Special Offer From ‘MPN’ and Lionsgate: Digital Code Giveaway to Titles Including ‘Bombshell’ for Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate and Media Play News are offering the first five readers who comment on this story ON INSTAGRAM and follow MPN on Instagram free digital codes for one of five movies: Bombshell, Judy, A Simple Favor, The Hunger Games and The Spy Who Dumped Me.

You can follow us on Instagram and see the story post here.

Title choice will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Margot Robbie (left) and Kate McKinnon in Bombshell

Bombshell was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Actress (Charlize Theron) and Best Supporting Actress (Margot Robbie), and won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling (Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker). Theron, Nicole Kidman, Robbie and John Lithgow (as Roger Ailes) star in the film based on the real story of three ambitious, strong women who anchored one of America’s most powerful news networks, Fox News, becoming headlines themselves when they risked everything to stand up to the man who made them famous. The film also stars Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell and Allison Janney. Bonus features include a seven-part, making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew.

Judy

The Judy Garland biopic Judy stars Oscar winner Renee Zellweger as Garland, 30 years after rising to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, arriving in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management, reminisces with friends and adoring fans, and embarks on a whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans — all while struggling to overcome anxiety and physical decline. Shedding light on Garland’s final years, the film features perfomances of some of her best-known songs, such as “Over the Rainbow,” “For Once In My Life” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” The cast also includes Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon. Extras include the theatrical trailer, an image gallery and the featurette “From the Heart: The Making of Judy.

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A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor stars Anna Kendrick (Pitch PerfectTrolls) and Blake Lively (The ShallowsThe Age of Adaline, TV’s “Gossip Girl”) in a thriller from director Paul Feig (BridesmaidsGhostbusters, TV’s “Freaks and Geek,” TV’s “The Office”) based on the novel by Darcey Bell. The film also stars Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Andrew Rannells (TV’s “Girls,” TV’s “The Knick”), Linda Cardellini (TV’s “Freaks and Geeks,” Hunter Killer) and Rupert Friend (TV’s “Homeland”). The story follows Stephanie (Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean (Golding). Special features  include three audio commentaries with the cast and crew, eight making-of featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in The Spy Who Dumped Me.

The comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, follows Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), two 30-year-old best friends in Los Angeles who are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Also starring in the film are Justin Theroux (The Girl on the Train, TV’s “The Leftovers”), Hasan Minhaj (TV’s “The Daily Show”) and Sam Heughan (TV’s “Outlander”). Special features include deleted scenes, outtakes and four making-of featurettes.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence in a dystopian story based on the book series. In the film, Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the 12 Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Lionsgate Bringing ‘Judy’ Home in December

Lionsgate will release the Judy Garland biopic Judy through digital retailers Dec. 10, and on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Dec. 24.

The film stars Oscar winner Renée Zellweger as Garland, 30 years after rising to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, arriving in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management, reminisces with friends and adoring fans, and embarks on a whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans — all while struggling to overcome anxiety and physical decline.

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Shedding light on Garland’s final years, the film features perfomances of some of her best-known songs, such as “Over the Rainbow,” “For Once In My Life” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.”

The cast also includes Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon.

The film earned $22.9 million at the domestic box office.

Home video extras include the theatrical trailer, an image gallery and the featurette “From the Heart: The Making of Judy.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ 80th Anniversary 4K Release Is the Ultimate Makeover, Say Warner Execs

The Wizard of Oz has gotten a facelift for its 8oth birthday 4K debut, and it looks better than ever, according to Warner executives.

“Never before has a film this old been released in the 4K HDR format,” said George Feltenstein, SVP of theatrical catalog marketing at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, during an Oct. 28 presentation about the restoration on the studio lot. “This is really a huge leap for our company, but it’s representative of the commitment we have for the finest presentation of one of our crown jewels.”

The 1939 classic is being released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and 4K digital Oct. 29. Directed by Victor Fleming and starring Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, two Oscars, Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score, plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Garland. Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s children’s tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz also stars Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley. The film appears on multiple AFI lists, and in 1989, was part of the inaugural group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

The studio went back to the original three-strip negative (retrieved from storage at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, N.Y.) to achieve clarity and color suitable for the new home entertainment format. The classic’s nitrate negative is stored offsite because of its flammability, and the Warner lot can only protect a limited amount of nitrate.

“You’ve heard the term, ‘Fire in a movie theater.’ That’s where it came from,” noted Bob Bailey, VP of operations and sales at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging, which handled the new scan.

Warner improved on the 8K, 10 bit scan made 10 years ago for the Blu-ray HD release with an 8K, 16 bit scan and used updated technology.

“You’re going to see a panoply of colors that you could never see before, and yet it is faithful to what was captured on the negative in 1938 when the film was shot,” said Feltenstein.

The process was overseen by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging colorist Janet Wilson, who has supervised every remaster of The Wizard of Oz for the past 20 years.

“With this format, I can have the full range of color that’s available to me in a Technicolor element,” said Wilson.

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As in the HD restoration, those working on the new version had to make judgment calls about when to remove wires that showed up in the more detailed picture, but they left in much of the original work, including the makeup details.

“That we left, we didn’t touch,” Wilson said. “Because part of the sort of handmade quality of this film is seeing some of those edges on the makeup, and some of those details you don’t want to obscure. You can see things like the burlap on the face of the Scarecrow and the rivets on the head of the Tinman. If you start smoothing out too many things you start to lose some of the details that are there that you want to preserve.”

Improvements in technology also allowed Wilson to better color correct complex scenes such as the move from sepia tone to color when Dorothy first opens the door to Oz.

“Some of the satisfaction doing it this time for me was that I had better tools, and I could see things better,” she said.

The result, Warner executives said, is a version of the film that stays true to the original while making it look fresh.

“I’d like to think that the people who made this film 80 years ago would see this and be amazed by what they see and see that their artistic work was recreated with reverence because we haven’t changed anything,” Feltenstein said. “We’ve just made it look better than it’s ever looked before.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc will feature Dolby Vision HDR.

“It’s really unprecedented that a film of this age is being released using this cutting-edge state of the art technology,” said Feltenstein. “The disc right now is the highest form of quality of reproduction in the home. And unless you are in a Dolby Vision cinema, you can’t even see it look this good in a theater.”

Special features on the 4K Blu-ray disc include commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren, as well as the 1990 CBS Special “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic.”

Special features on the Blu-ray (included in the combo pack) include:

  • “The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”;
  • “The Wonderful Wizard of OzStorybook” (narrated by Angela Lansbury);
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Frank Morgan”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Ray Bolger”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Bert Lahr”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Jack Haley”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Billie Burke”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Margaret Hamilton”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Charley Grapewin”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Clara Blandick”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Terry”;
  • a music and effects track;
  • the original mono track;
  • sing along tracks;
  • an audio jukebox;
  • the “Leo is on the Air” radio promo;
  • the “Good News of 1939” radio show;
  • the 12/25/1950 Lux radio broadcast;
  • stills galleries; and
  • trailers.

80-Year-Old ‘Wizard of Oz’ Gets Makeover for 4K

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment hosted a presentation on the studio lot Oct. 28 to talk about the restoration of The Wizard of Oz for the 4K UHD release. The studio went back to the three-strip Technicolor negative to restore the film in 8K, 16 bit resolution for the film’s 80th anniversary release.  The classic debuts Oct. 29 on 4K UHD with HDR, including Dolby Vision, on Blu-ray Disc and digital.

‘Wizard of Oz’ Off to 4K Oct. 29

The 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital Oct. 29 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Directed by Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gayle, The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars, Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score, plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Garland. Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s children’s tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz also stars Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion and Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman.

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The film appears on multiple AFI lists, including: 100 Years… 100 Movies (No. 6); 100 Years… 100 Thrills (No. 43); 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains (No. 4); 100 Years… 100 Songs (No. 1); 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes (No. 4); and Greatest Movie Musicals (No. 3). In 1989 The Wizard of Oz was part of the inaugural group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

A new 8K, 16 bit scan of the original Technicolor camera negative was the basis for the 4K UHD scan, according to the studio. The process was overseen by MPI colorist Janet Wilson, who has overseen every remaster of The Wizard of Oz for the past 20 years.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of The Wizard of Oz will feature Dolby Vision HDR.

UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray special features include commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren and the 1990 CBS Special “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic.”

Blu-ray special features include:

  • “The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”;
  • “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook” (narrated by Angela Lansbury);
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Frank Morgan”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Ray Bolger”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Bert Lahr”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Jack Haley”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Billie Burke”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Margaret Hamilton”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Charley Grapewin”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Clara Blandick”;
  • “We Haven’t Really Met Properly: Terry”;
  • a music and effects track;
  • the original mono track;
  • sing along tracks;
  • an audio jukebox;
  • the “Leo is on the Air” radio promo;
  • the “Good News of 1939” radio show;
  • the 12/25/1950 Lux radio broadcast;
  • stills galleries; and
  • trailers.

Summer Stock

 BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Available via Warner Archive;
Warner;
Musical;
$21.99 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven.

Judy Garland’s last movie at the studio whose heyday she helped establish may be even more interesting to talk about than it is to see, but there are enough evenly sprinkled golden moments in MGM’s Golden Age Summer Stock to make me think it’s a somewhat better movie than I recalled. The “let’s build us a barn and put on a show” musical has never been one of my favorites — and you’re speaking to one who’s even gone full-route enough to have once seen Rufe Davis (CBS’s future Floyd Smoot) in Republic’s Barnyard Follies from 1940 — which is probably more than you can say for any member of the Algonquin Round Table. But even beyond some standout numbers in 1950’s Stock, it’s worth footnoting that there are one or two where Garland looks pretty close to being a co-equal dancer with her jock-ish co-star, no kidding.

Kelly began his screen career with Garland in 1942’s For Me and My Gal, which instantly put him over in the movies (post-Pal Joey on Broadway) and even gave the two a couple of Billboard charters with Decca duets. Later, they co-starred in The Pirate, a Vincente Minnelli’s flop d’estime with cultists (I love it myself), and by the end of the ’40s, it was payback time. Kelly held Garland’s hand throughout Stock’s troubled production, filmed after her firing from Annie Get Your Gun, whose production stills and surviving footage show Garland to be gaunt and at the end of her tether. By Stock time, the weight had come back and then some, which can easily happen when you’re only about 4-foot-11. It was not unpleasing on her but certainly made for a striking contrast to her lithe appearance in, say, Presenting Lily Mars — almost like seeing a different person.

The plot here, such as it is, finds Garland trying to run an inherited farm by herself, aided near-exclusively by the longtime cook (Marjorie Main, as ever an invaluable supporting cast presence). To negate this, she is aided not at all by her flighty, coop-flown sister (Gloria DeHaven) who changes career aspirations every five minutes and now wants to be an actress. To this end, the latter brings in 20 or so of her closest work associates to use the old family barn as a musical revue stage, and you can just see DeHaven going up to Main and saying, “I know that the farm may soon go under, but see what you can do for two dozen extra mouths for all three meals, and indefinitely.” And this at a time when Garland is only trying to score a tractor for survival and cool down the advances of a local merchant’s son played by Eddie Bracken in a thanklessly whiny role as a sneezing doormat to his overbearing father. This is an unusual project in that two comic performers who on occasion could be exceptional — Bracken and Phil Silvers — are borderline unbearable here.

One of the invaders is, of course, the director (Kelly), who has hocked everything to bankroll this out-of town tryout and has nothing to his name but a station wagon and apparently some unknown angel on retainer to provide the costumes galore that materialize once the show gets off the ground. Meanwhile, the gifted tractor basically ends up suffering indignities not all that unkind to the title mule’s in Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar, while DeHaven elects to bolt the show (we said she was flighty. The latter move leaves it to sis Garland to take over the role, just as would happen, of course, in real life. But fortunately for the movie, if not credibility, Garland turns out to be a player.

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Right off the bat, Stock opens with a good Garland number (“If You Feel Like Singing, Sing”) followed quickly by a great one (“[Howdy Neighbor] Happy Harvest”), though at the end of it, someone might have told director Charles Walters that the overhead closeup of Garland’s mouth doing her concluding high notes had to go. As mentioned, the stars’ duets are felicitous, while Kelly’s solo shots include a newspaper dance that’s something of a classic and a good example of how a resourceful performer can get a lot out of the most minimal props if he has the stuff. There’s also a smile-inducer where Kelly dances on a long kitchen picnic table that seats just about everyone now on the farm, though you wonder how much the scuff marks will be appreciated the next time Main is spooning out parsnips or something. I’m always impressed by dance routines in confined or even claustrophobic settings, and here Kelly has not just the narrow table to navigate, but a slew of secondary players who barely have enough room to stay out of his way.

The Blu-ray is very easy on the eye, even though the chicken seed setting doesn’t offer too much in terms of natural beauty the way other MGM musicals do. Little extras carried over from the 2006 DVD include a Tex Avery cartoon from around the same period, a Pete Smith short (saw a lot of those in theaters as a kid) and a production history featurette where Garland archaeologist John Fricke (who would know) is among those who talk about how everyone had fingers crossed while sweating it out whether Garland would be able to finish the picture due to health and mental swings. Production shut down, and upon her return, as many know, she filmed the classic climactic “Get Happy” number, where she was maybe 20 pounds thinner.

The transition is jarring, but what a loss it would be if it didn’t exist — and besides, it excerpts well. Garland’s appearance in black (headgear included) accentuate her great legs, which is something my mother noted to be pretty early in life. This in part makes up for the studio excision of the “Mr. Monotony” number from Walters’ Easter Parade, where she wore the same outfit. To me, “Monotony” is far and away the best thing about Parade, which didn’t keep it from ending up on the cutting room floor. Meanwhile, Stock has a late-in-the-game number with Kelly and Silvers whose three or four minutes of torture is the stuff of fast-forward buttons, and it made Stock’s final release print. Maybe some day, someone can explain all this to me.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Summer Stock’ and ‘Three Coins in the Fountain’

Three Previous Versions of ‘A Star Is Born’ Available on FandangoNow as Remake Hits Theaters

Director Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born, starring Cooper and Lady Gaga, is opening in theaters with a Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and FandangoNow is marking the occasion by pointing out three other versions of the tale available on the on-demand service.

The three earlier versions are the 1937 version with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March (Tomatometer score: 100%), the 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason Mason (Tomatometer acore: 97%), and the 1976 version with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson (Tomatometer score: 32%).

Each film is available to rent in SD for as low as $1.99 or in HD at $2.99.

Interestingly, according to a Fandango survey of millennial moviegoers planning to see Cooper’s A Star Is Born on the big screen, only 61% were aware that the new movie is a remake.

The earlier versions are also available on iTunes, while Movies Anywhere and Walmart’s Vudu list the 1954 and 1976 versions.