By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Caged Birds (Crime Drama)
A radical lawyer and a notorious criminal join forces to fight Switzerland’s prison system in the crime drama “Caged Birds,” arriving on DVD/Digital Tuesday June 14, from Corinth Films.
Barbara “Babs” Hug (Marie Leuenberger, “The Divine Order”) is a young radical lawyer fighting the famously neutral European country’s prison system in the 1980s, finding it to be an endless, draining battle. One day, she is approached by the country’s most wanted criminal, Walter Sturm (Joel Basman, “The Monuments Men”), in a public square.
Intelligent and sensitive, Sturm a.k.a. “The Jailbreak King” isn’t your average criminal. He’s recently escaped from prison for the seventh time. He’s also a Robin Hood-like figure and Swiss counter-culture icon, taunting the establishment with outrageous thefts and media savvy. Babs quickly sees an opportunity to use his popularity to reform the penal system, and the two form an unlikely alliance.
Their plan, however, goes awry when the unpredictable Sturm uses his newfound freedom to commit another crime, and soon finds the authorities closing in. Using her connections, Babs finds the charming criminal temporary refuge with a militant organization, and takes him on as a client. Sturm, however, has a very different idea of freedom and proves to be far more difficult to manage than the young lawyer ever realized.
This is a true story of two nonconformists in a struggle for social and personal freedom against the backdrop of the Swiss state.
“Caged Birds” is in Swiss-German and German with English subtitles. It will be available on DVD/Digital for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $24.95.
Comedy Confessions (Documentary)
The lives of three standup comedians are explored in “Comedy Confessions,” arriving on DVD/Digital Tuesday June 14, from Omnibus Entertainment.
From filmmaker Gabrielle Sebastian comes this insightful documentary about comedienne Tiffany Haddish, who achieved her dream of becoming a true Hollywood movie star after being homeless for a period of her life, as well as Doc Jones and Steve Lolli, who also were homeless as they struggled to achieve fame, and found the lure of the spotlight taking an unforgiving toll on their hopes and ambitions. This honest and touching movie is told in the subjects’ own words revealing the passion, dedication and pain that drive them.
“Comedy Confessions” on DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP).
Compartment No. 6 (Dramedy)
“Compartment No. 6” is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
A young Finnish woman escapes an enigmatic love affair in Moscow by boarding a train to the Arctic port of Murmansk. Forced to share the long ride and a tiny sleeping car with a Russian miner, the unexpected encounter leads the occupants of compartment No. 6 to face the truth about their own yearning for human connection.
Directed by Juho Kuosmanen, “Compartment No. 6” was written by Kuosmanen, along with Andris Feldmanis and Livia Ulman. It is in Russian with English subtitles.
Just in time for Father’s Day, Kevin Hart stars in “Fatherhood,” arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday June 14, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“Fatherhood” is a heartwarming true story about a widowed dad who copes with his doubts, fears and heartaches as well as dirty diapers, as he sets out to raise his daughter on his own.
The film is directed by Paul Weitz, and co-stars Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Anthony Carrigan and Paul Reiser.
Father Stu (Comedy)
Mark Wahlberg stars in the comedy “Father Stu” arriving on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday June 14, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on a true story, “Father Stu” is an unflinchingly honest, funny and uplifting tale about finding purpose in a most unexpected place.
After surviving a terrible motorcycle accident, Stuart Long (Wahlberg) wonders if he can use his second chance to help others find their way—which leads this former amateur boxer to the surprising realization that he is meant to be a priest.
Despite a devastating health crisis and the skepticism of church officials and his estranged parents (Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver), Stu pursues his vocation with courage and compassion, inspiring not only those closest to him, but countless others along the way.
The film was written and directed by Rosalind Ross.
Bonus materials include a featurette called “You Don’t Know Stu: More About Stuart Long,” and over 10 minutes of deleted scenes.
Small-town xenophobia meets absurdist humor in Bulgaria’s official Oscar submission “Fear,” arriving on DVD/Digital Tuesday June 14, from Film Movement.
Svetla (Svetlana Yancheva), a strong-willed widow, lives alone in a small Bulgarian village close to the Turkish border. She has recently lost her job as a teacher due to the lack of families with young children in her community.
One day, while hunting in the forest, she encounters an African refugee, Bamba (Michael Fleming), who is trying to reach Germany. The unexpected meeting will bring about a dramatic turn in Svetla’s life. Reluctantly, she offers him hospitality, but day after day, a bond develops as Bamba learns Svetla’s language and takes part in her daily life.
Svetla will make life-changing choices that go against her traditional community, creating a revolt among the villagers. Absurd, comic and tragic situations ensue as she breaks barriers of loneliness, close-mindedness and fear of outsiders in her village.
The DVD includes the Ukrainian short film, “Desaturated,” about a young woman who finds herself caught in an existential and aesthetic crisis.
“Fear” on DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP). It is in Bulgarian with English subtitles.
Zac Efron (“Firestarter,” “High School Musical”) stars in the dramatic survival film “Gold,” which arrives on DVD Tuesday June 14, from Screen Media.
“Gold” delves into the greed and the lengths people will go to in order to secure themselves a fortune. When two men traveling through the remote desert stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found, they must hatch a plan to protect and excavate the gold. One leaves to secure equipment while the other stays behind to protect the discovery—at all costs.
“Gold” on Blu-ray will be available for $29.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $24.98 (SRP).
Hostile Territory (Western)
The action-packed adventure Western “Hostile Territory” gallops onto Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday June 14, from Well Go USA Entertainment. The film is written and directed by Brian Presley (“The Great Alaskan Race”), who also stars in it.
Former P.O.W. Jack Calgrove (Presley) is willing to move heaven and earth to be reunited with his children following the Civil War. After returning home, Jack finds out his wife has died and that his children, presumed orphans, are heading deep into the West aboard a train crossing contested territory in the midst of clashes between American settlers and Native American tribes. Calgrove and another former soldier are joined by a troop of Native American sharpshooters and a freed slave as they race to intercept the orphan train before all hope is lost.
The film also stars Craig Tate (“12 Years a Slave”), Natalie Whittle (“Orbital Redux”), Matt McCoy (“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”), Lew Temple (“Waitress”) and Brad Leland (“Friday Night Lights”).
Bonus materials include a behind-the-scenes look at the film and a trailer.
“Hostile Territory” on Blu-ray will be available for $29.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $19.99 (SRP).
King Tweety (Animation)
Animation’s cutest “widdle” canary, Tweety, learns he’s a royal descendant and the next in line to the throne in “King Tweety,” a brand-new, full-length animated family film, set for release on DVD and Digital Tuesday June 14, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, “King Tweety” finds Tweety, Sylvester and Granny jet-setting to the Canary Islands where Tweety is inadvertently crowned king by the island locals. This fun-packed adventure featuring vibrant animation and music will make viewers want to get up and shake their tail feathers. The release includes “Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries,” a collection of three class bonus cartoons.
“King Tweety” features the voice talents of Eric Bauza as Sylvester/Tweety/Larry Bird/the Handsome Stewart, along with Flula Borg, Carlease Burke, Jon Daly, Regi Davis, Dana DeLorenzo, Candi Milo, Maya Lynne Robinson, Niccole Thurman and Mark Whitten.
The film was produced and directed by Careen Ingle, with the story by Erik Adolphson and teleplay by Careen Ingle.
“King Tweety will be available on DVD for $14.99 SRP ($19.99 SRP Canada).
Last Passenger (Thriller)
“Last Passenger” arrives on Blu-ray Tuesday June 14, from Cohen Media Group.
In this nail-biting thriller, Dr. Lewis Shaler (Dougray Scott, “Mission: Impossible II”) boards a night train with his young son, Max. As he chats with a friendly fellow passenger, Sarah (Kara Tointon, “EastEnders”), he idly wonders why the train isn’t following its normal route. When the train hurtles past their stops, Shaler and the other passengers realize something is seriously wrong.
Communications are down and the emergency brakes don’t work. As the train speeds dangerously down the tracks and crashes through everything in its path, Shaler and the rest of the passengers take matters into their own hands. But they’re no match for this multi-ton monster careening down a path toward utter destruction.
Extras include B-roll, sound bites, featurettes and trailers.
Originally released in 2012, “Last Passenger” is directed by Scott and Tointon. The film is in French with English subtitles.
Morbius (Action Fantasy)
Morbius, one of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel characters, arrives in a self-titled film on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray ad DVD Tuesday June 14.
Oscar winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil, or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
“Morbius” on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital offers viewers a chance to dive deeper with outtakes, bloopers, behind-the-scenes featurettes, as well as nocturnal Easter eggs. The DVD edition includes two featurettes: Defining the Antihero and another revealing the supporting cast doing stunt work.
The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa from a screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.
Ninja Badass (Comedy)
“Ninja Badass” arrives on Blu-ray Tuesday June 14, from Bayview Entertainment.
From exploding cows and bazooka cops to backwoods senseis and a deadly flying foot, prepare for a nonstop high-octane ode to ‘80s B-movies following one hillbilly ninja’s mission to save the world.
An official selection of several film festivals, “Ninja Badass” won Best Comedy at the San Antonio Rivercity Underground Film Festival and Best Horror/Comedy at Nightmares Film Festival. The Blu-ray is loaded with extras including a commentary from director/writer/star Ryan Harrison, along with blooper reels, deleted/extended scenes and more.
“Ninja Badass” also includes the original song “I’m a Ninja Now” from Vince Johnson, the singer/songwriter behind Tiger King Joe Exotic’s viral songs.
RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks, and Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural will release “Offseason” on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday June 14.
Written and directed by Mickey Keating (“Psychopaths”) the horror film stars Jocelin Donahue (Doctor Sleep), Joe Swanberg (“The Rental,” “Easy”), Richard Brake (“3 From Hell,” “Mandy”), Melora Walters (“The Pale Door,” “Pen15”) and Jeremy Gardner (“After Midnight,” “The Mind’s Eye”).
Upon receiving a mysterious letter that her mother’s grave site has been vandalized, Marie quickly returns to the isolated offshore island where her late mother is buried. When she arrives, she discovers that the island is closing for the offseason with the bridges raised until Spring, leaving her stranded. One strange interaction with the local townspeople after another, Marie soon realizes that something is not quite right in this small town. She must unveil the mystery behind her mother’s troubled past in order to make it out alive.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Animation)
GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, has release new Blu-ray editions in North America, of the early masterworks of Makoto Shinkai, several of which are making their North American Blu-ray: “The Place Promised in Our Early Days” (2004), “5 Centimeters Per Second” (2007), and “Children Who Chase Lost Voices” (2011).
The visionary director of “Weathering with You” and “Your Name.,” Shinkai’s ambitious, award-winning films are beloved by cinephiles the world over for his lushly animated, wistful tales of star-crossed relationships that take place in captivating, imaginative worlds.
Shinkai’s feature film debut, “The Place Promised in Our Early Days” is a haunting and beautiful story of friendship and loss, with stunning visuals and the emotional approach to science-fiction that would become the director’s trademark. In an alternate post-war Japan, three teenagers become obsessed with a mysterious tower across the Union border, which reaches far into the sky. Hiroki and Takuya work on a makeshift airplane, which they promise their friend Sayuri they will use to visit the tower together someday, but she disappears before it is completed. Several years later, the tower suddenly activates, starting a phenomenon that threatens the world. The young men now discover their long-lost friend Sayuri may hold the key to it all.
“The Place Promised in Our Early Days” is about young love, missed connections, and unrequited feelings, which collide in this romantic drama.
Told in three vignettes, “5 Centimeters Per Second: A Chain of Short Stories About Their Distance” explores the joys and heartache of falling in love set against the backdrop of the breathtaking visuals that define Shinkai’s work. Takaki yearns to spill his heart out for childhood crush Akari, but both their families move away before any feelings can fully blossom. They stay in touch, but eventually drift apart with school and new friends to distract them. As the seasons pass, Takaki navigates his relationships while haunted by all the things he left unsaid with Akari, his first love. Also included is “Voices of a Distant Star,” Shinkai’s debut (short) film, available for the first time on Blu-ray in North America.
“Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below” is an epic fantasy adventure in a world of ancient gods. Asuna is an introvert who prefers spending her time listening to a radio left by her deceased father. One day, she hears an odd song that resonates in her heart unlike anything else. It leads to a chance encounter with a mysterious boy, who transports Asuna to Agartha, a land of legend where the dead can be brought back to life. Compelled by the song and the boy, Asuna journeys through the mythical lands, but hostile warriors and ghastly creatures will stop at nothing to prevent Asuna from uncovering the secrets of their world.
All three films come loaded with bonus features including audio commentaries, interviews with Shinkai, storyboards, trailers, and much more. “5 Centimeters Per Second” will also mark the Blu-ray debut of Shinkai’s lauded short films “Voices of a Distant Star” and “She and Her Cat,” included on the disc as bonus features. Fans of these notable films can order them directly from ShoutFactory.com and GKIDS.com.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Action Adventure)
The epic search for the perfect Father’s Day gift ends Tuesday June 14, when “Raiders of the Lost Ark” arrives in a Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Entertainment.
Relive all the edge-of-your-seat excitement in director Steven Spielberg’s cinematic classic starring Harrison Ford as legendary hero Indiana Jones. Also starring Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, and Alfred Molina, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” continues to delight audiences of all ages with its thrilling, globe-trotting adventure.
Indy (Harrison Ford) and his feisty ex-flame Marion Ravenwood (Allen) dodge booby-traps, fight Nazis and stare down snakes in their incredible worldwide quest for the mystical Ark of the Covenant. Experience one exciting cliffhanger after another when in this exciting adventure.
Available individually on 4K Ultra HD for the first time, the action-adventure classic is the first of four planned limited-edition releases of each Indiana Jones movie.
Fans of the franchise can look forward to collecting “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” on July 12, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” on Aug. 16, and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is slated to roll on Sept. 20.
With exclusive packaging celebrating the iconic original theatrical artwork, these collectible releases are sure to be a hit with fans. The films are presented in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 for ultra-vivid picture quality and state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos audio. Each SteelBook also includes access to a digital copy of the corresponding movie, as well as a mini-poster reproduction.
Scarf Face (Documentary)
Take an in-depth look at the bizarre yet fascinating world of competitive eating when “Scarf Face” arrives on DVD/Digital Tuesday June 14, from IndiePix Films.
Joe Ruzer and Sean Slater turn their lens on the world of competitive eating and the untold story behind the epic rivalry between America’s Joey Chestnut and Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi.
Organized for decades by George Shea’s Major League Eating organization, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island has become the pre-eminent event for eaters worldwide but not without its share of disturbing controversies and perilous dangers.
The film follows multiple eaters at various levels of their careers over the course of six years, including Miki Sudo, Molly Schuyler and Joan “More Bit” Rodriguez as they discuss their lives, superstitions and health concerns as well as how they ended up as competitors in this bizarre subculture.
Bonus features including an audio commentary with the Ruzer and Slater, extended Gyoza-eating Competition scene, an extended eater-death segment, outtakes with B-Roll of actor Dave Sweeny (“American Hot Dog Eater”) and unused interview segment with professional eater Ed “Cookie” Jarvis.
“Scarf Face” on DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP).
Shadow of the Cat (Mystery Thriller)
“Shadow of the Cat” arrives on DVD and Digital HD Tuesday June 14, from Indican Films.
Gato (Guillermo Zapata) lives with his teenage daughter Emma (Maite Lanata) and a small group of people, including Sombra (Danny Trejo), on an isolated farm without telephones or internet. But Emma, tempted by curiosity, runs away into town one day to attend a carnival and gets her hands on a mobile phone. After she uploads a video of herself to the internet, Emma is contacted by a mysterious woman named Celia (Mónica Antonópulos) who claims to be her long-lost mother. What follows is a mystical tale of family, identity and broken trust set amidst the turmoil of one girl’s question about her past.
Directed by Jose Maria Cicala and written by Cicala, Griselda Sanchez and Gustavo Lencina, Shadow of the Cat also boasts a supporting cast including Lanata, Zapata, Rita Cortese, Mónica Antonópulos, Miguel Ángel Solá, Roberto Peloni and Luis Machín.
Vive L’Amour (Drama)
Film Movement Classics delivers Tsai Ming-Liang’s striking sophomore feature film, “Vive L’Amour” to DVD/Digital Tuesday June 14.
The winner of the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, the classic 1994 film has been restored in 2K.
The Taiwanese filmmaker follows three characters unknowingly sharing a supposedly empty Taipei apartment: beautiful real estate agent May Lin (Yang Kuei-mei), who brings her love Ah-jung (Chen Chao-jung) to a vacant unit she has on the market, unaware that it is secretly being occupied by a suicidal funeral salesman Hsiao-kang (Lee Kang-sheng). The three cross paths in a series of precisely staged, tragi-comic erotic encounters. Despite their physical proximity, they find themselves no closer to personal connection.
Featuring a mix of Antoinioni-esque longing and surprising deadpan humor, “Vive L’Amour,” is a disarmingly funny masterclass in cinematic economy, which catapulted Tsai to the top of the international filmmaking world and earned him the prestigious Golden Lion in 1994.
Bonus features include a featurette about the film, and a 16-page booklet with anew essay by film critic Nick Pinkerton.
“Vive L’Amour” on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital will be available for $39.95 (SRP) and $29.95 (SRP), respectively. The film is in Mandarin with English subtitles.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season (Comedy)
HBO’s iconic comedic series, from writer/producer/comedian Larry David, will have you laughing in your seats as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases “Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season” on DVD Tuesday June 14.
Life will be prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay good as you binge on all 10 episodes from the outrageous eleventh season. David reprises his role as an over-the-top version of himself, the iconic Emmy and Golden Globe-winning comedy series offers a tongue-in-cheek depiction of the writer/producer/comedian’s fictionalized life.
With Jeff Garlin (as manager Jeff Greene), Susie Essman (as Jeff’s wife Susie), Cheryl Hines (as Larry’s ex-wife Cheryl), JB Smoove (as Leon), and Richard Lewis and Ted Danson (as themselves), all reprising their roles alongside a rotating cast of familiar faces, including Vince Vaughn (as Freddy Funkhouser) and Tracey Ullman (as Irma Kostroski), Season 11 finds Larry once again seeking and dispensing his own peculiar brand of social justice.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” was created by “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David, and is executive produced by him as well as co-star Jeff Garlin and Jeff Schaffer.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season” will be available for $19.99 SRP ($24.99 in Canada) and will be available to own on Digital via purchase from all major digital retailers. All seasons of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” are now available for streaming on HBO Max.
MacGyver: The Complete Series—Seasons 1-5 (Action)
An action-packed, nail-biting adventure drama series “MacGyver: The Complete Series—Seasons 1-5” arrives on DVD Tuesday June 14, from Lionsgate. The series features Lucas Till (“X-Men” franchise) who plays young Angus “Mac” MacGyver, an operative of a secret U.S. government organization.
Follow the thrilling adventures of twenty-something Angus “Mac” MacGyver (Till) in “MacGyver,” a reimagining of the classic TV series. As the daring leader of a clandestine organization within the U.S. government, MacGyver—armed only with his trusty pocketknife and an unending supply of resourcefulness—crisscrosses the globe to keep the world safe from harm in this action-packed collection that features all five seasons of the show.
The series also stars Justin Hires (“21 Jump Street,” TV’s “Rush Hour”), Meredith Eaton (“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” “NCIS”) and Henry Ian Cusick (“Scandal, “The 100”)
“MacGyver: The Complete Series—Seasons 1-5” will be available on DVD for $59.98 (SRP).
Do you love Westerns? Then have we got the contest for you! Front Row Features is giving away a copy of the Western action-adventure “Hostile Territory” on Blu-ray to three lucky readers. To enter the contest, simply email email@example.com by June 20 for your chance to win. Good luck!