Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Zone 414’ Due on Digital, DVD and On Demand Nov. 2

The sci-fi thriller Zone 414 will come out on digital, DVD and on demand Nov. 2 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz and Travis Fimmel star in the film set in Zone 414, a dangerous, dark colony of humanoids known as “the city of robots.” The colony’s creator (Fimmel) hires private investigator David Carmichael (Pearce) to track down his missing daughter. David teams up with Jane (Lutz), a highly advanced A.I. equipped with the same technology of her fellow humanoids, but with all the emotions, feelings and dreams of a human being. They travel through the city uncovering clues and a crime that calls into question the origins and true purpose behind the city of artificial humans.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

HBO’s ‘Mare of Easttown’ Heading to Disc Sept. 14

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the HBO limited series Mare of Easttown on DVD Sept. 14. A Blu-ray Disc edition will be available the same day from Warner Archive Collection. The show is available now for digital purchase.

The seven-part drama stars Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a respected small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a local murder while also balancing her own personal life, which is rapidly falling apart around her.

The cast also includes Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Evan Peters, Guy Pearce, David Denman, Joe Tippett, Cailee Spaeny, John Douglas Thompson, Patrick Murney, James McArdle, Sosie Bacon, Neal Huff, Kate Arrington, Ruby Cruz, Eisa Davis, Enid Graham, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley, Izzy King, Mackenzie Lansing, Cameron Mann, Kiah McKirnan, Jack Mulhern, Anthony Norman, Drew Scheid and Madeleine Weinstein.

Extras include the featurettes “Invitation to the Set,” “Mare of Easttown: A Closer Look,” “Welcome to Easttown” and “Making Mare of Easttown.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

‘The Last Vermeer’ Coming to Disc and Digital Feb. 23

The World War II drama The Last Vermeer will come out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital Feb. 23 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, while Joseph Piller (Claes Bang), a Dutch Jew, was fighting in the Resistance during the Second World War, the witty, debonair art connoisseur Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce) was hosting hedonistic soirees and selling Dutch art treasures to Hermann Göring and other top Nazis. Following the war, Piller becomes an investigator assigned the task of identifying and redistributing stolen art, resulting in the flamboyant van Meegeren being accused of collaboration — a crime punishable by death. Despite mounting evidence, Piller, with the aid of his assistant (Vicky Krieps), becomes increasingly convinced of Han’s innocence and finds himself in the unlikely position of fighting to save his life.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film is based on the book The Man Who Made Vermeers by Jonathan Lopez.

‘Mary Queen of Scots’ Coming to Home Video

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release Mary Queen of Scots digitally Feb. 19, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 26.

The film chronicles the rivalry between Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) and Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) over the English throne in the 16th century.

The cast also includes Guy Pearce, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn and David Tennant.

Extras include commentary with director Josie Rourke and composer Max Richter, and the featurettes “An Epic Confrontation,” “Something About Marys” and “Tudor Feminism.”

The Catcher Was a Spy

DVD REVIEW:

Street Date 10/2/18;
Paramount;
Drama;
Box Office $0.7 million;
$22.99 DVD;
Rated ‘R’ for some sexuality, violence and language.
Stars Paul Rudd, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Tom Wilkinson, Connie Nielsen, Shea Whigham.

The Catcher Was a Spy is one of those strange-but-true tales that really drives up the curiosity factor based on its somewhat bizarre premise alone.

The film is based on a book of the same name that relates the true story of a former Major League Baseball catcher who was tasked with assassinating the head of Germany’s atomic bomb program during World War II.

The actual circumstances make a lot more sense when played out in context of course, even if the man at the center of it, the Jewish baseball player-turned-spy Moe Berg, would seem to defy most attempts to classify his character.

Berg, played here by the always affable Paul Rudd, was an avid reader who spoke several languages, demonstrated his smarts on radio quiz shows and was labeled an oddball for his eccentricities by coaches and teammates during an otherwise underwhelming 15-year baseball career.

After being invited to join an all-star team of Major Leaguers touring Japan in 1934, Berg learned from a Japanese friend that a war between the U.S. and Japan was likely inevitable, so he snuck onto the roof of a Tokyo hospital to film footage of the city’s harbor. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Berg gave the footage to U.S. intelligence services and ended up joining the OSS (precursor to the CIA).

Incidentally, while the film doesn’t dwell on the particulars, this was the same 1934 tour touted in Ken Burns’ Baseball in which a 17-year-old Japanese kid named Eiji Sawamura struck out Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx in succession. (Sawamura was killed a decade later serving the Japanese navy in WWII.)

Anyway, the OSS eventually assigns Berg to a team looking into the activities of famed German physicist Werner Heisenberg (namesake for Walter White’s alias on “Breaking Bad”), trying to gauge his involvement in helping Germany develop an atomic bomb and assess what progress, if any, he has made on the project. The key moment comes when Berg is sent to stalk Heisenberg (played by Mark Strong) during a lecture in neutral Switzerland and shoot him on the spot if the scientist offers any hint that he is working on an atomic weapon.

Part baseball movie, part spy thriller, The Cather Was a Spy is an intriguing wartime procedural carried primarily by its old-fashioned sensibilities and the likability of its main cast. The screenplay is by Robert Rodat, who is no stranger to WWII movies having penned Saving Private Ryan.

The DVD includes seven deleted scenes that run a total of about nine minutes. Many shed a bit more light on Berg’s character and motivations, and had some of them been kept they might have helped the character study bona fides of a film that runs a svelte hour-and-a-half as it is.