Feb. 28 sees the arrival of several high-profile titles to disc, including the hit animated film Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, and the war drama Devotion, plus a boxed set of four “Rocky” films on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray; new digital releases include A Man Called Otto and Magic Mike’s Last Dance.
DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” universe adventure Puss in Boots: The Last Wish arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 28 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Nominated for Best Animated Film by both the Academy Awards and the BAFTA Film Awards, the film follows the leche-loving, swashbuckling, fear-defying feline Puss in Boots (voice of Antonio Banderas) as the daring outlaw discovers that his passion for adventure and heroic missions have taken their toll. Puss has burned through eight of his nine lives, though he lost count along the way. Getting those lives back will send Puss in Boots into the Black Forest to find the mythical Wishing Star. With only one life left, Puss is forced to humble himself and ask for help from his former partner and nemesis: Kitty Softpaws. They are joined on their journey by a chatty and cheerful mutt named Perrito. Together, the trio of heroes needs to stay one step ahead of the fairy tale realm’s craftiest crooks including Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In addition to Banderas, the film features the voices of Salma Hayek Pinault, Harvey Guillén (“What We Do in the Shadows”), Florence Pugh (Black Widow), Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone (Black Widow), Samson Kayo (Sliced), John Mulaney (“Big Mouth”), Wagner Moura (“Narcos”), Tony nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Trolls World Tour) and Emmy nominee Anthony Mendez (“Jane the Virgin”). It earned $173.4 million at the domestic box office.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases the biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 28. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, with a screenplay by Anthony McCarten, writer of Bohemian Rhapsody, comes the story of the career of Whitney Houston, played by Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), from New Jersey choir girl to one of the best-selling and most awarded singers of all time. The cast also includes Stanley Tucci as Whitney’s producer, Clive Davis; Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, her husband; Tamara Tunie and Clarke Peters as Cissy and John Houston, her parents; and Nafessa Williams as Robyn Crawford, her friend and assistant. The film earned $23.7 million at the domestic box office. The Blu-ray includes a “Whitney’s Jukebox” sing-along mode. Read a review here.
The war film Devotion will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 28 from Paramount Home Entertainment Jonathan Majors (Creed III) and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) star in the true story of two elite U.S. Navy fighter pilots who helped turn the tide in the most brutal battle in the Korean War: Jesse Brown, the first Black aviator in Navy history, and his fellow fighter pilot and friend Tom Hudner. Their heroic sacrifices and enduring friendship would ultimately make them the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen. The film earned $20.5 million from U.S. theaters.
Virgil Films will release the sports drama High Expectations, starring Kelsey Grammer, on DVD Feb. 28. In the film, Jack finds himself adrift after his father, legendary Coach Davis, cuts him from his renowned soccer club. Estranged from his dad, at odds with his brother and desperate for purpose, he turns to his ex-girlfriend Sofia. Inspired by her tough love and unwavering pursuit to become a recording artist, he takes one last shot at his lifelong dream, by trying out for a rival soccer club. The film also stars Taylor Gray, Ally Brooke and Briana Scurry.
Lionsgate will release the family adventure The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret, the sequel to 2019’s The Adventures of Jurassic Pet, via on demand, digital sellthrough and DVD Feb. 28. In the sequel, there’s a new baby T. Rex in town — and his name is Junior. When Junior escapes into our world from the Land of the Dinosaurs, teenager Wendy and her friend Curtis must return him safely before anyone finds him. While chasing him in their flying car, they uncover a sinister plot that threatens the whole city. Wendy and Curtis must stop the evil scheme and protect the townsfolk while keeping their dino-pal a secret.
NCircle Entertainment will release Atomic Cartoons’ The Last Kids on Earth — Book Two, featuring 10 episodes of the tween series, on DVD Feb. 28 from Distribution Solutions. In the series, the zombies are disappearing. This might seem like a good thing, since zombies eat your brains, but normal human kid Jack Sullivan is suspicious. He keeps hearing an eerie shrieking noise that seems to be almost summoning the zombies — but to where, and for what (probably) foul purpose? Jack, his three best friends (maybe the only people left on Earth), and their pet monster Rover need to get to the bottom of this. Along the way they encounter a lot more than they bargained for, including a giant Wormungulous, a pizza parlor monster hangout, an ancient evil who destroys worlds, and a stereo system that is totally the bomb. The series features the voices of Nick Wolfhard (“Smiling Friends,” “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”), Montse Hernandez (“Jane the Virgin,” “Elena of Avalor”), Garland Whitt (Training Day, Save the Last Dance), as well as a celebrity cast members including Mark Hamill, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Campbell and Catherine O’Hara. Based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling children’s book series, the animated series won the 2020 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.
Breaking Glass Pictures releases Nana’s Boys, an LGBTQ+ film from director Ashton Pina (In the Paint, 2017), on DVD Feb. 28. Nana’s Boy is the story of Amari, who, on the morning of his 30th birthday, struggles to make a decision on what’s next and questions his purpose in life. The day takes a rattling turn when an explosion cuts off utilities across New York City, forcing the city into a mandatory lockdown. Amari’s relationship with his partner Q is tested as the couple grapples with memories of the past that could shatter their plans altogether. Starring David J. Cork (P-Valley) and Jared Wayne Gladly (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), the film had its world premiere at the 2022 Inside Out Film Festival. It went on to play at Reeling 2022: The 40th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, Newfest, aGLIFF’s Prism LGBTQ+ Film Festival, and Out on Film Atlanta, and took home the Best Narrative Feature award at both the Black Alphabet Film Festival and the Baltimore International Black Film Festival.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases the Tom Hanks starrer A Man Called Otto for rent or purchase through digital retailers on Feb. 28. Hanks stars as Otto, a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. Based on the New York Times best-seller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto earned $62.3 million at the domestic box office. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on March 14.
The comedy-drama Magic Mike’s Last Dance is available Feb. 28 for premium digital ownership (PEST) and rental (PVOD) from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. In Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the third installment in the franchise, “Magic” Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) takes to the stage again after a lengthy hiatus, following a business deal that went bust, leaving him broke and taking bartender gigs in Florida. For what he hopes will be one last hurrah, Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite (Salma Hayek Pinault) who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse — and an agenda all her own. With everything on the line, once Mike discovers what she truly has in mind, will he — and the roster of new dancers he’ll have to whip into shape — be able to pull it off? The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, also stars dancers from the “Magic Mike Live” shows in London and Las Vegas. Magic Mike’s Last Dance earned $47.8 million at the box office. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD April 18.
Virgil Films will release the Spanish-language horror film The Returned (Los Que Vuelven) via digital sellthrough and VOD Feb. 28. In Spanish and Guarani (with English Subtitles), the new thriller is from Laura Casabé, winner of Best Director at Sitges’ New Visions. Compared to Stephen King’s Pet Sematary by Mulderville.net, the film takes place in 1919 South America and follows a landowner’s wife who is desperate for a child of her own after suffering multiple miscarriages and a stillborn death. She finds hope, however, in a seemingly outlandish plan. With the help of their servant, she prays to a mythical deity to resurrect her stillborn son. The plan works, but with the child comes something else: something evil, something horrifying.
The Oscar-nominated HBO documentary film All the Beauty and the Bloodshed will be available to rent or own digitally beginning Feb. 28. From Participant, Neon and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras (HBO and Participant’s Citizenfour), the film is an interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, interviews, photography, archival family snapshots and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid overdose crisis. The critically acclaimed film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in the main competition, where it became the second documentary ever to win the Golden Lion for best film. It was the only film to play at Venice, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and New York Film Festival in 2022. The film was only the second documentary to be selected as the centerpiece for New York Film Festival. The political film interweaves Goldin’s past and present, from the actions of Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (P.A.I.N.) at renowned art institutions to Goldin’s photography of her friends and peers through her epic “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” and her legendary 1989 NEA-censored AIDS exhibition “Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing.” In these works, Goldin captures her friendships with beauty and raw tenderness. These friendships, and the legacy of her late sister Barbara Holly Goldin, anchor all of Goldin’s art and are integral to the film. Goldin’s early experiences in suburbia and the effect of toxic families led to her ongoing resistance against a society that oppresses the most stigmatized. The film follows P.A.I.N., a group Goldin founded to shame museums into rejecting Sackler money, destigmatize addiction, and promote harm reduction. Inspired by Act Up, the group orchestrated protests to expose the Sacklers and the crimes of their Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin. The film garnered top film critic awards including Best Documentary from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and National Society of Film Critics. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed has also been nominated for the BAFTA, Independent Spirit, ACE Eddie, and DGA awards. It debuts March 19 on HBO and on HBO Max.
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MGM and Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment Feb. 28 release the first four “Rocky” films on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc for the first time as Rocky: The Knockout Collection. The franchise stars Sylvester Stallone as an underdog boxer from Philadelphia who gets an unlikely shot at superstardom. The collection includes the MGM feature films Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV, along with the Rocky IV ultimate director’s cut Rocky vs. Drago on 4K discs with Dolby Vision HDR. The collection also contains access to digital versions of the films, plus a Blu-ray disc featuring the hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the extended director’s cut of Rocky IV as well as a selection of previously existing bonus materials.
The 2011 gothic thriller B’Twixt Now and Sunrise, written, directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) Feb. 28 from Lionsgate. Featuring Coppola’s “Authentic Cut,” the film is available for the first time on Blu-ray. “The Authentic Cut of B’Twixt Now and Sunrise is a story more personal to me,” Coppola said in a statement. The film stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning, with musician Tom Waits narrating. In the film, when struggling supernatural fiction writer Hall Baltimore (Kilmer) arrives in an isolated small town as part of his book tour, he hears about the local lore of vampires and an infamous mass murder. Eager for inspiration, Baltimore is swept into a surreal fever dream of eccentric characters — from the oddball sheriff (Dern) to the ghost of a young girl (Fanning) to visions of Edgar Allan Poe (Chaplin) — that forces him to confront his own troubled past.
The 2001 crime thriller Training Day will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack (plus digital) Feb. 28 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Detective Alonzo Harris and Ethan Hawke was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Office Jake Hoyt in the gritty drama set in the morally ambiguous world of undercover police work. In the film, every day a war rages between drug dealers and cops on the streets of America’s inner cities. With every war come casualties, none greater than 13-year veteran Los Angeles narcotics officer Alonzo Harris, whose questionable methods blur the line between legal and corrupt. Alonzo gets a new partner, idealistic rookie Jake Hoyt, and Jake has one day — and one day only — to prove his mettle to his fiercely charismatic superior. Over 24 hours, Jake will be dragged into the ethical mire of Alonzo’s logic as both men risk their careers and their lives to serve conflicting notions of justice. The Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures film was directed by Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen, The Equalizer) from a screenplay by David Ayer (The Fast & the Furious). The film also stars Scott Glenn (Silverado, Backdraft), Cliff Curtis (Live Free or Die Hard), Dr. Dre (Set It Off), Snoop Dog (The Wash) and Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider, The Women).
The 1991 prequel film Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge will be released on 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray) for the first time Feb. 28 from Full Moon Pictures and MVD Entertainment Group. Viewers see where the “Puppet Master” saga began in director David De Coteau’s prequel. In the film, after hearing that mystical toymaker Andre Toulon has managed to create a troupe of sentient, living puppets, Nazi underling Dr. Hess sets his sights on exploiting Toulon’s powers for the glory of the Reich. But when Toulon’s wife Elsa is killed and Toulon is whisked away by the Nazis, his puppets attack and rescue their maker. Now hellbent on revenge, the puppet master creates a new line of stringless assassins, including the laughing Six Shooter and parasite-spewing Leech Woman, a creature made in his late wife’s image. The film co-stars Guy Rolfe (Stuart Gordon’s Dolls) and Richard Lynch (Vampire, Bad Dreams).
The dramas I Miss You, Hugs and Kisses and The Dogs and the Spanish erotic film Sex Is Crazy are due on Blu-ray Disc Feb. 28 from Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Group.
From writer-director Murray Markowitz, the shocking drama I Miss You, Hugs and Kisses is inspired by one of Canada’s most infamous homicides. In the film, when a former model (Elke Sommer, Baron Blood) is brutally murdered, her wealthy husband (Donald Pilon, The Uncanny) is arrested for the slaying. But the trial that follows will uncover a lurid saga of illicit lovers, escaped serial killers, and enough graphic mayhem to merit its condemnation as a “Video Nasty.” Chuck Shamata (The House by the Lake), Cindy Girling (Meatballs) and five-time Canadian heavyweight champion George Chuvalo co-star in this 1978 Canuxploitation rarity — also known as Left for Dead and Drop Dead, Dearest — featuring the first score by three-time Oscar winner Howard Shore (“The Lord of the Rings”), now scanned in 2K from the National Archive’s only known 35mm print. Extras include audio commentary with filmmaker and historian Stephen Broomer; an interview with Markowitz; an interview with Pilon; “Crimes of Dispassion,” film programmer Eric Peretti on the Demeter case and I Miss You, Hugs and Kisses; and a trailer.
Five years after his Shock Treatment stunned European audiences, cult fantastique writer/director Alain Jessua delivered the startling French thriller The Dogs. In the film, in a corporate suburb outside Paris, the community’s new doctor discovers its leading citizens all get their dogs from a wealthy, charismatic trainer (Oscar nominee Gérard Depardieu) — dogs that have a ferocious appetite for immigrants, rowdy youths, people of color and anyone who challenges the status quo. Victor Lanoux (Cousin, Cousine), Nicole Calfan (The Burglars) and Fanny Ardant (Confidentially Yours) co-star in the film, now scanned in 2K from the interpositive for the first time in America. Special features include “Hounds and Music,” an interview with composer René Koering; “Jessua Lives,” an interview with Culturopoing Film Critic Emmanuel Le Gagne; and the trailer.
In Spain in 1981 with the dictatorship over and censorship gone, writer/director Jess Franco (Diamonds of Kilimandjaro) returned to his native country to make a series of increasingly brazen films for Tritón that included Sinfonia Erotica, Two Female Spies With Flowered Panties and Sex Is Crazy. In the crazy comedy Sex Is Crazy — now scanned in 2K from the original negative recently discovered in a Bilbao seminary — an actress (Lina Romay, Female Vampire) is performing an outrageous stage show depicting aliens kidnapping Earth women and making them pregnant so that they can give birth to 600 babies an hour. However, when some real aliens actually see the show, they decide that it’s all a very good idea. Special features include “Jess Is Crazy,” an interview with Franco expert Dr. Álex Mendíbil; “Franco/Godard,” an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Flowers of Perversion: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco; and “In the Land of Franco Part 7.”
Feb. 28 also sees a pair of retailer exclusives from Lionsgate.
The “Orange Is the New Black” complete series DVD collection arrives exclusively at Walmart. The complete collection contains every episode of the four-time Primetime Emmy winner and its story of Piper Chapman, a public relations executive with a career, a fiancé — and a wild past involving a suitcase full of drug money. Sentenced to a federal women’s penitentiary, Piper slowly adjusts to her new reality of arbitrary rules and petty cruelties. On the inside are heartbroken, hilarious, eccentric characters — Pennsatucky, Red, Crazy Eyes, Taystee and a host of others — who challenge everything Piper believes in, especially herself.
John Wick: Chapters 1-3 — Stash Book Collection Steelbook Box Set will be available on 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray plus digital) exclusively at Best Buy. Starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix franchise, Point Break, Speed), the “John Wick” trilogy follows a former hit man who is forced back into the criminal underworld he had abandoned. When housed in the outer box, the three Steelbooks form a replica of John’s killer “stash book” from John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. Each Steelbook is emblazoned with detailed imagery specific to the film within, and each is numbered (1, 2 or 3) to signify its place in the series while enhancing its “hardcover book” look.
A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.