By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Bad Times at the El Royale
“Bad Times at the El Royale” rings in the New Year on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Jan. 1. The dark thriller also is available now on Digital and on Movies Anywhere.
Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm and Chris Hemsworth lead an all-star cast in this exciting thriller filled with gripping suspense and startling revelations. Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption before everything goes south. A “making-of” featurette is one of the extras.
Classes resume when “Night School” arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Jan. 1, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Kevin Hart/Tiffany Haddish comedy also is available now on Digital, on the digital Movies Anywhere app and On Demand.
Successful salesman Teddy Walker’s (Hart, “Jumanji,” “Ride Along” movies) life turns around after getting fired for accidentally destroying his workplace. Forced to attend night school so he can finally get his GED and find another job, Teddy soon finds himself amongst a group of misfit students, a teacher with no patience for grown up class clowns named Carrie (Haddish, “Girls Trip,” “Uncle Drew”) and his high school nemesis-turned-principal Stewart (Taran Killam, “Killing Gunther,” “Ted 2”) who will strive to make sure he fails the course. With every rule in the book about to be broken, Teddy and his new friends find themselves in a battle of pranks and wit that you can’t simply learn in the classroom.
Director Malcolm D. Lee (“Girls Trip,” “Best Man” franchise) concocts an extravagant comedic treat with an all-star cast that also includes Rob Riggle (“The Hangover,” “21 Jump Street”) and Romany Malco (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Think Like a Man” movies). Producers Hart and Will Packer (“Ride Along”) bring their signature humor style to “Night School.”
Joan Jett became mega-famous from the number-one hit “I Love Rock n Roll,” but that’s only part of the story. The rise of the rock legend’s career is powerfully presented in Kevin Kerslake’s spellbinding documentary “Bad Reputation.”
Featuring a collection of compelling interviews with some of pop culture’s biggest figures, alongside archival performance and interview footage, the documentary will be available on DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday Jan. 1 from Magnolia Home Entertainment.
Jett’s fame intensified with the music video’s endless play on MTV, world tours and many hits to follow, like “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” but that staple of popularity can’t properly define a musician. Jett put her hard work in long before the fame by ripping it up onstage as the backbone of the hard-rock legends The Runaways, starting her record label out of the trunk of a car after being rejected by 23 labels, and influencing many musicians—both her cohort of punk rockers and generations of younger bands —with her unique straightforward style. “Bad Reputation” is a wild ride as Jett and her close friends tell fans how it really was in the burgeoning ‘70s punk scene and the rocky road that led to rock stardom decades on. Their interviews are laced with amazing archival footage and the theme is clear: Even though people tried to define Jett, she never compromised.
Special features include a theater performance and sound check of “Bad Reputation” and “Fresh Start,” a backstage peek at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, plus music videos.
“Bad Reputation” will be available on DVD for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $26.98, and on Digital HD via Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNOW and more.
Another fascinating documentary arriving on DVD and Digital Tuesday Jan. 1 is “Love, Gilda.”
In this heartfelt tribute, filmmaker Lisa D’Apolito tells the story of beloved comedienne Gilda Radner, whose life was cut too short by her battle with cancer.
Radner’s story of her life and career are told through her own words. Weaving together her recently discovered audiotapes and rare home movies, “Love, Gilda” opens a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of the beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story. The unforgettable documentary also includes interviews with original “Saturday Night Live” cast and crew, such as Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and longtime friend, Martin Short, and diaries read by modern-day comedians who were inspired by Gilda, including Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong.
Radner puts a smile on the faces of people who remember watching her as one of the original cast members of “Saturday Night Live,” where she created and portrayed now-classic comic characters such as Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner. She quickly rose to meteoric fame in television, movies and on Broadway, and became one of America’s sweethearts.
Working in conjunction with the Radner estate, D’Apolito unearthed a collection of diaries and personal audio and videotapes documenting her childhood, her comedy career, her life with Gene Wilder and ultimately, her struggle with cancer. The never-before-seen footage and journal entries form the narrative spine of the documentary, allowing Gilda to tell her own story through laughter and sometimes tears. Incredibly, she was able to find humor in even the darkest of times and her spirit lives on in comedy, as she’s still considered an inspiring female trailblazer.
The inspiring documentary also includes interviews with “Saturday Night Live” creator and producer Lorne Michaels and writer Alan Zweibel, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and Second City CEO Andrew Alexander Special features include additional interviews, home movies, a gallery of Radner photos and more.
The DVD is available for $26.98 (SRP) and is also available on Digital.
Going back to school after the holidays doesn’t necessarily have to be a downer—at least not when Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish are involved. Just in time to enjoy while the kids are back in class, Front Row Features is giving away a copy of the comedy “Night School” to one lucky reader on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. To enter, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with what your favorite subject was back in high school for your chance to win. Good luck!