Lionsgate Heroes Get Dads Into Action for Father’s Day

Lionsgate has an army of heroes ready to ramp up the action for dads on Father’s Day, June 21. The studio’s catalog is filled with classics that feature iconic characters, including Rambo, John Wick and the Highlander; the genre’s top directors, including James Cameron, Paul Verhoeven and Roland Emmerich; and the genre’s biggest stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and many more.

All five installments in the saga of Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo are available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. In First Blood (1982), Stallone originates the role of the war hero, an ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam. In Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), with a screenplay by Stallone and James Cameron (Titanic), Rambo’s survival skills are tested on a top-secret mission that takes him back to the jungles of Vietnam in search of American POWs. In Rambo III (1988), the veteran has finally begun to find inner peace inside a monastery — until his friend and men-tor Col. Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) shows up to ask for his help on a top-secret mission in Afghanistan. Rambo (2008) finds the hero leading a group of battle-scarred, combat-hardened mercenaries on a mission to rescue aid workers in war-torn Burma. Finally, Rambo: Last Blood, billed as the last chapter of Rambo’s story, finds Stallone’s tortured warrior in a brief moment of relative peace before he must unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

Lionsgate’s catalog also includes the saga of another hero driven by vengeance, John Wick. Keanu Reeves stars as Wick in three chapters available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. In John Wick (2014), the ex-hitman comes out of retirement to hunt down the gangsters that killed his dog and took everything from him. The sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 finds Wick returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt with a large bounty on his life. In John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, Wick has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild.

No action catalog is complete without Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lionsgate has two of his iconic movies, Terminator 2, available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, and Total Recall, available on Blu-ray plus Digital HD, DVD and Digital. In the science-fiction classic Total Recall (1990), directed by Paul Verhoeven, Schwarzenegger plays a mild-mannered construction worker who takes a virtual vacation and finds himself embroiled in espionage on Mars unable to determine if the experiences are real. Director James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) has the action star in another sci-fi classic, reprising his role as a robotic killing machine — this time on the side of humans Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong).

Another classic 1990s action film, Universal Soldier, is available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. The Roland Emmerich-directed science-fiction actioner (1992) pits Jean-Claude Van Damme against Dolph Lundgren in a story of military experiments gone wrong.

Lionsgate has two star-studded ensembles in 2010’s RED and The Expendables. RED, on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, stars Bruce Willis as a former black-ops agent who reassembles his old team to battle an assassin. It also stars Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Mary-Louise Parker. Boasting a who’s who of action stars, The Expendables features Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and many more in the story of a CIA operative who hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent. It features an appearance by Schwarzenegger and is also available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.

Government intrigue also figures into Sicario, about an idealistic FBI agent enlisted by a task force to aid in a drug war at the border. Available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, the 2015 dramatic action film stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro.

Finally, Lionsgate’s catalog features action-filled adventures Cutthroat Island (1995) and Highlander (1986). Directed by Renny Harlin, Cutthroat Island, available on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Geena Davis as a pirate racing against rivals to find a hidden island harboring treasure. Highlander, also available on Blu-ray and DVD, stars Christopher Lambert as an immortal Scottish swordsman battling through time.

Actioner ‘Universal Soldier’ Shooting to 4K Nov. 5 From Lionsgate

The 1992 actioner Universal Soldier will come out on 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital) and digital 4K Nov. 5 from Lionsgate.

Directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, upcoming World War II epic Midway), Universal Soldier stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, alongside Ally Walker and Ed O’Ross. The film follows soldiers Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) and Sgt. Andrew Scott (Lundgren), who killed each other in Vietnam. But their demise proves to be just the beginning for the U.S. government, which brings both men back to life decades later for a secret anti-terrorism program.

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Special features include:

  • audio commentary by Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Van Damme and Lundgren
  • audio commentary by Emmerich and Devlin
  • the “A Tale of Two Titans” Featurette
  • the “Guns, Genes, and Fighting Machines” Featurette
  • an alternate Ending
  • the “Behind the Scenes” Featurette and
  • a trailer.

Jean-Claude Van Damme’s ‘Double Impact’ Available on Blu-ray From MVD Rewind Collection

MVD Entertainment Group has released another Jean-Claude Van Damme action classic on Blu-ray in its MVD Rewind Collection, Double Impact: Special Collector’s Edition.

Already under the MVD Rewind Collection are collector’s editions of Van Damme’s Black Eagle and Lionheart.

Double Impact (1991), co-produced by Michael Douglas and co-starring Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects), Bolo Yeung (Bloodsport), Alonna Shaw (King of New York) and Cory Everson (Natural Born Killers), features Van Damme in the dual roles of Chad and Alex Wagner, twin brothers who were separated after their parents’ brutal murder. Years later, the two couldn’t be more different: Chad is a slick Beverly Hills fitness instructor, while Alex is a rough and tumble smuggler on the gritty streets of Hong Kong. When fate throws them together again, Chad and Alex discover that there’s one thing they have in common: they’re both fighting machines determined to enact revenge on their parents’ killers.

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Bonus features include a feature-length retrospective documentary about the making of the film from writer-producer Richard Schenkman (The Man From Earth) that includes brand new interviews with star and co-writer Van Damme, director and co-writer Sheldon Lettich, producer Ashok Amritraj, co-star Cory Everson-Donia, co-star and fight coordinator Peter Malota, and “Chad” and “Alex” photo doubles Jeff Rector and Jerry Rector; an hour of deleted and extended scenes including a newly unearthed alternate ending; “Double Impact: Anatomy of a Scene,” with Lettich highlighting how one of the film’s biggest action set pieces was constructed; behind-the-scenes featurettes; trailers; cast and crew interviews; and a mini-poster.

‘Excess Baggage,’ ‘Jury Duty’ Among Titles Joining Mill Creek’s Retro Line June 4

Four new Blu-ray releases with retro VHS style artwork recalling the video store era are coming from Mill Creek Entertainment June 4.

New to the Retro VHS line, launched last year, are Opportunity Knocks, Jury Duty, Excess Baggage and Double Team at $14.98 each.

Dana Carvey and Robert Loggia star in Opportunity Knocks, about two con men who hide out in a house while the owner is away and concoct a house-sitting ruse when the owner’s family shows up. Jury Duty features 90s video store mainstay Pauly Shore and Tia Carrere in a comedy about a jobless man who joins a murder trial jury for the free room and board. Excess Baggage stars Alicia Silverstone as a teenager who fakes her kidnapping but ends up actually kidnapped. And Double Team features action icon Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman and Mickey Rourke in story of an escape from a penal colony.

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“Stars like Alicia Silverstone, Pauly Shore, Dana Carvey and Jean-Claude Van Damme are the epitome of the 90s and their movies are so iconic of the era,” said Barrett Evans, VP of marketing for Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement. “There has been such a tremendous response from our previous VHS-style releases that we wanted to continue this line-look but give it a bit of an upgrade for these films from the 90s.”

Each release features an o-sleeve resembling a VHS cover with a partial view of a tape along the side.  The artwork in the Blu-ray wrap features alternate key art.  In addition to the genre stickers and varying “remember to rewind” messages, the 90s-era sleeves also depict colored VHS tapes, indicative of the 90s.

Van Damme’s ‘We Die Young’ Coming Home April 9

Lionsgate will release the crime thriller We Die Young on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally April 9. The film is currently available on demand.

The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as an Afghanistan war veteran with PTSD tasked helping 14-year-old Lucas and his 10-year-old brother Miguel escape the MS-13 gang in a crime-ridden barrio of Washington, D.C. The cast also includes Elijah Rodriguez, Joana Metrass and David Castañeda.

We Die Young is based on the award-winning 2008 short film Roads, which screened at more than 70 international film festivals and held the Guinness World Record for most awards won by a student film.

The We Die Young Blu-ray and DVD includes a commentary with writer-director Lior Gellar and members of the cast; a storyboard-to-screen comparison; and the featurette “On the Set of We Die Young.”