‘Bumblebee’ Screenwriter Relished Chance to Put a Woman in the Driver’s Seat

A girl and her car are at the center of the “Transformers” reboot Bumblebee, available now on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and digital from Paramount Home Media Entertainment.

And that’s just as screenwriter Christina Hodson intended.

“As soon as I got the call about working within the ‘Transformers’ franchise I knew I wanted to tell a female-driven story,” she said in an interview with Media Play News on the Paramount lot.

It’s something that blockbuster action franchises rarely feature.

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“Honestly, it’s more about the big picture for me; it’s just about seeing girls in these kinds of roles,” she said. “I think we haven’t seen it often enough. We see so many movies where we just take for granted that it’s the boy or the man that’s at the lead going on the adventure.…  It’s wonderful to just introduce into the world a new spin on that, to see a woman — forgive me — at the steering wheel.”

She based the character of Charlie on her two nieces. One is neither a “girly-girl” nor a “tomboy,” but “something in between” like Charlie, she said. Another has a special relationship with her dad that inspired Charlie’s.

Hodson said she wants more women to get into screenwriting to provide more balance.

“The numbers are crazy, and we’ve got to work on fixing them, and the one thing that I can say — knowing a lot of the female screenwriters of my generation — is we are bringing more women up with us,” she said. “That’s very much our goal.”

To talk about Bumblebee, editor-in-chief Stephanie Prange visited the Paramount lot to learn about the sound effects and more:

She also talked to screenwriter Hodson about the need for more girl power in the movies. Here is the full interview:

Actioner ‘Dragged Across Concrete’ Rolling to Disc and Digital April 30 From Lionsgate

The action-thriller Dragged Across Concrete, starring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, is racing to Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and digital April 30 from Lionsgate.

Gibson and Vaughn star as two hard-boiled veteran cops who attempt to hijack a bank heist. The film also stars Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”), Michael Jai White (“Black Dynamite”), Don Johnson (Django Unchained) and Udo Kier (Downsizing).

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The Blu-ray and DVD will include the three-part making-of documentary “Elements of Crime” and the featurette “Moral Conflict: Creating Cinema That Challenges.”

‘Golden Job’ Coming on Digital and Blu-ray April 9 From Well Go

The Chinese heist-actioner Golden Job is due on digital and Blu-ray Disc April 9 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Reuniting the lead actors from Young and Dangerous, the film stars stars Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Chin Ka Lok and Jerry Lamb in a story about a group of former mercenaries who reunite to plan an epic heist: taking a truck full of medicine held by a foreign intelligence agency to supply an refugee camp in need. When they find the truck is actually filled with stolen gold, the band of brothers realize they’ve been double-crossed by one of their own.

Actioner ‘Miss Bala’ Coming to Digital April 16, Disc April 30 From Sony

The action adventure Miss Bala will shoot to digital April 16 and Blu-ray and DVD April 30 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $15 million in theaters.

Gina Rodriguez (Annihilation,“Jane the Virgin”) plays a young woman caught in the perilous world of a brutal cross-border cartel who finds powers she never knew as she seeks to rescue her friend. Ismael Cruz-Córdova (Mary Queen of Scots) stars alongside Rodriguez as the cartel kingpin, whose growing attraction to his strong-willed female hostage raises the stakes for both as the CIA, DEA and rival cartels close in. The film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight).

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More than an hour of bonus material includes eight deleted and extended scenes, wardrobe and rehearsal footage with insights by Hardwicke, and three behind-the-scenes featurettes. In “Gina: The Unstoppable Strength of a Woman,” Rodriguez explains the importance of portraying a strong Latina woman on the big screen. The cast and stunt team explain how they created the action scenes in “The Bigger the Bang: Action on Set.” “The Making of Miss Bala” explains how the story was brought to life from script to screen with a 95 percent Latinx cast and crew. A feature audio commentary includes Hardwicke, executive producer Jamie Marshall, and associate producer Shayda Frost.

Jason Statham Actioner ‘Crank’ Due on 4K May 21 From Lionsgate

Crank, featuring action star Jason Statham, is heading to digital in 4K Ultra HD and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital) May 21 from Lionsgate.

In the fast-paced thriller, Statham stars as professional assassin Chev Chelios, who learns his rival has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. Also starring are Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez, Carlos Sanz and Dwight Yoakam.

The releases feature Dolby Vision  HDR, and the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features Dolby Atmos audio.

Extras include five featurettes, two of which are new.

Roy Rogers Westerns, Faith-Based Documentaries and Dramas Among Titles on the March Disc Slate From Mill Creek

There’s something for every taste — Westerns, documentaries, and drama, family and action films — on the March disc release slate from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Coming on DVD March 5 is the drama If You’re Gone. When high school senior Brad Lee disappears the night of his graduation ceremony, his girlfriend is forced to question everything she thought she knew about him and their relationship, as well as her own faith, in hopes of finding him. The film stars Brittany Goodwin, Masey McLain, Desiree Ross and Ben Davies.

The Last Appeal, due on DVD March 5, is a faith-based drama set in the world of death row, where prisoners face legal battles, family struggles and mortality. Titus Freeman enters this daunting world determined to work the legal system to escape his sentence but discovers a new life beyond the grave. Meanwhile, his victim’s wife Trisha works the legal system to enforce his execution.

In the action film To Be a Soldier, also on DVD March 5, the sister of a mild-mannered British salesman goes missing in the Middle East, and he recruits an ex-Army ranger to help him rescue her. As they trek through the war-torn wilderness, they battle terrorists, the elements and their own dark human natures.

For the family audience March 5 is the DVD Guard Dog. Chance Watson is a lying, cheating, stealing 9-year-old who is flunking out of school. Then, one night, a magical sheepdog appears and promises to make his dreams come true, if he can follow “The Rules.” Soon, with the help of his talking, sometimes invisible dog, Chance has changed his life and the lives of many of the students at his school.

On tap March 12 are three Western collections on disc and digital.

Roy Rogers — The Happy Trails Collection, on DVD and digital, features 20 movies and is authorized by the Roy Rogers Estate. Each movie is introduced by Roy and Dale Evans in a special feature, “Happy Trails Theater.” They are joined by a host Western stars, including Gene Autry, Iron Eyes Cody, Pat Brady, Ruth Terry, Roy “Dusty” Rogers Jr. and Pat Butram.

The four-film Outlaws and Con Men collection, in DVD and digital, features Django Shoots First, starring Glenn Saxson, Fernando Sancho and Evelyn Stewart; Django’s Cut Price Corpses, with Jeff Cameron, John Desmont and Esmeralda Barros; Bad Man’s River, starring Lee Van Cleef, James Mason and Gina Lollobrigidal; and Sting of the West, with Jack Palance and Giancarlo Prete

On Blu-ray and digital March 12 is the Westerm double feature Fort Yuma Gold/Damned Hot Day of Fire. In Fort Yuma Gold, after the end of the Civil War, the fanatic Southern Major Sanders continues to fight and plans to attack Fort Yuma, home to a gold reserve. A captured Confederate soldier agrees to lead Union solders to stop Sanders, but their real mission and the charms of the beautiful Connie Breastfull complicate the situation. In Damned Hot Day of Fire, the creator of the Gatling gun, which his famous invention, has been kidnapped and is being held from the Union for a million dollar ransom. Captain Chris Tanner must find and stop the villainous Tarpas before he falls into the hands of the Confederates.

Also due March 12 is the drama Unbridled on DVD and digital. Sarah thinks she is beyond redemption and unworthy of love and is sent away from the house that defined her horrors to a place where she is not the only victim, or the only one fighting to get her life back, a ranch called Unbridled. At Unbridled, Sarah meets Dreamer, a horse who has also suffered abuse, a horse who no longer trusts humans — until he meets Sarah.

The drama double feature Footprints/Friends for Live is coming March 12 on Blu-ray, DVD and digital (combo). Footprints is based on the true story of a man who finds the healing power of love only after he loses everything, a dog who learns to trust and serve after being abused and discarded, and a journey the two of them take. In Friends for Life, big city attorney Jim Crawford had won most of the battles in his life, but he couldn’t win the battle against his wife’s illness. An unexpected twist of fate leads Jim to discover four orphaned wolf pups who face certain death unless he takes them in.

Finally, March 12 come two faith documentaries.

Ancient Secrets of the Bible — The Complete Series is coming on DVD and digital. The 39-episode series, shot on location in five countries and in more than 80 U.S. cities, features re-creations, expert testimony, biblical evidence and scientific experiments to explore biblical questions such as, “Did Adam and Eve really exist and where was the Garden of Eden?”.

Also coming on DVD and digital March 12 is Miracles — The Power of Faith, a four-part documentary series that explores and investigates miracles through interviews with theologians, historians, experts, witnesses, and visits to the locations where it is believed some of the most beautiful and profound miracles occurred.

Cult Video Game Movie ‘Double Dragon’ Due Jan. 22 from MVD’s Rewind Collection

Double Dragon, the cult classic 1994 movie based on the video game hit, is smashing its way to Blu-ray and DVD combo pack Jan. 22 in MVD Entertainment Group’s “Rewind Collection.”

It’s the year 2007, and what remains of Los Angeles is now New Angeles, a city ravaged by earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gangs. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) is obsessed with finding the two halves of a talisman known as the “Double Dragon,” which will give him mystical powers. Two teenaged brothers, Jimmy (Mark Dacascos, John Wick 3) and Billy Lee (Scott Wolf, “Party of Five”) find themselves in possession of the amulet’s missing half, thrusting them into the adventure of their lives. With the help of Maria (Alyssa Milano, “Charmed”) and her vigilante group the Power Corps, Jimmy and Billy must summon all of their courage, resourcefulness and martial-arts skills to stop the villain’s malevolent plan.

Double Dragon was arguably one of my favorite projects for the Rewind Collection,” said MVD’s Eric Wilkinson, who oversees the collection, in a statement. “This release marks the first time Double Dragon will be available on Blu-ray and in HD in North America. Special features producer Richard Schenkman and I worked tirelessly to create some amazing brand-new bonus material that includes a feature length making-of documentary that I know collectors will love. With these new bonus features, along with some great archival bonus material and the addition of the pilot of the ‘Double Dragon’ animated television series (courtesy of Invincible Entertainment), MVD is proud to present the definitive edition of Double Dragon in a kick-ass (pun intended) Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack collector’s set.”

Bonus features include the new featurette “The Making of Double Dragon,” featuring interviews with stars Scott Wolf and Marc Dacascos, writers Peter Gould and Michael Davis, and producer Don Murphy; the new featurette “Don Murphy: Portrait of a Producer”; an archival making-of featurette; a behind-the-scenes featurette; the 1993 “Double Dragon” animated series pilot episode “The Shadow Falls”; a storyboard gallery; press photos, marketing and behind-the-scenes photo galleries; TV spots; a VHS home video trailer; the original theatrical trailer; a collectible mini-poster; and a reversible sleeve featuring alternate artwork.

‘Hardbodies,’ ‘Krull,’ ‘Last Action Hero’ Among VHS-Era Classics Due on Blu-ray From Mill Creek in January

Recalling the VHS rental era when the video store reigned, Mill Creek Entertainment in January will release on Blu-ray Disc six of the time periods’ classics, featuring such stars as John Candy, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sporting retro art mimicking the VHS release, the Blu-ray collection includes Happy Birthday to Me, Silent Rage, Last Action Hero, Hardbodies, Who’s Harry Crumb? and Krull.

The mystery-shocker Happy Birthday to Me (1981) follows popular high school senior Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson), who survives a freak accident, but suffers from memory loss and traumatic blackouts. As she attempts to resume a normal life, something terrible is happening — her friends are ruthlessly murdered one-by-one. Will she be the next victim or is she the killer? The terrifying truth is finally uncovered at Virginia’s 18th birthday party.

The release is restored with the original soundtrack.

Chuck Norris, six-time World Karate Champion, stars in Silent Rage (1982), his first suspense film, as the tough, street-fighting sheriff of a small Texas town terrorized by a psychotic killer. He is faced with the dilemma of stopping the invincible murderer, made virtually indestructible through genetic engineering. A young group of researchers are responsible for developing the serum, and the head of the research institute is determined to continue the genetic experiments regardless of the consequences. Norris’s sheriff singlehandedly routs a dozen brutal bikers from a truck stop hangout, while rekindling an old romance with Alison Halman (Toni Kalem), a researcher at the institute.

In Last Action Hero (1993), young movie fan Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) knows the first three Jack Slater movies by heart, and the fourth one is just about to be released. With the aid of a magical ticket, while watching the opening action sequence during an advance screening, Danny is transported into the movie. On the other side of the silver screen, Danny becomes the sidekick of Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the toughest cop on the police force. Complications arise when one of the bad guys takes Danny’s magic ticket and escapes out of the movie into the real world. Danny and his hero must chase the arch villain in the real world, a world where evil guys can actually win.

The film, which includes the song “Big Gun” written for the film by AC/DC, features a number of cameo appearances by stars inlcuding Chevy Chase, Jim Belushi, Sharon Stone, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Damon Wayans.

In the classic teen comedy Hardbodies (1984), three middle-aged geezers move into a swinging beach house and hire a young stud to teach them how to score with the local beauties. The ‘80s band Vixen and hundreds of Southern California swimsuit models co-star in the cult comedy originally made for broadcast on the Playboy Channel but picked up for theatrical release by Columbia. Stars include Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Courtney Gains, Kane Hodder and Gary Wood.

The sci-fi fantasy Krull (1983) explores a mystical time and place that belongs to neither the past nor the present, where extraordinary creatures of myth work their incredible magic, and where a horrific, omnipotent Beast is the ruler. Prince Colwyn sets out on a daring mission to rescue his young bride who is held captive by the Beast, but slayers and alien beings under the command of the Beast oppose him at every turn. Colwyn must first reach a faraway cavern to recover the legendary Glaive, a flying blade capable of phenomenal powers.

Directed by Oscar nominee Peter Yates, the film stars Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Liam Neeson and Francesca Annis.

In Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989), John Candy stars as the bumbling private eye Crumb. When Harry, the last of the great sleuthing Crumbs, finally gets a shot at a frontpage kidnapping, it’s only because his boss Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones) doesn’t want the case solved. At stake is the gorgeous daughter of multi-millionaire P.J. Downing, a $10 million ransom, and Draisen’s mistress (Annie Potts). Attired in a bizarre array of goofball disguises, from a Hungarian hairdresser to a hefty housewife, Harry is determined to crack the case.

‘The Predator’ Stalking to Digital Nov. 27, Disc Dec. 18

The Predator will stalk to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Nov. 27 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 18 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film made $50.9 million at the box office.

The studio will also release a special-edition “Predator” four-movie collection, which includes Predator, Predator 2, Predators and The Predator on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Dec. 18. It includes four collector cards of the original film poster re-issue with some of the franchises most iconic quotes on the back.

The hunt has evolved in the next chapter of the “Predator” series, from director Shane Black (Iron Man 3). The most lethal hunters in the universe are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever, and only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.

Extras on The Predator releases include deleted scenes, “A Touch of Black,” “Predator Evolution,” “The Takedown Team,” “Predator Catch-Up” and a photo gallery.

‘Afraid’,’ Asian Actioners on Tap From Well Go for the Fall

The Halloween month kicks off Oct. 2 for Well Go USA Entertainment with the horror film Afraid on DVD and digital.

Alanna Masterson (“The Walking Dead”) and George Byrne star as a couple on a romantic getaway at a secluded cabin that takes a frightening turn. Shortly into their vacation, the young couple realizes that the cabin isn’t nearly as secluded as they think because their every move is being watched by the cabin’s creepy owner. The film is directed by Jason Goldberg (co-creator, “Punk’d”).

Coming on VOD and digital Oct. 9 is the South Korean sports comedy Champion, in which a former arm-wrestling champion raised in the U.S. returns to South Korea for a tournament that could return him to glory, but finds his life complicated by the appearance of the biological family he never knew.

Due Oct. 16 is the actioner Buybust, from the Philippines, on digital, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD. In the film, after surviving the slaughter of her entire squad in a drug raid compromised by dirty cops, an anti-narcotics special operative is eager to go head-to-head with the drug cartels that hold a bloody grip on Manila. But when her new mission in the city’s most dangerous slum goes south, the angry civilians turn on her squad. Special features include a making-of featurette and a 2018 Comic-con panel.

Also on tap Oct. 30 from Well Go is the South Korean film Believer, directed by Lee Hae-Young (The Silenced), the remake of Johnnie To’s Drug War. The film is available on digital, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD. The story follows an investigator who, in an effort to bring down the boss of Asia’s biggest drug cartel, conspires with a lowly member of the gang seeking revenge against the boss.

Coming on digital Oct. 2 and DVD Nov. 6 is the Chinese film Girls Vs. Gangsters, the sequel to 2014’s Girls. After a drinking contest with some questionable local spirits at an out-of-control bachelorette party, five friends wake up naked on a beach to discover one of them is handcuffed to a locked suitcase, one has a strange new tattoo, and none of them have any clue what happened the night before.