Liam Neeson Actioner ‘In the Land of Saints and Sinners’ Available on Digital May 21

The Liam Neeson action film In the Land of Saints and Sinners will be available for digital purchase May 21 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, having left his dark past behind, retired hitman Finbar Murphy (Neeson) leads a quiet life in a remote coastal Irish town. But when a menacing crew of terrorists arrive, Finbar is drawn into a vicious game of cat and mouse, forcing him to choose between exposing his secret identity or defending his friends and neighbors.

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Orson Welles Classic ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ Headed to 4K July 23

The Lady From Shanghai, the classic film noir written by, directed by, and starring Orson Welles, will be released on 4K Ultra HD July 23 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, hired to work on a yacht belonging to the disabled husband of femme fatale Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth), Michael O’Hara (Welles) is an innocent man drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue and murder.

The subject of great controversy and scandal upon its initial release, the film shocked 1948 audiences by presenting Hayworth with her flaming red hair cut short and dyed champagne blonde. The classic features the famous hall-of-mirrors climax hailed as one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history.

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The release, with the feature restored from the original camera negative and presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, includes commentary with Peter Bogdanovich; “A Conversation With Peter Bogdanovich”; and the theatrical trailer.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Ups Q4 Revenue 22% to $158 Million

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment May 14 reported fourth-quarter (ended March 31) revenue of $158 million, which was up 21.8% from revenue of $128 million in the previous-year period. Revenue from the sale of digital and physical movies and TV shows for the fiscal year declined 7.5% to $644 million, from revenue of $695 million in the prior-year period.

Top-selling home entertainment releases in the quarter included the romantic comedy Anyone But You, Napoleon, and the horror film Thanksgiving, among other titles.

Theatrical revenue jumped 50% to $176 million, from $117 million in the prior-year period. For the fiscal year, theatrical revenue increased nearly 58% to $860 million, from $545 million. In the quarter, Columbia Pictures released released Madame Web, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire and Anyone But You, among other titles.

Streaming services revenue — which includes anime platform Crunchyroll, and licensed Sony Pictures movies and TV shows to direct-to-consumer platforms such as Netflix, Peacock, Hulu, Max, Apple TV+, Prime Video and Disney+ — increased 26.8% to $369 million from revenue of $291 million last year. For the fiscal year, revenue dropped 8.5% to $1.19 billion from revenue of $1.3 billion.

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Sony Pictures Releasing ‘Captain Phillips’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on July 16 will release the 2013 Tom Hanks starrer, the drama Captain Phillips, in a 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray combo pack.

The Blu-ray Disc version includes a making-of documentary as well as a commentary track with director Paul Greengrass.

The audio on the 4K Ultra HD is English Dolby Atmos + English 5.1.

Captain Phillips examines the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. Based on a true story, the film focuses on the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. The two men are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, both men find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

Madame Web

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 4/30/24;
Sony Pictures;
Action;
Box Office
$43.82 million;
$34.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $49.99 UHD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence/action and language.
Stars Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts, Adam Scott, Kerry Bishé, Zosia Mamet, José María Yazpik.

Campy at best, confusing at worst, but mostly tepid bordering on dull, Madame Web represents yet another misguided attempt to expand the live-action cinematic world of Spider-Man without actually involving the web-slinger. However, unlike the surprisingly popular “Venom” movies (who has his own following from the comics) and the unfortunate Morbius, Madame Web at least technically includes an appearance of Peter Parker.

The story takes place in 2003, which would make the film a prequel to the others if they are meant to connect to each other, and centers on Cassie Webb (Dakota Johnson), a New York paramedic who becomes clairvoyant after a near-death experience. Her powers relate to mystical spiders in the Amazon jungle being researched by her mother (Kerry Bishé), who died giving birth to her in 1973 after being betrayed by another explorer, Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim), who was seeking the secrets of an ancient tribe of spider-people.

In the film’s present, the older Ezekiel, who now has spider powers, has a vision of being killed by three girls (Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor) in spider-themed costumes. So he sets about hunting them down. In a moment of serendipity, he finds them all on the same train, which coincidentally Cassie happens to be on as well. When Cassie has a vision of his attack, she kidnaps the girls to protect them, setting her down a path of learning to understand her own powers and the secrets behind them.

Really, any attempt to describe the film doesn’t do it justice. It really has to be seen to be believed. Between Johnson’s aloof performance and a screenplay that buries itself in illogical plot threads, Madame Web is the kind of film that drinking games are made for, which should draw in any number of viewers curious to see if the film is as big of a train wreck its critical and box office response make it out to be.

Among the bonus materials included with the film’s home release are 26 minutes of rote behind-the-scenes footage spread across four featurettes: 

The seven-minute “Future Vision” offers a general making of the film; the nine-minute “Casting the Web” profiles the film’s stars; the five-and-a-half-minute “Fight Like a Spider” details the film’s stunts; and the five-minute “Oracle of the Page” delves into the influence of the Marvel Comics source material. Supplementing these is a four-minute featurette that points out numerous references to the comics.

Also included are a single brief deleted scene and a four-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

‘Taxi Driver’ Bound for 4K Ultra HD Steelbook From Sony Pictures June 25

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic Taxi Driver as a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + digital Steelbook combo pack on June 25.

The award-winning film stars Robert De Niro as a psychotic New York cabbie driven to violence by loneliness and desperation. Co-stars include Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle and Cybill Shepherd.

Taxi Driver won the prestigious Golden Palm Award at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for four Academy Awards.

The 4K Ultra HD disc features the film restored from the original camera negative and presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision and 5.1 surround sound + mono.

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Special features include a making-of documentary, storyboard-to-film comparisons with an introduction by Scorsese, animated photo galleries and the 20th anniversary re-release trailer.

The Blu-ray Disc features the film in high-definition, sourced from the 4K master, also with 5.1 surround sound.

Special features include a 40-minute Q&A with Scorsese, De Niro, Foster and and others, recorded live at the Beacon Theatre in New York City at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival; a commentary by Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader (recorded by the Criterion Collection); additional commentaries by Schrader and professor Robert Kolker; and a tribute to Scorsese, among other extras.

‘Madame Web’ Due on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 30

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the Marvel Comics-based Madame Web on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 30.

The film, which earned $99.8 million at the global box office, tells the standalone origin story of one of Marvel publishing’s most enigmatic heroines. The suspense thriller stars Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures — if they can all survive a deadly present.

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Extras on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital include a gag reel; Easter eggs; “Oracle of the Page”; “Fight Like a Spider”; “Future Vision”; “Casting the Web”; and a deleted scene. Extras on the DVD include “Future Vision” and “Casting the Web.”

‘The Peasants’ Available Now Digitally, on Blu-ray and DVD April 16

The Polish animated drama The Peasants is now available through digital retailers, and arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD April 16 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

From the creators of Loving Vincent, Jagna is a young woman determined to forge her own path within the confines of a late 19th century Polish village — a hotbed of gossip and ongoing feuds, held together, rich and poor, by pride in their land, adherence to colorful traditions and deep-rooted patriarchy. When Jagna finds herself caught between the conflicting desires of the village’s richest farmer, his eldest son, and other leading men of the community, her resistance puts her on a tragic collision course with the community around her.

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The Peasants is based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel of the same name.

The film is rated ‘R’ for violence including rape, sexuality, and full nudity.

 

Sony to Bow Dramedy ‘Downtown Owl’ Digitally April 23

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the dramedy Downtown Owl for digital purchase April 23.

In the film, searching for a break from her cosmopolitan life in Milwaukee, Julia Rabia (Lily Rabe) arrives in the closeknit Reagan-era town of Owl, North Dakota, for a one-semester high school teaching job. But when the small town turns out to be a wonderland of second-string poets, smoldering Marlboro Men, and a social hierarchy that echoes high school, Julia doesn’t know if she’s come to town to get away from home or to find it.

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Ed Harris, Vanessa Hudgens, Henry Golding and Finn Wittrock also star in this Great Plains dark dramedy directed by Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater and based on the novel by Chuck Klosterman.

 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to Issue ‘Karate Kid’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing The Karate Kid on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on June 18 in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary.

The coming-of-age classic is being issued in a combo pack, with a regular Blu-ray Disc, in vintage VHS-style packaging.

From Academy Award-winning director John G. Avildsen, The Karate Kid is the story of  Daniel (Ralph Macchio), a San Fernando Valley teenager, and his relationship with Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), an elderly handyman who also happens to be a master of the martial arts. His training and these vital lessons will be called into play when an outmatched Daniel faces Johnny (William Zabka), the skilled leader of the Cobra Kai — a mean-spirited gang of karate school bullies — in a karate tournament for the championship of the Valley.

The 1984 film is a semi-autobiographical story written by Robert Mark Kamen. It grossed over $130 million at the box office, a significant score at the time, and earned Morita nominations as Best Actor in both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.