Crunchyroll Premieres First Italian Dubs

Anime brand Crunchyroll is premiering its first Italian dubs streaming this spring. 

The list of series receiving Italian dubs includes:

  • season one of “The Rising of the Shield Hero,” a dark fantasy isekai that follows Naofumi Iwatani in his journey to become the shield hero (Italian speakers can catch up on season one dubs, while following the season two simulcast each week);
  • “My Dress-Up Darling,” a rom-com in which two opposite worlds collide as a shy boy and a popular girl find a connection via cosplay; and
  • “Ranking of Kings,” a series that follows Prince Bojji, who is unable to hear or speak, but sets off on an adventure to prove that he’s a worthy heir with the help of a shadow named Kage. 

 

Earlier this month, Crunchyroll announced the full slate of dubbed anime heading to the platform with 25 series streaming for fans in a mix of English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Russian.

Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200-plus countries and territories. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll serves the anime community across events, theatrical, games, consumer products, collectibles and manga publishing.

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The Crunchyroll app is available on more than 15 platforms, including all gaming consoles.

Crunchyroll is an independently operated joint venture between U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., both subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corp.

Italian Film ‘The Fashion Lover’ Due on Digital May 17 From Ariztical

The foreign coming-of-age drama The Fashion Lover will be released through digital retailers May 17 from Ariztical Entertainment.

In the Italian film, young Sardinian shepherd boy Giovannino dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Unfortunately, his small rural town is a long way from the bright lights. With his cheating father out of the picture, Giovanni must reckon with an angry mom. But two friends, a fashion teacher with connections and a buddy who’ll do anything for him, give Giovanni hope.

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Directed by Marco Pollini, the film stars Pino Ammendola, Frencesco Desogus, Mariandrea Cesari, Valentina Sulas and Davide Garau.

The Fashion Lover – Trailer from Ariztical Entertainment on Vimeo.

 

‘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.

Fellini Classic ‘La Dolce Vita’ Headed to Blu-ray With New Intro by Martin Scorsese

Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini’s 1960 classic La Dolce Vita will be released on Blu-ray Feb. 8 by Paramount Home Entertainment with a new introduction by director Martin Scorsese, who shares his thoughts on the film and its impact on cinema.

Both a critique of the culture of stardom and a look at the darkness beneath the seductive lifestyles of Rome’s rich, La Dolce Vita follows a notorious celebrity journalist over one crazy week. It stars Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée and Yvonne Furneaux.

The film was restored in 2011 by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in association with The Film Foundation, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Mediaset-Medusa, Paramount Pictures and Cinecittà Luce.

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Italian Thrillers ‘Deep Red,’ Gaillo Classics Hitting Disc This Fall From Arrow and MVD

Dario Argento’s Deep Red in 4K and a “Giallo Essentials” collection are being released on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 26 and Nov. 30, respectively, from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video.

From legendary director Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), Deep Red is being released on 4K Ultra HD Oct. 26 with a new 4K restoration of both the original 127-minute Italian version and the 105-minute export version from the original negative by Arrow Films. In the film, one night, musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings, Blow Up), looking up from the street below, witnesses the brutal axe murder of a woman in her apartment. Racing to the scene, Marcus just manages to miss the perpetrator — or does he? As he takes on the role of amateur sleuth, Marcus finds himself ensnared in a bizarre web of murder and mystery where nothing is what it seems.

Three films from the Italian export genre giallo — films steeped in mystery and intrigue, delivered with stylized violence — are available Nov. 30 in the first of a multi-volume series of “Giallo Essentials,” including The Possessed (1965), The Fifth Cord (1971) and The Pyjama Girl Case (1978). The films feature a raft of talent in front of and behind the camera with each film restored from the original camera negatives and presented with a range of contextualising interviews and featurettes. The Possessed is based on one of Italy’s most notorious crimes. It tells the story of a depressed novelist (Peter Baldwin) in search of his old flame (Virna Lisi) who has disappeared under suspicious circumstances, prompting an investigation that finds him plunged into a disturbing drama of familial secrets, perversion, madness and murder. The Fifth Cord boasts a complex, Agatha Christie-esque plot of investigation into a series of brutal assaults. As the body count rises, whisky swilling journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero) finds himself under suspicion, making it all the more imperative he crack the case. The Pyjama Girl Case, inspired by a real-life case, takes viewers to Australia where former inspector Timpson comes out of retirement to crack the case of a young woman, found on the beach, shot in the head, burned to hide her identity and dressed in distinctive yellow pajamas.

David Lynch’s ‘Dune’ on 4K, Italian Cinema Headline Blu-ray Releases From Arrow and MVD in August

David Lynch’s Dune on 4K, the Italian “Sergio Martino Collection,” the Japanese erotic horror film Blind Beast, Dario Argento’s Cat O’ Nine Tails on 4K and the horror film The Brotherhood of Satan are coming to Blu-ray from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video in August.

On Aug. 3, Arrow kicks things off with the Blu-ray release of “The Sergio Martino Collection.” The three-disc set features three classic 1970s films from the Italian genre filmmaker. George Hilton stars as an insurance investigator trying to get to the bottom of a strange string of murders in The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail. Next, Martino takes on Edgar Allen Poe in Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key. Martino borrows elements from Poe’s “The Black Cat” to craft this tale of a series of murders around the estate of a degenerate author and his wife. In The Suspicious Death of a Minor, the murder of a prostitute leads to the discovery of a trafficking ring with ties to powerful people. All three films come with 2K restorations from the original camera negatives.

On Aug. 24, Arrow will release two titles on Blu-ray. First up is 1969’s Blind Beast. The erotic horror story of a blind sculptor that kidnaps a young model with the help of his mother comes courtesy of director Yasuzô Masumura, one of post-war Japan’s most important filmmakers.

Also coming from Arrow on Aug. 24 is the 4K Ultra HD release of Dario Argento’s classic giallo The Cat O’ Nine Tails, starring Academy Award winner Karl Malden. A newspaper reporter and a retired journalist work together to get to the bottom of a series of killings in this straight forward murder-mystery, offering an early glimpse into the style and technique that would later become Argento trademarks. The release features an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring an original essay on the film by Dario Argento and writing by Barry Forshaw, Troy Howarth and Howard Hughes; a fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative; six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards; and limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring originally and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative.

Arrow brings the month to a close with two titles Aug. 31. A cult of senior citizens recruits the children of a desert town to worship Satan in director Bernard McEveety’s The Brotherhood of Satan, due on Blu-ray. This low-budget horror entry was notable for giving theater patrons a packet of seeds during its original theatrical run. The seeds were labeled as “Satan’s soul” and claimed to offer protection “from the Black Magic of The Brotherhood of Satan.”

Also streeting Aug. 31 is David Lynch’s Dune (1984). The controversial adaptation of Frank Herbert’s beloved novel has achieved cult classic status over the years, and it arrives with a brand new 4K restoration on both limited edition Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray just ahead of the new blockbuster remake. The all-star cast of the sci-fi epic includes Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Sting, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young and Max von Sydow. The release includes a 60-page book featuring new writing on the film by Andrew Nette, Christian McCrea and Charlie Brigden; a large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dániel Taylor; six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; and limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dániel Taylor.

Horror Film ‘The Stylist,’ Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Major Dundee’ Among Titles on Blu-ray from MVD and Arrow in June

The horror film The Stylist, Italian crime thrillers from the 1970s, Sam Peckinpah’s Major Dundee and the Japanese film Irezumi are coming to Blu-ray Disc in June from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video.

The Stylist, due June 8, is a female-led psychological horror film nominated for the New Visions Award for Best Motion Picture at the 2020 Sitges International Film Festival and based on co-writer/director Jill Gevargizian’s award-winning short film of the same name. We all dream of being someone else, but for Claire (Najarra Townsend, Contracted), that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Hairstylist by day, serial killer and collector of scalps by night, Claire’s lonely existence is thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia (Brea Grant, After Midnight, Lucky), asks her to style her hair for her wedding day. Increasingly fixated on Olivia’s seemingly flawless life, Claire vows to lock up her scalp collection and change her ways for good — only to discover that repressing deadly desires is easier said than done.

Coming on Blu-ray Disc June 22 is Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977. The 1970s were a time of intense uncertainty and instability in Italy. Political corruption and widespread acts of left and right-wing terrorism, alongside a breakdown in social cohesion and a loss of trust in public institutions such as the government and police, created a febrile atmosphere of cynicism, paranoia and unexploded rage. Throughout this period, these sentiments found expression in a series of brutal, often morally ambiguous crime thrillers which tapped into the atmosphere of violence and instability that defined the so-called “Years of Lead.” This box set gathers five films from the heyday of the “poliziotteschi” — the umbrella term used to describe this diverse body of films. In Vittorio Salerno’s Savage Three (1975) and Mario Imperoli’s Like Rabid Dogs (1976), random acts of violence committed by vicious young sociopaths threaten the fragile fabric of respectable society. In Massimo Dallamano’s Colt 38 Special Squad (1976) and Stelvio Massi’s Highway Racer (1977), renegade cops battling against red tape and political corruption turn to new and morally dubious methods to dispense justice. Finally, class dynamics are explored in Salerno’s No, the Case is Happily Resolved (1973) as an innocent man finds himself under suspicion for a savage crime committed by a highly respected member of society. The collection features a  line-up of Euro-cult stars, including Joe Dallesandro (The Climber), Ivan Rassimov (Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key), Maurizio Merli (Violent City) and Enrico Maria Salerno (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage).

Due on Blu-ray June 22 is the 1966 Japanese film Irezumi. Drawn from the pen of one of Japan’s foremost writers of the 20th century, Junichiro Tanizaki (A Fool’s Love, The Makioka Sisters), Irezumi is a tale of lust, betrayal and revenge directed by Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Blind Beast). Masumura’s muse Ayako Wakao (The Blue Sky Maiden, Red Angel) stars as Otsuya, the daughter of a rich merchant, who is tempted by her lover Shinsuke, a lowly employee of her father’s, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya’s beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi, a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya’s back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence. Available for the first time outside of Japan in a new 4K restoration, Irezumi sports some of Japanese cinema’s most respected talent of its day both in front of and behind the camera. The cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu) captures the sensual atmosphere of the period setting, while the script by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba, Kuroneko) lends a modern twist to this feverish meditation on obsession and the act of creation.

After making his classic in Ride the High Country, director Sam Peckinpah took a step towards the epic with 1965’s Major Dundee, coming out on Blu-ray June 29. The drama behind the camera matched the action in front of it. Charlton Heston stars as Major Amos Dundee, a vainglorious Union Cavalry officer, who mounts an expedition to hunt down Apache war chief Sierra Charriba. Building his own army of criminals, ex-slaves and Confederate POWs — among them one Captain Ben Tyreen (Richard Harris), whose intense former friendship with Dundee is tainted with a sense of betrayal on both sides — Dundee heads into Mexico, his eye fixed firmly on a last shot at greatness. Legendarily acerbic, Major Dundee would be the first time that Peckinpah had a movie taken away from him. While a director’s cut may be lost to us, the limited edition shows the thrilling, morally complex epic that Peckinpah was aiming for. The stellar supporting cast includes James Coburn, Warren Oates and L.Q. Jones.

‘Pinocchio’ Coming to Digital Feb. 23 From Lionsgate

The Italian film adaptation Pinocchio arrives on digital Feb. 23 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Academy Award winner Roberto Benigni (1998, Best Actor, Life Is Beautiful), Federico lelapi (Que vado?), Rocco Papaleo (Basilicata Coast to Coast, A small southern enterprise, Cecchi Gori Cecchi Gori?), Massimo Ceccherini (Tale of Tales, La mia vita a stelle e strisce), with the participation of Marine Vacth, and with Gigi Proietti.

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In the story, when a magical piece of wood falls into his hands, Geppetto (Benigni) carves from it his greatest creation, Pinocchio, a puppet wondrously bestowed with life. Pinocchio’s dreams of becoming a real boy are complicated by his misadventures among a host of otherworldly creatures — a fox-and-cat bandit duo, an asthmatic dogfish, a talking cricket, and others — until he meets a kind blue-haired fairy, whose only wish is to make his dreams come true.

Cinema Paradiso

4K ULTRA HD REVIEW:

MVD/Arrow;
Drama;
$49.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Jacques Perrin, Agnese Nano.

With movie theaters facing an existential threat, there is perhaps no better time to revisit this 1989 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner about the magic of cinema, available in 4K for the first time.

Through extended flashbacks, the Italian film traces one man’s love affair with the movies beginning as a boy in war torn Sicily in the pre-television era. The boy Toto is fascinated by his small town’s movie theater and the projectionist, Alfredo, who creates magic on the screen from his small booth above the balcony. The booth also houses treasure, stolen kiss clips from various films that the local priest has had the projectionist excise from reels shown in the theater. Through his special relationship with the projectionist and the theater, the fatherless boy grows to cherish the magic of cinematic storytelling. Revisiting the town as an accomplished filmmaker, he reminisces about love, movies and loss.

Director Giuseppe Tornatore’s loving homage to the cinema also earned five BAFTA Awards, the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and many more plaudits.

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The original award-winning theatrical version of Tornatore’s classic is presented here for the first time on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with DolbyVision. Special features include audio commentary with Tornatore and Italian cinema expert critic Millicent Marcus; “A Dream of Sicily,” a 52-minute documentary profile of Tornatore featuring interviews with the director and extracts from his early home movies and interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by Ennio Morricone; “A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise,” a 27-minute documentary on the making of Cinema Paradiso and the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews with the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio, as well as Tornatore; “The Kissing Sequence,” in which Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with clips identifying each scene; and the original director’s cut theatrical trailer and 25th anniversary re-release trailer. This 4K combo pack also includes the expanded director’s cut on Blu-ray, which delves deeper into Salvatore’s backstory.

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While the extras provide interesting backstory information, especially about the climactic and affecting “Kissing Sequence,” the real star here is the film itself polished for 4K. I saw the film when it first came out, and it has lost none of its power. As we move into the digital age, and physical media and theatergoing are increasingly labeled passé, Cinema Paradiso is a loving look back at moviegoing in a time when moving pictures were projected on a film strip of successive photos, capturing moments of magic.

Italian Film ‘The First King’ Coming to DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 24 From Well Go

The Italian film The First King will be released on DVD and Blu-ray (plus DVD) combo pack and digital Sept. 24 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The historical drama follows Romulus and Remus, two shepherds and loyal brothers who are destined to found the greatest empire the world has ever seen‚ but only one can rule. The journey to greatness is paved with blood, and the fate of the chosen one lies in the hands of a brother.

The film is directed by Matteo Rovere (Drifters) and stars Alessandro Borghi, Alessio Lapice, Fabrizio Rongione, Massimiliano Rossi and Tania Garribba.

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The release features a new English dub. Bonus materials include a making-of featurette.