‘Lake Michigan Monster,’ ‘Silent Running’ Among Titles Due on Blu-ray in November From MVD and Arrow

Lake Michigan Monster, Silent Running, Burst City and He Came From the Swamp: The William Grefe Collection are coming to Blu-ray in November from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Lake Michigan Monster (2018), due Nov. 3, is an action-packed tale of nautical derring-do and monster mayhem. It was the winner of the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival. The low-budget film — shot with most of the cast also performing multiple roles behind the camera — is a love letter to the sci-fi creature features of the 1950s. This story about an eccentric ship captain determined to tame the beast that slew his father was shot on 16 mm black-and-white film and is the stuff of Saturday matinees. On the shores of Lake Michigan, the eccentric Captain Seafield (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, who also writes and directs) enlists a colorful crew of misfits in a bid to slay the hellish sea monster that prowls the murky depths. But as Seafield’s obsession with exacting revenge on the creature that killed his father threatens to consume him, can weapons expert Sean Shaughnessy (Erick West), sonar whiz Nedge Pepsi (Beulah Peters) and former N.A.V.Y. — Nautical Athletes and Adventure Yunit — officer Dick Flynn (Daniel Long) hold the show together? Extras include two commentaries and multiple interviews.

Killer sharks, human jellyfish and living mummies appear in the first ever collection of works by William “Wild Bill” Grefé, the maverick filmmaker who braved the depths of the Florida everglades to deliver outrageous exploitation fare. Bringing together seven of Grefé’s most outlandish features, all new to Blu-ray, He Came from the Swamp: The William Grefé Collection, due Nov. 24, features demented jellyfish men (Sting of Death, 1966), zombified witch doctors (Death Curse of Tartu, 1966), homicidal hippies (The Hooked Generation, 1968) and seductive matrons (The Naked Zoo, 1971) — not to mention the ubiquitous go-go dancing college kids. Also in the collection are The Psychedelic Priest (1971), Mako: Jaws of Death (1976) and Whiskey Mountain (1977).

Burst City (1982), due Nov. 10, features dystopian sci-fi, Mad Max-style biker wars against yakuza gangsters and the police, and performances from members of the real-life Japanese punk bands The Stalin, The Roosters, The Rockers and INU. In a derelict industrial wasteland somewhere on the outskirts of Tokyo, two rival punk bands and their unruly mobs of fans gather for a Battle of the Bands-style protest against the construction of a nuclear powerplant, bringing them head to head with the yakuza industrialists behind the development of their turf. This extraordinary celebration of Japan’s punk music scene of the early 1980s thrust Sōgo Ishii (now known by the name of Gakuryū Ishii), the underground filmmaking wunderkind behind such works as Half Human: Einstürzende Neubauten (1986), Angel Dust (1994) and Electric Dragon 80,000V (2001), to the next level and is cited as an early landmark in Japanese cyberpunk cinema.

Due Nov. 17 is Silent Running (1972). Visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull (The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) contributed to the ground-breaking special photographic effects of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Four years later, he stamped his own indelible mark on the science fiction genre with his directorial debut — Silent Running. In the not-so-distant future, Earth is barren of all flora and fauna, with what remains of the planet’s former ecosystems preserved aboard a fleet of greenhouses orbiting in space. When the crews are ordered to destroy the remaining specimens, one botanist, Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern), rebels and flees towards Saturn in a desperate bid to preserve his own little piece of Earth that was, accompanied only by the ship’s three service robots.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

BLU-RAY REVIEW:  

Sony Pictures;
Comedy;
Box Office $141.06 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for language throughout, some strong graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references.
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Mike Moh, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino, Nicholas Hammond.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn’t so much a film as it is a time machine that transports the audience back to 1969, allowing the viewer to swim in the atmosphere and flavor of the era.

The movie is Tarantino’s love letter to the movies and TV shows he grew up with, providing a vast canvas for him to relish in his specialties of memorable characters, rich background detail, and an indelible soundtrack of period-specific songs.

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The story is a tale of contrasting Hollywood paths. On one road is former television Western star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a borderline has-been looking to hold onto his fame by taking guest spots as the bad guy in the popular shows of the day, when he’s not too drunk to remember his lines.

Dalton is accompanied everywhere by his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who’s even more down on his luck but gets by on a come-what-may attitude despite a shady past that has led to Rick being the only one willing to employ him.

On the flip side is Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), the up-and-coming starlet giddy over seeing her name on the movie marquee.

And in between them is the Manson family, which gives the film some historical context, grounding it in both a sense of dread and morbid fascination. Of course, anyone familiar with Tarantino’s previous efforts in historical fiction will understand where the real clash of this story is headed.

But as could be expected with Tarantino at the helm, the film transcends the bounds of story to give viewers the experience of living in the fantasy of 1960s Hollywood. A mix of parody and homage, the film is so beautifully shot and faithful to the styles of the time that it just feels like watching a memory — or at the very least, a dream of how things could have been.

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In typical Tarantino fashion, the overarching story isn’t so much the point as the individual scenes that comprise it, offering unforgettable bits of dialogue and character interactions, from Rick being reduced to tears by his 8-year-old co-star, to Rick and Cliff providing a running commentary watching an episode of “FBI.”

Even more of Tarantino’s Hollywood is offered up in the Blu-ray bonus materials, which feature more than 20 minutes of additional scenes, from expansions of scenes already in the movie to faux commercials for some of the products prominently featured.

Also included are five behind-the-scenes featurettes totaling more than a half-hour that detail the intricate re-creation of the period.

 

Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Gets Home Release Dates for Digital, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, the summer theatrical blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, will be released to home audiences digitally Nov. 26 and on disc two weeks later, on Dec. 10.

Disc versions will be available in the DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD formats from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in Hollywood in 1969, reimagines the Manson murders that shocked the city that year. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as actor Rick Dalton and his longtime friend and stuntman Cliff Booth, with Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate.

In the film, Dalton and Booth make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The cast also includes Julia Butters, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Luke Perry, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern and Al Pacino — and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

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The film earned $140.4 million in U.S. theaters, and was the highest opening weekend of Tarantino’s career at $41 milion. It has been Certified Fresh by RottenTomatoes.com.

The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases come with more than 20 additional minutes of footage that delves deeper into world of Rick Dalton’s Hollywood. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital include an additional behind-the-scenes look at the film’s production design, cinematography, costume design, cars and more.

Also due Dec. 10 is a limited 4K Ultra HD collector’s edition with a 7-inch vinyl record with two of the soundtrack’s 1960s hits,  a poster for the fictitious Rick Dalton film Operazione Dyn-o-mite!, and an exclusive mini-edition of a Mad Magazine parody of the Rick Dalton TV series “Bounty Law,” called “Lousy Law.” The collector’s edition may be ordered beginning Oct. 28 from Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Target.com.

The Blu-ray Disc release comes with several retailer-exclusive extras, including “Rick Dalton” movie poster cards from Walmart, a vintage-style film magazine with over 26 never-before-seen production photos at Target, and a Steelbook available at Best Buy. All exclusive offerings also may be ordered beginning Oct. 28.

Thriller ‘Freaks’ Coming to Digital Dec. 3 and Disc Dec. 10 From Well Go

The thriller Freaks will debut on digital Dec. 3 and Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Dec. 10 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Directed by Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins, “Kim Possible”) and Adam B. Stein (“Kim Possible”), the film stars Emile Hirsch (Once Upon a Time … in HollywoodSpeed Racer), Bruce Dern (NebraskaComing Home), Grace Park (“Hawaii 5-0,” “Battlestar Galactica”), Amanda Crew (The Haunting in ConnecticutThe Age of Adaline) and Lexy Kolker (“Shooter,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”).

In the film, kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat — or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.

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Bonus materials includes director’s commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Lionsgate Bringing ‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ Home in November

Lionsgate will release the inspirational comedic adventure The Peanut Butter Falcon through digital retailers Nov. 5, and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 12.

The film follows Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome who runs away from a residential nursing home to fulfill his dream of attending the pro wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). On the road, Zak meets Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a small-time outlaw who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together, they set out on a wild, life-changing journey and try to convince Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a kind nursing-home employee charged with bringing Zak back, to join them.

The cast also includes John Hawkes and Bruce Dern.

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The Peanut Butter Falcon has earned $16.8 million at the domestic box office.

Blu-ray and DVD bonus materials include a photo gallery and the featurette “Zack’s Story: The Making of Peanut Butter Falcon.”

‘White Boy Rick’ Due on Digital Dec. 11, Disc Dec. 25 from Sony

White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 11 and Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 25 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $24 million in theaters.

Based on true events, White Boy Rick tells the story of a blue-collar father (McConaughey) and his teenage son (newcomer Richie Merritt) in the corrupt world of 1980s Detroit at the height of the War on Drugs. Fifteen-year-old Rick Wershe Jr., dubbed “White Boy Rick”, becomes the youngest FBI informant in history, and later a drug dealer, manipulated by the very system meant to protect him, abandoned by his FBI handlers, and sentenced to life in prison.

Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Brian Tyree Henry (FX’s “Atlanta”), Rory Cochrane (Black Mass), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Jonathan Majors (Hostiles), Eddie Marsan (“Ray Donovan”, Deadpool 2), Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Piper Laurie (Carrie) also star.

Bonus features on disc and digital include six deleted scenes and three behind-the-scenes featurettes. “The Unknown True Story of Rick Wershe Jr.” features an audio interview with the real-life Rick Wershe Jr. from prison as he describes his story and shares personal photos and video from his trial. Director Yann Demange discusses how he found the diverse cast, including the unique way he discovered newcomer Merritt and how  McConaughey made the part his own in “The Three Tribes of Detroit: The Cast.” Finally, “The Making of White Boy Rick” covers what it took to recreate 1980s Detroit with insights into how filmmakers matched the tone with music and costume and production design. Also included is a pop-up trivia track with insider information on the true story and the making of the film.