‘A Place in the Sun,’ ‘Nashville’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’ Join Paramount Presents Blu-ray Line in August

Three classics, A Place in the Sun, Nashville and Bugsy Malone, are joining the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray line in August.

The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-rays come in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. Each disc also includes access to a digital copy of the film.

Due Aug. 10 is A Place in the Sun, from director George Stevens. The 1951 film, which won six Academy Awards, is remastered from a 4K film transfer in celebration of its 70th anniversary. The release includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” featuring film historian Leonard Maltin talking about Stevens and the innovative film techniques he used for this story of ambition, passion and betrayal. The disc also features previously released bonus content, including commentary by George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat, retrospective cast and crew interviews, and a segment on Stevens featuring filmmakers who knew him. In the film, Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of a beautiful socialite (Elizabeth Taylor). Shelley Winters is the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Eastman’s professional and romantic prospects.

Nashville is also coming out Aug. 10. Director Robert Altman’s seminal 1970s film is newly remastered from a 4K scan of original elements. The release includes a new featurette entitled “24 Tracks: Robert Altman’s Nashville.” The disc also includes a previously released commentary by Altman. The film follows 24 distinct characters with intersecting storylines over five days in the titular city. The ensemble cast includes Ned Beatty, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Geraldine Chaplin, Henry Gibson, Michael Murphy, Lily Tomlin, Shelley Duvall, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum and Barbara Harris.

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Bugsy Malone will make its U.S. Blu-ray debut Aug. 31. Director Alan Parker redefined the movie musical with his first feature-length film, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. The film has been remastered from the original elements for this limited-edition release. The Blu-ray includes a new Filmmaker Focus delving into this early work from the director of FameThe Commitments, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Mississippi Burning and Evita. Set in 1929 New York City, Bugsy Malone captures a flashy world of would-be hoodlums, showgirls, and dreamers — all portrayed by child actors. As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy, future superstar Jodie Foster leads a talented cast. Parker’s script is combined with the music and lyrics of Paul Williams.

Fandango Spotlights Jodie Foster Filmography; Its Rotten Tomatoes Celebrates Women

Fandango is spotlighting Jodie Foster fresh off her Golden Globe win for The Mauritanian, and its Rotten Tomatoes site is celebrating women in entertainment for Women’s History Month.

The Mauritanian was released March 2 as a premium VOD rental on Fandango’s transaction VOD sites Vudu and FandangoNow.

Foster, who recently won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for The Mauritanian, is spotlighted in Fandango’s latest video featuring performers and filmmakers breaking down moments from their work. Foster takes a look back at memorable scenes from her filmography, including Taxi Driver, The Silence of the Lambs, Little Man Tate, Contact and The Mauritanian.

Each is available for rent or purchase on FandangoNow and Vudu. Additionally, FandangoNow has a curated list of Foster’s films.

Meanwhile, Fandango-owned Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating Women’s History Month, featuring interviews with female directors Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid), Gina Prince-Blythewood (Love & Basketball) and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), who all share their lists of 10 movies everyone should watch this Women’s History Month.

Rotten Tomatoes is also paying homage to the work of women in Hollywood with its Women’s History Month hub, housing viewing guides including the Best Movies Directed By Women in the 21st Century and Fearless Women Movie Heroes Who Inspire Us. Lists highlighting fearless women on TV and streaming and first-time female directors, among others, are set to publish throughout the month.

The female-led films highlighted are available for rent or purchase on Vudu and FandangoNow. Titles can be found in the Celebrating Women’s History Month section of Vudu, and are presented on FandangoNow in the playlists curated by Rotten Tomatoes.

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Jodie Foster Film ‘The Mauritanian’ to Debut on PVOD March 2

STX Films’ The Mauritanian will debut on premium VOD March 2 at $19.99 for a 48-hour rental period.

The film earned Golden Globe nominations for leads Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald, The Mauritanian is based on the book Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi. It’s the true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. Government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), uncovers shocking truths.

The film also stars Zachary Levi and Saamer Usmani.

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Elysium

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 2/9/21;
Sony Pictures;

Sci-Fi;
$30.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for strong bloody violence and language.
Stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner.

This 2013 dystopian science-fiction film — written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp (District 9) — crafts a world that seems a bit more ominous in our current circumstances.

The film is set in the year 2154, when there are two classes of people living in different worlds: the ultra-wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. The rich have access to all the luxuries money can buy, including top-notch healthcare delivered by a pod that can detect and cure illness in minutes.

Max (Matt Damon) — after a childhood yearning to reach Elysium — is now resigned to his fate as a lowly factory worker on Earth after serving a prison sentence for stealing cars. A twist of fate forces him to revisit his mission to go to the idyllic world in the sky, and he enlists the help of criminal friends to get there. Along the way, he reencounters a childhood friend whose daughter has cancer, and she, too, wishes to go to Elysium.

Out to thwart Max’s efforts and keep all undesirables out is Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster in an icily evil turn). A conservative and ruthless defense leader at the space station, she enlists the help of a psychopathic mercenary (Sharlto Copley, who gleefully portrays his character’s relish for violence and delivers snappy, menacing one liners) to keep Max and others from breaching the sky fortress.

The haves and the have nots, exclusive access to healthcare for the wealthy, a coup attempt, environmental degradation — all of this seems to be a bit more conceivable future in 2021 than when this film first came out, giving it a new relevance.

The film is chockfull of action, from gun fights to explosions to blood splattering gore — all of which look (sometimes ickily) realistic in 4K.

“I’m interested in dudes exploding,” Blomkamp says in one of the extras.

Yep, anyone who watches Elysium can attest to that.

The director is enthusiastic about in-camera, on-set effects without the use of computers, making the extras more interesting that usual. It’s always more intriguing to watch special effects teams create actual explosions and blood splatters, and miniatures are more visually interesting than a world created on a computer screen.

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Extras on the 4K Ultra HD disc include “Exoskeletons, Explosions and the Action Choreography of Elysium,” about the special effects; “The Hero, The Psychopath and the Characters of Elysium,” about the storyline and characters; “The Art of the Elysium Miniatures,” about a crucial crash scene; “Bugatti 2154,” about how a spaceship version of the luxury car brand made it into the film; and theatrical trailers.

For those interested in delving deeper, the standard Blu-ray Disc in the combo pack includes more hours of bonus content, including an extended scene and several additional featurettes: “Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium”; “Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky”; “Visions of 2154 — An Interactive Exploration of the Art and Design of Elysium”; “In Support of the Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium”; “The Technology of 2154”; and the three-part documentary “The Journey to Elysium.”

‘Elysium,’ with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, to Make 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Debut on Feb. 9

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the Feb. 9, 2021 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut of Elysium, a 2013 dystopian science-fiction film written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp.

The film stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. It was released in both conventional and Imax digital theaters. Set in the year 2154, the film explores the lives of two classes of people: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray Disc combo package includes hours of bonus content, including an extended scene and the following featurettes: “Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium”; “Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky”; “Visions of 2154 — An Interactive Exploration of the Art and Design of Elysium”; “In Support of the Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium”; “The Technology of 2154”; and the three-part documentary “The Journey to Elysium.”

A 4K Ultra HD bonus disc includes more extras, including “Exoskeletons, Explosions and the Action Choreography of Elysium”; “The Hero, The Psychopath and the Characters of Elysium”; “The Art of the Elysium Miniatures”; “Bugatti 2154”; and theatrical trailers.

First-Time Director Taps Luminaries for Filmmaking Advice in ‘Becoming Iconic: Jonathan Baker’

The Hollywood documentary Becoming Iconic: Jonathan Baker, due on digital, DVD and VOD from Random Media Dec. 4, could be seen as a filmmaking class for first-time directors.

“I knew that this was going to be helpful for anybody who wants to make films,” said Jonathan Baker, both the subject of and a maker of the documentary.

Featuring some of the industry’s most iconic filmmakers, Jodie Foster, Taylor Hackford, Adrian Lyne and John Badham, the film explores the process of directing a big-budget feature as each goes over the trials of their first time directing. The documentary, directed by Neal Thibedeau, was created in tandem with Baker’s preparation for and production of his own directorial debut, Inconceivable, starring Nicolas Cage, Gina Gershon and Faye Dunaway. The documentary chronicles the “first time” stories of these celebrated directors, combined with Baker’s first time directing.

“To learn from the best and to touch the best you should listen to the best,” said Baker, who was able to leverage connections and friends to create the documentary.

“You’d be very surprised how available people are when they talk about their passion,” Baker said. “I’m a very persistent person. They love this industry as much as I love this industry.”

Baker said he learned something from each of his subjects.

“I learned so much from them,” Baker said. “Every one of them taught me something that I needed to know.”

Baker’s roadblocks and problems in making his first film are intercut with advice from the old hands.

“For instance, Jodie Foster would tell me about how not to get so passionate about one thing and really be malleable and really go in there and not hope that I’m going to get what I want but take what I’m going to get and make it work,” Baker said.

John Badham taught him how to deal with actors, Baker said, and “how to go into the dressing room, how to get into their head and how to take a famous person who has their own journey with this film and, as a director, become respected.”

Adrian Lyne was an instructor on lighting, as well as storytelling.

Taylor Hackford taught him to quickly make decisions and that “you are either wired to be director or you’re not wired to be a director and when you get there is the only time that you’ll ever find out.”

Baker’s trial by fire as a first-time director was a bit less searing because of the instruction from these experienced directors, he said.

“Whatever mistakes I was going to make, 50% of those mistakes didn’t happen because these people gave me the advice that you would never get in school, you would never get unless you had the experience,” Baker said.

Hollywood Doc ‘Becoming Iconic: Jonathan Baker’ Due on Digital and DVD Dec. 4 From Random Media

The Hollywood documentary Becoming Iconic: Jonathan Baker will come out on digital, DVD and VOD from Random Media Dec. 4.

Featuring some of the industry’s most iconic filmmakers, including Jodie Foster, Taylor Hackford, Adrian Lyne and John Badham, the film explores the process of directing a big-budget feature, from the ground up, through the eyes of top directors as they tell their own stories.  The documentary, directed by Neal Thibedeau, was created in tandem with Baker’s preparation for and production of his own directorial debut, Inconceivable, starring Nicolas Cage, Gina Gershon and Faye Dunaway. The documentary chronicles the “first time” stories of these celebrated directors, combined with the story of Baker’s dream of making it big in Hollywood, and it includes stories on topics ranging from the pressures of financing and working with top talent, to the ultimate challenge of making sure to stay true to the film’s vision.

See the trailer here.