TV’s ‘Pan Am’ and ‘Hart to Hart’ and Classic ‘The Ugly American’ Among Titles Due on Disc Aug. 13 From Mill Creek

TV’s “Pan Am” and “Hart to Hart” as well as the classic Marlon Brando film The Ugly American are among the titles coming to disc Aug. 13 from Mill Creek Entertainment. Also due that day are Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna and the animated Jungle Book and Friends.

Pan Am: The Complete Series, including all 14 episodes on DVD, takes a step back in time to the jet age when Pan Am’s elite stewardesses navigate any culture and overcome any challenge. From New York City to the edge of the world, they discover romance, natural dangers and exotic intrigue in a lush recreation of 1963. Christina Ricci leads a cast including Karine Vanasse, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie, Mike Vogel and Michael Mosley.

Due on DVD is the Hart to Hart: Movies Are Murder Collection. Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers return after a successful series run as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart for eight feature-length mysteries.

Coming on Blu-ray Disc is the classic The Ugly American, starring Brando in a volatile political thriller based on the bestselling book. As a compassionate American ambassador to the strife-torn Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan, Brando tries to keep the Communists in the north from overrunning the weakened democracy in the south by making sure a vital road into the country’s inaccessible interior goes through. But, from his very arrival, he is met with suspicion and hate even by an influential freedom fighter now suspected of being a Communist agent. Intrigue and danger surround Brando and co-stars Pat Hingle, Arthur Hill and Sandra Church, in this tense story of Cold War politics that remains all too real today.

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Due on DVD (plus digital) is Anatasia: The Mystery of Anna, about Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed until the day she died in 1984 that she was truly Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest child of Czar Nicholas II and sole survivor of the family’s execution. Her story became one of the greatest romantic mysteries of the twentieth century. This adaptation of Anna’s journey is also a depiction of a lost era, from the days of Russian royalty, her flight from execution and her years of struggle to reclaim her royal heritage. Amy Irving leads a luminary cast.

Finally, on DVD and digital is Jungle Book and Friends, a retelling of beloved stories in animated feature films, including The Jungle Book, Cinderella, The Legend of Snow White and Simba The King Lion — The Last Battle. As a bonus, the disc release includes digital access to six additional adventures via a redemption insert, including Welcome Back Pinocchio, Pocahontas I: Princess of American Indians, The Thief of Baghdad, The Three Musketeers, Hercules and Robin Hood.

‘A Star Is Born’ Continues to Shine on Redbox Charts

A Star Is Born is still soaring.

Warner’s 2018 update of the classic film story continued to top both Redbox charts the week ended March 3. It took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming, for a second consecutive week.

The film, which garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song and picked up eight nominations, stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — both nominated for Oscars for their performances — as two musicians in a love affair on stage and in life. It has earned $212.9 million at the box office.

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Another Oscar winner, Bohemian Rhapsody, moved up one spot to No. 2 on the disc chart and maintained its second-place spot on the digital chart for the week. The film about the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen, won Academy Awards for Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

A new release, Disney’s animated hit Ralph Breaks the Internet, entered the disc chart at No. 3. The sequel was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and made $200.2 million at the box office.

Two other new releases entered the top 10 on the disc chart. Sony’s horror thriller The Possession of Hannah Grace landed at No. 7. And Universal’s period drama Mary Queen of Scots, which earned Oscar nominations for Best Costume design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling and stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, entered the chart at No. 10.

On the digital chart, Nos. 1-8 maintained positions from the previous week, while The Possession of Hannah Grace landed at No. 9 and Warner’s romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, which debuted digitally last fall, nabbed the No. 10 spot.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 3:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (New) — Disney
  4. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  5. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  6. Overlord (2018) — Paramount
  7. The Possession of Hannah Grace (New) — Sony
  8. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  9. Widows — Fox
  10. Mary Queen of Scots (New) — Universal

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 3:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  4. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  5. Overlord(2018) — Paramount
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me?— Fox
  7. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  8. Widows — Fox
  9. The Possession of Hannah Grace— Sony
  10. Crazy Rich Asians — Warner

‘Mary Queen of Scots’ Coming to Home Video

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release Mary Queen of Scots digitally Feb. 19, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 26.

The film chronicles the rivalry between Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) and Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) over the English throne in the 16th century.

The cast also includes Guy Pearce, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn and David Tennant.

Extras include commentary with director Josie Rourke and composer Max Richter, and the featurettes “An Epic Confrontation,” “Something About Marys” and “Tudor Feminism.”

Peter Rabbit

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Family Comedy;
Box Office $114.6 million;
$30.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for some rude humor and action.
Stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Sam Neill; Voices of James Corden, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, Colin Moody, Sia.

The beloved illustrated books by Beatrix Potter are brought to life in a delightful adaptation that modernizes the adventures of Peter Rabbit and his friends and family with the seamless hybrid of cute CG animals and live-action.

Orphaned after the deaths of his mother and father, Peter (James Corden) and his sisters — Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) — and cousin Benjamin (Colin Moody) scrape by on the vegetables they manage to swipe from the garden of Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill), and the kindness of his neighbor, the animal-loving Bea (Rose Byrne). But troublemaker Peter is all too willing to throw caution to the wind in tempting fate, and gets caught by the old farmer, only to be saved when McGregor drops dead of a heart attack.

Peter invites all the animals of the glade to invade McGregor’s house, only to be put out again by McGregor’s nephew, Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson), a Londoner who hopes to flip his inheritance for a profit and return to the city. He sets more traps to deter the rabbits, but falls in love with Bea when she comes over to ask him to let the animals into the garden.

Peter becomes jealous of Bea’s affections for Thomas, setting off a feud between the rabbit and the newcomer that leads to an escalating series of cartoonish pranks and gags.

The film isn’t afraid to poke fun at the conventions of similar talking-animal family films as it pushes the boundaries of the battles between Peter and Thomas. The visuals will draw in younger viewers while the rapid pace of the humor should keep adults entertained as well. The film also finds some clever ways to pay homage to Potter and the drawings of the original books.

The Blu-ray includes a three-minute short film called Flopsy Turvy, which focuses on the three sisters.

There’s also a seven-minute behind-the-scenes featurette and a dance-along “I Promise You” music video.

Movies Anywhere offers a two-minute digital featurette that celebrates the legacy of Beatrix Potter.

‘Peter Rabbit’ Hopping to Home Video

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Peter Rabbit digitally April 20 and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 1. The physical versions also include digital copies of the film.

The film, based on the stories by Beatrix Potter, sees Peter feuding with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) for the affections of the animal lover (Rose Byrne) who lives next door.

The voice cast includes James Corden as Peter, Margot Robbie as Flopsy, Elizabeth Debicki as Mopsy, and Daisy Ridley as Cotton-tail. Peter Rabbit has earned $112 million at the domestic box office

Exclusive to the Blu-ray and digital releases of Peter Rabbit will be the short Flopsy Turvy, a new adventure featuring Peter’s sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, narrated by Robbie.

The DVD, Blu-ray and digital versions will include the behind-the-scenes featurette “Mischief in the Making” and a “Shake Your Cotton-tail” dance-along to the film’s theme song — “I Promise You” sung by Corden.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray includes the film presented in high dynamic range with Dolby Atmos sound.

    

I, Tonya

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 3/13/18;
Universal;
Comedy;
Box Office $29.51 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
RatedR’ for pervasive language, violence, and some sexual content/nudity.
Stars Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Walter Hauser.

The darkly funny I, Tonya isn’t so much a docu-drama about a moment of historical infamy as it is an examination of how unfortunate circumstances could build upon each other to fuel a situation that spirals out of control.

The subject, of course, is Tonya Harding, and her trainwreck of an upbringing in Oregon that, despite all odds, didn’t deter her in the slightest from becoming a world-class figure skater. And how the elements that inspired her to fight for success also coalesced into the notorious assault on her figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan and eventually pushed Harding out of the sport (and into boxing, of all things).

The film, aided by a great soundtrack of classic pop rock hits, is structured as a series of interviews with the particulars reflecting on the events in flashback from their own points of view, even breaking the fourth wall to explain details of what may or may not be true. The characters also have no trouble throwing each other under the bus, which could muddle the picture of what actually happened were it not for an additional “interview” with a fictionalized journalist played by Bobby Cannavale to provide focus and context.

Margot Robbie is terrific as Harding, taking on the airs of a fierce competitor who can’t seem to catch a break from the institutional bias of a sport that considers her little more than white trash. Harding doesn’t do much to shake the reputation, either, with her crude antics on and off the ice, particularly when it comes to her abusive relationship with Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan, rocking the famous ’stache).

The highlight is Allison Janney as Harding’s mother, a tough-as-nails wannabe show-biz mom who is willing to let her daughter hate her to push her toward success.

The depiction of the Kerrigan attack is less a blow-by-blow re-creation than it is a comedy of errors about a group of idiots planning a crime and doing nearly everything wrong to cover their tracks. I suppose it’s the film’s way of suggesting that if these are the people Harding must rely upon to achieve her goals, then whatever sympathy we might feel for her through Robbie’s portrayal aren’t necessarily unwarranted.

These attitudes would all be mitigated of course by any definitive answers as to Harding’s role in planning the assault, which the film is unable to provide. By the end, as footage of the real Harding’s figure skating plays during the credits, the film has become something of a whacky tribute to her.

The Blu-ray offers 17-minutes of deleted scenes, and in one, Robbie’s Tonya even suggests that Kerrigan planned the whole thing to make Harding look bad (which the film’s Kerrigan character swiftly denies, naturally). The bulk of the deleted scenes are a couple of lengthy takes re-creating a bizarre Diane Sawyer interview with Gillooly’s buddy Shawn Eckhardt (Paul Walter Hauser), who may have orchestrated the entire attack.

The Blu-ray also includes five promotional behind-the-scenes featurettes running about 16 minutes, and a good audio commentary from director Craig Gillespie.

Oscar-Nominated ‘I, Tonya’ Due in March

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release I, Tonya, nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Film Editing), on Digital HD and Movies Anywhere March 2, and on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand March 13.

A darkly funny examination based on the true story of Tonya Harding, a controversial figure in the history of figure skating, and the headline-grabbing scandal surrounding her, the home entertainment release includes more than 40 minutes of exclusive bonus content, including deleted scenes and featurettes taking viewers behind the scenes of the film and its story.

The film stars Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad) in an Oscar-nominated performance as Harding, and Allison Janney (Girl on a Train) in an Oscar-nominated performance as her acid-tongued mother. Janney won a Golden Globe for her performance.