Sale on TVOD Platform movieSpree Part of Ultraman Day Celebration

Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional streaming platform movieSpree will celebrate Ultraman Day July 10 with a sale on “Ultraman” titles as part of a multi-faceted celebration of the classic Japanese superhero.

Customers can add complete “Ultraman” series to their digital streaming library for $7.10 each at  movieSpree.com/Ultraman.

Series on sale include “Ultra Q”; “Ultraman”; “Ultraseven”; “Return of Ultraman”; “Ultraman Ace”; “Ultraman X”; “Ultraman Orb – The Origin Saga”; “Ultraman Orb”; and “Ultraman Geed.”

The TVOD service also offers an array of “Ultraman” movies, several of which include English dub tracks in addition to the original Japanese language audio that also features English subtitles. Exclusive “Ultraman” bundles are also available for customers to rent or own.

With apps now available on RokuApple TV / iOSAmazon Fire TV, and Android devices, movieSpree (movieSpree.com) is available without long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements. Setting up an account is free and as an added bonus, users can redeem a curated assortment of 100 films to add to their accounts free of charge.

The Birth of Ultraman Collection, containing some of the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, is also coming to Blu-ray July 10 from Mill Creek Entertainment at $25.99.

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The sale and Blu-ray release are just a part of this year’s celebration of the classic Japanese superhero July 10. The day will include a series of virtual activations and talks with the leaders behind the “Ultraman” revival live on Shu.Watch. Ultraman Day will also feature the launch of the official online Ultraman Galaxy Store, which will display exclusive collectible Ultraman merchandise featuring the poster artwork of Marvel’s Alex Ross cover created for the comic book The Rise of Ultraman #1, on sale this September.

Ultraman Day kicks off on Shu.Watch at 10 a.m. PST and will feature a slew of celebrities, special guests, live artwork, giveaways, unboxing videos and more as the world celebrates 54 years of “Ultraman.”

Ultraman, created by Eiji Tsuburaya, the father of the Japanese monster movie genre, was born on July 10, 1966, when Tsuburaya Productions broadcast a memorable stage event called “Ultraman Eve: The Birth of Ultraman,” which was filmed before a live audience in Tokyo. The following week, the TV series “Ultraman” aired on Japanese TV. With Ultraman’s recent return to North America, Ultraman is being honored with an all-day celebration sponsored by Tsuburaya Productions, Elevated Games and Mill Creek Entertainment. Also supporting the event is Ultraman Galaxy, the official North America Ultraman platform spearheaded by Tsuburaya, with support by The Licensing Group and Starlight Runner Entertainment. The Licensing Group Ltd represents Ultraman for licensing, while Starlight Runner is supervising the new creative in America across all media.

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Ultraman Day will feature the following events:

  • A four-hour live show, comprising a number of special events streaming on Shu.Watch, produced by Ultraman licensee Jaron Hinds, CEO of Elevated Games, creators of the new Ultraman: Kaiju Kombat video game.
  • Bin Furuya, well known as the first actor to portray Ultraman, will demonstrate the correct way to do the Spacium Beam, recognized around the world as Ultraman’s signature move.
  • There will also be conversations with Marvel Comics editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski, editor Tom Brevoort, and writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, the team behind Marvel’s upcoming “The Rise of Ultraman” comic series launching in September; a chance to hear legendary toy manufacturer Marty Abrams of Mego Figures; contests, drawings, special merchandise, unboxing videos, and a sneak peak of the Beta Capsule.
  • Special guests will appear throughout the day, such as director of “Ultraman Z” Kiyotaka Taguchi and Koichi Sakamoto, director of “Ultra Galaxy Fight,” plus Ultraman actors Hiroko Sakurai, Susumu Kurobe and Bin Furuya.
  • The launch of the official North America Ultraman Galaxy Store, an opportunity for fans around North America to purchase exclusive Ultraman merchandise online. The store will offer July 10 products with special Ultraman designs and artwork available for a limited time.
  • A look at Mill Creek Entertainment’s The Birth of Ultraman on Blu-ray, which features the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, in Japanese with English dubbing, and the special and rare pre-premiere that took place July 10, 1966.

‘True History of the Kelly Gang’ Coming to Disc Sept. 8

Shout! Factory in conjunction with IFC films has announced the Sept. 8 release of True History of the Kelly Gang, an Australian Western that follows the story of legendary outlaw Ned Kelly.

The film will be making its Blu-ray debut, and is available for preorder now from ShoutFactory.com.

An adaption of the 2000 novel of the same name by Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang is a highly fictionalized account of the life of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly (George McKay, 1917, Ophelia) and his gang as they flee from authorities during the 1870s. It is ostensibly written by Kelly to his fictional daughter.

It all begins when Ned Kelly’s mother (Essie Davis, The Babadook, Game of Thrones) sells him off into the hands of the notorious bushranger Harry Power (Russell Crowe, Gladiator, L.A. Confidential), where the young bandit discovers he comes from a line of warriors called the Sons of Sieve. Fueled by his roots and an appetite for revenge, Ned Kelly leads an anarchist army to wreak havoc on their oppressors.

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The film was directed by Justin Kurzel and written by Shaun Grant and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019.

‘District 9’ Flies to 4K Ultra HD Oct. 13 From Sony

The sci-fi film District 9 will come out on 4K Ultra HD Oct. 13 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

From producer Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and director Neill Blomkamp, the film was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture.

District 9 plunges viewers into a world where aliens have landed — only to be exiled to a slum on the fringes of Johannesburg. One lone human discovers the mysterious secret of the extraterrestrial weapon technology. Hunted and hounded through the bizarre back alleys of an alien shantytown, he discovers what it means to be the ultimate outsider on your own planet.

Bonus materials on 4K include the original theatrical trailers and a “Comic-Con Extravaganza” featurette.

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Archival special features on Blu-ray include deleted scenes; director’s commentary; “The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker’s Log,” a three-part documentary; “Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Wikus”; “Innovation: Acting and Improvisation”; “Conception and Design: Creating the World of District 9”; Alien Generation: Visual Effects”; and “Joburg from Above,” an interactive map of satellite and schematics of the world of District 9.

‘The High Note’ Soaring to Disc Aug. 11 From Universal

The comedy The High Note will come out via on demand July 21 and on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 11 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film is available now for digital purchase.

Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Tracee Ellis Ross (“Blackish”) stars as Grace Davis, a music icon who elevates her career to the next level with the help of Maggie, her ambitious assistant (Dakota Johnson; Fifty Shades of Grey franchise). Directed by Nisha Ganatra (Late Night) and written by Flora Greeson, a former personal assistant in the music industry, The High Note also stars Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (Luce), Bill Pullman (“The Sinner”), Zoë Chao (Where’d You Go, Bernadette), and June Diane Raphael (The Disaster Artist) with Eddie Izzard (Ocean’s Thirteen) and Ice Cube (Ride Along).

Set in the dazzling world of the L.A. music scene is the story of Grace Davis (Ross), a superstar whose talent, and ego, have reached unbelievable heights. Maggie (Johnson) is Grace’s overworked personal assistant who’s stuck running errands, but still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer. When Grace’s manager (Ice Cube) presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Grace must choose between playing it safe or listening to her heart in a decision that could change her life forever.

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The soundtrack, produced by Grammy Award winner Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Beyoncé), features new recordings by cast members Ross and Kelvin Harrison Jr., as well as classics from Donny Hathaway, Maxine Brown, and Aretha Franklin.

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Bonus features include deleted scenes; “The Dream Team: Inside the Creation of The High Note,” a behind-the-scenes look at how the film came to life including screenwriter Flora Greeson’s story and experience as a real Hollywood assistant, how filmmakers created the look of the film, the musical team behind the original tracks, and some of the iconic Los Angeles locations; “Making A Legend: The Grace Davis Story,” featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Ross as she becomes Grace in the recording studio, on stage and at home; and the “Like I Do” original song music video.

Lionsgate’s ‘Rob Zombie Trilogy’ Steelbook Blu-ray Coming Exclusively to Target Sept. 8

The Rob Zombie Trilogy, featuring the horror films House of 1000 CorpsesThe Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell, arrives Sept. 8 on Steelbook Blu-ray from Lionsgate exclusively at Target.

Featuring all new artwork from artist Vance Kelly, filmmaker Rob Zombie’s trilogy Steelbook Blu-ray is priced at $34.99.

Baby Firefly, Otis Driftwood, Captain Spaulding, Sheriff Wydell and Rob Zombie’s other killer characters wreak havoc in the blood-soaked trilogy that made them famous. Two young couples cross paths with Otis Driftwood and the cannibalistic Fireflys while touring America’s backroads in House of 1000 Corpses. In The Devil’s Rejects, Sheriff Wydell deals with depraved, hostage-taking murderers holed up in a rundown motel in his uniquely unhinged way. Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding are finally put behind bars in 3 From Hell.

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The series stars Sherri Moon Zombie (HalloweenHalloween IIThe Lords of Salem), Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2Repo! The Genetic Opera) and Sid Haig (Kill Bill: Vol. 2Bone Tomahawk).

Oscar-Lauded ‘Whiplash’ Coming to 4K UHD Sept. 22 From Sony

The Oscar-launded film Whiplash is coming out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 22 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Written and directed by Academy Award-winner Damien Chazelle and starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in an Oscar-winning performance, the 2014  film is newly remastered in 4K with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Atmos audio. The 4K Ultra HD release also includes the film and special features on Blu-ray, plus a digital version of the film.

The story follows Andrew Neyman (Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Terence Fletcher (Simmons), an instructor known equally for his teaching talents and his terrifying methods, discovers Andrew and transfers him into his band. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection soon spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity.

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Bonus materials include:

  • commentary with writer/director Chazelle and Simmons
  • “An Evening at the Toronto International Film Festival” with Teller, Simmons and Chazelle
  • “Timekeepers,” in which famous drummers discuss their craft and passion for drumming
  • the Whiplashoriginal thort film with optional commentary
  • a deleted scene
  • the theatrical trailer.

Seasons of ‘The Good Doctor,’ ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘S.W.A.T.’ Due on Disc in August From Sony

Season three of “The Good Doctor,” season seven of “The Blacklist” and season three of “S.W.A.T.” are coming to disc in August from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Season three of “The Good Doctor” is due Aug. 4 on DVD. Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, continues to use his extraordinary medical gifts at St. Bonaventure Hospital’s surgical unit. As his friendships deepen, Shaun works harder than he ever has before as he starts dating while navigating his environment and relationships to prove to his colleagues that his talents as a surgeon will save lives. Extras include a blooper reel and deleted scenes.

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Season seven of “The Blacklist” is coming to Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 11. After being abducted by Katarina Rostova, Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) finds himself alone in hostile territory, unsure of who, if anyone, he can trust. Surrounded by old enemies and new allies, Red must stay one step ahead of the Blacklist’s most dangerous criminal, who will stop at nothing to unearth the very truth Red wants no one to know about. To find it, Katarina will insinuate herself into the life of Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), who has finally reunited with her daughter Agnes. Katarina’s presence will bring danger to Liz’s doorstep and forever alter her relationship with Red. Blu-ray and DVD special features include deleted scenes, a blooper reel, “Behind The Blacklist: Season 7,” cast and crew episode commentaries, and a Brian Dennehy tribute. Exclusive to the Blu-ray is the special feature “Uncharted Territory: A Season Cut Short.”

Season three of “S.W.A.T.” comes out on DVD Aug. 18. Torn between loyalty to where he was raised and allegiance to his brothers in blue, former Marine Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Shemar Moore) has everything it takes to be an excellent leader and bridge the divide between his two worlds. With Hondo leading the charge, his team of dedicated men and women bravely put themselves at risk to protect their community and save lives. Special features include deleted scenes and a blooper reel.

Shudder’s ‘Belzebuth’ to Come Out on Disc, Digital and VOD July 7 From RLJE

RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, has picked up select rights to Belzebuth from Shudder, AMC Networks’ streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural.

The title will be released on VOD, Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray on July 7.

Belzebuth is Emilio Portes’ (Pastorela) fourth feature film and first horror film, from a script co-written by Portes and Luis Carlos Fuentes (“Kipatla”). The horror/thriller stars Joaquín Cosio (“Narcos: Mexico,” The Lone Ranger), Tobin Bell (Saw franchise), and Tate Ellington (Sinister 2). The film premiered at the 50th Sitges Film Festival and received Best Picture at 2019 Santiago Horror Film Festival and Best Special Effects at 2019 Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre. 

In Belzebuth, Special Agent Emanuel Ritter leads a police investigation into a series of shocking deaths. But after a priest from the Vatican finds a link between the murders and an ancient demon, a descent into horror ensues.

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‘Birth of Ultraman Collection’ Coming to Blu-ray July 10

The Birth of Ultraman Collection, containing some of the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, is coming to Blu-ray July 10 from Mill Creek Entertainment at $25.99.

It will include both the original Japanese language and the classic English dub audio tracks plus The Birth of Ultraman — Ultraman pre-premiere special, the very first appearance of the hero.

The set will be exclusively sold on DeepDiscount as part of the launch of a dedicated “Ultraman” storefront that will offer up all of Mill Creek’s current Blu-ray and steelbook releases in addition to other “Ultraman”-related merchandise and products.

The exclusive Blu-ray release also features art created by Alex Ross, which is also featured on The Rise of Ultraman cover for Marvel Comics, and Tsuburaya Production’s recent collaboration with the debut issue releasing September 2020.

The release is part of Mill Creek Entertainment’s license of the entire available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment, from the team at Tsuburaya Productions.

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“The Birth of Ultraman Collection” includes the following episodes:

  • Episode 1, “Ultra Operation No. 1,” in which the story begins as the heroic alien Ultraman pursues the space monster Bemular to Earth, leading to a fateful encounter with Shin Hayata, an agent of the SSSP;
  • Episode 2, “Shoot the Invader,” in which Ultraman’s iconic foe, Alien Baltan, makes its first appearance in a tale narrated by Ide, the SSSP’s genius inventor;
  • Episode 19, “Demons Rise Again,” in which an ancient time capsule unleashes the red-skinned monster Banila and its blue-skinned rival Aboras, who wage a titanic battle in the National Stadium;
  • Episodes 26 and 27, “The Monster Highness” Parts 1 and 2, the only two-part Ultraman story that features the Ancient Monster Gomora, who escapes captivity and overwhelms Ultraman as it rampages towards Osaka;
  • Episode 33, “The Forbidden Words,” in which even Ultraman may not be able to stop Alien Mefilas when he tries to convince a boy to give him the Earth; and
  • Episode 37, “A Little Hero,” in which Ide suffers a crisis of faith as the Friendly Monster Pigmon warns that the evil creature Geronimon is reviving an army of monsters to destroy Ultraman and the SSSP.

The Birth of Ultraman — Ultraman pre-premiere special aired in Japan on July 10, 1966, one week before the series premiere. The stage show was filmed before a live studio audience and introduced viewers to the story, cast and characters of “Ultraman.” This July 10 event on television is now celebrated annually and known throughout the world as “Ultraman Day.” Never-before-released in America, the special is presented in black and white (as originally broadcast) in standard definition with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

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“Ultraman” premiered on Japanese television on July 17, 1966. While the series was still in production, the North American rights were licensed to United Artists, who in-turn commissioned voice director Peter Fernandez (“Speed Racer”) to supervise the English dubbing of the show. The English-language version was syndicated to American television in 1967 and went on to air in various markets across the country into the early 1980s.

Lionsgate Heroes Get Dads Into Action for Father’s Day

Lionsgate has an army of heroes ready to ramp up the action for dads on Father’s Day, June 21. The studio’s catalog is filled with classics that feature iconic characters, including Rambo, John Wick and the Highlander; the genre’s top directors, including James Cameron, Paul Verhoeven and Roland Emmerich; and the genre’s biggest stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and many more.

All five installments in the saga of Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo are available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. In First Blood (1982), Stallone originates the role of the war hero, an ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam. In Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), with a screenplay by Stallone and James Cameron (Titanic), Rambo’s survival skills are tested on a top-secret mission that takes him back to the jungles of Vietnam in search of American POWs. In Rambo III (1988), the veteran has finally begun to find inner peace inside a monastery — until his friend and men-tor Col. Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) shows up to ask for his help on a top-secret mission in Afghanistan. Rambo (2008) finds the hero leading a group of battle-scarred, combat-hardened mercenaries on a mission to rescue aid workers in war-torn Burma. Finally, Rambo: Last Blood, billed as the last chapter of Rambo’s story, finds Stallone’s tortured warrior in a brief moment of relative peace before he must unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

Lionsgate’s catalog also includes the saga of another hero driven by vengeance, John Wick. Keanu Reeves stars as Wick in three chapters available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. In John Wick (2014), the ex-hitman comes out of retirement to hunt down the gangsters that killed his dog and took everything from him. The sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 finds Wick returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt with a large bounty on his life. In John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, Wick has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild.

No action catalog is complete without Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lionsgate has two of his iconic movies, Terminator 2, available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, and Total Recall, available on Blu-ray plus Digital HD, DVD and Digital. In the science-fiction classic Total Recall (1990), directed by Paul Verhoeven, Schwarzenegger plays a mild-mannered construction worker who takes a virtual vacation and finds himself embroiled in espionage on Mars unable to determine if the experiences are real. Director James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) has the action star in another sci-fi classic, reprising his role as a robotic killing machine — this time on the side of humans Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong).

Another classic 1990s action film, Universal Soldier, is available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. The Roland Emmerich-directed science-fiction actioner (1992) pits Jean-Claude Van Damme against Dolph Lundgren in a story of military experiments gone wrong.

Lionsgate has two star-studded ensembles in 2010’s RED and The Expendables. RED, on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, stars Bruce Willis as a former black-ops agent who reassembles his old team to battle an assassin. It also stars Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Mary-Louise Parker. Boasting a who’s who of action stars, The Expendables features Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and many more in the story of a CIA operative who hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent. It features an appearance by Schwarzenegger and is also available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.

Government intrigue also figures into Sicario, about an idealistic FBI agent enlisted by a task force to aid in a drug war at the border. Available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, the 2015 dramatic action film stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro.

Finally, Lionsgate’s catalog features action-filled adventures Cutthroat Island (1995) and Highlander (1986). Directed by Renny Harlin, Cutthroat Island, available on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Geena Davis as a pirate racing against rivals to find a hidden island harboring treasure. Highlander, also available on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Christopher Lambert as an immortal Scottish swordsman battling through time.