‘Pennyworth’ Final Season Slated for Disc Sept. 26

Allied Vaughn and Warner Bros. will release Pennyworth: The Third and Final Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 26.

Based on DC’s Batman comics, “Pennyworth” follows the adventures of Alfred Pennyworth decades before becoming Bruce Wayne’s butler.

Jack Bannon stars as Alfred, a former British SAS soldier in his 20s, who forms a security company in 1960s London and goes to work with young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who has not yet fathered Bruce.

In the third season, which was given the subtitle “The Origin of Batman’s Butler,” the action picks up after a five-year time jump. A cultural revolution has changed the world for better or worse — ushering in a new age of superheroes and supervillains.

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Also arriving Sept. 26 on DVD and Blu-ray will be Pennyworth: The Complete Series.

The show’s cast also includes Emma Paetz, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Paloma Faith and Jason Flemyng.

The show was presented by Epix for its first two seasons before moving to HBO Max for its third.

‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ Slated for 4K Blu-ray Sept. 12

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will release the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Sept. 12.

A spinoff of “Batman: The Animated Series,” the movie finds Batman reflecting on his decision to take up the cause of fighting crime as a mysterious new criminal begins killing Gotham City’s mob bosses.

Released on Christmas Day in 1993, Mask of the Phantasm received almost no publicity and made just $5.6 million at the domestic box office. It has since gone on to become a favorite among Batman fans and is considered one of the best films to feature the character.

Produced by the team behind “Batman: The Animated Series,” the film was directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, from a screenplay by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko and Michael Reaves.

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The voice cast includes the late Kevin Conroy as Batman, alongside Dana Delany as Bruce Wayne’s former love interest, Andrea Beaumont. Delany would later go on to voice Lois Lane in “Superman: The Animated Series” from the same production team. The film also features Mark Hamill as the Joker, Stacy Keach as Carl Beaumont, Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Valestra, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred, Hart Bochner as Arthur Reeves, Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon, Robert Costanzo as Detective Bullock, Dick Miller as Chuckie Sol, and John P. Ryan as Buzz Bronski. Additional voices include Pat Musick, Marilu Henner, Neil Ross, Ed Gilbert, Jeff Bennett, Jane Downs, Vernee Watson, Charles Howerton, Thom Pinto and Peter Renaday.

The 4K HDR/SDR remaster of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was sourced from the 1993 original cut camera negative and was scanned at 4K resolution. Digital restoration was applied to the 4K scans to remove dirt, scratches and additional anomalies, but special care was given to not touch the film grain or the animation cel dirt that was part of the original artwork. This is the first time since its theatrical release that it is presented in its 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The original 2.0 mix and the 5.1 tracks were remastered to remove or improve defects such as pops, ticks, dropouts and distortion.

Extras include the new featurette “Kevin Conroy: I Am the Knight,” a remembrance of the actor who played Batman for 30 years across multiple projects. Also included is a bonus episode of “Justice League: Unlimited” that features a Phantasm appearance.

The standalone 4K disc also comes with a redeemable digital copy code.

Justice League: Warworld

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 7/25/23;
Warner;
Animated;
$24.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for some bloody violence.
Voices of Jensen Ackles, Darren Criss, Stana Katic, Ike Amadi, Troy Baker, Matt Bomer, Roger R. Cross, Brett Dalton, John DiMaggio, Robin Atkin Downes, Frank Grillo, Rachel Kimsey, Damian O’Hare, Teddy Sears.

The latest DC animated movie strays a bit from the typical superhero formula but should please fans of the classic trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

The film begins with a bit of an Elseworlds vibe, thrusting audiences into a Wild West adventure with Wonder Woman as a mysterious stranger riding into town to take on the unscrupulous Jonah Hex (which at first blush raises the question of if the filmmakers were doing “Warworld” or “Westworld”). Then, we are presented with Batman transformed into a Conan the Barbarian-type of character in the middle of a power struggle in a swords-and-sorcery setting. From there, the story shifts to a black-and-white 1950s-style ‘B’ movie about an alien invasion, with Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne and Diana cast as government agents sent to stop it.

The movie seems more invested in these vignettes than whatever story might be suggested by the film’s title. In the comics, War World is an intergalactic gladiatorial arena, a concept that has become something of a cliché in superhero movies by now. The film reimagines War World to suit its needs, but it still takes about an hour before letting the audience in on what might be going on with regards to why these heroes are in the situation they’re in. At nearly 90 minutes, Warworld is still one of the longest standalone movies in the DC animated canon, and it puts that extended time to good use with an action-packed climactic battle. On the other hand, as fun as it is to see many of the characters put into the situations they are in, the film ultimately feels more like a mashup of various ideas the filmmakers were interested in seeing on screen that weren’t a good fit anywhere else, strung together with a plot developed just enough to justify its existence before setting up the next movie with an abrupt cliffhanger ending that literally flies in out of nowhere.

The Blu-ray includes two featurettes that run just under eight minutes each. “Illusions on Warworld” explores the alternate reality scenarios presented in the film, while “The Heroic, the Horrible and the Hideous” focuses on the characters involved.

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New ‘Batman’ Movie Embraces Lovecraftian Horror

For its latest DC Universe movie, Warner Bros. Animation turned to an early 2000s comic book storyline that reimagines Batman fighting monsters in the 1920s.

Originally published from 2000 to 2001, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham by “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola was branded as an Elseworlds tale, a label that cast familiar characters in different settings. The Doom That Came to Gotham was heavily influenced by the Cthulhu stories of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (the title itself comes from Lovecraft’s short story The Doom That Came to Sarnath.)

The story finds Bruce Wayne as an international explorer who accidentally unleashes an ancient evil, leading him to return to Gotham City to take up the mantle of Batman to protect the city from supernatural forces connected to his family’s secret history. The story presents reimagined versions of several Batman allies and enemies, including Robin, Green Arrow, Gordon, Two-Face, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc and Ra’s al Ghul.

For the movie version, the filmmakers confronted the challenge of adapting the dense gothic horror of the narrative for mainstream audiences.

“It just seemed like a natural fit … Batman and Lovecraft,” screenwriter Jace Ricci said during a WonderCon 2023 press event March 24 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California. “The original really did Lovecraft solid. It had this byzantine complex narrative going on in the background in terms of the mythology of rage and all that stuff, and that was really hard to translate. It had all these different monsters, the different versions of the rogue’s gallery in there.”

Of particular concern for the studio was that the movie had to be rated ‘PG-13.’

“I think when I first pitched the potential of doing it, for some reason I thought they were going to allow us to do an ‘R’-rated version of it. But when we started building it they kept telling me I had to make it ‘PG-13,’” said co-director Sam Liu. “There were things on the board I kind of felt would have been great … but we had to take it out.”

Killer Croc in ‘Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’

Liu said the final version is still a good representation of the gothic horror from the original story.

“The range is all over the place.” Liu said. “Some people are going to get freaked out by it, and some people are just going to be like, ‘whatever’ … so it’s hard to gauge for everybody. … Some people are just super desensitized, and I think for some people it’s new and fresh to them.”

Liu said he was a fan of horror stories growing up, which made adapting Doom That Came to Gotham an attractive prospect to him.

“I think good gothic horror is a parallel of humanity within it, like the monsters are just people that are like don’t fit into society,” Liu said. “I think there’s an amplified version of Bruce Wayne’s journey as Batman. … There’s just a lot of things about this, I wish we had more screen time. There’s just a lot of interesting concepts in it … outside of the gore.”

For the cast, the darker elements of the story only made it easier to find the humanity in the characters.

“It almost made it easier to offer levity and to offer empathy,” said Tati Gabrielle, who voices the character of Kai Li Cain, a reimagined version of Cassandra Cain, one of Batman’s sidekicks in the regular comics. “It’s not as hard to find when there’s so much doom and gloom lurking. I’m very good and finding the nugget of the glimpse of light that’s there.”

Oliver Queen throws a party in ‘Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’

One of the standout characters in the film is the new version of Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, who is presented as an eccentric millionaire haunted by the need to atone for his family’s sins.

“We made pretty big choices when we were recording his dialogue with the singing and how drunk he was and we really went for it,” said voice actor Christopher Gorham, who plays Queen. “I think the character design really came in and supported those choices, which I was very happy with.”

Co-director Christopher Berkeley said he wasn’t sure how the movie version would come together, but came to appreciate the effort in making it.

“The horror aspect just made it much more interesting to work on, especially just trying to build toward a finale,” Berkeley said. “It made it a much more sort of pleasurable filmmaking experience because I’m building toward this, and I have to resolve it into that. It was very fun.”

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham was released on Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and through digital retailers March 28 by Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.

Promoting the ‘Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’ animated movie March 24 at WonderCon 2023 were (L-R): co-director Christopher Berkeley, actress Tati Gabrielle, co-director Sam Liu, actors David Dastmalchian and Christopher Gorham, and screenwriter Jase Ricci.

Animated Film ‘Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’ Set for March 28 Home Release

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham through digital retailers and on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD March 28.

The DC Elseworlds tale is set in the 1920s and puts Batman up against Lovecraftian supernatural forces threatening the sheer existence of Gotham City as he’s aided and confronted along the way by reimagined versions of his well-known allies and enemies, including Green Arrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Two-Face and James Gordon. 

David Giuntoli reprises his Batman: Soul of the Dragon role as the voice of the Dark Knight, while Tati Gabrielle makes her DC animated debut as Kai Li Cain, Batman’s closest ally. The cast also includes Christopher Gorham as Oliver Queen, Patrick Fabian as Harvey Dent, John DiMaggio as James Gordon, David Dastmalchian as Grendon, Gideon Adlon as Oracle, Karan Brar as Sanjay “Jay” Tawde, Jeffrey Combs as Kirk Langstrom, Darin De Paul as Thomas Wayne, Brian George as Alfred, Jason Marsden as Dick Grayson and Young Bruce Wayne, Navid Negahban as Ra’s al Ghul, Emily O’Brien as Talia al Ghul and Martha Wayne, Tim Russ as Lucius Fox, William Salyers as Cobbelpot and Professor Manfurd, and Matthew Waterson as Jason Blood/Etrigan.

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The film is inspired by an early 2000s DC comic book storyline by Mike Mignola, Richard Pace and Troy Nixey.

Extras include an audio commentary with the filmmakers and storytellers, including producer/co-director Sam Liu and screenwriter Jase Ricci, and the featurette “Batman: Shadows of Gotham,” an examination of themes of existential dread in a world drenched in gothic overtones that combine to create one of Batman’s most unique adventures.

Kevin Conroy, Voice of Batman for a Generation, Dies at 66

Actor Kevin Conroy, best known as the voice of Batman in numerous projects for the past 30 years, died Nov. 10 from cancer at the age of 66.

Conroy began voicing the Caped Crusader with the debut of “Batman: The Animated Series” in 1992 and would go on to play the superhero in nearly 60 different productions spanning 15 animated series, 15 movies and two dozen video games, accounting for nearly 400 episodes and 100 hours of television.

Born Nov. 30, 1955 in Westbury, NY, and raised in Westport, Conn., Conroy began establishing himself in the acting community while under the tutelage of John Houseman at The Julliard School — where he studied alongside the likes of Christopher Reeve, Frances Conroy, and his roommate Robin Williams. 

Conroy began his career following his love of the theater, keeping him on stage in both New York and at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

“Batman: The Animated Series” would last for three seasons, but also spawned the acclaimed theatrical film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in 1993, as well as direct-to-video spinoffs such as 1998’s Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and 2003’s Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman.

“Kevin was far more than an actor whom I had the pleasure of casting and directing — he was a dear friend for 30+ years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no boundaries,” said Emmy Award winning casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano. “Kevin’s warm heart, delightfully deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever.”

The series also gave rise to a franchise of animated shows based on DC Comics heroes in which he continued to voice Batman, including “Superman: The Animated Series,” “Justice League,” “Justice League Unlimited,” “Static Shock” and “The Zeta Project.” He also voiced the older Bruce Wayne in “Batman Beyond,” yet another entry in the DC animated franchise, which also had a direct-to-video movie, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

“Kevin brought a light with him everywhere,” said Paul Dini, producer of “Batman: The Animated Series.” “Whether in the recording booth giving it his all, or feeding first responders during 9/11, or making sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman. A hero in every sense of the word. Irreplaceable. Eternal.”

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Conroy later voiced Batman in several releases from the DC Universe line of animated movies, including 2008’s “Batman: Gotham Knight,” a tie-in to the theatrical release of The Dark Knight; the “Superman/Batman” movies Public Enemies in 2009 and Apocalypse in 2010; 2012’s Justice League: Doom; 2013’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox; 2014’s Batman: Assault on Arkham, a Suicide Squad movie; and 2016’s Batman: The Killing Joke. The DC Universe franchise also revisited the earlier DC animated series continuity with 2017’s Batman and Harley Quinn and 2019’s Justice League vs. The Fatal Five. He also voiced Batman in episodes of “Teen Titans Go!,” “Justice League Action” and “Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?.”

In 2019 he played a live-action version of Bruce Wayne in an alternate reality for the CW’s Arrowverse crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” during what was technically an episode of “Batwoman.”

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His video game work included 2001’s Batman: Vengeance, the “Arkham” and “Injustice” franchises, Lego DC Super-Villains, and 2022’s MultiVersus, his final performance as the character.

His role as Batman also made him a popular fixture on the convention circuit.

“Kevin was perfection,” said Mark Hamill, who played the Joker opposite Conroy’s Batman on “Batman: The Animated Series” and The Killing Joke. “He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him — his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.”

His non-Batman work included a two-episode stint on “Cheers,” guest appearances on shows such as “Murphy Brown” and “Dynasty,” and voice roles including “The New Adventures of Captain Planet,” “The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest,” “Ben 10: Alien Force,” “The Venture Bros.” and “Masters of the Universe: Revelation.”

“Kevin was a brilliant actor,” Hamill said. “For several generations, he has been the definitive Batman. It was one of those perfect scenarios where they got the exact right guy for the exact right part, and the world was better for it. His rhythms and subtleties, tones and delivery — that all also helped inform my performance. He was the ideal partner — it was such a complementary, creative experience. I couldn’t have done it without him. He will always be my Batman.”

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Animated;
$24.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence and language.
Voices of Jack Dylan Glazer, Jack Griffo, Troy Baker, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Darin De Paul, Tom Kenny, Zeno Robinson, Nolan North, Myrna Velasco.

Taking the role of the superhero sidekick to the next level, Battle of the Super Sons delves into the family lives of Batman and Superman to present an entertaining, though somewhat derivative, adventure.

The story focuses mostly on Jonathan Kent, the pre-teen son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane who is being raised by his parents in Smallville. When he starts developing powers such as heat vision and super strength, Jonathan’s father reveals his true identity as the son of Superman, and takes him to meet Batman to test the extent of his Kryptonian abilities.

In the Batcave, Jonathan meets Damian Wayne, the current Robin who is the son of Batman and Talia, daughter of the supervillain Ra’s al Ghul.

Soon enough, Batman and Superman are called away to deal with a Justice League crisis involving Starro, the mind-controlling starfish alien who has made its way to Earth and begins possessing the population.

With Batman, Superman and other members of the Justice League infected, Jonathan and Damien must team up to free them from Starro’s control.

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The concept of Batman and Superman having children who team up is hardly a new one, first presented in the comics in alternate reality stories in the 1960s and 1970s. Those tales weren’t much of a stretch from a creative standpoint, with the sons named Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. and basically serving as mini-me versions of their fathers.

It wasn’t until the past decade or so that Batman and Superman gained true sons in the main DC continuity, paving the way for a revival of the Super Sons concept using Damien and Jonathan. And really, the idea of pairing a variation of Superboy with Robin is just a fun team-up.

Battle of the Super Sons is purportedly the first of the DC Universe animated movies to fully use CGI for its animation, and the results are pretty good. The style is evocative of traditional 2D animation with some anime influences for the action. Colors are bright and vivid, and the story lends itself to bold action sequences.

While the story works to translate the Super Sons concept from page to screen, it does feel a lot like a mash-up of popular trends in comic adaptations and some wish fulfillment on the part of the writers. Starro, who was actually the original foe of the Justice League back in the 1960s before being sidelined as somewhat goofy, has become a bit of a trendy villain of late thanks to being featured in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. But the mind-control element does let the writers have some fun with letting Damien and Jonathan fight some members of the Justice League, including their own fathers.

Meanwhile, the notion of Superman and Lois having kids and moving to Smallville is the premise of the TV series “Superman and Lois.”

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The whole history of the Super Sons concept, how it shines light on some of our favorite characters, and the effort it took to make a movie out of it is covered in the 15-minute featurette “Rival Sons: Jonathan and Damian.”

The Blu-ray also includes bonus episodes from “Batman: The Animated Series” in the form of “The Demon’s Quest” two-parter, a story arc in which Ra’s al Ghul kidnaps Robin (the original, Dick Grayson) in an effort to get Batman to take his place. These episodes were probably chosen because they deal with the Batman/Talia relationship and thus connect to Damien’s history.

 

 

Sept. 20 Sees ‘Nope’ Arrive for Digital Purchase, While New Disc Releases Include ‘Batman: The Long Halloween,’ ‘Outlander: Season 6’

Sept. 20 new releases include Nope becoming available for digital purchase, while Batman: The Long Halloween — Deluxe Edition and Outlander: Season Six arrive on disc.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment releases filmmaker Jordan Peele’s latest thriller, Nope, for digital purchase starting Sept. 20. The film has been available for premium VOD rental since late August. Written by, produced by and directed by Peele, Nope stars Daniel Kaluuya as a Hollywood animal wrangler, who along with his sister (Keke Palmer) start observing unexplained phenomena on their vast Southern California ranch. With the help of a neighbor and former child star turned family theme park ringmaster (Steven Yeun), they attempt to capture the mystery on camera, but chasing the spectacle could bring terrifying consequences. The result is a complex social thriller that unpacks the seeds of violence, risk and opportunism that are inseparable from the romanticized history of the American West and show business. The film earned $122.8 million at the domestic box office and arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release Oct. 25.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Batman: The Long Halloween — Deluxe Edition Sept. 20 as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, a standalone Blu-ray and for digital sellthrough. The deluxe edition combines both parts of “Long Halloween” previously released separately on Blu-ray into a single two-hour 48-minute film that makes its 4K debut. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on the 1990s DC Comics storyline written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by the late Tim Sale, Long Halloween begins as atrocious serial killings on holidays in Gotham City send Batman into action — confronting both organized crime and a unified front of classic DC supervillains — while attempting to stop the mysterious murderer. The voice cast includes Jensen Ackles as Batman, the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as Commissioner Gordon, Katee Sackhoff as Poison Ivy, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man and the Penguin, Troy Baker as The Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon and Carla Vitti, Jack Quaid as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy, Alyssa Diaz as Renee Montoya, and Alastair Duncan as Alfred. The deluxe edition includes the new featurette “Batman: The Long Halloween — Evolution of Evil,” a comprehensive look at Long Halloween with Loeb and the filmmakers.

The sixth season of “Outlander” will be available in a collector’s edition Blu-ray set, on Blu-ray and on DVD Sept. 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling “Outlander” books, the sixth installment is based on material from the sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan reprise their starring roles as Claire and Jamie Fraser, along with Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin as Brianna and Roger MacKenzie and John Bell as young Ian. The Blu-ray and DVD for the series contain all eight episodes and extras including two all-new “Outlander Untold” scenes following the stories of fan-favorite characters, blooper reels and featurettes. The collector’s edition and Blu-ray set also include deleted scenes, episode commentaries and the “9 Lives: Claire & Jamie’s Shootout” featurette. The season sees a continuation of Claire and Jamie’s epic fight to protect those they love as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in the New World. The series follows the Frasers as they strive to maintain peace and flourish within a colonial society which — as Claire knows all too well — is unwittingly marching toward Revolution. Against this backdrop, which heralds the birth of the new American nation, Claire and Jamie have built a home together at Fraser’s Ridge. They must now defend this home — established on land granted to them by the Crown — not only from external forces, but also from the increasing strife and conflict in the community within their care.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment release The Equalizer: Season Two on DVD Sept. 20. The reimagining of the 1985-89 TV series “The Equalizer” stars Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills as a former CIA operative to help those with nowhere else to turn. McCall presents to most as an average single mom who is quietly raising her teenage daughter. But to a trusted few, she is The Equalizer — an anonymous guardian angel and defender of the downtrodden, who’s also dogged in her pursuit of personal redemption. Robyn’s clandestine work remains a secret from her smart and observant daughter, Delilah, and her aunt Vi, who lives with Robyn to help her balance life as a working mother. Joining Robyn as champions of justice are Melody “Mel” Bayani, an edgy bar owner and a colleague from Robyn’s past; Harry Keshegian, a paranoid and brilliant white-hat hacker; and shrewd NYPD detective Marcus Dante, who once sought to uncover the identity of the vigilante known as The Equalizer, but now respects the need for Robyn’s type of justice even as he often questions her methods. In the second season, Robyn takes on an unexpected client, leading to a shocking discovery and the highest level of U.S. intelligence.

The crime thriller Wrong Place, starring Bruce Willis, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Sept. 20 from Vertical Entertainment and Distribution Solutions. In the film, Frank, a former police chief, is hunted down by a meth kingpin seeking to silence him before he can deliver eyewitness testimony against his family. Ultimately, the kingpin finds himself up against more than he thought when he threatens to harm Frank’s daughter. In addition to Willis (Die Hard, Armageddon), the film stars Ashley Greene (“The Twilight Series,” Bombshell), Texas Battle (Final Destination 3, Coach Carter) and Michael Sirow (Survive the Game, Fortress), and is directed by Mike Burns.

A two-part docuseries exploring the life of the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, arrives Sept. 20 on DVD from Lionsgate. The film is directed by Malcolm Venville (And We Go Green, Portrait of a Dancer: Sarah Lamb) and written by presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, who also doubles as executive producer alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. The historical documentary explores the life of one of history’s most fascinating figures — a cowboy, soldier, statesman, conservationist, adventurer, reformer, author and U.S. president. Featuring more than five hours of expert interviews, archival material and live-action sequences, the two-part documentary charts Roosevelt’s journey from his sickly childhood to being a champion for the working man to becoming, at age 42, the youngest president of the United States, whose legacy and impact on progressive political policies reverberate today.

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The 1982 horror classic Poltergeist will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital  Sept. 20 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Written by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, the film stars JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Zelda Rubinstein, Beatrice Straight and Heather O’Rourke. In the film, suburbanites Steve (Nelson) and Diane (Williams) suddenly experience paranormal activity in their home. What starts off as minor excitement quickly turns into nasty ghostly encounters. The disappearance of their daughter Carol Anne (O’Rourke) forces the Freelings to bring in parapsychologists and a professional exorcist. Special features on the Blu-ray Disc include “They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists Pt. 1 — Science of the Spirits”; “They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists Pt. 2 — Communing with the Dead”; “The Making of Poltergeist”; and the trailer.

The 1987 classic The Lost Boys will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital Sept. 20 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, the comedic horror film follows Michael (Patric) and Sam Emerson (Haim), who after their parent’s divorce move with their mother to their grandfather’s house in a California town nicknamed “The Murder Capital of the World.” Soon after arriving, Michael gets involved with a hell-raising motorcycle gang of vampires with a charismatic leader (Sutherland).  When Sam becomes involved with the Frog Brothers (Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who confess to being undercover Vampire hunters, he realizes it’s up to them to save Michael and the rest of the town from the vampire gang. The cast also includes Jami Gertz, Edward Herrmann, Barnard Hughes, Dianne Wiest, Jamison Newlander and Alex Winter. The 4K disc includes commentary with Schumacher. Special features on the Blu-ray Disc include his commentary, several featurettes, the trailer, the Lou Gramm “Lost in the Shadows” music video, and “The Lost Scenes.”

Kino Lorber will release the critically hailed documentary The Automat on DVD Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $19.95. A look back at the iconic self-serve Horn & Hardart restaurant chain that served affordable food to millions of New Yorkers and Philadelphians for more than a century, the film features interviews with Mel Brooks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elliott Gould, Colin Powell, Carl Reiner, Howard Schultz and others. Shot in color and black and white, The Automat was directed by Lisa Hurwitz. The film has won multiple film festival honors, among them the Jury Prize as Best Feature Documentary at the Annapolis Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best International Documentary at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Miami Jewish Film Festival. Founded by Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart in 1888, Horn & Hardart revolutionized the nation’s restaurant scene with technology that captured the public’s imagination. Customers put nickels into slots and little windows opened to reveal the customer’s pick, be it a slice of pie, macaroni and cheese, or a Salisbury steak. The chain welcomed those who had been ignored, including immigrants, the working class, Blacks, and women, all of whom were often not welcome in restaurants. The DVD release from Kino Lorber includes a new audio introduction by Brooks, an extended interview with Brooks, and an audio commentary from director Hurwitz.

Crunchyroll has announced the Sept. 20 release of the Dragon Ball Super: The Complete Series limited-edition Blu-ray Steelbook boxed set. In the series, after defeating Majin Buu, life is peaceful once again. However, new threats begin to loom one after another. From Beerus, the God of Destruction, to the resurrection of Frieza, foes from across time and space step up to face Goku and his friends.

The quirky, interfaith, romantic dramedy Simchas and Sorrows will be released via VOD or digital purchase Sept. 20 from Gravitas Ventures. From NYC filmmaker Genevieve Adams, the independent film is about a secular, free-spirited artist and former Catholic school girl, Agnes, who must come to terms with religion in order to marry the love of her life, Levi. Shocked by a surprise pregnancy, the earnest Agnes agrees to begin converting to Judaism, in an effort to be accepted by Levi’s more conservative Jewish family. Learning to join the tribe and follow the herd proves no easy task for someone who has spent her whole life questioning, and then breaking, the rules. As Agnes and Levi study with the progressive, courageous Rabbi Cohen, they discover all is not what it appears to be on the surface. As family secrets come to light, Agnes and Levi are forced to grapple with life’s big questions. The film explores an evolving, modern Judaism, orthodoxies and hypocrisy, sibling rivalry, modern love, mental illness, artistic inheritance, and antisemitism.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

HBO Max Debuting Season Three of ‘Pennyworth’ in October

HBO Max will debut season three of the DC Comics-based series “Pennyworth” from Warner Bros. Television, this October on as a Max Original. The first two seasons streamed on Epix as a branded original series, also featuring Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth before he became Batman’s butler.

For HBO Max, the show has been rebranded “Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler.” The third season again follows Pennyworth, a former British SAS soldier, who forms a security company in 1960s London and goes to work with young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and his wife, Martha (Emma Paetz), before they become (the future Batman) Bruce Wayne’s parents. Season three begins after a five-year time jump: the civil war is over, and a cultural revolution has changed the world for better or worse — ushering in a new age of superheroes and supervillains.

The series also stars Paloma Faith, Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Ramon Tikaram, Harriet Slater and Simon Manyonda. The first two seasons of “Pennyworth” are currently available on Max.

Based on DC characters created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, the 10-episode drama is executive produced by Bruno Heller, Matthew Patnick, Danny Cannon and John Stephens. The series is produced in the U.K. at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.

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Complete ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’ Coming to 4K Disc Sept. 20

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Batman: The Long Halloween — Deluxe Edition Sept. 20 as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, a standalone Blu-ray and for digital sellthrough. The deluxe edition combines both parts of “Long Halloween” previously released separately on Blu-ray into a single two-hour 48-minute film that makes its 4K debut.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on the 1990s DC Comics storyline written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by the late Tim Sale, Long Halloween begins as atrocious serial killings on holidays in Gotham City send Batman into action — confronting both organized crime and a unified front of classic DC supervillains — while attempting to stop the mysterious murderer.

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The voice cast includes Jensen Ackles as Batman, the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as Commissioner Gordon, Katee Sackhoff as Poison Ivy, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man and the Penguin, Troy Baker as The Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon and Carla Vitti, Jack Quaid as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy, Alyssa Diaz as Renee Montoya, and Alastair Duncan as Alfred.

The deluxe edition will include the new featurette “Batman: The Long Halloween — Evolution of Evil,” a comprehensive look at Long Halloween with Loeb and the filmmakers.