Actioner ‘400 Bullets’ Set for March 2 Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Digital Release

Shout! Factory has announced the March 2 home release of 400 Bullets, a military action film written and directed by Tom Paton (Black Ops, Redwood).

The Blu-ray Disc and DVD include commentary with Paton and behind-the-scenes featurettes. The film also will be available through digital retailers.

400 Bullets follows a Gurkha soldier named Rana Rae (Jean-Paul Ly) who is guarding a British military outpost when Capt. Noah Brandt (Andrew Lee Potts) arrives looking for refuge from a group of rogue special ops and a cell of heavily armed Taliban.

The two soldiers must fight for their lives as they attempt to call for backup before the rogue squad, led by the backstabbing Sgt. Bartlett (James Warren), can hunt them down to retrieve a case of missile guidance chips that Noah intercepted. Rana and Noah, armed with only 400 bullets and the Gurkha’s deadly weapon of choice – the kukri blade – must battle their way through multiple enemies in a brutal showdown to the death.

400 Bullets boasts a stellar British cast that in addition to Ly (Jailbreak, I Am Vengeance) includes Andrew Lee Potts (The Crown, Primeval), James Warren (The Gentlemen, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), Adele Oni (The Witcher, Years and Years), Steve Blades (All the Devil’s Men, Recoil), and Wayne Gordon (Into the Badlands, Cinderella Man).

Shout! Kids Releasing Animated ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Great Escape’ March 23, 2021

Shout! Factory will release the animated movie Sherlock Holmes and the Great Escape on DVD and digital platforms March 23, 2021, through its Shout! Kids imprint.

The movie presents all the characters as animals, with Holmes as a dog and Watson as a cat.

In the late 19th century, Mack, a heroic outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor, was loved and respected by the people. When the world’s greatest dog-tective, Sherlock Holmes, assisted in catching Mack, the people were angry with him for arresting their hero. But four years later, Mack has escaped from prison. While Sherlock is on the case to recapture Mack, he discovers the heartbreaking reason behind the outlaw’s escape, and decides to let him fulfill his final wish before Mack’s voluntary surrender to the police. However, everyone’s plans change when Mack’s daughter is kidnapped. Sherlock must employ all his wits if he is to rescue Mack’s daughter and save the day.

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Shout! Factory Releasing Blu-rays of ‘Tesla,’ ‘Sputnik,’ ‘A Call to Spy’ and ‘Centigrade’ in February

Shout! Factory and IFC will release four notable independent and foreign films on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in February 2021.

Due Feb. 2 is Tesla, starring Ethan Hawke as famed inventor Nikola Tesla, who fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces even thornier challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan) are in sharp contrast to his sidewinding appeal to financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz). The disc will include a making-of featurette.

Arriving Feb. 9 is the Russian sci-fi horror film Sputnik. When her controversial methods threaten her career, young doctor Tatiana (Oksana Akinshina), is recruited by the military to assess a very special case, that of a cosmonaut who survived a mysterious space accident and has returned to Earth with an organism living inside him that only shows itself late at night.

Feb. 16 sees the release of A Call to Spy, based on the true story of the female spies who fought against the Nazi occupation of France. As Great Britain’s forces were stretched thin during World War II, Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive began to enlist women as spies to conduct sabotage and build a resistance. Spymistress Vera Atkins, later the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise, was the chief recruiter for this secret army. Atkins selected two unusual candidates: Virginia Hall, an American journalist from Baltimore with a wooden leg, and Noor Inayat Khan, a wireless officer of Indian descent and an avowed pacifist. The disc includes a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Centigrade, which arrives Feb. 23, is also inspired by true events and follows a young American couple, Matt and Naomi, as they travel through the Arctic mountains of Norway. After pulling over during a snowstorm, they wake up trapped in their SUV, buried underneath layers of snow and ice. As if the stakes aren’t high enough for the pair, Naomi is eight months pregnant as they contemplate how to escape their frozen prison.

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Shout! Factory, GKIDS to Release ‘On-Gaku’ in March On Disc, Digital

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced a March 9 home release date for On-Gaku: Our Sound, an anime film animated and directed by Japanese filmmaker Kenji Iwaisawa.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and digital platforms.

Based on the comics by Hiroyuki Ohashi, the film follows the story of a feared trio of high school delinquents who, having no skills, money, or even a full set of drums, decide they are destined for musical glory. They embark on the quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and — most importantly — jam out.

Featuring a lead performance by Japanese alt-rock legend Shintaro Sakamato, On-Gaku: Our Sound was an official selection at the 2020 Annecy Film Festival, and winner of the Nelvana Grand Prize at the 2019 Ottawa International Animation Festival.

In addition to a feature-length “making of” documentary, bonus features (exclusive to the Blu-ray and DVD release) include a live musical performance, “On-Gaku” (demo); “Our Movie: Behind the Scenes”; a rock festival pencil test; three short films by Kenji Iwaisawa, Mountain, Mourning Ice Pop, Nicky, and Taro Wanted to be Water; a gallery of storyboards; and trailers.

The 2020 World Series — Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Shout! Factory;
Sports;
$19.98 DVD, $26.98 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Narrated by Vin Scully.

These World Series recap videos tend to be a bit on the cookie-cutter side — mix in interviews from both teams, focus on the highlights from each game, then hire a celebrity who’s a fan of the winning team to narrate.

Soon after the Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up the title by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games, I figured since Bryan Cranston had narrated a few Dodgers vignettes over the years, no one would be better suited for the job than him.

Expect for the guy they got.

Vin Scully.

The now-93-year-old broadcasting legend who was the Dodgers play-by-play announcer from 1950 to his retirement in 2016 — right before the Dodgers’ run of making three World Series in the past four years.

Scully had been there for all the previous Dodgers championships, from their lone title in Brooklyn to the previous five since they moved to L.A. in 1958 — 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988, the latter being famous for the Kirk Gibson home run.

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic that forced Major League Baseball into taking the unprecedented step of not only shortening the regular season, but also holding most of the postseason at neutral sites, the sound of Vin Scully talking about Dodgers baseball just makes the world seem a little bit closer to normal.

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While it’s nice to relive some of the memories of the title run, when Vin isn’t talking, the documentary kind of reverts to the usual sort of highlights package and behind-the-scenes footage MLB produces to commemorate the just-concluded season. Given how rapidly they make it to shelves after the final game, the recap videos tend to feel as if they are being cobbled together as the series progresses and then after it’s over they’ll tack on some extra footage of the team that ended up winning so as to give the hint of some sort of overarching narrative.

In this case, that means a reminder that this was the eighth year in a row the Dodgers have won the National League West title, but hadn’t converted any of the previous seven into a World Series title — the longest stretch of consecutive division titles without a championship in MLB history. Their last World Series win came in 1988, a three-decade drought they came close to breaking in 2017 before falling short in seven games to the Houston Astros — a series they may well have won if not for Astros cheating using methods that came to light a few years later (which, in accordance with the MLB’s seeming policy of wanting to sweep that scandal under the rug, is completely ignored here).

Other stories swirling around the team heading into the Fall Classic were rumblings about

future Hall of Fame pitcher Clayton Kershaw not being able to win in October, and manager Dave Roberts continually coming up so close to the title but falling short in his five years at the helm.

As Gibson had been the spark for the ’88 team, the key ingredient for 2020 turned out to be Mookie Betts, a superstar player who helped the Boston Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series, and who the Dodgers acquired in a trade before the season when the Sox were looking to cut payroll. Much to the chagrin of Red Sox nation, Betts subsequently signed a 12-year extension with the Dodgers worth $365 million.

The series itself would end up awash in historic quirks as a result of the pandemic. After cutting short Spring Training in March, MLB shut things down until July, when teams began an abbreviated, regional 60-game regular season with no fans at the ballpark, as opposed to the usual 162-game campaign. As an added wrinkle, the playoffs were expanded, and the Division, League Championship and World Series were played at stadiums neutral to the teams involved, so the league could maintain a COVID-free bubble. The Dodgers essentially spent October making the Texas Rangers’ stadium near Dallas their home away from home.

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The World Series film doesn’t really delve into the earlier playoff matchups (except in the bonus materials), and thus doesn’t mention one of the more amusing coincidences resulting from the unusual playoff circumstances — all of the qualifying Central Division teams from each league lost in the first round. So the Division series were all contested between teams from the same division. And the League Championship series were each West vs. East affairs in which neither team had played each other before during the regular season.

Likewise, with the Rays winning the American League pennant over the hated Astros, the World Series was also an East/West matchup — featuring the teams with the best records in each league, the best combined record since 1906, and were similar unfamiliar with each other.

In another coincidence, bubble delays to the NHL and NBA pushed their playoffs back several months, with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Lakers winning their respective league titles just a few weeks before the World Series — making Dodgers vs. Rays a sort of tie-breaker for the region seeking bragging rights and the moniker of “Titletown” for 2020.

But that’s just trivia for the sports-minded in general. Bringing in Scully to narrate the movie really pays off in the end, when he adds a personal reflection linking the Dodgers’ seventh title to the six that came before — a montage of historical moments that will surely bring a tear to any Dodger fans’ eye.

It should be noted there seems to be a brief audio glitch during Scully’s wrap-up ruminations — one that’s part of the audio mix since it’s consistent on both the Blu-ray and the DVD offered in the combo pack.

Extras on the 2020 World Series Blu-ray include a five-minute recap of the Dodgers’ season, eight minutes of Dodgers season highlights, a nine-minute montage of highlights from the Dodgers’ games to clinch a playoff spot, the NL West, the Wild Card series over the Milwaukee Brewers, the NLDS over the San Diego Padres, and the NLCS over the Atlanta Braves, in which the Dodgers had to rebound from being down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

There is also a 14-minute video of select post-game interviews with Dodgers players following their title win.

Shout! Factory TV Announces Slate of Holiday, Winter Programming

Shout! Factory is presenting a collection of holiday and winter programming that will be streaming throughout December.

The slate includes episodes from TV series such as “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Johnny Carson Show,” “Father Knows Best,” “Dennis the Menace,” and even “Ultraman” and “The Weird Al Show”; films that get the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment; classic films including Black Christmas, An American Christmas Carol and Scrooge; modern film favorites like Feast of the Seven Fishes and Snowtime!; and specials featuring Glen Campbell and Peter, Paul and Mary.

The complete holiday offering is available for viewing on demand on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel. Shout! Factory TV will also be featuring festive holiday content programmed throughout the month of December on its linear channels.

The complete list of holiday programming includes:

Film:

  • 12 Days of Christmas Eve
  • An American Christmas Carol
  • The Black Candle
  • Black Christmas
  • A Christmas Carol (2000)
  • Christmas Comes to Willow Creek
  • Christmas for a Dollar
  • The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t
  • Cinematic Titanic: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  • Feast of the Seven Fishes
  • The Gift of Winter
  • The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour: Christmas Special (1969)
  • The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour: Christmas Special (1970)
  • Mary Christmas
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  • Peter, Paul & Mary: The Holiday Concert
  • Scrooge (1935)
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2
  • Snowtime!

 

Television Episodes:

  • The Aquabats! Super Show!: Christmas with the Aquabats!
  • Backlot: An American Christmas Carol
  • Backlot: MST3K: Santa Versus Satan
  • Car 54, Where Are You?: Christmas at the 53rd
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Tim Conway
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Gary Moore, Durward Kirby
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Alan Alda
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Ken Berry
  • Danger 5: Merry Christmas Colonel
  • Danger 5: Un Sacco Di Natale (A Sack of Christmas)
  • Denjii Sentai Megaranger: We Won’t Be Defeated! Decisive Christmas Eve Clash
  • Denjii Sentai Megaranger: Carefree! Kenta’s New Year’s Eve Crisis
  • Dennis the Menace: The Christmas Story
  • Dennis the Menace: The Christmas Horse
  • Dennis the Menace: The Fifteen-Foot Christmas Tree
  • Father Knows Best: The Christmas Story
  • Father Knows Best: The Angel’s Sweater
  • Gekisou Sentai Carranger: The Reckless Dash Emperor’s Frightful Fuel Check
  • Gekisou Sentai Carranger: Merry Carmagic Christmas!!
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger: Quest 41: Santa Has Arrived
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger: Quest 46: The New Year Attacks
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Animal Antics with Joan Embery
  • The Johnny Carson Show: The Best of George Carlin
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Comic Legends of the ‘60s – Joan Rivers
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Comic Legends of the ‘60s – Buddy Hackett
  •  The Johnny Carson Show: Comic Legends of the ‘60s – Don Rickles
  • The Johnny Carson Show: The Best of Richard Pryor
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘50s – Jimmy Stewart
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘70s – Diane Keaton
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘70s – Angie Dickinson
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘80s – Adrienne Barbeau
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘80s – Sally Field
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘80s – John Lithgow
  • The Johnny Carson Show: Hollywood Icons of the ‘80s – Danny DeVito
  • Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive: The Hellish Psyma Beast Army
  • Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive: Rescue File 99
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: Deck the Halls
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: Jangle Bells
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: Have Reindeer Will Travel
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: Will the Real Santa Claus Please Come Down the Chimney?
  • Mirai Sentai Timeranger: Case File 45: The End! Tomorrow Research
  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Great Snow Woman’s Snowball Fight
  • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: Scroll 45: Refuge and Spring Cleaning
  •  Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: Scroll 46: New Year’s Meal and Three Giants
  • Plympton Flash Shorts: Christmas Surprise
  • Plymptoons: Santa, The Fascist Years
  • The Red Skelton Show: Learn to Dance in Ten Easy Lessons or One Hard One
  • The Red Skelton Show: The Skeltons at Christmas
  • The Red Skelton Show: The Unwanted Christmas Tree
  • Return of Ultraman: Winter Horror Series: Twentieth Century Abominable Snowman
  • Return of Ultraman: Winter Horror Series: The Phantom Snow Woman
  • Route 66: Effigy in Snow
  • Stingray: A Christmas to Remember
  • Terrahawks: A Christmas Miracle
  • Ultraman: Phantom of the Snow Mountains
  • The Weird Al Show: The Obligatory Holiday Episode

Shout! Factory TV to Stream ‘Aquabats’ Marathon in December

Shout! Factory this month will present “The Aquabats! Super Show! Super Marathon” on Shout! Factory TV, featuring every episode of the musical comedy, the unaired pilot episode, specials, and music videos.

The marathon begins Saturday, Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. PT and will continue all day. The stream can be viewed on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDb TV, STIRR, Sling TV, THETA.tv and Local Now.

Created by Christian Jacobs, Scott Schultz, and Jason deVilliers, “The Aquabats! Super Show!” premiered in 2012 on the Hub Network and aired for two seasons. Based on the superhero mythology of The Aquabats!, a real comedy rock band which series co-creator and lead singer Jacobs formed in 1994, “The Aquabats! Super Show!” follows the comic adventures of a fictionalized version of the band, a musical group of amateur superheroes, as they haphazardly defend the world from a variety of villains and monsters.

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Styled similarly to the campy aesthetics of 1960s and 1970s children’s television and Japanese tokusatsu, “The Aquabats! Super Show!” utilizes various mediums of visual styles and special effects, mixing live-action storylines with cartoon shorts, parody advertisements and musical interludes.

Every episode of “The Aquabats! Super Show!” is also now available for viewing on demand on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

Shout! Factory to Roll Out ‘Ultraman’ on Streaming Platforms

Shout! Factory on Nov. 1 will release its first collection of films and series from Tsuburaya Productions’ iconic “Ultraman” library, including five complete television series and two films which span over 50 years of historic fandom.

The full offering includes the TV series “Ultra Q” (1966), “Ultraman” (1966-67), “Ultraseven” (1967-68), “Ultraman Orb” (2016) and “Ultraman Geed” (2017), alongside the films Ultraman Orb The Movie: Let Me Borrow the Power of Bonds! (2017) and Ultraman Geed The Movie: Connect the Wishes! (2018). The three classic Ultraman series also will premiere on Shout! Factory TV and TokuSHOUTsu in high definition, newly available for Shout! Factory’s expanding streaming audience.

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All Ultraman content will be available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; on Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

Ultraman content can also be seen on TokuSHOUTsu, a linear channel (#848) in the Gaming + Anime section of Pluto TV. Pluto TV can be found on all leading digital streaming devices and services, including Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and more, as well as major smart TVs and game consoles.

GKIDs, Shout! Factory to Send ‘Marona’ Home Nov. 10

GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced the Nov. 10 home release of Marona’s Fantastic Tale, a new animated film from award-winning director Anca Damian (Crulic: The Path to Beyond).

The film will be available digitally and as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Both the French version with subtitles and an English-language version will be included in the release. Bonus features include an interview with the director Anca Damian, a Q&A from the Animation Is Film Festival, an art gallery and trailers.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale is about an optimistic stray dog named Marona who looks back on the human companions she has loved throughout her life. Born the last in the litter, little Marona’s adventures take her through a series of names and owners ­— a colorful acrobat, a sensitive construction worker, and a little girl — with dazzling style. But through all of her ups and downs, Marona’s Fantastic Tale is told with the patient, boundless love of a dog, reminding us that happiness is a small thing.

In addition to Anca Damian, artists behind Marona’s Fantastic Tale include character designer Brecht Evens, an award-winning Belgian cartoonist and Eisner Award nominee who is known for his bright, stylized art, and background artists Gine Thorstensen from Norway and Sarah Mazetti from Italy.

The film had a virtual cinema release this summer, with further theatrical engagements planned for this fall as theaters re-open.

‘Harry Potter’ Collection Leads U.S. Disc Sales

With the coronavirus pandemic having the duel effect of both limiting the depth of new home video releases and leading to fewer disc sales in general, TV DVD and catalog content have had a much easier time of late reaching the top spots on the national sales charts. The week ended Oct. 17 saw a “Harry Potter” boxed set take a turn in the top spot.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection, first released in 2011, was No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD unit sales in the United States, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. It had been No. 24 overall a week earlier.

In fact, almost the entire top 20 overall disc sales chart consisted of catalog and TV content, and the two new releases that did find a spot on it were reworkings of previously released material.

The No. 2 overall disc seller, and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart, was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, the perennial Halloween-season seller that had topped the charts the previous two weeks.

Another Disney Halloween favorite, the 1993 animated movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, came in at No. 3 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart.

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The week’s top debut was Shout! Factory’s new deluxe-edition boxed set of the 12 “Friday the 13th” movies, featuring new bonus materials and restorations of some of the films. It came in at No. 4 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart. A boxed set of all the films was previously released in 2013 by Warner (which controls the most-recent four films in the franchise that were made by New Line Cinema; Paramount made the first seven).

The No. 5 overall disc seller was Universal’s The Office: The Complete Series, a DVD set that has been re-released several times since 2014.

The No. 2 Blu-ray Disc seller, and No. 7 overall, was another newcomer, Warner’s Batman: Death in the Family, a collection of DC Showcase animated shorts. The centerpiece of the new disc, Batman: Death in the Family, is an interactive feature that allows viewers to choose whether Robin is killed by the Joker, and to see which different paths the story could take after that. In many respects, however, the short is a reworking of the 2010 movie Batman: Under the Red Hood, with some new footage to provide a prequel to the movie and some alternate story possibilities.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Oct. 18, Lionsgate’s The Doorman, an actioner with Ruby Rose, debuted at No. 1 (for perspective, it was No. 55 its first week on the sales chart).

The Redbox-exclusive disc of Ava, which had been the top rental the previous two weeks, dropped back to No. 2, where it debuted a month earlier.

RLJE Films’ The Tax Collector was No. 3, followed by two titles from Lionsgate: The Silencing at No. 4 and The Secret: Dare to Dream.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 10-17-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 10-18-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 10-17-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 10-17-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 10-17-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 10-19-20