Full Moon’s ‘The Resonator: Miskatonic U’ and ‘Mania Killer’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 9 From MVD

The horror films The Resonator: Miskatonic U and Mania Killer will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 9 from Full Moon Features and MVD Entertainment Group.

In horror fantasy The Resonator: Miskatonic U (2021), genre stars Michael Pare (Streets of Fire, Eddie and the Cruisers), Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and Empire Pictures alumni Jeffrey Byron (The Dungeonmaster, Metalstorm) join a cast of newcomers in a tale of visionary Miskatonic University student Crawford Tillinghast, who follows in his late father’s footsteps and becomes obsessed with completing work on The Resonator, an inter-dimensional device that opens doorways to other worlds. With the aid of his closest friends, they manage to get the machine running — with terrifying results.

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In Mania Killer (1987), a malevolent religious cult stalks a French village, kidnapping prostitutes and subjecting them to unimaginable torments under the guise of saving their souls. When a young man’s girlfriend is taken by the sect, he teams up with a mob of angry pimps to track down the maniacal, holy rolling killers and put an end to their bloody mission, once and for all. The film stars Bo Svenson (Walking Tall Part 2), Robert Ginty (The Exterminator) and Chuck Connors (Tourist Trap). Full Moon is presenting this obscure shocker totally uncut and remastered from the best available materials found in the Eurocine vaults.

Chinese Anime Fantasy ‘The Monkey King: Reborn’ Due Digitally and on Disc Dec. 7 From Well Go

The Chinese anime action-adventure fantasy The Monkey King: Reborn will be released digitally, and on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 7 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Playing off the three “Monkey King” live-action films, The Monkey King: Reborn follows the short-tempered trickster after he is insulted while visiting a temple with his master Tang Monk. Outraged, he destroys a magical tree and accidentally releases the ancient King of Demons, who kidnaps Tang Monk as revenge for his long imprisonment. Now, Monkey King and his fellow disciples must rescue their master within three days, before the demon king regains his full power and unleashes his armies to destroy the Earth.

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Directed by Wang Yun Fei (four-film “Yugo & Lala” franchise), The Monkey King: Reborn features an all-new English dub for this release.

Drama ‘Nine Days’ Due on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 2

The fantasy drama Nine Days will come out on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 2 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, Will (Winston Duke) and Kyo (Benedict Wong) spend their days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TVs of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — including Emma (Zazie Beetz) and Kane (Bill Skarsgård) arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma, a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.

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Making his feature-film debut, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will.

The film was nominated for Best First Feature and Best Supporting Male (Wong) at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Bonus materials include a making-of featurette.

‘Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16

The Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition, timed to the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, will come out on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The $249.99, 31-disc collection of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga contains new special features along with the theatrical and extended versions of the six films from New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as well as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

It comes in “Puzzle Box” packaging and includes a 64-page booklet featuring costumes, photography and production notes from the film, and art cards featuring travel posters and images from iconic locations throughout Middle-Earth including The Shire, Lake-Town, Erebor, Anduin, Rohan, Minas Trith and Rivendell.

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Also included are the original Cannes Film Festival presentation reel, and footage from the recent Alamo Drafthouse cast reunion, featuring director Peter Jackson along with cast members Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellan, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortenson, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. All six films also come on Blu-ray discs remastered from the 4K master. The 4K remastering process was overseen by Jackson.

Update (10/12/21): Release date changed from Oct. 26 to Nov. 16.

Vudu Mounting Sci-Fi and Fantasy Title Sale

Fandango’s TVOD service Vudu is mounting several sales on science-fiction and fantasy titles.

Taking place Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 is Vudu’s Summer of Savings: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sale, featuring more than a hundred titles at 25% off, such as blockbuster bundles including the Lord of the RingsThe HobbitStar Trek and Godzilla franchises, as well as recent titles such as Nicolas Cage’s Willy’s Wonderland, Anthony Mackie’s Synchronic and Bruce Willis’ Cosmic Sin. Also included in the sale are: Avatar, Labyrinth, Interstellar, Ready Player One, They Live, Limitless, Arrival, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, War of the Worlds (2005) and Edge of Tomorrow.

Other sci-fi-related sales include the Marvel Studios sale, Aug. 31-Sept. 8, with titles up to 60% off (select titles such as Black Panther and Captain Marvel for $7.99, with the four-movie Avengers collection for $29.99); “Pixar Fest,” Aug. 31-Sept. 15, with select Pixar titles, such as  Luca, Onward, Up and WALL-E, available at $9.99 each; and 1950s films at $5 each Aug. 31-Sept. 14, including The Incredible Shrinking Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, It Came from Outer Space, It Came from Beneath the Sea, It! the Terror from Beyond Space and The War of the Worlds (1953).

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‘The Green Knight’ Due on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 12

The fantasy adventure The Green Knight arrives on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and digital Oct. 12 from Lionsgate.

The title is available in a 4K plus Blu-ray plus digital combo pack, and Blu-ray plus DVD plus digital combo pack, as well as a standalone Blu-ray.

A new take on the 14th century medieval story of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” the film stars Academy Award nominee Dev Patel (2017, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Lion), Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (2016, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, The Danish Girl), Golden Globe nominee Joel Edgerton (2017, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Loving), Sarita Choudhury (TV’s “Blindspot,” “Jessica Jones,” “Little Fires Everywhere”), Sean Harris (The King, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tresspass Against Us), Kate Dickie (Prometheus, The Witch, Filth) and Ralph Iverson (The Witch, Brahms: The Boy II, TV’s “The Accidental Medium”).

From acclaimed writer-director David Lowery (Petes’ Dragons, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, A Ghost Story), The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom.

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Special features include “Boldest of Blood and Wildest of Heart: Making The Green Knight”; “Practitioners of Magic: Visual Effects”; “Illuminating Technique: Title Design”; and the theatrical trailer.

Horror Films ‘Lust’ and ‘Through the Shadow’ and Sci-Fi Title ‘I Am Toxic’ Due on DVD Aug. 10 From MVD

Two horror films, Lust and Through the Shadow, and the science-fiction fantasy I Am Toxic will come out on DVD Aug. 10 from Jinga Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the Spanish-language Lust, a famous crime writer becomes a victim after a crazed fan brutally attacks her. Isolated in her apartment she tries to recover but continues to feel threatened after experiencing strange events. Her psychiatrist believes that it’s all in her mind, a result of post-traumatic stress, but she is convinced that her attacker is stalking her and resorts to extreme violence to protect herself. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes, stills and a trailer.

The Portuguese-language Through the Shadow follows prim and assuming Laura, who moves to the countryside of 20th century Rio de Janeiro and is unprepared for life on an isolated plantation. Hired as a nanny for two young orphans who live on their uncle’s coffee farm, she soon notices that things are not all as they seem. Confronted with continual apparitions, and noting the children’s increasingly ambiguous behavior, Laura becomes convinced in the presence of hostile spirits whom she believes are intent on taking possession of her young charges. With growing concerns for their safety, she strives to unravel the mysteries of her new home without realizing that it may be herself who is in mortal danger. Based on Henry James classic novel The Turn Of The Screw.

In the Spanish-language I Am Toxic, a man wakes up in a world ravaged by biological warfare with no memory of his previous life. Taken prisoner by scavengers he meets a young woman who helps him escape. As the scavengers pursue them through barren wastelands he discovers that he must make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ With ‘Magical Movie Mode’ to Bow on Disc and Digital Aug. 17

The 2001 family film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will be released on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 17 with “Magical Movie Mode,” a new way to experience the film, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for its 20th anniversary.

The “Harry Potter Magical Movie Mode” allows fans the ability to discover filmmaking secrets, spell incantations, creatures, magical artifacts, trivia, and more in a collection of activities and curiosities.  “Magical Movie Mode” includes director’s commentary from director Chris Columbus offering candid insight and amusing anecdotes from the production of the first film, deleted scenes, quizzes testing knowledge of a vast array of topics from the film, graphics, and audio during select scenes in the film.

In the first film in the franchise, Harry Potter finds out he is the orphaned son of two wizards and embarks on an amazing journey. During his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry learns he is destined for great things and discovers a dark wizard is determined to destroy him.

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The two-disc Blu-ray set of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — Magical Movie Mode will be available at $19.98 and includes the theatrical film and the “Magical Movie Mode” version of the film in high-definition. It will also be available on DVD as a two-disc set at $16.98 and includes the theatrical film and “Magical Movie Mode” version of the film in standard-definition.  The film will also be available digitally on participating digital platforms where you purchase movies.

Supernatural: The Complete Series

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/25/21;
Warner;
Fantasy;
$329.99 86-DVD set, $359.99 58-disc Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Starring Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Alexander Calvert, Katie Cassidy, Lauren Cohan, Mark A. Sheppard, Mark Pellegrino, Jim Beaver, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Samantha Smith, Adrianne Palicki, Kathryn Newton, DJ Qualls, Felicia Day, Osric Chau, Lauren Tom, Alaina Huffman, Courtney Ford, Sterling K. Brown, Kurt Fuller, Curtis Armstrong, Ruth Connell.

It may be a cliché to say they don’t make ’em like they used to, but it’s an idiom that certainly applies in the case of “Supernatural.”

The series stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers who spend the show traveling the country in a black 1967 Impala hunting monsters, demons, ghosts and other supernatural beings. Their quest to find their father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and find their mothers’ killer introduces them to a wider world of demon hunters, magic and divine beings who hold the fate of reality in their hands. At one point, the characters even become animated for a crossover with Scooby-Doo (in season 13).

Running an amazing 15 seasons and 327 episodes, the series began in 2005 on the old WB network, its last year before it merged with UPN to become what’s now known as The CW. Airing on the lowest rung of the network ladder certainly helped it flourish, as it became the longest-running American sci-fi/fantasy TV series in history with its 11th season, surpassing WB/CW sister series “Smallville,” which had run for 10 seasons and 217 episode, outpacing another 10-season sci-fi series, “Stargate SG-1,” by three episodes. The British side of the genre has produced “Doctor Who,” of course, with separate runs of 26 and 12 seasons (and an upcoming 13th), but with shorter episode lengths in the classic era and fewer episodes per season in the modern.

That’s the kind of output the TV industry just isn’t interested in sustaining anymore, beyond the handful of legacy procedurals that are sticking around on the networks. Between cable and streamers and the short attention spans of audiences, three- to four-season runs of 10 episodes apiece are much more the norm now.

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The massive complete-series Blu-ray disc set efficiently repackages all the previously released individual season sets, as well as the new 15th and final season set, and all the bonus material that entails.

The set comes in the form of a handsome outer box housing seven thick Blu-ray cases, packed two seasons per case, except for the seventh case which contains the final three seasons. Each of the first six cases house eight discs (except for case two, which has seven discs for seasons three and four), while case seven has 10 discs in total. This distribution pattern left no room for the season 15 bonus disc, which is instead housed in its own separate cardboard sleave at the end of the stack, alongside a booklet containing an episode guide, photos from the series, production artwork, and notes to the fans from series creator Eric Kripke and executive producer Robert Singer.

It’s a slightly awkward configuration but seemingly unavoidable without either splitting up one of the seasons into two separate cases, inventing an 11-disc case, or putting the four discs of season 15 in its own case and making the overall box bigger. All in all it’s just a minor infringement on any OCD some fans or collectors might have.

Among the extras on that final disc are a featurette about the series finale, a documentary about the show’s strong themes of family, and a look at the Winchesters as American heroes in the vein of folklore archetypes. There’s also a gag reel, a retrospective of all 15 seasons, and highlights from the show’s 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel, which due to COVID-19 canceling the 2020 event turned out to be the show’s last.

In the final extra, a lucky fan wins a replica of the show’s iconic Impala.

The set does not include Supernatural: The Anime Series, which was released on Blu-ray in 2011.

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‘Pinocchio’ Coming to Digital Feb. 23 From Lionsgate

The Italian film adaptation Pinocchio arrives on digital Feb. 23 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Academy Award winner Roberto Benigni (1998, Best Actor, Life Is Beautiful), Federico lelapi (Que vado?), Rocco Papaleo (Basilicata Coast to Coast, A small southern enterprise, Cecchi Gori Cecchi Gori?), Massimo Ceccherini (Tale of Tales, La mia vita a stelle e strisce), with the participation of Marine Vacth, and with Gigi Proietti.

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In the story, when a magical piece of wood falls into his hands, Geppetto (Benigni) carves from it his greatest creation, Pinocchio, a puppet wondrously bestowed with life. Pinocchio’s dreams of becoming a real boy are complicated by his misadventures among a host of otherworldly creatures — a fox-and-cat bandit duo, an asthmatic dogfish, a talking cricket, and others — until he meets a kind blue-haired fairy, whose only wish is to make his dreams come true.