‘Fate of the Furious,’ ‘Smurfs, ‘Rake,’ More on Home Entertainment … plus a giveaway!!!

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. (DVD Artwork). ©Universal Home Entertainment.


Front Row Features

“The Fate of the Furious” goes full-throttle on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand Tuesday July 11, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The latest installment of the nitro-fueled blockbuster action franchise features a new storyline, a hot collection of super-fast vehicles and an all-star cast of fan favorites and newcomers to the franchise. From the shores of Cuba, to the streets of New York to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the close-knit crew crisscrosses the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing world chaos, and to bring home the man who made them a family. With more than an hour of never-before-seen bonus features and an extended director’s cut, “The Fate of the Furious” has a lot to offer fans of the series.

Now that Dom (Vin Diesel, “Riddick”), and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez, “Avatar”) are married, Brian and Mia have retired from the game, and the rest of the crew has been exonerated, the globetrotting team seems to have found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar winner Charlize Theron, “Monster”) lures Dom back into the world of crime and convinces him to betray those closest to him, the crew faces new trials that will test them as never before.

“The Fate of the Furious” reunites Diesel, Dwayne Johnson (“Baywatch”), Jason Statham (“The Transporter”), Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson (“Transformers”) and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (“Max Payne”) in an all-new adventure that also features Kurt Russell (“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2”) and Scott Eastwood (“Suicide Squad”).

Additionally, both the Blu-ray and DVD editions contain “All About the Stunts,” where the viewer can go behind the scenes to witness how “The Fate of the Furious” accomplished the most epic stunts in the franchise’s history; extended fight scenes and feature commentary by director F. Gary Gray.

Extra exclusive to the Blu-ray are: “The Cuban Spirit,” shows how as the first major Hollywood movie to shoot in Cuba in decades, “The Fate of the Furious” taps into the country’s effusive spirit; “In the Family,” which examines how family ties are put to the ultimate test in the film; and “Car Culture,” where the viewer puts himself behind the wheel of the supercharged vehicles showcased in the film.

Sony Pictures Animation’s “Smurfs: The Lost Village” arrives on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray and Digital, Blu-ray and Digital and DVD on Tuesday July 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The animated reboot follows Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the magical creatures filled Forbidden Forest, to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.

The animated adventure features an all-star voice cast, including platinum-selling recording artist Demi Lovato (“Camp Rock” franchise) as Smurfette, Emmy-nominated comic actor Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) as Gargamel, Joe Manganiello (“Magic Mike”) as Hefty Smurf, Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) as Clumsy Smurf, Danny Pudi (”Community”) as Brainy Smurf, Michelle Rodriguez (“The Fate of the Furious”) as SmurfStorm, Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) as SmurfBlossom, Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) as SmurfLily, with Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) as Papa Smurf and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich”) as SmurfWillow.

“Smurfs: The Lost Village” is bursting with bonus materials, including a filmmaker commentary, along with 10 fun and interactive featurettes, including Meghan Trainor’s “I’m A Lady” music video and “Lost Village Dance Along,” where you can join in the Smurf dance party. Get ready to represent your Smurf style with “Smurfify Your Nails” and create a Lost Village inspired manicure, then go inside “Baker Smurf’s Mini Kitchen” to follow along and guess what’s cooking, plus get step-by-step tutorials on how to draw your favorite Smurfs with three “how-to” videos. Fans can also go behind the scenes as Lovato auditions for the film and aces a pretty tough interview with Smurfette herself in “Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette.”

Making an animated movie is no easy task, but in “Kids at Heart! The Making of “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” viewers get a lighthearted look at how the film was made with both interviews from the cast and animators as well as silly re-enactments featuring adorable kid versions of the talented team. “Making the Song ‘You Will Always Find Me in Your Heart’” goes into the studio with singer Shaley Smith, composer Christopher Lennertz and songwriter KT Tunstall as they record the film’s pivotal song, while in “The Sound of The Smurfs,” fans hear from composer Christopher Lennertz on how he created a magical score to accompany this colorful and exciting adventure. Lastly, don’t miss the sneak peek at Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming animated feature, “The Emoji Movie.”

Exclusive to the Blu-ray are deleted scenes as well as “The Lost Auditions,” where the superstar cast, each one already perfect for their roles, explore other ideas about which role they should play.

“Smurfs: The Lost Village” also is included on “The Smurfs 3-Movie Blu-ray Collection,” which includes “The Smurfs” and “The Smurfs 2,” also available Tuesday July 11.

“Alive and Kicking,” the critically acclaimed documentary on swing dancing Lindy Hops onto DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday July 11. Directed by former Hollywood studio executive, Susan Glatzer, who helped usher a wide range of films to the big screen in her career, including “Napoleon Dynamite,” “The Apostle” and “Secrets & Lies,” the exuberant documentary invites viewers for an insider’s look into the transformative power of dance.

“Alive and Kicking” is a real-life “La La Land,” in which dancers—old and young —reveal their passion for swing.

Through Glatzer’s lens, audiences are given an intimate, insider’s view into the culture of the current swing dance world while shedding light on issues facing modern society. Viewers see the performers dance the fast-tempo Balboa and the shag as well as the slower-tempo forms of swing.

Special features on the DVD include a commentary by Glatzer and Director of Photography John W. MacDonald, deleted scenes, an interview with Glatzer and the theatrical trailer.

World-famous chocolatier Willy Wonka meets the rambunctious cat and mouse duo, Tom and Jerry in Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s “Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” the brand-new animated family film available on DVD Tuesday July 11. Based on the beloved children’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl, and the iconic musical family film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” is an all-new adaptation/mash-up that incorporates Tom and Jerry’s entertaining antics to the classic story of young Charlie Bucket’s unforgettable visit to the Candy Man’s marvelous chocolate factory.

Tom and Jerry meet Charlie Bucket, a young boy who finds one of five golden tickets, hidden inside the wrappers of Wonka chocolate bars. The lucky few who find a golden ticket are invited to visit Willy Wonka’s world famous chocolate factory and win a lifetime supply of chocolate. As Charlie sets out to meet Willy Wonka, Tom and Jerry secretly accompany him. Along the way, they help him steer clear of the evil Arthur Slugworth, who tries to talk Charlie into bringing him Willy Wonka’s latest creation, the Everlasting Gobstopper. They also meet Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teevee, the four other kids who also find golden tickets and are invited to tour the chocolate factory with Charlie. Favorite Tom and Jerry cartoon characters, including Tuffy, Spike and Droopy also join in the fun.

Viewers are treated to many familiar beloved songs in this heartwarming and hilarious new film, directed and produced by Spike Brandt, who previously helmed “Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz,” from a screenplay by Gene Grillo, who also penned that earlier film. The animated feature is available for an SRP $19.98. It also is now available to own on Digital HD via purchase from digital retailers.

The court is back in session when Series 2 of the offbeat Australian legal dramedy “Rake” arrives on DVD Tuesday July 11. As a lawyer, Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh, “Moulin Rouge!”) prefers to defend those who are utterly hopeless and probably guilty; his clients include murderers, bigamists, and even cannibals. In his personal life, he dodges debt collectors and the Tax Office, while having an affair with the wife (Toni Collette, “The United States of Tara”) of the powerful new Attorney General while pining for a former prostitute (Adrienne Pickering, “The Reef”) and flirting with his best friend’s wife (Danielle Cormack, “Wentworth”). Despite his roguish ways, Cleaver’s wit and charm have won him many cases and loyal friends over the years.

Meanwhile, his career is just as hectic as he defends alleged terrorists, teenage murderers and leakers of classified information. His unorthodox conduct may just land him on the wrong side of the law.

Guest stars include Don Hany (“Serangoon Road”), Maeve Dermody (“And Then There Were None”), Stephen Curry (“Cloudstreet”) and Martin Henderson (“Grey’s Anatomy”). The three-disc DVD set contains all eight episodes on Series 2 for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Attention fans of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise! Front Row Features is giving away a copy of “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth installment in the action-packed series, on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack with Digital HD to five lucky readers. To enter the contest, simply emailsocalmovieeditor@aol.com by Tuesday July 17 for your chance to win. Good luck!