‘Ordinary People’ to Join ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray Line March 29

Robert Redford’s 1980 directorial debut, Ordinary People, will arrive on Blu-ray as part of the “Paramount Presents” line March 29 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Winner of four Academy Awards — including Best Picture, Best Director (Redford), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Alvin Sargent), and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Timothy Hutton) — the film stars Hutton, Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore as a family being torn apart by tragedy and the unrelenting pressure to maintain a façade of normalcy. It was Hutton’s first film role and his performance not only earned him the Oscar, but it also made him the youngest person to win in the category.  

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Remastered from a new 4K film transfer overseen by Redford, the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray is presented in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.  The disc also includes new interviews with Hutton and Judith Guest, author of the novel upon which the movie was based. In “Swimming in the Rose Garden,” Hutton reflects on filming and the approach Redford took to create a feeling of isolation on set. In “Feeling Is Not Selective,” Guest discusses her novel and the process involved in adapting it for film.

The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses

DIGITAL REVIEW:

Street Date 11/23/21;
Virgil;
Documentary;
Not rated.

Beautifully shot in America’s sparsely inhabited landscapes, The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses chronicles the history and current state of wild horses in the United States. Executive produced by Robert Redford, Patti Scialfa Springsteen and Jessica Springsteen, the feature takes audiences to places few people have seen, where more than 80,000 mustangs live on federal land. The film, featuring music by Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris with an original song by Blanco Brown, showcases the steeds galloping free across hills, meadows and valleys in a series of glorious panoramas that complement the beauty of the animals. It explores the inspirational nature of the mustang, from its namesake automobile to its role as a companion for “The Lone Ranger.”

While tracing wild horses’ history of faithful service, the feature also covers their exploitation. Once captured for “free energy” to pull plows and trolleys, the mustang also traveled to serve the French and British during World War I. But when the horse gave way to the machine, mustangs were slaughtered for feed and dog meat until their numbers were depleted.

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The documentary follows the efforts of those who worked to save and preserve the mustang, chronicling the story of Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston, who advocated for the wild horses with the help of a children’s crusade. In 1971, Nixon signed a law to protect them.

Now, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the mustang population — with no natural predators — has grown too big for its prescribed area. The documentary looks at various programs and volunteers trying to help, following a band of women chasing the mares to distribute birth control and traveling to a sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, Calif. In one of the most affecting segments, the documentary visits “Operation Wild Horse,” which pairs veterans with mustangs as restorative therapy. The feature also follows “Mustang Makeovers,” in which trainers are given 100 days to tame a mustang for competition and sale at auction, capturing the bond each trainer has with a horse that they must ultimately give away.

Shots of the free-ranging herds are a treat for lovers of horses and the Wild West, very effectively making the case for the mustangs’ conservation (though segments about their exploitation may not be appropriate for children). Ultimately, The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses, which shines a light on a little-known issue, manages to both inspire awe as well as a call to action.

‘The Natural’ Swinging to 4K Ultra HD From Sony

For its 35th Anniversary, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing the baseball film classic The Natural on 4K Ultra HD disc and in 4K via participating digital platforms June 4.

In the film, Robert Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, who seemingly comes out of nowhere to become a legendary baseball player with almost divine talent. But on his way to stardom in the big leagues, Hobbs’s dreams are shattered when a mysterious woman and a silver bullet end his career prematurely. Sixteen years later, Hobbs finds himself coming back to baseball, seeking to overcome physical pain — and nefarious forces — to lead his team to the pennant.

Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, the film also stars Robert Duvall, Glenn Close in an Academy Award-nominated performance, and Kim Basinger.

The 4K Ultra HD disc includes two versions of the film in 4K with HDR: the original theatrical version and the directors’ cut, each restored from the original camera negative, supervised and approved by director of photography Caleb Deschanel and director Barry Levinson. Both versions of the film also include newly remixed Dolby Atmos audio, along with the original stereo and 5.1 tracks for the theatrical version.

Bonus materials on the 4K UHD include Levinson’s intro to the director’s cut and the theatrical trailer. The blu-ray disc includes the theatrical cut and several featurettes.

Amazon Bows ‘Critically Acclaimed’ Page Showcasing Globally Nominated, Winning Movies and TV Shows

Amazon has developed a niche revenue stream endorsing third-party over-the-top video services through its Prime Channels platform. Now, the e-commerce behemoth has launched a page/link highlighting original and third-party movies and TV shows garnering the industry recognition worldwide.

Dubbed “Critically Acclaimed,” the page showcases movies and TV shows nominated for, and winners of the Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Lion (Italy), Filmfare (India), BAFTA (United Kingdom), Sundance, Golden Bear (Germany), Cannes (France), Golden Leopard (Switzerland), and European Film Academy recognition.

Separately, Amazon released its January slate of new series and movies available for rent, purchase and streaming on Prime Video.

Available for purchase:

Jan. 8

The Old Man & The Gun

Available for streaming:

Jan. 13

“True Detective, Season 3,” HBO

“Vera, Season 9,” Britbox

Jan. 14

“Victoria, Season 3,” PBS Masterpiece

Jan. 17

“Star Trek: Discovery, Season 2,” CBS All Access

January 20

“Crashing, Season 3,” HBO

“High Maintenance, Season 3,” HBO

“SMILF, Season 2,” Showtime

“Shameless, Season 9,” Showtime

“Black Monday, Season 1,” Showtime

Jan. 21

 “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition, Season 2,” CBS All Access

New series on Prime Video:

Jan. 1

 “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Season 1b” (Prime Original series),

“Breaking Big, Season 1”

“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Seasons 1, 5-19”

“First Civilizations, Season 1”

“Frontline, Season 36”

“Nova Wonders, Season 1”

Movies:

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Alpha Dog (2006)

Brazil (1985)

GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (2018)

Going to War (2018)

Jane Eyre (2011)

Reprisal (2018)

Rwanda: The Royal Tour (2018)

The Art of the Shine (2018)

The Jazz Ambassadors (2018)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

 Jan. 3

Leave No Trace (2018)

Jan. 4

Beautiful Boy (Prime Original movie)

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Jan. 11

“Informer,Season 2” (Prime Original series)

Jan. 12

Final Score

Jan. 13

Eighth Grade (2018)

Jan. 16

The Debt (2010)

Jan. 18

 “The Grand Tour, Season 3” (Prime Original series)

Jan. 19

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Jan. 25

“Four More Shots Please! Season 1” (Prime Original series)

Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014)

Jan. 29

“Endeavour, Season 5”

 

Robert Redford Comedy ‘The Old Man & the Gun’ Due on Digital Jan. 1, Disc Jan. 15

Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek star in the comedy The Old Man & the Gun, coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Jan. 1 and Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 15 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film follows the mostly true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford) — from his daring prison escape at age 70 to an unprecedented string of bank heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) and Jewel (Spacek), the woman loves him despite his criminal ways.

Special features on disc include:

  • “Everything Else We Shot”;
  • “Prison Cats”;
  • “On Filmmaking”;
  • “31 Wake-Ups”;
  • “Joining the Hunt”;
  • audio commentary by writer/director David Lowery; and
  • a photo gallery.