‘Ultraman’ and ‘Ultra Q’ Japanese TV Series Available on TVOD Site movieSpree

The “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” Japanese TV series are available to purchase or rent in high-definition on movieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional streaming site.

The purchase price is $29.99 each for the two series.

The original series “Ultra Q” was one of the most expensive TV series ever produced in Japan.  Originally airing in 1966, it spawned a revolution in “Ultra” content that has spawned series after series, as well as movies and merchandising created.

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The “Ultraman” television series of the 1960s and 1970s, produced by Tsuburaya Productions, built a worldwide audience for the property. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, Ultraman is a sleek silvery being who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of the Earth-based defense force using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. Ultraman battles monsters that cause endless mayhem and destruction on Earth. With the ability to extend his height to over 150 feet, Ultraman melds with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth.

Mill Creek’s movieSpree TVOD Service Launching ’31 Nights of Fright’ Promotion

Mill Creek Entertainment’s recently launched transactional VOD service movieSpree has launched the 31 Nights of Fright promotion in October, offering a free horror movie a day to stream without any interruptions, commitments or ads.

Also, the entire bundle of 31 movies can be added to a consumer’s movieSpree library for a discounted price of $10.31.

The horror lineup includes:

Oct. 1  Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Oct. 2  Attack of the Monsters

Oct. 3  House on Haunted Hill

Oct. 4  Zombie Shark

Oct. 5  Ghostquake

Oct. 6  Did I Kill My Mother?

Oct. 7  Status: Unknown

Oct. 8  The Atomic Brain

Oct. 9  Monsters from a Prehistoric Planet

Oct. 10 Vipers

Oct. 11 The Stranger Beside Me: The Ted Bundy Story

Oct. 12 Sisterhood of Murder

Oct. 13 The Clown at Midnight

Oct. 14 The Manster

Oct. 15 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2007)

Oct. 16 Sudden Fury: A Family Torn Apart

Oct. 17 Attack of the Giant Leeches

Oct. 18 Ghost Shark

Oct. 19 Ghouls

Oct. 20 Eye of the Beast

Oct. 21 House of Bones

Oct. 22 House of the Living Dead

Oct. 23 Chrome Angels

Oct. 24 Silent Night, Bloody Night

Oct. 25 Santa Jaws

Oct. 26 Flora

Oct. 27 Gamera the Invincible

Oct. 28 Monsterwolf

Oct. 29 Arachnoquake

Oct. 30 Headless Horseman

Oct. 31 American Horror House

The movieSpree app is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices or on the website.

Consumers also can buy the entire collection of horror flicks now at https://www.moviespree.com/series/31-nights-of-fright.

More ‘Ultraman’ Series Coming From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing more series from the “Ultraman” superhero library recently licensed from Tsuburaya Productions for North American home entertainment distribution.

Due Nov. 17 are “Ultraman Orb” and “Ultraman Geed,” making their North American debut as Blu-ray combo packs that include the complete series and subsequent feature films that concluded each respective storyline ($39.98 each).

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On Dec. 10, the 1967 series “Ultraseven” will also be making its Blu-ray debut in limited edition steelbook packaging at $49.98 and as a standard Blu-ray release at $39.98.

“Ultraseven” is the third entry in the “Ultra” series. The show premiered in October of 1967 and appealed to a wider, adult audience with a greater emphasis placed on alien threats and social issues that were not as clear-cut as good and evil. The series questioned the actions of the Ultra Heroes as they fought against giant monsters and alien hordes bent on human domination.  The steelbook and standard Blu-ray releases will each contain 48 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service, movieSpree.

“Ultraman Orb” was originally released in 2016 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Ultraman and the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s relaunch with “Ultraman Tiga.” The series stars Hideo Ishiguro as Gai Kurenai, who calls upon the power of previous Ultra Heroes via a device called the Orb Ring to fight Demon King Beasts released by the mysterious Jugglus Juggler after they were sealed away by Ultra Warriors long ago.  Also included with the complete, 25-episode series is the theatrical feature film Ultraman Orb: The Movie — Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds!, in which the titular hero joins forces with Ultraman Zero and Ultraseven to rescue the “New Generation Heroes” Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Victory and Ultraman X and prevent an unprecedented global crisis.

“Ultraman Geed” is the story of a young Ultra Warrior who carries the DNA of an infamous father, the evil Ultraman Belial, but fights his fate to become a hero of justice. The 25-episode series also includes the feature Ultraman Geed: The Movie — Connect the Wishes!, in which Earth is about to be swallowed up in the cyber subdimension and annihilated, but the power of “wishes” will cause Geed to undergo a further transformation and fight against an alien force threatening intelligent life across the universe.

‘Santa With Muscles,’ ‘Angela’s Christmas’ Among Titles Coming From Mill Creek for the Holidays

Mill Creek Entertainment will release a collection of holiday movies on disc and digital in November and December.

Making its Blu-ray debut Nov. 5, Santa With Muscles stars wrestler Hulk Hogan as an evil millionaire who gets amnesia during the holiday season and becomes convinced that he is Santa Claus. He uses his new identity to fight crime and bring good cheer to all good boys and girls.

Based on the children’s book Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes), comes Angela’s Christmas, a poignant story from the Oscar-nominated studio Brown Bag Films about the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm and loved at Christmas.  The Emmy-nominated title will come out on DVD Nov. 19.

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Also coming on DVD Nov. 19 is Down Home Christmas — 5 Movie Collection, which features Christmas-themed movies featuring top TV stars, and Elfette Saves Christmas, in which an elf named Elfette (Brielle Carter) finds her vacation in Florida cut short when there’s suddenly a Christmas emergency — Santa Claus (Quinton Aaron) has been kidnapped by the New York Mafia’s crime boss.

Finally, due Dec. 10 on DVD is Christmas on the Range. In the film, Kendall Riley (Erin Cahill) is finally about to succeed in turning her family ranch into a farm producing organic beef. But she is opposed every step of the way by her neighboring rancher Brick McCree. When Brick’s estranged son Clint returns for the holidays, he and Kendall hit it off, which only enrages Brick more.

Each of these titles also features a digital redemption on www.movieSPREE.com.

‘Charlie’s Angels,’ ‘The King of Queens’ Series Sets on Mill Creek October Disc Slate

Complete series sets of the classic 1970s TV show “Charlie’s Angels” and “The King of Queens” are among the titles on the October disc slate for Mill Creek Entertainment

Due Oct. 15 is the complete series of “The King of Queens,” starring Kevin James and Leah Remini, on DVD. The series, which ran for nine seasons, stars James as Doug Heffernan, a lovable regular guy with an adoring wife, Carrie (Remini), and a frustrating father-in-law (Jerry Stiller) under his roof. The set is priced at $74.98.

Oct. 29 comes the complete series set of “Charlie’s Angels” on Blu-ray Disc for the first time at $169.98. The 1970s detective show stars Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts. The series, about three girls who go to work for Charles Townsend, a mysterious man they never see, at his Beverly Hills detective agency, ran for five seasons. The set includes the 2011 TV reboot starring Rachel Taylor, Anne Ilonzeh and Minka Kelly.

Also due Oct. 29 is the double feature Blu-ray of Little Women and Marie Antoinette at $14.98. Little Women stars Claire Danes, Winona Ryder (“Stranger Things”) and Kirsten Dunst in the class Louisa May Alcott story. Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola, stars Dunst as the famously fashionable and villainous queen who purportedly told her starving people, “Let them eat cake.” Dunst portrays the ill-fated child princess who married France’s young and indifferent King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman). Feeling isolated in a royal court rife with scandal and intrigue, Marie Antoinette defied both royalty and commoner by living like a rock star, which served only to seal her fate.

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Finally, on Oct. 29, Mill Creek releases the horror thriller The Thing (2011), a prelude to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic film, at $14.98 on Blu-ray. When paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) travels to an isolated outpost in Antarctica for the expedition of a lifetime, she joins an international team that unearths a remarkable discovery. Their elation quickly turns to fear as they realize that their experiment has freed a mysterious being from its frozen prison. Paranoia spreads like an epidemic as a creature that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive.

‘Ultraman’ Library Licensed to Mill Creek and U.K.’s Indigo for North American Home Entertainment Distribution

Mill Creek Entertainment and the U.K.’s Indigo Entertainment have licensed the “Ultraman” superhero library from Tsuburaya Productions for North American home entertainment distribution.

Under the deal, Indigo, on behalf of Tsuburaya, with Mill Creek has both physical and digital distribution rights for the “Ultraman” catalog, which includes classic TV series newly remastered in high definition, recent theatrical feature films and “almost everything produced” throughout the last 50 years, according to Mill Creek.

Mill Creek Entertainment’s debut releases from this deal will be limited edition SteelBook and standard-packaged complete series releases of “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” on Blu-ray Oct. 15. Each release will contain high definition video with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles.

Digital redemption will also be available via Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service, movieSpree, with a free 10-minute sample of the first episodes of “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” available to watch now on the service.

The original series “Ultra Q” was one of the most expensive TV series ever produced in Japan.  Originally airing in 1966, it spawned a revolution in “Ultra” content that has seen the creation of many series, movies and merchandising.

The classic “Ultraman” live television series of the 1960s and 1970s, from Tsuburaya Productions, built a worldwide audience for the property. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, Ultraman is a sleek silvery being who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of the Earth-based defense force using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. With the ability to extend his height to more than 150 feet, Ultraman melds with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth.

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“These first two series are what kicked off the worldwide phenomenon of Ultraman,” said Jeff Hayne, VP of content acquisitions for Mill Creek, in a statement. “Ultraman’s success paved the way for other popular tokusatsu franchises including ‘Kamen Rider’ and ‘Super Sentai,’ which influenced the spawning of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.’”

“Ultra Q”

“We are excited to bring the Ultraman catalog to North American audiences through a multi-faceted release model spanning Blu-ray and DVD plus various TVOD, SVOD and AVOD digital outlets,” said Barrett Evans, VP of marketing for Mill Creek, in a statement. “In tandem with the classic series, we will also be releasing the more recent series and films to appease fans of both classic and modern Ultraman.”

“Ultraman is a revolution in television history — a landmark property and record-breaking global phenomenon. The original series heralded a new age of quality adventure and special effects for children’s entertainment.  Now, through Indigo’s unique relationship with Tsuburaya, we are delighted to be partnering with Mill Creek Entertainment in repositioning the legendary Ultraman for both new and old audiences alike,” said David Lawley, MD of Indigo Entertainment, in a statement.

“We are very excited about this partnership and the opportunity to reintroduce the Ultraman series, with over 50 years of history, to the people of North America. We hope that we shall rekindle memories of the fans that enjoyed the series in the 70s and 80s and at the same time nurture a new fan base for the younger generation,” said Kei Minamitani, GM, international business at Tsuburaya Productions, in a statement.

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.

Mill Creek Launches Low-Cost Transactional Digital Service movieSpree

Independent home entertainment distributor Mill Creek Entertainment has launched low-cost transactional purchase streaming service movieSpree.

The service’s app is now available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices, and movieSpree has no long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements.

Offering more than 2,500 hours of entertainment, movieSpree features catalog film and TV bundles, genre-based collections and specially curated compilations, including such titles as Lonesome Dove, The 10th Kingdom, “The Kids in the Hall,” “Documentary Now!,” Benji and Gone in 60 Seconds.

Purchase prices range from 99 cents to $29.99 depending on content. For instance, the entire “Kids in the Hall” series is available for $14.99.

All users of the new service will receive an offer to redeem 100 free movies to be added to their library.

“The establishment of movieSpree is an important growth opportunity for us,” said Patrick McDonough, EVP of sales and marketing for Mill Creek, in a statement. “As the content distribution model shifts to a direct-to-consumer strategy, building our own streaming service allows us to connect to our customers and showcase our entertainment offerings in a meaningful and targeted way.”

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Many of Mill Creek Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray releases include digital redemption offers allowing consumers to add to their movieSpree library, according to the company.

Content can be streamed from the movieSpree apps and website using a phone, tablet, laptop or supported OTT devices. The service also features exclusive content and offers that do not have a DVD or Blu-ray counterpart or availability on other streaming platforms, according to Mill Creek.

Mill Creek collaborated with OTT content distribution provider ViewLift on the new service.

“The ViewLift team is thrilled to partner with Mill Creek Entertainment to launch movieSpree,” said ViewLift president Manik Bambha in a statement. “Our alliance showcases the robust features and functionality of a backend system developed by the ViewLift team. ViewLift’s monetization and distribution expertise launched movieSpree, which will help cinephiles watch movies they love and introduce new viewers to great films.”

‘Roxanne,’ ‘The New Kids’ and ‘True Believer’ Among Titles Joining Mill Creek’s Retro VHS Blu-ray Series

Mill Creek Entertainment Aug. 13 will release four more Blu-ray Disc titles in its Retro VHS collection: Roxanne, The New Kids, True Believer and White Line Fever.

The Retro VHS collection features packaging that recalls the glory days of VHS and video stores.

Inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac, Roxanne (1987) stars Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah in the comic story of Fire Chief C.D. Bales (Martin), who is sensitive about his remarkably long nose. He becomes the ghost-writer of a love letter to the beautiful, intelligent astronomer Roxanne (Hannah), who finds herself attracted to C.D.’s imported professional firefighter Chris (Rick Rossovich).

The New Kids (1985) stars Lori Loughlin (“Full House”), long before she was accused in the college cheating scandal, as Abby McWilliams, who attracts the unwanted attention of teenage psychopath Eddie Dutra (James Spader, “The Blacklist”). Turned down for a date, Eddie destroys Abby’s home, vandalizes her uncle’s car and nearly stomps her brother to death. But it’s only when he kidnaps Abby from the school dance, that Eddie shows his true feelings. Fueled by cocaine and armed with a shotgun, Eddie’s lust turns to uncontrollable rage, as he takes Abby on a date from hell from the director of Friday the 13th.

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In the courtroom drama True Believer (1989), James Woods goes up against corruption and conspiracy at the highest levels of New York City law enforcement. Woods is Eddie Dodd, once an acclaimed civil rights attorney of the 1960s, but now an embittered cynic who makes a living defending drug-dealing low-lifes. Dodd’s passion for justice is rekindled when an idealistic young associate (Robert Downey Jr.) urges him to re-open an eight-year-old murder case involving a young prisoner serving life in Sing Sing for a gang initiation killing.

White Line Fever (1975) follows a young Air Force veteran, Carrol Jo Hummer (Jan-Michael Vincent, “Airwolf”), who starts a business as the owner-operator of a diesel truck. With his bride, Jerri (Kay Lenz), he sets off to Tucson, Ariz., where his old friend Duane (Slim Pickens), the manager of a trucking company, gets him a job. But after Carrol Jo realizes he will be carrying illegal cargo and refuses the assignment, he’s beaten by a band of gangsters working for an organized group of criminals headed by Cutler (Don Porter). When Carrol Jo’s commitment to staying honest results in even further violent retribution from the trucking syndicate, he has no choice but to team up with other independent truckers to break Cutler’s stranglehold and uphold the rights of the decent working man.

‘Space Station’ Circulating to 4K UHD From Mill Creek

Space Station, the first cinematic journey to the International Space Station, is soaring to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital combo pack July 9 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Audiences can experience life in zero gravity aboard the space station in this top-grossing Imax documentary narrated by Tom Cruise that explores the orbiting laboratory where astronauts develop technologies to make possible future voyages to Mars and provide solutions to earthbound problems.

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The release includes one hour of bonus footage, including interviews with Tom Cruise, director Toni Myers and the astronauts aboard and two tours of the station.