Sam Worthington Crime Thriller ‘Transfusion’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD April 18

The Sam Worthington crime thriller Transfusion arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD April 18 from Lionsgate.

In his directorial debut, Matt Nable (TV’s “Mr Inbetween”) stars alongside Sam Worthington (Avatar).
In the film, ex-special forces operative Ryan Logan (Worthington) has a sharply honed set of survival skills that have allowed him to walk the line between courage and fear. But after a personal tragedy shatters his family and sends his teenaged son, Billy, into a world of drugs and delinquency, he is pushed to the edge. Desperate to make a new life for Billy, Ryan plunges into the criminal underground for one final mission.

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Liam Neeson Film ‘Marlowe’ Available Now for Premium Digital Sale and Rental, on Disc April 18

The Liam Neeson crime thriller Marlowe is available now for premium digital purchase and rental and will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD April 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Neeson (Memory, Blacklight) portrays Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled private detective Phillip Marlowe in the Open Road Films release from Academy Award-winning director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game). The film also stars Academy Award winner Jessica Lange (Blue Sky, Tootsie, The Gambler), Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds, Unknown, The Infiltrator), Emmy Award nominee Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife,” Battle of the Sexes, X2: X-Men United), and Golden Globe  nominee Danny Huston (The Constant Gardener, The Aviator, 21 Grams). 

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Set in late 1930s Bay City, Marlowe centers on streetwise, down on his luck detective Philip Marlowe, who is hired to find the ex-lover of a glamorous heiress (Kruger), daughter of a well-known movie star (Lange). The disappearance unearths a web of lies, and soon Marlowe is involved in a dangerous, deadly investigation where everyone involved has something to hide.

Crime Thriller Series ‘DI Ray’ Headed to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel Feb. 20

The crime thriller series “DI Ray,” executive produced by Jed Mercurio (“Line of Duty”) and starring Parminder Nagra (“The Blacklist,” Bend it Like Beckham), will start streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel Feb. 20.

The four-part series, set in Birmingham, England, will also premiere on the PBS app for viewers with PBS Passport, an added member benefit that provides extended access to a digital, on-demand library of PBS programs.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. The series will also have its broadcast premiere on July 9, 10-11 p.m. ET on PBS, and the PBS app.

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The series introduces viewers to Leicester-born Rachita Ray, a police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage. Rachita receives the promotion she’s been waiting for when she’s asked to join a homicide investigation. However, on her first day she’s told the murder to which she’s been assigned is a “culturally specific homicide.” Rachita’s heart sinks as she suspects she’s a “token appointment,” chosen for her ethnicity rather than her ability. Still, Rachita sticks to the case, determined to both find the killer and call out the obvious biases her colleagues are bringing to the investigation. It’s far from easy as the case isn’t a run-of-the-mill murder; it involves delving deep into the dangerous world of organized crime. Rachita didn’t count what the case stirs up inside her; the realization that she’s been burying a personal identity crisis her whole life.

The series also stars Gemma Whelan (“Game of Thrones”) as her boss DCI Kerry Henderson; Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”) as DI Martyn Hunter, who is also Ray’s fiancé; and Maanuv Thiara (“Landscapers”) as PS Tony Khatri, Rachita’s partner.

Screen Media Picks Up Rights to Crime Thriller ‘Devil’s Peak’

Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, has acquired all North American rights to the upcoming crime thriller Devil’s Peak, starring Billy Bob Thornton.

Screen Media will release the film exclusively in theaters on Feb. 17, followed by a digital release on Feb. 24.

In addition to Academy Award winner Thornton (The Gray Man, Bad Santa), the film stars Golden Globe winner Robin Wright (Wonder Woman 1984, “House of Cards”), Hopper Penn (War Machine, The Cleaner) and Academy Award nominee Jackie Earle Haley (“The Watchmen”).

Set in the Appalachian Mountains, Devil’s Peak follows a family dominated by a crime lord (Thornton) who controls his family and his business with his fists. When his son (Penn) meets the girl of his dreams (Katelyn Nacon), desperately wanting to escape the life he is expected to lead and free himself from the clutches of his father, he is forced to go head to head with the terrifying man who will stop at nothing to ensure loyalty from all of those around him.

Devil’s Peak is directed by Ben Young (Hounds of Love, Extinction) from a screenplay written by Robert Knott (Appaloosa), based on the novel Where All Light Tends to Go written by David Joy. 
“Working with a cast of this stature had always been a dream of mine,” said Young in a statement. “I wanted to get back to my roots and make a movie on location that would live or die by its performances. It’s movie-making in its purest form, driven by love and passion for the medium by all involved.”
“We’ve been big fans of the story since we first read it,” said David Fannon, chief acquisitions and distribution officer at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “Devil’s Peak is the kind of original storytelling that Screen Media can’t wait to bring it to audiences worldwide.” 

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The film was produced by Wright, Griff Furst, Josh Kesselman, Robert Knott, and Jamie Hilton. Executive producers include Ford Corbett, Seth Needle, Conor McAdam, Maurice Fadida, Angela Meredith Furst, Landon Gorman, Amanda Morrison, Brandon Powers, Anthony Standberry and David Nagelberg.
The deal was negotiated by Seth Needle, EVP of global acquisitions and co-productions, on behalf of Screen Media, with Griff Furst on behalf of the filmmakers.
Screen Media recently acquired Tom DeLonge’s directorial debut Monsters of California; Renny Harlin’s action film The Bricklayer, starring Aaron Eckhart and Nina Dobrev, from Millennium Films; The Locksmith, starring Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth and Ving Rhames; as well as the Bella Thorne-led thriller Saint Clare, starring Ryan Phillippe and Rebecca DeMornay. Recent film releases include Poker Face, directed by and starring Academy Award Winner Russell Crowe; Kevin Lewis’ follow-up to Willy’s Wonderland, The Accursed, starring Alexis Knapp and Mena Suvari; The Enforcer, starring Antonio Banderas and Kate Bosworth; The Immaculate Room, starring Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth and Ashley Greene Khoury; The Nan Movie, starring Catherine Tate; Code Name Banshee, starring Antonio Banderas, Jaime King and Tommy Flanagan; and the psychological horror film Monstrous, starring Christina Ricci.


Paramount+ Renews ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ for Second Season

Paramount+ has renewed original crime series “Criminal Minds: Evolution” for a second season. 

The series is one of the service’s top five original series and has driven the overall franchise to see an increase of nearly six times in month-over-month viewership, according to the service.

The 10-episode current season premiered on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 2022. Following a mid-season finale on Dec. 15, the series resumed with new episodes Jan. 12, with the remainder of the season dropping weekly exclusively on the service. The season finale will be available to stream Feb. 9. The next season is expected to commence production in 2023.

“We’re thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans of ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ with the order of another season,” Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of Paramount Streaming, said in a statement. “The series has always been a consistent top performer for Paramount+ and fans have quickly embraced this new season with its more serialized elements. There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU this season and we can’t wait for fans to see what’s in store.”

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“Criminal Minds: Evolution” continues and expands upon the 2005-20 CBS series “Criminal Minds” for streaming audiences, blending serialized elements into the series’ format. 

In the current season of “Criminal Minds: Evolution,” the FBI’s elite team of criminal profilers comes up against their greatest threat yet, an UnSub who has used the pandemic to build a network of other serial killers. As the world opens back up and the network goes operational, the team must hunt them down, one murder at a time. Original cast members continuing their roles include Joe Mantegna, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster. Zach Gilford joined the cast this season as a recurring guest star in a season-long arc.

1998 Crime Thriller ‘Belly’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Jan. 24

Featuring performances from rappers Nas and DMX, Belly (1998) arrives for the first time in 4K Ultra High-Definition Jan. 24 from Lionsgate.

The title will also be available as a Best Buy exclusive 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray plus digital) Steelbook.

Written and directed by Hype Williams — winner of the Award for Achievement in Music Videos at the 30th annual EnergaCamerimage Cinematography Festival (2022) and MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (2003) — Belly is an urban crime-thriller.

In the film, as gang leader Tommy (Earl “DMX” Simmons) looks to expand his turf by dealing a new form of heroin, his friend Sincere (Nasir “Nas” Jones) dreams of escaping the gangster life with his girlfriend and baby daughter. After a drug house operated by Tommy is raided, he and Sincere — now pursued by both the police and rival gangs — each find themselves on a course that will either lead to redemption or ruin.

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Special features include audio commentary with Williams, “Spoken Word” (Blu-ray only), a deleted scene (Blu-ray only) and the “Grand Finale” music video (Blu-ray only).

Russell Crowe Crime Thriller ‘Poker Face’ Headed to Digital Nov. 22

The crime thriller Poker Face, directed by and starring Russell Crowe, will be released in theaters Nov. 16 and through digital retailers Nov. 22 from Screen Media.

In the film, tech billionaire and gambler Jake Foley (Crowe) hosts a high-stakes poker game between childhood friends, offering them the chance to win more money than they’ve ever dreamed of. The evening takes a turn when he unveils his elaborate plan seeking revenge for their betrayals and to play, they’ll have to give up the one thing they’ve spent their lives trying to keep — their secrets. As the game unfolds, thieves break in and they must band together to survive a night of terror.

The film also stars Liam Neeson, RZA and Elsa Pataky. The film was written by Stephen M. Coates and Crowe.

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‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ to Start Streaming on Paramount+ Thanksgiving Day

Paramount+ will premiere “Criminal Minds: Evolution” with two episodes on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25.

The 10-episode season will premiere exclusively on Paramount+. Following the premiere, new episodes will drop weekly on Thursdays, until the series’ mid-season finale Dec. 15. The season will then return Jan. 12 with all-new episodes dropping weekly through the finale on Feb. 9.

“Criminal Minds: Evolution” will continue and expand the franchise for streaming audiences, blending serialized elements into the series’ format. CBS’s original “Criminal Minds” series, which ran from 2005 to 2020, followed the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, the best of the best who profiled the worst of the worst.

In “Criminal Minds: Evolution,” the FBI’s elite team of criminal profilers come up against their greatest threat yet, an UnSub who has used the pandemic to build a network of other serial killers. As the world opens back up and the network goes operational, the team must hunt them down, one murder at a time. Original cast members reprising their roles include Joe Mantegna, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster. Zach Gilford joins the cast as a recurring guest star in a season-long arc.

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“Criminal Minds: Evolution” is produced by ABC Signature and CBS Studios. Erica Messer (“Criminal Minds,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”) serves as showrunner, executive producer and writer. Breen Frazier and Chris Barbour will serve as writers and executive producers, Glenn Kershaw will direct and executive produce and Mark Gordon will also serve as executive producer.

Heist Thriller ‘Bitcon’ Due on Digital and DVD Oct. 18 From Mill Creek

The crime thriller Bitcon will be released on digital and DVD Oct. 18 from Mill Creek Entertainment, a division of Alliance Entertainment.

The cryptocurrency heist story stars Jeremy Davies (Twister, TV’s “Lost,” Saving Private Ryan), Tom Cavanagh (TV’s “Scrubs,” “Ed,” “The Flash”), Noah Anderson (Realm of Shadows, Broken Cross), Ella Ma (Bridge and Tunnel), and Frank Whaley (Field of Dreams, Pulp Fiction), and is directed by Matt Osterman (400 Days, Hover). 

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In the film, Lew Harbour (Emmy Award winner Davies) has a good problem for a bad person. He just received the biggest score of his life and needs to hide the money ASAP. Enter reformed criminal and current Bitcoin miner Ty Adams (Anderson). Ty initially refuses his offer to launder the money, but Lew’s guarded girlfriend Jess (Ma) engineers the situation to get him on board. When the hard drive containing the keys to the $800,000 in Bitcoin goes missing, Lew and his deadly partner (Bohne) suspect Ty of double-crossing them. As the value of Bitcoin skyrockets, the pressure is on, forcing Ty to turn to a network of thieves and dirty cops (Whaley) in order to get out alive. 

Special features include three deleted scenes.

2014’s ‘Amira & Sam,’ ‘The Connection’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray From MVD and Drafthouse Aug. 9

The 2014 romantic drama Amira & Sam and the 2014 French crime thriller The Connection will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Aug. 9 from MVD Entertainment Group and Drafthouse Films.

In Amira & Sam (2014), to help adjust to coming home from war, former Green Beret Sam Seneca takes a stab at a life-long dream: stand-up comedy. Meanwhile, Amira, who fled Iraq after her brother was killed by U.S. soldiers, has a run-in with the police, so Sam takes her under his wing. The more time they spend together, the harder it is for them to combat their feelings for one another. The film stars Martin Starr (“Silicon Valley,” Spider-Man: No Way Home), Dina Shihabi (Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan,” Netflix/Marvel’s “Daredevil”), Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries”), David Rasche (Men in Black 3) and Ross Marquand (“The Walking Dead'”). Amira & Sam won awards at the 2014 Port Townsend Film Festival, 2014 Savannah Film Festival, 2014 Napa Valley Film Festival, 2014 St. Louis International Film Festival, 2015 Irvine International Film Festival and 2015 Prescott Film Festival.

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The Connection (2014), set in Marseilles in 1975, is inspired by true events. It tells the story of real-life magistrate Pierre Michel (Academy Award Winner Jean Dujardin, The Artist, The Wolf of Wall Street) and his relentless crusade to dismantle the most notorious drug smuggling operation in history: The French Connection. The film also stars Céline Sallette (Marie Antoinette) and Benoît Magimel (The Piano Teacher). The Rotten Tomatoes “Certified Fresh” film from producer Alain Goldman (Babylon A.D., La Vie en Rose) was a 2015 César Awards nominee for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.