‘Selena’ Now on Blu-ray Via Warner Archive

The Warner Archive Collection recently released the 1997 biopic Selena on Blu-ray for the first time. The film stars Jennifer Lopez as the Grammy-winning Tejano singer who was murdered at age 23 by the former manager of her fan club.

The cast also includes Edward James Olmos and Jon Seda.

The Blu-ray includes both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film, and extras such as the documentary “Selena, Queen of Tejano”; the featurette “Making of Selena: 10 Years Later”; outtakes; and the theatrical trailer.

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Warner Archive also just released a Blu-ray edition of 1958’s The Reluctant Debutante, starring Sandra Dee as Jane, an American girl sent to live with her father (Rex Harrison) in England. She soon finds herself thrust into the society spotlight thanks to the prodding of a busy-body society matron (Angela Lansbury). Despite her stepmother’s desire for her to pair off with a suitor of appropriate social standing, Jane only has eyes for a lowly drummer (John Saxon).

The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli.

Hustlers

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 12/10/19;
Universal;
Drama;
Box Office $104.88 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive sexual material, drug content, language and nudity.
Stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Mercedes Ruehl, Lizzo, Frank Whaley.

On the surface, Hustlers would seem to be little more than the simple tale of strippers ripping off their clients. But it’s actually a deeper story of friendship, empowerment and disenfranchised women striking back to get their cut of the system.

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film was inspired by the New York Magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores: The Ex-Strippers Who Stole From (Mostly) Rich Men and Gave to, Well, Themselves,” which detailed a scheme to bring wealthy clientele into the club and intoxicate them to the point where they would run up huge credit card bills while passed out, with the ladies taking a generous cut.

Seeing Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s names pop up as producers (their production company owned the film rights to the article) might lend to an assumption that this is a comedy, although it turns out to be much more of a character drama.

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Constance Wu stars as Dorothy, a newcomer to the exotic dancing business who is taken under the wing of Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) in the early 2000s. The film does a good job showcasing the less glamorous nature of exotic dancing as a profession for women who are just trying to raise families and get by just like everyone else. Technically regarded as independent contractors, they have to pay the clubs for the opportunity to work there. But Ramona has been around long enough to have learned all the tricks to make the job both fun and profitable. In 2007 Dorothy made more than most high-profile surgeons, she brags to a reporter (Julia Stiles) in a flash-forward meant as a nod to the story’s origins as a magazine article.

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The other half of the equation is the clientele, mostly sleazy Wall Street types who love to flash their money around for a good time.

But with Wall Street hit hard by the 2008 recession, the strip clubs end up taking a hit, just as an unexpected pregnancy forces Dorothy to exit the business. After a few years trying to get by with limited job prospects, she returns to the club to find that most of the new dancers are Russian prostitutes she won’t degrade herself enough to compete with.

Enter Ramona, who decides it’s time for the girls to get their piece of the Wall Street action. She and her team of girls head into the city to “market” the club, which usually just involves picking up a lonely guy at a fancy bar and getting him drunk enough to come back with him, so they can get a cut of whatever he spends.

To up the ante, they start drugging their potential clients and stealing their credit cards, getting all the necessary PIN codes and personal information they need from the half-conscious dupes, who usually head home too embarrassed to report anything was stolen.

According to Scafaria in a solo commentary track on the Blu-ray, the film was shot at a real strip club, whose actual owner and some of the real girls who worked there appeared in the film, which lends a healthy verisimilitude to the proceedings.

Scafaria’s energetic and informative commentary turns out to be the Blu-ray’s only extra feature. In it, she also relates the themes she wanted the film to explore and expresses how fortunate she was to have landed most of her first choices for the casting and song rights.

That she apologizes for the film’s depictions of smoking and people wearing fur coats is just a sign of the times we live in now, I guess.

‘Hustlers’ Dancing to Digital Nov. 26, Disc Dec. 10 From Universal

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the drama Hustlers through digital retailers Nov. 26, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Dec. 10.

Inspired by the true story of a crew of former strip club employees who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. Constance Wu stars as a young stripper struggling to make ends meet until she learns the ropes from the club’s top earner (Jennifer Lopez). When the 2008 economic collapse hits their clientele hard, they concoct a plan with their fellow strippers to turn the tables on these greedy power players.

The cast also includes Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Cardi B.

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The film earned $93.6 million at the domestic box office.

Disc editions of the film will include a commentary with director Lorene Scafaria.

Comcast Enabling X1 Subs to Vote on ‘World of Dance’ TV Show With Voice Remote

Comcast Cable March 15 announced it would enable Xfinity X1 subscribers to use their voice-controlled remote to cast “fan favorite” votes on NBC’s “World of Dance” reality competition show from March 17 through April 28.

Subs will be able to select their favorite dance act even if the ensemble has already been eliminated. The act tabulating the most votes at the end of the season will get the chance to join the “World of Dance Experience” on Jennifer Lopez’s “It’s My Party” summer concert tour.

The mid-show marketing campaign involving viewer participation is a departure for “World of Dance,” where acts are voted on by celebrity judges Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough.

Comcast said the software integration builds on previous interactive features incorporated on “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” that enable viewers to vote for their favorite artists and acts, and with Fandango and Ticketmaster, which enable them to browse movie and concert tickets on the TV.

Comcast, which owns NBC and Fandango, last September partnered with Ticketmaster enabling X1 subs to search concert tour dates and purchase tickets on the TV using their remotes.

“X1 enables us to unveil new and innovative experiences that complement and elevate content across the platform and to add more value for customers by giving them more ways to interact with the events, entertainment, performers and brands they love,” Nancy Spears,  VP, strategy & execution, said in a statement at the time.

 

 

Jennifer Lopez Comedy ‘Second Act’ Due on Digital March 12, Disc March 26 From Universal

The Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy Second Act is coming to digital March 12 and Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and on demand March 26 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Lopez plays Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations of not having achieved more in life. She is passed over for a promotion solely because she doesn’t have a college degree, but then she gets the chance to prove that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts. The film features Lopez’s latest single “Limitless” and also stars Leah Remini, Vanessa Hudgens and Milo Ventimiglia.

Special features include “Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia,” which explores how Lopez and  Ventimiglia connected on and off screen; “The Empowering Women of Second Act,” which offers an inside look at how the women of Second Act empowered and supported each other; “Friendship On and Off Screen,” which explores the relationship of real life best friends Lopez and  Remini; and “Working with the Ones You Love,”  a behind-the-scenes look at how the whole cast had fun while filming Second Act.

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.