By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Archenemy (Crime Drama)
RLJE Films, part of AMC Networks, will release “Archenemy” Tuesday Feb. 16, on DVD and Blu-ray.
Written and directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer (“Daniel Isn’t Real,” “Some Kind of Hate”), “Archenemy” stars Joe Manganiello (“True Blood”), Skylan Brooks (“Empire”), Zolee Griggs (“Wu-Tang: An American Saga”), Paul Scheer (“Black Monday”), Amy Seimetz (“Pet Semetary”) and Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”).
Max Fist (Manganiello) is a local drunk who claims to be a superhero from the planet Chromium. He tells anyone who will listen that he was pulled into a wormhole, falling through time and space, and dropped to earth without any of his powers. No one pays any attention to Max except a teenager named Hamster (Brooks) who can’t get enough of Max’s stories. When Hamster and his sister (Griggs) get in trouble with a vicious drug syndicate led by The Manager (Howerton), Max takes to the streets as a brutal vigilante hell-bent on proving himself as the hero no one believes him to be. A making-of featurette is included on the home entertainment editions.
“Archenemy” will be available on DVD for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $27.97 and on Blu-ray for $28.96 (SRP).
God of the Piano (Drama)
When a concert pianist gives birth to a deaf son, she resorts to desperate measures to ensure his success within her competitive, musically accomplished family in “God of the Piano,” available on DVD and Digital Tuesday Feb. 16, from Film Movement.
The Israeli drama stars Naama Preis and the debut feature of Itay Tal. Boasting an incredible original score, the film was nominated for the Big Screen Award at the Rotterdam International Festival as well as “Best Israeli Feature” at the Jerusalem Film Festival where Preis was awarded the Best Actress prize. The film is in Hebrew with English subtitles.
The DVD includes the bonus short film “The Audition,” by Guy Lichtenstein, which is in Austrian, German and French with English subtitles.
Mambo Man (Drama)
A struggling Cuban farmer and a music promoter gable everything on a once-in-a-lifetime deal in the music-filled drama “Mambo Man,” arriving on DVD and Digital Tuesday Feb. 16, from Corinth Films.
In 2017, more than half-a-century after Fidel Castro’s revolution, Cuba opens her arms to the West and the Yankee dollar. Born into communism, JC (Hector Noas) thinks himself a big fish in a small pond—a local music producer and promoter, farmer and small-time hustler who lives by his wits and imagination. To support his family and small circle of “business associates” and to maintain his local “Godfather” status, JC lives beyond his means—something that creates an undeniable strain in his marriage.
When his crops are threatened by late rains, JC has to juggle the demands of organizing concerts while also sourcing pig feed, fixing water pumps and entertaining a group of visiting British music tourists. Along the way, there is betrayal and heartbreak but behind JC’s wisecracking personal is a considerate man. When an unexpected phone call offers him a chance to make a fortune, he undertakes a frantic search for cash in hopes of changing his life for the better.
Beautifully filmed across Cuba, “Mambo Man” features performances and music from legendary Cuban musicians, including members of the Buena Vista Social Club with Gramm winner Eliades Ochoa, Juan de Marcos Gonzales of the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Candido Fabre, Maria Ochoa, Alma Latina, David Alvarez and others.
The DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP).
“Mayor,” an engrossing and darkly funny political portrait of the mayor of Ramallah arrives on DVD and Digital Tuesday Feb. 16, from Film Movement.
Filmmaker David Osit reveals a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the liberal Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term of office. Surrounded on all sides by Israeli settlements and soldiers, most Ramallah residents will never have the chance to travel more than a few miles outside their home, which is why Mayor Hadid is determined to make the city as beautiful and dignified as possible. His immediate goals: repaving the sidewalks, planning the town’s neon-bright Christmas celebrations, mulling “city branding” slogans with his aides in an effort to boost tourism, and sometimes dodging gunfire from across the border. Rich with detailed observation and a surprising amount of humor “Mayor” offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of occupation.
The DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP).
Random Acts of Violence (Horror)
“Random Acts of Violence” arrives on VOD, Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday Feb. 16, from RLJE Films.
Based on the comic of the same name by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, the film stars Jesse Williams (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Jordana Brewster (“Fast & Furious” franchise), Niamh Wilson (“Saw” franchise) and Jay Baruchel (“How to Train Your Dragon” films). Baruchel also directed and co-wrote the film with Jesse Chabot (“Goon: Last of the Enforcers”).
Comic book creator Todd Walkley, his wife, assistant and best friend, are heading to NYC Comic Con when bad things start to happen—people start getting killed. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using his “Slasherman” comic as inspiration for the killings. And as the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends become victims themselves, he is forced to face the killer and put an end to his notorious comic once and for all.
Bonus features include an interview with Baruchel, a featurette on making-of an action sequence and another “More Than Just a Scary Movie.”
“Random Acts of Violence” will be available on DVD for $27.97 (SRP) and on Blu-ray for $28.96 (SRP).
The Swordsman (Action Adventure)
The action-packed epic “The Swordsman” debuts on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Feb. 16, from Well Go USA Entertainment.
After failing to protect and prevent the downfall of the King, the best swordsman in Joseon leaves and lives in seclusion with his daughter in the mountains. As his eyesight begins to fail due to an old injury, his daughter seeks to find a treatment for him. When she is captured and taken away by a slave trader, The Swordsman is forced to raise his sword again in order to save her.
The South Korean action-adventure is written and directed by first-time filmmaker Choi Jae-hoon, and stars Kim Hyeon-soo (“Be with You”), Joe Taslim (“The Raid: Redemption,” “Fast & Furious 6”), Jeong Man-sik (“Beasts Clawing at Straws”), Lee Na-kyung (“Battle for Incheon: Operation Chromite”) and Lee Min-hyuk (“A Love to Kill”).
The Blu-ray will be available for $29.98 (SRP) and the DVD will be available for $24.98 (SRP), and includes a new English dub.
The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (Comedy)
Beloved Australian icon Paul Hogan (the “Crocodile Dundee” movies) is back in “The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee,” arriving on DVD Tuesday Feb. 16, from Lionsgate.
The Golden Globe winner plays himself in this boisterous comedy in which Hogan is reluctantly thrust back into the spotlight as he desperately attempts to restore his sullied reputation on the eve of being knighted. The comedy also stars John Cleese, Chevy Chase, Olivia Newton-John, Wayne Knight and Jacob Elordi, as Hogan’s son.
“The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee” will be available for $19.98 (SRP).
Women in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA (Documentary)
“Women in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA,” will come to home theaters on digital and on demand everywhere Tuesday Feb. 16, from Shout! Studios.
The inspiring true story tells of how the renowned “Star Trek” actress pioneered the NASA recruiting program to hire people of color and the first female astronauts for the space agency in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Directed by Todd Thompson (“The Highwaymen,” “Pre Fab!”), the documentary chronicles how Nichols transformed her sci-fi television stardom into a real-life science career when, in 1977, she embarked on a campaign to bring diversity to NASA. Nichols formed the company Women in Motion, Inc., and recruited more than 8,000 African American, Asian and Latino women and men for the agency.
She and her program continue to influence the younger generation of astronauts as well, including Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut in space. Despite an uphill battle against a bureaucracy that was hesitant to let her get involved, Nichols persevered and is credited by NASA for turning it into one of the most diverse independent agencies in the United States government.
In addition to Nichols, “Woman in Motion” features notable celebrities, activists, scientists and astronauts including Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Takei, Pharrell Williams, Martin Luther King III, Al Sharpton, Vivica A. Fox, Walter Koenig, Rod Roddenberry, Michael Dorn, Guy Bluford, Charles Bolden, Ivor Dawson, Frederik Gregory and Benjamin Crump.
A behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes and more are included.
If there is one thing we could all use a little more of these days as we continue to stay home as much as possible because of the pandemic, it’s some action. That’s why Front Row Features is giving away a copy of “The Swordsman” on Blu-ray to three lucky readers, so they can enjoy the action-packed film from the safety of their home. To enter the contest, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 22 for your chance to win. Good luck!