‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Racing to Digital Early March 31, Debuting on Disc May 19

Sonic the Hedgehog will debut early for digital purchase March 31 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film, which made $306.8 million at the global box office, will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and for rental on demand May 19.

The family film based on the video game character follows the incredibly speedy Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz), aka The Blue Blur, who embraces his new home on Earth. That is, until he accidentally knocks out the power grid and sparks the attention of evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). It’s super-villain vs. super-sonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using his unique power for world domination. Sonic teams up with The Donut Lord, aka Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), to save the plane.

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Bonus features on digital, 4K Ultra HD combo pack and Blu-ray combo pack include commentary by director Jeff Fowler and Schwartz; “Around the World in 80 Seconds,” Sonic’s next adventure; deleted scenes; bloopers; the “Speed Me Up” music video; “For the Love of Sonic,” in which Carrey and the cast discuss what Sonic the Hedgehog means to them; “Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey”; “The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic”; and “Sonic On Set,” a set visit with Schwartz.

The 4K Ultra HD Digital and 4K Ultra HD disc releases present the film in Dolby Vision with a Dolby Atmos sound.

 

‘Zombie’ and ‘Maniac’ Coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray May 26 From MVD and Blue Underground

Restorations of Zombie and Maniac will come out on 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray with Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix May 26 from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

“We put a lot of time and work into restoring films like Maniac and Zombie,” said William Lustig, president of Blue Underground. “We’re thrilled that fans can now view them at home in true 4K Ultra HD, with Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range and new Dolby Atmos audio mixes.”

Known in England as Zombie Flesh Eaters and banned as obscene, Zombie (1979) stars Tisa Farrow (The Grim Reaper), Ian McCulloch (Contamination), Al Cliver (Cannibals) and Richard Johnson (The Haunting) in a splatterfest directed by “Maestro of Gore” Lucio Fulci (The House by the Cemetery, The New York Ripper).

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Zombie will be released in a two-disc combo pack.

Special features on the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc include:

  • audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films;
  • audio commentary with Star McCulloch and Diabolik magazine editor Jason J. Slater;
  • “When the Earth Spits Out the Dead,” an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci;
  • theatrical trailers;
  • TV spots;
  • radio spots;
  • a poster and still gallery; and
  • an intro by director Guillermo del Toro.

 

Special features on the Blu-ray disc include:

  • “Zombie Wasteland,” featuring interviews with McCulloch, Johnson and Cliver, and actor/stuntman Ottaviano Dell’Acqua;
  • “Flesh Eaters on Film,” an interview with co-producer Fabrizio De Angelis;
  • “Deadtime Stories,” featuring interviews with co-writers Elisa Briganti and (uncredited) Dardano Sacchetti;
  • ‘World of the Dead,” featuring interviews with cinematographer Sergio Salvati and production and costume designer Walter Patriarca;
  • “Zombi Italiano,” featuring interviews with special make-up effects artists Gianetto De Rossi and Maurizio Trani and special effects artist Gino De Rossi;
  • “Notes on a Headstone,” an interview with composer Fabio Frizzi;
  • “All in the Family,” an interview with Antonella Fulci; and
  • “Zombie Lover,” in which Oscar-winning filmmaker del Toro talks about one of his favorite films.

 

Maniac (1980) follows Frank Zito (writer/executive producer Joe Spinell, Rocky, The Godfather), a deeply disturbed man, haunted by the traumas of unspeakable childhood abuse. When these horrific memories begin to scream inside his mind, Frank prowls the seedy streets of New York City to stalk and slaughter innocent young women. Frank begins a relationship with a beautiful photographer (Caroline Munro, The Spy Who Loved Me), yet his vile compulsions remain. Directed by Blue Underground president William Lustig (Maniac Cop 2, Vigilante) and featuring gore effects by Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th), the film was originally banned or censored all over the world due to its graphic violence.

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Maniac will also be released in a two-disc combo pack.

Special features on 4K UHD disc include:

  • audio commentary by Lustig and producer Andrew Garroni;
  • audio commentary by Lustig, Savini, editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Spinell’s assistant Luke Walter;
  • theatrical trailers;
  • TV spots; and
  • radio spots.

 

Special features on Blu-ray disc include:

  • outtakes
  • “Returning to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig”;
  • “Anna and the Killer,” an interview with Munro;
  • “The Death Dealer,” an interview with Savini;
  • “Dark Notes,” an interview with composer Jay Chattaway;
  • “Maniac Men,” an interview with songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky;
  • “The Joe Spinell Story”;
  • the “Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2” promo reel;
  • publicity for the film; and
  • controversy about the film.

 

‘Knives Out’ Coming Home on Digital Feb. 7, Disc — Including 4K — Feb. 25

The murder mystery Knives Out, which earned writer-director Rian Johnson an Oscar nom for Best Original screenplay, is heading home.

Lionsgate will release the whodunnit on digital Feb. 7 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and on demand Feb. 25.

The film, which has earned $278 million at the global box office, also received Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Ana de Armas) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Daniel Craig). Written, produced, and directed by Johnson (Star Wars: The Last JediLooper), Knives Out also has received awards from AFI, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics, Philadelphia Film Festival, The Hollywood Critics Association and Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomatoes Awards.

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In addition to Craig and de Armas, the film’s ensemble cast includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer. It follows the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer). There’s one thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) knows for sure — everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth.

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Special features include an audio commentary and in-theater commentary by filmmaker Rian Johnson, two deleted scenes, the eight-part “Making a Murder” documentary, the “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” featurette, and a Q&A with the director and cast.

‘A Quiet Place’ Coming in 4K UHD Steelbook Before Sequel’s Theatrical Debut

Director John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place will come out in a Mondo X Steelbook 4K Ultra HD combo pack March 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment — just before the theatrical debut of its sequel March 20.

In the thriller, a family must navigate their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee (Krasinski) Abbott are determined to find a way to protect their children at all costs while they desperately search for a way to fight back.

The Mondo X SteelBook collaboration #038 features exclusive artwork inspired by Matt Ryan Tobin’s atmospheric poster highlighting the film’s iconic red string lights.

The 4K Ultra HD disc features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack and Dolby Vision.

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The Blu-ray in the 4K Ultra HD combo pack includes more than 30 minutes of bonus content, including the featurettes “Creating the Quiet”; “The Sound of Darkness,” about the editing; and “A Reason for Silence,” about the visual effects.

‘It: Chapter Two’ Stalks to Digital Nov. 19, Disc Dec. 10 Including 4K

The horror sequel It: Chapter Two will arrive on digital Nov. 19 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Dec. 10 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club in a return to where it all began with the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time. The sequel made $209.9 million at the domestic box office.

It: Chapter Two, based on the novel by Stephen King, stars James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie and Andy Bean as Stanley. Reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as Mike and Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben. Bill Skarsgård returns in the role of Pennywise.

In the sequel, set 27 years after the Losers Club defeated the shape-shifting clown Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, people are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of It: Chapter Two will feature Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+, both sporting dynamic metadata for better picture, as well as Dolby Atmos sound.

Special features on the Blu-ray and 4K release include five featurettes and commentary with Muschietti. The DVD includes the five featurettes.

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.

‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Hits Digital Oct. 22, Disc Nov. 5, Including 4K

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on the popular children’s books, arrives on digital Oct. 22 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. 5 from Lionsgate.

The film made $65.8 million in domestic theaters.

The adaptation of the book series brings some of Alvin Schwartz’s scariest stories to life and is produced by Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro with a screen story by del Toro, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan.

It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind, but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley, where for generations the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time. For a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home, the stories become all too real.

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Special features include six featurettes on the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital releases and two featurettes on the DVD looking at the development of the creepiest creatures in the film, as well as the process of taking the classic tales from page to screen.

The 4K version includes Dolby Vision HDR.

Dynamic Enhancement and HDR

Dynamic Metadata, as opposed to static (HDR10), is considered by many to be the pinnacle of high dynamic range, adjusting the picture scene by scene.

Two forms of dynamic metadata enhancement are in the market, one licensed and one license-free.

Dolby Vision is a propriety licensed-based feature from Dolby, which also licenses the sound enhancement Dolby Atmos. There are now more than 500 movies and more than 1,500 episodes of original TV series available in Dolby Vision and more than 500 movies and more than 800 original TV episodes featuring Dolby Atmos, according to the company, and all major Hollywood studios have now released movies for home distribution in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Titles released this past year in Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos include Stranger Things 3 (Netflix), “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (Amazon), Avengers: Endgame (Disney) and Alita: Battle Angel (Fox).

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Nine streaming services around the world are delivering the combined Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos experience, according to the company, and Disney recently announced that it will support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos its upcoming Disney+ streaming service. Dolby Vision is available on more than 140 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.

As far as devices, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos devices are now widely available at prices between $200 and $300, according to the company, and more than 30 CE manufacturers have launched products featuring Dolby Vision. Apple recently announced it would support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on its latest iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV 4K devices. Amazon also launched its first product to support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, the Fire TV Stick 4K, which is available at prices below $50.

“Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos continue to play a primary role in delivering the highest quality and value to the 4K consumer experience across content, platforms and devices,” said Ron Geller, VP of worldwide content relations at Dolby. “As consumers broaden their engagement with 4K content from a growing variety of sources, Dolby technologies are at the forefront to ensure a spectacular experience across transactional digital, disc and the growing list of direct-to-consumer offerings.”

HDR10+ is a royalty-free technology, which backers tout as a key advantage. A joint venture among 20th Century Fox, Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics, the technology’s ecosystem includes 81 adopting companies globally. In September, the consortium released an updated technical specification to respond to the industry’s request for new device categories and codecs expanded to include AV receiver/soundbar and VP9 compatibility via WebM.

The HDR10+ logo and certification program currently supports displays, including mobile displays; distribution devices, including UHD Blu-ray player and OTT streaming devices; and content, including UHD Blu-ray Disc and OTT.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment debuted HDR10+ on UHD Blu-ray with The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, respectively, adding to the UHD Blu-ray discs already released from 20th Century Fox and others.

On the mobile side, Samsung announced the Galaxy S10 as the first mobile device featuring HDR10+ playback and recording. Other mobile devices followed, such as OnePlus 7, Samsung Note 10, and Galaxy Tab S6, which is the first HDR10+ tablet device.

“All our latest media products such as the Galaxy S10 line-up, the WALL Pro & Lux and all our UHD TVs include HDR10+ support to provide the best HDR image from Amazon Prime to major studio UHD Blu-ray releases,” said EVP Hyogun Lee from Samsung Visual Display. “Samsung is working with the HDR10+ LLC and the industry to continuously increase this ecosystem.”
Globally, companies such as Rakuten TV, Chili, The Explorers, Megogo, DT, Molotov, Videociety and Enteractive from Europe will feature HDR10+ technology.

Supporting companies also include TCL and Shout! Factory.
While dynamic metadata adds to quality viewing, consumers aren’t so keen on the competing technologies, which each require different hardware.
“I think a lot of people are frustrated by it,” said Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits.

Home Theater Forum’s Adam Gregorich bought equipment that supported Dolby Vision before the advent of HDR10+.

“I’m in no rush to upgrade really expensive displays,” he said, adding “if I had to buy one today I’d consider it.”

‘Daniel Craig Collection’ of Bond Films Shooting to 4K UHD Oct. 22

The Daniel Craig Collection, with four James Bond films starring the actor, will come out on 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision Oct. 22 from MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The collection includes Casino RoyaleQuantum of SolaceSkyfall and Spectre, and features the extended unrated version of Casino Royale and includes select special features on Casino Royale and Skyfall.

Casino Royale features crew commentary, and Skyfall features commentary by director Sam Mendes and commentary by producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and production designer Dennis Gassner.

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Craig is currently in production on his fifth installment as James Bond in the franchise’s 25th feature film No Time to Die, set for U.S. theatrical release on April 10, 2020.

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Comes Home on Digital Sept. 17, Disc Oct. 1 Including 4K

Spider-Man: Far From Home will fly to digital Sept. 17 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Oct. 1 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $386.1 million in domestic theaters.

Tom Holland returns as the web-slinger Peter Parker in the next chapter after Spider-Man: Homecoming. He joins his best friends Ned, M.J. and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plans to leave heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks. Spider-Man and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) join forces to fight the havoc unleashed across the continent — but all is not as it seems.

The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and Zendaya as M.J.

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Special features include a new original short, alternate and extended scenes, gag reels, and Easter Eggs. Additional special features include “Teachers’ Travel Tips,” with Mr. Harrington and Mr. Dell on how to traverse the European continent, as well as interviews with the cast and crew focused on stunts and location in “The Jump Off” and “Far, FAR, From Home.” Viewers can explore how Spider-Man was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Stepping Up” and get a closer look at the chemistry between Jon Watts and Tom Holland in “It Takes Two.” Viewers can also dive into the “The Ginter-Riva Effect,” “Thank You, Mrs. Parker” and “Now You See Me” featurettes for more character focused details.

The 4K Ultra HD also features Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.