‘Bad Guys,’ ‘Billy Joel’ Doc, Giant,’ More on Home Entertainment … Plus Giveaways!

AFTER YANG. (DVD Artwork). ©Lionsgate Entertainment.


Front Row Features


After Yang (Sci-fi Drama)

“After Yang” arrives on Blu-ray + Digital and DVD Tuesday June 21, from Lionsgate.

The existential, heartbreaking and artfully prescient film, based on the short story “Saying Goodbye to Yang” by Alexander Weinstein, follows a disconnected family after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down.

Written and directed by Kogonada (“Columbus”), the sci-fi drama will be available for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $21.99 for Blu-ray + Digital and $19.98 for DVD (SRP), respectively.

The featurette, “The End is the Beginning” is included on both of the Blu-ray and DVD editions.

The Bad Guys (Animated Comedy)

Follow the most notorious criminals in the world and find out if they can pull off their biggest job yet—going good—in DreamWorks Animation’s “The Bad Guys,” a humorous and high-octane family adventure that will be available to own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on Tuesday June 21, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Showcasing a brand-new crew of lovable and edgy characters bursting with personality, the film embraces individuality with each character’s unique skillset, ranging from hacking and disguise to muscle and drive.

“The Bad Guys” Collector’s Edition showcases an all-new original short and comes filled with never-before-seen bonus features including deleted scenes, exclusive interviews with cast and crew, Mr. Snake’s frozen pops recipes, character drawing tutorials and more, offering endless fun and sure to get the entire family into ‘summer’ mode.

Featuring sleek stylized animation, the family action-comedy boasts a star-studded voice cast featuring Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Marc Maron (“GLOW”), Craig Robinson (“Hot Tub Time Machine” franchise), Anthony Ramos (“In The Heights”) and Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) as the bad guys, alongside co-stars Zazie Beetz (“Joker”), Lily Singh (“Bad Moms”), Emmy winner Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and Richard Ayoade (“Paddington 2”).

“The Bad Guys” is directed by Pierre Perifel (“Kung Fu Panda” films) and produced by Damon Ross (“Trolls”) and Rebecca Huntley (“The Boss Baby”) from a screenplay by Etan Cohen (“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”).
Never have there been five friends as infamous as Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula, collectively known as The Bad Guys. After years of countless heists and being the world’s most-wanted villains, the gang is finally caught. Mr. Wolf brokers a deal to keep them out of prison and the Bad Guys set out to fool the world into believing they’ve gone good.
Exclusive bonus features on the 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD include an all-new short, “Maraschino Ruby,” featuring The Bad Guys, deleted scenes, bringing the story from bestselling children’s book to the screen, a cast table read, a Snake-inspired recipe, a lesson on drawing The Bad Guys and a feature commentary.

Billy Joel in Black & White (Music Documentary)

“Billy Joel In Black & White” is available now on Digital, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The legendary pop superstar talks to an intimate audience at the Faena Theater in Miami about his musical inspirations, his craft, his family, and being a guy who never set out to be a rock star. Joel also treats the audience to performances from his iconic catalog, including “Zanzibar”, “Downeaster Alexa,” “Only the Good Die Young” and “Piano Man,” along with several classic covers.

The concert documentary, directed by Steven Cohen, is available now for the first time to audiences worldwide in HD and SD.

Breathe In (Romantic Drama)

“Breathe In” comes to Blu-ray on Tuesday June 21, from Cohen Media Group.

Father Keith (Guy Pearce, “Memento”), mother Megan (Amy Ryan, “Birdman”) and 17-year-old daughter Lauren (Mackenzie Davis, “Terminator: Dark Fate”) live a comfortable life—but there is something missing. Megan is never quite satisfied with the way things are, while Keith has given up his dreams of being a musician for the steady paycheck of a music teacher.

When beautiful foreign exchange student Sophie (Felicity Jones, “Rogue One”) comes into their lives, Keith is immediately drawn to her. She’s mature beyond her years, and yearns for someone to make her feel safe and loved. Keith and Sophie share flirtatious looks and the occasional touching of hands, which only increases the intensity of their bond. When they finally decide to run away together, they set into motion a series of events that lead to a heartbreaking and immensely moving conclusion.

Bonus features include a making-of “Breathe In,” which originally was released in 2013, as well as an exclusive interview with director Drake Doremus and trailers.

The Cellar (Horror)

RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks, and Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural will release the horror film “The Cellar” on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday June 21.

Written and directed by Brendan Muldowney (Pilgrimage), “The Cellar” stars Elisha Cuthbert (“The Girl Next Door, “24”), Eoin Macken (“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” “La Brea”), Abby Fitz (“Der Irland-Krimi”) and Dylan Fitzmaurice-Brady (“Kin”).

Keira Woods’ (Cuthbert) daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house. She soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family’s souls forever.

The DVD will be available for $27.97 (SRP) and the Blu-ray for $28.96 (SRP).

Cyst (Horror)

RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks, will release “Cyst” on DVD, VOD and Digital HD Tuesday June 21.

Directed by Tyler Russell (“Dog Years,” “Texas Cotton”) who co-wrote the film with Andy Silverman (“Buckle Up”), the film stars Eva Habermann (“The Ugly Truth”), George Hardy (“Best Worst Movie”), Greg Sestero (“Room,” “The Disaster Artist”), Terri Merritt Bennett (“Infamous”), and Jason Douglas (“The Walking Dead”).

Nurse Patricia works under an enthusiastic plastic surgeon who believes he’s invented a breakthrough cyst-removal machine and, against Patricia’s sound advice, will stop at nothing to patent it so it can be used for his patients. But when their differences turn into a physical altercation, damaging the machine, what started as Patricia’s last day on duty becomes a battle for survival after the doctor’s “Get Gone” cyst-removing invention inadvertently turns a patient’s tumor into a cyst-monster that terrorizes the office.

“Cyst” will be available on DVD for $27.97 (SRP).

Giant (Western Drama)

“Giant,” the 1956 classic film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean in his final role, will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray and Digital Tuesday June 21, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

George Stevens, Sr., won his second Oscar for directing the sweeping family saga set in Texas during the days of the oil boom. Based on Edna Ferber’s controversial novel, the movie’s release in 1956 was a massive box office hit and garnered 10 Academy Award nominations.

Considered by critics as ahead of its time, “Giant” is admired today for the breadth of its humanity more than its epic scale with its grand themes of generational conflict, racial tolerance, and social change. It exposed the marginalization and segregation of Mexican Americans for the first time on the big screen. At the center of the film, Taylor, as Leslie Benedict, portrays a strong and progressive woman who acts to stem the patterns of injustice.

The new 4K restoration was completed sourcing both the original camera negatives and protection RGB separation master positives for the best possible image, and color corrected in high dynamic range for the latest picture display technology.

The audio was sourced primarily from a 1995 protection copy of the Original Magnetic Mono soundtrack. The picture and audio restoration was completed by Warner Bros. Post Production Creative Services: Motion Picture Imaging and Post Production Sound.

“Giant” will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray disc for $24.99 (SRP) and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Digital download of the film.  Fans can also own the classic Western drama in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers.

IP Man: The Awakening (Martial Arts Drama)

Hitting Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday June 21 is the action-packed martial arts film “IP Man: The Awakening,” from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Co-directed by Li Xi Jie and Zhang Zhu Lin, “IP Man: The Awakening” stars the rising wing chun martial arts master Miu Tse (aka Miao Xie, “My Father is a Hero”) assuming the legendary title role alongside cast members including Chen Guan Ying, Zhao Yu Xuan, and Hao Yan Fei. The bonus features include an all-new English dub.

While visiting Hong Kong, a young Master Ip intervenes in a kidnapping attempt, unintentionally igniting a turf war with a ruthless human trafficking ring. In retaliation, the gang kidnaps one of IP Man’s close friends, leaving him with no choice but to challenge the group’s notoriously brutal boxing champion head-on.

The Blu-ray of “IP Man: The Awakening” will be available for $29.98 (SRP) and the DVD will be available for $19.99 (SRP).

Panda! Go Panda! (Animated Adventure)

The delightful animated film, “Panda! Go Panda!,” will be available in a Blu-ray + DVD combo from GKIDS, distributed by Shout! Factory, Tuesday June 21.

Included in the upcoming release are both “Panda! Go Panda!” (originally released in 1972), “Rainy Day Circus” (1973) with tons of special features, released collectively as “Panda! Go Panda!”

With these bonus features, a conversation between the film’s director, Academy Award nominated Isao Takahata, and the film’s writer, Academy Award winner Hayao Miyazaki, will be made available for the first time in North America. Fans of this release can order at GKIDS.com and ShoutFactory.com.

Mimiko is a cheerful, young girl who is left on her own while her grandmother is away. When little Panny Panda and his father Papanda stumble into her home, Mimiko welcomes them in as her new family. Adventures ensue as Mimiko discovers the challenges of taking care of her new cuddly friends.

First known as “Panda Kopanda” (translation: “Panda, Baby Panda”), “Panda! Go Panda!” initially premiered in Japan at the height of the panda craze in September 1972. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the film is a charming early-career classic from animation legends Takahata and Miyazaki before they went on to co-found the legendary Studio Ghibli.

Special features include “From Mimi to Heidi, From Papanda to Totoro” interview, “Panda! Go Panda! Exhibit—The Impact of Hayao Miyazaki’s image boards, a conversation with Takahata and Miyazaki in 1994 and trailers and previews.

Shaft (Action)

The original “Shaft” arrives on in a special Criterion Collection 4H UHD _Blu-ray Combo Tuesday June 21.

While the Black Power movement was reshaping America, trailblazing director Gordon Parks made this groundbreaking blockbuster, which helped launch the blaxploitation era and gave the screen a new kind of badder-than-bad action hero in John Shaft (Richard Roundtree, in a career-defining role), a streetwise New York City private eye who is as tough with criminals as he is tender with his lovers. After Shaft is recruited to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Harlem mob boss (Moses Gunn) from Italian gangsters, he finds himself in the middle of a rapidly escalating uptown vs. downtown turf war.

A vivid time capsule of ‘70s Manhattan in all its gritty glory that has inspired sequels and multimedia reboots galore, the original Shaft is studded with indelible elements—from Roundtree’s sleek leather fashions to the iconic funk and soul score by Isaac Hayes.

This new special edition comes with a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, an alternate uncompressed stereo soundtrack remastered with creative input from Isaac Hayes III, in the 4K UHD edition one 4K UHD disc of the film is presented in Dolby Vision HDR and the two Blu-rays with the film and special features, among them “Shaft’s Big Score!,” the 1972 follow-up to Shaft by director Parks, a new documentary on the making of “Shaft” featuring curator Rhea L. Combs, film scholar Racquel J. Gates, filmmaker Nelson George and music scholar Shana L. Redmond, a behind-the-scenes program featuring Parks, Roundtree and musician Isaac Hayes, archival interviews with Hayes, Parks, and Roundtree, a new interview with costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi, and much more.

“Shaft” on 4K UHD + Blu-ray Combo Edition will be available for $49.95 (SRP) and the two-disc Blu-ray edition will be available for $39.95 (SRP).

Strawberry Mansion (Sci-fi)

“Strawberry Mansion” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday June 21, from Music Box Films.

Directed by Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney, the film is set in 2035, when our dreams are no longer our own. They’re infused with product placement and auditors assess unpaid taxes on our most private reveries.

Beleaguered taxman James Preble (Audley) arrives at a run-down house in the countryside for a routine audit and encounters Bella Isadora (Penny Fuller), a lifelong dreamer who remains resolutely analog, circumventing the surveillance state with VHS tapes and homemade headgear.

As Preble works his way through Bella’s archive of the unconscious, he begins to fall in love with visions of her younger self (Grace Glowicki).

Bonus features include an audio commentary with Audley and Birner, a making-of featurette, deleted and extended scenes, test footage and animation, soundtrack by Dan Deacon and music video, short films by Birney, reversible jacket artwork and more.

The Blu-ray of “Strawberry Mansion” will be available for $34.95 (SRP) and the DVD will be available for $29.95 (SRP). The film also is available now to rent or purchase on Digital.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Action Comedy)

Celebrate the world’s hero and prodigal movie star Nicolas Cage when “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand Tuesday June 21, from Lionsgate.

The adrenaline-fueled comedy stars Academy Award winner, along with Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “Narcos”), Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, with Primetime Emmy Award winner Neil Patrick Harris (“Glee,” “How I Met Your Mother”), and Primetime Emmy and Grammy winner Tiffany Haddish (“Like a Boss,” “Night School”).
In this action-packed comedy, Cage plays a wilder version of himself (if that’s possible). Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage accepts a million-dollar offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pascal). Things take an unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Haddish) and he must use his legendary acting skills, channeling his most iconic and beloved characters to become a real-life action hero.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD will be available for $42.99 (SRP), $39.99 (SRP), and $29.96 (SRP), respectively. The action comedy also is available now on Digital.

Universal Soldier (Action/Sci-fi)

Director Roland Emmerich’s action-packed “Universal Soldier” arrives Tuesday June 21 on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital SteelBook, from Lionsgate.

The sci-fi classic features Jean-Claude Van Damme (“JCVD,” “Double Team”), Dolph Lundgren (“Johnny Mnemonic,” “Masters of the Universe), Ally Walker (“Kazaam,” “While You Were Sleeping”), Ed O’Ross (“Dick Tracy”, “Red Heat,”), as well as Primetime Emmy nominee Jerry Orbach (“Law & Order,” “Broadway Bound).

Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) and Sgt. Andrew Scott (Lundgren) are two soldiers who kill each other in Vietnam and are brought back to life 25 years later for a secret government program. Known as “Unisols,” they are genetically enhanced, unstoppable killing machines without memory, feelings, or free will. But when Deveraux’s memory starts to return and he escapes the program, a superhuman chase across the country begins.

4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray special features includes two separate audio commentaries, a couple of featurettes, an alternate ending, behind-the-scenes material and the trailer.

“Universal Soldier” will be available on 4K Ultra HD+ Blu-ray+ Digital SteelBook for $27.99 (SRP).

Who You Gonna Call? (Music Documentary)

In “Who You Gonna Call?,” filmmaker Fran Strine explores the riveting true story of Ray Parker Jr., the man who wrote and recorded the global smash hit song “Ghostbusters,” which became a universally recognized pop culture classic. The movie is available now on Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Parker granted Strine unprecedented access to reveal his never-before-told life story—from overcoming nearly impossible odds growing up on the segregated streets of Detroit in the 1960s to achieving his dream of getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and winning a Grammy. “Who You Gonna Call?” pulls back the curtain to reveal Parker’s now little-known yet legendary career, with Clive Davis and other music legends sharing what it was like to collaborate with Parker, both on stage and off.

You Are Not My Mother (Horror Thriller)

“You Are Not My Mother” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand Tuesday June 21 from Magnolia Home Entertainment under the Magnet Label.

Starring Carolyn Bracken (“Dublin Murders”), Ingrid Craigie (“Blood”) and Hazel Doupe (Kathleen Was Here), “You Are Not My Mother” takes viewers on a frightening, yet authentic coming-of-age journey through the dark history of the folks in Ireland.

It’s the week before Halloween and Char’s (Doupe) mother, Angela (Bracken), has suddenly disappeared, leaving only her car behind. When she returns home without explanation the following evening, it becomes clear to Char and her grandmother, Rita (Craigie), that Angela’s behavior has become increasingly frightening, as if she has been replaced by a malevolent force. When Halloween arrives, Char realizes that she is the only one who can save her mother, even if it means potentially losing her forever.

Included on the Blu-ray and DVD is a special behind-the-scenes featurette.

“You Are Not My Mother” will be available on Blu-ray for $29.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $26.98 (SRP).

Calling all martial arts fans! Front Row Features is giving away a copy of the action-packed martial arts drama “IP Man: The Awakening” on Blu-ray to three lucky readers. To enter the contest, simply email socalmovieeditor@aol.com by June 27. Good luck!