HD for the first time May 4, including a limited-edition exclusive Best Buy Steelbook, from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

In the Fox film, Keanu Reeves stars as an L.A.P.D. SWAT team specialist who is sent to diffuse a bomb that a revenge-driven extortionist (Dennis Hopper) has planted on a city bus. But until he does, one of the passengers (Sandra Bullock) must keep the bus speeding through the streets of Los Angeles at more than 50 miles per hour — or the bomb will explode.

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Special features, which vary by product and retailer, include audio commentary by de Bont; audio commentary by Graham Yost and Mark Gordon; several making-of featurettes; extended scenes; and a Speed music video by Billy Idol.

The film, released theatrically in 1994, earned more than $350 million at the worldwide box office.

Best Buy’s ‘Speed’ 4K Steelbook