‘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.

‘Survive the Game’ Due in Theaters and Home Release in October

Lionsgate will release the action thriller Survive the Game in theaters, via VOD and for digital purchase Oct. 8, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Oct. 12.

The film stars Swen Temmel as Cal, a cop whose partner, David (Bruce Willis) is injured in a drug bust gone wrong. Cal pursues the two criminals who shot David to a remote farm owned by troubled vet Eric (Chad Michael Murray). As Cal and Eric plot their defense, more of the gang arrives — along with a wounded David — and, outnumbered, the three heroes must use stealth, smarts, and marksmanship to take down the drug-dealing mob.

‘Unbreakable’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Digital Sept. 21

The 2000 sci-fi drama Unbreakable will arrive on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and digital for the first time Sept. 21 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will also be released as a limited-edition Steelbook available only at Best Buy stores that consumers can preorder beginning Aug. 10.

In the film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, after David Dunn (Bruce Willis) emerges from a horrific train crash as the sole survivor — and without a single scratch on him — he meets a mysterious, unsettling stranger (Samuel L. Jackson) who believes comic book heroes walk the earth, and whose sinister, single-minded obsession will impact David’s life forever.

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Bonus features include deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a look at comic book artistry and leading artists, a scene from a film Shyamalan made as a child, and animated storyboard and final scene comparisons of the train sequence.

Shout! Studios to Distribute Bruce Willis Actioner ‘American Siege’

Shout! Studios, the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, has signed an exclusive deal to distribute the new action thriller American Siege from The Exchange.

American Siege, featuring Bruce Willis, recently wrapped principal photography in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Willis plays a washed-up sheriff who guards the secrets of the wealthy residents of Fitzgerald, a quiet town in Georgia. He finds himself in the middle of a confrontation between the town’s mayor (Timothy V. Murphy) and three outlaws who take the town’s doctor hostage.

“Bruce Willis starring in a taut, twisty, nitrous oxide-fueled thriller is about as good as it gets.  We could not be more excited to share it far and wide,” stated Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions at Shout! Studios.

The cast also includes Corey Large, Cullen G. Chambers, Rob Gough and Johnny Messner. The film is a production of 308 Enterprises in association with The Exchange and BondIt Media Capital.

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Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America, including digital, video-on-demand, broadcast, theatrical and home entertainment for cross-platform releases.

Bruce Willis Film ‘Cosmic Sin’ Coming to DVD May 18 From Paramount

The Bruce Willis starrer Cosmic Sin will come out on DVD May 18 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film is already available in select theaters, on digital and on demand.

Willis and Frank Grillo star in the sci-fi adventure set in the year 2524, four hundred years after humans started colonizing the outer planets. Retired military general James Ford (Willis) is called back into service after soldiers on a remote planet are attacked by a hostile alien fleet. The threat against the human race escalates into an inevitable interstellar war. Gen. Ford teams up with Gen. Eron Ryle (Grillo) and a team of elite soldiers in a race to stop the imminent attack before it is too late.

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The film also stars Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, Perrey Reeves, C.J. Perry, Lochlyn Munro and Costas Mandylor.

‘Breach,’ ‘Love, Weddings & Other Disasters’ and ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ Top Feb. 2 Slate of New Disc, Digital Releases

The Bruce Willis sci-fi thriller Breach, the Lionsgate romantic comedy Love, Weddings & Other Disasters and the Emily Blunt romance Wild Mountain Thyme top the slate of new disc and digital releases available for home viewing beginning Feb. 2.

Breach, which is making its DVD debut from Paramount Home Entertainment, opened in December in select theaters and became available at the same time through digital retailers and on VOD. Fleeing a devastating plague on Earth, an interstellar ark comes under attack from a new threat — a shape-shifting alien force intent on slaughtering what is left of humanity. Joining Willis in the cast are Cody Kearsley,  Johnny Messner, Thomas Jane, Rachel Nichols, Corey Large, Alexander Kane and Kassandra Clementi.

After a brief theatrical run, Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is now available on Blu-ray Disc (with digital copy) and DVD. The film is the first independent feature from Dennis Dugan, whose directing credits include Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy. Against a backdrop of a couple’s impending wedding, the film weaves together multiple storylines as it follows the search for love by a colorful group of characters. The ensemble cast includes Diane Keaton, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Grace and Andrew Bachelor. Extras include an audio commentary with co-screenwriter and director Dennis Dugan; descriptive audio commentary for the blind; and the featurette “A Celebration: Making Love, Weddings, & Other Disasters.”

Wild Mountain Thyme becomes available Feb. 2 on DVD and through digital retailers from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film, directed by John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck), follows headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Blunt), who has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer. Stung by his father Tony Reilly’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams in this comedic romantic tale.

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Universal on Feb. 2 is also releasing the drama Let Him Go on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, two weeks after the film became available for digital sellthrough. The film stars Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as a husband and wife who, after the death of their son, leave their Montana ranch to journey through North Dakota to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a ruthless family. Let Him Go is based on the novel of the same name by Larry Watson.

Also from Universal are two older movies timed to Black History Month, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Spike Lee’s iconic Do the Right Thing.

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, making its Blu-ray Disc debut Feb. 2, is a highly acclaimed 1974 TV drama starring the late Cicely Tyson, who died Jan. 28 at the age of 96. Based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, the film chronicles the period of American history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, based on the memories of a fictional 110-year-old former slave, portrayed by Tyson. The film won nine Emmy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress and Actress of the Year honors for Tyson.

Do the Right Thing is being issued on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time. In the 1989 film, a hot summer day in the inner city brings racial tensions to a boiling point in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. The cast includes Lee, Danny Aiello, Rosie Perez, John Turturro and Samuel L. Jackson. The film earned two Oscar nominations, including one for Best Original Screenplay and a Best Supporting Actor nod for Aiello. Extras in the combo pack include a new introduction by Lee; deleted and extended scenes; feature commentary by Lee; and a documentary featuring cast and crew.

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

Breach

DVD REVIEW:

Street 2/2/21;
Paramount;
Sci-Fi;
$19.98 DVD;
Rated ‘R’ for language throughout and some bloody violence.
Stars Bruce Willis, Cody Kearsley, Callan Mulvey, Kassandra Clementi, Timothy V. Murphy, Rachel Nichols, Thomas Jane.

Bruce Willis’ late-career run of quickie direct-to-video cash-ins continues with Breach, a lackluster sci-fi/horror pastiche.

Set hundreds of years in the future, Breach focuses on giant spacecraft tasked with ferrying hundreds of thousands of people to a colony world to escape Earth, which is being ravaged by plague. Most of the colonists and crew go into suspended animation, leaving a handful of engineers and custodians to keep the ship operating for the duration of the voyage.

Willis gives a one-note performance as the gruff head janitor, who has to deal with a stowaway (Cody Kearsley) who was rejected for the trip despite his pregnant girlfriend being the daughter of the admiral in charge of the ship.

Meanwhile, an alien parasite begins to kill the few crew members who are still awake, and takes over their bodies to form an army of the undead that tries to sabotage the ship and destroy the human colony. It’s up to Willis to rally the survivors to take back the ship and save the day.

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While the film makes a game attempt to present some gritty sci-fi on an obviously tight budget, there’s not much here any self-respecting sci-fi fan won’t have seen before Viewers will probably have more fun trying to spot all the plot points borrowed from better movies. Some of the more obvious ones include Alien, Venom, Sunshine, Armageddon, Interstellar and Passengers. Just set up a drinking game and call it a party.

The DVD comes with a digital copy but no bonus materials.