‘The Illusionist,’ ‘Winter Passing’ and ‘Resurrecting the Champ’ Among Star-Studded Films Joining MVD Marquee Collection

The MVD Marquee Collection is adding five films from Yari Film Group to its lineup on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Due June 25 are Resurrecting the Champ, Winter Passing and The Illusionist.

Resurrecting the Champ, directed by Rod Lurie (The Contender), stars Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett with Alan Alda, Kathryn Morris, Teri Hatcher, David Paymer and Peter Coyote. In the film, sportswriter Erik Kernan (Hartnett) wants nothing more than to discover a story great enough to make headlines. When he meets Champ (Jackson), a former boxing champion living on the streets, he knows he has a shot to save them both. Recording his newfound friend’s tale of triumph and defeat, Kernan gets his story and his fame. But as Champ’s tale falls under more scrutinizing eyes, Kernan learns what truly makes a story great is the quality of the man behind it. Bonus material includes a feature audio commentary from Lurie, a behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with the cast and crew, and the original theatrical trailer.

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Winter Passing is an offbeat film about homecoming and reconciliation that features Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Dallas Roberts, Michael Chernus, Anthony Rapp, Sam Bottoms and Rachel Dratch. When a book editor (Madigan) offers to buy the love letters of Reese Holden’s (Deschanel) parents, she returns home to recover them, only to find her widowed dad (Harris) golfing upstairs, sleeping outside and living with roommates — a pretty grad student (Amelia Warner) and a quirky wannabe musician (Ferrell). Bonus material includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and the original theatrical trailer.

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The Illusionist stars Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton along with Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In the film, acclaimed illusionist Eisenheim (Norton) has not only captured the imaginations of all of Vienna, but also the interest of the ambitious Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell). But when Leopold’s new fiancée (Biel) rekindles a childhood fascination with Eisenheim, the Prince’s interest evolves into obsession and the city’s chief inspector (Giamatti) finds himself investigating a shocking crime. As the Inspector engages him in a dramatic challenge of wills, Eisenheim prepares for his most impressive illusion yet. Bonus material includes a feature audio commentary from writer/director Neil Burger, “The Making of the Illusionist” featurette, the “Jessica Biel on the Illusionist” featurette and the original theatrical trailer.

Taking 18 years from the start of production to theatrical release, Shortcut to Happiness finally makes its debut on Blu-ray and DVD July 16. Originally titled The Devil and Daniel Webster, the film was to be the directorial debut of Alec Baldwin. With the film plagued by investor problems and rumored creative differences, Baldwin had his director credit removed from the film and replaced with the pseudonym Harry Kirkpatrick. Producer Bob Yari rescued the film from bankruptcy court and finished it without Baldwin’s participation. It received limited theatrical screenings in 2007. Years later, it aired on Showtime and Starz channels. Set in New York’s literary world, Shortcut to Happiness is a contemporary re-telling of the classic short story ”The Devil and Daniel Webster,” starring Baldwin, Dan Aykroyd, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kim Cattrall, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Poehler and Darrell Hammond. It follows Jabez Stone (Baldwin), a down on his luck writer who sells his soul to the devil (Love-Hewitt) in exchange for fame and fortune. When things don’t turn out as planned, Stone ultimately decides that he wants his old life again and enlists the help of Daniel Webster (Hopkins) in order to win his soul.

Finally, Sept. 17 comes Find Me Guilty from director Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Network, Dog Day Afternoon). Vin Diesel stars with Peter Dinklage, Annabella Sciorra, Alex Rocco, Ron Silver and Linus Roache in this true story. When police arrest 20 members of the Lucchese crime family, the authorities offer Jackie Dee DiNorscio (Diesel) a bargain: a shortened prison term if he’ll testify against his own. But the wisecracking DiNorscio has other ideas. Refusing to cooperate, he decides to defend himself at his own trial and proceeds to turn the courtroom upside-down, culminating in one of the most shocking verdicts in judicial history. Bonus material includes the “A Conversation with Director Sidney Lumet” featurette, the original theatrical trailer and three TV spots.

‘Holmes & Watson’ Is Top Disc, ‘The Mule’ Top Digital Release on Redbox Charts

Sony’s Holmes & Watson took the top spot on the Redbox physical rental chart but lost out to Warner’s stubborn holdover The Mule on the digital chart for the week ended April 14.

The Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly comedy debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, but the Clint Eastwood vehicle The Mule trotted up from No. 2 to No. 1 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals.

Holmes & Watson, a sendup of the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries, finished at No. 2 on the digital chart.

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Paramount’s “Transformers” reboot Bumblebee landed at No. 3 and the DC swimming superhero flick Aquaman floated at No. 4 on both charts.

Two other new releases entered the disc chart for the week. Sony’s A Dog’s Way Home, about the many lives of a reincarnating dog, sat at No. 5, while Universal’s Steve Carell starrer Welcome to Marwen, finished at No. 6.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended April 14:

  1. Holmes & Watson (New) — Sony
  2. The Mule — Warner
  3. Bumblebee — Paramount
  4. Aquaman— Warner
  5. A Dog’s Way Home (New) — Sony
  6. Welcome to Marwen(New) — Universal
  7. Second Act — Universal
  8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
  9. Mary Poppins Returns — Disney
  10. Instant Family — Paramount

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended April 14:

  1. The Mule— Warner
  2. Holmes & Watson— Sony
  3. Bumblebee— Paramount
  4. Aquaman— Warner
  5. A Dog’s Way Home — Sony
  6. Instant Family — Paramount
  7. Welcome to Marwen— Universal
  8. Second Act— STX
  9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
  10. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner

FandangoNow Offers Binge Bundle on Ferrell-Reilly Films

FandangoNow has released a new “Binge Bundle” of three films featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

FandangoNow is movie ticketing site Fandango’s transactional video-on-demand service.

Holmes & Watson, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby are available to rent or own in a bundle starting at $9.99 to rent or $19.99 to own. The films are available in 4K.

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‘Holmes & Watson’ Due Digitally March 26, on Disc April 9 from Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the comedy Holmes & Watson digitally March 26, and on Blu-ray and DVD April 9.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly team for the third time after Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers in this farcical take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes character. Ferrell stars as the famous detective and Reilly plays his sidekick, John Watson, as they are tasked to solve a murder at Buckingham Palace before the Queen becomes the killer’s next victim. The cast also includes Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Ralph Fiennes and Lauren Lapkus.

Home video extras include “Line-O-Rama” improv, 18 deleted scenes, and the featurettes “Will and John: Together Again,” “Seriously Absurd: The Cast” and “Mrs. Hudson’s Men.”

Comedy ‘Step Brothers’ Coming to 4K UHD From Sony

As fans anticipate the Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly pairing for Holmes & Watson in theaters Dec. 21, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will revisit the duo in the comedy Step Brothers, debuting on 4K Ultra HD and digital in 4K Oct. 2.

The comedy team plays two aimless middle-aged men still living at home, who are forced against their will to become roommates when their parents marry.

The 4K Ultra HD disc release includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of the movie in 4K with high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio, as well as the Blu-ray with all previously released bonus content.
Special features include deleted scenes; job interviews; a gag reel; extended and alternate scenes; Line-O-Rama; the music video “Boats ‘N Hoes”; therapy sessions; the making of Step Brothers; commentary with Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Adam McKay; “The Music of Step Brothers”; and the theatrical trailer.

Daddy’s Home 2

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 2/20/18;
Paramount;
Comedy;
Box Office $103.89 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for suggestive material and some language.
Stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Alessandra Ambrosio, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson.

The first Daddy’s Home in 2015 proved to be a pleasant surprise, with the simple premise of a stepdad struggling to escape the shadow of the kids’ real father elevated comedically by the winning duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

By the end of that movie, Ferrell’s Brad and Wahlberg’s Dusty had largely reached an understanding of how to raise the kids, with Dusty having to deal with a stepfamily of his own. The sequel begins by taking that premise to the next level, touching on the confusion inherent in such criss-crossed families, where situations get repeated so all the parents can get a taste of their children growing up, with results that don’t always satisfy everyone.

In light of these potential tensions, Brad and Dusty decide that all the families should celebrate Christmas together. As if on cue, Brad and Dusty’s own parents show up to join in the holiday fun (which is basically the same premise the recent Bad Moms sequel did). Mel Gibson plays Dusty’s dad, while John Lithgow is Brad’s.

The grandpas inject their own flavor, and soon enough the merged families are off to a cabin in a wooded community where hijinx are free to ensue.

Throwing the elders into the mix is a fine idea in terms of the pairings, and on paper adds an extra layer to the story. But in practice it kind of gets in the way. The film ends up pursuing too many ideas that don’t really coalesce around the central theme, more often than not falling back on the same kinds of physical slapstick that fueled the first film and have been the bread and butter of these kids of comedies since Buster Keaton first allowed a building to fall down around him.

Beyond that, the movie has to get by on the chemistry of its cast and whatever charm they can muster from their performances, and luckily there’s plenty of that to go around. The film is at its most fun when all the comedic actors play off each other, and the premise doesn’t require the big players to stray much from their wheelhouses here: aww-shucks Ferrell, hothead Wahlberg, macho Mel and lovable Lithgow.

It plays for a time, until John Cena shows up for what is basically an extended version of his cameo in the first film, where he represents the threat to Dusty’s fatherhood in the way Dusty was a threat to Brad. That conflict is touched on briefly but kind of makes you wish the movie was more about that from the beginning, rather than the “everybody raising the kids together with the grandpas stirring the pot” thing they went for.

The female side of the equation gets its share of attention too, with a fun little subplot about Brad’s wife (Linda Cardellini) and stepdaughter idolizing Dusty’s new wife (Alessandra Ambrosio) and stepdaughter in different but illuminating ways.

But really, it all might be worth it just for a great riff on Liam Neeson action movies and Hollywood’s penchant for seasonal mayhem.

The Blu-ray includes a half-hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes, grouped by various topics: writing the sequel, reuniting the cast, the pairing of Ferrell and Wahlberg, bringing on Gibson and Lithgow, and some other surprises.

There’s also 11 minutes of deleted, extended and alternate scenes, and a four-minute gag reel.