‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Coming to Digital Aug. 13, Disc Aug. 27 From Universal

The family film The Secret Life of Pets 2 will debut on digital Aug. 13 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Aug. 27 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

From the studio Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions, Sing), the animated sequel features the pets and their growing families in a new chapter that explores the deep bond between them and the humans that love them. Again, the film answers the question: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home? Terrier Max (voice of Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he has to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.

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Other voice talent includes Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first ever role in an animated film as new farm dog, Rooster.

Bonus features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include two mini-movies — Super Gidget, featuring the film’s Pomeranian Gidget and her best friend Max, and Minion Scouts, starring the Minions. Also included are deleted scenes, making-of featurettes and drawing tutorials. An interactive Captain Snowball motion comic allowing viewers to direct the bunny hero on his next move is exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions.

Stallone’s ‘Rambo,’ ‘Lock Up’ Coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray From Lionsgate

Lionsgate will release a pair of Sylvester Stallone movies for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, with 2008’s Rambo due Sept. 3, and 1989’s Lock Up due Sept. 10.

The fourth film in the “Rambo” franchise stars Stallone reprising his role as the legendary war hero, called back to action in Thailand to help Christian missionaries against ruthless soldiers. The cast also includes Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden and Graham McTavish.

The Rambo 4K combo pack will include both the theatrical cut and unrated extended cut, plus Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. Extras include Stallone commentary on the theatrical cut, deleted scenes, a theatrical trailer, a production diary and several behind-the-scenes featurettes.

In Lock Up, Stallone plays a down-on-his-luck convict who can’t seem to escape the wrath of the warden (Donald Sutherland).

The Lock Up 4K combo pack includes Dolby Vision HDR, plus interviews with Stallone, Sutherland and other cast members, the original trailer, and three behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Hellboy Resurfaces

Fifteen years after the first film and numerous comic book movies later, producers felt Hellboy was ready for a comeback — with a darker hero, a new focus on adhering to the source material and involvement by creator Mike Mignola.

Lionsgate’s reimagining of Hellboy is available now digitally and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc (with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio) July 23 including deleted scenes and previsualizations. The Blu-ray and digital versions also include the making-of documentary featurette “Tales of the Wild Hunt: Hellboy Reborn.”

“I loved the story, and I loved that it was based very much on the comics,” says David Harbour (Hellboy) in the featurette, adding “it’s a Hellboy with more internal struggle, with more sort of torture.”

“For me it’s actually fun to kind of get a second chance to create Hellboy,” comic creator Mignola, who is also an executive producer on the film, says in the featurette. “We’re doing in some ways some-thing that’s much more close to my material, but we’re creating a new variation on the Mike Mignola Hellboy.”

Based on the Dark Horse comic book created by Mignola, the film finds the half-demon super-hero Hellboy as he is called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants and finds himself confronting an ancient sorceress (Milla Jovovich). The film also stars Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Haden Church.

The 2010 comic anthology Hellboy Vol. 9: The Wild Hunt, which reveals Hellboy’s origin story, is one of the inspirations for the film.

“The story of Hellboy is baked into the story of the Wild Hunt,” producer Lloyd Levin says in the featurette.

Much of the dialog, in fact, is taken directly from the comics.

“It created an opportunity to do a Hellboy movie that was more faithful to what Mike Mignola had created,” he adds.

“This one feels very different than the other films,” Mignola says. “While it’s not a direct adaptation of one of my stories, it’s taken so many pieces of so many of my stories and fit them together in a way that really works.”

McShane, who plays Professor Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm and father figure to Hellboy, also notes the comic influence in his character.

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“They’ve made this character more like the original sort of Indiana Jonesy kind of character that he was when he found Hellboy,” he says in the featurette.

As part of her preparation for her role of Nimue, the Blood Queen, Jovovich went out and bought hardbound editions of several comic collections. “The illustrations are phenomenal,” she says. “I saw how beautifully they were done, and how much heart and soul the stories had, and thought, wow, we could really do something great here.”

Going back to the source was a mantra for the Lionsgate marketing team as well. In keeping with the strategy of staying close to the comics, the team created retail exclusives with unique custom artwork and other extras to harken back to the film’s comic book roots:

BEST BUY:

Hellboy comic creator Mignola designed artwork exclusively for the Best Buy 4K UHD Combo Pack Steelbooks.

WALMART:

With purchase of the 4K UHD  Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD at Walmart, Hellboy fans receive a PIN on their receipt for the download of Mike Mignola’s comic Hellboy: The Wild Hunt — the inspiration for the film. The comic is redeemable through Walmart’s Kobo e-reader or through Rakuten Kobo’s eBooks app on mobile.

TARGET:

The Target Blu-ray Combo Pack  double-sided Steelbook features  collectible poster art.

‘Shadow’ First 4K Release From Well Go

Well Go USA Entertainment will release its first 4K UHD Blu-ray, the Chinese martial arts actioner Shadow, Aug. 13.

Directed by Zhang Yimou (HeroHouse of Flying Daggers), the title is also coming Aug. 13 on DVD and Blu-ray (plus DVD).

In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a “shadow”, a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the king himself. He must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the king does not want. The film had a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a U.S. theatrical release in May.

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Sinister Superhero Flick ‘Brightburn’ Flying to Digital Aug. 6, Disc Aug. 20 From Sony

The superhero horror story Brightburn is coming to digital Aug. 6 and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither) presents a subversive take on the superhero film, asking the question: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Gunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner star.

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Bonus materials include:

  • three “Quick Burns” vignettes, hosted by Banks, producer James Gunn and director David Yarovesky;
  • the “Hero-Horror!” featurette, in which producer James Gunn and screenwriters Brian and Mark Gunn discuss the genre-bending category;
  • the “Nature vs. Nurture” featurette, about what motivates the film’s antihero;
  • and filmmaker commentary with Yarovesky, director of photography Michael Dallatorre, and costume designer Autumn Steed.

‘Zombieland’ Heading to 4K Ultra HD Oct. 1 From Sony

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Zombieland will come out on 4K Ultra HD Oct. 1 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in time for the theatrical debut of its sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Academy Award nominees Woody Harrelson (2017, Best Supporting Actor, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, 2017), Jesse Eisenberg (2010, Best Actor, The Social Network) and Abigail Breslin (2006, Best Supporting Actress, Little Miss Sunshine) and Academy Award-winner Emma Stone (2016, Best Actress, La La Land), the film follows a shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park, who join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.

Remastered in 4K with High Dynamic Range, the release includes a Dolby Atmos audio track, along with the original theatrical 5.1 audio.

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The 4K UHD release features a new special feature with the cast offering a look back at the original film; a behind-the-scenes featurette; and “Shootin’ Zombies with Ruben Fleischer.” Special features on the Blu-ray include “Beyond the Graveyard Picture-in-Picture Track”; audio commentary with filmmakers and cast; the “In Search of Zombieland” featurette; the “ Zombieland is Your Land” featurette; deleted scenes; and visual effects progression scenes.

Former Fox Exec Hanno Basse Joins Live Planet

Live Planet, creator of systems for virtual reality and blockchain tracking of entertainment content, has appointed Hanno Basse, former chief technology officer at 20th Century Fox Film Corp., president of its Decentralized Media Solutions division.

“Basse brings Live Planet his extensive expertise in driving the adoption of emerging technologies to catalyze new media experiences and services, expanding the company’s innovations in immersive and linear video production, distribution and monetization,” according to a Live Planet press release.

Basse will expand the company’s global footprint, building on its end-to-end virtual reality video streaming and publishing solution and its blockchain-based video infrastructure platform, the VideoCoin Network.

He will be based in Los Angeles, reporting to Live Planet founder and CEO Halsey Minor.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to mark the next stage of growth for Live Planet with the addition of Hanno to our world-class team of media and technology experts. Hanno brings a truly unique level of senior experience to Live Planet that will be extremely valuable to us as we help our customers meet the increasing demands of streaming video and next-generation on-demand services,” said Minor in a statement. “The addition of a technology pioneer of Hanno’s caliber is emblematic of Live Planet’s strategic direction and I look forward to an incredibly exciting journey ahead.”

“The media processing and distribution technologies Halsey and his team have built are among the most groundbreaking I’ve seen. They provide the basis for a new generation of solutions that media, telco and corporations will eagerly embrace as our world moves toward increased decentralization, higher-speed communication and edge-based compute,” said Basse in a statement. “I cannot wait to show the world what we will deliver next.”

Basse was appointed chief technology officer at 20th Century Fox Film Corp. in 2012, At Fox, Basse was responsible for technology strategy for the film studio, covering production/post-production, theatrical distribution and home entertainment. He created partnerships with Samsung, Ericsson and Barco, among others, which led to the founding of the Fox Innovation Lab. While at Fox, he also served as the first chairman of the UHD Alliance where he helped launch the 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc format and, in partnership with Samsung, established High Dynamic Range technology as a consumer product. He also served as the Fox board member of Movielabs.

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Prior to joining 20th Century Fox, Basse was with DirecTV, where he served as SVP of broadcast systems engineering. In that role, he was responsible for the design and implementation of DirecTV’s broadcast infrastructure and served as the technical lead for the introduction of many technologies to DirecTV’s platform, including HD, 3D and on-demand services.

Basse studied radio communications technology at the Engineering College of the Soviet Air Defense Forces in Kiev, Ukraine, and received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Officer’s College of the Air Force in Kamenz, Germany.

The Live Planet VR System is an end-to-end solution for easily creating and delivering live and recorded picture-perfect stereoscopic VR video programming and applications, according to the company.

The VideoCoin Network provides video infrastructure for the blockchain-enabled internet, delivering decentralized video encoding, storage and content distribution.

Faith Film ‘Breakthrough’ Breaks Out on Digital July 2, Disc July 16

The faith-based film Breakthrough will come out on digital July 2 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD July 16 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

In the film, when Joyce Smith’s (Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”) adopted son John (Marcel Ruiz) falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope seems lost as John lies lifeless. In the face of every bleak medical case history and dire scientific prediction, Joyce’s unwavering belief inspires her community to pray for John’s recovery.

Along with producer DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven), the film was adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte (Seven Pounds) from Joyce Smith’s book (The Impossible). The film also stars Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama), Topher Grace (“That ‘70s Show”), Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”), Sam Trammell (“This is Us”) and Dennis Haysbert (“24”).

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The film has been awarded the Dove Seal of Approval for all ages.

Extras on the discs include a making of featurette; “Carry My Soul,” a Phil Wickham deleted scene with optional audio commentary by Franklin and director Roxann Dawson; “Trapped in Icy Waters”; audio commentary by Franklin and Dawson; and a photo gallery.

‘Gremlins’ Coming to 4K UHD for 35th From Warner

The 1984 classic Gremlins will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and digital for its 35th anniversary Oct. 1 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Directed by Joe Dante (Innerspace, The ‘Burbs) and written by Chris Columbus (The Goonies), the film stars Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton and Randall Peltzer, along with the voices of Frank Welker as Stripe and Howie Mandel as Gizmo. At times a horror film and others dark comedy, Gremlins follows a teenager who gets a new pet as a gift and finds it has strange transformative powers.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Gremlins in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers.

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Extras include filmmakers’ commentary with Dante, producer Michael Finnell and special effects artist Chris Walas; cast commentary with Dante, Galligan, Cates, Dick Miller and Mandel; behind-the-scenes featurettes; additional scenes with commentary; a featurette on the creation of the creatures; and motion comics.

New Horror Adaptation of ‘Pet Sematary’ Comes Home on Digital June 25, Disc July 9

The new adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary will arrive on digital June 25 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and VOD July 9 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

It made $54.5 million in U.S. theaters.

Based on the King novel, the film follows the Creeds, who relocate from Boston to rural Maine, where they soon discover an ancient burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, the grief-stricken father is driven by the cemetery’s sinister power, setting off a perilous chain of events.

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The digital, 4K Ultra HD, and Blu-ray releases include more than 90 minutes of special features, including deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, a look at the main characters, behind-the-scenes footage, and cast interviews. Digital extras vary by retailer.

The film also boasts a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo packs include access to a digital copy of the film.