‘Death Warrant’ and ‘Death Wish 3’ Among Actioners Due on Blu-ray Aug. 23 From MVD and Ronin Flix

Death Warrant with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Death Wish 3 with Charles Bronson and Lone Wolf McQuade and The Delta Force featuring Chuck Norris are being released on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 23 from MVD Entertainment Group and Ronin Flix.

In 1990’s Death Warrantfeaturing a new 2020 2K scan — Van Damme is officer Louis Burke, a roguish police detective who goes undercover to investigate a series of inmate murders at Harrison Penitentiary. Posing as a prisoner, Burke encounters brutal inmates, corrupt guards, death and betrayal at every turn. When he unearths the shocking secret behind the penitentiary’s inner workings, Burke must attempt a daring escape that pits him against not only hundreds of murderous inmates but also a deadly enemy from his own past, The Sandman (Patrick Kilpatrick, Class of 1999, Under Siege 2). The film also stars Robert Guillaume (“Benson”), Cynthia Gibb (Youngblood, Modern Girls), Joshua Miller (Near Dark, Teen Witch) and Art LaFleur (Trancers, Cobra). Special features include audio commentary with director Deran Sarafian; an interview with Kilpatrick; an interview with LaFleur; and trailers.

In 1985’s Death Wish 3 — featuring a new 2020 2K scan — Charles Bronson (The Mechanic, Stone Killer, Mr. Majestyk, 10 to Midnight) returns as Paul Kersey, an everyday-man turned vigilante after the murders of his wife and daughter. Paul doesn’t seek out violence. It just seems to find him. But when it does, he never backs down. Road-worn and battle-weary, Kersey longs to leave his fighting days behind him. But when he arrives in New York to visit an old friend, he finds him brutally attacked and gasping for breath in a pool of blood. The silent avenger must wage war once more on the city’s punks, thugs and hoodlums, but this time he’s brought a small arsenal of guns, knives and even a bazooka. The supporting cast includes Deborah Raffin (God Told Me To, The Dove, Once Is Not Enough), Ed Lauter (The Longest Yard, Breakheart Pass, Death Hunt, Midnight Man), Martin Balsam (Psycho, All the President’s Men, A Thousand Clowns, Mitchell), Gavan O’Herlihy (Never Say Never Again, TV’s “Happy Days,” Superman III, Willow), Alex Winter (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Lost Boys) and Ricco Ross (Aliens). Death Wish 3 was the sixth and final collaboration between Bronson and director Michael Winner (Chato’s Land, Death Wish, Firepower). Special features include an interview with actor Kirk Taylor (The Giggler) and audio commentary with Paul Talbot (author of the “Bronson’s Loose!” books).

In 1983’s Lone Wolf McQuade — featuring a 2020 2K scan from the original interpositive — Chuck Norris is McQuade, a legendary Texas Ranger feared by outlaws and respected by other lawmen. When he uncovers a gun smuggling operation led by an American gangster (David Carradine, P.O.W.: The Escape, TV’s “Kung Fu,” Dune Warriors), McQuade wreaks havoc on all those who come between him and the law. The film co-stars Leon Isaac Kennedy (Too Scared to Scream, Body and Soul), Barbara Carrera (Embryo, Never Say Never Again), L.Q. Jones (The Wild Bunch, Bulletproof, A Boy and His Dog), Robert Beltran (Eating Raoul, Star Trek Voyager), R.G. Armstrong (Bulletproof, Jocks), William Sanderson (Blade Runner, Savage Weekend) and Sharon Farrell (The Fifth Floor, Sweet 16) and is directed by veteran Steve Carver (The Arena, Bulletproof, Capone). Special features include audio commentary with Carver, actors Beltran and Jones, and producer Yoram Ben-Ami, moderated by C. Courtney Joyner; interviews with stars Kennedy, Jones, Beltran and producer Yoram Ben-Ami; and the theatrical trailer.

In 1986’s The Delta Force — featuring a 2020 2K restoration from the original interpositive — when a U.S. passenger plane is seized by a vicious hijacker (Robert Forster, Medium Cool, Peacemaker, Jackie Brown) and taken to Beirut, the president calls in the Delta Force — a crack team of commandos led by Colonel Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin, Point Blank, Prime Cut, Academy Award winner for Cat Ballou, in his last film) and Major Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris, The Octagon, Lone Wolf McQuade). Against all odds, the men blast into the compound and — taking no prisoners — rescue the hostages. The film co-stars George Kennedy (the “Airport” series, Deathship, Academy Award winner for Cool Hand Luke), Robert Vaughn (Man From Uncle, The Magnificent Seven, Bullitt), Bo Svenson (“Walking Tall” series, Choke Canyon, Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker), Steve James (POW The Escape, the “American Ninja” series), Martin Balsam (Death Wish 3, Psycho, Academy Award winner for A Thousand Clowns), Joey Bishop (Johnny Cool), Kim Delaney (“NYPD Blue,” Body Parts) and Shelley Winters (Bloody Mama, Tentacles, A Patch of Blue, Academy Award nominee for The Poseidon Adventure). Special features include interviews with Forster, Alain Jakubowicz and James Bruner and the theatrical trailer.

Bird on a Wire

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 9/21/21;
Kino Lorber;
Comedy;
$24.95 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13.’
Stars Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine, Bill Duke, Joan Severance, Stephen Tobolowsky.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to advertise a movie. For its 1990 release, the poster for Bird on a Wire was little more than the faces of stars Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn. The pair had such clout at the time that the poster only listed their first names.

It ended up grossing $138.7 million against a budget of around $20 million, and was the top movie upon its release in May 1990 a week before being bumped from the spot by Back to the Future Part III.

The story is little more than an excuse for some madcap fun and romance involving its leads, so it relies mostly on their chemistry, which is plentiful. The plot involves Goldie as a corporate attorney named Marianne who runs into Mel at a gas station, and recognizes him as her former fiancé, Rick, who disappeared 15 years earlier.

He denies it, but it turns out that’s exactly who he is. After testifying against a corrupt DEA agent (David Carradine) named Sorenson, Rick has been bouncing around the witness relocation program. Thinking his cover as a mechanic could be blown, he calls the FBI to ask for a new identity, but his new handler (Stephen Tobolowsky) is on the take and feeds Rick’s location to Sorenson.

Unable to fight her curiosity, Marianne heads back to the garage to confront Rick, only to show up at the same time as Sorenson and his hit squad. As the bullets fly, Rick and Marianne hit the road, hoping to find Rick’s old handler and find a solution to his predicament. Along the way, Rick returns to some of his former identities from his time in hiding, setting up some easy gags as Marianne struggles to reacquaint herself with the man she once loved.

Kino’s new Blu-ray edition of the film uses a new 2K master that looks pretty sharp, but does get a bit splotchy depending on how well the original scene was lit.

The disc includes a pretty good audio commentary with director John Badham, joined by producer/second-unit director Rob Cohen and film historian Daniel Kremer.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Billy Wilder’s ‘The Apartment,’ Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Serpent’s Egg,’ De Niro-De Palma Teamings Highlight December Disc Releases from Arrow and MVD

Films from Billy Wilder, Ingmar Bergman, Robert De Niro and Brian De Palma are among the December Blu-ray releases coming from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Up first on Dec. 4 is The Serpent’s Egg from director Ingmar Bergman, who teamed with Italian director Dino De Laurentiis. In this mystery, David Carradine stars as an out-of-work circus performer that gets caught up in a tangled web when he begins to ask questions about his brother’s bizarre death. Special features include audio commentary with Carradine; “Bergman’s Egg,” a newly filmed appreciation by critic and author Barry Forshaw; “Away From Home,” an archival featurette including interviews with Carradine and Liv Ullman; “German Expressionism,” an archival interview with author Marc Gervais; a stills gallery; a theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring two artwork choices; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Geoffrey Macnab.

Due Dec. 11 is the boxed set “De Palma & De Niro: The Early Films,” showcasing Robert De Niro on the big screen for the first time and highlighting the beginnings of his relationship with director Brian De Palma. The set includes three films from the duo — The Wedding PartyGreetings and Hi, Mom! — all of which have been newly restored. Special features include new commentary on Greetings by Glenn Kenny, author of Robert De Niro: Anatomy of an Actor; a new appreciation of Brian De Palma and Robert De Niro’s collaborations by critic and filmmaker Howard S. Berger; a new interview with Charles Hirsch, writer-producer of Greetings and Hi, Mom!; a new interview with actor Gerrit Graham on Greetings, Hi, Mom! and his other collaborations with Brian De Palma; a new interview with actor Peter Maloney on Hi, Mom!; the Hi, Mom! theatrical trailer; newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin; a limited collector’s edition booklet featuring new writing on the films by Brad Stevens, Chris Dumas and Christina Newland; and an archive interview with De Palma and Hirsch.

The ‘80s slasher film Bloody Birthday is due Dec. 18 with a new 2K restoration. In the Ed Hunt-directed film, a trio born on the same solar eclipse develop a habit for murdering adults. Special features include a new audio commentary with Hunt; a new interview with actress Lori Lethin; “Bad Seeds and Body Counts,” a new video appreciation of Bloody Birthday and the killer kid sub-genre by film journalist Chris Alexander; a archival interview with producer Max Rosenberg; the original theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Timothy Pittides; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Lee Gambin.

Coming from Arrow Academy Dec. 11 is the classic comedy The Apartment, directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon. The film, which took home five Academy Awards including Best Picture, features a new 4K restoration from the original camera negative produced exclusively for this release. Special features include audio commentary with film producer and historian Bruce Block; “The Key to the Apartment,” a new appreciation of the film by film historian Philip Kemp; select scene commentary by Philip Kemp; “The Flawed Couple,” a new video essay by filmmaker David Cairns on the collaborations between Wilder and Lemmon; “A Letter to Castro,” a new interview with actress Hope Holiday; “The Writer Speaks: Billy Wilder,” an archival interview from the Writers Guild of America’s Oral Histories series; “Inside the Apartment,” a half-hour making-of featurette from 2007 including interviews with Shirley MacLaine, executive producer Walter Mirisch and others; “Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon,” an archive profile of the actor from 2007; a theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ignatius Fitzpatrick.