Nicolas Cage Black Comedy ‘Dream Scenario’ Due on Blu-ray Feb. 27

The black comedy Dream Scenario, which earned Nicolas Cage a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a musical or comedy, will be available as a Blu-ray (plus DVD plus digital) Feb. 27 from A24 and Lionsgate.

Starring, written by and directed by Kristoffer Borgli and produced by Ari Aster (Midsommar, Hereditary, Beau is Afraid), the film follows hapless family man Paul Matthews who finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. But when his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Pail is forced to navigate his newfound stardom.

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Special features include audio commentary with writer/director Kristoffer Borgli; “Dream Like Nobody’s Watching”; deleted scenes; and trailers.

Priscilla

DIGITAL REVIEW:

A24;
Drama;
$19.99 PVOD; $24.99 Premium Sellthrough;
Rated ‘R’ for drug use and some language.
Stars Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Tim Post, Ari Cohen, Dagmara Dominczyk, Lynne Griffin, Luke Humphrey, Olivia Barrett.

We’re at a point in film history where shoddy Elvis biopics outnumber the negligible star vehicles in which meal ticket Presley reluctantly appeared at the behest of money-spinner Col. Tom Parker. Parker is nowhere to be seen in Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla — no one is going to top Tom Hanks’ peerless performance in Baz Luhrmann’s delusional handling so why bother trying? What are the chances of this one being even remotely factual? Surprisingly good! 

We are greeted with a trio of colorfast, distinctively vivid first impressions: the sensualness of walking barefoot across shag carpeting, tapering the corner of one’s eye with a spike of winged mascara, and what the hell is a Ramones cover doing in a Priscilla Presley biopic set at a time when Joey was barely in his teens? Attribute the anachronistic soundtrack to Elvis Presley Enterprise’s refusal to allow director Sofia Coppola the rights to any of the King’s songs. No stranger to using music before its time — Marie Antionette was a big fan of Bow Wow Wow and Siouxsie and the Banshees — Coppola layered her score with cover versions and music by her husband’s band, Phoenix. Lead instrumentals to replace the lyrics viewers have already committed to heart would have worked just as well and without jumbling the time frame.

Add Priscilla Beaulieu’s name to the list of Coppola’s poor little rich girls, advantaged young women with neither the need nor desire to be tethered to the real world. She’s a direct descendant of Marie, the unattended Charlotte in Lost in Translation, the movie star’s daughter in Somewhere, and the entire cast of The Bling Ring. Priscilla had fame thrust upon her the night Terry (Luke Humphrey), one of Elvis’ army buddies (satellite pimps?) spotted the 14-year-old army brat doing her homework in a U.S. military base in West Germany. It’s always been a firm belief that so long as one heir to the Presley throne remains alive, the truth can never be told lest litigation go into extra innings. Much to my surprise and delight, Coppola comes close, so close that there are moments in Priscilla guaranteed to set the Creep-O-Meter into overdrive. Coppola possesses the requisite wisdom and maturity needed to keep the needle peaking in the red and she does so by never once judging her subject.

A mob scene waiting to happen, rather than mingle amongst the people, the King brought the party to him. (Besides, Col. Tom wouldn’t let him leave the compound.) Elvis ain’t nuthin’ but a groomer. The brow begins its long inwardly pucker on the couples’ second “date” when an innocent discussion between the most recognizable entertainer on the planet and a withdrawn ninth-grader transpires in the master bedroom. She buys the pity pitch about his dead momma just enough to consent to a make-out session. Before long he provides pep pills for her to stay awake in class and downers to pass out in Graceland. (In the spirit of Bill Cosby, the placidyl he slipped her was so strong it knocked her out for two days.) He beats her in a pillow fight. Literally. Kings don’t lose. When Elvis realizes that she’s winning, his pillow becomes a weapon to whack her hard across the head. As for inappropriate behavior, according to Ms. Presley, upon whose memoir the film is based, she remained chaste until their wedding night. This way, the subject of statutory rape need not apply. Perhaps most punishing to her psyche was a screening of John Huston’s incoherent in-joke, Beat the Devil. My guess is the reason for the selection had less to do with the picture’s quality and more to do with its royalty free positioning in the public domain.

Don’t these characters have enough money to pay a light bill? Graceland is darker than a David Fincher library at dusk. Seated at their kitchen table, the Beaulieus can barely see their forks in front of their faces. What audiences don’t see is Elvis convincing her parents to allow her to come to Graceland. The one scene always kept from view is an exchange between Capt. Beaulieu and wife Anne concerning their daughter’s future and just what was in it for them.

With his overplayed stutter (“I-I-I love your daughter a-a-and she loves me”), Jacob Elordi’s Elvis at times borders on a Vegas impersonator, while Cailee Spaeny excels at filling in Priscilla’s blank spaces. Alas, the film doesn’t conclude so much as it quickly draws to an end. She longs to be desired by a violent, ill-tempered womanizer, and when it comes time for Priscilla’s breakdown, all the director and she can muster is a little puff instead of a volcano before driving off into an underlit sunset.

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HBO and Max Announce Pay 1 U.S. Output Deal With A24

HBO and Max have announced a multiyear Pay 1 U.S. output deal with A24 that brings the entertainment company’s theatrical film slate exclusively to Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO, Max and Cinemax.
 
Among the films to be available under the new deal are Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla starring Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny, Kristoffer Borgli’s Nicolas Cage starrer Dream Scenario and Sean Durkin’s upcoming release The Iron Claw starring Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White.
 
Other movies included in the Pay 1 output agreement include Dicks: The Musical, The Zone of Interest, Stop Making Sense (2023), Love Lies Bleeding, Civil War, and more.
 
The two companies have additionally extended their licensing deal to continue bringing the entertainment company’s library of movies to HBO and Max viewers’ screens. Between the existing and new library of A24 films, subscribers will have access to more than 100 A24 titles over the term of the agreement. The expanded selection of critically acclaimed films includes Everything Everywhere All at Once, Uncut Gems, The Whale, Past Lives and more. 

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“Continuing our relationship with A24 to bring award-winning movies alongside recent fan-favorites to subscribers adds incredible value to the HBO and Max value proposition,” Royce Battleman, EVP, content acquisitions, Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement. “The diverse range of stories that come from the A24 pipeline make this partnership so impactful for our audience.”

Ari Aster’s ‘Beau Is Afraid’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD July 11

The comedic drama Beau Is Afraid arrives on Blu-ray (plus DVD and digital) and DVD July 11 from A24 and Lionsgate.

Writer and director Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) creates another unsettling story, starring Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix (2020, Best Actor, Joker), Primetime Emmy winner Nathan Lane (2022, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, “Only Murders in the Building”), Primetime Emmy nominee Patti LuPone (1998, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, “Frasier”), and Parker Posey (Superman ReturnsDazed and ConfusedScream 3). 

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The film follows a paranoid man who embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film.
 
Special features include “Finally Home: Making Beau Is Afraid.”

‘A Man Called Otto’ Tops Redbox Disc Rentals; ‘The Whale’ Tops Digital Chart

Sony Pictures’ A Man Called Otto took over the No. 1 spot on the Redbox disc rental chart the week ended March 19.

The drama, based on the best-seller A Man Called Ove, stars Tom Hanks as a man who no longer sees purpose in life after the death of his wife. He is ready to end it until he meets an unlikely friend. It was No. 2 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital VOD and sellthrough transactions.

The No. 1 Redbox On Demand title was A24’s Oscar-winning drama The Whale, which stars Brendan Fraser as a reclusive overweight English teacher who attempts to reconnect with his daughter. The film won two Oscars — Best Actor for Fraser, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It was No. 3 on the disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s thousands of red kiosks. The film is distributed on disc by Lionsgate.

The top disc rental the previous two weeks, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, dropped to No. 2 on the Redbox disc rental chart. The sequel from DreamWorks Animation finds the feline swashbuckler seeking a magical wishing star in order to restore his nine lives.

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No. 4 on both charts was Screen Media’s The Ritual Killer, a thriller starring Cole Hauser as a detective who seeks advice from a professor (Morgan Freeman) to decode the ritualistic killings of a murderer.

The No. 5 disc rental was Lionsgate’s Everything Everywhere All at Once, coming off an Oscar win for Best Picture.

The No. 3 digital title was Universal’s Cocaine Bear, the comedic thriller about a bear in the 1980s that comes across a stash of cocaine in the woods, gets addicted and goes on a rampage. It is now available for PVOD viewing.

No. 5 on the Redbox On Demand chart was Lionsgate’s Mindcage, a thriller about two detectives who seek the help of an incarcerated serial killer to catch a copycat.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 19:

  1. A Man Called Otto — Sony Pictures
  2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish — Universal/DreamWorks
  3. The Whale — Lionsgate
  4. The Ritual Killer — Screen Media
  5. Everything Everywhere All at Once — Lionsgate
  6. Devotion — Paramount
  7. The Old Way — Lionsgate
  8. Legacy Peak — Sony Pictures
  9. Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody — Sony Pictures
  10. Black Adam — Warner

 

Top Digital (VOD + Sellthrough), Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 19:

  1. The Whale — A24
  2. A Man Called Otto — Sony Pictures
  3. Cocaine Bear — Universal
  4. The Ritual Killer — Screen Media
  5. Mindcage — Lionsgate
  6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever  — Disney/Marvel
  7. Scream (2022) — Paramount
  8. The Old Way — Lionsgate
  9. Supercell — Sony Pictures
  10. Missing — Sony Pictures

 

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‘The Whale’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD March 14 From A24 and Lionsgate

The drama The Whale, which earned Brendan Fraser an Oscar nom for Best Actor, arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD March 14 from A24 and Lionsgate.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, mother!), and based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale follows the story of a reclusive English teacher who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.
 
The film has also earned Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for Hong Chau, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling for Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley.

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The Whale also stars Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton (2003, Best Actress, In America), Sadie Sink (TV’s “Stranger Things”) and Ty Simpkins (Jurassic World, Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man 3, TV’s “The Guiding Light”).

95th Oscars: ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once,’ ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ Top Nominations

A24’s sci-fi fantasy drama Everything Everywhere All at Once continues its award-season run, generating 11 Oscar nominations to lead all movies for the upcoming 95th Academy Awards set for Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.

British actor Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Allison Williams (M3GAN, Get Out) Jan. 24 announced the nominations, which included nine noms apiece for Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures’ dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, and Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front.

Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Banshees of Inisherin and All Quiet on the Western Front all earned Best Picture nominations, alongside Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water, Warner’s Elvis, Universal Pictures’ The Fabelmans, Focus Features’ Tár, Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick, Neon’s Triangle of Sadness, and Orion Pictures’ Women Talking.

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Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere generated additional nominations for Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh, Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan, Best Supporting Actress for Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Best Original Song for This Is A Life,” Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. The film has been available through retail channels from Lionsgate since July.

The German film All Quiet on the Western Front, a new adaptation of the World War I novel of the same name, also earned noms for Best International Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects and Best Adapted Screenplay. The 1930 version of the story won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Banshees of Inisherin grabbed nominations for Best Actor for Colin Farrell, Best Supporting Actor for Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, Best Supporting Actress for Kerry Condon, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Martin McDonagh. The film can be streamed on HBO Max and has been available via VOD, digital purchase, and on Blu-ray and DVD since December.

Elvis was nominated for eight Oscars, adding Best Actor for Austin Butler, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design and Best Sound to its tally. Elvis has been available on disc and digital platforms for months, and streams on HBO Max.

Fabelmans rounded out its seven nominations with Best Director for Steven Spielberg, Best Actress for Michelle Williams, Best Supporting Actor for Judd Hirsch, Best Original Screenplay, Production Design and Best Original Score for John Williams, his record 53 nomination. The film is available now through digital retailers and arrives on DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 14.

Top Gun: Maverick, available to view on disc, through digital retailers and streaming on Paramount+, racked up recognition in six categories, with its Best Picture nom joined by Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song for Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand,” Best Film Editing, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects. The film was left off the list of nominees for Best Cinematography, widely seen as a snub as the film, which used Imax cameras for groundbreaking aerial photography, had been winning many of the precursor awards in that category.

Joining Butler and Farrell in the Best Actor category were Brendan Fraser for The Whale, Paul Mescal for Aftersun and Bill Nighy for Living. Best Actress nominees in addition to Yeoh and Williams were Cate Blanchett in Tár, Ana de Armas for Netflix’s Blonde, and Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie, the latter a bit of a surprise thanks to a grassroots campaign for the little-seen film.

The Best Directing category saw Todd Field (Tár) and Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness) join Spielberg, McDonagh and the Daniels.

Gleeson, Hirsch, Keoghan and Quan were joined in the Best Supporting Actor category by Brian Tyree Henry for Causeway, which is streaming on Apple TV+.

In the Best Supporting Actress category, nominees went to Angela Bassett for Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (available through digital retailers and to stream on Disney+ starting Feb. 1, and on disc Feb. 7), and Hong Chau in The Whale, alongside Condon, Curtis and Hsu.

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Best Animated Feature Film nominees included Netflix’s Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, A24’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Netflix’s The Sea Beast and Disney-owned Pixar’s Turning Red.

Best International Feature noms, in addition to All Quiet, include Argentina 1985, Belgium’s Close, Poland’s EO, and Ireland’s The Quiet Girl.

A full list of nominees is available at Oscars.org.

 

Golden Globe Lauded ‘The Inspection’ Due on Disc Feb. 21

The drama The Inspection, which earned Jeremy Pope a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 21 from A24 and Lionsgate. 
 
In Elegance Bratton’s film inspired by his own story, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life. 

Special features include audio commentary with writer-director Bratton; “Protect and Serve: Making The Inspection“; and deleted scenes.

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‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Three new titles led the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended June 12.

The A24 hit Everything Everywhere All at Once, available for digital purchase, debuted at No. 1 on the chart. The film stars Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, a flustered immigrant mother who is contacted from a parallel universe and told that only she can save the world. The unlikely hero must learn to channel her newfound powers and fight through the splintering timelines of the multiverse to save her home, her family and herself.

Another new title available for digital purchase, Lionsgate’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, landed at No. 2 on the chart. The film stars Nicolas Cage as himself. Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage accepts a million-dollar offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal). Things take an unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and he must use his legendary acting skills, channeling his most iconic and beloved characters, to become a real-life action hero.

Debuting at No. 3 on the chart was Focus Features’ Downton Abbey: A New Era, the second film based on the successful series about the exploits of an aristocratic British family. It became available for premium digital sale and rental June 10.

Remaining at No. 4 on the chart was DreamWorks Animation’s caper comedy The Bad Guys, available for premium digital purchase and rental. Distributed by Universal, the animated adventure follows reformed but misunderstood criminal animals who attempt to become good.

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The Sandra Bullock film The Lost City, on sale to rent or buy digitally, rose to No. 5 on the chart. The film, co-starring Channing Tatum, follows a reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model who gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 12, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  3. Downton Abbey: A New Era
  4. The Bad Guys
  5. The Lost City
  6. Last Seen Alive
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  8. The Batman
  9. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  10. Morbius

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Headed to Disc July 5

The multi-universe action-adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once arrives on 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray plus digital), Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD July 5 from A24 and Lionsgate.

Directed and written by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the writing-directing duo collectively known as the Daniels (Swiss Army Man), the film stars Michelle Yeoh as an unlikely hero who must channel newfound powers to fight fearsome dangers from the multiverse. Evelyn Wang (Yeoh), a flustered immigrant mother, is contacted from a parallel universe and told that only she can save the world. The unlikely hero must learn to channel her newfound powers and fight through the splintering timelines of the multiverse to save her home, her family and herself.

The film also stars Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis.

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Special features include audio commentary with Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert; the “Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Everything Everywhere All at Once” featurette; the “Putting Everything on a Bagel: Cooking up the Multiverse” featurette; deleted scenes with optional audio commentary; outtakes; a music visual; and the theatrical trailer.