‘Space Station’ Circulating to 4K UHD From Mill Creek

Space Station, the first cinematic journey to the International Space Station, is soaring to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital combo pack July 9 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Audiences can experience life in zero gravity aboard the space station in this top-grossing Imax documentary narrated by Tom Cruise that explores the orbiting laboratory where astronauts develop technologies to make possible future voyages to Mars and provide solutions to earthbound problems.

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The release includes one hour of bonus footage, including interviews with Tom Cruise, director Toni Myers and the astronauts aboard and two tours of the station.

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Imax Documentary ‘Pandas’ Arrives on Digital April 9 From Warner

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the nature documentary Pandas through digital retailers and Movies Anywhere April 9.

The film, shot for Imax screens by David Douglas and Drew Fellman, the filmmakers behind Born to be Wild and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, focuses on efforts by China’s Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding to prepare captive-born cubs for release in the wild.

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The film, which is narrated by Kristen Bell, will be available April 16 through cable and satellite video on demand services and on select gaming consoles.

Universal Bringing ‘Apollo 11’ Documentary to Home Video May 14

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the documentary Apollo 11 on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally May 14.

Directed by Todd Douglas Miller and timed to honor the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the film was crafted from newly discovered 65mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. Apollo 11 goes behind the scenes of NASA before, during and after the mission, detailing key historical events and moments of camaraderie never before seen by the public.

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The home video release will include the theatrical trailer and the featurette “Apollo 11: Discovering the 65MM,” which takes a look at the process of digitizing the newly discovered footage to create the highest-resolution footage of the mission in existence.

Imax Open to Screening Netflix Movies if Streamer Expands Theatrical Window

Movie exhibitor Imax is open to screening Netflix movies provided the subscription streaming video pioneer agrees to a longer theatrical window, according to CEO Rich Gelfond.

Speaking earlier this month on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Gelfond said Imax had joined other exhibitors bypassing Netflix original movies made available on the service day-and-date with theatrical release.

He said Imax’s stance would change if Netflix was willing to compromise.

“Directors themselves really want theatrical releases,” Gelfond said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see if [Netflix has] windows for that. Now, whether the windows are good enough where the theaters want to play them, that remains to be seen.”

Exhibitors want Netflix to abide the industry-standard 12-week window, while Netflix has agreed to 14-day windows for select films such as Oscar winner Roma and Bird Box– both earmarked for industry awards.

Netflix made new release The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, available theatrically on March 15 – two weeks ahead of its global streaming debut March 29.

Imax would like to screen Netflix’s next awards-caliber movie, The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, which debuts later this year.

 

 

Warner Bros. Re-Releasing Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ Movies on Imax Screens

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the first published appearance of the Batman comic in May 1939, Warner Bros. March 13 began selling tickets to special Imax screenings for all three movies from director Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy featuring Christian Bale as the masked crusader.

Moviegoers who acquire tickets for all three films receive a lanyard and special “Dark Knight” Trilogy collectible.

Christopher Nolan directs Christian Bale and Tom Hardy in ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’

On March 30, the films — 2005’s Batman Begins, 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises— will screen back-to-back at the Universal Cinema AMC in Los Angeles. During an interlude between the second and third films, Nolan will join the audience for a moderated Q&A discussion on the movies.

On April 13, the three films will screen at AMC Lincoln Square in New York and AMC Metreon in San Francisco, followed by Cinesphere Ontario Place, Toronto, and Imax Theatre at the Indiana State Museum, Ind., on April 20, each accompanied by the footage of Nolan’s Los Angeles appearance.

In all five cities, all three movies will be seen in the director’s preferred 70mm format, providing an all-encompassing moviegoing experience.

Nolan with The Dark Knight (with Heath Ledger as The Joker) was the first director to shoot action sequences of a major feature film with Imax cameras, revolutionizing the integration of Imax and standard formats. He utilized Imax cameras more extensively in The Dark Knight Rises.

Heath Ledger as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight.’

“Christopher Nolan broke new ground with the ‘Dark Knight’ Trilogy, and this is a rare chance for today’s audiences to experience these extraordinary films as they were meant to be seen,” Jeff Goldstein, president, domestic distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, said in a statement. “To have the added privilege of hearing Chris’s insights firsthand makes this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Shout! Factory Releasing Imax ‘Aircraft Carrier’ Doc

Shout! Factory will release the Imax documentary Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with digital copy Feb. 5.

The film follows the 5,000-member crew of the Nimitz-class carrier USS Ronald Reagan as the ship participates in RIMPAC, the world’s largest and most comprehensive maritime training exercise.

The combo pack includes the film in 4K HDR10 and several extras:

  • Audience Testimonials
  • F-35 vs. Bugatti vs. Human Cannonball
  • Usain Bolt vs. Giraffe vs. Nuclear Carrier
  • F-35 Navy Selects Reel
  • Aircraft Carrier Trailer & TV Spots

FandangoNow to Offer Imax Movies in the Home

FandangoNow Jan. 7 announced it will be the first U.S. digital retailer for Imax movies releasing to home video. FandangoNow will have exclusive rights as the sole transactional VOD service to feature this content in the U.S. through 2019.

The move is part of a significant expansion of Imax Enhanced, a certification and licensing program that combines consumer electronics with Imax digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies to offer consumers the next generation of immersive sight and sound experiences for the home.

Imax and DTS created the platform out of their combined expertise in immersive image and sound technology development to enable consumers to select consumer electronics and content for home viewing that deliver the highest quality and sharpest 4K HDR images, along with powerful, immersive sound.

Several companies, including consumer electronics, entertainment market leaders and studios are supporting Imax Enhanced, including Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sound United, parent company to Denon and Marantz.

Imax Enhanced announced that it has added streaming partners Tencent Video in China and Rakuten TV in Europe, in addition to device partners Arcam, Elite, Integra, Lexicon, Onkyo, Pioneer, TCL and Trinnov. Privilege 4K (U.S.) will stream Imax Enhanced content to select Sony Bravia televisions beginning this year.

The first Imax titles to be released on streaming platforms and Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc include Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Venom and Alpha, among 15 confirmed titles.

Additionally, Paramount Pictures will make its initial Imax titles available in 2019. Last month, Imax documentaries Journey to the South Pacific and A Beautiful Planet, were the first enhanced Ultra HD Blu-ray discs to be released, from Mill Creek Entertainment.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Imax and DTS to serve as the exclusive digital retailer in the U.S. for Imax enhanced content releasing later this year, helping consumers access premium 4K HDR content as the filmmaker intended in the home,” Cameron Douglas, head of FandangoNow, said in a statement.

Available on more than 200 million connected devices, FandangoNow experienced double-digit sales growth in 2018. In December, the streaming service was inducted into Variety’s Home Entertainment Hall of Fame, being recognized for its innovation and expansive library of more than 80,000 new release and catalog movies, next-day TV shows and growing library of 4K titles.

The service’s push into 4K has resulted in more than 20% of transactions coming from 4K, when that format is available.

“For decades, Fandango has helped millions of movie fans enjoy Imax movies on giant screens by creating innovative movie discovery and ticketing services using next generation online, mobile and voice technologies,” said Geir Skaaden, EVP, chief products and services officer at Xperi Corporation, parent company of DTS. “Now, with the company’s video on-demand service FandangoNow and its support of Imax films, Fandango can help deliver to fans a level of quality never before experienced at home.”

A Beautiful Planet

A Beautiful Planet presents not only a portrait of the planet Earth using the breathtaking photography typical of Imax large-format cameras, but is also a terrific glimpse at life aboard the International Space Station, which is not necessarily as glamorous as the simplified depictions of science-fiction.

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Mill Creek;
Documentary;
Box Office $15.38 million;
$34.99 UHD/BD combo;
Not rated.
Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.

The breathtaking 2016 Imax documentary A Beautiful Planet was filmed over the course of 15 months by several crews on the International Space Station.

In 45 minutes, the movie presents a pretty good idea of what it’s like to move around the space station and gaze upon the ever-changing landscapes of the Earth as it passes below.

While the title speaks to the amazing photography of the Earth that’s on display, a significant portion of the movie is devoted to glimpses at life on the space station.

In contrast to the typical science-fiction vision of clean, roomy decks, labs and hallways, the International Space Station is a crammed maze of modules Frankensteined out of the technologies of the various participating nations for the past two decade. The corridors are so cluttered that equipment that isn’t stored in its assigned place could disappear for weeks.

The movie depicts the arrival of new crews and the departure of the crews they replace, plus the adjustment to the daily routines of life on board. This includes giving each other haircuts, hours of daily exercise to prevent muscle atrophy in microgravity, and celebrating Christmas by leaving milk and cookies for Santa in the airlock.

The crews feature astronauts from the United States, Russia, Italy, Japan and more, coming together in the spirit of international cooperation and forming a tight bond almost as if they’re away at summer camp.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence most of the general happenings with her narration, but much of the description of station life comes from voiceovers from the astronauts themselves.

One of the common themes is how remarkably different Earth can look depending on the ecosystem, weather and time of day, but all the views are generally stunning. The film covers drought conditions in California, the flashes of lightning in heavily clouded storms, and the glow of city lights at night, which the astronauts remark is often the only visual evidence of civilization when observing the planet from orbit.

The fidelity of the Imax large-format framing is well preserved in the crisp rendering of ultra high-definition, which really pops with the snow-covered whites of the arctic and the vibrant blues of the tropics.

The 4K Blu-ray combo pack includes three bonus featurettes covering the production of the film.

The two-and-a-half-minute “An Extraordinary Vision” is a general behind-the-scenes view with filmmaker interviews. “Imax: Meet the Filmmakers” is a three-minute clip that focuses on training the astronauts to use the special Imax cameras. And “ADP Computing” is a two-and-a-half-minute profile of the visual effects team that enhanced some of the transition shots by creating a VR layout of the universe using actual data of the locations of stars and other stellar phenomena.

A Beautiful Planet

 

Imax’s ‘A Beautiful Planet’ and ‘Journey to the South Pacific’ in 4K and Complete ‘The Shield’ Series on Blu-ray Coming Dec. 11 from Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release two Imax-film 4K Combo Packs and the complete series of “The Shield” on Blu-ray Dec. 11.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence and coming in a 4K Combo Pack, A Beautiful Planet is an Imax portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of the blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and also coming in a 4K Combo Pack, Journey to the South Pacific takes moviegoers on an Imax adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Viewers join Jawi, a young island boy as he takes us on a journey of discovery, encountering whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and other iconic creatures of the sea. Home to more than 2,000 species of sea life, this exotic locale features the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth.

Newly remastered in 4K and available for the first time on Blu-ray comes the complete series of the controversial and critically acclaimed “The Shield.” The series reinvented the police genre and featured an iconic television antihero, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), a corrupt cop who runs his elite Strike Team under his own set of rules. New special features include a 2018 cast reunion with creator Shawn Ryan; a writers panel from the ATX Festival featuring Ryan, Kurt Sutter, Glen Mazzara, Scott Rosenbaum and Charles Eglee; and the “Beyond the Badge” retrospective. The set also includes previously released extras, including more than 10 hours of behind-the-scenes featurettes; cast and crew commentary on select episodes; and deleted scenes.

Imax and DTS Form Home Entertainment Partnership

Imax Corp. and DTS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corp., have announced a new home entertainment partnership with the launch of the Imax Enhanced program.

The new certification and licensing program combines the high-end consumer electronics products with Imax digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies to offer consumers a new level of quality in immersive sight and sound experiences for the home, according to a press release from Xperi.

The companies also announced that a number of global consumer electronics and entertainment market leaders have joined the program as launch partners, including Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Sound United – parent company to Denon and Marantz.

To be accepted into the program, which launches this fall, consumer electronics manufacturers must design top-of-the-line 4K HDR televisions, A/V receivers, sound systems and other home theater equipment to meet a carefully prescribed set of the highest audio and video performance standards, set by a certification committee of Imax and DTS engineers and Hollywood’s leading technical specialists, according to the release.

Imax and DTS developed the program “to make it easier for consumers to select the products and content that will deliver the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful, immersive sound at home,” according to the release.

“The companies are designing an Imax Mode for the enhanced devices that will be meticulously optimized to play digitally re-mastered content as the filmmaker intended in the home,” the release stated.

Consumers can access content from Hollywood studios as well as select Imax documentaries through the Imax Home Entertainment division. The company will also work with its global studio and other content partners to make available enhanced versions of blockbuster movies and additional programming, according to the release.

“While the Imax theatrical experience continues to be the gold standard in blockbuster movie-going, today we are launching an exciting new program that applies components of Imax’s and DTS’ technology and expertise to deliver consumers a level of quality never before experienced at home,” said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond in a statement. “This is a natural extension of our core business in experiential entertainment. By partnering with a well-established consumer electronics licensing leader, we can leverage both our brand and key technology innovations through DTS’ global licensing platform, without having to make the direct investments often necessary to build a new revenue stream. DTS will build that new business and we will share in the benefits from the program. We’re encouraged by the strong interest from our launch partner companies and look forward to working with DTS to grow the program further over time.”

“DTS has a rich history in delivering premium entertainment experiences to the theater and at home, and the Imax Enhanced program is an exciting opportunity to stay at the forefront of home entertainment,” said Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner in a statement. “Through the combined engineering and licensing efforts of the DTS and Imax teams, as well as support from a number of the world’s leading device and content partners, the Imax Enhanced program will bring a completely new, enhanced experience to the home while also supporting the continued penetration of DTS decoders, bringing premium sound to consumers’ devices.”

The program will use a proprietary post-production process developed by Imax to digitally re-master content to produce more vibrant colors, greater contrast and sharper clarity, according to the release. The companies will also partner with Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of the DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an Imax signature sound experience.