The 2015 Spanish thriller The Corpse of Anna Fritz(El cadáver de Anna Fritz) will be released on DVD Feb. 6 by MVD Entertainment Group and Invincible.
In the film, Anna Fritz, a beautiful Spanish actress and one of the most desired women in the world, has suddenly died. Her body is transferred to a city morgue, where a withdrawn young orderly, Pau, becomes fascinated with her lifeless cadaver. When Pau sends a picture of the dead celebrity to his two friends, they show up at the morgue for a glimpse of the beautiful starlet. As the whiskey bottles and coke packets empty, the three friends decide this is an opportunity they can’t pass up to get up close and personal with the corpse of Anna Fritz. However, when they are alone with the body, they soon realize that things aren’t exactly what they seem.
Co-written and directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens, the film premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin. Star Alba Ribas Benaiges has also appeared in the Netflix series “Las Chicas Del Cable.”
The Spanish film Siege is available on digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
In the film, for Dani (Natalia de Molina), being Spanish means serving her country as a member of the riot police squad, honoring her flag and enforcing the law. But during an eviction in a troubled area of Madrid, Dani uncovers a corruption ring that will make her fear for her life. Her only help will lies with Nasha, a young woman she just evicted, and her son. She soon realizes that the system she works for is not the solution but may always have been part of the problem.
Film Movement has acquired and will release in summer 2024 a four-film collection of Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s features, including Green Fish, Peppermint Candy, Oasis and Poetry. All feature 4K restorations.
The release will be preceded by theatrical screenings of the new restorations in select theaters in North America in the spring.
After his debut as a novelist in 1983, and his early forays as a screenwriter and assistant director, Lee Chang-dong made his directing debut with Green Fish in 1996 and quickly became one of Korea’s most lauded auteurs, taking his place alongside Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan Wook, Kim Ki-duk and others as one of the leaders of Korean New Wave cinema. His films feature dark stories of innocence lost, suffering, alienation, tragedy, psychological trauma and doomed romances and intricately woven narratives focusing on complex characters from the corners of society.
In Green Fish (1996), after his mandatory military service, naïve young Makdong (Han Suk-kyu), returns home to an Ilsan he no longer recognizes — a dull city that has rapidly modernized and gentrified in his absence. When he crosses paths with a young woman being harassed at a train station, his life takes an unexpected turn when he is lured into the underworld of criminal gangs, with the promise of material comfort beyond his imagination. Unprepared for this environment of violence and exploitation, Mak-dong must face the dire consequences of his choices. Green Fish captured the Best Film and Best New Director Awards from the Korean Film Critics Association and at the Blue Dragon Awards.
Peppermint Candy (1999) — Lee’s second directorial feature — spans 20 years in the life of one man, Yongho, from his callow teens through his fraught, self-hating middle age. Presented in seven chapters in reverse-chronological order, the film begins with Yongho’s untimely suicide and ends with a first date full of the promise and verve of youth. The moments in between these events as seen through lens of Yongho’s life observe South Korea’s fraught political history during the late 20th century, and in turn elegize a generation of marginalized people. An Official Selection of the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, and numerous other notable fests, it won the Special Prize of the Jury at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
In Oasis (2002), after serving time for killing a man in a hit-and-run car accident, Hong Jong-du (Sul Kyung-gu) is released with no money and nowhere to go. His family has abandoned him, and while trying to make amends, he meets Han Gong-ju (Moon So-ri), his victim’s adult daughter. She is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy and all but abandoned in a cheap apartment by her callous family. Gong-ju’s innate tenderness appeals to the uncontrollably impulsive Jong-du, and the pair begin an improbable relationship. The film was the winner of the Silver Lion for Best Director and Best Young Actress at the Venice Film Festival. It also won the FIPRESCI Prize and was nominated for Best Film at the Independent Spirit Awards.
In the drama Poetry (2010) — winner of the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury — Special Mention and Best Screenplay at Cannes — Korean grandmother Mija comes to terms with the early onset of Alzheimer’s while dealing with the fallout from a brutal family crime. Her teenage grandson is linked to the violent death of a girl, and she finds herself caught up in a conspiracy to pay hush money to the dead girl’s family. Mija’s tendency to become lost in poetry, and the wonders of nature, causes her mind to wander at the wrong time, with unfortunate consequences.
Three Hong Kong film Blu-ray Disc releases — The Blue Jean Monster, The Inspector Wears Skirts and the Long Arm of the Law 1 & 2 double feature box set — are available in December from MVD Entertainment Group and 88 films.
Due Dec. 26 is The Blue Jean Monster, a 1991 Hong Kong horror-comedy directed by Ivan Lai. It follows a police officer named Joe who has a happy life with his pregnant wife. One day he gets a tip that a bank is about to be robbed and rushes to it but is killed. Then the strangest thing happens, Joe becomes a vampire when a black cat jumps on his body and is hit by lightning. Can Joe take revenge on his killers? The limited edition includes a slipcase with new artwork from James Neal. Available in 2.0 Cantonese dual mono with English subtitles, the release also includes the extras “Man Made Monster,” an interview with assistant director Sam Leong, and the original Hong Kong trailer.
In The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988), also due Dec. 26, Madame Wu (Sibelle Hu) has been assigned to the Hong Kong Police Academy to train female Banshee Squad Members, right next door to the all-male Tiger Squad lead by Inspector Kan (Shui-Fan Fung). After internal conflicts and courting mishaps, the squad members are ordered to band together to round up a gang of thieves, but nothing goes as planned. From executive producer, Raymond Chow (Enter the Dragon) comes this action comedy that was produced and choreographed by Jackie Chan and lensed by Andy Lau. The film, remastered from the original camera negative, put in motion a successful franchise, launched the career of international action star Cynthia Rothrock and helped to establish the viability of female-driven action films in Hong Kong and worldwide. The limited edition features a slipcase with new artwork from Sean Longmore. Available in 2.0 Cantonese dual mono with English subtitles and 2.0 English dual mono, the film’s extras include audio commentary by Frank Djeng; “Shooting Her Shot,” an interview with Cynthia Rothrock; “The Director Wears Pants,” an interview with director Wellson Chin; “Top Squad” English opening and closing titles; the Hong Kong trailer; the English trailer; and a stills gallery.
Available now is the double feature box set of The Long Arm of the Law (1984) and The Long Arm of the Law Part 2. Directed by Johnny Mak (To Be Number One) and his brother Michael Mak (Sex and Zen, Butterfly and Sword), respectively, the two movies are packed with Hong Kong-style action sequences; pioneered the two gun style popularized later by films like Hard Boiled, Face Off and The Matrix; and provide a prelude to what would eventually become a quadrilogy of martial arts thrillers. Extras include reversible sleeves featuring original artwork; new artwork by Sean Longmore; new 2K restorations of both films in the 1:85:1 aspect ratio; audio commentaries by Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng; new interviews with actor Philip Chan; and new interviews with director Michael Mak.
BayView Entertainment will release the Chinese action drama Never Say Never on Blu-ray Disc Dec. 26 via the Allied Vaughn manufacture-on-demand service.
In the film, when a down-on-his-luck former fighter is accosted by a gang of young bandits, he recruits them for his second shot of glory at his upstart training facility. But after his past shady dealings and get-rich-quick schemes come to life, he’s forced to figure out how to lead his students without passing along the stigma of his troubled past.
The Korean horror flick The Ghost Station — from the screenwriter of The Ring and The Ring 2 — will debut on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 19 from Well Go USA Entertainment.
In the film, after a young reporter covers a suspicious accident, she learns from police that her source was supposedly already dead at the time of their interview. As more mysterious deaths occur, she and her partner dig deeper into the case and come face to face with a horrifying truth.
Directed by Jeong Yong-Ki (The Doll Master, Once Upon a Time) from a screenplay by Takahashi Hiroshi (The Ring, The Ring 2) and Lee So-Young (Robot Sound), the film stars Kim Bo-Ra (Ghost Mansion), Kim Jae-Hyun (“Love You as the World Ends”) and Shin So-Yul (A Violent Prosecutor).
The Chinese monster thriller Crocodile Islandwill be released on digital and DVD Nov. 21 from Well Go USA Entertainment.
In the film, after their plane makes an emergency landing near the Devil’s Sea — the enigmatic Bermuda Triangle of the Pacific — the stranded passengers, including a single father and his daughter, are left to fight for their lives on a remote island filled with vicious, man-eating crocodiles.
Film Movement will release the French crime thriller The Night of the 12th on DVD and digital Oct. 17.
The Night of the 12th is based on a true crime book by Pauline Guéna about a detective who is haunted by an unsolved case. Yohan Vivès — a young, recently promoted police Captain — begins investigating the gruesome murder of a young women named Clara in the town of Grenoble. It’s clear that the attack was pre-meditated, and the violent nature of the crime suggests revenge. Vivés’ team methodically digs through the details of Clara’s life, uncovering her secrets in hopes of weeding out the killer. Certain their suspect is a scorned ex-lover, Vivés is confronted with another, more complicated question: which one?
The film poses uneasy questions about the male-dominated world of law enforcement, and their ability to handle the violent crimes routinely perpetrated against women victims.
Following its international premiere at Cannes, The Night of the 12th would go on to be nominated for 11 César Awards and capture seven, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Bouli Lanners), Most Promising Actor (Bastien Bouillon) and Best Sound. Also nominated for six 2023 Lumiere Awards, the thriller would win two, including Best Film and Best Screenplay. It also won two 2023 Magritte Awards for Best Actor (Bouli Lanners) and Best Foreign Film in a Co-Production.
The release includes the bonus French short film Harbor, directed by Paul Marques Duarte, which follows an English teacher and her colleague who must make a bold decision when they inadvertently smuggle a teenage refugee hiding among their students on board a ferry to England.
BayView Entertainment will release the Brazilian comedy drama Pacarrete on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 29.
Pacarrete is an elderly ballet dancer from Brazil who after her retirement as a dance and ballet instructor goes back to hometown. She decides to give a dance performance as a “gift to the people” on the eve of the city’s bicentennial celebration. But it seems nobody cares about Pacarrete. The comedic drama stars Marcelia Cartaxo (The Hour of the Star).
The film won 44 festival awards, including Best Film, Best Actress – Marcelia Cartaxo, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the SESC Film Festival, Brazil; Best Actress – Marcelia Cartaxo, Best Supporting Actor – João Miguel, Best Screenplay – Original, Best Art Direction, Best Music, Best Comedy and Best Film at the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize; and Best Actress – Marcelia Cartaxo, Best Supporting Actress – Zezita Matos, Best Supporting Actor – João Miguel, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Costume Design and Best Screenplay – Original at Prêmio Guarani.
The Chinese World War II thriller Hidden Blade will be released via digital retailers July 18 from Well Go USA Entertainment.
Set during World War II at the height of China’s war of resistance against Japan, it follows citizens who develop a top-secret underground espionage network under the nose of the newly established puppet regime. At increasingly great peril to their own lives, the double-agents extract classified information from deep behind enemy lines, an effort that gives rise to the united front that will help turn the tide of the conflict.
Written and directed by Cheng Er (Lethal Hostage, The Wasted Times), Hidden Blade stars action icon Tony Leung (“Infernal Affairs” franchise, Hero,The Grandmaster), Wang Yibo (Born to Fly), Chengpeng Dong (City of Rock, I am Not Madame Bovary, The Thousand Faces of Dunjia), Xun Zhou (2022’s Hero, Painted Skin, Perhaps Love), Eric Wang (Saturday Fiction, Dying to Survive) and Lei Huang (Farewell My Concubine, Phantom of the Theatre).
The film was nominated for five awards at the Shanghai International Film Festival, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress (Xun Zhou), winning the award for Best Actor (Wang Yibo).