‘Poker Face’ Season One Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 12

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the Poker Face: Season One on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 12.

The comedic mystery series created by Rian Johnson stars Natasha Lyonne as a woman with a natural gift of determining when someone is lying. After making an enemy of her casino-owning boss, she goes on the run on a cross-country road trip, where at each stop she encounters a new murder to solve.

The guest cast includes Hong Chau, Tim Meadows, Adrien Brody, Judith Light, Chloë Sevigny, Nick Nolte, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Lil Rel Howery and Benjamin Bratt.

The show was originally presented on the Peacock streaming service. The three-disc set includes all 10 episodes of season one.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Peacock Releases ‘Poker Face’ Super Bowl LVII Commercial

NBCUniversal’s Peacock Feb. 9 bowed a look at an upcoming Super Bowl LVII ad for its new detective drama “Poker Face” that features a unique twist on Super Bowl commercials.

“Poker Face,” created by Glass Onion director Rian Johnson, stars Natasha Lyonne (Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” “Orange Is the New Black”) as an amateur sleuth who has the uncanny ability to sense when people are lying.

The show’s spot will feature Lyonne riffing, seemingly in real time, on actual ads from other brands that Super Bowl viewers will have already seen prior in the game telecast.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The ad features Lyonne in a bar watching the game, along with another patron. The man inquires about her ability to determine when someone isn’t telling the truth and proceeds to ask her about ads that have just aired during the game.

Created in partnership with M&M’S and Google Pixel, this “meta” spin on advertising is designed to leave viewers feeling like Natasha’s character is watching the game in real time.

DC League of Super-Pets

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Animated;
Box Office $93.6 million;
$34.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray, $49.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for action, mile violence, language and rude humor.
Voices of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Keanu Reeves, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, Olivia Wilde, Jameela Jamil, Jemaine Clement, John Early, Daveed Diggs, Dascha Polanco, Yvette Nicole Brown, Dan Fogler, Busy Philipps, Keith David, Alfred Molina, Lena Headey.

In the annals of cinema history, DC League of Super-Pets might be the first superhero movie in which the day is saved by the main character’s bowel movement.

The animated movie follows the adventures of Krypto, Superman’s pet dog who traveled with young Kal-El to Earth when both were babies (which would make Krypto really old for a dog, but since he’s an alien dog with superpowers we don’t have to worry about that part). Voiced by Dwayne Johnson, Krypto now helps adult Superman fight crime in Metropolis, but starts to feel left out of Superman’s life due to his relationship with Lois Lane.

Superman (John Krasinski), Krypto and the rest of the Justice League stop Lex Luthor (Marc Maron) from obtaining some orange kryptonite (just go to Wikipedia to look up the history of the colored kryptonites, it’s a whole thing) that would give mortal earthlings superpowers. Unbeknownst to them, the magic rock is instead hauled in by Lulu (Kate McKinnon), an evil guinea pig from Luthor’s lab now living in an animal shelter. While she gains superpowers to aid in her plot for world domination, bringing the kryptonite into the shelter also inadvertently gives the other animals weird powers as well.

Meanwhile, Krypto ends up losing his powers due to eating a piece of cheese containing a piece of green kryptonite (the traditional kind). When Lulu captures Superman and the other members of the Justice League, Krypto is unable to rescue them, so he recruits the superpowered animals from the shelter.

Among them is Ace, a tough dog voiced by Kevin Hart, making this yet another Johnson/Hart collaboration. Since Ace in the comics is traditionally the name of Batman’s dog, it’s not hard to figure out how the plot is going to play out. It all turns, of course, on when Krypto can pass the kryptonite from his system and regain his powers to join the fight.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

DC League of Super-Pets is a vibrant animated adventure that continues Warner’s attempts to branch out its DC Comics characters into other media as it fumbles around with the creative direction of the DC live-action movie franchise (which should get a boost from the elevation of James Gunn and Peter Safran to lead that department). Focusing on the Justice League pets is certainly a novel approach to present the DC world from a different perspective and target the younger demographic, even if it at times seems like a superpowered version of The Secret Life of Pets (also featuring Hart).

Of course, echoing popular trends from similar genres is nothing new, and DC League of Super-Pets is certainly not the most bizarre example of it as far as recent DC adaptations go. That title would have to go to HBO Max’s “Batwheels,” an animated series that brings Batman’s vehicles to life as if they drove in from Disney’s “Cars” movies.

Krypto the Superdog, at the very least, is not a new concept in DC land, having been barking around comics since 1955. His name obviously derives from Superman’s home planet of Krypton, but recent events might conjure up different connotations for it (“Smallville” sidestepped the silliness of It by simply naming the character Shelby instead).

Follow us on Instagram!

DC League of Super-Pets comes with extras on Blu-ray and the retail digital version (in the 4K combo pack they are on the regular Blu-ray only).

There are roughly 20 minutes of deleted sequences, presented as storyboards with the original audio temps.

The making of the film is told several short featurettes. The 15-minute “Behind the Super Voices” gives the cast a chance to discuss the film, while the eight-minute “Super-Pets Animation 101” features a discussion from the filmmakers on how they developed the movie, and the seven-and-a-half-minute “The World of Super-Pets” delves into how the film taps in DC Comics history.

Along those lines, the four-minute “Find the Easter Eggs” shows off some of the background references to DC Comics lore.

Rounding out the fun is a seven-minute “How to Draw Krypto” tutorial with animation supervisor Dave Burgess.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment for the Holidays

Lionsgate is unveiling three big releases for the holidays: Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection on DVD, the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic sci-fi film Total Recall on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and the director’s cut of the 1999 Natasha Lyonne starrer But I’m a Cheerleader on 4K Ultra HD Digital.

Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection, DVD, Available Now

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara in “Schitt’s Creek.”

The irreverent character-driven comedy centers on the reversal-of-fortune story of the once filthy-rich Rose family. Suddenly finding themselves broke, the Roses are forced to rebuild their empire in Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke. As the seasons go on, we see the family thrive in a place they begin to call home, ready to take their personal relationships, business pursuits and, for some, exit strategies, to the next level.

The show received 19 Emmy nominations during its run, with 15 for its sixth season, setting a record for most nominations for a comedy series in its final season. At the 2020 ceremony, “Schitt’s Creek” became the first Canadian show to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, for its sixth and final season. In doing so, it also became the first ongoing series to sweep all four acting categories — Eugene Levy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Catherine O’Hara for Lead Actress, Daniel Levy for Supporting Actor, and Annie Murphy for Supporting Actress — plus the awards for writing and directing, en route to nine total wins (it also won for casting and con-temporary costumes).

The cast also includes Chris Elliott, Emily Hampshire, Jenn Robertson, Sarah Levy and John Hemphill.

DVD special features include deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes, outtakes, “Behind the Episode” segments, and the documentary “A Schitt’s Creek Farewell.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Total Recall, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Dec. 8

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall

The 1990 sci-fi classic comes out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time in celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary. The three-disc combo pack will include the film on both 4K and standard Blu-ray, plus a Blu-ray of additional bonus material.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven and inspired by the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker on Earth in 2084 whose memory implant of a vacation to Mars awakens the dormant personality of a secret agent involved with revolutionary forces on the red planet. The cast also includes Rachel Ticotin, Michael  Ironside, Sharon Stone and Ronny Cox.

The film has been restored by StudioCanal in 4K from a scan of the original 35 mm negative. Supervised by Verhoeven, the restoration crew paid particularly high attention to preserving special-effects continuity. Total Recall was one of the earliest films to use computer-generated images for visual effects, winning a Special Achievement Oscar.

Best Buy’s ‘Total Recall’ Steelbook

The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the film in Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos sound, plus commentary with Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven, the film’s trailer, the new documentary Total Excess: How Carolco Changed Hollywood, and the new featurettes “Open Your Mind: Scoring Total Recall” and “Dreamers Within the Dream: Developing Total Recall.”

The second disc will contain the film on regular Blu-ray, plus the commentary and the two new featurettes. Disc three will be a regular Blu-ray with the Carolco documentary, the trailer, and previously released extras including the documentary “Imagining Total Recall” and the featurettes “The Making of Total Recall” and “Total Recall: The Special Effects.”

Follow us on Instagram

But I’m a Cheerleader: Director’s Cut, Digital 4K Ultra HD, Dec. 8

Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne in But I’m a Cheerleader.

Collectors can celebrate the 20th Anniversary of “the best lesbian movie of all time” (Riese Bernard, Autostraddle) when But I’m a Cheerleader: Director’s Cut arrives on Digital 4K Ultra HD. From Primetime Emmy Award-nominated director Jamie Babbit (2017, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, “Silicon Valley”), the film features Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Melanie Lynskey, RuPaul Charles, Eddie Cibrian, Bud Cort, Wesley Mann, Richard Moll, Douglas Spain, Katharine Towne, Michelle Williams, Julie Delpy and Cathy Moriarty.

Remastered in 4K and featuring never-before-seen deleted scenes, this is Babbit’s definitive director’s cut and original vision of the film.

“I uncovered some amazing lost scenes that I wasn’t able to include in the original film and am so happy to see them added back into this cut. This film is so special to me and I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with it all over again,” said Babbit.

This whimsically edgy comedy follows teenager Megan (Lyonne), whose suburban existence filled with friends, cheerleading, and all-American fun is upended when her straight-laced parents suspect she may be a lesbian. In a panic, they send her to True Directions, a “rehabilitation” camp run by the strict and prudish Mary (Moriarty), to mount an intervention led by counselor Mike (RuPaul Charles). Megan dutifully follows the program — until she develops feelings for another camper (DuVall) in this timeless, satirical romantic-comedy about self-acceptance and love.

Special features include an audio commentary with director Babbit, costume designer Alix Friedberg, and production designer Rachel Kamerman; “But I’m a Cheerleader Class Reunion,” reuniting the cast for the first time in 20 years; “Making But I’m a Cheerleader … In 1999”; “But I’m a Composer … A Chat With Pat Irwin”; and Babbit’s student film Discharge.

Irresistible

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 9/1/20;
Universal;
Comedy;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language including sexual references.
Stars Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne, Will Sasso.

Comedian Jon Stewart returns to familiar ground from his “Daily Show” days with a biting political satire that takes aim at electioneering in America.

Stewart also reunites with his old “Daily Show” cohort Steve Carell, who plays Gary, a Democrat political operative on the outs following the 2016 presidential election. In an attempt to get back into the party’s good graces, he takes on the challenge of convincing a farmer and former Marine colonel named Jack (Chris Cooper) to run for mayor as a Democrat in a traditional Midwestern town, hoping a win will serve as a template for bringing a progressive message to other red states.

His involvement, however, attracts the attention of his opposite number from the Republican Party, Faith (Rose Byrne), who swoops into town to make sure the incumbent mayor keeps his seat.

The race quickly descends into a microcosm of a national campaign, with major party donors throwing big bucks at the candidates, allowing Stewart to throw shade at nearly all the tropes of an American election he made fun of for years on Comedy Central, from endless fundraising to disingenuous pandering to media manipulation. In keeping his crosshairs on the election process, Stewart veers away from partisanship for the most part, though he does overplay his own biases in a few of the jokes.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Meanwhile, Carell has his eyes on Jack’s daughter, Diana (Mackenzie Davis), a fresh-faced farmgirl eager to help her father’s campaign. However, Stewart has more up his sleeve than just a simple underdog story, and there’s more to this sleepy downtrodden town than it would seem. The story delivers some nice twists and turns that, while clever, may limit the film’s rewatchability.

The Blu-ray offers a slew of deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, and three behind-the-scenes featurettes that run about five minutes each.

‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Russian Doll’ Big Winners Among Digital Originals, Parrot Says

Demand for the perennially popular “The Handmaid’s Tale” spiked 53% on the heels of the release of a season 3 teaser trailer, pushing the dystopian Hulu drama series to the No. 1 spot on the digital originals chart for the week that ended Feb. 9, according to Parrot Analytics.

The previous week, “The Handmaid’s Tale” was ranked No. 14. The Feb. 3 release of the trailer saw the number of average daily Demand Expressions rise to 29.2 million from 19 million the week before.

The biggest winner, however, was Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” a quirky comedy starring Natasha Lyonne as a software engineer who repeatedly dies and relives her 36th birthday party night in an ongoing loop.

Subscribe HERE for FREE Daily Newsletter!

The series, which also stars Greta Lee, Yul Vazquez, Charlie Barnett and Elizabeth Ashley, premiered Feb. 1. During the week that ended Feb. 9, the average number of daily Demand Expressions soared a whopping 374% to 21 million, landing the series in the top 10 with a No. 8 debut.

Demand Expressions is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. The metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

The prior week’s top digital original, “Marvel’s The Punisher,” from Netflix, fell to No. 5, with a 13.5% drop in demand.

Similar, “Stranger Things,” also from Netflix, held onto the No. 3 spot despite a 6.2% decline in the number of average daily Demand Expressions.

Rounding out the top five on the digital originals chart was “Star Trek: Discovery,” with new episodes in the CBS All Access science-fiction series to the No. 4 position on the digital originals chart, up from No. 6 the prior week.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Netflix’s ‘Russian Doll,’ ‘Sex Education’ Top ‘TV Time’ Binge Week Chart

Netflix created the binge-viewing phenomenon, so it’s understandable if two of the SVOD pioneer’s original series ranked among the top-three binged TV shows from Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, according to TV Time.com.

Top series streamed repeatedly included Netflix’s “Russian doll,” starring Natasha Lyonne, and “Sex Education,” starring Gillian Anderson, Kedar Williams and Asa Butterfield, among others.

Notably, re-runs of “Friends” finished third, underscoring why Netflix paid $100 million to series’ owner Warner Bros. Television for the rights through 2019.

TV Time claims to rank shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!

Separately, TV Time reports that actress Natasha Lyonne was the No. 1 trending talent of the week, based on fan votes. Lyonne’s role as Nadia Vulvokov in “Russian Doll” is currently the third runner-up out of Lyonne’s cast of characters following “Orange Is the New Black” and “Smoky Quartz.”