Lionsgate Releasing Walmart-Exclusive 4K ‘Red’ Steelbook Collection April 2

Lionsgate has announced a Red 2-Film Collection will be released in a 4K Steelbook edition April 2 exclusively at Walmart.
 
The set will include the spy comedies Red (2010) and Red 2 (2013) on both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD disc, plus digital copy codes.
 

The title refers to the acronym “Retired, Extremely Dangerous,” a designation for former spys. The first film stars Bruce Willis as a former black-ops CIA agent living a quiet life alone until a hit squad shows up to kill him. To uncover the scheme that has ensnared him, he reassembles his former team of elite operatives, played by Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren.

In the second film, the team reunites to track down a missing portable nuclear device.

Additional cast members include Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, Rebecca Pidgeon, Richard Dreyfuss, Julian McMahon, Ernest Borgnine, James Remar, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-hun Lee, David Thewlis and Neal McDonough.
 
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Extras on the first film include an audio commentary with retired CIA field officer Robert Baer, deleted and extended scenes, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The second film includes “The Red 2 Experience” multi-part documentary, deleted scenes and a trailer.

‘Expendables 4-Film Collection’ Due in Blu-ray Combo Pack March 5

The Expendables 4-Film Collection arrives on Blu-ray (plus DVD plus digital) March 5 from Lionsgate.

The action franchise has earned more than $780 million at the box office.

This bundle, which features four art cards, includes all four films in “The Expendables” franchise. In The Expendables, the elite mercenaries (Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham) are caught in a web of betrayal and deceit when they’re hired by a shady operative (Bruce Willis) to overthrow a South American dictator. In The Expendables 2, a deranged arms dealer (Jean-Claude Van Damme) turns the team’s (Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren) easy paycheck into a tragedy, while The Expendables 3 pits old school vs. new blood when Barney Ross and his team (Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford) square off against a longtime foe (Mel Gibson). In Expend4bles, a new group of mercenaries (50 Cent, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa) joins the “old guard” to help fight an arms dealer with his own private army.

Each title includes myriad special features.

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Bruce Willis Actioner ‘Last Man Standing’ Arriving on Blu-ray Dec. 26

Shout! Studios will release the 1996 action film Last Man Standing on Blu-ray Disc Dec. 26.         

Directed by Walter Hill, Last Man Standing stars Bruce Willis as John Smith, a mysterious stranger in Prohibition-era Texas who is drawn into a vicious war between two rival crime families, switching allegiances between them as he offers his services to the highest bidder.

The cast also includes Bruce Dern, Christopher Walken, Leslie Mann and William Sanderson.

Blu-ray extras are still being finalized.

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Four Rooms

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Via Vision;
Comedy;
Australian Import;
AUD$34.95 (≈$22.37 U.S.);
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive strong language, sexuality and some drug use.
Stars Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, Valeria Golino, Madonna, Ione Skye, Lili Taylor, Alicia Witt, Sammi Davis, Amanda De Cadenet, Jennifer Beals, David Proval, Lana McKissack, Danny Verduzco, Tamlyn Tomita, Paul Calderon, Quentin Tarantino, Bruce Willis, Marisa Tomei Kathy Griffin, Marc Lawrence.

After encountering each other on the 1992 festival circuit, four up-and-coming indie filmmakers hit upon an idea for a collaboration. Each would write and direct a segment of an anthology film tied together by the framing device of a hotel bellhop dealing with eccentric guests on a wild New Year’s Eve.

Those directors were Allison Anders (Gas Food Lodging), Alexandre Rockwell (In the Soup), Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi) and Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs), and resulting film was 1995’s Four Rooms.

While each could have conceivably written anything for their vignette, they all tried their hands at comedy, which alleviated any potential tonal problems. Tim Roth was cast as Ted the bellhop to serve as the one constant running through each sketch. Ultimately, however, the clash in filmmaking styles did not make for a smooth cinematic experience, resulting in Roth’s oddball performance being somewhat off-putting, and the film was not generally well received by critics or audiences at the time.

The first segment, by Anders, focuses on a coven of witches (Valeria Golino, Madonna, Ione Skye, Lili Taylor, Alicia Witt, Sammi Davis) trying to resurrect their idol, leading one of them to seduce Ted to gain the final ingredient needed to complete their spell.

The second, by Rockwell, finds Ted stumbling into the room of a crazy man (David Proval) with a gun who accuses Ted of being the man with whom his wife (Jennifer Beals) is having an affair.

In the third, by Rodriguez, a couple (Antonio Banderas and Tamlyn Tomita) head out for a New Year’s party, leaving their young children in Ted’s care to disastrous results.

The fourth, by Tarantino, finds Ted roped into a bet between a Hollywood director (played by Tarantino himself) and one of his pals (Paul Calderon). This is essentially an adaptation of the “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episode Man From the South, which itself is based on the Roald Dahl short story of the same name. With its grounding in a hyper-specific pop culture reference and its free-flowing dialogue, this is raw, unfiltered Tarantino.

In addition to various interstitials that find Ted called to each room, there’s also what is essentially a fifth segment (taking place between rooms three and four) in which Ted tries calling his boss (Kathy Griffin) to complain about the guests, only to have a strange conversation with her roommate (Marisa Tomei).

Unsurprisingly, the effectiveness of the segments more or less corresponds with the career trajectory of whomever made it.

Anders devoting her segment to a supernatural theme doesn’t get the film started off on the strongest note. Ironically enough, it’s the lone female director of the group who resorts to gratuitous nudity, with several of the witches performing the spell topless. That at least gives it an edge over Rockwell’s segment, which is the least memorable.

The film is probably best known for the contributions by Rodriguez and Tarantino, who have gone on to have much more visible careers in the 28 years since. And since Roth was pretty much Tarantino’s go-to guy at the time (having featured roles in both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction), the film is generally more associated with them than the other two. The pair would even collaborate again the next year on From Dusk till Dawn and in 2007 on Grindhouse (apart from various other cameos in each other’s films).

In contrast, Anders would go on to become mostly a television director, while Rockwell (Beals’ husband at the time) made a few more obscure indie films before going into teaching at NYU’s film school.

Among some other tidbits: The film’s producer, Lawrence Bender, appears as a partygoer in between the first and second segments; Bruce Willis, who appears in Tarantino’s segment as a favor to the director, went uncredited due to allegedly violating SAG rules by taking no payment for the role; and the bikini-clad dancer seen from the neck down on the TV in Rodriguez’s segment is none other than Salma Hayek, who would basically perform a similar role (but with her face visible) in From Dusk till Dawn.

The film’s home video history as far as the U.S. is concerned has been mostly confined to VHS and a handful of DVD releases over the years, making it Tarantino’s only film not yet on Blu-ray aside from a handful of region-locked European releases (even the “CSI” episode he directed is on Blu-ray). This region-free edition from Australian distributor Via Vision should allow many a Tarantino and Rodriguez collector to fill in that HD content hole.

The transfer looks great, pretty much exactly what one would expect a 1990s film from four different indie directors using different cinematographers and editors to look like. The main title animated sequence looks a bit soft but that likely owes more to compositing techniques at the time than any fault of the transfer.

The Blu-ray includes the film’s trailer, which contains snippets of footage that was apparently cut from the final version. There are also two vintage featurettes: a six-minute making-of, and a 21-minute deeper dive into the individual directors.

Willis-Travolta Action Thriller ‘Paradise City’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 20

The action thriller Paradise City, starring Bruce Willis and John Travolta, arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD Dec. 20 from Lionsgate.

Directed by Chuck Russell (The Scorpion King, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Mask), Paradise City is Travolta and Willis’s first on-screen reunion since Pulp Fiction.
 
In the film, when bounty hunter Ian Swan (Willis) is shot and presumed dead after disappearing in Maui waters, Swan’s son Ryan (Blake Jenner), his ex-partner (Stephen Dorff) and a local detective (Praya Lundberg) set out to find his killers. After being threatened by a ruthless power-broker crime boss (Travolta), it appears Ryan and his team are out of options — until an excursion to the closely guarded island community of Paradise City unites them with an unforeseen ally.

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Bruce Willis Crime Thriller ‘Wrong Place’ Headed to DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 20

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.

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In addition to Willis (Die Hard, Armageddon), the film stars Ashley Greene (the “Twilight” saga, Bombshell), Texas Battle (Final Destination 3, Coach Carter) and Michael Sirow (Survive the Game, Fortress), and is directed by Mike Burns.

‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,’ ‘Robocop’ on 4K Among Titles Due in April From Arrow and MVD

Six titles, including two new box sets and three 4K Ultra HD releases, are available in the April lineup from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, from legendary Shaw Brothers’ director Lau Kar-leung, makes its American Blu-ray debut April 5. In the film, General Yeung Yip and his sons are ambushed and brutally attacked, leaving Yip and all but two of his sons killed or captured. One son, Yeung Chiu (Alexander Fu Sheng), returns home to his mother and sisters. The other son, Yeung Dak (Gordon Liu), goes to live in a monastery where he develops the eight diagram pole fighting technique. After one of their sisters is captured, Dak is driven with anger to return home and exact his revenge. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter was one of the last great martial arts epics to be released by the famous Shaw Brothers studio. However, the film is also remembered for the great tragedy that struck during filming. Star Fu Sheng tragically died in a car accident midway through production. As a result, Kar-leung reworked the final half of the script, turning it into the ultimate action spectacular as a tribute to his young star. This Arrow release features a brand-new 2K restoration from the original camera negative and comes loaded with bonus content.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is available on 4K Ultra HD April 12. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars alongside an all-star cast that includes Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter and Ian Holm in this cinematic telling of the influential gothic tale. At the turn of the 19th century, scientist Victor Frankenstein (Branagh) is determined to conquer human morality. His attempt at playing God results in the creation of a hideous monster (De Niro). The film earned an Oscar nod for Best Makeup and seven nominations at the Saturn Awards. Arrow brings the film to 4K for the first time with a brand new restoration from the original camera negatives. The release includes a slate of new special features, including a documentary on the origins and evolution of the Frankenstein story. 

April 12 also marks the release of Robocop in a limited edition 4K Ultra HD steelbook. This sci-fi classic, about a terminally injured cop (Peter Weller) that returns to the line of duty as a cyborg advertised as the future of law enforcement, introduced Hollywood to the wild world of director Paul Verhoeven. The film is making its global debut in 4K, with a restoration approved by Verhoeven. Included in this limited edition release are both the theatrical and director’s cuts of the film.

On April 19, Arrow will release Rogue Cops & Racketeers: Two Crime Thrillers by Enzo G. Castellari on Blu-ray. One of the most influential Italian genre directors of all time, Castellari made a name for himself helming titles such as Keoma and The Inglorious Bastards. Arrow presents two of Castellari’s action-packed titles in one set. First up, is 1976’s The Big Racket, in which a gang of goons attempts to bring an Italian city to its knees by extorting money from local shops and bar owners. Unfortunately for them, Inspector Palmieri (Fabio Testi) is on the scene. The film is notable for a death-defying stunt that sees Testi trapped in a car that goes tumbling down a ditch. Rounding out the set is Castellar’s The Heroin Busters. Testi returns, this time as an Italian police officer that goes undercover to bring down an international heroin smuggling ring. While on the job, he and a hot-tempered Interpol agent (David Hemmings) working the same case, butt heads. The limited-edition two-disc set includes brand-new 2K restorations for both films, new audio commentary tracks and new interviews.

Arrow will release their second set of Claude Chabrol films on April 26 with Twisting The Knife: Four Films by Claude Chabrol. This four-disc set brings together four films from the later part of Chabrol’s career starting with 1997’s The Swindle. In that film, Victor (Michel Serrault) and Betty (Isabelle Huppert) are a pair of small-time scam artists that travel in their camper van from business convention to business convention robbing unsuspecting businessmen. Betty sets her sights on something more ambitious and convinces Victor to take on a mark with a potential payday of 5 million Swiss francs. The pair soon realize they’re in over-their-head and must fight for their lives. In The Color of Lies, a 10-year-old girl is found murdered in a small town. René (Jacques Gamblin), her art teacher, is the last one to see her alive and instantly becomes a prime suspect. Chabrol partnered with Huppert once more for the 2000 psychological thriller Nightcap. Huppert stars as Mika, owner of a Swiss chocolate company and the first wife of renowned pianist André Polonski (Jacques Dutronc). After André’s second wife dies, he remarries Mika. Soon an unsuspecting visitor arrives, bringing with her revelations of foul play and long-hidden family secrets. The final film on the set is 2003’s The Flower of Evil, in which a wealthy family living in Bordeaux sees their perfect life come crashing down when the wife of the family, Anne (Nathalie Baye), decides to run for mayor. A political smear campaign reveals secrets of an old murder scandal that threatens to bring the family down. The Flower of Evil was nominated for Best European Film at the 18th annual Goya Awards. Bonus content on the set includes new 4K restorations; new audio commentary tracks; new interviews; and an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by Sean Hogan, Brad Stevens, Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Pamela Hutchinson.

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The month comes to a close on April 26 with the 4K Ultra HD upgrade of Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi thriller 12 Monkeys. Set in a future world that is ravaged by disease and death, the film stars Bruce Willis as a convict sent back in time to find the original virus and help develop a cure. Brad Pitt earned an Oscar nomination for his turn as Jeffrey Goines, a mental patient with environmentalist and anti-corporatist views. This new release comes with archival bonus content and a limited-edition illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Nathan Rabin and Ian Christie.

Bruce Willis Action Thriller ‘Deadlock’ Due on DVD Feb. 1

The Bruce Willis action thriller Deadlock will be released on DVD Feb. 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film is already available for digital purchase and on demand.

In Deadlock, Willis stars as Ron Whitlock, a wanted criminal leading a team of mercenaries on a mission of vengeance. Convinced that the government is working against them, the merciless group brutally seizes an energy plant and holds everyone inside hostage. With a nearby town on the brink of massive flooding and destruction, it’s up to retired elite army ranger Mack Karr (Patrick Muldoon) to save thousands of innocent lives before it’s too late.

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Redbox Acquires U.S. Distribution Rights to Bruce Willis Actioner ‘Vendetta’

Redbox Entertainment Sept. 17 announced it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the action-thriller Vendetta. Written and directed by Jared Cohn (The Horde), Vendetta stars Bruce Willis, Clive Standen (Taken), Thomas Jane (The Last Son), Theo Rossi (Army of the Dead) and Mike Tyson (The Hangover). The film will premiere in 2022 and is expected to have a limited theatrical run and be available day-and-date on digital platforms.

When his daughter is murdered, William Duncan (Standen) takes the law into his own hands, setting out on a quest for retribution. After killing the street thug responsible for her death, he finds himself in the middle of a war with the thug’s brother (Rossi), father (Willis), and their gang, who are equally hell-bent on getting even. What ensues is a tense back-and-forth game of vengeance. By the end, William comes to find that the quest for revenge never has a winner.

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“We’re always on the lookout for films that have engrossing storylines and casts that will bring those stories to life,” Redbox CEO Galen Smith said in a statement. “Vendetta has all those elements and it will have audiences on the edge of their seats when it premieres next year.”

Vendetta is produced by Amar Balaggan (William, Past Never Dies), Benjamin Rappaport (Drone, The Last Word) and Ross Mrazek (The Swearing Jar, The Butterfly Effect 3) of B.A.R. None Productions, and Corey Large (Cosmic Sin, It Follows, The November Man, Lone Survivor) of 308 Enterprises, in association with Vector Film Services, Media Capital Group, and T.N.G. Capital Corp.

The deal was negotiated by Marc Danon of Redbox Entertainment and Brian O’Shea of The Exchange.

Tubi Announces Original Movie ‘Corrective Measures’ With Bruce Willis

As part of its original content rollout strategy, Tubi Sept. 8 announced the future original movie release Corrective Measures, a sci-fi action movie starring Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad, “The Walking Dead”) is set for release on the ad-supported VOD platform in spring 2022.

Based on a graphic novel, Corrective Measures is written, directed and produced by Sean Patrick O’Reilly (Howard Lovecraft, The Kingdom of Madness) and is set in San Tiburon, the world’s most dangerous maximum-security penitentiary and home to the world’s most treacherous superpowered criminals.

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Todd Masters of MastersFX (Predator, Child’s Play, Legion) will head the character and creature design. Produced by Arcana Productions and executive-produced by The Exchange. Jas Boparai, Corey Large, Johnny Messner and Steven Eads serve as executive producers. Michelle O’Reilly serves as producer.

“We’re excited to be harnessing the creative talent of Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Bruce Willis, Michael Rooker and Todd Masters to bring this celebrated comic book series to life,” Adam Lewinson, chief content officer at Tubi, said in a statement.

The Ubermax prison, hidden in the Great Northwest, houses monsters, cyborgs, and supervillains, all equipped with 24-hour power inhibitors and shock-collars. Most notorious among them is Julius “The Lobe” Loeb (Willis), a super genius sitting on an untraceable fortune. Warden Devlin (Rooker) is arguably as corrupt as his charges, with his sole interest in The Lobe’s riches, and has been trying to crack The Lobe for years without success.

The fragile peace of the prison is thrown into chaos with the arrival of Payback (Dan Payne, “Watchmen”), a murderous vigilante with red intentions on the entire prison community, and Diego Diaz (Brennan Mejia, “Power Rangers”), a driver on a trumped-up sentence. As tensions among the inmates and staff heighten, anarchy engulfs the prison and order is turned upside down.

Nat McCormick of The Exchange negotiated the deal and will be selling the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Over the coming year, more than 140 hours of all-new content are set to debut on Tubi, including original documentaries from Fox Alternative Entertainment; animated titles from Fox Entertainment’s Emmy Award-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment; and premium independent-minded titles across the black cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and Western genres.