‘Cleansing Hour,’ ‘Dreamland, ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’ doc, ‘Scooby-Doo!,’ More on Home Video … Plus a Giveaway!

THE CLEANSING HOUR. (DVD Artwork). ©Shudder / RLJE Films.


Front Row Features


The Cleansing Hour (Horror)

“The Cleansing Hour” arrives on DVD, Digital and VOD Tuesday Jan. 19, from Shudder/RLJE Films.

Max and Drew run a popular webcast that streams “live exorcisms” watched by millions across the globe. In reality, the exorcisms are just elaborately staged hoaxes performed by paid actors. But their fortunes take a turn when one of the actors becomes possessed by an actual demon and takes the crew hostage.

In front of a rapidly growing audience, the demon subjects the crew to a series of violent challenges, threatening to expose the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other unless they come clean and reveal they’re impostors before the show is over.

Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner and Alix Angelis star in this bone-chilling horror movie directed by Damien LeVeck, who co-wrote the screenplay with Aaron Horwitz.

The Climb (Comedy)

“The Climb” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday Jan. 19, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

This hilarious—and oftentimes awkward—comedy examines the toxic lifelong friendship of Mike and Kyle. While Kyle is kind and a bit of a pushover, Mike is a train wreck, who, despite his affection for Kyle, always seems to sabotage Kyle’s relationships. Told through a series of vignettes, Kyle struggles to deal with the fact that his best friend might just be the worst person for him.

The home entertainment edition is loaded with extended scenes, alternate takes, filmmaker commentary, the original short film that inspired the feature-length film and more.

Written by Kyle Marvin, Michael Angelo Covino, and directed by Covino, the two also star in the film alongside Gayle Rankin, Talia Balsam, George Wendt and Judith Godreche.

Dreamland (Drama)

Margot Robbie and Finn Cole star in the haunting and emotional love story “Dreamland,” arriving on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Jan. 19, from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Robbie, a two-time Academy Award nominee (“I, Tonya,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) produces and stars alongside Cole (“Peaky Blinders”) in director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s mesmerizing love story set amidst America’s struggle during the Great Depression, from a screenplay by Nicolaas Zwart.

Eugene Evans (Cole) dreams of escaping his small Texas town when he discovers a wounded, fugitive bank robber (Robbie). Torn between claiming the bounty for her capture and his growing attraction to the seductive criminal, Eugene must make a decision that will forever affect the lives of everyone he’s ever loved. Travis Fimmel (“Warcraft”), Kerry Condon (“Avengers: Infinity War”), Darby Camp (“Big Little Lies”) and Lola Kirke (“American Made”) also star in this heartwarming coming-of-age drama. The film also is available now on Digital.

Giant from the Unknown (Sci-Fi)

The Film Detective (TFD), a classic media streaming network and film archive that restores and distributes classic films for today’s cord-cutters, will release Richard E. Cunha’s science-fiction classic, “Giant from the Unknown” (1958) Tuesday Jan. 19 on Blu-ray and DVD.

Dr. Frederick Cleveland (Morris Ankrum) and his daughter Janet (Sally Fraser) are joined by scientific researcher Wayne Brooks (Ed Kemmer) in the pursuit of ancient artifacts from Vargas, a giant 500-year-old Spanish conquistador. When a lightning storm interrupts their search, the team finds much more than artifacts when the long-lost Vargas returns to life, with a murderous rage and an axe to grind.

“Giant from the Unknown” has been resurrected from the original camera negative with a stunning 4K transfer and includes exclusive special features: Never-before-seen interviews with author C. Courtney Joyner and actor Gary Crutcher and commentary from historian Tom Weaver, directed by Daniel Griffith at Ballyhoo Motion Pictures.

“The Giant from the Unknown” release comes as the latest in a series of restorations in collaboration with The Wade Williams Collection. TFD will release the stand-alone special-edition restoration of the film on limited-edition Blu-ray for a suggested retail price (SRP) $24.95 and on DVD for $19.95 (SRP).

The Kid Detective (Drama)

“The Kid Detective” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday Jan. 19, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

A once-celebrated kid detective (Adam Brody, “The O.C.”), now 31, continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity. One day, a naïve client (Sophie Nélisse, “The Book Thief”) brings him his first adult case—to find out who brutally murdered her boyfriend. The dark comedy is written and directed by Evan Morgan.

Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story (Documentary)

Crackle’s “Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story” arrives on DVD Tuesday Jan. 19, distributed by Screen Media.

Directed by Rick Lazes and Seth Koch, the documentary follows the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion as he defies all odds on his inspiring journey to become one of the most decorated boxers in history.

From a modest and challenging upbringing to an Olympic Gold medal and reign as the undisputed heavyweight champion, Lewis’ inspirational story is one of perseverance and the strength needed to overcome obstacles. Narrated by Dr. Dre, the documentary features never-before-seen footage from Lewis’ personal archives, extensive interviews with Lewis and some of his greatest competitors including Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield.

“Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story” will be available for $24.98 (SRP). The film also is available on Crackle and through On Demand platforms.

Max Cloud (Sci-Fi)

When a teenage gamer opens a portal into her favorite side-scroller, she becomes trapped in an intergalactic prison that’s home to the galaxy’s most dangerous villains in the sci-fi action-adventure “Max Cloud,” arriving on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Jan. 19 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Director Martin Owen (“Killers Anonymous”) teams up with rising action star Scott Adkins (“Ip Man 4,” “Triple Threat”) for a comedic sci-fi adventure.  “Max Cloud” also stars John Hannah (“Spartacus,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Tommy Flanagan (“Westworld,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), Lashana Lynch (“Captain Marvel”) and Franz Drameh (“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”).

“Max Cloud” will be available on Blu-ray for $29.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $24.98 (SRP).

Open Up to Me (Drama)

Part psychodrama, part coming-of age tale, “Open Up to me” arrives on DVD/Digital Tuesday Jan. 19, from Corinth Films.

Winner of two prestigious Jussi Awards and a festival favorite around the globe, “Open Up to Me”, from acclaimed Finnish director Simo Halinen (“East of Sweden”) tells the story of Maarit Majantie (Leea Klemola, “Void, Man and a Baby”), a woman who has recently had sex reassignment surgery. Since her transition from man to woman, she has lived a life apart from other people—distant from her estranged wife and daughter and marooned in a dad-end cleaning job far beneath what her education merits. By chance, she meets Sami, a handsome, married soccer coach and her carefully constructed solitude begins to crumble.

While Maarit is sure of herself and her new life, Sami may not be able to handle what society might think of her as a transgender woman. Complicating matters are Sami’s wife, Julia; Teo, a teenage soccer player he coaches and Maarit’s daughter, Pinja—all of whom have their own agendas. Maarit finds herself at the center of a web of relationships in which everyone is heartbreakingly and fallibly human. At the same time, the ghost of her old life threatens to endanger the precarious balance of her new one.

“Open Up to Me” will be available on DVD/Digital for $24.95 (SRP).

The Road to Mandalay (Drama)

Venice Film Festival favorite “The Road to Mandalay” arrives on DVD/Digital Tuesday Jan. 19, from Film Movement.

Burmese immigrants sneak into Thailand on a well-trafficked route cross the Mekong River, down quiet country roads and past checkpoints manned by corrupt officials. Along the treacherous path, Lianquing (Wu Ke-Xi) and Gua (Kai Ko) meet, and their fates become entwined. After finding work, the couple focus their efforts on acquiring fake identity papers, but when only one is successful, their relationship becomes threatened.

Winner of the “Best Film” award during International Film Critics week in Venice, the Midi Z-directed “The Road to Mandalay” also has screened at various other film festivals, gaining critical acclaim. The DVD includes a bonus short film “On the Border,” directed by Wei Shujun about a Chinese teenager of Korean descent who desires to emigrate to his homeland from his border village.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Documentary)

The Criterion Collection presents a mischievous chronicle of a rock icon’s most extravagant tour from one of Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers— “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” makes its home-video debut Tuesday Jan. 19.

In 1975, Bob Dylan and a band of troubadours—including luminaries such as Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg, and Joni Mitchell—embarked on a now-legendary tour known as the Rolling Thunder Revue, a freewheeling variety show that was part traveling counterculture carnival, part spiritual pilgrimage. Scorsese blends behind-the-scenes archival footage, interviews, and narrative mischief, with a magician’s sleight of hand, into a zeitgeist-defining cultural record that is as much a concert “documentary” as it is a slippery, chimerical investigation into memory, time, truth and illusion. At the center of it all is the magnetic Dylan with electrifying conviction.

This Criterion Collection edition features a new 4K digital master, approved by Scorsese, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, restored footage of never-before-seen Rolling Thunder Revue performances of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” and “Romance in Durango,” and of a never-before-seen cut of “Tangled Up in Blue,” a new interview with Scorsese, an essay by novelist Dana Spiotta and writing from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour by author Sam Shepard and poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, and more.

The Criterion Collection “Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” will be available on Blu-ray for $39.95 (SRP) and on DVD for $29.95 (SRP).

Spiral (Horror)

RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks, will release “Spiral” from Shudder, AMC Networks’ streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday Jan. 19.

Directed by Kurtis David Harder (“What Keeps You Alive”), and written by Colin Minihan (“Z”) and John Poliquin (“Still/Born”), the horror film stars Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (“American Horror Story”), Ari Cohen (“It” franchise), Jennifer Laporte (“iZombie”), Ty Wood (“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”), Chandra West (“I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”) and Lochlyn Munro (“Riverdale”).

A same-sex couple moves to a small town so they can enjoy a better quality of life as they raise their 16-year-old daughter, but nothing is as it seems in their picturesque neighborhood. When they see that their next-door neighbors throwing a very strange party, being the new family in town suddenly feels extremely dangerous. Extras include an interview with the writers of “Spiral” as well as an “On the Set” featurette.

“Spiral” will be available on DVD for $27.97 (SRP) and on Blu-ray for $28.96 (SRP).

Wander (Drama)

Aaron Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones and Heather Graham star in the edge-of-your-seat thriller “Wander,” arriving on DVD Tuesday Jan. 19, from Paramount Home Entertainment

Arthur Bretnik (Eckhart) is a paranoid private investigator with a troubled past. After Bretnik is hired to investigate a suspicious death in the dusty town of Wander, he becomes convinced the case is linked to the same ‘conspiracy cover up’ that caused the death of his daughter.

“Wander” is directed by April Mullen from a screenplay by Tim Doiron. The film also is available now in select theaters, On Demand and on Digital.

TV Shows

Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who? (Animation)

The Scooby-Doo gang teams up with some of the biggest names in pop culture to solve some of their biggest mysteries on “Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?: The Complete First Season,” available on DVD Tuesday Jan. 19, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

This release features 26 action-packed mystery adventures starring an eclectic mix of celebrities from television, film, music, sports, comics and more. Join Scooby-Doo and his pals as they solve spooky mysteries around the world with their celebrity friends.

Faced with some of their toughest mysteries yet, Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo join forces with some of the biggest names in celebrity and pop culture including NBA superstar Chris Paul, recording artist Halsey, George Takei, Christian Slater, Kenan Thompson, Steve Urkel (voiced by Jaleel White reprising his iconic role), Batman, Sherlock Holmes, The Flash, Wonder Woman and more. Jump into the Mystery Machine for all-new comedic mystery-solving adventures where the biggest mystery will be who’s teaming up with those “meddling kids” next.

“Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?: The Complete First Season” features the voice talents of Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo/Fred Jones, Grey Griffin as Daphne Blake, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy Rogers and Kate Micucci as Velma Dinkley. The DVD will be available for $24.98 (SRP) ($29.98 in Canada).

Calling all gamers! Front Row Features is giving away a copy of the comedic sci-fi adventure “Max Cloud” on Blu-ray to three lucky readers. To enter the contest, simply email socalmovieeditor@aol.com by Jan. 25 with the name of your favorite classic video game in the subject line for your chance to win. Good luck!