By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Fantasy Adventure)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will make available the beloved family film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD with Magical Movie Mode, a new and exciting way to experience the timeless modern classic. Magical Movie Mode will be released on Aug.17 to celebrate the magical adventure film’s 20th anniversary.
The “Harry Potter Magical Movie Mode” is a wondrous new way to experience “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” allowing fans the ability to discover ﬁlmmaking secrets, spell incantations, creatures, magical artifacts, trivia, and more in this enchanting collection of fun activities and curiosities. Let the magic begin!
The Wizarding World is recognized as one of the world’s best-loved franchises and represents a vast, interconnected world which touches all aspects of Harry Potter fans’ lives.
Today it encompasses bestselling novels, blockbuster “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” films, a multi award-winning stage play, innovative products and apparel, state-of-the-art video and mobile games, unique retail experiences and live entertainment, including world-class Universal theme parks, exhibitions, the popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter attraction, and two new virtual reality experiences at Harry Potter New York.
To recap, young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds out he is the orphaned son of two wizards and embarks on an amazing journey. During his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry learns he is destined for great things and discovers a Dark wizard is determined to destroy him.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Magical Movie Mode includes director’s commentary from Chris Columbus offering candid insight and amusing anecdotes from the production of the first film, deleted scenes, quizzes testing your potent knowledge of a vast array of topics from the film, graphics and audio during select scenes in the film draw you further into Harry’s world, and more.
The Blu-ray two-disc set of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Magical Movie Mode will be available for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $19.98 and includes the theatrical film and the Magical Movie Mode version of the film in high definition. It will also be available on DVD as a two-disc set for $16.98 (SRP) and includes the theatrical film and Magical Movie Mode version of the film in standard definition. The film will also be available on Digital on participating digital platforms where you purchase movies.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (Crime Caper)
After hitting theaters as the No. 1 movie in America, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD and On Demand Aug. 17, from Lionsgate. It also is available now on Digital.
“Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” stars Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool” franchise), Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Primetime Emmy nominee Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”), Academy Award nominee Salma Hayek (“Frida”), with Academy Award nominee Antonio Banderas (“The Mask of Zorro”), and Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”).
The world’s most lethal odd couple—bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and hit man Darius Kincaid (Jackson)—are back. Still unlicensed, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by the volatile spouses, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Banderas). Joining in the fun and deadly mayhem is Morgan Freeman as … well, you’ll have to see.
The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD of “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” will be available for $42.99 (SRP), $39.99 (SRP), and $29.96 (SRP), respectively.
Labyrinth: 35th Anniversary Edition (Fantasy Adventure)
From visionary filmmaker Jim Henson comes the unforgettable fantasy favorite “Labyrinth,” now celebrating its 35th anniversary with a 4K Ultra HD Combo (with Blu-ray and a Digital Code), Tuesday Aug. 17, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah (Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly, “A Beautiful Mind”) is given 13 hours to solve a dangerous and wonderful labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King, played by the iconic David Bowie.
Jim Henson directed the film from a story he wrote with Dennis Lee which was adapted into a screenplay by “Monty Python’s” Terry Jones.
The 4K disc includes deleted and alternate scene Oubliette with over 25 minutes of never-before-seen lost and alternate scenes, with all-new commentary from Brian Henson (Jim Henson’s son) as well as Sarah’s screen tests—a collection of rare, original screen tests for the role of Sarah.
The Blu-ray disc includes several features: “Reordering Time: Looking Back at ‘Labyrinth,’” The Henson Legacy, Remembering the Goblin King, a “Labyrinth” anniversary Q&A, The Storytellers: Picture-in-Picture track, Commentary by conceptual designer Brian Froud, a making-of documentary “Inside the Labyrinth,’” Journey through the “Labyrinth” kingdom: Kingdom of Characters & The Quest for the Goblin City, as well as theatrical trailers.
A limited edition collectible set presented as a 28-page Digibook—featuring rare artwork, photography and early script pages, all from deep within the Henson Archives—styled to resemble Sarah’s book of “The Labyrinth” from the film.
Little Q (Drama)
Based on a true story, the heartwarming story of “Little Q” arrives on Blu-ray Tuesday Aug. 17, from Well Go USA Entertainment.
Award-winning actor Simon Yam (“IP Man”) stars as a recently blinded chef who forms a bond with his seeing eye dog. Little Q, a yellow lab with a curious birthmark, is training to become a guide dog for the blind. When his training is complete, Little Q is sent to help Lee Bo Ting, a famous, recently blinded chef. Irritable and bitter, Bo Ting is at first reluctant to rely on Little Q and even tries to drive him away several times. But through his loyalty, Little Q eventually teaches Bo Ting how to trust again, opening him up to a new life of wonderful possibilities.
The film also stars Gigi Leung (“The Monkey King 3”), Him Law (“The Monkey King 2”), Charlie Yeung (“Bangkok Dangerous”), Shanshan Yuan (“Lobster Cop”), Angela Yeun (“The White Girl”), Frankie Lam (“The Merger”) and Roger Kwok (“Kung Fu Mahjong”).
“Little Q” on Blu-ray will be available on Blu-ray for $29.98 (SRP).
Midnight Diner (Drama)
Based on the celebrated manga series “Shin’ya Shokudo” by Yaro Abe and previously adapted into the critically-acclaimed TV series in Japan, Korea and China, the cinematic version of “Midnight Diner,” debuts on Blu-ray Tuesday Aug. 17, from Well Go USA Entertainment.
Set in a little restaurant in an inconspicuous lane of Shanghai, Tony Leung Ka-Fai (“Once Upon a Time in Hong Kong”) makes his directorial debut and plays the leading role of a man who makes a set of special foods for each guest who visits the restaurant and listens everyone’s story.
“Midnight Diner” also stars Deng Chao (“Shadow”), Eddie Peng (“Operation Mekong”), and Vision Wei (“Lost in White”).
The Blu-ray of “Midnight Diner” is available for $29.98 (SRP).
A Ghanian medical student is dragged by family obligations back to his native farming village in “Nakom,” arrives on DVD/Digital Tuesday Aug. 17, from Corinth Films.
Iddrisu (Jacob Ayannaba), a talented medical student reluctantly returns home to the village of Nakom after his father’s death. Iddrisu temporarily assumes responsibility for the impoverished household and farm, inheriting a death that could destroy the family. Attempting to maintain part of his studies from the confines of a small hut, he struggles to balance tradition and familial duty with the call to follow his own dreams.
As the new patriarch grapples with tradition and familial duty, he is met with varying shades of contempt by both family and villagers who compare him with his father expecting a resemblance. Iddrisu’s patience and wisdom are tempered by the strange paradox created by his faith in God and desire for control, the latter of which he cannot have so long as he stays in Nakom. As circumstances swell, Iddrisu suddenly begins to realize that no future for him exists in the place where he is need the most.
Notorious Nick (Drama)
Cody Christian (“All American,” “Teen Wolf”) stars in the thrilling underdog tale based on an inspiring true story, “Notorious Nick” which will be available on DVD and Digital Tuesday Aug. 17, from Lionsgate.
The film also stars Barry Livingston, Kevin Pollak (“The Usual Suspects”) and Elisabeth Röhm (“American Hustle”).
Even though he was born with a partial left arm, Nick Newell (Christian) dreams of being a fighter. After wrestling in high school, Nick becomes a fierce competitor when his best friend, Abi, introduces him to mixed martial arts. Suddenly, a tragedy provides Nick with an unexpected opportunity, but to succeed he must commit to becoming the fighter he always hoped to be.
RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks will release the horror film, “Shook” from Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, on VOD, Digital HD and DVD Tuesday Aug. 17.
Written and directed by Jennifer Harrington (“Housekeeping,” “Dear…”), “Shook” stars Daisye Tutor (“Funny Story,” “Come as You Are”), Emily Goss (“Snapshots,” “The House on Pine Street”), Nicola Posener (“The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Mythica” series), and Octavius J. Johnson (“Sleepless,” “Ray Donovan”).
When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign, she’s forced to solve a series of games to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real? Or is it just a game at her expense?
“Shook” on DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette and will be available for $27.97 (SRP).
Stay Out of the Attic (Horror)
RLJE Films also will release “Stay Out of the Attic” on VOD, Digital, DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday Aug. 17.
Directed by Jerren Lauder making his directorial debut and written by Jason Scott Goldberg, Jesse Federman, Jerren Lauder and Julie Auerbach (“Charmed”), the horror film stars Ryan Francis (“Hell on the Border”), Morgan Alexandria (“Forever My Girl”), Bryce Fernelius (“12 Gifts of Christmas”) and Michael Flynn (“Wild Horses”).
“Stay Out of the Attic” will be available on DVD for $27.97 (SRP) and on Blu-ray for $28.96 (SRP).
Stone Time Touch (Drama)
The true essence of “Armenian Soul is explored in the poetic documentary “Stone Time Touch,” available on DVD/Digital Tuesday Aug. 17, from Indiepix Films.
From acclaimed Armenian-Canadian filmmaker Garine Torossian, comes this drama that explores the lives of a trio of Canadian Armenians originally from Lebanon where the survivors of the Armenian Genocide regrouped after 1915, offering rich contrasting views of their homeland—as it appears to them in person. Balancing personal stories with a look at the country’s complex and turbulent history and colorful present, the film places the notion of homeland in the spotlight and examines it from multiple points of view.
Weaving together a collage of memory, loss and expectation of both a real and imagined Armenia, the diary-like doc follows a young woman’s journey to her homeland, interwoven with photographs and reflections of leading Armenian actress Arsinee Khanjian (“Exotica,” “The Sweet Hereafter”), who sets off for the country of her ancestors in order to discover the true essence of the Armenian soul. The entries in her travel diary loosely tie in with the individual chapters of the film, in which among other things, viewers see the town of Gyumri 18 years after the terrible earthquake, the ancient church of Hrispine and an ethnographic museum of Sardarabat.
More than a travelogue, “Stone Time Touch” is an emotive and freely assembled mosaic depicting the diverse face of Armenia. Bonus features include two short films by Torossian: “Girl from Moush” and “My Own Obsession.”
“Stone Time Touch” is in Armenian and English with English subtitles.
The Truffle Hunters (Documentary)
The documentary “The Truffle Hunters” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday Aug. 17, from Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle—which to date has resisted all of modern science’s efforts at cultivation. They’re guided by a secret culture and training passed down through generations, as well as by the noses of their cherished and expertly trained dogs. They live a simpler, slower way of life, in harmony with their loyal animals and their picture-perfect land, seemingly straight out of a fairy tale. They’re untethered to cell phone screens or the Internet, opting instead to make their food and drink by hand and prioritizing in-person connections and community.
The demand for white truffles increases year after year, even as the supply decreases. As a result of climate change, deforestation, and the lack of young people taking up the mantle, the truffle hunters’ secrets are more coveted than ever. However, as it soon becomes clear, these aging men may just hold something much more valuable than even this prized delicacy: the secret to a rich and meaningful life.
Bonus materials include “The Story of The Truffle Hunters” featurette, where viewers can hear from filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw on how they entered the storybook world of truffle hunting and embraced the fantastic personalities behind the culinary quests.
The Water Man (Fantasy Drama)
David Oyelowo’s family adventure film, “The Water Man,” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday Aug. 17, from RLJE Films.
The film is the directorial debut of acclaimed actor, which he also stars in, and is produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films from a Black List script written by Emma Needell.
Oyelowo co-stars alongside Rosario Dawson (“Luke Cage”), Lonnie Chavis (“This is Us”), Amiah Miller (“War for the Planet of the Apes”), Alfred Molina (“Spider-Man 2”) and Maria Bello (“NCIS”).
Gunner (Chavis) sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest—but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and, in the process, will discover who his son really is.
The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to much critical praise.
Special features including a making of featurette, animation behind-the-scenes, a Q&A from the Toronto International Film Festival and a filmmaker commentary.
“The Water Man” on DVD will be available for $29.96 (SRP) and on Blu-ray for $29.97 (SRP).
A Discovery of Witches: Season Two (Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
RLJE Films will release Season Two of the hit fantasy/sci-fi drama series “A Discovery of Witches” on DVD and Blu-Ray Tuesday Aug. 17.
The series is based on the “All Souls” trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The series stars Teresa Palmer (“Hacksaw Ridge”) as Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode (“Downton Abbey”) as Matthew Clairmont, Alex Kingston (“Doctor Who” ) as Sarah Bishop, Valarie Pettiford (“The Blacklist”) as Em, Trevor Eve (“The Politician’s Wife” ) as Gerbert, Malin Buska (“The Girl King”) as Satu, Lindsay Duncan (“Sherlock” ) as Ysabeau De Clermont, Owen Teale (“Game of Thrones” ) as Peter Knox, Gregg Chillin (“Da Vinci’s Demons”) as Domenico, Aiysha Hart (“Line of Duty”) as Miriam, Edward Bluemel (“Killing Eve”) as Marcus, Daniel Ezra (“All American”) as Nathaniel and Aisling Loftus (“War & Peace”) as Sophie.
Season 2 guest stars include Tom Hughes (“Victoria”) as Kit Marlowe, Shelia Hancock (“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”) as Goody Alsop, Steven Cree (“Outlander”) as Gallowglass and James Purefoy (“Altered Carbon”) as Philippe De Clermont.
After narrowly escaping the Congregation of vampires, witches, and daemons, Diana and Matthew are hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London. Here, they must find a powerful witch teacher to help Diana control her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. Enemies are everywhere, the threat to witches is growing, and Diana and Matthew’s romance faces a barrage of new threats– from within as much as without. They must overcome deep personal fears and jealousies, baring their darkest secrets to one another if they are to stay alive, stay together, and find a way back to the present day.
While Matthew and Diana hide out in Elizabethan London, back in present day, Diana’s beloved aunts, Sarah and Em, must take shelter with notorious witch hunter Ysabeau de Clermont at her ancestral home, Sept-Tours. Meanwhile, in Oxford, Marcus and Miriam take on Matthew’s mantle to protect daemons Nathaniel and Sophie, whose pregnancy is advancing. And Gerbert, Knox, Satu, and Domenico are determined to hunt down every clue they can to Diana’s and Matthew’s disappearance, and the secrets their allies are keeping from them.
The series originally aired on the AMC streaming platforms Sundance Now and Shudder earlier this year and is currently airing linearly on AMC.
“A Discovery of Witches: Season 2” includes the bonus features A Story of “A Discovery of Witches,” Can Love Survive and Creating Elizabethan London. It will be released on DVD and Blu-ray for $34.99 (SRP) each.
The Murders: Season 1 (Crime/Mystery)
Sundance Now’s “The Murders: Season 1” is now available on DVD as a two-disc set.
Jessica Lucas (“Gotham”) stars in this Canadian mystery series as Kate Jameson, a rookie detective determined to make her mark on the homicide team. But things go horribly awry when she breaks the first rule of policing: never leave your gun unattended. Haunted by her mistake, Kate seeks to make amends through every case, including that of a mysterious killer who seems particularly invested in her.
There is a three-minute behind-the-scenes featurette and a three-minute featurette “Would You Rather.”
The eight-episode first season premiered on Sundance Now and is available for $34.99 (SRP).
The Real Thing (Action)
From singular auteur and Cannes award-winner Koji Fukada comes “The Real Thing” arriving on DVD Tuesday Aug. 17, from Film Movement.
After Tsuji (Win Morisaki), a floundering toy salesman, rescues Ukiyo (Kaho Tschimura), a mysterious woman whose car stalls on the train tracks, she inadvertently whisks him into an epic series of misadventures involving gangsters, strange interlopers, kidnapping and other sundry crimes. Fukada (“A Girl Missing,” Harmonium”) makes his first foray into episodic drama, adapting Mochiru Hoshisato’s popular manga into a limited-run series replete with his patiently idiosyncratic and lively take on human nature, fatalism and true love.
“The Real Thing” was an Official Selection at Cannes in 2020, and featured as part of a spotlight on Fukada’s career during last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The 10-episode series is in Japanese with English subtitles.
Total Control: Season 1 (Drama)
Sundance Now’s “Total Control: Season 1” is now available on DVD as a two-disc set.
When Indigenous woman Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman, “The Sapphires,” “Jack Irish”) gains national acclaim for her heroism against a rampaging gunman, Australia’s embattled prime minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths, “Six Feet Under,” “Muriel’s Wedding”) sees a publicity goldmine and handpicks Alex for the Senate. But Alex wants to be more than just a political stunt, and when Rachel betrays her, Alex seeks revenge that will upend the political establishment.
“Total Control: Season 1” premiered as an Exclusive Series on Sundance Now and contains all six episodes of the first season. The DVD is available for $34.99 (SRP).
A true cineaste knows that it’s important to appreciate other countries’ films. That’s why Front Row Features is giving some of our loyal readers (and fellow cineastes) a chance to win two must-see Chinese movies—the family-friendly drama “Little Q” and the comedy-drama “Midnight Diner” —on Blu-ray. Three copies of each film will be given away. To enter the contests, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 23 with the title of which movie you want to win in the subject line. If you want to test your luck at both contests, be sure to send two separate emails so you can be entered into each drawing. Good luck!