‘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.

Universal Teams With AFI to Offer Free Digital Rentals of Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’

Universal Pictures and the American Film Institute (AFI) June 22 announced they partnering to offer free digital rentals of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, a 1989 film centered on racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood that ultimately lead to violence and death.

Do the Right Thing, an AFI Movie Club selection, will be available for free viewing from June 22 through June 29 through digital retailers Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, DirecTV, FandangoNow, Google, Microsoft, Redbox, Sony, Verizon and Vudu.

Lee will join the AFI Movie Club for a live conversation June 25 beginning at 5 p.m. PT on the AFI YouTube channel.

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“AFI Movie Club’s global reach has inspired the need for more thoughtful discussions about films that have shaped our culture,” said Bob Gazzale, president and CEO. “Do the Right Thing is a timeless and timely classic, and Spike Lee has forever proven himself the voice for change that we need now more than ever. We would like to thank our partners at Universal for their essential support in educating and inspiring audiences around the world.”

Do the Right Thing was nominated for two Academy Awards, including a Best Original Screenplay nod for Lee and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Danny Aiello. The film also received four Golden Globe nominations and a Palme d’Or nomination. AFI ranked it as one of the 100 Greatest Films of All Time.

Launched on March 31, AFI Movie Club’s first selection was The Wizard of Oz. Subsequent selections have included Ali, Black Panther, Casablanca, Erin Brockovich, Gilda, Jurassic Park, Just Mercy, Lost in Translation, Milk, Nine to Five, North by Northwest, The Sound of Music, Straight Outta ComptonWhen Harry Met Sally and Wonder Woman.

Criterion July 2019 Slate Includes ‘1984,’ ‘Do the Right Thing’

Titles coming to the Criterion Collection in July 2019 will include Michael Radford’s 1984, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, the Jane Fonda starrer Klute, Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa, the 1938 comedy The Baker’s Wife and a Blu-ray edition of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy.

July 9 (order date June 11) sees the Blu-ray release of the BRD Trilogy, a trio of films focused on the perspectives of three women in West Germany following World War II. The trilogy includes 1979’s The Marriage of Maria Braun, 1981’s Lola and 1982’s Veronika Voss. The films are in German with English subtitles

The set includes new 4K digital restorations of The Marriage of Maria Braun and Lola, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks; a high-definition digital restoration of Veronika Voss, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; audio commentaries from 2003 featuring filmmaker Wim Wenders and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (The Marriage of Maria Braun), film critic and author Tony Rayns (Veronika Voss), and film scholar Christian Braad Thomsen (Lola); interviews with actors Hanna Schygulla, Rosel Zech,and Barbara Sukowa; interviews with cinematographer Xaver Schwarzenberger, screenwriter Peter Märthesheimer and film scholar Eric Rentschler; Life Stories: A Conversation with R. W. Fassbinder, an interview filmed for German television in 1978; I Don’t Just Want You to Love Me, a feature-length 1992 documentary on Fassbinder’s life and career; Dance With Death, a program from 2000 about Ufa studios star Sybille Schmitz, Fassbinder’s inspiration for the character Veronika Voss; a conversation between author and curator Laurence Kardish and film editor Juliane Lorenz; trailers; plus an essay by film critic Kent Jones and production histories by author Michael Töteberg.

Also due July 9 on DVD and Blu-ray is 1990’s Europa Europa, the story of a 16-year-old German Jew separated from his family during World War II. The release includes a new 2K digital restoration supervised by director Agnieszka Holland, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include an audio commentary from 2008 featuring Holland; new interviews with Holland and actor Marco Hofschneider; a new video essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf; a new English subtitle translation; and an essay by critic Amy Taubin.

Due July 16 (order date June 18) on DVD and Blu-ray is 1971’s Klute, starring Jane Fonda as a call-girl and aspiring actress who becomes the focal point of a missing-person investigation when detective John Klute (Donald Sutherland) turns up at her door. The release includes a new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by camera operator Michael Chapman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new conversation between actors Jane Fonda and Illeana Douglas; a new documentary about Klute and director Alan J. Pakula by filmmaker Matthew Miele, featuring scholars, filmmakers, and Pakula’s family and friends; “The Look of Klute,” a new interview with writer Amy Fine Collins; archival interviews with Pakula and Fonda; “Klute in New York,” a short documentary made during the shooting of the film; plus an essay by critic Mark Harris and excerpts from a 1972 interview with Pakula.

Also arriving DVD and Blu-ray July 16 is The Baker’s Wife, a comedy from playwright turned cinema auteur Marcel Pagnol, who draws a vivid portrait of a close-knit village where the marital woes of a sweetly deluded baker (Raimu) snowball into a scandal that engulfs the entire town. The release includes a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include selected-scene audio commentary featuring Pagnol scholar Brett Bowles; an introduction by Pagnol from 1967; an excerpt from a 1966 interview with Pagnol for the French television series “Cinéastes de notre temps”; a short French news program from 1967 revisiting the village of Le Castellet, where the film was shot; a new English subtitle translation; plus an essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau.

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Arriving July 23 (order date June 25) on Blu-ray and DVD is 1984, an adaptation of the George Orwell novel starring John Hurt and Suzanna Hamilton. The release includes a new 4K digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Roger Deakins, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include new interviews with director Michael Radford and Deakins; a new interview with David Ryan, author of George Orwell on Screen; behind-the-scenes footage; the film’s trailer; and an essay by writer and performer A. L. Kennedy.

Also arriving July 23 on Blu-ray and DVD is 1989’s Do the Right Thing. The release includes a new 4K digital restoration approved by cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include audio commentary from 1995 featuring director Spike Lee, Dickerson, production designer Wynn Thomas, and actor Joie Lee; introductions by Spike Lee; “Making Do the Right Thing,” a documentary from 1988 by St. Clair Bourne; new interviews with costume designer Ruth E. Carter, camera assistant Darnell Martin, New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., and writer Nelson George; an interview with editor Barry Alexander Brown from 2000; programs from 2000 and 2009 featuring Lee and members of the cast and crew; a music video for Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” directed by Spike Lee, with remarks from rapper Chuck D; behind-the-scenes footage; the Cannes Film Festival press conference from 1989; deleted and extended scenes; original storyboards, trailer, and TV spots; Plus an essay by critic Vinson Cunningham, and (on the Blu-ray) extensive excerpts from the journal Lee kept during the preparation for and production of the film.