The week of Feb. 21 finds two hits from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment getting a refresh at digital retailers after being available at premium rates for electronic sellthrough and VOD — Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and M3GAN.
Other new releases during the week include Empire of Light, Station Eleven, The Old Way, The Inspection and Running the Bases on disc, while Women Talking becomes available through digital retailers.
The regular digital release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, available Feb. 21 at digital retailers such as Vudu, Redbox On Demand and Amazon, is billed as a “special collector’s edition” that now includes over an hour of bonus content, including the all-new exclusive animated short The Trident, deleted scenes and a lyric video. DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” universe adventure earned nearly $170 million at the North American box office. It arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 28.
Universal’s regular digital release of M3GAN becomes available through online retailers Feb. 24 and includes a new unrated version of the film. Both the ‘PG-13′ and unrated cuts will also be available for streaming on Peacock. The creepy android girl thriller, which earned nearly $94 million in domestic theaters, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD March 21.
Orion Pictures’ Academy Award-nominated Women Talking, an adaptation of Miriam Toews’s internationally best-selling novel of the same name and inspired by true events, becomes available through digital retailers Feb. 21 from MGM. The film follows the women of an isolated religious community who grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith. The film has been nominated for two Oscars, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and was named one of the top 10 films of 2022 by the National Board of Review and American Film Institute. Written and directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Sarah Polley, Women Talking stars Academy Award winner Frances McDormand (Nomadland, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Critic’s Choice Award winner Rooney Mara (Carol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Emmy Award winner Claire Foy (“The Crown,” First Man), BAFTA Award winner Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter, Wild Rose), and Sheila McCarthy (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Sing) along with Emmy Award winner Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal,” No Time to Die). It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD March 7 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Empire of Light will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 21 from Disney and Searchlight Pictures. From director and writer Sam Mendes (1917, Skyfall), Empire of Light is a drama about the power of human connection during turbulent times. Set in and around a faded old cinema in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, it follows Hilary (Olivia Colman), a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Micheal Ward), a new employee who longs to escape this provincial town in which he faces daily adversity. Both Hilary and Stephen find a sense of belonging through their unlikely and tender relationship and come to experience the healing power of music, cinema and community. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography.
Based on the international best-seller by Emily St. John Mandel, the miniseries Station Eleven arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD Feb. 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment. The three-disc collection includes all 10 episodes of the post-apocalyptic saga that spans multiple timelines, telling the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost. The series stars Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate), Himesh Patel (Don’t Look Up), Matilda Lawler (Flora & Ulysses), Lori Petty, David Wilmot (Anna Karenina), Daniel Zovatto, Nyambi Nyambi (“Mike and Molly”) and Nabhaan Rizwan (1917) with appearances from Gael Garcia Bernal, Danielle Deadwyler, David Cross and more.
The Nicolas Cage Western The Old Way arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, digital and on demand Feb. 21 from Lionsgate. Academy Award winner Cage (1995, Actor in a Leading Role, Leaving Las Vegas) stars in his first-ever Western, directed by Brett Donowho (Acts of Violence, Salvation U.S.A.) and written by Carl W. Lucas (The Wave, My Name Is Myeisha). Cage stars as Colton Briggs, a cold-blooded gunslinger turned respectable family man. When an outlaw and his gang put Colton and his family in peril, Colton is forced to take up arms with an unlikely partner — his 12-year-old daughter (Ryan Kiera Armstrong).
The drama The Inspection, which earned Jeremy Pope a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 21 from A24 and Lionsgate. In Elegance Bratton’s film inspired by his own story, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life.
The family faith drama Running the Bases will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 21 from Mill Creek Entertainment and Distribution Solutions. In the film, when a small-town baseball coach gets the offer of a lifetime from a larger 6A high school, he uproots his family and leaves the only home he’s ever known. But as a man of faith, he soon faces extreme opposition to his coaching methods from the school superintendent. The film stars Brett Varvel (The War Within, Miracle on Christmas, American Underdog), Gigi Orsillo (Hope for the Holidays, Still Pitching, Pursuit of Freedom), Todd Terry (“Breaking Bad,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul”) and Cameron Arnett (I Still Believe, Overcomer, and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”).
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Feb. 21 releases Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams, the latest film from director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name). The documentary, about the life of Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, who created shoes for stars and films during Hollywood’s silent era, will be available through digital retailers and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. Ferragamo began his career as a shoemaker before he was barely a teenager. In America, his work would soon help invent the glamour of Hollywood’s silent ear as he created shoes for iconic films and for such stars as Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. The film features commentary by Martin Scorsese, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Wanda Ferragamo. Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams was released under the Sony Pictures Classic banner. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 2020. Before the premiere, Sony Pictures Classics acquired worldwide distribution rights to the film, excluding Italy.
The Korean comedic crime drama Broker is headed to Blu-ray Disc Feb. 21 from Decal Releasing, Neon and Distribution Solutions. In the film, two brokers who sell orphaned infants circumvent the bureaucracy of legal adoption. After an infant’s mother surprises the duo by returning to ensure her child finds a good home, the three embark on a journey to find the right couple. Broker stars Song Kang-ho (Parasite, Snowpiercer, The King’s Letters), Dong-won Gang (Peninsula, Master, Golden Slumber), Doona Bae (Cloud Atlas, “The Silent Sea” TV series, “Stranger” TV series) and Lee Ji-eun (Hotel Del Luna, Dream, “Shades of My Heart” TV series).
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Shout! Factory and GKIDS Feb. 21 release the award-winning historical drama Giovanni’s Island on Blu-ray Disc and all major digital platforms. The hand-drawn film is from Production I.G., the studio behind Ghost in the Shell and The Deer King. Released in 2014, the feature film garnered 14 recognitions worldwide, including the Jury Distinction at the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, both Children’s and Adult Jury Prizes at the 31st Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and the Satoshi Kon Award for best animated feature at the Fantasia Film Festival. The film is centered on brothers Junpei and Kanta, who live in Shikotan, a tiny fishing island that has been spared from the devastations of World War II. The two children are named after Giovanni and Campanella from their late mother’s favorite book, Night on the Galactic Railroad, which becomes a source of solace in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat. When Soviet forces arrive with their families to settle in the island, Junpei meets Tanya, the daughter of the commander. Despite their language barrier and growing tension, the children soon form an unlikely friendship.
The 1987 Michelle Yeoh action film Magnificent Warriors is being released on Blu-ray Disc Feb. 21 from 88 Films and MVD Entertainment Group. International star, 2023 Best Actress Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) stars in this adventure set against the backdrop of World War II. Yeoh portrays a wisecracking mercenary pilot with a leather jacket, gun and bullwhip who sets aside personal greed to defend a small town and free its leader from the clutches of the invading Japanese army. In the finale, the town, armed only with spears and stones, rises up against the heavily fortified Japanese forces. Yeoh’s martial arts prowess, comedic flair, and dramatic skills are brought to bear in this follow-up to the classic Royal Warriors. The release features dubbed and subtitled soundtracks; a new 2K restoration from the original camera negatives; audio commentary with Asian cinema expert Frank Djeng; an interview with Yeoh; and an interview with Tung Wai.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases the 1993 film The Remains of the Day on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on Feb. 21 for its 30th anniversary. Oscar-winners Anthony Hopkins (1991, Best Actor, The Silence of the Lambs) and Emma Thompson (1992, Best Actress, Howards End) reunite with the Merchant Ivory filmmaking team for the moving story of blind devotion and repressed love. Hopkins stars as Stevens, the perfect English butler, an ideal carried by him to fanatical lengths as he serves his master Lord Darlington (James Fox, The Servant). Darlington, like many other members of the British establishment in the 1930s, is duped by the Nazis into trying to help them establish a rapport with the British government. Thompson stars as the estate’s housekeeper, a high-spirited, strong-minded young woman who watches the goings-on upstairs with horror. Despite her apprehensions, she and Stevens gradually fall in love, though neither will admit it, and only give vent to their charged feelings via fierce arguments. The feature is presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision approved by director James Ivory and Dolby Atmos audio + 5.1 + 2-Channel Surround.
Kino Lorber is readying a collection of 21 silent avant-garde films for release on Blu-ray Disc and digitally Feb. 21. The films span 102 years (the first was made in 1920; the most recent, in 2022) and have a combined run time of 188 minutes. Silent Avant-Garde features 21 short art film experiments in HD to 5K scans made from 35mm and 16mm picture elements. Highlights include brand new digital restorations of classic experimental films The Enchanted City (1922), Return to Reason (1923), Ballet Mechanique (1924, 1931), The Twenty-Four Dollar Island (1925), Eisenstein Mexican Footage (1930), Escape, Synchromy No. 4 (1938), The Eclipse (1936-1949), Look Park (1973), and Tenga fe (2022). Each film features original silent film music specially prepared, composed, improvised and/or performed by a master of experimental new music. Represented directors include Robert J. Flaherty, Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Alexandrov, Eduard Tisse, Rrose Sélavy (pseudonym for Marcel Duchamp), and Al Brick.
The family film Heart of a Champion will be available via on demand and digital sellthrough Feb. 21 from Saban Films. Starring Casper Van Dien, Edward Furlong and YaYa Gosselin, the film follows Charlie (Gosselin), a 14-year-old coping with the divorce of her parents, a new school and typical teenage growing pains who finds purpose and pride in a lost horse she cares for and trains for a state competition.
The Western thriller Bordello will be available via on demand Feb. 21 from Level 33 Entertainment. Set in 1889 New Mexico, the film follows five women working in a bordello in the Old West who struggle to protect Angel, the 7-year-old girl left in their care. Meanwhile, Madame Gabi, the wealthy but evil brothel owner arrives and offers the inept pimp Enoch a small fortune for Angel. The women feel they have no choice but to plot to murder Enoch in order to save Angel from a life of child prostitution. Bordello stars Kris Holden-Ried, Nisa Gunduz, Heidi von Palleske, Camille Stopps, Jessica Danecker, Jamie Elman and Taylor Thorne.
A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.