‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ 4K Ultra HD Steelbook Arriving Dec. 1

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is re-releasing the Ang Lee action-adventure fantasy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a limited-edition Steelbook Dec. 1.

The film won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction.

It follows two master warriors (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) who are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her deeply romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they come face to face with their worst enemy — and the inescapable, enduring power of love.

Set against 19th century China’s breathtaking landscape, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is directed by two-time Best Director Oscar winner Lee (Brokeback Mountain, 2005; Life of Pi, 2012) and features martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix).

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The limited edition Steelbook includes the film on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. The film was originally released on 4K Ultra HD in 2016.

Bonus materials include:

  • Sx deleted scenes: presented in 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range;
  • in-depth retrospective interviews, in which director Ang Lee, producer James Schamus and editor Tim Squyres discuss the making of the groundbreaking film;
  • an introduction to the Film and the deleted scenes by Lee;
  • “A Love Before Time” Music Video in English and Mandarin;
  • “The Making of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”;
  • commentary with Lee and Schamus;
  • commentary with cinematographer Peter Pau;
  • “A Conversation with Michelle Yeoh”;
  • a photo gallery; and
  • the theatrical trailer.

2021 Oscars Ceremony Delayed Two Months to Accommodate Coronavirus Rescheduling

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC Television Network June 15 pushed the date of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony to April 25, 2021. The Oscar telecast had been slated for Feb. 28.

In addition, the Academy has extended eligibility for the 93rd Oscars to include any film released in 2020 and in January or February of 2021. The typical eligibility period is January to December of the same calendar year, which the Academy announced it would return to in the future.

Nominations will be announced Monday, March 15. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards presentation, which was scheduled for a June 20 ceremony in Beverly Hills, has been postponed to a later date still to be determined. The Academy’s Governors Awards, an annual celebration held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, will not take place this fall.

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The Academy previously announced that movies that had been pulled from theatrical release as a result of theater shutdowns during the pandemic and instead were made available through premium video on demand or streaming services would still be eligible for Oscar consideration.

Many films slated for the summer movie season have been pushed back to the fall and winter, raising uncertainties about the scheduling for prestige films typically released later in the year to vie for awards.

For example, the “James Bond” film No Time to Die was moved from its April theatrical release and will now open Nov. 20. Warner pushed the DC Comics sequel Wonder Woman 1984 from June 5 to Aug. 14, then moved it again to Oct. 2. And director Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which Warner had penciled in for July 17, the date many theater chains expect to fully re-open, was moved by Warner to July 31.

“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark an historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema.”

Coinciding with the Oscars celebration, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, initially scheduled to open to the public Dec. 14, will now open April 30, 2021. The museum will feature six floors of exhibition spaces, education and special event spaces, a conservation studio, a restaurant, a museum store, the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater.

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Academy Temporarily Waives Theatrical Requirement for Oscars Eligibility of 2020 Films

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences April 28 announced that, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is waiving the requirement that films screen in theaters to be eligible for Oscars consideration at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Typically, films are required to be shown in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County for at least seven consecutive days, with at least three screenings per day, to qualify for Oscars consideration. However, due to the coronavirus all L.A. theaters have been shut down since March. As a result, the Academy declared that films intended for a theatrical run that instead debuted on a streaming platform or VOD service would still be considered for nomination in the Best Picture, general entry and specialty categories for the 93rd Academy Awards to be held Feb. 28, 2021.

The special dispensation will apply to this awards year only, according to the rules approved by the Academy’s Board of Governors, and only while theaters remain closed.

The film must still be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release, and the film must meet all other eligibility requirements.

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This is good news for films such as Universal’s Trolls World Tour and Warner’s Scoob!, which skipped theatrical runs in favor of a direct-to-VOD premiere, but can now still be considered for awards such as Best Animated Feature.

The Academy further specified that the exemption would be removed once theaters reopen in accordance with government-approved guidelines, at which point standard theatrical qualifications would again apply.

As such, with theaters looking to re-open by the end of summer, Netflix would still need to stage a token theatrical run for its year-end original movies to qualify them for the awards.

“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering,” Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules. The Academy supports our members and colleagues during this time of uncertainty.  We recognize the importance of their work being seen and also celebrated, especially now, when audiences appreciate movies more than ever.”

For films to more easily meet theatrical exhibition requirements when theaters reopen, the Academy will expand the number of qualifying theaters beyond Los Angeles County to include venues in additional U.S. metropolitan areas, including New York City, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Film festivals that have been impacted by the pandemic may provide films online through either a transactional pay wall or password-protected entry, which will not affect the films’ eligibility for future Academy Awards qualification. The Academy will allow an exemption for those films that are released online through an impacted festival’s online platform, provided that proof of inclusion in the festival is submitted.  With these provisions, films will be expected to comply with all other eligibility requirements for the 93rd Academy Awards.

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The Board of Governors also announced rules changes in the Sound, Music and International Feature Film categories. The separate Sound Mixing and Sound Editing will be combined into a single Achievement in Sound award going forward; music scores must comprise a minimum of 60% original music, with sequels and franchise films requiring 80% originality; and all eligible Academy members will now be invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting for Best International Feature Film.

In addition, the Academy announced that the 93rd Awards season will be the final year DVD screeners will be distributed. Citing environmental concerns, the Academy will mandate digital screeners for 2021 films and beyond, covering the 94th Academy Awards and after. The distribution of physical music CDs, screenplays and hardcopy mailings, including but not limited to paper invites and screening schedules, also will be discontinued.

Oscar-Winner ‘1917’ Coming Home to Digital March 10, Disc — Including 4K — March 24

Director-writer Sam Mendes’ Oscar-winning war epic 1917 will arrive on digital March 10 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD March 24 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film, which has earned $327 million at the global box office, won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing.

In 1917 at the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKayand Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers — Blake’s own brother among them.

The film also stars Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor, Kingsman, The Imitation Game), Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”, Sherlock, Spectre), Richard Madden (Netflix’s “The Bodyguard”, Rocketman, HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Kingsman, Bridget Jones) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Dr. Strange, The Imitation Game).

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Special features include:

  • “The Weight of the World: Sam Mendes,” in whichSam Mendes discusses his personal connection to World War 1;
  • “Allied Forces: Making 1917,” in which viewers learn how the one shot, 360-degree format was executed and the pivotal role Academy Award winner Roger Deakins served in bringing Mendes’ vision to life;
  • “The Music of 1917,” in which composer Thomas Newman and filmmakers discuss the important role of the Academy Award-nominated score;
  • “In The Trenches,” in which viewers go behind the scenes with the cast of 1917;
  • “Recreating History,” in which filmmakers offer a detailed look at the production design challenges of recreating the First World War;
  • feature commentary with Mendes; and
  • feature commentary with Deakins.

‘Parasite’ Ticket, VOD Sales and Rentals Jump on Fandango and FandangoNow

Parasite has seen a major boost in Fandango ticket sales since earning four Academy Awards Feb. 9, while the company’s transactional streaming service, FandangoNow, is also reporting an uptick for the title since the Oscar ceremony.

Parasite rentals and purchases on FandangoNow saw an 468% increase week over week comparing sales on Feb. 3 (before the Oscars) to sales on Feb. 10 (after the Oscars).

Theatrical ticket sales week over week jumped 443% in the same period.

Feb. 10 Bong Joon Ho’s darkly comic thriller was the No. 3 title in Fandango’s daily ticket sales and the No. 1 streaming title on FandangoNow.

FandangoNow is also offering a “Binge Bundle” selection of Parasite director Bong Joon Ho films, including The Host, Mother and Barking Dogs Never Bite, for rent for $7.99 here.

In a Fandango survey of Oscar watchers, 73% of moviegoers said they would watch or re-watch a movie after it wins an Academy Award. In the same poll, a majority of the fans (54%) claimed the multiple Parasite wins represented the “happiest surprise” of Oscar night.

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Parasite is seeing a remarkable uptick in sales on Fandango and on FandangoNow,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement.  “Moviegoers who haven’t seen the movie yet are anxious to discover it on the big screen or at home, while fans who have already seen Parasite are ready to re-watch Bong Joon Ho’s masterpiece to unpack its many layers.”

Oscar-Lauded ‘Little Women’ Coming Home on Digital March 10, Disc April 7

Director Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated film adaptation Little Women is coming out on digital March 10 and Blu-ray and DVD April 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film picked up an Academy Award for Best Costume Design and five nominations, including Best Picture, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Music (Original Score), Best Actress in a Leading Role for Saoirse Ronan and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Florence Pugh. The film is only the third Best Picture nominee in history to have been written, directed and produced entirely by female filmmakers.

Gerwig’s modern adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott masterpiece stars Ronan, Emma Watson, Pugh and Eliza Scanlen as Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth March, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. The film draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life.

Little Women earned $177.2 million at the global box office.

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The Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases include more than 45 minutes of bonus features, exploring how writer-director Gerwig led this modern adaptation of a literary classic and took inspiration from the real-life Orchard House where Alcott lived and wrote Little Women.

‘Parasite’ Surges to Four Oscar Wins

The South Korean film Parasite was a surprise winner at the 92nd Academy Awards Feb. 9, taking four Oscars, including Best Picture, the first non-English film to win the top prize.

The dark satirical look at class struggles in South Korea also was the surprising winner of Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, who also won for Best Original Screenplay. As expected, the film won for Best International Film.

Bong Joon Ho was widely touted in the media for tying Walt Disney’s 1953 record of winning four Oscars in one night, though officially he goes in the books with three, as International Film is awarded to a country (South Korea in this case) and not an individual, although Bong accepted the trophy on behalf of the film.

The film is available now through digital retailers, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

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The favorite before the night, Universal’s World War I film 1917, won three Oscars, including Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing.

Warner’s Joker, readily available on disc and digital, won Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt and Best Production Design. The film is available for home viewing from Sony Pictures.

Ford v Ferrari, which arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD on Tuesday, Feb. 11, also won two awards, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing.

Rocketman, available now for home viewing from Paramount, won Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Best Actress went to Renée Zellweger for playing Judy Garland in Judy, which is available now on home video from Lionsgate.

Toy Story 4, available for home video viewing from Disney, won Best Animated Feature.

Bombshell won for Makeup and Hair Styling. The film will arrive digitally Feb. 25, and on Blu-ray and DVD March 10.

Jojo Rabbit, available now digitally, and on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 18, won Best Adapted Screenplay for Taika Waititi.

Columbia’s Little Women won Best Costume Design.

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Two Netflix movies ended up winning one Oscar apiece. Marriage Story won Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern, and American Factory, from the Obamas’ production company, won Best Documentary.

Netflix’s lauded The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, had earned 10 nominations but walked away empty-handed.

Both Marriage Story and The Irishman are heading for Blu-ray and DVD later this year from the Criterion Collection.

 

‘Parasite’ Top Best Picture Oscar Pic in Fandango Survey of Millennials

In a Fandango survey of millennial film fans on the upcoming Oscar race, South Korean genre-bending hit Parasite is the top pick in the Best Picture race with 20% of votes, followed closely by Sam Mendes’ WWI epic 1917 with 19%. Parasite also took the top spot in the Best Director category, with first-time nominee Bong Joon Ho winning with 34% of votes.

Parasite is  also the best-selling foreign-language film of all time on Fandango’s transactional VOD service FandangoNow.

Fandango surveyed more than 2,000 millennial moviegoers who have seen the majority of the nominated films, asking them which Oscar-nominated films and performers deserve to take home the statues Feb. 9.

Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) and Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) emerged as the fan favorites in the Best Actor and Actress categories, with 55% and 31% of the votes, respectively. Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) and Florence Pugh (Little Women) earned the top spots in the supporting categories with 41% and 28% of votes, respectively.

Meanwhile, 88% said they’re planning to watch Sunday’s show because they have seen most of movies in contention this year.

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“Fans are more excited to watch the Academy Awards because they’ve actually seen the nominated movies,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “This year’s Oscar races for Best Picture and Best Director are the most suspenseful, and if the Fandango polling is any indication, it’s going to be awfully close, with Parasite and 1917 neck and neck in the voting for both categories. Moviegoers are also rooting for fan favorites like Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Knives Out, Toy Story 4 and Rocketman, all of which figured prominently as winners in the Fandango survey, ranking as the top choices for Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Animated Feature and Original Song.”

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Many of the nominated titles are available on FandangoNow. Available to buy are Knives Out (Feb. 7), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari. Available to rent or buy are Ad Astra, Avengers: Endgame, Breakthrough, Harriet, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Joker, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Missing Link, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Pain and Glory, Parasite, Rocketman, The Cave, The Lighthouse, The Lion King and Toy Story 4. Available for pre-order are 1917, Bombshell, Frozen 2, Little Women, Richard Jewell and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Survey results were:

Best Picture

Parasite – 20%

1917 – 19%

Joker – 15%

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – 12%

Little Women – 10%

Jojo Rabbit – 7%

Marriage Story – 7%

Ford v Ferrari – 5%

The Irishman – 5%

 

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) – 55%

Adam Driver (Marriage Story) – 20%

Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) – 14%

Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory) – 8%

Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) – 3%

 

Best Actress

Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) – 31%

Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story) – 26%

Renee Zellweger (Judy) – 19%

Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) – 12%

Charlize Theron (Bombshell) – 12%

 

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) – 41%

Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) – 40%

Joe Pesci (The Irishman) – 9%

Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes) – 6%

Al Pacino (The Irishman) – 4%

 

Best Supporting Actress

Florence Pugh (Little Women) – 28%

Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit) – 24%

Laura Dern (Marriage Story) – 22%

Margot Robbie (Bombshell) – 15%

Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell) – 11%

 

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho (Parasite) – 34%

Sam Mendes (1917) – 33%

Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) – 15%

Todd Phillips (Joker) – 14%

Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) – 4%

 

Best Animated Picture

Toy Story 4 – 49%

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – 19%

Klaus – 15%

I Lost My Body – 9%

Missing Link – 8%

 

Best Original Screenplay

Knives Out – 35%

Parasite – 28%

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – 18%

1917 – 11%

Marriage Story – 8%

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Little Women – 33%

Joker – 32%

Jojo Rabbit – 23%

The Irishman – 10%

The Two Popes – 2%

 

Best Song

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again” (Rocketman) – 42%

“Into the Unknown” (Frozen 2) – 30%

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (Toy Story 4) – 16%

“Stand Up” (Harriet) – 9%

“I’m Standing With You” (Breakthrough) – 3%

Oscar-Nominated ‘Bombshell’ Due on Digital Feb. 25, Disc March 10 From Lionsgate

The Oscar-nominated Bombshell is coming home on digital Feb. 25 and on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD March 10 from Lionsgate.

The film has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Actress (Charlize Theron), Best Supporting Actress (Margot Robbie), and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling (Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker).

Theron, Nicole Kidman, Robbie and John Lithgow (as Roger Ailes) star in the film based on the real story of three ambitious, strong women who anchored one of America’s most powerful news networks, Fox News, becoming headlines themselves when they risked everything to stand up to the man who made them famous.

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The film also stars Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell and Allison Janney.

Disc bonus features include a seven-part making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew.

‘Knives Out’ Coming Home on Digital Feb. 7, Disc — Including 4K — Feb. 25

The murder mystery Knives Out, which earned writer-director Rian Johnson an Oscar nom for Best Original screenplay, is heading home.

Lionsgate will release the whodunnit on digital Feb. 7 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and on demand Feb. 25.

The film, which has earned $278 million at the global box office, also received Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Ana de Armas) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Daniel Craig). Written, produced, and directed by Johnson (Star Wars: The Last JediLooper), Knives Out also has received awards from AFI, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics, Philadelphia Film Festival, The Hollywood Critics Association and Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomatoes Awards.

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In addition to Craig and de Armas, the film’s ensemble cast includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer. It follows the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer). There’s one thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) knows for sure — everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth.

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Special features include an audio commentary and in-theater commentary by filmmaker Rian Johnson, two deleted scenes, the eight-part “Making a Murder” documentary, the “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” featurette, and a Q&A with the director and cast.