‘Frankie’ Due on Blu-ray and Digital Feb. 18 From Sony

The drama Frankie will come out on Blu-ray and digital Feb. 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Unfolding over the course of a late summer’s day in the resort town of Sintra, Portugal, Frankie follows three generations who have gathered for a vacation organized by the family matriarch (Isabelle Huppert). In this fairy tale setting, husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and lovers, stirred by their romantic impulses, discover the cracks between them, as well as unexpected depth of feeling.

The film also stars Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei, Jérémie Renier, Pascal Greggory, Vinette Robinson, Ariyon Bakare, Carloto Cotta, Sennia Nanua and Greg Kinnear.

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Bonus features include a Q&A moderated by Alison Bailes with Isabelle Huppert and director Ira Sachs, who discuss the origins of the film, balance of ambiguity, rehearsing and more.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 10/1/19;
Sony Pictures/Marvel;
Action;
Box Office $389.86 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated’PG-13’ for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.
Stars Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori, Peter Billingsley, Marisa Tomei.

Well, that could have been awkward.

Amid reports that Sony Pictures and Disney would not renew their landmark deal to share Spider-Man, the home video release of the latest film featuring the character looked to be in the unenviable position of reminding audiences just how valuable the partnership had been, both from a financial and a creative standpoint.

And since Spider-Man: Far From Home ends with a cliffhanger that recasts the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Spidey’s place within it, a fresh viewing of the film under the shadow of its sequel potentially not being connected to the MCU only puts a more glaring spotlight on the impasse, much to the disappointment of fans. The bonus materials accompanying the release don’t sidestep the issues, either, with direct discussions of Spidey’s impact on the MCU (particularly the four-minute “Stepping Up” featurette).

Fortunately, such prospects were avoided with the news of a new agreement to allow Marvel to make a proper sequel, completing a trilogy with Tom Holland as the title character at the very least, and paving the way for whatever Sony has planned for the character down the road.

And that’s very good news indeed, as Far From Home offers a spectacular adventure, from the perspective of both a Spider-Man story and the 23rd chapter of the MCU (serving as the epilogue of Phase 3).

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With the world adjusting to the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker (Holland) and his high school class take a summer trip to Europe, where Peter hopes to relax, take some time away from being Spider-Man, and explore a relationship with MJ (Zendaya). Unfortunately, he is recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) battle a threat from another dimension. As Peter struggles to balance his personal and superhero lives, he is confronted by the legacy of Tony Stark.

But as Peter questions what his place within that legacy is, he learns that things are not what they seem, forcing him to step up to become the hero he was destined to be.

The film looks great, blending scenic European locales with dazzling visual effects to create an eye-popping piece of entertainment.

Holland remains one of the most likeable stars of the MCU, handling with ease whatever challenges the movie throws at him. Gyllenhaal makes for an engaging Mysterio, an effective counterbalance to Peter’s crisis of confidence. Far From Home features a lot of surprises, both in terms of how the story unfolds and in references to earlier Marvel movies.

As with the previous film in this particular franchise, 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, the villains are remnants of Stark’s actions in prior films, which has left some fans a bit miffed that the MCU Spider-Man seems more like an Iron Man Jr. cleaning up Stark’s messes. There is some truth to that, but within the context of the story of the films, it works really well.

The Blu-ray also includes what is billed as a new original short, but it’s essentially a three-and-a-half minute deleted scene of Peter preparing for his vacation, clips of which were used in some of the earliest Far From Home trailers.

Separately, the disc includes another six minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, plus a three-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

The four-and-a-half-minute “Stealthy Easter Eggs” featurette shows off some of the film’s hidden references, while the five-minute “Teachers’ Travel Tips” offers a comedic look at the chaperones played by Martin Starr and JB Smoove trying to ensure a smooth trip.

For behind-the-scenes footage, the disc offers nine featurettes that run about 40 minutes in total. These cover everything from the new suits, new locations and new cast members seen in the film, to the extensive stunts, a look at MCU guest stars, and how director Jon Watts put his spin on the material.

Another section of the extras offers eight minutes of comparisons between pre-vis storyboards and the final version of select scenes.

Finally, there’s a 12-minute video called “The Brother’s Trust,” an inspiring look at the charity work of Holland and his brothers.

 

‘The First Purge’ to Come Out on Digital Sept. 18, Disc. Oct. 2 From Universal

The First Purge, the fourth chapter in the horror franchise, arrives on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Sept. 18 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Oct. 2 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The prequel explores where the nightmare of the Purge began. When the New Founding Fathers of America look to push the crime rate below 1 percent for the rest of the year, a radical sociological theory that vents aggression is tested among an isolated community. But once the violence begins, the contagion of the experiment explodes and rapidly spreads, leading to a revolution. The film stars Marisa Tomei, Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis and Joivan Wade.

Bonus features on disc and digital include a deleted scene; “A Radical Experiment,” in which cast and filmmakers discuss how The First Purge expands on the themes of the franchise, making them more culturally relevant than ever; “Bringing the Chaos,” about the action in the film; and “The Masks of the First Purge,” a look at how the masks in the film add to the terror. The 4K UHD disc bonus features are in 4K.

“The Purge 4-Movie Collection” will also be available digital Sept. 18 and Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 2. The set includes The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy, The Purge: Election Year and The First Purge.

A 10-episode “The Purge” TV series premieres on USA Network Sept. 4.