‘Wizard of Oz’ Off to 4K Oct. 29

The 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital Oct. 29 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Directed by Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gayle, The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars, Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score, plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Garland. Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s children’s tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz also stars Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion and Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman.

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The film appears on multiple AFI lists, including: 100 Years… 100 Movies (No. 6); 100 Years… 100 Thrills (No. 43); 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains (No. 4); 100 Years… 100 Songs (No. 1); 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes (No. 4); and Greatest Movie Musicals (No. 3). In 1989 The Wizard of Oz was part of the inaugural group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

A new 8K, 16 bit scan of the original Technicolor camera negative was the basis for the 4K UHD scan, according to the studio. The process was overseen by MPI colorist Janet Wilson, who has overseen every remaster of The Wizard of Oz for the past 20 years.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of The Wizard of Oz will feature Dolby Vision HDR.

UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray special features include commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren and the 1990 CBS Special “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic.”

Blu-ray special features include:

  • “The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”;
  • “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook” (narrated by Angela Lansbury);
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Frank Morgan”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Ray Bolger”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Bert Lahr”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Jack Haley”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Billie Burke”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Margaret Hamilton”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Charley Grapewin”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Clara Blandick”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Terry”;
  • a music and effects track;
  • the original mono track;
  • sing along tracks;
  • an audio jukebox;
  • the “Leo is on the Air” radio promo;
  • the “Good News of 1939” radio show;
  • the 12/25/1950 Lux radio broadcast;
  • stills galleries; and
  • trailers.

Italian Film ‘The First King’ Coming to DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 24 From Well Go

The Italian film The First King will be released on DVD and Blu-ray (plus DVD) combo pack and digital Sept. 24 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The historical drama follows Romulus and Remus, two shepherds and loyal brothers who are destined to found the greatest empire the world has ever seen‚ but only one can rule. The journey to greatness is paved with blood, and the fate of the chosen one lies in the hands of a brother.

The film is directed by Matteo Rovere (Drifters) and stars Alessandro Borghi, Alessio Lapice, Fabrizio Rongione, Massimiliano Rossi and Tania Garribba.

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The release features a new English dub. Bonus materials include a making-of featurette.

Romero-Argento Horror Compilation ‘Two Evil Eyes’ Due on Blu-ray Oct. 29 From MVD and Blue Underground

Two Evil Eyes, featuring a pair of shockers inspired by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe from directors George Romero and Dario Argento, will come out in a three-disc, limited-edition Blu-ray plus CD set from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

In Romero’s The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar, a conniving wife (Adrienne Barbeau) and her lover use a hypnotic trance to embezzle a fortune from her dying husband, only to receive some chilling surprises from beyond the grave. In Argento’s The Black Cat, a deranged crime scene photographer (Harvey Keitel) is driven to brutal acts of madness and murder by his girlfriend’s new pet.

Martin Balsam, E.G. Marshall, John Amos and Tom Atkins co-star.

In celebration of its 30th Anniversary, Blue Underground presents Two Evil Eyes in a new 4K restoration from its original camera negative.

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Bonus features include new audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Murder By Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento; the theatrical trailer; a poster and still gallery; “Two Masters’ Eyes,” featuring interviews with Argento and Romero, special make-up effects supervisor Tom Savini, executive producer Claudio Argento and Asia Argento; “Savini’s EFX,” a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s special make-up effects; “At Home With Tom Savini,” a personal tour of Savini’s home; “Adrienne Barbeau on George Romero”; “Before I Wake,” a new interview with star Ramy Zada; “Behind the Wall,” a new interview with star Madeleine Potter; “One Maestro and Two Masters,” a new interview with composer Pino Donaggio; “Rewriting Poe,” a new interview with co-writer Franco Ferrini; “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Die,” a new interview with assistant director Luigi Cozzi; “Two Evil Brothers,” a new interview with special make-up assistant Everett Burrell; and “Working With George,” a new interview with costume designer Barbara Anderson.

The set also includes a CD with the original motion picture soundtrack by Donaggio and a collectable booklet with a new essay by Michael Gingold.

Horror Film ‘Midsommar’ Due on Digital Sept. 24 From A24, Disc Oct. 8 From Lionsgate

The sun-soaked horror film Midsommar, from director Ari Aster (Hereditary), is coming on digital and on demand Sept. 24 from A24, and on Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital) and DVD Oct. 8 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Florence Pugh as a young woman who, after a family tragedy, reluctantly joins her boyfriend on a summer trip to a remote Swedish village for a midsummer festival, which becomes more and more sinister as the days pass. What begins as a carefree summer holiday takes a turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that grow increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.

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The film, which made $25.9 million at the domestic box office, also stars Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper and Will Poulter.

Disc special features include a making-of featurette, offering insight into Aster’s vision.

Horror Film ‘Nightwish’ Due on Disc Aug. 27 From MVD

The horror film Nightwish is coming to Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 27 from MVD Entertainment Group and Unearthed Classics.

In the film, using sensory deprivation techniques, a doctor of parapsychology provokes his students to examine their own deaths in evermore horrifying circumstances. Roles are exchanged and shuffled as reality and fantasy become indistinguishable and each new dreadful death proves more terrifying than the last. Their paranormal explorations lead them to an abandoned mansion in a desolate area that natives call the “Valley of Fear” where years of drinking chemically tainted water have led to a genetically damaged population and mutant wildlife. Local legends also tell stranger stories of extraterrestrials, which the students attempt to explore.

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Special features include commentary with producer Paul White and Stephen Biro; trailers; and for the first run only, an alternate slip cover and a booklet on the film.

‘Galaxy Quest’ Limited Edition Steelbook Available Exclusively at Best Buy Sept. 17

Paramount Home Entertainment Sept. 17 is releasing a limited collector’s edition Blu-ray steelbook of Galaxy Quest for its 20th anniversary exclusively at Best Buy.

The sci-fi send-up about aging TV actors who encounter aliens stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Enrico Colantoni, Daryl Mitchell and Justin Long.

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Special features include:

  • “Galactopedia,” on-screen information about characters, ships, aliens and more;
  • “Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest,” with cast and filmmakers discussing the making of the film;
  • “Never Give Up, Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector,” about the cast;
  • “By Grabthar’s Hammer, What Amazing Effects,” which explores the effects by ILM and Stan Winston;
  • “Alien School—Creating the Thermian Race,” about actor Enrico Colantoni’s process of developing the voice and manner of an alien race;
  • “Actors in Space,” which delves into the psyche of the cast;
  • “Sigourney Weaver Raps”;
  • deleted scenes; and
  • the theatrical trailer.

Classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray Oct. 29 From Paramount

Director Frank Capra’s holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time Oct. 29 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck banker who learns to appreciate life after being visited by an angel.

The studio spent more than a year restoring the film, using the original nitrate negative along with two fine grain masters made in the 1940s. Each element was scanned using the latest technology to both preserve the delicate negative and create the best possible digital image, according the studio. Fortunately, 13 of the 14 reels of the original negative survived, but portions had begun to deteriorate so the best image was selected from one of the three original sources on a shot-by-shot basis, according to the studio.

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The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack includes the black-and-white film in 4K UHD, as well as a colorized version on Blu-ray, along with three special features: “Restoring a Beloved Classic,” “Secrets from the Vault” and “It’s A Wonderful Wrap Party.” A two-Disc Blu-ray set will also be available that includes the newly remastered film in black-and-white, along with a colorized version and the three special features.

‘Charlie’s Angels,’ ‘The King of Queens’ Series Sets on Mill Creek October Disc Slate

Complete series sets of the classic 1970s TV show “Charlie’s Angels” and “The King of Queens” are among the titles on the October disc slate for Mill Creek Entertainment

Due Oct. 15 is the complete series of “The King of Queens,” starring Kevin James and Leah Remini, on DVD. The series, which ran for nine seasons, stars James as Doug Heffernan, a lovable regular guy with an adoring wife, Carrie (Remini), and a frustrating father-in-law (Jerry Stiller) under his roof. The set is priced at $74.98.

Oct. 29 comes the complete series set of “Charlie’s Angels” on Blu-ray Disc for the first time at $169.98. The 1970s detective show stars Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts. The series, about three girls who go to work for Charles Townsend, a mysterious man they never see, at his Beverly Hills detective agency, ran for five seasons. The set includes the 2011 TV reboot starring Rachel Taylor, Anne Ilonzeh and Minka Kelly.

Also due Oct. 29 is the double feature Blu-ray of Little Women and Marie Antoinette at $14.98. Little Women stars Claire Danes, Winona Ryder (“Stranger Things”) and Kirsten Dunst in the class Louisa May Alcott story. Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola, stars Dunst as the famously fashionable and villainous queen who purportedly told her starving people, “Let them eat cake.” Dunst portrays the ill-fated child princess who married France’s young and indifferent King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman). Feeling isolated in a royal court rife with scandal and intrigue, Marie Antoinette defied both royalty and commoner by living like a rock star, which served only to seal her fate.

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Finally, on Oct. 29, Mill Creek releases the horror thriller The Thing (2011), a prelude to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic film, at $14.98 on Blu-ray. When paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) travels to an isolated outpost in Antarctica for the expedition of a lifetime, she joins an international team that unearths a remarkable discovery. Their elation quickly turns to fear as they realize that their experiment has freed a mysterious being from its frozen prison. Paranoia spreads like an epidemic as a creature that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive.

Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ Coming to Disc and Digital Sept. 17

Country Music, a documentary series by director and producer Ken Burns, will bow on DVD, Blu-ray and digital Sept. 17 from PBS Distribution coinciding with its national broadcast on PBS.

In the series, Burns chronicles the history of the uniquely American art form, country music. Starting from its early days in the 1920s and following it through the mid-1990s, Burns takes viewers on a journey chronicling “America’s music” in 16 hours on eight discs.

The series focuses on the personal stories of the characters who created and shaped the genre — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times and places in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people. Country Music uncovers the roots of the music, including ballads, minstrel music, hymns and the blues and its early years in the 1920s when it was first recorded and called “hillbilly music.” It then shows how the music sprouted many new branches during the 20th century: Western swing and singing cowboys, bluegrass and honky tonk, rockabilly and the “outlaws,” the smooth Nashville Sound and harder-edged Bakersfield Sound, and many others — showing that country music never was just one style but a broad American mixture that became a major cultural force.

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The DVD and Blu-ray include more than three hours of extra bonus footage that will not be airing, including a behind-the-scenes, making-of featurette and additional material gleaned from hours of interviews.

‘John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum’ Shoots to Digital Aug. 23, Disc Sept. 10 Including 4K

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum arrives on digital Aug. 23 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, and on demand Sept. 10 from Lionsgate.

The third film in the “John Wick” franchise starring Keanu Reeves earned $169.7 million at the domestic box office.

Chapter 3 also stars Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Marc Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston and Ian McShane. In the film, super assassin John Wick (Reeves) has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild. With an army of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women on his trail, John must find a way to survive.

The 4K UHD includes Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound.

The release includes featurettes that explore the mythology and action of the “John Wick” universe; the hidden world of Killer Ballerinas, Shinobi, and the Bowery King; the planning that went into the film’s horse chase sequence and “dog-fu” fight sequences; and the editing with director Chad Stahelski and editor Evan Schiff.

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Special features on the DVD, Blu-ray and digital versions include:

  • “Parabellum: Legacy of the High Table” featurette;
  • “Excommunicado” featurette;
  • two theatrical trailers;
  • John Wick Hex game trailer;
  • “Behind the Scenes of John Wick Hex” featurette.

The digital and Blu-ray versions will also include:

  • “Check Your Sights” featurette;
  • “Saddle Up Wick” featurette;
  • “Bikes, Blades, Bridges, and Bits” featurette;
  • “Continental in the Desert” featurette;
  • “Dog Fu” featurette;
  • “House of Transparency” featurette;
  • “Shot by Shot” featurette.