New Horror Adaptation of ‘Pet Sematary’ Comes Home on Digital June 25, Disc July 9

The new adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary will arrive on digital June 25 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and VOD July 9 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

It made $54.5 million in U.S. theaters.

Based on the King novel, the film follows the Creeds, who relocate from Boston to rural Maine, where they soon discover an ancient burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, the grief-stricken father is driven by the cemetery’s sinister power, setting off a perilous chain of events.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The digital, 4K Ultra HD, and Blu-ray releases include more than 90 minutes of special features, including deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, a look at the main characters, behind-the-scenes footage, and cast interviews. Digital extras vary by retailer.

The film also boasts a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo packs include access to a digital copy of the film.

‘The Natural’ Swinging to 4K Ultra HD From Sony

For its 35th Anniversary, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing the baseball film classic The Natural on 4K Ultra HD disc and in 4K via participating digital platforms June 4.

In the film, Robert Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, who seemingly comes out of nowhere to become a legendary baseball player with almost divine talent. But on his way to stardom in the big leagues, Hobbs’s dreams are shattered when a mysterious woman and a silver bullet end his career prematurely. Sixteen years later, Hobbs finds himself coming back to baseball, seeking to overcome physical pain — and nefarious forces — to lead his team to the pennant.

Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, the film also stars Robert Duvall, Glenn Close in an Academy Award-nominated performance, and Kim Basinger.

The 4K Ultra HD disc includes two versions of the film in 4K with HDR: the original theatrical version and the directors’ cut, each restored from the original camera negative, supervised and approved by director of photography Caleb Deschanel and director Barry Levinson. Both versions of the film also include newly remixed Dolby Atmos audio, along with the original stereo and 5.1 tracks for the theatrical version.

Bonus materials on the 4K UHD include Levinson’s intro to the director’s cut and the theatrical trailer. The blu-ray disc includes the theatrical cut and several featurettes.

Jason Statham Actioner ‘Crank’ Due on 4K May 21 From Lionsgate

Crank, featuring action star Jason Statham, is heading to digital in 4K Ultra HD and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital) May 21 from Lionsgate.

In the fast-paced thriller, Statham stars as professional assassin Chev Chelios, who learns his rival has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. Also starring are Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez, Carlos Sanz and Dwight Yoakam.

The releases feature Dolby Vision  HDR, and the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features Dolby Atmos audio.

Extras include five featurettes, two of which are new.

‘Godzilla’ Stomping to 4K UHD May 14 From Sony

Godzilla, the 1998 monster spectacle, debuts on 4K Ultra HD May 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

From Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, the filmmaking team behind Independence DayGodzilla stars Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional) as the unlikely heroes out to save New York City from the giant, fire-breathing monster and its babies hatching in Madison Square Garden. Following French atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific, an unknown creature is spotted passing through the Panama Canal. Scientist Niko Tatopolous is called in to investigate the matter, and he quickly arrives at the conclusion that a giant, irradiated lizard has been created by the explosions. Godzilla then makes its way north, landing in Manhattan to begin wreaking havoc in the big city.

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!

Remastered in 4K from the original camera negative with High Dynamic Range, Godzilla also also includes Dolby Atmos sound. Bonus materials include a visual effects commentary, a behind-the-scenes segment with Charles Caiman, all-time best-of-Godzilla fight scenes, the “Heroes” music video by The Wallflowers, and three trailers.

Godzilla earned just over $136 million in U.S. theaters, considered a disappointment and prompting Sony Pictures to scrap plans for a sequel. It was the 23rd “Godzilla” movie, the first coming out in 1954 in Japan.

Panasonic 4K OLED TV Designed With Hollywood Help

Panasonic Jan. 7 announced the launch of the GZ2000, featuring a Professional Edition 4K OLED panel tuned in Hollywood that incorporates custom hardware improvements by Panasonic.

“Optimized by a leading Hollywood colorist, the new panel highlights unparalleled color accuracy and significantly better than average brightness levels,” according to a Panasonic press release.

Panasonic announced it is the world’s first TV to support the high dynamic range formats HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, as well as the HLG Photo format, the new still image format which brings still photography into the HDR world.

“Together, Dolby and Panasonic are bringing best-in-class audio and imaging technology to Panasonic’s TVs,” said John Couling, SVP, commercial partnerships, in a statement. “Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos perfectly complement the GZ2000’s advanced display, transforming it into an entertainment powerhouse.”

The GZ2000 is also “the world’s first TV with built-in upward-firing speakers capable of delivering Dolby Atmos immersive audio with total ease and convenience,” Panasonic announced. “The total audio system has also been tuned by Technics engineers.”

Supporting both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, the GZ2000 can integrate with a smart home setup.

Available in 65-inch and 55-inch screen sizes, the GZ2000 OLED features the color-tuning skills of Stefan Sonnenfeld. Sonnenfeld, founder and CEO of Company 3, is “a trusted collaborator of some of the world’s best filmmakers,” Panasonic announced, applying his skills as a colorist to such features as A Star Is Born, Wonder Woman, Man of Steel, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and 300. He uses Panasonic OLED screens as large-format client reference monitors in his daily workflow, according to the release.

The TV’s average brightness level has been boosted significantly and contrast handling improved, resulting in increased dynamic range, the release stated.

“HDR content now looks even more impactful, with the GZ2000 effortlessly able to reproduce tricky scenes of variable brightness and contrast — often found in live sports broadcasts and in action movies,” the release stated. “Because of this level of customization, combined with the exceptional color-optimizing skills of Sonnenfeld, Panasonic has created some of the most accurate, cinematic images ever seen on a TV.

“Additionally, in response to requests from Hollywood’s professional users, Panasonic has extended the range and reduced the interval between calibration steps at the darkest end of the RGB and gamma scales.”

The GZ2000 is also compatible with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), an HDR format expected to be widely adopted by TV broadcasters, the release stated.

The GZ2000 also features Panasonic’s new My Home Screen 4.0, which allows viewers to tailor the TV user interface to their own preferences, the release stated. The layout of the home screen can be reconfigured to allow customized layouts. Access to VOD and broadcast content is also easier thanks to a redesigned GUI that includes icons for decks that provide shortcuts to live TV, connected devices and apps such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. Viewers can even add frequently watched TV stations to the home screen.

LG Announces Sound Bar Lineup for CES

LG Electronics announced a new 2019 sound bar lineup to be showcased at CES 2019.

The bar lineup is equipped with artificial intelligence and features two CES Innovation Award recipients (models SL9YG and SL10YG), according to an LG press release. LG’s premium SL9 took home the Best of Innovation title, the company announced.

LG models SL10YG, SL9YG and SL8YG were created in collaboration with Meridian Audio.

“The collaboration goes far beyond basic fine-tuning or the adoption of feature-sets, with both companies joining forces to engineer sound delivery for a truly unrivalled listening experience,” according to the release. “Drawing on 25 years of experience as the Master of Digital Signal Processing, Meridian’s Bass & Space technology improves the soundstage and envelops listeners in rich, uncompromising sound and strong bass. Together with its Image Elevation technology, designed to lift the soundstage in a more lifelike way to boost listeners’ sense of immersion, Meridian creates a true cinematic experience, delivering powerful surround sound like no other.”

Able to up-mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels without generating any distortion, the Meridian Upmix technology increases sound immersion by improving the sound field while upgrading the clarity of vocals and lead instruments, according to LG.

LG’s sound bar models SL10, SL9 and SL8 support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Users can add the Wireless Rear Speaker Kit (sold separately) to achieve a more cinema-like experience, according to LG.

The new sound bars also offer AI smart connectivity and voice recognition with the built-in Google Assistant. Users can control their LG sound bar and get information with a command such as, “Hey Google, increase the volume,” or, “Hey Google, what artist is playing?” Compatibility with Google Assistant-enabled smart products make it possible to control connected devices throughout the home via voice command. Users can say, “Hey Google, ask LG to turn on the air purifier,” to the sound bar to make adjustments.

The sound bars “have a sleek, understated design that perfectly matches the chic style of LG’s exceptional OLED TVs,” according to LG. At 57mm (2.25 in) deep, the LG SL9 can also be installed flush to the wall. An integrated gyroscope sensor gauges the position of the product (fixed to a wall or on a flat surface), adjusting sound directionality to guarantee the optimal listening experience, according to LG.

“LG’s 2019 sound bars deliver amazing performance tuned in close partnership with Meridian Audio with the convenience of smart AI connectivity,” said Kim Dae-chul, head of LG Home Entertainment Company’s audio and video business. “The high-quality sound and versatility of our newest lineup takes home entertainment to a whole new level and satisfies a growing demand for premium sound bar solutions that provide impressive listening experiences, greater convenience and stylish, modern aesthetics.”

Xbox Partners With Taco Bell to Give Away Xbox One X Consoles

Taco Bell is partnering with Xbox to give fans in the United States the chance to win limited-edition Xbox One X consoles each time they buy a $5 double chalupa box, Xbox announced.

The promotion lasts from Oct. 18 through Nov. 21.

The exclusive platinum-colored console features Taco Bell’s “ring” when powered on (exclusive to the limited-edition consoles); a white, special-edition Xbox Elite wireless controller; and three months of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

An Xbox One X will be rewarded every 10 minutes throughout the promotion and it will be delivered to fans 72 hours after being declared a winner, according to Xbox.

The Xbox One S and Xbox One X both feature a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player and Dolby Atmos support.

Amazon Launches Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon Oct. 3 announced the launch of Fire TV Stick 4K and all-new Alexa voice remote, available together for $49.99. The voice remote is also available with the Fire TV Cube for $119.99 and can be purchased separately for $29.99.

Reported to be 80% more-powerful than the Fire TV Stick, the 4K device is the first streaming media stick available with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos and features a new 1.7GHz processor with quicker load times and brilliant picture quality. The Fire TV Stick 4K gives users access to a catalog of content currently available on Fire TV, including thousands of 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ titles.

“The team invented an entirely new antenna technology and combined that with a powerful 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip that optimizes for the best possible 4K UHD streaming experience, even in congested network environments,” Marc Whitten, VP, Amazon Fire TV, said in a statement.

Whitten said the streaming media device’s new quad-core processor delivers support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+. He said the Alexa voice remote affords users better control of their entertainment experience.

“Just say, ‘Find 4K movies,’” said Whitten.

“Together, Amazon and Dolby are making best-in-class imaging and audio experiences more accessible,” said John Couling, SVP, commercial partnerships, Dolby Laboratories. “Fire TV Stick 4K will allow more people to enjoy their favorite entertainment to the fullest extent, through Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.”

Fire TV Stick 4K gives users access to thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, as well as over 500,000 movies and TV episodes.

Fire TV Stick 4K (amazon.com/firetvstick4k) is available for pre-order now on Amazon for $49.99 and will start shipping on Oct. 31 in the United States and Canada. It will ship in the United Kingdom, Germany, and India on Nov. 14. Fire TV Stick 4K is also available for pre-order in Japan and will ship before the end of this year.

The all-new Alexa Voice Remote (amazon.com/alexavoiceremote) is available for pre-order as a standalone remote for $29.99 and will start shipping on Halloween in the United States and Canada. It will ship in the United Kingdom, Germany, and India on Nov. 14. It is also available for pre-order in Japan and will ship before the end of this year. Amazon Fire TV Cube (amazon.com/firetvcube) with the all-new Alexa Voice Remote is available for pre-order on Amazon in the United States for $119.99 and will start shipping on Oct. 31.

Customers can pre-order the Fire TV Stick 4K and the all-new Echo Dot together for $79.98—a 20 percent savings. Customers can pre-order two Fire TV Stick 4K devices for $89.98—a 10 percent savings. Customers can also get Fire TV Recast, a 35-mile HDTV antenna, and Fire TV Stick 4K together for $249.99—a savings of over $50. For more information, visit amazon.com/firetvstick4k.

Eligible customers who purchase a Fire TV streaming media player in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan will receive 3 months free of Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon’s premium music streaming tier with access to tens of millions of songs and thousands of playlists and personalized stations, combined with the magic of voice controls powered by Alexa.

 

‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ Due on Digital Oct. 16, Disc Oct. 30

The comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, arrives on digital Oct. 16 and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, and on demand Oct. 30 from Lionsgate.

The comedic action film earned $33.3 million in theaters.

In the film, Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), two thirty-year-old best friends in Los Angeles, are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Also starring in the film are Justin Theroux (The Girl on the Train, TV’s “The Leftovers”), Hasan Minhaj (TV’s “The Daily Show”) and Sam Heughan (TV’s “Outlander”).

Special features include deleted scenes, outtakes and four making-of featurettes. The 4K release includes Dolby Vision HDR. The release also features Dolby Atmos sound.

‘Schindler’s List’ Coming in 4K to Theaters, Home Market From Universal

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of director Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Universal Pictures will re-release the film with picture and sound digitally remastered —including in 4K, Dolby Cinema and Dolby Atmos — for a limited theatrical engagement on Dec. 7 across the United States and Canada.

The remastered film will also be available in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound on home entertainment platforms subsequent to the theatrical release.

Schindler’s List, starring Liam Neeson as a German businessman who saves more than 1,000 Jews during the holocaust, won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

“It is difficult to believe that it’s been 25 years since Schindler’s List first arrived in theaters,” said Spielberg in a statement. “The true stories of the magnitude and tragedy of the Holocaust are ones that must never be forgotten, and the film’s lessons about the critical importance of countering hatred continue to reverberate today. I am honored that audiences will be able to experience the journey once again on the big screen.”

“We are proud to bring the remastered Schindler’s List, one of the most important movies of the 20th century, to a new generation of filmgoers,” said Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, in a statement. “The lesson that one person — during one of the darkest chapters in humankind’s history — can make a difference is as relevant now as ever before.”

In advance of the re-release, free educational screenings of the film — coordinated by USC Shoah Foundation — will be available for high-school educators and their students in selected AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Marcus Theatres, Cineplex, Harkins and National Amusements locations in major markets in North America Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.

“As curators of the world’s largest collection of firsthand accounts about the consequences of hatred, USC Shoah Foundation is uniquely positioned to educate and inspire humanity to counter hate through empathy and action,” said Spielberg, who established the Shoah Foundation after his experiences filming Schindler’s List, in a statement. “Those who engage with this eyewitness testimony make deeply meaningful connections, develop critical thinking and empathy, and learn to reflect on the choices they can make to counter hatred.”

The film score by John Williams also will be released by La-La Land Records with never-before-heard material, and the remastered version of Schindler’s List will be re-released in theatres internationally across select territories in early 2019.

USC Shoah Foundation — under its Stronger Than Hate initiative — will work with partner organizations to provide classroom-ready resources through its educational website IWitness to accompany the theatrical and home entertainment releases of the film.