Hilary Swank Thriller ‘Fatale’ Arrives on Disc and Digital March 2 From Lionsgate

The psychological thriller Fatale will arrive on Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and digital March 2 from Lionsgate.

The film is currently available on premium VOD and in select theaters.

Fatale stars Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (2004, Best Actress, Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry, Logan Lucky, TV’s ”BoJack Horseman”), Michael Ealy (Barbershop, The Intruder, TV’s “Stumptown”), Mike Colter (Black and Blue, TV’s “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones,” “The Defenders”), Danny Pino (TV’s “Cold Case,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Scandal”), Tyrin Turner (Menace II Society, Meet the Blacks, TV’s “Black-ish”) and Damaris Lewis (BlacKkKlansman, TV’s “Pose,” “Titans”).

In the thriller, after a wild one-night stand, successful sports agent Derrick (Ealy) watches his perfect life unwind when he discovers the mysterious woman he risked everything for is a police detective (Swank) who has entangled him in her latest investigation. Derrick desperately tries to put the pieces together, plunging him into a dangerously unpredictable game of cat and mouse that risks his family, his career and even his life.

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Special features include an audio commentary with the filmmakers, featurettes and an alternate ending.

Netflix Cancels Hilary Swank Astronaut Series ‘Away’ After One Season

Netflix’s patience on original programming is wearing thin. The SVOD giant has reportedly pulled the plug on a second season of “Away,” the space exploration drama featuring Hilary Swank as an astronaut juggling family life with a historic mission to Mars.

The series has ranked high on Nielsen’s weekly top 10 streaming chart, topping out at No. 2 on the week of its Sept. 4 debut. Netflix reportedly bases a program’s worthiness on viewership versus cost of production. And “Away” was expensive, reportedly costing $6 million per episode, with the 10-episode first season taking a year to film and produce with partner Universal Television LLC.

‘Raised by Wolves’ Top Rising Show, ‘Lucifer’ Again Top Binge on TV Time Charts

HBO Max’s “Raised by Wolves” was the top rising show, while Netflix’s “Lucifer” was again the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Sept. 6.

Top rising show “Raised by Wolves,” which hit screens Sept. 3, follows two androids tasked with raising human children on a virgin planet. Meanwhile, coming in at No. 2 on the chart was another sci-fi series, Netflix’s “Away,” which debuted Sept. 4. It stars Hilary Swank as American astronaut Emma Green, leading an international crew on the first mission to Mars. She must reconcile her decision to leave behind her husband (Josh Charles) and teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman) when they need her the most.

Season five of top binge “Lucifer” hit Netflix Aug. 21. The fantasy series follows Lucifer’s exploits on Earth. No. 2 on the binge chart was perennial sitcom favorite “Modern Family,” while taking the bronze was Netflix’s “Trinkets,” season two of which debuted Aug. 25. It follows three teenage girls who find themselves in the same mandated Shoplifters Anonymous meeting and form an unlikely friendship. The series is based on the young adult novel by screenwriter Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man), who serves as creator and executive producer.

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TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended Sept. 6 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Lucifer” (Netflix) — 5.51%
  2. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.25%
  3. “Trinkets” (Netflix) — 2.15%
  4. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 2.02%
  5. “Cobra Kai” (YouTube) — 1.70%
  6. “The Office” U.S. (NBC) — 1.60%
  7. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.51%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.41%
  9. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.10%
  10. “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS) — 1.08%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Sept. 6 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Raised by Wolves” (HBO Max) — 99.9%
  2. “Away” (Netflix) — 99.9%
  3. “Sister, Sister” (ABC) — 99.7%
  4. “Top Model Poland” (TVN) — 97.1%
  5. “Grand Hotel France” (TF1) — 96.1%
  6. “A.P. Bio” (Peacock) — 91.7%
  7. “Hotel Paradise” (TVN) — 90.4%
  8. “The Boys” (Amazon) — 88.8%
  9. “Les Marseillais vs. le reste du monde” (W9) — 84.9%
  10. “The Hook Up Plan” (Netflix) — 82%

Away

STREAMING REVIEW: 

Netflix;
Sci-Fi;
Not rated.
Stars Hilary Swank, Josh Charles, Vivian Wu, Mark Ivanir, Ato Essandoh, Ray Panthaki, Talitha Bateman.

The earnest but ultimately underwhelming “Away” takes viewers on a journey to Mars from the perspectives of both the crew on board the spacecraft and the families they left behind on Earth.

The show focuses on a ship called the Atlas undertaking the three-year round trip in the not-to-distant future. The five-member crew consists of representatives from five different countries, with Hilary Swank playing their American commander, Emma Green. While they supposedly trained together for two years, the team barely seems to trust each other, as evidenced by an incident en route to a lunar base that motivates the Russian and Chinese members of the crew to call for her to be replaced.

Emma’s having her own second thoughts about leaving her family behind for three years, as the day before Atlas launches from the moon base her husband, Matt (Josh Charles), suffers a stroke related to the genetic disorder that led to his removal from the astronaut corps. Emma wants to return to her 15-year-old daughter, Lex (Talitha Bateman) but Matt wakes up just in time to tell Emma to blast off. So she does.

And that’s just the first episode.

The rest of the 10 episodes are filled with various interpersonal conflicts between the members of the crew and flashbacks to their lives on Earth (complete with bad wigs for when they’re supposed to look “really” young). Usually the crew is fighting over the fact that their ship is falling apart, apparently designed by the worst engineers the various space agencies could assemble.

In its depiction of the fictional mission, the series has traded verisimilitude for melodrama, allowing the crew members’ hang-ups over the lives they left behind on Earth to sow self-doubt and sentimentality in ways rarely seen in actual astronauts. Talk about the wrong stuff.

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To further the space soap opera vibe, a significant portion of the show focuses on Emma’s family’s dealing with her being gone, as Lex blows off school to cope with her father’s physical therapy recovering from the stroke that has left him in a wheelchair. Matt, for his part, doesn’t have much time for Lex since he’s working with mission control to try to figure out how stop the poorly designed spacecraft from malfunctioning.

The show’s efforts at depicting a diverse, multi-national crew are understandable and appreciated. And space enthusiasts will enjoy poring over the details of the fictional mission.

It’s just that it will be hard for audiences to watch “Away” without comparing it to The Martian or the Apple TV+ alternate history of the space race series “For All Mankind,” the latter coming out just last year. And “Away” has a hard time measuring up to those. Plus, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that, with the scenario for the mission the show came up with, it just suffers a bit from bad timing.

For one thing, what’s being depicted is a fairly typical joint venture between various government space agencies, with nary a mention of commercial launch capabilities despite the recent, and newsmaking, successes of SpaceX in not only putting astronauts into orbit, but testing larger rockets meant for longer-duration missions.

And then there’s the influence that China is depicted as having on the Atlas mission, to the degree that the other countries apparently agreed to allow the Chinese member of the crew to be the first human on Mars. Given China’s role in the current global pandemic, it’s hard to imagine any Chinese involvement in an international joint venture such as this wouldn’t be heavily scrutinized if allowed at all. (The show even depicts a viral outbreak on board the spacecraft, which only exacerbates the issue of the show being contextualized through the lens of current events that the show’s creators could not have anticipated.)

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But at least the acting is solid, the performers are likeable, and anyone looking for a diversion for a few hours who doesn’t get too hung up on the depiction of space travel will likely be highly entertained by the emphasis on human drama.

The Hunt

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Thriller;
Box Office $5.81 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for some strong bloody violence and language throughout.
Stars Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Glenn Howerton, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee, Amy Madigan, Reed Birney, Justin Hartley.

While conceived as a political allegory, The Hunt works just fine on its own as a straightforward comedic action thriller.

The film, about a group of wealthy left-wing elites who kidnap conservatives to hunt them for sport, is like a modern version of The Most Dangerous Game, meshed with The Purge and The Hunger Games for good measure.

The film uses misdirection to put the audience in the position of those being hunted, constantly guessing about what is really happening. After a brief opening in which a group of friends jokes about looking forward to “The Manor,” an assortment of people awaken in a forest, their mouths gagged. They discover crates in a clearing filled with weapons and the means to free themselves. But the games begin in earnest with a deliciously bloody body count.

One of them, Crystal (Betty Gilpin of Netflix’s “GLOW”) seems to be a step ahead. She wants to find the ringleader, Athena (Hilary Swank) and put an end to these shenanigans once and for all.

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In the primary featurette on the Blu-ray, the five-minute “Crafting The Hunt,” producer and co-writer Damon Lindeloff discusses how the film is meant to satirize how political opponents get locked into assumptions about the other side, threatening to plunge into a never-ending war rather than attempt to get along.

Rounding out the sparse extras on the Blu-ray are two more featurettes running just over two-and-a-half minutes. “Death Scene Breakdowns” is a self-explanatory video about how the filmmakers staged some of the scenes of gory violence. “Athena vs. Crystal: Hunter or Hunted?” details the making of a key fight scene involving Gilpin and Swank.

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Warner’s ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut,’ ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ ‘Selena’ Among Warner Titles Now Available on FilmRise AVOD Service

Blade Runner: The Final Cut, director Ridley Scott’s final cut of the classic 1982 film, including extended scenes and never-before-seen special effects, in addition to five more Warner films are available now on FilmRise’s ad-supported streaming network.

FilmRise licensed the titles from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

“We are excited to be partnering with Warner Bros. in bringing these beloved films to audiences through our streaming network,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “Die-hard fans of Blade Runner deem this final cut as the only version of the cult classic reflecting Ridley Scott’s original artistic vision for the project. The additional five films are undoubtedly part of American culture — classics that fans can view over and over again.”

The five other films available include the Oscar-lauded Million Dollar Baby, starring Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank; Free Willy, the whale tale that spawned three sequels; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the 1990 feature starring Corey Feldman; Gremlins, 1984’s comedy-horror film executive produced by Steven Spielberg; and Selena, Jennifer Lopez’s break-out role as recording star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez who was tragically murdered at 23.