‘James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction’ Coming to Disc July 28 From RLJE

The sci-fi documentary series “James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction” will come out on DVD and Blu-ray July 28 from AMC Networks’ RLJE Films.

The series originally aired on AMC Networks in 2018 as part of the AMC Visionaries series.

The show, an intimate look at science fiction’s roots, its futuristic vision and our fascination with its ideas, is hosted by Academy Award winner James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic). It features interviews with ‘A’-list storytellers, stars and others whose careers have defined the field of science fiction movies and television. Interviewees include Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), George Lucas (“Star Wars” franchise), Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner), Christopher Nolan (Tenet, Interstellar), Will Smith (Men in Black, I Am Legend), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Terminator) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard, The Sixth Sense).

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Bonus features include extended interviews with Spielberg, Lucas, Scott, Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro and Schwarzenegger.

‘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.

Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ Coming to 4K Disc and Digital Oct. 1

Pan’s Labyrinth, the 2006 dark fairy tale written and directed by Academy Award-winner Guillermo del Toro, will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital Oct. 1 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The story takes place following a bloody civil war as young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer.  Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother.  But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.

The film won three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, the Ariel Award for Best Picture, the Saturn Award for Best International Film, and the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.  The film also appeared on more than 20 critic’s top 10 lists for 2006.

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Produced by del Toro, Bertha Navarro, Alfonso Cuaron, Frida Torresblanco, and Alvaro Augustin, the film stars Serio Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, and Alex Angulo and is narrated by Pablo Adan.

Pan’s Labyrinth will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack featuring an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR; a Blu-ray disc of the film; and more than seven hours of previously released special features, including an audio commentary by del Toro. Features also include a video prologue by del Toro; “The Power of Myth”; “The Faun and the Fairies”; “The Color and the Shape”; and “The Director’s Notebook.”

Sony Releasing Original ‘Hellboy’ Film on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Oct. 15

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release 2004’s Hellboy on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Oct. 15.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film adapts the Mike Mgnola Dark Horse comic book about a demon rescued by the Nazis and raised to become a defender against the forces of darkness. Ron Perlman stars as Hellboy alongside a cast that includes Selma Blair, Doug Jones and John Hurt.

The Hellboy 4K disc includes both the theatrical and director’s cuts of the film, each newly remastered in 4K resolution from the original camera negative with exclusive Dolby Atmos audio, along with the original theatrical 5.1 audio. The 4K disc also includes a new introduction by del Toro; the new “To Hell and Back” retrospective, featuring a new interview with del Toro; three audio commentaries featuring del Toro, Mignola and the cast; the documentary “The Seeds of Creation”; and theatrical trailers.

A regular Blu-ray disc included in the combo pack will include a remastered theatrical version of the film, deleted scenes with optional commentary, makeup and lighting tests with commentary, VFX How To’s, “A Quick Guide to Understanding Comics” with Scott McCloud, “Right Hand of Doom” set visits and factoids, Q&A Archive: Comic-Con 2002, Mike Mignola pre-production art, animatics, board-a-matics, multi-angle storyboard comparisons, TV spots, photo galleries and more.

The combo pack will also include a digital copy.

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‘Waterworld,’ Del Toro’s ‘Crimson Peak’ on Tap in January from Arrow and MVD

The Kevin Costner dystopian tale Waterworld, Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak, and the blacksploitation classic Willie Dynamite are among the films coming to Blu-ray in January from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Willie Dynamite debuts Jan. 8. Director Gilbert Moses balances action and social commentary in this story of Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman), the flashiest pimp in New York, who sports a personalized purple-and-gold Cadillac and eye-catching clothes. Dynamite wants to be No. 1, but he has the police, the D.A., fellow pimps and a tough-talking social worker on his tail. The score by J.J. Johnson features Motown legend Martha Reeves. Special features include “Kiss My Baad Asss,” a guide to blaxploitation hosted by actor and musician Ice-T and featuring interviews with Richard Roundtree, Melvin van Peebles, Isaac Hayes and others; the theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips; and for the first pressing only, a fully illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Cullen Gallagher.

Jan. 15 comes Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro’s (The Shape of Water) gothic romance Crimson PeakMia Wasikowska stars as an aspiring author struck by family tragedy. The film also features Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston. Special features include audio commentary by co-writer and director Del Toro; “The House is Alive: Constructing Crimson Peak,” a newly edited, feature-length documentary with cast and crew interviews and extensive behind-the-scenes footage; a previously unseen Spanish-language interview with Del Toro; “A Primer on Gothic Romance,” in which the director and stars talk about the key traits of gothic romance; “The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak,” in which the cast and crew talk about the film’s use of color; “Hand Tailored Gothic,” a featurette on the film’s costumes; “A Living Thing,” a look at the design, modelling and construction of the Allerdale Hall sets; “Beware of Crimson Peak,” a walking tour around Allerdale Hall with Hiddleston; “Crimson Phantoms,” a featurette on the film’s ghosts; a newly filmed interview with author and critic Kim Newman on Crimson Peak and the tradition of gothic romance; “Violence and Beauty in Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic Fairy Tale Films,” a new video essay by the writer Kat Ellinger; deleted scenes; original trailers and TV spots; a double-sided, fold-out poster; four double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; limited edition packaging newly designed by Crimson Peak concept artist Guy Davis; and a limited edition 80-page, hard-bound book featuring new writing by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams, an archival interview with del Toro, and original conceptual design illustrations by artists Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni.

Also due Jan. 15 is the horror film The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, from Italian director Luciano Ercoli. The twisting tale takes viewers through a triangle of friendship, sex and murder. Special features include new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine; “Private Pictures,” a newly-edited documentary featuring archival interviews with actress Nieves Navarro and director Luciano Ercoli, and new interview material with writer Ernesto Gastaldi; “The Forbidden Soundtrack of the Big Three,” a new appreciation of the music of Forbidden Photos and 1970s Italian cult cinema by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon; “The Forbidden Lady,” a Q&A with actress Dagmar Lassander at the 2016 Festival of Fantastic Films; original Italian and English theatrical trailers; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Michael Mackenzie.

Jan. 22 comes the Costner actioner notorious for its expensive budget, Waterworld, a dystopian tale about Earth being completely submerged in water. The new release features a 4K restoration and three cuts of the film, including the extended U.S. TV cut that runs 40 minutes longer than the theatrical release. Other special features include six collector’s postcards; a double-sided fold-out poster; a limited edition 60-page book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper; “Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld,” a new, feature-length, making-of documentary including cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; an original archival featurette capturing the film’s production; “Global Warnings,” in which film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters; a production and promotional stills gallery; a visual effects stills gallery; and original trailers and TV spots.

Oscar Winning Director Guillermo Del Toro to Produce Animated ‘Pinocchio’ for Netflix

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut at Netflix with Pinocchio, which he will also write and produce as a stop-motion musical.

Pinocchio will be del Toro’s first feature film since The Shape of Water, which garnered four Academy Awards last year, including for Best Director and Best Picture.

Del Toro has set his retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio in Italy during the 1930s.

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” said del Toro in a statement. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember. After the incredible experience we have had on ‘Trollhunters,’ I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

“Throughout his distinguished career, Guillermo has exhibited mastery in inspiring people through his magical worlds filled with unforgettable and magnificent characters, from the monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth to the aquatic creature in The Shape of Water,” said Melissa Cobb, VP of kids and family at Netflix. “We are incredibly excited to expand our relationship with Guillermo and we know that his deeply touching vision for bringing Pinocchio to life on Netflix will be embraced by audiences the world over.”

This marks an expansion of Netflix’s existing relationship with del Toro, who created the Emmy award-winning television series DreamWorks’ “Trollhunters,” the first installment of the DreamWorks’ “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy. He is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix series, “Guillermo de Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.”

Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and ShadowMachine (“Bojack Horseman,” “The Shivering Truth”), which will house the stop-motion animation production.

Netflix expects production on Pinocchio to begin this fall.

Blue Underground’s ‘Zombie’ Coming to Blu-ray Nov. 27 From MVD

For its 40th Anniversary, MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground will release Zombie on Blu-ray Nov. 27.

The release comes with a new 4K Restoration from the original uncut and uncensored camera negative.

It marks a new distribution partnership between the companies.

“Blue Underground’s move to MVD was driven by a need for a full-service distributor,” said William Lustig, president of Blue Underground, in a statement. “MVD’s knowledgeable and experienced sales team is enthusiastic regarding the cult classic collector’s editions my company produces.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Blue Underground,” said Eric D. Wilkinson, director of home video sales and acquisitions at MVD, in a statement. “Bill Lustig is not only a legendary director of some of the greatest genre films of all time, but also a master curator and preservationist of cult movies. The combination of this amazing content with the MVD sales team is a perfect match and we are looking forward to bringing these films to our retail partners and collectors alike (and now I can finally get my copy of Maniac autographed).”

“It is an honor to be working with Bill and Greg, and the caliber of films they bring to the world,” said Ed Seaman, COO of MVD, in a statement. “We further cement our commitment to physical goods distribution by now representing Blue Underground’s top quality, beautifully packaged repertoire.”

The zombie film, in Italy considered the unofficial sequel to Dawn of the Dead, stars Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Al Cliver and Richard Johnson and is directed by Lucio Fulci.

The two-Blu-ray release also includes the original motion picture soundtrack CD by Fabio Frizzi (with an exclusive bonus track). Other features include:

  • a new audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films;
  • an audio commentary with McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor Jason J. Slater;
  • a new featurette, “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;
  • an intro by Guillermo del Toro;
  •  “Zombie Wasteland,” interviews with McCulloch, Johnson, Cliver and actor/stuntman Ottaviano Dell’Acqua;
  • “Flesh Eaters on Film,” an interview with co-producer Fabrizio De Angelis;
  • “Deadtime Stories,” interviews with co-writers Elisa Briganti and (Uncredited) Dardano Sacchetti;
  • “World of the Dead,” interviews with cinematographer Sergio Salvati and production and costume designer Walter Patriarca;
  • “Zombi Italiano,” 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;
  • “Zombie Lover,” in which award-winning filmmaker del Toro talks about one of his favorite films;
  • and a collectible booklet, reversible sleeve and, for the first pressing only, lenticular slipcovers.

Pacific Rim Uprising

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 6/19/18;
Universal;
Sci-Fi;
Box Office $59.19 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $37.98 3D BD, $37.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language.
Stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Max Zhang, Charlie Day.

The original Pacific Rim in 2013 was never going to be hailed as an artistic masterpiece. But under the guidance of director Guillermo del Toro, it proved to be a fun, entertaining sci-fi adventure with just the sort of goofy premise that could be exploited for franchise potential in a market dominated by “Transformers,” “Power Rangers” and “Voltron.”

The film’s story was a simple-enough starting point, positing a future in which the world was besieged by giant monsters called kaiju that emerged from undersea interdimensional rifts. To stop them from rampaging through major cities, mankind built giant robots called jaegers to fight them.

Pacific Rim Uprising picks up 10 years later, with the breaches closed but the militaries of the world strategizing about the best defense should the kaiju return.

Veteran TV producer Steven S DeKnight takes over directing duties from del Toro (who produced) and delivers about as much as could be expected for a sequel. The film offers a mix of new and returning characters to provide an enjoyable yet unsophisticated follow-up that delivers on the promise of more monsters and machines beating each other up while everything around them gets trashed.

It’s to the screenplay’s credit that it finds a few interesting plot twists to put a different spin on the basic premise while still delivering the kind of action the set-up would warrant. The story expands upon some of the key plot points of the original to set up future sequels (though, given the film’s underwhelming box office, future story continuations may end up being through alternate mediums such as animation or graphic novels).

The Blu-ray includes a slew of behind-the-scenes material, highlighted by a feature-length DeKnight commentary that really delves into his goals for the film, the challenges he faced, and other insights, such how how much inspiration he drew from the works of Steven Spielberg.

In addition, the Blu-ray includes 10 featurettes that runa bout 40 minutes in total and delve into various aspects of the film, with an emphasis on casting, visual effects and stuntwork. One of them “Hall of Heroes,” amusingly presents star John Boyega spending more than three minutes showing off all the new jaegers introduced in the film, describing all their amenities and weaponry in minute detail as if he were some sort of jaeger salesman.

There are also seven minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary that provide a few good character moments but otherwise aren’t glaring omissions from the film.

Best Picture Winner ‘Shape of Water’ Among Oscar Honorees Ready to Score on Home Video

The Shape of Water won the big prize at the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony March 4, taking Best Picture among its four trophies, in addition to Best Director for Guillermo del Toro, Best Original Score and Best Production Design. The film is available now digitally and comes to Blu-ray and DVD March 13 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Fox’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won Best Actress for Frances McDormand (who previously won 20 years ago for Fargo) and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell. The film is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, available on disc and digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, won three Oscars — Best Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Best Actor went to Gary Oldman for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, available on home video from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film also won best Makeup & Hairstyling, primarily for the work transforming Oldman into Churchill.

Best Supporting Actress went to Allison Janney for I, Tonya, which was released digitally March 2 and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD March 13.

Pixar’s Coco, available on home video from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, won Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Remember Me.”

Netflix’s Russian-doping documentary Icarus won Best Documentary Feature. It’s Netflix’s second-ever Oscar, after winning Best Documentary Short last year for The White Helmets.

Universal’s Get Out won Best Original Screenplay for Jordan Peele.

Sony Pictures’ Call Me by Your Name won for Best Adapted Screenplay for James Ivory, who became the oldest-ever Oscar winner at age 89.

Warner’s Blade Runner 2049 won two Oscars, for Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography for Roger Deakins, his first win in 14 nominations.

Phantom Thread won for Best Costume Design. Universal releases the film digitally March 27 and on Blu-ray and DVD April 10.

A year following one of the biggest snafus in awards-show history, which saw the announcement of the wrong Best Picture winner, the Oscar ceremony offered a measure of atonement for presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway (now marking the 51st anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde), who were brought back again to give out the top award of the night. This time things went off without a hitch, no doubt helped by envelopes with the correct categories written on them twice in big bold gold letters.

A complete list of winners is available at Oscars.com.

Multi-Oscar-Nominee ‘Shape of Water’ Hits Digital Feb. 27, Disc March 13

Director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water — a fantasy romance that racked up 13 Academy Award nominations, more than any other movie this year – will be released on Digital Feb. 27 and on disc two weeks later by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc editions arrive on March 13.

Special features include theatrical trailers and the featurettes “A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times,” “Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue,” “Anatomy of a Scene: The Dance,” “Shaping the Waves: A Conversation with James Jean,” and “Guillermo del Toro’s Master Class.”

The Shape of Water is a fairy tale set in the United States during the Cold War. In a secret government laboratory where she works, Elisa (Sally Hawkins) suffers from loneliness and isolation. Her life is changed when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) stumble upon a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.

The Shape of Water been nominated for Best Picture and 12 other Oscars, including  Del Toro as Best Director, Hawkins as Best Actress, Spencer as Best Supporting Actress, Jenkins as Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.