‘Juice’ Debuting on 4K Ultra HD Jan. 11 for Its 30th

The 1992 film Juice, starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur, will be released on 4K Ultra HD for the first time on Jan. 11 from Paramount Home Entertainment, marking its 30th anniversary.

The gritty film, which continues to be celebrated for its realistic portrayal of Harlem life and the early New York hip hop scene, follows Q, Raheem, Bishop and Steel, who spend their days hanging out and looking for a way to get the power and respect they call Juice. Q hopes to earn respect by becoming a scratch ‘n’ mix DJ.  Bishop has a deadlier plan — take it through an armed robbery with his crew.

Juice is the feature directorial debut of cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson, whose collaborations with Spike Lee include Do the Right Thing and Malcom X. It features a soundtrack that includes Eric B. & Rakim, Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane and Salt N’ Pepa.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The disc includes access to a digital copy of the film and legacy bonus content, including interviews with Dickerson, producer David Heyman (“Harry Potter” franchise), Epps, and fellow actors Khalil Kain and Jermaine Hopkins.  The cast and crew look back on making the film, share stories of working with Shakur, and reveal the influence that Juice had on them both personally and professionally. The featurettes also include footage of the cast on set and vintage interviews with Shakur, Queen Latifah, Cindy Herron of En Vogue, the Shocklee brothers, Eric B, EPMD, Cypress Hill and more. Other extras include the original ending and commentary by the director.

Van Damme Starrer ‘Hard Target’ Gets 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Edition from Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber is giving the 1993 Jean-Claude Van Damme actioner Hard Target the royal treatment, with a two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition arriving at retail on Dec. 7.

Retailer orders for the film, part of the Kino Lorber Studio Classics line, are due Nov. 9. The set will carry a suggested retail price (SRP) of $39.95.

Directed by John Woo and executive produced by Sam Raimi, the film also stars Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, Arnold Vosloo, Wilford Brimley, and Kasi Lemmons.

Van Damme portrays Chance Boudreaux, the target of an evil mercenary (Henriksen) who recruits combat veterans for the “amusement” of his clients — bored tycoons who will pay half a million dollars to stalk and kill them. When beautiful Natasha Binder (Butler) hires Chance to search for her missing father, she gets more than she bargained for.

The new Kino Lorber Studio Classics edition of Hard Target features a new 4K restoration of the unrated international cut, from a 4K scan of the original camera negative.

Bonus content includes new interviews with director Woo, actors Henriksen and Butler, and stunt coordinator  Billy Burton. The package also comes with a new audio commentary from action film historians  Brandon Bentley and Mike Leeder, a newly restored HD trailer, 5.1 Surround Sound and 2.0 Lossless Stereo, and English subtitles.

‘Maniac Cop 2’ and ‘3’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16 From MVD

The horror films Maniac Cop 2 and Maniac Cop 3 are being released on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16 from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the sequel Maniac Cop 2, the “Maniac Cop” is back from the dead and stalking the streets of New York once more. Officer Matt Cordell was once a hero, but after being framed by corrupt superiors and brutally assaulted in prison, he sets out on a macabre mission of vengeance, teaming up with a vicious serial killer to track down those that wronged him and make them pay.

Robert Davi (Die Hard), Claudia Christian (The Hidden), Michael Lerner (Barton Fink), Laurene Landon (Hundra), Leo Rossi (Halloween II), Robert Z’Dar (Tango & Cash), Charles Napier (The Silence of the Lambs), and Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) star in this sequel written by Larry Cohen (It’s Alive) and directed by William Lustig (Maniac). Maniac Cop 2 has been scanned in 4K from the original camera negative and supervised by director of photography James Lemmo. It is presented with Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix. Special features include audio commentary and a making-of featurette.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence, when Officer Kate Sullivan storms a hostage situation, the whole incident is captured on tape by an unscrupulous media crew who edit the footage to show Kate killing a helpless victim. Now in a coma, Kate’s only hope is Detective Sean McKinney, who desperately tries to clear her name. But unbeknownst to him, “Maniac Cop” Matt Cordell takes it upon himself to exact revenge upon those responsible for smearing her name.

Returning stars Robert Davi and Robert Z’Dar are joined by Paul Gleason (Die Hard), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Julius Harris (Super Fly), Doug Savant (“Melrose Place”), and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) in this third entry from Maniac Cop creator Larry Cohen. The film is scanned in 4K from the original uncensored negative, presented with Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix. Special features include audio commentary, the theatrical trailer, a making-of featurette, and deleted and extended scenes.

Italian Thrillers ‘Deep Red,’ Gaillo Classics Hitting Disc This Fall From Arrow and MVD

Dario Argento’s Deep Red in 4K and a “Giallo Essentials” collection are being released on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 26 and Nov. 30, respectively, from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video.

From legendary director Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), Deep Red is being released on 4K Ultra HD Oct. 26 with a new 4K restoration of both the original 127-minute Italian version and the 105-minute export version from the original negative by Arrow Films. In the film, one night, musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings, Blow Up), looking up from the street below, witnesses the brutal axe murder of a woman in her apartment. Racing to the scene, Marcus just manages to miss the perpetrator — or does he? As he takes on the role of amateur sleuth, Marcus finds himself ensnared in a bizarre web of murder and mystery where nothing is what it seems.

Three films from the Italian export genre giallo — films steeped in mystery and intrigue, delivered with stylized violence — are available Nov. 30 in the first of a multi-volume series of “Giallo Essentials,” including The Possessed (1965), The Fifth Cord (1971) and The Pyjama Girl Case (1978). The films feature a raft of talent in front of and behind the camera with each film restored from the original camera negatives and presented with a range of contextualising interviews and featurettes. The Possessed is based on one of Italy’s most notorious crimes. It tells the story of a depressed novelist (Peter Baldwin) in search of his old flame (Virna Lisi) who has disappeared under suspicious circumstances, prompting an investigation that finds him plunged into a disturbing drama of familial secrets, perversion, madness and murder. The Fifth Cord boasts a complex, Agatha Christie-esque plot of investigation into a series of brutal assaults. As the body count rises, whisky swilling journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero) finds himself under suspicion, making it all the more imperative he crack the case. The Pyjama Girl Case, inspired by a real-life case, takes viewers to Australia where former inspector Timpson comes out of retirement to crack the case of a young woman, found on the beach, shot in the head, burned to hide her identity and dressed in distinctive yellow pajamas.

‘Demons’ and ‘Demons 2’ Due on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Oct. 19 From MVD and Synapse

Lamberto Bava’s two Italian horror films, Demons and Demons 2, are being released Oct. 19 on 4K Ultra HD and remastered Blu-ray in brand-new 4K restorations from Synapse Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

Produced by Dario Argento (Suspiria), Demons and Demons 2 are available in two-disc sets in both formats.

In Demons (1985), a masked man offers tickets to a horror movie sneak preview at the mysterious Metropol cinema. When a patron is scratched by a prop displayed in the theater lobby, she transforms into a flesh-ripping demon. One by one, the audience members mutate into horrible creatures hell-bent on destroying the world. In the 1986 sequel Demons 2, a televised horror film spells doom for the residents of a luxury high-rise apartment, as demons are unleashed through the TV screen at a young girl’s birthday party. As more and more residents are infected and transformed into blood-thirsty demons, a young couple fights to survive as they try to escape.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Both releases are packed with special features, including two versions of Demons, the full-length original cut in English and Italian and the shorter U.S. version featuring alternate dubbing and sound effects.

‘Beyond Darkness,’ ‘Retribution’ Among Four Horror Films Due on Blu-ray Oct. 26 From Severin and MVD

Four horror films from Severin Films will be available Oct. 26 on Blu-ray from MVD Entertainment Group.

 Blood for Dracula (1974) will have its North American 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray premiere with new special features. Immediately after completing Flesh for Frankenstein, writer-director Paul Morrissey and star Udo Kier created this Euroshocker. 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). Stefania Casini (Suspiria) and Bicycle Thieves director Vittorio De Sica co-star with a cameo by Roman Polanski in this film scanned uncut in 4K from the original negative for the first time ever. Special features include “Trans-Human Flesh and Blood,” an interview with director Paul Morrissey; “Rubinia’s Homecoming,” an interview and location visit with actress Stefania Casini; “Blood for Udo,” an interview with Kier; “Little Big Joe,” an interview with actor Joe 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; trailers; and the original motion picture soundtrack composed, orchestrated and conducted by Claudio Gizzi.

An Angel for Satan (1966) is having its first-ever authorized American release. In the final film of her Italian gothic period, Barbara Steele (Black Sunday) stars in the erotic shocker. When a cursed statue is recovered from a villa’s lake, a young heiress (Steele) will inflict a torrent of depraved seduction and homicidal madness on the local village. Anthony Steffen (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Claudio Gora (Danger: Diabolik) and Marina Berti (Night Train Murders) co-star in this film scanned in 2K from the original negative with both the Italian and thought-lost English tracks recently discovered in a Rome vault. Special features include audio commentary with Steele and horror film historian David Del Valle; audio commentary with Kat Ellinger, author of Daughters of Darkness; “The Devil Statue,” an interview with actor Vassili Karis; “Barbara & Her Furs,” a 1967 short film by Pierre Andro based on “Venus In Furs,” starring Steele with optional partial commentary by Steele; and trailers.

Shortly after completing Troll 2, writer/director Claudio Fragasso and co-writer Rossella Drudi (Shocking Dark) returned to America to combine elements of The Exorcist, Poltergeist and The Beyond in Beyond Darkness (1990). When a Satanic child killer is executed, she transforms the new home of a young reverend and his family into a portal to Hell. Gene LeBrock (Metamorphosis), David Brandon (Caligula 2) and Michael Paul Stephenson (child star of Troll 2 and director of Best Worst Movie) star in this film shot by Joe D’Amato with costumes by Laura Gemser and a score by Carlo Maria Cordio (Night Killer). Released in Italy as Evil Dead 5, the release features new interviews produced exclusively for this edition, including “Beyond Possession,” an interview with Fragasso; “The Devil in Mrs. Drudi,” an interview with Drudi; and “Sign of the Cross,” an interview with actor David Brandon. It also includes the soundtrack CD and the trailer.

Retribution (1987), the feature film debut of co-writer/director Guy Magar, comes in a three-disc collection. In the film, on the seedy side of Hollywood, an emotionally fragile painter miraculously survives a horrific suicide attempt. But when a series of grisly murders rocks the city, he discovers he may be possessed by the vengeful spirit of a murdered local hoodlum. Dennis Lipscomb (Eyes of Fire), Leslie Wing (The Frighteners), Suzanne Snyder (Weird Science) and Hoyt Axton (Gremlins) star in this film featuring a score by Alan Howarth (They Live, Prince of Darkness) and scanned in 2K from recently discovered pre-print elements. Special features include audio commentary with co-writer/director Guy Magar; “Writing Wrongs,” an interview with co-writer Lee Wasserman; “Shock Therapy,” an interview with actress Leslie Wing; “Angel’s Heart,” an interview with actress Suzanne Snyder; “Santa Maria, Mother of God, Help Me!,” an interview with actor Mike Muscat; “Settling the Score,” an interview with soundtrack composer Alan Howarth; “Visions of Vengeance,” an interview with special effects artist John Eggett; “The Art of Getting Even,” an interview with artist Barry Fahr; “Living In Oblivion,” an interview with production designer Robb Wilson King; “BINGO,” a student short by Guy Magar with optional director commentary; trailers; a stills and poster gallery; and the CD soundtrack.

‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ to Get 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release From Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber Studio Classics is giving a 1970s sci-fi classic the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment.

The independent supplier has announced the Nov. 23 release of director Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers in a special two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc set.

The first disc contains a 4KUHD newly restored HDR Dolby Vision master and the second disc features a newly restored UHD SDR master, both from a 4K scan of the original camera negative and approved and color graded by Kaufman.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released theatrically in December 1978.

An adaptation of Jack Finney’s classic novel The Body Snatchers, the film begins with filmy spores that fall from space over San Francisco, causing the city to blossom with a new flora. When people take the flowers home, it is discovered that the plants can devour humans and steal their identities and emotions, uniqueness, and even their souls.

Featuring a screenplay by W.D. Richter (Big Trouble in Little China) and camerawork by Michael Chapman (Raging Bull), the film stars Donald Sutherland (The Puppet Masters), Brooke Adams (The Dead Zone), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) and Veronica Cartwright (Alien).

 

Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ Available on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook Exclusively at Best Buy

Director Akira Kurosawa’s Ran will be released Nov. 16 on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from Lionsgate, exclusively at Best Buy.

Kurosawa’s (Rashomon, Seven Samurai) samurai epic blends King Lear, 16th century feudal Japan, and his own notions of loyalty and honor to tell the story of aging Lord Hidetora, whose decision to bequeath his kingdom to his three sons sparks a power struggle that leads to chaos and madness.

Winner of the 1985 Oscar for costume design, Ran is being release with new artwork from artist Zi Xu as well as the special feature “Ran: The Restoration.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

‘Evil Dead Groovy Collection’ Due Nov. 16 From Lionsgate

The original two “Evil Dead” films, as well as the three-season “Ash vs. Evil Dead” series will be released in The Evil Dead Groovy Collection, arriving Nov. 16 on 4K Ultra HD plus Blu-ray plus digital from Lionsgate.

Wisecracking ladies’ man Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell, Army of Darkness, Bubba Ho-Tep, TV’s “The Last Kids on Earth”) is reborn as a slayer of Deadites in The Evil Dead (4K plus Blu-ray) after a vacation in the country is ruined by the reading of an ancient demon-summoning text. In Evil Dead II (4K plus Blu-ray), a chainsaw-armed Ash is pushed to the brink of madness by unhinged evil yet again, while the series “Ash vs. Evil Dead” (Blu-ray) follows an older, grayer Ash over three seasons as he reckons with his bloody past in the face of a Deadite plague.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The release includes The Evil Dead bonus content DVD, with more than three hours of features revisiting the film’s cast, crew and legacy. The Evil Dead 4K Blu-ray includes audio Commentary with writer-director Sam Raimi, producer Robert G. Tapert and Campbell. Evil Dead II includes audio commentary with Raimi, Campbell, cowriter Scott Spiegel and special makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero, as well as numerous Blu-ray special features. “Ash vs Evil Dead” includes numerous extras for each season.

‘One Night in Miami’ Leads Criterion’s December Slate

Oscar nominee One Night in Miami … tops the slate of new Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases from the Criterion Collection in December, a list that also includes 1969’s The Learning Tree and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of The Red Shoes.

Arriving on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Dec. 7, One Night in Miami … adapts the 2013 stage play by Kemp Powers, who also wrote the screenplay, and marks the feature directorial debut of Academy Award-winning actress Regina King.

The story is a fictionalized account of a meeting of four icons of African-American culture — Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, NFL great Jim Brown, and “King of Soul” Sam Cooke — on Feb. 25, 1964, following the boxing match in which Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) defeated Sonny Liston. Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as Cooke. Other cast members include Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Ali, and Aldis Hodge as Brown.

One Night in Miami … was released in limited theaters at the end of 2020 and on Amazon Prime Video in early 2021. The film also earned Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for Powers, and Best Original Song for “Speak Now.”

The Blu-ray and DVD editions include a new 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new conversation between King and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons; a new conversation among King, Powers and critic Gil Robertson; a conversation between King and filmmaker Barry Jenkins from a 2021 episode of “The Director’s Cut – A DGA Podcast “; a new program featuring King and the four stars of the film; a new program on the making of the film, featuring King, Powers, director of photography Tami Reiker, editor Tariq Anwar, producer Jody Klein, costume designer Francine Jamison-Tanchuck, and set decorator Janessa Hitsman; a new program on the film’s sound design, featuring sound editor and mixer Andy Hay, sound mixer Paul Ledford, and music producer Nick Baxter; and an essay by critic Gene Seymour.

Follow us on Instagram!

The 1969 film The Learning Tree arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Dec. 14. With this tender and clear-eyed coming-of-age odyssey, the renowned photographer turned filmmaker Gordon Parks not only became the first black American director to make a Hollywood studio film, he also served as writer, producer and composer, resulting in a deeply personal artistic achievement. Based on Parks’ own semi-autobiographical novel, The Learning Tree follows the journey of Newt Winger (Kyle Johnson), a teenage descendant of Exodusters growing up in rural Kansas in the 1920s, as he experiences the bittersweet flowering of first love, finds his relationship with a close friend tested, and navigates racism in the legal and education systems.

The Learning Tree Blu-ray and DVD editions include a new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new documentary on the making of the film, featuring artist and critic Ina Diane Archer, curator Rhea L. Combs, and filmmakers Ernest R. Dickerson and Nelson George; a new conversation, moderated by film scholar Michael B. Gillespie, between artist Hank Willis Thomas and art historian Deborah Willis about the influence of Parks; the documentary My Father: Gordon Parks, made on the set of The Learning Tree, narrated by Gordon Parks Jr., and featuring interviews with Gordon Parks Sr. and members of the cast and crew; Diary of a Harlem Family and The World of Piri Thomas, two 1968 films on which Parks played creative roles, with a new introduction by Combs; Unstoppable, a 2005 documentary featuring producer Warrington Hudlin in conversation with Parks and filmmakers Ossie Davis and Melvin Van Peebles; and “How It Feels to Be Black,” a 1963 Life magazine photo-essay by Parks, and an excerpt from the director’s 2005 book A Hungry Heart: A Memoir.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Also arriving Dec. 14 is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc edition of the 1948 film The Red Shoes.

The singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Red Shoes is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer is a rising star ballerina torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff, Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist.

The Ultra HD edition includes a 4K digital transfer from the 2009 restoration, with Dolby Vision HDR. Also included is a regular Blu-ray version with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack and bonus features, including an introductory restoration demonstration featuring filmmaker Martin Scorsese; audio commentary from 1994 by film historian Ian Christie, featuring interviews with actors Marius Goring and Moira Shearer, cinematographer Jack Cardiff, composer Brian Easdale, and Scorsese; A Profile of ‘The Red Shoes,’ a 2000 documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team; an interview with director Michael Powell’s widow, editor Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, from the 2009 Cannes Film Festival; audio recordings from 1994 of actor Jeremy Irons reading excerpts from Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger’s novelization of The Red Shoes and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Red Shoes”; publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos; a gallery of memorabilia from Scorsese’s collection; The ‘Red Shoes’ Sketches, a 1948 animated film of Hein Heckroth’s painted storyboards, with the Red Shoes ballet as an alternate angle; and an essay by critic David Ehrenstein and a description of the restoration by UCLA film archivist Robert Gitt.