Thriller ‘Freaks’ Coming to Digital Dec. 3 and Disc Dec. 10 From Well Go

The thriller Freaks will debut on digital Dec. 3 and Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Dec. 10 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Directed by Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins, “Kim Possible”) and Adam B. Stein (“Kim Possible”), the film stars Emile Hirsch (Once Upon a Time … in HollywoodSpeed Racer), Bruce Dern (NebraskaComing Home), Grace Park (“Hawaii 5-0,” “Battlestar Galactica”), Amanda Crew (The Haunting in ConnecticutThe Age of Adaline) and Lexy Kolker (“Shooter,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”).

In the film, kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat — or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.

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Bonus materials includes director’s commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Actioner ‘Universal Soldier’ Shooting to 4K Nov. 5 From Lionsgate

The 1992 actioner Universal Soldier will come out on 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital) and digital 4K Nov. 5 from Lionsgate.

Directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, upcoming World War II epic Midway), Universal Soldier stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, alongside Ally Walker and Ed O’Ross. The film follows soldiers Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) and Sgt. Andrew Scott (Lundgren), who killed each other in Vietnam. But their demise proves to be just the beginning for the U.S. government, which brings both men back to life decades later for a secret anti-terrorism program.

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Special features include:

  • audio commentary by Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Van Damme and Lundgren
  • audio commentary by Emmerich and Devlin
  • the “A Tale of Two Titans” Featurette
  • the “Guns, Genes, and Fighting Machines” Featurette
  • an alternate Ending
  • the “Behind the Scenes” Featurette and
  • a trailer.

Three’s a Harm in Zombie Trilogy

Writer-director Rob Zombie confronted a problem when mounting a new installment in his bloody serial killer series that includes House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005) — his lead baddies had been shot and presumably killed.

Leave it to Zombie to bring them back from the dead. He came up with the idea of a faux documentary, explaining the miraculous survival of the lead trio.

“I’ve always been obsessed with this one documentary on [Charles] Manson that came out in 1970 I think it was. It’s all real footage. The filmmakers got in there, shot him going out of court, and I thought this is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. … Serial killers have now achieved this fame, which they always seem to do,” Zombie said in the sequel’s disc extras. “Why don’t we just explain it through this documentary that takes it to a whole other place?

“I thought it’s a good way to explain what happened and make it realistic.”

Thus, the revived killers — Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) — make a repeat appearance in 3 From Hell, which debuts on digital and 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and on demand Oct. 15 from Lionsgate. Special features include an audio commentary with Zombie and a four-part making-of featurette. Additionally, the 4K and Blu-ray discs feature the unrated cut.

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Unfortunately, Haig was sick during filming and appears only in the initial documentary. He passed away in September.

“It became clear that Sid was not physically capable,” Zombie recalled in the featurettes.

Richard Brake stars as Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, a new killer in the series.

Still, the director felt three was the magic number and created a new half-brother in the murderous clan, Winslow Foxworth Coltrane (Richard Brake), to assist in the mayhem. He also explored the progression of the characters: “What would it be like 15 years later with the characters?”

“I didn’t want to just make a sequel,” Zombie said, adding, “I wanted there to be a purpose to doing it. I think a lot of times the sequels that don’t work are the ones that you’re feeding the fans everything they think they want.”

Thus, the crazy Baby is even more off the wall. In fact, her jail scenes are shot in the very prison that the deranged female Manson followers occupied.

“Everything she does is bizarre, even to Otis,” the director noted.

Otis has become an elder statesman in the killing clan, prompting Winslow to continuously attempt to gain his approval.

“Now in 3 From Hell I seem to be the wise old owl of the trio,” said Moseley in the featurettes. “That’s kind of funny and strange. You know, I’m a psychopathic killer.”

Zombie’s horror projects, including 3 From Hell, are unique in tone. “When I look at what people really consider a horror movie, people being shocked in the theater, reacting to the scares, that’s not what we are doing at all,” Zombie said.

“There’s different layers to it,” added Jeff Daniel Phillips, who plays the prison warden, in the featurettes. “It’s not so simple. This isn’t just a horror film. This is a thriller. This is a road picture. There’s a dark comedic thing in it without being a comedy.”

Indeed, the film is an amalgam of Zombie’s passions and experiences that he calls “a post-modern sort of crazy bloody western.”

“I’ve taken all these things I’ve loved my whole life and sort of jammed them together,” he said.

Three for the Road

The first two titles in the Zombie serial killer series, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, will be included with 3 From Hell in a digital-only triple feature from Lionsgate.

House of 1000 Corpses introduces audiences to the sadistic backwater family as two young couples traveling in Texas to investigate urban legends of murder end up as their prisoners.

In The Devil’s Rejects, the murderous, backwoods Firefly clan takes to the road to escape a vengeful police force.

Korean Action-Horror Film ‘The Divine Fury’ Due on Disc and Digital Nov. 19 From Well Go

The Korean action-horror film The Divine Fury will come out on Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack, DVD and digital from Well Go USA Entertainment Nov. 19.

After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself. Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until a mysterious wound appears in the palm of his hand. He solicits help from a local priest Father Ahn, hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.

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Directed by Jason Kim (Midnight Runners), the film stars Park Seo-joon (The Chronicles of Evil), Ahn Sung-ki (Unbowed) and Woo Do-hwan (Master), with special appearances by Choi Woo-shik (Train to Busan) and Kim Si-eun (The Beauty Inside).

The film had a North American theatrical release Aug. 2.

Actioner ‘Angel Has Fallen’ Arrives on Digital Nov. 12, Disc — Including 4K— Nov. 26 From Lionsgate

The actioner Angel Has Fallen will come out on digital Nov. 12 and on 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, and on demand Nov. 26 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Nick Nolte and Danny Huston.

When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Freeman), his trusted confidant, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler), is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping from capture, he becomes a man on the run and must evade his own agency and outsmart the FBI in order to find the real threat to the president. Desperate to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, keep his family from harm, and save the country from imminent danger.

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Special features include six making-of featurettes and a three-part audio commentary with director Ric Roman Waugh.

The 4K release includes Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Movies Anywhere Launches on Verizon Fios

Movies Anywhere — the digital movie collection app — is now available to Verizon Fios TV customers.

Media Play News first reported the impending deal Sept. 25.

Fios TV customers with purchased movie titles from participating studios — Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios (encompassing Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment — can collect their library on Movies Anywhere.

Movies purchased from other participating digital retailers, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu/Walmart, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, and Fandango Now, will also be available for playback through Verizon Fios.

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To join Movies Anywhere, Fios customers can:

  • visit com/moviesanywhere or MoviesAnywhere.com to sign up for a free Movies Anywhere account;
  • connect Fios and other participating digital retailer accounts;
  • see eligible purchased and redeemed movies appear on Movies Anywhere and on all synced accounts;
  • go to “My Stuff” to watch on Fios TV On Demand; and
  • continue to grow their library by purchasing eligible movies on Fios On Demand through their set-top-box, online, the Fios TV app or by selecting Verizon through the Movies Anywhere website or app for mobile and connected TV devices.

 

Movies Anywhere is a free app that lets consumer bring their purchased digital movies from various digital retailers into one place.

‘Masterpiece: The Press’ and ‘Animal Babies’ Among Titles on DVD and Digital From PBS in October

Masterpiece: The Press, American Masters: Raul Julia and Animal Babies: First Year on Earth are among the titles on DVD and digital from PBS Distribution in October.

Due Oct. 22 is Masterpiece: The Press, about the committed and passionate characters behind the daily news at two fictional rival newspapers. Set in the world of newspapers in London — its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24-hour news cycle, its future uncertain — the drama explores the current, turbulent media landscape and the ethical dilemmas that journalists and editors face each day.

Available now is American Masters: Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage, a revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to 1960s New York City, to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood. Filled with passion, determination and joy, Juliá’s brilliant and daring career was tragically cut short by his untimely death 25 years ago at age 54. Told in his own voice through archival interviews and in the words of those who knew him best, the film traces Juliá’s personal and professional life while showcasing performances from his collaboration with Joseph Papp’s The Public Theater to his successful cinematic career. His best-known roles include the history-making productions of Titus AndronicusTwo Gentlemen of Verona with Clifton Davis, The Taming of the Shrew with Meryl Streep and The Threepenny Opera, the Broadway musical Nine, and films such as Kiss of the Spider WomanMoon Over ParadorRomeroPresumed Innocent and The Addams Family. The program includes interviews with Anjelica Huston, Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, James Earl Jones, Sonia Braga, Rubén Blades and Esai Morales, illuminate his impact as an artist. In addition, actors John Leguizamo, Jimmy Smits, Andy Garcia and others.

Also available now is Magical Land of Oz, a three-part series that explores the depths of Australian animal life as unique species navigate extremes on land and sea. Cameras capture the continent’s diverse animal populations in its highest snow peaks, frigid southern seas and suburban backyards. In the first part, “Land,” viewers see the unique wildlife of Australia which includes a tree-dwelling kangaroo, a spider that survives underwater and a bird that spreads fire. In the second part, “Human,” the program explores how Australian wildlife has adapted to survive in the human environment, including a flamboyant dancing peacock spider in a suburban garden. In the final part, “Ocean,” viewers are taken to Australia’s magical coasts and islands where three oceans create the perfect environment for whales, giant cuttlefish and sharks.

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Due Oct. 22 is The Hudson River School: Part 2 — Cultivating a Tradition. In the 19th century, artist Thomas Cole and engraver Asher Durand established an artistic movement that became The Hudson River School. The next generation expanded their palette with a technique that was immersed in light. This artistic innovation was later hailed as “The Luminist Movement.” This film tells the story of these artists who became the greatest landscape painters in the world.

Available now is America’s Test Kitchen: Home for the Holidays, in which cooks share their tips and tricks for planning a stress-free gathering, while also recounting personal holiday memories and revealing their all-time favorite holiday recipes from the “Test Kitchen” archives. It features hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison and the rest of the “America’s Test Kitchen” cast gathered together in a casual behind-the-scenes setting, sharing the warmth of the holidays with viewers. The program also spotlights five of the Test Kitchen’s favorite holiday recipes, including new twists on classic holiday fare such as turkey en cocotte and beef tenderloin with smoky potatoes and persillade relish. The porchetta recipe offers a flavor-packed alternative to traditional holiday roasts.

Finally, on Oct. 29 comes Animal Babies: First Year on Earth, in which viewers meet six baby animals from across the globe, the toque macaque monkey, the spotted hyena, the African elephant, the sea otter, the mountain gorilla and the Arctic fox. Like all babies, young animals can have a first year filled with joy, love and play. To survive, however, they must overcome threats and challenges — from rivals, from the elements and from predators. Wildlife cinematographers tell the stories of these magical first months in three parts, “First Steps,” “Testing the Limits” and “New Frontiers.”

‘Ultraman’ and ‘Ultra Q’ Japanese TV Series Available on TVOD Site movieSpree

The “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” Japanese TV series are available to purchase or rent in high-definition on movieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional streaming site.

The purchase price is $29.99 each for the two series.

The original series “Ultra Q” was one of the most expensive TV series ever produced in Japan.  Originally airing in 1966, it spawned a revolution in “Ultra” content that has spawned series after series, as well as movies and merchandising created.

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The “Ultraman” television series of the 1960s and 1970s, produced by Tsuburaya Productions, built a worldwide audience for the property. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, Ultraman is a sleek silvery being who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of the Earth-based defense force using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. Ultraman battles monsters that cause endless mayhem and destruction on Earth. With the ability to extend his height to over 150 feet, Ultraman melds with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth.

‘The Farewell’ Due on Digital Oct. 29, Disc Nov. 12

The drama The Farewell arrives on digital Oct. 29 from A24, and on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD from Lionsgate and on demand from A24 Nov. 12.

Written and directed by Lulu Wang (Posthumous), based on her real-life experiences, the film stars Awkwafina (Crazy Rich AsiansOcean’s Eight, “Tawk”), Tzi Ma ( “Silicon Valley,” “Veep,” Skyscraper), and Diana Lin (“The Family Law,” Australia Day).

After learning that her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi returns to Changchun to find that her family has decided to keep the news from Nai Nai. While the family gathers under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, Billi rediscovers the country she left as a child, and is forever changed by her grandmother’s spirit, in this story of how family can unite and strengthen us — often in spite of ourselves.

The film made $17.5 million in domestic theaters.

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Extras include two featurettes, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary with writer-director Wang and cinematographer Anna Franquesa-Solano.

‘The Swan Princess’ Swims to Blu-ray and 4K Digital Oct. 29 for 25th Anniversary

The animated film The Swan Princess will be released Oct. 29 in a collectible anniversary edition Blu-ray and in 4K HDR on digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for its 25th anniversary.

One of the last major theatrically-released films in the U.S. to utilize a hand drawn, hand painted cel animation style, the film went on to receive a 1995 Golden Globe nomination and become the top selling home video title in the United States when first released.

To celebrate the new release, creator and producer Seldon Young is bringing the film back to the big screen for a special Pink Carpet Premiere event showcasing the new, fully remastered version at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood Oct. 24.

“For the restoration and remastering process we retrieved the vintage, vaulted negatives and set to work using the amazing advances in HD conversion technology, to create an even more vivid and stunning film than ever before,” said Young in a statement.

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The story is inspired by the German fairytale and ballet about a princess who is swan by day and princess by night. Princess Odette is transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s spell. Held captive at an enchanted lake, she befriends Jean-Bob the frog, Speed the turtle and Puffin the bird. Despite their struggle to keep the princess safe, these good-natured creatures can do nothing about the sorcerer’s spell, which can only be broken by a vow of everlasting love.

The Blu-ray release includes a new featurette entitled “A Look Back, Tease Ahead,” plus a variety of additional archival features.