‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,’ ‘Robocop’ on 4K Among Titles Due in April From Arrow and MVD

Six titles, including two new box sets and three 4K Ultra HD releases, are available in the April lineup from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, from legendary Shaw Brothers’ director Lau Kar-leung, makes its American Blu-ray debut April 5. In the film, General Yeung Yip and his sons are ambushed and brutally attacked, leaving Yip and all but two of his sons killed or captured. One son, Yeung Chiu (Alexander Fu Sheng), returns home to his mother and sisters. The other son, Yeung Dak (Gordon Liu), goes to live in a monastery where he develops the eight diagram pole fighting technique. After one of their sisters is captured, Dak is driven with anger to return home and exact his revenge. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter was one of the last great martial arts epics to be released by the famous Shaw Brothers studio. However, the film is also remembered for the great tragedy that struck during filming. Star Fu Sheng tragically died in a car accident midway through production. As a result, Kar-leung reworked the final half of the script, turning it into the ultimate action spectacular as a tribute to his young star. This Arrow release features a brand-new 2K restoration from the original camera negative and comes loaded with bonus content.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is available on 4K Ultra HD April 12. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars alongside an all-star cast that includes Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter and Ian Holm in this cinematic telling of the influential gothic tale. At the turn of the 19th century, scientist Victor Frankenstein (Branagh) is determined to conquer human morality. His attempt at playing God results in the creation of a hideous monster (De Niro). The film earned an Oscar nod for Best Makeup and seven nominations at the Saturn Awards. Arrow brings the film to 4K for the first time with a brand new restoration from the original camera negatives. The release includes a slate of new special features, including a documentary on the origins and evolution of the Frankenstein story. 

April 12 also marks the release of Robocop in a limited edition 4K Ultra HD steelbook. This sci-fi classic, about a terminally injured cop (Peter Weller) that returns to the line of duty as a cyborg advertised as the future of law enforcement, introduced Hollywood to the wild world of director Paul Verhoeven. The film is making its global debut in 4K, with a restoration approved by Verhoeven. Included in this limited edition release are both the theatrical and director’s cuts of the film.

On April 19, Arrow will release Rogue Cops & Racketeers: Two Crime Thrillers by Enzo G. Castellari on Blu-ray. One of the most influential Italian genre directors of all time, Castellari made a name for himself helming titles such as Keoma and The Inglorious Bastards. Arrow presents two of Castellari’s action-packed titles in one set. First up, is 1976’s The Big Racket, in which a gang of goons attempts to bring an Italian city to its knees by extorting money from local shops and bar owners. Unfortunately for them, Inspector Palmieri (Fabio Testi) is on the scene. The film is notable for a death-defying stunt that sees Testi trapped in a car that goes tumbling down a ditch. Rounding out the set is Castellar’s The Heroin Busters. Testi returns, this time as an Italian police officer that goes undercover to bring down an international heroin smuggling ring. While on the job, he and a hot-tempered Interpol agent (David Hemmings) working the same case, butt heads. The limited-edition two-disc set includes brand-new 2K restorations for both films, new audio commentary tracks and new interviews.

Arrow will release their second set of Claude Chabrol films on April 26 with Twisting The Knife: Four Films by Claude Chabrol. This four-disc set brings together four films from the later part of Chabrol’s career starting with 1997’s The Swindle. In that film, Victor (Michel Serrault) and Betty (Isabelle Huppert) are a pair of small-time scam artists that travel in their camper van from business convention to business convention robbing unsuspecting businessmen. Betty sets her sights on something more ambitious and convinces Victor to take on a mark with a potential payday of 5 million Swiss francs. The pair soon realize they’re in over-their-head and must fight for their lives. In The Color of Lies, a 10-year-old girl is found murdered in a small town. René (Jacques Gamblin), her art teacher, is the last one to see her alive and instantly becomes a prime suspect. Chabrol partnered with Huppert once more for the 2000 psychological thriller Nightcap. Huppert stars as Mika, owner of a Swiss chocolate company and the first wife of renowned pianist André Polonski (Jacques Dutronc). After André’s second wife dies, he remarries Mika. Soon an unsuspecting visitor arrives, bringing with her revelations of foul play and long-hidden family secrets. The final film on the set is 2003’s The Flower of Evil, in which a wealthy family living in Bordeaux sees their perfect life come crashing down when the wife of the family, Anne (Nathalie Baye), decides to run for mayor. A political smear campaign reveals secrets of an old murder scandal that threatens to bring the family down. The Flower of Evil was nominated for Best European Film at the 18th annual Goya Awards. Bonus content on the set includes new 4K restorations; new audio commentary tracks; new interviews; and an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by Sean Hogan, Brad Stevens, Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Pamela Hutchinson.

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The month comes to a close on April 26 with the 4K Ultra HD upgrade of Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi thriller 12 Monkeys. Set in a future world that is ravaged by disease and death, the film stars Bruce Willis as a convict sent back in time to find the original virus and help develop a cure. Brad Pitt earned an Oscar nomination for his turn as Jeffrey Goines, a mental patient with environmentalist and anti-corporatist views. This new release comes with archival bonus content and a limited-edition illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Nathan Rabin and Ian Christie.

Claude Chabrol Collection, Slasher ‘Deadly Games’ Due on Blu-ray Feb. 22 From Arrow and MVD

The 1982 horror film Deadly Games and the five-disc collection Lies & Deceit: Five Films by Claude Chabrol are heading to Blu-ray Feb. 22 from Arrow Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

Director Scott Mansfield’s oft-overlooked slasher Deadly Games is making its disc-debut. In the film, in a small American town, women fall victim to an unhinged masked maniac with a fondness for board games. Each time the dice is rolled, another victim meets a grisly end. Jo Ann Harris stars as a woman that gets caught up in the killer’s sadistic games after she returns home to mourn the murder of her sister. Sam Groom and Steve Railsback co-star. Made in 1980 but not released until 1982, Deadly Games has languished in relative obscurity for the last 40 years. The release includes a new 2K restoration from the original camera negative and new interviews with actor Jere Rae-Mansfield and special effects and stunt co-ordinator John Eggett. The first pressing includes a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film historian/author Amanda Reyes.
 
A staple of the French New Wave scene, Claude Chabrol established himself as one of French cinema’s most influential directors despite often being overlooked throughout a career spanning more than 50 years. The set Lies & Deceit: Five Films by Claude Chabrol highlights five of the director’s best films.
 
Entered into the 1985 Cannes Film Festival, Cop Au Vin is a crime film set in a small provincial French town. A butcher, a doctor and a lawyer agree to go into business with one another. But after obnoxious behavior leads to one of them ending up dead, the town’s police detective Inspector Lavardin (Jean Poiret) shows up to investigate. 
 
In 1986, Jean Poiret reprised his police detective role from Cop Au Vin in the sequel Inspector Lavardin. In the film, after a wealthy Roman Catholic writer is found dead on the beach of a small coastal town, Lavardin heads to the scene to solve the mystery. When Lavardin discovers that the victim’s widow is an old flame that he hasn’t seen in more than two decades, the investigation takes a turn. 
 
Based on Gustave Flaubert’s novel of the same name, Madame Bovary is the story of an attractive young woman (Isabelle Huppert) stuck in a lackluster marriage with a country doctor. To spice things up and escape the boredom of married life, she enters into multiple affairs, runs up countless debts and meets a tragic end. Madame Bovary earned a 1992 Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film and an Oscar nod for Best Costume Design.
 
Betty follows a young, attractive alcoholic (Marie Trintignant) who spends her evenings hopping from bar to bar. One night she meets Laure (Stéphane Audran), an older alcoholic that decides to take Betty in and help her get her life back on track. Betty eventually becomes jealous of her new friend’s relationship and attempts to steal her lover. 
 
Torment is the story of a man who appears to have it all before obsession drives him mad. Paul (François Cluzet) owns and runs the successful Hotel Del Lac and is married to the beautiful Nelly (Emmanuelle Béart), a woman he believes to be way out of his league. After witnessing Nelly being friendly to a handsome hotel guest, Paul becomes convinced that she’s unfaithful and begins to follow his wife. His delusion and paranoia lead to tragedy. 

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The set comes loaded with archived and new bonus features, including interviews and audio commentaries, trailers, image galleries and video essays. Also included is an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by film critics Martyn Conterio, Kat Ellinger, Philip Kemp and Sam Wigley.

‘Frankie’ Due on Blu-ray and Digital Feb. 18 From Sony

The drama Frankie will come out on Blu-ray and digital Feb. 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Unfolding over the course of a late summer’s day in the resort town of Sintra, Portugal, Frankie follows three generations who have gathered for a vacation organized by the family matriarch (Isabelle Huppert). In this fairy tale setting, husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and lovers, stirred by their romantic impulses, discover the cracks between them, as well as unexpected depth of feeling.

The film also stars Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei, Jérémie Renier, Pascal Greggory, Vinette Robinson, Ariyon Bakare, Carloto Cotta, Sennia Nanua and Greg Kinnear.

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Bonus features include a Q&A moderated by Alison Bailes with Isabelle Huppert and director Ira Sachs, who discuss the origins of the film, balance of ambiguity, rehearsing and more.

‘The Upside’ Again Tops Redbox Charts

Universal’s The Upside again climbed to the top of both the Redbox disc rental and digital charts for the week ended June 2.

The comedy, starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, took the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, as well as the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals. The film follows an out-of-work ex-con and a wealthy quadriplegic who unexpectedly come together and help each other. It made $108.3 million at the box office.

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Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Warner’s Isn’t It Romantic, also repeated at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the disc chart. Meanwhile, Romantic repeated at No. 2 and Dragon fell one spot to No. 4 on the digital chart for the week.

Lionsgate’s actioner Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson as a snow plow driver who seeks revenge against the drug lords who killed his son, stayed in the fourth spot on the disc chart and climbed one spot to No. 3 on the digital chart.

Two new releases debuted on the disc chart for the week. Lionsgate/Quiver’s Drunk Parents, starring Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek, landed at No. 5, and Universal’s horror thriller Greta, starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz, came in at No. 8. It earned $10.5 million in theaters. Greta also landed at No. 10 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended June 2:

  1. The Upside — Universal
  2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — Universal
  3. Isn’t It Romantic — Warner
  4. Cold Pursuit— Lionsgate
  5. Drunk Parents — Lionsgate/Quiver
  6. Fighting With My Family— Universal
  7. What Men Want— Paramount
  8. Greta — Universal
  9. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part — Warner
  10. Aquaman — Warner

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended June 2:

  1. The Upside — STX
  2. Isn’t It Romantic — Warner
  3. Cold Pursuit — Lionsgate
  4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— Universal
  5. What Men Want — Paramount
  6. Glass — Universal
  7. Aquaman — Warner
  8. The Mule — Warner
  9. John Wick — Lionsgate
  10. Greta — Universal

‘Greta’ Coming to Digital May 14, Disc May 28 From Universal

The psychological thriller Greta will arrive on digital (including Movies Anywhere) May 14 and Blu-ray, DVD and on demand May 28 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film follows a caring young woman who befriends a widow with a dark secret in New York City. It stars Isabelle Huppert (Elle, La Cérémonie) and Chloë Grace Moretz (The Miseducation of Cameron PostNeighbors 2) alongside Maika Monroe (It FollowsIndependence Day: Resurgence).

Bonus features on disc and digital include deleted scenes and the featurette “Greta: Enemies and Friends,” a look at the three main characters.

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‘The Romanoffs’ to Debut Oct. 12 on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video announced the Oct. 12 premiere of “The Romanoffs” at the Television Critics Association Summer 2018 Press Tour over the weekend.

The SVOD service also released a new teaser revealing the line-up of guest stars featured in the series created, written, directed and executive produced by nine-time Emmy award winner Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”).

“The Romanoffs” is a contemporary anthology series, set around the globe, featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. The series was shot on location on three continents and in seven countries collaborating with local productions and talent across Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, according to an Amazon release. Each story takes place in a new location with a new cast.

In addition to the previously announced cast, including Isabelle Huppert, Diane Lane, Christina Hendricks, Paul Reiser, Amanda Peet and John Slattery, Amazon announced guest stars, including Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”), Kerry Bishe (“Halt and Catch Fire”), Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”), Ben Miles (“Collateral”), Mary Kay Place (“Big Love”), Griffin Dunne (“Imposters”), Cara Buono (“Mad Men”), Ron Livingston (The Conjuring), Clea DuVall (“Veep”), Radha Mitchell, (Silent Hill) and Hugh Skinner (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again).