Amy Schumer Comedy ‘I Feel Pretty’ Due on Digital July 3, Disc July 17

The Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty, will come out on digital July 3 and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and On Demand July 17 from STXfilms and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Schumer stars as Renee, a woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.  After suffering a fall, she wakes up believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

The film also stars Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Busy Philipps, Aidy Bryant, Emily Ratajkowski, Naomi Campbell, Tom Hopper, Sasheer Zamata and Lauren Hutton.

I Feel Pretty earned $46.9 million at the box office.

Blu-ray, DVD and Digital bonus features include deleted scenes, a gag reel and the featurette “Being Pretty,” in which the cast reflects on what it means to be pretty.

Cleopatra (1934)

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Drama;
$19.99 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, Joseph Schildkraut, C. Aubrey Smith. 

I can remember back in early 1963, when everyone was wondering if the still not released Taylor-Burton Cleopatra would do to 20th Century-Fox what Heaven’s Gate later did to United Artists (which, by way, it almost did). This would have been a serious matter — for one thing, had Fox gone under, we wouldn’t have had the 1970 movie version of Myra Breckinridge — so everyone was grasping for any news. At this point, I fell into Red Buttons doing a standup routine on some variety show, at which point he announced that he had seen the picture. And then he added after the pause for effect: “Claudette Colbert was great.”

By this point, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1934 version had been on TV for four or five years depending on the whims, taste and pocketbook of your local market’s buyer. And having positively eaten up, in theaters, Anne Baxter all but lusting to rip off and then catnap with Chuck Heston’s loincloth in the VistaVision/Technicolor remake of The Ten Commandments, I naturally took to this example of more vintage DeMille and still do. Universal’s new Blu-ray of the Colbert take on the legend — Eureka!’s “Masters of Cinema” collection has already issued the spectacle in a Region ‘B’ version — is one of the most immaculate presentations of a vintage black-and-white movie that I’ve ever seen. So if you whip through its hundred minutes and still find it too pandering to the yahoo masses who made DeMille the most commercially successful director of day (actually, many days), it won’t be the physical quality of this Blu-ray that causes your eyeballs to roll back into your head.

The rap on DeMille’s quarter-century of Paramount talkies — and Cleopatra is another Paramount picture that Universal has owned more for than half-a-century — is a) they’re not especially cinematic and b) that their dialogue is often too tin-eared to serve even a kazoo band. The first is generally true (more on the second later), yet the pacing of even his increasingly long-ish projects is still surprisingly peppy in certain, though not all, cases — and he got attractive performances out of some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, though his casting instincts started going the gonzo route as he got older. Just as we speak, I’m salivating to get a look at the just-out and on-order Region ‘B’ import of DeMille’s 1947 Unconquered, a mid-18th-century epic I seem to recall reading that Martin Scorsese made the cast and crew look at when they were making The Age of Innocence. It’s not every movie where you get to see a Technicolored Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard as an attractive 1753-or-so couple — in a canoe over one of the Fort Pitt vicinity’s most treacherous waterfalls, albeit with a rear-projection assist.)

Anyway. Offbeat water transport figures prominently in Cleopatra as well, even if Egyptian Cleo’s barge-binge seduction of Rome’s Mark Antony (Henry Wilcoxon) is jumping the narrative gun here because, for one thing, Julius Caesar has to die before this happens. Her second consecutive sexually oriented power grab goes a little beyond the usual boilerplate wiles-and-guiles stuff — complete with marauding tigers on deck who are probably wondering what kind of gig this is, flaming hoops, frolicking virgins (maybe) from central casting and a bunch of minimum-wage types doing the galley-slave rowing bit and wondering if someone will even toss them a fig. According to the pro-job commentary here by writer/historian/F.X. Sweeney, this was the last film released before much-tightened Production Code took effect in mid-1934, so C.B. was just able to take advantage of the No. 1 way to take patrons’ minds off the Depression. Or at least suggest it. Low (or no) moviegoer incomes or not, the movie defied economics to become a monster hit.

Though an easier feat to pull off at 101 minutes vs. the Taylor-Burton’s give-take 250, it’s a credit to the ’34 Cleopatra that it doesn’t lose too much gas with the death of Caesar the way the ’63 version does when Rex Harrison takes all those blades. In both cases, the actor playing Caesar is the movie’s best, and here it’s Warren William — though Sweeney takes note of DeMille’s stated disappointment that the actor’s performance was underrated by critics, even though it’s fully credible and absent of any camp dimension. I also like Henry Wilcoxon as a not overly bright Antony — which leaves Claudette Colbert’s mixed bag and notably American performance in the title role. I just can’t accept Colbert as any kind of seductress, even though she’s a personal favorite who appeared in three best picture Oscar nominees in ’34: this, Imitation of Life and It Happened One Night, which won her the best actress award just before Cleopatra began shooting. But she has the spunk, command and frame-friendly presence that puts over one of the movie’s key points: that Cleo has more on the ball than her bedmates. What’s more, you can’t say she doesn’t know how to put over the Travis Banton costumes, which are among the most iconographic (earning the right to that overused term) of Banton’s great career.

The other rap on DeMille is, getting back to Colbert and a previously mentioned point, is the down-home dialogue and deliveries of even his historical epics set in other lands — as in the way that John Derek and Debra Paget of The Ten Commandments suggest two teens who simply want to make it in the back seat at some mid-’50s drive-in during a showing of, say, Queen Bee. Or, to come in from other direction, Pauline Kael wasn’t wrong when she compared Cleopatra’s dialogue to people talking over the backyard fence or clothesline. But like it or not (and no one says you have to), DeMille did this intentionally to make his movies more accessible to the masses — and, more arguably, even better paced for the great unwashed who shelled out for decades to see them.

Thus, not only does William utter, “You, too, Brutus?” when Caesar’s payoff moment comes — but we actually hear a gossiping partygoer utter, “The wife is always the last to know” when discussing Caesar’s infidelity behind wife Calpurnia’s back. Cast as in the latter role is Gertrude Michael — who, in a bit of unintentionally amazing casting from the same year that only history appreciates, also sang “Sweet Marijuana” with a bunch of sweaty chorus boys in Mitchell Leisen’s Murder at the Vanities. It reminds me that Greer Garson had the Calpurnia role in Joseph Mankiewicz’s 1953 Julius Caesar, and does the mind ever go into overdrive over the concept of Garson taking a flier with the Lessen production number over at MGM in Mrs. Miniver Goes Doobie.

The narrative is tight and keenly modulated between lickety-splitting chariots, political chicanery and effectively languid romancing, though were it not for the movie’s production values/décor so remarkably preserved on this release, I wouldn’t be making as big a deal here, at least for predisposed non-enthusiasts. I haven’t even mentioned that Victor Milner won the cinematography Oscar here against a weak nominee field — not that it couldn’t hold its own against a big-gun lineup — though you have to wonder how Bert Glennon’s work on Sternberg’s The Scarlet Empress (soon to be on Criterion’s Dietrich-Sternberg Blu-ray box) ended up being overlooked. I know the picture was a flop at the time, but come on, people.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Cleopatra’ (1934) and ‘A Lady Takes a Chance’

Mike’s Picks: ‘Cleopatra’ (1934) and ‘A Lady Takes a Chance’

Cleopatra (1934)

Universal, Drama, $19.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, Joseph Schildkraut, C. Aubrey Smith.
1934. Universal’s new Blu-ray of the Cecil B. DeMille’s take on the legend, with Claudette Colbert in the title role, is one of the most immaculate presentations of a vintage black-and-white movie that I’ve ever seen.
Extras: Includes a good commentary by writer/historian/F.X. Sweeney.
Read the Full Review

A Lady Takes a Chance

Kino Lorber, Comedy, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jean Arthur, John Wayne, Charles Winninger.
1943. A Lady Takes a Chance is almost all actor charm taking us from the leads’ dramatic meet-up to he point where it’s easy enough to figure out where Jean Arthur and John Wayne are predestined to land.
Read the Full Review

Blumhouse’s ‘Truth or Dare: Unrated Director’s Cut’ Due on Digital July 3, Disc July 17

Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare: Unrated Director’s Cut will come out on digital, including Movies Anywhere, on July 3 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand July 17 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the horror film, a group of friends set out to enjoy their final spring break together, but a harmless game of Truth or Dare turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie — or refuse the dare. Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars“) and Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf“) lead the cast of friends who work together to try and end the terrifying game. The film also stars Violett Beane (“The Flash”), Nolan Gerard Funk (Counterpart), Hayden Szeto (The Edge of Seventeen) and Sophia Taylor Ali (Famous in Love).

The film earned $40.3 million at the box office.

Bonus features on Blu-ray and DVD include the behind-the-scenes featurette “Game On: The Making of Truth or Dare”; “Directing the Deaths,” an inside look at the most memorable death scenes; and feature commentary with director Jeff Wadlow and actress Lucy Hale.

Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare will be available on Blu-ray combo pack which includes Blu-ray, DVD, digital and Movies Anywhere.

From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare: Unrated Directors Cut (PRNewsfoto/Universal Pictures Home Enterta)

‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Debuts Atop Home Video Charts

Universal Pictures’ Fifty Shades Freed debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, as well as the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended May 12.

The concluding chapter of the sexually charged “Fifty Shades” trilogy earned $100.41 million at the domestic box office. A three-disc set of all three films landed at No. 12 on the overall sales chart.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Peter Rabbit slipped to No. 2 on both charts after debuting in the top spot a week earlier. The live-action/CG-animation hybrid family comedy sold 29% as many copies in its second week as Fifty Shades Freed did in its first.

No. 3 on both charts, in its fifth week in stores, was 20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman.

No. 4 on the overall sales chart was Warner’s 12 Strong, which slipped to No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart.

Debuting at No. 5 overall and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart was Warner’s Batman Ninja, a direct-to-video anime adaptation of the classic superhero produced by the studio’s Japanese division.

The No. 4 Blu-ray, in its seventh week, was Walt Disney Studios’ Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The Blu-ray Disc format accounted for 59% of Fifty Shades Freed unit sales, and 83% for Batman Ninja.

Fifty Shades Freed was also No. 1 on the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended May 13, pushing 12 Strong to No. 2.

Rounding out the top five were Peter Rabbit at No. 3, Universal’s Den of Thieves at No. 4 and Fox’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 05-12-18
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 05-13-18
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 05-12-18
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 05-12-18
Sales Report for Week Ended 05-12-18
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 05-14-18

Universal Slates ‘Blockers’ for Digital Release June 19, Disc July 3

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has slated the comedy Blockers for digital release June 19, followed by Blu-ray, DVD and on demand July 3.

Blockers stars John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz as parents who will do anything to prevent their daughters from having sex on prom night. The film earned $56.7 million at the domestic box office.

Extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel, “Line-O-Rama” outtakes and several behind-the-scenes featurettes:

  • “Rescue Mission” — Mann, Barinholtz and Cena join director Kay Cannon to discuss parental mistakes and lessons learned.
  • “Prom Night” — Filmmakers and cast discuss how they achieved the perfect prom look and also share some of their own personal prom stories.
  • “The History of Sex with Ike Barinholtz” — Ike Barinholtz explains the origins of human sexuality and its evolution through time.
  • “John Cena’s Prom Survival Kit for Parents” — Cena shows off a survival kit filled with items that will help parents survive the stress of prom season.
  • “Chug! Chug! Chug!” — The cast and crew discuss filming Cena’s “butt-chugging” scene.
  • “Puke-a-Palooza” — A look at how the filmmakers made the projectile vomit scene as authentic as possible.

Soderbergh Thriller ‘Unsane’ Due on Digital May 29, Disc June 19 from Universal

The Claire Foy thriller Unsane comes out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) on May 29, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand June 19 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Unsane stars Foy (“The Crown,” Breathe) as a woman still scarred from the trauma of being terrorized by a stalker who is receiving treatments at the Highland Creek Behavioral Center. Shortly after she unwittingly commits herself to confinement at the mental institution, she catches sight of a facility staffer who, she is convinced, is actually her stalker. Is he real or just a product of her delusion?

The film, which earned $7.7 million in theaters, also stars Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins and Amy Irving.

The 4K Ultra HD combo pack includes the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital copy. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.

From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: Unsane (PRNewsfoto/Universal Pictures Home Enterta)

‘Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection’ coming May 22 from Universal

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection on May 22, in time for the theatrical debut of Jurassic Word: Fallen Kingdom, the fifth installment in the series due in theaters June 22.

Available for the first time ever in 4K Ultra HD and featuring newly remastered versions of the films, the collection also includes Blu-ray and Digital via the Movies Anywhere app. The set features book-style packaging and hours of bonus content, including deleted scenes, storyboards, interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Jurassic Park, based on the best-selling book by Michael Crichton, won three Academy Awards, spawned a series of sequels, and continues to be one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time, grossing more than $3 billion worldwide.

The set includes Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, from director Steven Spielberg; Jurassic Park III, from director Joe Johnston; and Jurassic World, from director Colin Trevorrow. Among the films’ stars are Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Bonus features include:

  • “Return to Jurassic Park,” a six-part documentary featuring interviews with the many of the cast members from the first three films, the filmmakers and Spielberg;
  • “Welcome to Jurassic World,” an in-depth look at the creation, look and feel of Jurassic World in whichTrevorrow and Spielberg discuss how the idea of the film came together and how the casting was decided with actors’ commentary on their roles and filming locations;
  • “Dinosaurs Roam Once Again,” behind-the-scenes look at the making ofJurassic World’s visual effects, how the dinosaurs came to life and how actors filmed scenes;
  • “Jurassic World: All-Access Pass,” in which Pratt and Trevorrow discuss key moments in the film, supported by behind-the-scenes footage and VFX breakdowns;
  • deleted scenes;
  • and more than 40 additional bonus featurettes from all four films.

The 4K Ultra HD combo pack includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version in 4K resolution.

Universal Pictures Q1 Profit Falls 45%

The movie business is often a financial rollercoaster, with release slates and fickle box office turning previous successes into future fiscal headaches.

Universal Pictures said first-quarter (ended March 31) revenue dropped 16.3% to $1.6 billion from $1.9 billion in the previous-year period, primarily due to lower theatrical revenue. The studio includes Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Theatrical revenue decreased 35% due to the higher number of movies in release in last year’s first quarter, including comparing financial results from Fifty Shades DarkerSingSplit and Get Out in last year’s quarter against performances of Fifty Shades Freed, Pacific Rim Uprising, Darkest Hour and Pitch Perfect 3 in this year’s first quarter.

Fifty Shades Darker generated $114.5 million at the previous-period domestic box office compared to $100 million for follow-up Fifty Shades Freed this year.

Animation hit, Sing, generated $634 million globally, including more than $270 million domestically. It also generated almost $63 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc sales in 2017, according to The-Numbers.com. That’s more than the combined box office tally from Pitch Perfect 3, Darkest Hour and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Studio pre-tax income fell 45.2% to $203 million from $370.4 million in the previous-year period, reflecting the decline in revenue, partially offset by lower programming and production costs.

‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Arrives in Homes in June

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment in June will send to homes the action sequel Pacific Rim Uprising, which earned just under $58 million in U.S. theaters.

The film will become available on digital and through the Movies Anywhere app on June 5, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, and On Demand on June 19. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc combo pack includes copies of the film on both 4K Ultra HD and regular Blu-ray, as well as a digital copy.

Pacific Rim Uprising is set 10 years after the events of the first film, which earned a domestic gross of nearly $102 million. In the sequel, the Kaiju return with a new deadly threat that reignites the conflict between these otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the Jaegers, the human-piloted super-machines that were built to vanquish them.

Pacific Rim Uprising features a next-generation battleground complete with upgraded Jaegers and new Kaiju.

The film stars John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the Kaiju. The cast also includes Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi and Burn Gorman.

The disc releases include more than 40 minutes of bonus content, including the following:

  • Deleted scenes with commentary by director Steven S. DeKnight
  • Feature commentary with DeKnight
  • “Hall of Heroes” – Boyega takes viewers on a tour of the weaponry and enhancements of the latest generation of Jaegers featured in the film.
  • “Bridge to Uprising” – The cast and crew discuss how the world of Pacific Rim has changed in the 10 years since the events of the original film.
  • “The Underworld of Uprising” – Humanity won the Kaiju War, but every war has casualties. Boyega and DeKnight give viewers a tour of the coastal “Relief Zones.”
  • “Becoming Cadets” – Viewers learn the grueling physical and mental preparation required of the young actors who portrayed the Pan Pacific Defense Corp cadets.
  • “Unexpected Villain” – Viewers discover the secret reason that turned one of the most beloved heroes of the original film into a villain obsessed with humanity’s destruction.
  • “Next Level Jaegers” – The cast and crew discuss the technological advances of the Jaeger program in the years since the events of the original film.
  • “I Am Scrapper” – Actress Cailee Spaeny shares the backstory of Scrapper, Amara’s incredible self-built Jaeger and its many unique abilities.
  • “Going Mega” – Filmmakers take viewers through the technical and creative challenges of creating the most deadly threat the Pan Pacific Defense Corp has ever faced: the Mega Kaiju!
  • “Secrets of Shao” – Actress Tian Jing shares her insights on the enigmatic tech tycoon Liwen Shao, the woman behind Shao Industries.
  • “Mako Returns” – Actress Rinko Kikuchi and director DeKnight explain the significance of Mako Mori’s return and her importance to the events of Pacific Rim Uprising.