Crime Thriller ‘Twist’ Spinning to Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 28

The crime thriller Twist is coming to Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD Sept. 28 from Lionsgate.

Inspired by Charles Dickens’s iconic novel Oliver Twist, the film set in contemporary London follows the journey of Twist (Raff Law), a gifted graffiti artist trying to find his way after the loss of his mother. Lured into a street gang headed by the paternal Fagin (Michael Caine), Twist is attracted to the lifestyle — and to Red (Sophie Simnett), an alluring member of Fagin’s crew. But when an art theft goes wrong, Twist’s moral code is tested as he’s caught between Fagin, the police and a loose-cannon enforcer (Lena Headey).

Bonus features include “The Artful Dodger: Twist’s Underworld.”

Horror Film ‘The Stylist,’ Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Major Dundee’ Among Titles on Blu-ray from MVD and Arrow in June

The horror film The Stylist, Italian crime thrillers from the 1970s, Sam Peckinpah’s Major Dundee and the Japanese film Irezumi are coming to Blu-ray Disc in June from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video.

The Stylist, due June 8, is a female-led psychological horror film nominated for the New Visions Award for Best Motion Picture at the 2020 Sitges International Film Festival and based on co-writer/director Jill Gevargizian’s award-winning short film of the same name. We all dream of being someone else, but for Claire (Najarra Townsend, Contracted), that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Hairstylist by day, serial killer and collector of scalps by night, Claire’s lonely existence is thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia (Brea Grant, After Midnight, Lucky), asks her to style her hair for her wedding day. Increasingly fixated on Olivia’s seemingly flawless life, Claire vows to lock up her scalp collection and change her ways for good — only to discover that repressing deadly desires is easier said than done.

Coming on Blu-ray Disc June 22 is Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977. The 1970s were a time of intense uncertainty and instability in Italy. Political corruption and widespread acts of left and right-wing terrorism, alongside a breakdown in social cohesion and a loss of trust in public institutions such as the government and police, created a febrile atmosphere of cynicism, paranoia and unexploded rage. Throughout this period, these sentiments found expression in a series of brutal, often morally ambiguous crime thrillers which tapped into the atmosphere of violence and instability that defined the so-called “Years of Lead.” This box set gathers five films from the heyday of the “poliziotteschi” — the umbrella term used to describe this diverse body of films. In Vittorio Salerno’s Savage Three (1975) and Mario Imperoli’s Like Rabid Dogs (1976), random acts of violence committed by vicious young sociopaths threaten the fragile fabric of respectable society. In Massimo Dallamano’s Colt 38 Special Squad (1976) and Stelvio Massi’s Highway Racer (1977), renegade cops battling against red tape and political corruption turn to new and morally dubious methods to dispense justice. Finally, class dynamics are explored in Salerno’s No, the Case is Happily Resolved (1973) as an innocent man finds himself under suspicion for a savage crime committed by a highly respected member of society. The collection features a  line-up of Euro-cult stars, including Joe Dallesandro (The Climber), Ivan Rassimov (Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key), Maurizio Merli (Violent City) and Enrico Maria Salerno (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage).

Due on Blu-ray June 22 is the 1966 Japanese film Irezumi. Drawn from the pen of one of Japan’s foremost writers of the 20th century, Junichiro Tanizaki (A Fool’s Love, The Makioka Sisters), Irezumi is a tale of lust, betrayal and revenge directed by Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Blind Beast). Masumura’s muse Ayako Wakao (The Blue Sky Maiden, Red Angel) stars as Otsuya, the daughter of a rich merchant, who is tempted by her lover Shinsuke, a lowly employee of her father’s, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya’s beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi, a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya’s back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence. Available for the first time outside of Japan in a new 4K restoration, Irezumi sports some of Japanese cinema’s most respected talent of its day both in front of and behind the camera. The cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu) captures the sensual atmosphere of the period setting, while the script by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba, Kuroneko) lends a modern twist to this feverish meditation on obsession and the act of creation.

After making his classic in Ride the High Country, director Sam Peckinpah took a step towards the epic with 1965’s Major Dundee, coming out on Blu-ray June 29. The drama behind the camera matched the action in front of it. Charlton Heston stars as Major Amos Dundee, a vainglorious Union Cavalry officer, who mounts an expedition to hunt down Apache war chief Sierra Charriba. Building his own army of criminals, ex-slaves and Confederate POWs — among them one Captain Ben Tyreen (Richard Harris), whose intense former friendship with Dundee is tainted with a sense of betrayal on both sides — Dundee heads into Mexico, his eye fixed firmly on a last shot at greatness. Legendarily acerbic, Major Dundee would be the first time that Peckinpah had a movie taken away from him. While a director’s cut may be lost to us, the limited edition shows the thrilling, morally complex epic that Peckinpah was aiming for. The stellar supporting cast includes James Coburn, Warren Oates and L.Q. Jones.

‘Baseball: A Ken Burns Film,’ New ‘Masterpiece: Us’ Among Titles Coming to Disc in June From PBS

Baseball: A Ken Burns Film, Masterpiece: Us and an Agatha Christie triple feature are among the titles coming to disc in June from PBS Distribution.

The acclaimed documentary Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns, fully restored in high-definition, is coming on DVD and Blu-ray on 11 discs June 8. It traces the history of the American pastime.

The new Masterpiece: Us, about a couple embarking on a long-planned grand tour of Europe, despite the wife proclaiming she wants to leave the marriage, comes out on DVD on two discs June 29.

The Agatha Christie mystery triple feature is coming June 1 on DVD on two discs, including Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Agatha and the Midnight Murders.

The Australian thriller TV miniseries Halifax: Retribution is due in a two-disc DVD set June 22.

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Two “American Experience” documentaries are coming in June. The Blinding of Isaac Woodard, due on DVD June 1, explores the effects of an incident in 1946 in which Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver, beaten, and left unconscious and permanently blind by a police chief who was later acquitted by an all-white jury. Also due is American Oz, coming June 8, exploring the life and times of author L. Frank Baum, the creator a classic American narrative.

Two nature films are available in June. Life at the Waterhole, exploring the drama as African wildlife flock to a manmade waterhole rigged with cameras, will be available on DVD June 8. Nature: The Leopard Legacy, following the story of a leopard mother as she raises her cubs, is coming on DVD June 22.

Finally, the science film Human: The World Within, exploring the incredible universe inside each and every one of us, is coming on DVD on two discs June 22.

Crime Thriller ‘City of Lies’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD June 8

The crime thriller City of Lies will come out on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD June 8 from Saban Films and Lionsgate.

Based on the book LAbyrinth by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Randall Sullivan, the film follows the investigation into the infamous murder of iconic rap artist Notorious B.I.G. Johnny Depp stars as determined LAPD detective Russell Poole, who spends nearly 20 years trying to solve the murder, and Forest Whitaker as Jack Jackson, a journalist who teams up with Poole in search of the elusive truth. Together they explore why the case remains cold — and why a secretive division of the LAPD is seemingly set on keeping it that way.

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Extras include seven deleted scenes; “Crafting the Characters in City of Lies”; and audio commentary with director Brad Furman and author Randall Sullivan.

Crime Thriller ‘Pixie’ Due on DVD May 11 From Paramount

The Saban Films feature Pixie will come out on DVD May 11 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film is already available on digital and on demand.

Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) and Alec Baldwin (The Departed) star in this crime story set in Ireland. On a path to avenge her mother’s death, Pixie Hardy (Cooke) attempts a heist that will give her the means to leave her small-town life behind.  When the plan goes horribly wrong, she’s forced to team up with a pair of misfits who are clearly in over their heads. On the run from an organized gang — criminal priests and nuns, led by Father McGrath (Baldwin) — the trio will scheme and swindle anyone they come across in this hilarious and thrilling adventure.

The film also stars Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormack and Colm Meaney.

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Heist Film ‘The Vault’ Coming to DVD June 1 From Paramount

The heist film The Vault from Saban Films will be released on DVD June 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film stars Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”), Astrid BergeĚs-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Sam Riley, Liam Cunningham (“Game of Thrones”), Jose Coronado, Luis Tosar, Emilio Gutieěrrez Caba, Axel Stein, Daniel Holguiěn and Famke Janssen (X-Men).

The globe-trotting, action thriller follows a high-risk heist. When an engineer (Highmore) learns of a mysterious, impenetrable fortress hidden under the Bank of Spain, he joins a crew of master thieves who plan to steal the legendary lost treasure locked inside while the whole country is distracted by Spain’s World Cup Final. With thousands of soccer fans cheering in the streets, and security forces closing in, the crew have just minutes to pull off the score of a lifetime.

Crime Thriller ‘Coming From Insanity’ Heading to Digital and On Demand Jan. 12 From Level 33

The crime thriller Coming From Insanity will be released on digital and on demand Jan. 12 from Level 33 Entertainment.

The film — based on the true story of a notorious currency counterfeiter with genius-level intelligence — follows Kossi, one of many children trafficked and sold into servitude in Nigeria. He grows up and becomes frustrated with his life as a domestic worker. Dreaming of a better life, he turns to his natural abilities and masters the art of counterfeiting U.S. dollars. Floating the most flawless bills in town, he lands on the radar of a determined currency agent who will stop at nothing to bring him to justice.

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The film won the Programmer’s Best First Feature Narrative at the Pan African Film Festival; Best Screenplay at the Five Continents International Film Festival; Best Thriller Feature at the Five Continents International Film Festival; and the Audience Choice Award Best Feature at the PressPlay Film Festival. It picked up a Special Mention, Team Performance Feature Film, at the Five Continents International Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize Best International Narrative Feature at the American Black Film Festival.

Lionsgate Acquires ‘Silk Road’ for U.S. Theatrical, Digital, VOD Release Feb. 19, Disc Release Feb. 23

Lionsgate has acquired the crime thriller Silk Road for U.S. theatrical, digital and VOD release Feb. 19 and Blu-ray and DVD release Feb. 23.

Written for the screen and directed by Tiller Russell, the film stars Jason Clarke, Nick Robinson, Alexandra Shipp, Jimmi Simpson, Katie Aselton, Lexi Rabe, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Daniel Stewart and Paul Walter Hauser.

Based on true events, Silk Road focuses on the young, affluent, and highly motivated entrepreneur Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson), whose ambitious goal is to launch the Internet’s first completely anonymous and unregulated marketplace. With Ulbricht’s passion for the possibilities his invention offers the world, his site — the Silk Road — becomes the world’s fastest-growing drug market, catching the focus of disgraced DEA agent Rick Bowden (Clarke). A dinosaur with a habit for substance abuse and blowing cases, Bowden once had street savvy in dark corners but is unprepared for the dark web as he struggles through tutorials on how to use the Internet. As both men’s private lives erode, with Bowden in over his head and Ross’s growing paranoia driving unthinkable choices, they cling to their jobs in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse that have both men asking how far their idealism can take them.

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Silk Road is based on the Rolling Stone article “Dead End On Silk Road” by David Kushner. Years after the legal conclusion of the investigation, the Silk Road saga continues to make headlines, as it was recently reported that $1 billion in bitcoin connected to the site was recently moved for the first time in years — a signal that the criminals who operate in the darkest corners of the internet have not gone away.

Silk Road is a thrilling story with the kind of stranger-than-fiction details that can only come from a true story,” Lionsgate VP of acquisitions Lauren Bixby said in a statement. “This movie will keep audiences riveted by its cat and mouse game of a criminal mastermind being tracked by a hot-headed narc.”

Thriller ‘Echo Boomers’ Coming to DVD Dec. 15 From Paramount

The crime thriller Echo Boomers will come out on DVD Dec. 15 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (Knives Out) stars in this story about a recent college graduate Lance Zutterland (Patrick Schwarzenegger) who leaves school in debt, realizing everything he had worked toward was built on a lie.

When he is pulled into a criminal operation, he finds his peers fighting the system by stealing from the rich and giving to themselves. With nothing to lose, they leave behind a trail of destruction.

The film is directed by Seth Savoy and written by Kevin Bernhardt, Jason Miller and Savoy.

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Thriller ‘American Dream’ Due on DVD and Digital Jan. 12 From Lionsgate

The crime thriller American Dream debuts on DVD, digital and on demand Jan. 12 from Lionsgate.

Academy Award-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan) directs this intense thriller about the brutal struggle for success. Desperate for cash, entrepreneurs Scott (Luke Bracey, Point Break 2015) and Nicky (Michiel Huisman, “Game of Thrones”) turn to Russian mobster Yuri (Nick Stahl, Sin City). After they refuse the funding he offers, Yuri gets revenge by trying to take over their construction project. The partners are terrified, until Nicky’s tough Russian girlfriend, Ana, decides to take action herself.

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