Drama ‘Freud’s Last Session’ Available for Premium Digital Rental and Sale

The drama Freud’s Last Session, starring Anthony Hopkins, is available for premium digital rental and sale from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film set in London on Sept. 3, 1939, as the world is on the brink of war, in his final days Sigmund Freud (Hopkins), a recent escapee with his daughter from the Nazi regime, receives a visit from the formidable Oxford Don, author C.S. Lewis (Matthew Goode).

On this day, two of the greatest minds of the 20th century engage in a monumental session over the belief in the future of mankind and the existence of God.

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Juggernaut

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 6/13/23;
Kino Lorber;
Thriller;
$24.95 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley Knight, Roy Kinnear, David Hemmings, Ian Holm, Clifton James, Freddie Jones.

Juggernaut was the thinking person’s answer to Irwin Allen, a disaster film in name only cooked up by United Artists PR flacks looking to cash in on a rapidly dwindling craze that would soon be bottom-lined to extinction. (The Hindenburg, released in 1975, sounded the official death knell for the sub-genre.) What was the one commonality between Juggernaut and Earthquake, Towering Inferno, Airport, etc.? A line of celebrity headshots strung across the bottom of the poster. What kept 1974’s Juggernaut afloat was the one thing the competition failed to consider. For a change, the disaster was being driven by an artist who cared, Richard Lester.

Lester was not producer David V. Picker’s first choice to direct. Bryan Forbes was announced, but backed out as did his successor Don Taylor. Unable to find a reason why the project wasn’t to their liking, I reached out to “Coffee Coffee and More Coffee’s” Peter Nellhaus who could only “assume Forbes and Taylor wanted more prep time when production logistics demanded a hard start date.” Picker’s third choice proved to be the charm: the two had previously worked together on A Hard Day’s Night. Lester was in Spain finishing work on the Musketeers pictures when he got the call. Three weeks later he was on location in the North Sea. (Much of the picture was shot aboard a real ocean liner.) This wouldn’t be the first time Lester acted as the hired gun needed to turn a mess into a miracle. (Those who have seen the abysmal so-called “Donner cut” of Superman II know what I mean.) Lester hired British playwright and scenarist Alan Plater and together they rewrote the script much to the dismay of the film’s producer and credited screenwriter, Richard Alan Simmons. Dissatisfied with the finished product, Simmons signed the film as Richard DeKoker.

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Much of the story is based on fact. A terrorist’s call to cruise line managing director Porter (Ian Holm) brings news that seven bombs hidden inside the ocean liner SS Britannic are set to explode in 24 hours if his ransom of £500,000 isn’t met. Any attempt to move the canisters will cause them to spontaneously combust. The film alternates between the police tracking down the culprit and munitions experts Fallon (Richard Harris) and Braddock (David Hemmings) working to defuse the bombs. The boys are so good at what they do that they can afford to be cocky. Clichés go unspoken. Rather than a character instructing police to trace a call, Lester simply cuts to a bank of clicking relay switches. Disaster films tended to come with built-in play-by-play narrators whose function it was to keep the audience abreast of every calamitous situation: “Look! There’s a tidal wave coming off the starboard bow!” Lester would have none of that. When Fallon is called upon to describe the action, he does so to bring Braddock up to speed while at the same time insulting a group of bigwigs listening in on the extension. If anything, during times of disaster, very little dialogue was spoken. On Lester’s watch, passengers amounted to more than comic relief and/or designated victims. It’s Clifton James’ small town mayor who was the first to question why the ship is sailing in circles. 

Lester asked himself “What would Irwin Allen do?” and then proceeded to do the exact opposite. There’s no formal introduction of characters, no “Love Boat” boarding list to billboard the stars, several of whom had signed on before Lester took control. Secondary cast members are introduced when Social Director Curtain (Roy Kinnear) greets them, his arms loaded with ritualistic bon voyage streamers. When Curtain assures a rock band that they’ll enjoy throwing them, the quizzical stoners take him at his work and toss them to the side. Credit Lester regular Kinnear with a career best. As the ship’s unnervingly cheery master of ceremonies, Curtain supplies comic relief to passengers and viewers alike. It’s through Curtain that the director’s obsession with silent slapstick comedy shines through. A faulty gyroscope provided Kinnear ample room to rock to and fro when the cruise hits rough waters. He’s also trusted to deliver the film’s most endearing homage. When asked by a worried passenger if everything is all right, Curtain promises, “A night to remember.” And let’s not forget Kinnear’s string of under-his-breath dubbed-in asides worthy of Popeye.

A few clichés proved unavoidable. Captain Omar Sharif’s affair with Shirley Knight goes nowhere, as does a young boy taking leave of his mother for a private tour of the ship. And as subdued as Harris is, his character is allowed one blow-up scene that must have influenced “SCTV” alumni Dave Thomas’ dead-on parody in The Man Who Would Be King of the Popes. The real life bomb threat that formed the basis for the film turned out to be a hoax. That’s more than can be said for the explosion crater Juggernaut left at the box office. Audiences looking for a mindless action film were greeted by a smart film with action.

Special features include a new commentary track by film historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson, as well as a trailer and TV spot.

Drama ‘The Son’ Headed to DVD, Blu-ray and Digital March 28

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the drama The Son on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital March 28.

The film stars Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath and Anthony Hopkins.

The drama follows a family as it struggles to reunite after falling apart. It centers on Peter (Jackman), whose hectic life with his infant and new partner Beth (Kirby) is upended when his ex-wife Kate (Dern) appears with their son Nicholas (McGrath), who is now a teenager. The young man has been missing from school for months and is troubled, distant and angry. Peter strives to take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him while juggling work, his and Beth’s new son, and the offer of his dream position in Washington. However, by reaching for the past to correct its mistakes, he loses sight of how to hold onto the Nicholas in the present.

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‘Air Force One’ and ‘The Mask of Zorro’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook March 7

The action classics Air Force One and The Mask of Zorro will be released on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook March 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Both titles feature Dolby Vision HDR.

Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman star in director Wolfgang Petersen’s (Das Boot, In the Line of Fire) thriller Air Force One (1997), about a steadfast U.S. President who has just told the world he will not negotiate with terrorists. When Russian neo-nationalists hijack Air Force One, the President is faced with a nearly impossible decision — give in to terrorist demands or sacrifice not only the country’s dignity, but the lives of his wife and daughter. Special features on the 4K disc include the theatrical trailer. Special features on the Blu-ray disc include commentary with Petersen.

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The Mask of Zorro (1998) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In the film, when a power-crazed despot schemes to buy California from Mexico, it takes two Zorros — the legendary Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) and his chosen successor Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), a dashing bandit-turned-hero — to battle the tyrant’s unscrupulous plans. Can even their combined skills, bravado and derring-do be enough to achieve de la Vega’s ultimate goal: revenge against the man who killed his wife, kidnapped his daughter and held him prisoner for 20 years? Special features on the 4K disc include 10 deleted scenes and theatrical trailers. Special features on the Blu-ray disc include commentary with director Martin Campbell; the “Unmasking Zorro” documentary; two additional deleted scenes; and a music video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena.

‘The Remains of the Day’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Disc Feb. 21

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the 1993 film The Remains of the Day on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on Feb. 21, 2023, for its 30th anniversary.

Oscar-winners Anthony Hopkins (1991, Best Actor, The Silence of the Lambs) and Emma Thompson (1992, Best Actress, Howards End) reunite with the Merchant Ivory filmmaking team for the moving story of blind devotion and repressed love.

Hopkins stars as Stevens, the perfect English butler, an ideal carried by him to fanatical lengths as he serves his master Lord Darlington (James Fox, The Servant). Darlington, like many other members of the British establishment in the 1930s, is duped by the Nazis into trying to help them establish a rapport with the British government. Thompson stars as the estate’s housekeeper, a high-spirited, strong-minded young woman who watches the goings-on upstairs with horror. Despite her apprehensions, she and Stevens gradually fall in love, though neither will admit it, and only give vent to their charged feelings via fierce arguments.

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The feature is presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision approved by director James Ivory and Dolby Atmos audio + 5.1 + 2-Channel Surround.

Special features include audio commentary with Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant and  Thompson; “Love and Loyalty: The Making of The Remains of the Day” featurette; “The Remains of the Day: The Filmmakers Journey” featurette; “Blind Loyalty, Hollow Honor: England’s Fatal Flaw” featurette; seven deleted scenes with optional director’s commentary; and the theatrical trailer.

New NFTs of Anthony Hopkins Feature ‘Zero Contact’ Available

Vuele has announced two mass consumer drops of the feature film NFT Zero Contact, offering two different choices of NFT bundles to collect and trade on the platform. 

Vuele.io will allow consumers to purchase the “Exclusive Edition” NFT bundle for $59 on Feb. 22 and  the “Collector’s Edition” NFT bundle for $25 on Feb. 28.

There are 2,500 bundles of the Zero Contact “Exclusive Edition” NFT, which includes the feature film, a making-of featurette, a signed poster, and three randomly generated character trading cards. There are 25,000 bundles of the Zero Contact “Collector’s Edition” NFT, which includes both the feature film and poster (not signed).

Vuele’s soft launch in September 2021 offered collectors eleven NFT drops through OpenSea, bringing in revenue of more than six figures, according to the company.

Launched in 2021, Vuele, created by Enderby Entertainment and CurrencyWorks Inc.,is the first direct-to-consumer, full-length feature film viewing and distribution platform delivering feature films and digital collectible entertainment content as NFTs. Users will be able to become owners of exclusive limited-edition film and collector NFT content which they can watch, collect, sell and trade on the Vuele.io platform.

“We are seeing a lot of areas in entertainment exploring uses for NFTs and Blockchain, with Vuele we’re focused on engaging a fan base in a new distribution model, not to compete with the existing model but as an alternative,” said the film’s producer-director Rick Dugdale, co-founder of Vuele and CEO of Enderby Entertainment. “This is a new revenue stream similar to the way streaming created one or further back when studios were taking back catalogue titles and creating DVD box sets with bonus features. NFTs offer the consumer that same type of exclusive access and collectibility.”

To purchase the Zero Contact NFT bundles, viewers can create their Vuele account on Vuele.io and purchase with a credit card or crypto currency by connecting their digital wallet.

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Produced in 17 different countries entirely virtually during the pandemic, Zero Contact follows five characters based all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart (Anthony Hopkins, The Father). They are forced to work together to shut down Hart’s most secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on Earth. 

Lionsgate’s Grindstone Acquires Non-NFT North American Distribution Rights to ‘Zero Contact’

Liongate’s Grindstone Entertainment Group has acquired non-NFT (non-fungible token) North American distribution rights to Enderby Entertainment’s Zero Contact, a thriller released as the first NFT (non-fungible token) feature film for Vuele.

Grindstone will release the film in May after the NFT window.

Zero Contact follows five characters located all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart played by Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins (The Father). The characters are forced to work together to shut down Hart’s most secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth. The cast includes Aleks Paunovic (“Hawkeye”) Chris Brochu (Soul Surfer, Recon) and Rukiya Bernard  (“Yellowjackets”) and Adrian Holmes (“Bel-Air”). 

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Enderby Entertainment went into production in December on back-to-back sequels for the franchise, filming in Antarctica as the first Hollywood film ever to shoot on the continent. The production will continue to shoot in 13 countries around the world, including Bolivia, Peru, Sweden, Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia and France. 

“We’re continuing to explore a new distribution model that includes an NFT window for feature films, and even more meaningful to partner once again with Lionsgate and Grindstone to release Zero Contact in this unique way,” said Enderby CEO and director Rick Dugdale in a statement. “After our launch on Vuele, we are continuing to break barriers with this franchise as we are the first production to film in Antarctica.”

Zero Contact is a mysterious, twisty thriller that will keep audiences guessing until the very end,” said Barry Brooker, president and CEO of Grindstone Entertainment Group, in a statement. “Featuring a powerhouse performance by Anthony Hopkins, we are confident that Zero Contact will keep moviegoers on the edge of their seats.”

NFT Offering for Anthony Hopkins Film ‘Zero Contact’ Tallies Nearly $100,000

Global NFT (non-fungible token) distribution and viewing platform Vuele grossed nearly six figures with the feature film Zero Contact, according to the company.

Vuele brought in 32.86267 ETH (Ether cryptocurrency) or $93,435 with the release of 11 NFT “drops” of the thriller starring Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins. The “Platinum Edition” NFT drop alone sold for 20 ETH ($56,860).

Zero Contact is the first feature film NFT distributed by Vuele.

The “NFT drops mark an incredible new step for the feature film distribution industry as well as film collecting and fan engagement,” according to a company press release.

“In just these few short days, we’ve seen a community form around our film, enhanced fan engagement, and also proved a new revenue stream in the industry. We think this is groundbreaking,” Rick Dugdale, co-founder of Vuele and director-producer of the film, said in a statement. “Our goal was to earn the respect of the NFT space in order for us to create staying power and help blaze a new path for filmmakers. Not only is this now a proven distribution model, but we will be able to create new film financing structures moving forward.”

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Each winning NFT allows the lucky winner to be edited into the film with a personal Zero Contact shoot and edit. In addition, each winner receives signed digital artwork of the film poster, the “making of” the film, Crypto Generative Art by REMO x Dcsan and a Vuele “Golden Ticket.” The “Platinum” one of one winner also receives a walk-on role in the Zero Contact Universe.

Vuele NFT Film ‘Zero Contact’ Gets Release Dates

New global NFT (non-fungible token) distribution and viewing platform Vuele has launched the trailer for its thriller Zero Contact, the first NFT feature film release on its Vuele.io platform, as well as release dates or “drops” for different offerings involving the film.

Starring Best Actor Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Zero Contact was produced in 17 different countries entirely virtually during the 2020 global pandemic. It follows five characters based all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart (Hopkins). They are forced to work together to shut down Hart’s most secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth. The ensemble cast also features Veronica Ferres, Aleks Paunovic, Chris Brochu, Lilly Krug, TJ Kayama and Martin Stenmarck.

It will be offered in several consecutive “drops” with new content for fans, including the exclusive “Platinum Edition” auction launching on the Vuele platform on Sept. 24. The 72-hour online auction of the premiere “1 of 1” drop will feature the opportunity for one winner to join the cast in a walk-on role for the Zero Contact Universe. For both “Platinum Edition” and “Elite Edition” drops, fans will also have an opportunity to be edited into the feature film. Additional drops of the film include the “Exclusive” and “Collector’s Edition” coming in October.

In addition, a “Golden Ticket” sweepstakes offers 100 early NFT fans each week to score exclusive free NFT bundles just for signing up at the Vuele.io site.

“Our platform is designed to offer something to high-end collectors as well as the everyday film fan,” said director/producer and Vuele co-founder Rick Dugdale in a statement. “The Zero Contact Golden Ticket offers fans an opportunity to explore this NFT world and start building their digital wallet to get comfortable watching and owning movies on this new platform. As the NFT market is driven by scarcity, we are offering a ‘1 of 1’ NFT for the film. There will only ever be one minted of its kind.”

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Vuele will offer multiple NFT Bundles for the Zero Contact feature film. Fans can sign up for more information at Vuele.io to receive notifications on auctions and bidding opportunities on the following:

 

Zero Contact Golden Ticket NFT Sweepstakes (ongoing, 100 per week to winners)

  • A digital “Golden Ticket” token providing access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the Vuele platform.
  • NOTE: Each week, 100 winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries, with the final draw on Sept. 30.

 

Zero Contact Platinum “1 of 1” Edition (72-hour online bidding begins Sept. 24)

  • Zero Contact Platinum Edition Original Cut, the only version ever to be minted, and will be the consumer’s to own (1 of 1 editions)
  • All-expense paid trip to visit the production set for Zero Contact Universe to meet the cast, crew and experience a day on the set (1 of 1 editions)
  • A walk-on role in the Zero Contact Universe, available to be utilized by yourself or someone else you nominate (1 of 1 editions)
  • Crypto Art, original generative art NFT by REMO x Dcsan (1 of 11 editions)
  • Personal Zero Contact shoot and edit, an opportunity to have yourself (or someone you nominate) professionally shot and edited into the actual feature film as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast (1 of 11 editions)
  • Vuele Golden Ticket, a digital Golden Ticket token providing access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the Vuele platform (1 of 2,500 editions)
  • Zero Contact digital artwork of film poster signed by cast and crew (1 of 2,511 editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film (1 of 2,511 editions)

 

Zero Contact Elite Edition (48-hour online bidding begins Sept. 24)

  • Crypto Art – Original Generative Art NFT by REMO x Dcsan (1 of 11 Editions)
  • Personal Zero Contact shoot and edit, an opportunity to have yourself (or someone you nominate) professionally shot and edited into the actual feature film as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast (1 of 11 Editions)
  • Vuele Golden Ticket, a digital Golden Ticket token providing access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the Vuele platform (1 of 2,500 Editions)
  • Zero Contact digital artwork of film poster signed by cast and crew (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film (1 of 2,511 Editions)

 

Zero Contact Exclusive Edition (NFT offering available Oct. 4)

  • Zero Contact digital artwork of film poster signed by cast and crew (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage (1 of 27,511 Editions)

 

Zero Contact Collector’s Edition (NFT offering available Oct. 22)

  • Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage (1 of 27,511 Editions)

 

Vuele is a feature-length film and digital collectible viewing and distribution platform created by Enderby Entertainment and CurrencyWorks.

Anthony Hopkins Film ‘Zero Contact’ to Be Released as NFT on Vuele Platform

Enderby Entertainment’s Zero Contact (formerly 92), starring Anthony Hopkins (The Father), will premiere as an NFT (non-fungible token) on new global NFT distribution and viewing platform Vuele.

This is the first feature film acquisition for Vuele, the recently launched direct-to-consumer NFT viewing and distribution platform. On the platform, users via NFTs are able to become owners of exclusive, limited edition film and collector content which they can watch, collect, sell and trade (as consumers can with physical discs, for instance) on the vuele.io platform. Vuele is the first direct-to-consumer, full-length feature film viewing and distribution platform delivering feature films and digital collectible entertainment content as NFTs.

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“Everything about this film is unconventional, from the way we shot the film using Zoom and remote production to its distribution on the first global NFT platform,” stated producer Rick Dugdale, who also makes his directorial debut with the feature film. “We’re thrilled to bring a film of this magnitude with the star power of Anthony Hopkins as our first release on Vuele.”

Produced in 17 different territories entirely virtually during the 2020 global pandemic, Zero Contact follows five characters based all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart (Hopkins). They are forced to work together to shut down Hart’s most secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth.

Vuele is a joint venture between Enderby Entertainment and CurrencyWorks operated by CurrencyWorks.