1950s Classic ‘The Brain From Planet Arous’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD June 21

Cinedigm’s The Film Detective, the classic film restoration and streaming company, will release the 1950s sci-fi classic The Brain From Planet Arous (1957) on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD June 21. 

A great example of cut-rate sci-fi from the 1950s, this independently produced feature stars ‘B’-movie favorite John Agar (The Mole People, Revenge of the Creature) and Joyce Meadows (The Christine Jorgensen Story, The Girl in Lovers Lane) and was directed by Nathan Juran, a master of the genre who helmed such classics as The Deadly Mantis (1957), Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (1958) and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958).

In the film, when Gor, an evil brain from planet Arous, inhabits the body of scientist Steve March (Agar), his intention is nothing less than world domination. Lucky for Earth, another intergalactic brain, Val, offers to assist March’s wife Sally (Meadows) in stopping the madness.

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The special-edition Blu-ray and DVD release features a 4K transfer, including two versions of the film, presented in its original 1.85:1 theatrically released ratio and in 1.33:1 full-frame format. Included in the bonus features is exclusive commentary with The Brain From Planet Arous star Meadows.

“The Film Detective’s magnificent restoration of The Brain From Planet Arous reminds me of when I saw the movie on the big screen back in 1957,” Meadows said in a statement. “An amazing achievement, and I’m so pleased this picture is getting the respect it deserves.”

Other bonus features include a full-color booklet with an original essay by author/historian Tom Weaver; a full commentary track by historians Tom Weaver, David Schecter, Larry Blamire and Meadows; “The Man Before the Brain: Director Nathan Juran” and “The Man Behind the Brain: The World of Nathan Juran,” both original Ballyhoo Motion Pictures productions; and a new introduction by Meadows.

HBO Max Romantic Comedy ‘Moonshot’ Headed to DVD and Digital May 24

The sci-fi romantic comedy Moonshot will be released on DVD and digital sellthrough May 24 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The HBO Max original film — set in a future where Mars is terraformed and colonized by the best humanity has to offer — follows Walt and Sophie, two very different college students who sneak onboard a space shuttle to the red planet in order to be united with their significant others.

The film stars Cole Sprouse (“Riverdale,” Five Feet Apart), Lana Condor (“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” trilogy, Alita: Battle Angel), Mason Gooding (Scream, “Love, Victor”), Emily Rudd (“Fear Street” trilogy, “Hunters”) and Zach Braff (Cheaper by the Dozen, Garden State).

Special features include a making-of featurette.

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‘Universal Soldier’ 4K Ultra HD Steelbook Due June 21 From Lionsgate

Director Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi actioner Universal Soldier arrives June 21 on 4K Ultra HD plus Blu-ray plus digital Steelbook from Lionsgate.

The 1992 sci-fi classic stars Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD, Double Team, Double Impact, Kickboxer), Dolph Lundgren (Johnny Mnemonic, Masters of the Universe, Rocky IV), Ally Walker (Kazaam, While You Were Sleeping, TV’s “Profiler”), Ed O’Ross (Dick Tracy, Red Heat, Lethal Weapon) and Jerry Orbach (TV’s “Law & Order,” Broadway Bound, Beauty and the Beast).

In the film, Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) and Sgt. Andrew Scott ( Lundgren) are two soldiers who kill each other in Vietnam and are brought back to life 25 years later for a secret government program. Known as “Unisols,” they are genetically enhanced, unstoppable killing machines without memory, feelings or free will. But when Deveraux’s memory starts to return and he escapes the program, a superhuman chase across the country begins. 

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Special features include audio commentary by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Van Damme and  Lundgren; audio commentary by Emmerich and Devlin; the “A Tale of Two Titans” featurette; the “Guns, Genes, and Fighting Machines” featurette; an alternate ending; behind-the-scenes footage; and the trailer.

Sci-Fi Drama ‘After Yang’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD June 21 From Lionsgate

The sci-fi drama After Yang arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD June 21 from Lionsgate.

Based on the short story Saying Goodbye to Yang, the film follows a disconnected family after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down. In the film, when his young daughter’s beloved companion — an android named Yang — malfunctions, Jake (Colin Farrell) searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter across a distance he didn’t know was there.

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In addition to Farrell (Voyagers, In Bruges, S.W.A.T.) and Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim, Jett, Nightflyers), the film stars Justin H. Min (TV’s “The Umbrella Academy,” TV’s “New Amsterdam,” TV’s “Pure Genius”), Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja (TV’s “Coop and Cami Ask the World,” TV’s “Raven’s Home,” TV’s “iCarly”) and Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart, Columbus, The Edge of Seventeen).

Special features include the featurette “The End Is a Beginning: After Yang.”

 

Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Cryo’ Headed to Digital and On Demand June 28

The sci-fi thriller Cryo will be released in theaters June 24 and on digital and on demand June 28 from Saban Films.

In the film, five scientists wake from a cryogenic sleep and find themselves trapped in an underground facility. With no memory of who they are or how long they’ve been asleep, they begin to realize they may have been part of a scientific experiment gone wrong. After a series of strange events, the scientists find themselves being hunted. They do not know who is hunting them or for what reason, but the scientists begin to suspect that one of them may be the killer.

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Vertical’s Alicia Silverstone Thriller ‘Last Survivors’ Due on DVD April 26 From Distribution Solutions

Vertical Entertainment’s Alica Silverstone thriller Last Survivors will be released on DVD April 26 from Distribution Solutions.

In the science-fiction thriller, a father and son, who have been living off grid for 20 years, encounter an outsider who threatens to destroy the utopia they’ve built.

Directed by Drew Mylrea and written by Josh Janowicz, the film also stars Drew Van Acker and Stephen Moyer.

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‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,’ ‘Robocop’ on 4K Among Titles Due in April From Arrow and MVD

Six titles, including two new box sets and three 4K Ultra HD releases, are available in the April lineup from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, from legendary Shaw Brothers’ director Lau Kar-leung, makes its American Blu-ray debut April 5. In the film, General Yeung Yip and his sons are ambushed and brutally attacked, leaving Yip and all but two of his sons killed or captured. One son, Yeung Chiu (Alexander Fu Sheng), returns home to his mother and sisters. The other son, Yeung Dak (Gordon Liu), goes to live in a monastery where he develops the eight diagram pole fighting technique. After one of their sisters is captured, Dak is driven with anger to return home and exact his revenge. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter was one of the last great martial arts epics to be released by the famous Shaw Brothers studio. However, the film is also remembered for the great tragedy that struck during filming. Star Fu Sheng tragically died in a car accident midway through production. As a result, Kar-leung reworked the final half of the script, turning it into the ultimate action spectacular as a tribute to his young star. This Arrow release features a brand-new 2K restoration from the original camera negative and comes loaded with bonus content.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is available on 4K Ultra HD April 12. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars alongside an all-star cast that includes Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter and Ian Holm in this cinematic telling of the influential gothic tale. At the turn of the 19th century, scientist Victor Frankenstein (Branagh) is determined to conquer human morality. His attempt at playing God results in the creation of a hideous monster (De Niro). The film earned an Oscar nod for Best Makeup and seven nominations at the Saturn Awards. Arrow brings the film to 4K for the first time with a brand new restoration from the original camera negatives. The release includes a slate of new special features, including a documentary on the origins and evolution of the Frankenstein story. 

April 12 also marks the release of Robocop in a limited edition 4K Ultra HD steelbook. This sci-fi classic, about a terminally injured cop (Peter Weller) that returns to the line of duty as a cyborg advertised as the future of law enforcement, introduced Hollywood to the wild world of director Paul Verhoeven. The film is making its global debut in 4K, with a restoration approved by Verhoeven. Included in this limited edition release are both the theatrical and director’s cuts of the film.

On April 19, Arrow will release Rogue Cops & Racketeers: Two Crime Thrillers by Enzo G. Castellari on Blu-ray. One of the most influential Italian genre directors of all time, Castellari made a name for himself helming titles such as Keoma and The Inglorious Bastards. Arrow presents two of Castellari’s action-packed titles in one set. First up, is 1976’s The Big Racket, in which a gang of goons attempts to bring an Italian city to its knees by extorting money from local shops and bar owners. Unfortunately for them, Inspector Palmieri (Fabio Testi) is on the scene. The film is notable for a death-defying stunt that sees Testi trapped in a car that goes tumbling down a ditch. Rounding out the set is Castellar’s The Heroin Busters. Testi returns, this time as an Italian police officer that goes undercover to bring down an international heroin smuggling ring. While on the job, he and a hot-tempered Interpol agent (David Hemmings) working the same case, butt heads. The limited-edition two-disc set includes brand-new 2K restorations for both films, new audio commentary tracks and new interviews.

Arrow will release their second set of Claude Chabrol films on April 26 with Twisting The Knife: Four Films by Claude Chabrol. This four-disc set brings together four films from the later part of Chabrol’s career starting with 1997’s The Swindle. In that film, Victor (Michel Serrault) and Betty (Isabelle Huppert) are a pair of small-time scam artists that travel in their camper van from business convention to business convention robbing unsuspecting businessmen. Betty sets her sights on something more ambitious and convinces Victor to take on a mark with a potential payday of 5 million Swiss francs. The pair soon realize they’re in over-their-head and must fight for their lives. In The Color of Lies, a 10-year-old girl is found murdered in a small town. René (Jacques Gamblin), her art teacher, is the last one to see her alive and instantly becomes a prime suspect. Chabrol partnered with Huppert once more for the 2000 psychological thriller Nightcap. Huppert stars as Mika, owner of a Swiss chocolate company and the first wife of renowned pianist André Polonski (Jacques Dutronc). After André’s second wife dies, he remarries Mika. Soon an unsuspecting visitor arrives, bringing with her revelations of foul play and long-hidden family secrets. The final film on the set is 2003’s The Flower of Evil, in which a wealthy family living in Bordeaux sees their perfect life come crashing down when the wife of the family, Anne (Nathalie Baye), decides to run for mayor. A political smear campaign reveals secrets of an old murder scandal that threatens to bring the family down. The Flower of Evil was nominated for Best European Film at the 18th annual Goya Awards. Bonus content on the set includes new 4K restorations; new audio commentary tracks; new interviews; and an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by Sean Hogan, Brad Stevens, Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Pamela Hutchinson.

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The month comes to a close on April 26 with the 4K Ultra HD upgrade of Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi thriller 12 Monkeys. Set in a future world that is ravaged by disease and death, the film stars Bruce Willis as a convict sent back in time to find the original virus and help develop a cure. Brad Pitt earned an Oscar nomination for his turn as Jeffrey Goines, a mental patient with environmentalist and anti-corporatist views. This new release comes with archival bonus content and a limited-edition illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Nathan Rabin and Ian Christie.

Apple TV+ Picks Up Sci-Fi Series ‘Dark Matter’

Apple TV+ has landed “Dark Matter,” a nine-episode series based on the science-fiction novel by Blake Crouch.

Starring Joel Edgerton (“Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Boy Erased, Loving), who also serves as executive producer, the series will be written and showrun by Crouch and will be produced for Apple TV+ by Sony Pictures Television.

“Dark Matter” is a story about the road not taken. The series follows Jason Dessen (Edgerton), a physicist, professor and family man who — one night while walking home on the streets of Chicago — is abducted into an alternate version of his life. Wonder quickly turns to nightmare when he tries to return to his reality amid the multiverse of lives he could have lived. In this labyrinth of mind-bending realities, he embarks on a harrowing journey to get back to his true family and save them from the most terrifying, unbeatable foe imaginable: himself.

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Korean Sci-Fi Action Thriller ‘Spiritwalker’ Due on Hi-Yah! Streaming Service March 18, Digital and Disc April 12 From Well Go

The South Korean sci-fi action thriller Spiritwalker will debut exclusively on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on March 18 before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD April 12 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Director Yoon Jae-keun (Heartbeat)​ and award-winning martial arts choreographers Park Young-sik and Chung Seong-Ho (SAG Awards, Best Stunt Ensemble, “Squid Game”) bring to life the story of a man who loses his memory and subsequently wakes up in a new body every 12 hours. He must piece together his identity, all while evading attacks from pursuing agents and dangerous criminals.

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Winner of the Daniel A. Craft award for Excellence in Action Cinema at the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival, Spiritwalker stars former K-pop singer Yoon Kye-Sang (Chocolate, The Outlaws), Park Yong-Woo (Nailed), Lim Ji-Yeon (Obsessed, High Society) and Park Ji-Hwan (The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure).

Bonus features include an all-new English dub and behind-the-scenes content.

The film has been optioned by producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (“Transformers,” “G.I. Joe” series) for a possible Hollywood remake.

 

 

Mark Wahlberg Sci-Fi Actioner ‘Infinite’ Due on Digital April 12, Disc May 17

The sci-fi actioner Infinite will arrive for digital purchase April 12 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD May 17 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film is based on the book The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz. The film follows characters who must use memories and skills from past lives to protect the future of humanity in a race against time in the fight between good and evil.

Wahlberg plays Evan McCauley, who is haunted by skills he has never learned and memories of places he has never visited. As he is self-medicated and on the brink of a mental breakdown, a secret group that call themselves “Infinites” comes to his rescue, revealing to him that his memories are real — but they are from multiple past lives. The Infinites bring Evan into their extraordinary world, where a gifted few are given the ability to be reborn with their memories and knowledge accumulated over centuries. With critical secrets buried in his past, Evan must work with the Infinites to unlock the answers in his memories in a race against time to save humanity from one of their own (Ejiofor) who seeks to destroy it.

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The film also stars Sophie Cookson, Jason Mantzoukas, Rupert Friend, Liz Carr, Toby Jones and Dylan O’Brien.

Special features on digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include “They Call Themselves Infinites,” a deep dive into the concept of reincarnation, character development, creative direction and set design; “The Kinetic Action of Infinite,” a behind-the-scenes look at the vehicles, stunt drivers, and technology used to achieve the action scenes in the film;”Anatomy of a Scene — Police Station & Forest,” an in-depth look with the cast and crew at the creation of two of the film’s major scenes; and “Infinite Time,” an exploration of the creation of the film’s effects, including a breakdown of the on-set fight action and the visual effects work employed in post-production.

The DVD includes the feature film in standard-definition.